Friday, July 02, 2004

the money booth and more sabbatical crap

I'm also happy to report I saw no acrylic money booth this year. Hopefully I didn't just miss it.

I have to admit I've been in the proverbial money booth lately. I'm worried about how we're going to survive this year with me on a totally Spirit-directed sabbatical. I've been thinking of all sorts of little projects I could do that wouldn't really count as "writing." I mean, if I talked them into a recorder, that wouldn't count right? Or if it only took me a couple of minutes a day, that wouldn't be going against what God told me would it?

Well, yes. God, infinitely patient with this sinner, set my feet in Hebrews yesterday. Right there in the middle of the page in the passage about Sabbath, chapter four. Particularly in verse seven:

"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

IOW -- I was pretty clear about this sabbatical, Lisa. Why are you even considering breaking it?

Okay, God. I'll stop. I'll stop worrying. I'll stop wanting to break out and be wildly popular and rich and the conjurer of awed whispers behind my back saying, "There's Lisa Samson, she's . . ."

God, I hate this part of myself! I know my writing isn't what it should be. I know I have miles to go before I sleep. I know if anybody needs a break so that she can take a look at her life and her work and say "Oh, man. Oh, God, Help Me!" it's me.

So I just gave up. I told God, "Take this gift I've used so stupidly and do with it what You will." If I remain lackluster in sales, so be it. But if I never grow as a writer and an artist . . . God, that will suck! I'm hoping this time off will help me grow in the craft, but even that is self-serving in the end. I need to grow in faith, in discipline, in love. I need to have a deeper inside to draw from. I feel so shallow! As if all I can do is tell stories about shallow people, because that's all I know of myself.

So there it is. My sabbatical angst rearing its ugly head once again. But if I didn't believe God was on the throne, as we say in Reformed circles, I think I'd just throw in all the towels I own.

Do you ever just want to wake up in the middle of the night and see Jesus sitting at the foot of your bed?




Blogger Myra said...

Oh, Lisa, I wish you knew how deeply your books have touched me! Shallow! You're one of the deepest, "realest" Christian writers I've come across. I pray God will show you everything he wants you to know while on this sabbatical. Christian fiction needs you. Don't stay away too long!

July 2, 2004 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Sweet Lisa,

It's so hard. God is the keeper of our dreams--after all He gave them to you. He sees your ache, your longing, your heart. Whatever His purpose is, it will be pure gold!


July 2, 2004 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

You guys are so wonderful. God's been giving me great moments today. I sat in the cigar shop with Dave and listened to Stevie Ray Vaughan. I watched Gwynnie blow down into the neck of her bathing suit at the pool and shout, "Look at me! I'm fat!" And of course, her suit didn't expand one iota. I saw a guy with a large but on his rider mower, just a hugging a hill and not tipping over and I thought, "Wow, now there's a miracle for you!" Amazing, how much is going on around me that I fail to appreciate.

July 2, 2004 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger bobbie said...

hi lisa, found your blog through will's. i just finished reading your blog and hit 'seeking serenity' and found this quote on sabbath - thought maybe it might inspire sabbatical thoughts:

i thought it was a wonderful picture of sabbath rest, and after all that is what a sabbatical is supposed to be, right? i have so enjoyed reading your blog, and look forward to reading your books! be blessed!

July 2, 2004 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger ragamuffin diva said...

Remember His winsomeness. His burden may still be a burden, but it is always a light one. Imagine the possibilities. What is God trying to show you. Whatever it is, you will benefit tremendously, and so will the Kingdom of God. So yield. He is there, loving you into the new.

July 3, 2004 at 2:13 AM  
Blogger GaryS said...

Please God, help Lisa quickly so she can do
more of her fantastic writing!! We need more
Church Ladies and Gentlemen thought provoking
books from her hilarious mind...Lisa, I have
never read another book where I wanted to laugh
and pray within a few pages read.
Do we really have to wait till next year
before you start to write again? HUH? yikes.......
If I saw Jesus at the foot of my bed I would
freak out-but it would be wow.......Ohmagawsh..

July 3, 2004 at 2:35 AM  
Blogger Brad Whittington said...

I'm glad to hear you're taking a sabbatical. If you can just hold out until the third Fred book is published, I might have a shot at another Christy.

In the meantime, I recommend reading Chesterton's Father Brown stories, The Golf Omnibus by P. G. Wodehouse and the Lucia books by E. F. Benson. (I found a great copy of the entire Lucia series at Goodwill in Kaimuki for $4, but I couldn't think of anyone who would actually read it, so I left it there. But they did have Dekker's Three for as many dollars. Ha!)

Sounds like you need a vacation in Hawaii. Let me know when you get here.

July 5, 2004 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

I'm not trying to play the sycophant, but Lisa, you have touched more people than you realize. Your name and your work comes up in many conversations I have with other Christian writers. Your work may not be on the ECPA best seller lists, but it is reaching people. As a writer, it's great to see fiction like yours in the CBA market. As a reader, it's great to see fiction like yours on the Inspirational Fiction bookshelves. (OK, those are cluttered with that Left Behind crap, so I've had to order the books from or

The Lord is using you. And I'm thankful for that.

July 6, 2004 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

Lisa, My fellow-writer friend Nancy Moser introduced me to your books when I asked for her recommendations on some GOOD Christian fiction. If the characters in Church Ladies are shallow, I'm not interested in depth. When you are done sabbaticalizing, you will still write from your heart, and that's what your readers want and need. (Hey, I may be shallow, but I'm deeper than somebody, and that elusive somebody needs me!)

I'm looking forward to hearing how God uses this time in your life!

July 7, 2004 at 5:11 PM  

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