Monday, May 11, 2009

These Things Take Time

Several years ago I purchased some iris bulbs from a bulb catalog. They were not cheap, but I fell in love with the photos of stunning colors and enormous blooms. Plus, irises are one of my favorites, due to my grandmother’s purple ones growing by the side of her back door, which I thought smelled like grape candy when I was five (was that a great run-on sentence or what?).

I planted the bulbs according to the detailed, tedious instructions. I waited impatiently for them to pop up, thrilling everyone for miles with their circus hues and angelic scent (I don’t really know what an angel smells like; it just sounds yummy!).

The first year, only one came up. Poopers (that’s my swear word)! I was disappointed, bummed and mad. I spent money on those beggars! I did everything they told me to do. I sweated on my knees, got dirt under my fingernails, and only ONE lousy flower bloomed? I want my money back!

The following year, two or three came up. I think two. But, I had planted five, each a different shade, names like “Breathtaking Buttercream” and “For Lovers Only Lavender.” (Hey, maybe I should apply for a job naming flowers! Do you think it pays well?)

Now we are into our third year. I had almost forgotten about my lovely irises when a few days ago, my husband and I started on a walk. From the corner of my eye I spotted a zing of purple. Tiptoeing closer, we found not only a brilliant purple striped with white, but the brightest yellow, the softest mauve, etc. The iris parade had arrived! AT LAST!!! Glory to God!
And it only took three years…

You know what I’m going to say next, and I’m preaching to me as well as you. Worthy goals take time.

How many times have I whimpered, “I just want this book to be published?! I don’t want to have to edit, revise, query, propose, convene (go to a convention), edit and revise some more. I just want to have a book!” But all the whining in the Sahara Desert has done me no good. I still need time (and prayer) for my ‘bulbs’ to turn into flowers, blessing and nourishing the souls of those whom God sends their way.

How long since you “planted?” Are you seeing some beauty, or are you still waiting? Share with us, and we’ll pray that your book or career will come to full bloom soon. And, that God, your audience of one, will give you grace to be joyful in the waiting.


  1. Hi Jeanette,
    I've been waiting a long time, although not all at once. I started writing before I had kids, then God took me off the writing path for quite a few years. Now I've been writing for almost two years since God opened the door for me to start writing again. Of course I'd naively thought I'd be published much sooner, but now that reality has set in, I'm seeing so many good things about the writing journey itself and am learning it's not just about publication. I'm especially learning that we can't rush the process and so your analogy of the blooming flowers is just another beautiful confirmation of that! Thank you and have a wonderful day!

  2. Jeanette, quite literally, that is a beautiful analogy! I've been at this nearly seven years and the flowers are still wrapped tight waiting for enough sunlight to pop them open. We all go at our God-given pace. But He is nourishing each and every one of us who seek His direction. Keep seeking, Jeanette! I'll be praying for you.

  3. Jody:
    I commend your perseverance, and your wisdom in realizing it's not just about getting published. It will be fun when it happens, though! Blessings to you on your journey! Jen

    Elieen: Wow, you are a keeper! I imagine your flowers are closer to blooming than you think, dear! Thanks for the encouragement, and the prayers! Jen

  4. Great post Jen! I've been seriously pursuing this thing for about three years now. I do enjoy the journey. Querying is one of my favorite things because it's so suspenseful. There's hope and fear in it. :-) I love your analogy. Good thing you didn't return them. ;-)

  5. Jessie:
    Wow, since your little guy was just a newbie? You are dedicated!
    And brave, if you like querying.
    I guess the more you do, the more you get used to it, and it takes the scariness out, huh?
    Blessings to you, dear,

  6. I've been writing about 10 years. It wasn't until I revised my stories to be either inspirational or sweet that things began to happen for me. Soon, my first novel will be published and another later in the summer.

  7. Amy: Wow! Congratulations!
    That's a neato testimony. I guess people like sweet. Helps us survive in this sour world. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I LOVE that story!

    (I also happen to adore purple irises.)

  9. Jennifer:
    Thank you!
    Yes, they look like lovely ladies in huge skirted dresses, don't they?
    God is so fun!


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