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ACW

Saturday, 15 October 2016

I Have a Confession to Make by Emily Owen



I have a confession.
I’m a member of the spelling police.
If there’s one thing sure to annoy me, it’s reading ‘you’re’ when I should be reading ‘your’.
“Unbelievable! That sentence doesn’t even make sense,” I mutter to myself indignantly as I sit on my hands to prevent myself taking a pen and correcting an official letter or document I’ve received.
Or a public sign.
Tempted though I am to commit what I’d consider to be justifiable graffiti, I haven’t.
Yet.
‘A’ when I should be reading ‘an’ is guaranteed to annoy me, too.
Recently, however, I discovered that my guarantee was, well, not guaranteed.
I received a card from my god-daughter.
It read:

(NB She spells ‘favourite’ the American way.)

Proudly, I noted she’d used ‘your’ correctly.
Many others have fallen at that hurdle.
But not her.
I also noted that she’d used ‘a’ incorrectly.
Guaranteed to annoy me, right?
Wrong.
As I looked at the card, I imagined her sitting at her little desk, creating something.
For me.
And the thought made me smile.
I felt such a rush of love for her.
It didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfect.
What mattered was that she’d made me a card.
And she’d invested some of herself in that card.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t perfectly perfect.
But some of her was in it.
So, actually, perfection wasn’t far off.
I realised that the card was all the better at that moment because it wasn’t perfectly perfect.
Oh, there’ll come a day when ‘a’ before ‘elephant’ will no doubt cause my god-daughter to roll her eyes in despair.
She certainly has potential to know it’s ‘an elephant.’
But only because she once didn’t know.
She’ll have learned from her mistakes.
But she’s not there yet.
And that’s ok with me.
Very ok.
As Christian authors, let’s remember why - and primarily for whom - we write.
A God who doesn’t expect perfect perfection all the time.
And a God who doesn’t require us to expect it of ourselves.
So, rather than be annoyed when the writing isn’t flowing, or when words that flowed yesterday seem rubbish in the light of today, let’s remember who is receiving what we offer.
A God who looks at our mixed up, topsy-turvy, illegible (definitely, in my case), confused, frustration-driven word offerings.
And smiles.
Not with disbelief. 
But with love for us.
Maybe He sees the potential in our words.
Maybe He knows that, one day, we’ll reach it.
Maybe He knows we’re not there yet.
And maybe, just maybe, not being there yet is ok.
After all, He’s the one who knows the beginning from the end…
Philippians 1 v 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.  

You cn find out more about Emily and her books on her website





Bio:
Emily has written three books in her ‘30 Days with’ series, with more on the way.  Each takes a character from the bible (Mary, Elijah and John so far) and writes a diary for them, leading to short devotional thoughts and reflections.
She has also published her memoir, ‘Still Emily’.
Emily regularly speaks on various topics, including disability, the bible and her personal story.

The many children in her life are a constant source of illustrative inspiration (and delight!).

10 comments:

  1. Superb advice, Emily. We should strive to do our best but despite our efforts, God loves us anyway. Errant commas and all. In my case that's a very good thing. Thanks for this.

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  2. Yes: actually although I frequently not errors of other kinds in printed books, I never, ever note spellings since even with a good education etc I don't notice the way words are spelt. It's possibly a kind of dyslexia. It's not carelessness if a person doesn't spell correctly. Or has 'bad writing'. Etc. Some of us may never 'be there' with perfect presentation. But read the text ... find the meaning, enjoy the story ... and of course that's why copy editors exist ...

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    1. Ha ha, so true, we are keeping copy editors in a job ;) x

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  3. Yes: actually although I frequently not errors of other kinds in printed books, I never, ever note spellings since even with a good education etc I don't notice the way words are spelt. It's possibly a kind of dyslexia. It's not carelessness if a person doesn't spell correctly. Or has 'bad writing'. Etc. Some of us may never 'be there' with perfect presentation. But read the text ... find the meaning, enjoy the story ... and of course that's why copy editors exist ...

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  4. Thank you for this beautiful post. It made me cry. I so needed to hear it. Wonderful.

    It was also wonderful to meet you last Saturday.

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  5. Thank you for this beautiful post. It made me cry. I so needed to hear it. Wonderful.

    It was also wonderful to meet you last Saturday.

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  6. Thank you Emily. This really touched me.

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  7. I loved this, Emily. In recent years I have come to know why patience is so high up the list of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. God has to have so much patience with the world - and that includes me.
    I also rate teamwork these days - especially the work of my editors and proofreaders. You would definitely be horrified by a sight of my first draughts. (Only kidding, I mean 'drafts'.)

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  8. Thanks Emily. A great reminder not to be too hard on ourselves - or other people (it's a pet hate of mine when people mix up your and you're - eugh!). But God has grace for me.... and I need to have grace for others. x

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  9. Thank you all for your comments, they really encouraged me. They are so ratifying, I was very moved as I read them.
    And they made me smile: Trevor, the draughts comment really made me laugh!
    It seems I can't reply individually (not really sure why), so I do hope you all read this comment: it is for you, after all...
    Emily

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