What Keeps You Going?

Ever so often--sometimes when I'm burned out from editing or sometimes when I'm so sleepy in the morning--I look at my book and think, "What in the world do you think you're doing?" You know those moments... when you look at a word like "the" and wonder who was in charge of putting the letters in that order. When you forget how to use contractions for a second, and genuinely wonder if you intended to use the word "quish" in your last draft.

I had a moment like that at the ACFW Conference, as I realized I really am nothing without Christ. When I finally said, "Okay, God. What am I doing here? Are you sure this wasn't a mistake? Because I hardly even remember my name at this point." that I found myself in the depths of God's mercy, which is a beautiful place to be. So, after that I received a couple full manuscript requests... a symphony to a novelists' ears, right?


We'll put it this way. I'd like to consider myself a quick learner, but not when it comes to being OCD. I continue going back to my perfectionist tendencies, like the one-more-chocolate-mint-after-I've-already-eaten-too-much-pasta mindset.

And so here I am, plugging away at final polishing edits, and changing way more than I intended in the attempt to get my book just perfect. And you know what? It will always fall short of perfection. And that's sometimes discouraging. Because the fact of the matter is, I don't care if you're Jane Austen, there is no such thing as mastering the art of writing. In writing, there is only progress and further progress.

But in those moments when feel like a puddle of melted vanilla ice cream in a sea of chocolate milkshakes, something keeps pushing me through, and that is the absolute certainty I am doing just exactly what God has called me into. And at the end of the day, that's all I need to worry about.

And you know what? Surrender looks a lot different than I thought it did. It's a lot easier, and a lot simpler. Stop trying to control everything. Do your best, be faithful, and let go.

Sometimes He only reveals the next step when we'd like to see the next three. But that's okay, because He loves us deeper than we can know.

So I want to encourage you if you're feeling overwhelmed... everyone feels the vanillas from time to time, especially when under pressure.

For what it's worth, I think the key to success is simply knowing what you're called to do and never, never letting go of that.

Have you experienced this feeling lately? How did you find God's calling in your life?


  1. Wish we lived closer, Ashley! You are on my wave! :) We could go get ice cream together!!! HA!

  2. Oh, how I'd love that, Angie! I wish we'd had more time together at the conference.

  3. I sooo needed to hear that today, Ashley. I cried some tears today. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. You're welcome, Katie friend! I'm glad you found it encouraging. It was so nice meeting you at the conference.