Tuesday, 16 January 2018

I've started so I'll Lynda Alsford

I was watching Celebrity Mastermind the other day  and I have a feeling John Humphreys didn't say "I've started so I'll finish" when he hadn't finished reading a question and the 2 minute buzzer sounded. It may be that he did say it and I just didn't notice it. However, it got me thinking about things I have started but not finished. I have some unfinished needle-craft projects but I have not abandoned them totally yet. It's simply that they take me a long time to complete. The thing I feel somewhat unsettled by is when I don't finish reading a book I have started. 

I hate not finishing a book I have started to read. It feels wrong somehow, almost rude of me after the author's hard work in writing it. I used to rarely leave a book unfinished - that is until I joined a book group. Then the choice of what I read was not always up to me. I would find myself with limited time to read a book I found I wasn't enjoying. One of the books I couldn't finish was The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. We all agreed that it sounded really good from the description but in reality few of us finished it. But I felt guilty about it. It went against the grain to leave it unfinished. There were quite a few books after that which I didn't finish while I was a member of that book club. I have learned now not to beat myself up about it. I work full time, have commitments at Church and social commitments. Spending my precious time reading something I am really not enjoying is not worthy of my guilt. 
Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

But it got me to thinking about other things we may have started but not finished. Perhaps it is a book you are writing that you have left unfinished. I am guilty of that. I keep making excuses as to why I am not writing it. And I come up with a different answer each time. Maybe it is the wrong time to write it, or the subject matter is not right. Maybe I will finish it one day. At the moment I don't know. 

I wonder if sometimes it isn't leaving something unfinished that is my problem, but that I started something I shouldn't have. Sometimes it is the starting that is wrong. Perhaps then it takes courage to put something down, and say 'This is not the right thing for me now'.  

One thing I am very glad about is that God will never give up on me. I can be confident that when it comes to me and you, God will always finish what he started. As he says in Philippians 1:6 New Living Translation (NLT), 
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
What about you? Have you started something you haven't finished? Do you always finish books you have started to read? 

Lynda Alsford is a sea loving, cat loving GP administrator and writes in her spare time. She has written two books, He Never Let Go describes her journey through a major crisis of faith whilst working as an evangelist at a lively Church in Chiswick, West London. Being Known describes how God set her free from food addiction. Both books are available in paperback and on kindle on  and She writes a newsletter  and a blog both called Seeking the Healer, in which she shares the spiritual insights she has gained on her journey. Find about about these from You can also find out more about Lynda at


  1. I'm exactly the same about feeling that I really 'should' finish a book. And the same in realising that it's not worth feeling guilty about. In fact, I recently encouraged someone else to adopt a similar mindset (should I feel guilty?!). Thank you for this post, Lynda: I love that verse in Philippians, it's such an encouragement.

  2. Thanks Emily. I am glad I am not the only who has decided not to feel guilty about not finishing books! Bless you

  3. Enjoyed reading your blog, Lynda. I too feel guilty at some of my unread books which are ongoing in some cases! If you take a look on Goodreads, you will see I have been reading some for a few years!

  4. I like to finish a book once I've started but there's been a few that I have stopped reading because I wasn't enjoying them. Don't like to leave a book unfinished but because time is a precious commodity and I don't want to waste it I have very occasionally given up on a book.