Sunday, July 4, 2010

Imitation = Limitation

I went to a writer's conference two weeks ago. It was an amazing time. Two hundred and fifty followers of Jesus who write for Him, coming together to learn, encourage and be encouraged. I certainly was encouraged. Along the way I met some great people, including two fellow bloggers. Ann is one. You can find her blog here: Ann taught a workshop on how to have a successful blog. It was nothing like I expected. She is a lovely woman, and her heart for Jesus is on her sleeve. Instead of giving hints to create more traffic or comments, she talked about how she doesn't allow comments, and doesn't have a site meter on her blog. This is to keep her from getting caught up in how many people are following her posts. Her talk was all about releasing what the Lord was doing in her heart into daily posts, and letting Him take care of the results. It was truly inspiring and encouraging. Please check out her blog; it is beautiful, both visually and in spirit. Another lady I met was Belinda. You can find her blog here http://http// . She is another sweet sister in the Lord, and it was a treasure to meet her and spend time chatting.

These two ladies so impressed me with their sincerity, humility and love for God that I came away thinking I should start a new blog. One that would be more like theirs. So I did. I started a blog on, and put one post on it. Then I tried to think about what else I could write, that would be less like what I usually did, and more like what these ladies wrote. I was planning to just leave "One Day At A Time", and redirect people to my new, "improved" blog. But, as you can probably guess, I got stuck. I eventually realized how ridiculous it would be to try and imitate these two women in my writing. Transparency, sincerity and humility are not things that you can copy. (Oh, I guess you could try, but there is a name for that. Starts with "hy" and ends with "sy", with "pocri" in the middle.) So I deleted my new blog, and came back here. Then for almost a week, the Lord gave me something to post each day. (I took that to mean I had made the right move.)

Have you ever looked at other Christians, and wished you could be more like them? It's a common trap that we can all fall into. Constantly measuring ourselves against seemingly more spiritual people. We see the fruit in their lives, and decide that ours is lacking. We want to somehow have what they have, write like they write, speak like they speak. But that is wrong. God created us all as individuals, and He uses our personalities, everything about us, in His work of renovation.

In my Sunday meeting this morning, I read from Ephesians 2, about being God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works that He has prepared beforehand. In my mind, I see God taking us as we are, a lump of clay, or playdough that has bits of different colors all mixed in. Each messy batch He takes and molds according to His unique plan, working even those bits of color, that used to appear as mistakes, into the design, creating a masterpiece.

In writing, we are told that we need to find our own "voice." I think it is not so much a matter of finding it, as simply using it. If God has called you to write, or speak, or preach, or teach (and He calls us all to do these, in one way or another), then He will place those things on your heart that you will be burdened for. He will give you the courage to do or say or write of them, to proclaim them, to protect them. He doesn't want you to duplicate what He has given to someone else. He has good works that He has prepared for YOU and you alone.

When God created us, He didn't use a cookie cutter approach. Don't try to follow in another's path; use the brain and heart and gifts He has given to you. To try and be like another will bear no fruit. Abide in Him, and trust that He will live and speak through you.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)


Kat said...

Hi Maureen! Oh i have been meaning to respond to that sweet response you sent me about my 2 boys :)...thank you, that was so sweet of you :)

Your blog posts always speak to me! :) I've read Ann's blog off and on for years and when i read the beginning of this post...I got a little sad like you were going to change your blog style...b.c it ministers to me just the way it is :) is your voice :). But then so encouraged to hear how the Holy Spirit directed you to keep what He's given you. I love hearing what He shows is BEAUTIFUL! Keep writing my friend...i enjoy your quiet and tender heart :)

Much love from your kindred spirit in Mississippi :)

Blessings, Kat

Ike said...

I agree with your "cookie cutter" analogy....but as I look down through christian history at the many men and women of unusual passion for God and His kingdom....they "all" have one common denominator. They all seem to have caught a "glimpse" of the glory of the Gospel....and the beauty of it... "sparked" their passion.

Maureen said...

Kat! Great to hear from you. I miss seeing you on FB, but feel free to stop by here any time!. Wish you didn't live so far away. We are having a heat wave right now; maybe something like you have all summer there. Humidity this a.m. is 99%. Ugh!

Thanks for your kind encouragement. It's an up and down life, isn't it? But ultimately UP, in a big way! Hugs to you and your sweet family.

Maureen said...

For sure Ike, some flames have burned brighter down the years. Certainly not something we could ever imitate, only give glory to God for.

Suppresst said...

Be yourself Maureen. Everybody else is already taken.