Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stepping Stones - Sally Matheny

This past year, I have found myself journeying down a new path. God has taken me from writing in journals about my children to writing devotional articles for other children, to answering phone calls from prospective homeschoolers and writing encouraging articles for homeschooling magazines. He’s has been stretching my boundaries (and my comfort zones). After reading hundreds of children’s books in my life, I’m now testing the waters and writing one of my own.

God has called me to write. I pray daily God will tell me the “who, what, when, where and how.” He hasn’t just dropped a completed manuscript in my lap, yet. As in any calling in life, God expects us to cultivate the skills and talents He has given us.

One thing that has helped me focus on the goal, is keeping a running list of my “stepping stones.” After a writer sends off a manuscript, months can pass before receiving a response. Rather than waiting for confirmation, I continue writing; taking strides in the right direction.

My stepping-stones included reading books about writing and the writing business. I kept a list of each book I read and made notes about what I wanted to remember from each one. The more I read, the more I realized how much I did not know, thus, more reading.

Visualizing the benefits of more hands-on training, I signed up for two writing conferences. I figured if I was going to enlist in a new tour of duty, there would be no better place to start than “Boot Camp.” More training is in store for me at a Children’s Writers conference in March, entitled “Write2Ignite.”

Broadening my scope, I began to research other writers with similar interests. The ones I chose to contact have been gracious and helpful. I began studying their websites; learning how they reach their readers. All this information helps me put together my own website… still a work in progress.

One day as I was having a bit of a pity party, thinking nothing was happening with my writing; God drew me to look in my notebook. I read over the list of all the books I had read and thought about the steps I am taking to improve my vessel. I realized God is using each one as a stepping-stone. Read a book…learn a new skill… take another step in His direction.

God always has something happening in our lives to further His purposes, whether we perceive it or not. He equips us for the next phase. Although sometimes I want to leap over three steps in one bound, I trust the Master’s plan and take one at a time, knowing each has its own purpose.

As writers, new or seasoned it’s important to continually “strengthen our positions and see what must be done” (I Kings 20:22a, NIV) so that we are ready for God’s next assignment. Praying through the discouraging days, pushing past obstacles, we take one step at a time, as God continues to train us in the way He wants us to go.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:28-29

Encouraging others is Sally Matheny’s mission in life, with a special passion for children.  Recently, she has written for the devotional magazine, Keys for Kids.
Sally takes pleasure in speaking at various women’s events and children’s groups. God has used her as a facilitator for Bible studies with women, children, and parents. For twenty-five years, she’s taught God’s truths to children, from toddlers – teens.
Sally, a former public school teacher with a M. Ed., is happily married to her pastor-husband and they have homeschooled their children for twelve years.
Member : SCWBI, ACW.  Contact her at (website): (email):