Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Treasured Possessions

This week I felt down about the non fiction writing project I’ve been working on. It’s started to feel like the never-ending story and still nowhere near being ready to send it off to a publisher. Of course the enemy chose that particular moment to inveigle himself in my feelings and tell me it was pointless and it would make no difference even if I finished it and got it published.

Discouraged, I looked at the cork board above my desk. That cork board, with letters pinned on it, hangs every day above my desk. Most days I hardly glance up at it. But this day I looked up and my gaze fell on a letter written to me several years ago. The letter came from the mother of a child who had read my first children’s book Chasing after the Wind.

The girl had been given the book as a birthday present. Only one problem, the girl was not a reader.
In fact, she was one of those students in the remedial reading group who had to read to someone for ten minutes each day. Knowing she had to read something, she reluctantly started on Chasing after the Wind.The novel co-incidentally starts with a girl who struggles with reading and is in a similar situation to this reluctant reader, until she encounters a friend and a book that changes her life.

It wasn’t long before the girl, like Chelsea in the story, found just reading that ten minutes a day wasn’t enough. The story had captured her and pulled her in. Probably initially because she could so relate to Chelsea, the main character in the novel. Soon, the girl was reading it every spare moment, her mother told me. For her mother and grandmother who watched this transformation it was heady stuff as this was the first book this girl had ever ‘got her in.’

This family was so excited, not only did the girl write to me a beautiful letter but her mother did as well and her grandmother came to visit when she was in the area. Reading that letter from the girl’s mother gave me a warm glow inside. I went back to the project I was working on thinking if a children’s book had that big an impact on one life, then I needed to continue to be obedient to God in what I write and that includes the current project, which is not really my project but God’s.

I was overwhelmed with love for God and how He encouraged me when I was feeling down. But why should I be surprised at that? Just as those letters to me are treasured possessions, I am God’s treasured possession. So are you.

Don’t take my word for it though. We know this because His Word tells us so. Isaiah 49:16 says
‘ See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.’ Although this was originally spoken to Israel, it is also to all of us, who are the new Israel, brought into God’s kingdom by the death of our Lord Jesus. The Father loved each one of us enough to send is only Son to die for you and for me. If that doesn’t encourage and motivate us to continue in obedience even when we are feeling down, then I don’t know what will.
Streets on a Map, Dale’s latest novel was published by Ark House Press. Prior to that, Dale has had seven children’s books and Kaleidoscope a collection of poetry published. Many poems in Kaleidoscope have been previously published in Australia’s literary magazines. She has also written bible studies and Sunday school lessons.More information about Dale can be found at or on her Write and Read with Dale blog


  1. I get discouraged, too, wondering if what I'm doing even makes a difference for Him. Then just when I need it most I get some reminder that He notices my efforts.

    I just love your story of the little girl, a struggling reader, who through your book finds a way to push through. So touching and beautiful!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to look at what I wrote and reply. Encouraging, inspired2ignite.

  3. Dale, thanks for sharing the lovely story about the little girl :) I'm glad the letters have inspired you to keep working on your current writing project. We need to hold onto those small positive affirmations when the going gets tough :)

  4. Thanks Narelle. We do indeed.

  5. Dale, I'm sure that young girl who read your book 'Chasing After The Wind' will remember that book for the rest of her life. And what a lovely response from the family as a whole! I always think that even if I touch one person's life with one of my books, it's been worth it. We just have to be faithful and keep writing what God wants us to write. God bless.

  6. Yes, it was a real highlight for me and I keep those letters to remind me when I feel down.