Great Writers Series: Practice

~~ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV84) ~~  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

by Carley Cooper

It’s day four of the 15 Habits of Great Writers challenge.  Just to recap for those new to this series:
  • On day one the assignment was ‘Declare’; that is to tell the world that ‘I am a Writer’. 
  • Day two, was to Believe that ‘I am a Writer’.  The most important thing I need to do this is faith; in God, so that my fears can be overcome and His blessings will be free to flow. 
  • Day three, was to Initiate that big dream project; such as a book.  For me, though, I found that it also meant initiating a part of myself that I’ve always kept hidden.
The fourth habit of great writers Jeff Goins says is to ‘Practice’.  I know that God has already led me to develop some important practices.  I can see how I am on a good path; as such I know it is God’s leading that is taking me there.  The discipline of daily writing has not been one of those messages that I’ve listened to and obeyed very well.  I have to develop the habit of writing every day instead of the current two to five days per week.  I need to be practising more diligently for certain.  However, the Practice assignment for today, is not that simple.   The challenge for today was to practice our work public; even if that means sharing something that we’ve never shared before. 

Ah, yea, that whole public and sharing elements are the parts that freaks me out more than anything.  It means socializing; which is the biggest test for me in this whole challenge series.  Then again, it’s the biggest stumbling block in my life, and always has been.  Not only do I need it in order to be a well adjusted, functioning  human being to accomplish my dreams and God’s will;  but I need it to be a good writer.  Being great at writing is useless if no one reads it.  I can see from the lessons in this challenge, so far, that God has led me here.  I am seeing changes and learning some very important things.  Which, I know, is why God had already placed into my calendar two social events this week that I couldn’t back out of without hurting or disappointing other people.  He knew this challenge would be coming up, so He planned these functions for this week when they would make the most impact on me.  Convenient, huh!  God’s pretty smart that way.  One way or another, He’s gonna get me to go along with this and teach me how to get past this hurdle; no matter how much I kick and scream.

So, today was the first of those two shin-digs.  It was a Women’s Golf Tournament by Women for Women, that was a fundraiser to raise money for the Women and Children’s Centre of Barrie.   My part in this game was not as a player.  I was there as a volunteer for the Women’s Shelter.  But, don’t get too excited, this doesn’t mean that I have suddenly learned to comprehend the fascination behind the game of golf.  One big lesson at a time, please!  The event was organized so that, at each hole, there were special treats for the players.  These tasty morsels ranged in everything chocolate covered strawberries to martini’s.  The duties for myself and my friend, Christina (not her real name), involved handing out handmade chocolate treats, filled with strawberry and raspberry filing, to the players as they passed by the fourth hole.  The weather was absolutely wonderful.  It was about twenty five degrees Celsius; with clear skies, and a slight breeze.  There were small tables, chairs, and an umbrella at each hole for the volunteers to sit at.  I was glad that I got to volunteer with on one of my friends.  It helped to enjoy the day so much more.  The setting, as I suppose most golf courses are, was beautiful.  I was surrounded by green with a clear blue sky overhead.  The only thing I felt I was missing was a couple of dogs and a box of tennis balls to make some use of all that space.  I guess that’s the part that shows I’m not a golfer at heart.   

Well, the tournament was a huge success.  It was a sold out event, and they raised almost $12,000.00 for the shelter.  You see this is a wonderful cause, and it is indeed important.  However, there’s a little more to it than just that for me.  This is where God’s plan for me to step out and socialize also had a second motive.  He knew that my assignment in this challenge would be to ‘Practice in public’ by sharing something I haven’t shared before, on my blog.  This thing, that I haven’t mentioned before; the reason this event is so close to my heart is because I am currently an outreach client of the Women and Children’s Centre of Barrie.  Some of you know that I have been through a lot of abuse in my life.  The current apartment that I live in is a low rent apartment (in a brand new building) and was granted to me through an abuse survivors program and the transitional housing program at the shelter.  As such, as long as I live here, I am a shelter outreach client.  I am finally able to live roommate and abuse free; I am safe, and can focus on listening to God lead me.  I also go to two different support groups there on a regular basis (which has a list of benefit in itself); so giving back by volunteering is very close to my  heart indeed. 

Practice number one, complete! 

~~ Dear God ~~  Thank You for the declaration, belief, initiation, and practice that is leading me, not only toward being a better writer, but also to being a better child of God.  Please help me to learn to be completely comfortable in social situations, so that Your will and my dreams can become a reality.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

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