Guest Blogger Naomi Musch
I remember a 4:30 a.m. frigid November morning. Already we'd had a lot of snow here in northern Wisconsin, and hiking into the dense woods was cumbersome, especially weighed down in layers of thick clothing and carrying a rifle. We'd only moved into our farm home a few weeks earlier, and much of our 150 acres was still undiscovered territory for me. But I'd practiced getting out to my deer stand the week before, and I knew which fence lines to watch for, which dips and fallen logs marked the way. I could make my way there in the dark by the thin beam of a flash light, and be settled in my stand before the break of day -- shooting light.
Or so I thought.
It was a long walk. My stand was nearly a half mile back through field, forest, and swamp, and the landscape took on a different shape in the darkness. I wasn't afraid, but I was... confused. Apparently, somewhere along the way, I veered to the right on a trail I hadn't even noticed in the daylight. Suddenly I came up against a fence line that wasn't supposed to be there, and beyond it, a creek bed running through tag alder.
I turned in a circle. I pressed on. I turned again. I'd been walking slowly, not wanting to overheat and wind up getting cold prematurely once I found my stand. But the hiking in circles had sweat running trickles down my back as my journey of confusion lengthened.
Finally, all I could do was turn around and retrace my steps -- thankful now for snowy footprints -- until something looked recognizable.
The uncertainty of losing my way has happened to me in my writing journey as well, not to mention in other areas of life. It's probably happened at one time or another to you too. Sometimes we feel like we should know where we're going. We plan our way with confidence because we've been there before or have mapped out a plan. But just like that morning when I spent the wee hours wondering what had happened to my well-laid plan, life gets a little confusing. The pathway gets murky and there are snares. We have to go back to a place we recognize.
What we really need is a brighter light.
This week my heart's ears have perked up, because God has grabbed my attention with a recurring theme: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established" Proverbs 16:3. A little further, in verse 9, he repeats the admonition, "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." My writing journey has always been filled with "what nexts". Should I order my career this way or that? Write a story about so-and-so or such-and-such? Submit my work here or there? Today I'm at another crossroad, and it's now that He is reminding me of the truly important thing: I must commit my path to Him -- all of it. Without committing everything to him, I'm just stumbling in the dark.
Does it mean my next book will be published? No. Does it mean I can separate one portion of my life -- my writing -- to place in God's hands, without allowing him rein over the whole? No. Only then will I really, truly, be able to discover what the next thing should be, or how it should be done. Only then will the light be bright enough to see by. And even if it's dim at times, I rest assured, because if my path is committed to God, he will give me enough light to find my way. I don't have to go forward lost and confused.
Naomi and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows on a ramshackle farm in Wisconsin's north woods near their five young adults and three grand-children. Amidst it, she writes stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles. Her entire Empire in Pine series, available now in eBook from Desert Breeze Publishing, will also go to print in 2013. She invites new friends and old to say hello and find out more about her books, passions, and other writing venues at http://www.naomimusch.com or look her up on Facebook (Naomi Musch - Author) and Twitter (NMusch).
The Black Rose - Empire in Pine, Book Three
Despite the panic of 1893, logging has reached its golden era in the growing state of Wisconsin, and twins Jesilyn and Corianne Beaumont enjoy a comfortable life with family in the bursting Great Lake city of Superior. But when jealousy incites Jesi to seduce Cori's fiancé, a flight and fall from grace lands her in a boomtown brothel, where a fresh start is denied her.
Camp preacher Paul Winter longs to offer hope in the logging and mining towns of northern Wisconsin, but not in the way he expects when he meets a redhead he calls Pie Girl. He's never had to battle his own longings quite this way before.
Meanwhile, stung by Jesilyn's betrayal, Corianne's bitterness might separate her from a second chance at happiness and peace. Only by Grace can both women begin new lives, and budding love can bloom in places neither of them expects.
BUY this book