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Monday, July 14, 2008

Show Me the Meaning!

Show Me the Money Meaning

"I made the cut!”

How satisfying to announce to family and friends that my writing had passed several editing cuts and was finally going to be published--with compensation.

Initially, money wasn’t my motivation for submitting. I was just thrilled that somebody judged my thoughts interesting enough to publish. And I can’t deny that feedback from readers is as refreshing as a glass of sweet tea after mowing the lawn.

But somehow, simply saving my columns in an album became less satisfying. I needed validation. I needed to be paid.

Months passed. I received numerous messages from the editor about the sluggishness of the process. “The check is in the mail” became a running joke between my girlfriends and me.

However, it finally arrived.

I stuck it on the refrigerator and admired it daily for a month.

My girlfriends asked how I would spend it, and I answered, “If I took one or two of you to Starbucks, I could easily blow it there.” But the amount wasn’t important; the fact that I was a paid “author” was!

Last week, I decided to cash it. I remembered I wanted to take our winter quilt to the laundromat, so I asked the teller for lots of ones, which made my pay seem even skimpier.

Driving away, I thought, “I can’t believe I’m going to spend this at the laundromat. This is my writing money, after all!”

Later I pushed some cash on a very poor college student whom I know extremely well.

After that, my husband presented me with a chopped, grass-stained $10 bill that he had shredded while mowing. I recognized that $10 and wept.

Actually, I laughed at the irony of it all. As John Ortberg says about both Monopoly money and real-life possessions, “It all goes back in the box,” or, “You can’t take it with you.”

Even on a small scale, money and validation are nice, but they’re not permanent. Only relationships are.

Sometimes, when my written words strike a cord with or encourage someone, I see that my writing has indeed fostered relationship, and that is intensely rewarding.

So I’m just going to keep focusing on what I feel God has called me to do for his purposes, according to Philippians 1:6: “ … being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Ultimately, he is the one for whom I write. My sense of significance and meaning comes from him.

Everything else is just sweet tea.


Do you find yourself growing in discontent with something in your life that previously did not seem insufficient? If so, why do you think your perspective has changed?

Are you ever tempted to seek your validation, affirmation, meaning and significance in achievements or appearances? What do you do to correct your thinking?

Do you consciously and consistently use your God-given gifts to encourage and/or help others in practical ways?

Please visit Linda Crow at her personal blog.

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Blogger Chatty Kelly said...

Linda - this was so great. It is easy to seek validation from other things - but the things of this world are so fickle, we can lose that validation so quickly.

Thanks for the reality CHECK! (pun intended!)

July 14, 2008 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Ronda's Rants said...

Thanks, I needed this. Congrats.
In His Love,

July 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger skoots1mom said...

i like it when God sneaks in those validations from His perspective, which tend to be completely different and unexpected, and are usually thought by the world to be smaller things but they are straight from God's heart and WE, his inherited, recognize them for what they are!

and yes, you are a KEN LEE writer!

July 14, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Cindy Swanson said...

Great post, Linda! By the way, your writing always strikes a chord with me. :)

July 14, 2008 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Amy B said...

You are awesome, Linda! You deserve to be in print. Nearly everything you write causes me to do a heart check or sing a shout of praise. You are doing a wonderful job!

much love!

July 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Greetings, I personally thank your for your thoughts. Often, this topic goes through my mind! Cindi

July 14, 2008 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

YOU, my dear, are always a breath of fresh air and a dose of laughter for me. I am, as you know, a fan of everything you write (especially when your family is being a little goofy.) I'm just glad that someone else (editors and such) agree with me. I can't wait to get my first autographed "Linda" book! Bessings!

July 14, 2008 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe I stumbled upon this post! I've been working on finding endorsements for my Christmas book to go to print in August, and MAN has it been discouraging to break through! Anyway, your message just confirms what the Lord spoke into me earlier today, and that is 1 Thessalonians 5:24: "The One who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it." In His time, in His perfect way. Thanks for sharing!

July 14, 2008 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This is such an important lesson, Linda. We look for tangible rewards when really the spiritual ones are so much greater.



July 14, 2008 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

But the lawnmower eating your ten dollar bill is just the most pathetic thing I have heard all day. :(

July 14, 2008 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Genny said...

GREAT post. I know that feeling of validation as a writer, and I also know that feeling of trying to remember I don't NEED the validation. Thank you for the important reminders!

July 14, 2008 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger annie's eyes said...

Good thoughts on something I can certainly relate. This world's validation becomes increasingly dissatisfying to me, as He would have it, so we look upward for our approval, and thank the Lord, He does not disappoint. Poignantly written, as always. Thank you, Linda.

July 14, 2008 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You are so inspiring, bless you.

July 15, 2008 at 2:17 AM  
Blogger Susan said...


This was just great!! Yes, it's all about HIM and relationships.

What a gift you have, thanks for sharing it with us~


July 16, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

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