Who needs a paycheck?

I’ve been praying for my neighbors because we are hovering on the edge of one of the most amazing harvests I can ever remember. The wheat has never looked so beautiful. The photo for today comes from a week or so ago, and since then most of the fields around my home have turned almost completely golden. There’s no sight like it on earth.

Now if we can just hold on for a few more weeks with no major storms, no major floods, Kansas could have a very good year. And about time too. It’s been a while since we’ve had a good harvest in these parts.

I think farming and writing are very similar in some ways, especially when it comes to harvests. Because in both professions you can pour your heart and soul into what you do and never see a positive financial return. You can farm and farm until you’ve planted acres and acres of every crop, and (at least in Kansas) one bad storm can wipe it out. It has nothing to do with your dedication; it’s just life.

Writing’s the same in some cases. I realized the other day that I’ve been writing for almost 20 years, and I have yet to see an actual return on any of it. Granted, I only started letting some of that writing out into the public eye in the last five years. But still. If you run the numbers, you can get discouraged pretty quickly. And then you stumble into a verse like today’s?

Wheat almost ready - Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Wheat almost ready – Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Luke 6:38.

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

How does that work? I can honestly tell you that I’ve worked my fingers to the bone writing since I was a child. My dream since childhood was to be a published author. And I haven’t cut corners. At all. I’ve never expected a free ride, and I’ve dedicated every free moment to it. Even my vacations have been an opportunity to pursue writing.

So according to this rule, the rule of sowing and reaping, I should get back what I invest. And I should get back more of it. This is a law of nature that God created when He made the world. Newton figured it out too; for every action there is a reaction. Cause and effect.

So where does Jesus get off telling me this today?

Farmers plant fields and harvest crops, unless you live in Kansas. Then, generally, you plant crops and harvest dust. Much like writers write books and harvest disappointment when no one wants to buy their work. Am I wrong?

I’m only being partially facetious.

I would be right, yes, if Jesus were only talking about financial returns. I can’t really speak to farmers because I don’t farm (unless you count weeds), but when it comes to writing there is something more satisfying than being paid for your work. And that is when your work touches someone else.

No, I haven’t published a novel yet. But you’re reading this blog post, aren’t you?

No, I haven’t received a financial return on anything I’ve written, but I didn’t really start writing to get rich and famous. I started writing and telling stories because it was an outlet where I could share what God has done in my life. And so much more important to me is communicating that truth to other people, whether it’s in blog posts or articles or short stories or novels. And maybe I haven’t written anything that’s made money. And maybe I never will. But if you count up the people I’ve been able to share my story with through words, that vastly outweighs a paycheck of any kind.

I’ve invested 20 years of my life in writing, in learning how to tell stories, in sharing what God has taught me through words. And I can tell you, the returns I’ve seen, while not financial, are greater than what I originally invested. I’ve given my life to writing, and I’ve watched God take that and make it into something bigger than what I could have imagined, not only being a blessing to people but encouraging others to start sharing their story too. And that’s worth more to me than almost anything.

So whatever you’re doing in your life today, remember that the whole principle of sowing and reaping applies. It really does. It just may not pay off in the way you’re expecting. If what you’re doing in your life honors God, you will see a return. That’s a promise. So don’t give up.

Who needs a paycheck anyway, right? … Like I said. Partially facetious. =)

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7 Comments

  1. Amy,
    Thank you for blessing all of us with your blog. You do an awesome job; your writing is right on target with a message that we all need to hear!!! Much love and blessings, Mary Jane

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  2. Amy ,
    I so love reading your blog I love how you pour your heart and soul into the words you write..Thank you for being a blessing to me and others as well.
    God bless you and all you do,
    Debbie Schneider

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  3. Hi Amy,

    First off, I want to say I really enjoy your posts quite often. You have a marvelous gift for writing in a way that both conveys depth of meaning and yet is accessible and easy to understand. That’s something that is rare to find packaged together, and I think you could find some good ways to monetize that talent.

    Why? Well, my logic (for you and me both) is this: if you can positively affect people in your spare time and for free, how much more could you do if you were able to do the same thing for pay and on a full time basis? The money isn’t the end goal or motivation, but it’s a means to accomplish your ultimate goal of influencing people’s lives for Christ on a broader scale.

    What ways have you explored to monetize your writings? There are lots of great ways, but of course they don’t just show up on your doorstep. I’d love to help you explore some of those options, even as I learn about them myself.

    Most importantly, I think people fear making money on the basis that they don’t deserve it. Maybe that’s you, maybe it isn’t, but I think the following statement is applicable in either case: Amy, you deserve to make a living following your passion for Christ. Why else would He have given you the talent and desire to spread His message this way if He didn’t intend for you to use it?

    I’d love to have a conversation over this, online or in person. In any situation, I hope you’re always blessed for your talents and fulfilled by your writing, wherever it may take you.

    -Travis Lane

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    1. Thanks, Travis. I appreciate it. I’ve always got a short story out for consideration, and I’m always working on novels too. At the moment I’m so overwhelmed with my full-time job that pursuing my “fun” writing is difficult, but I’m working on it. I totally agree that if God has given you a talent, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it to support yourself. And if you can do what you love to do, provide for yourself and your family and reach others for Christ at the same time? That sounds like a dream come true for me. =)

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