A Season to Shine Beyond

candles_2aAs my friend and I began to redesign my website to reflect more of my fiction writing than my editing (although I still do both), I found myself reflecting on what themes connected me, my writing, and my editing–not an easy task. I didn’t want to take away from my editing tagline (Making your next project S.H.I.N.E.), but I needed something that was more.

Shine Beyond is a vision for me, for my life, for my writing, and even spreading into my editing. As a born again child of the King, I have this light that I am responsible for. (“This little light of mine . . .” Yes, you’re welcome.) A light that needs to shine beyond me, beyond the darkness in this world.

This year, on Wednesdays, I’m inviting my friends–writers and non-writers–to share stories, articles, devotions, etc. that encourage others to Shine Beyond. If you haven’t already signed up to receive my blog posts/newsletter, I encourage you to do so. You won’t want to miss these posts!

If you are interested in participating, shoot me an e-mail! (My name at gmail.com–all lowercase.) In the meantime, I’m curious . . .

What or who has made a difference in YOUR life?

Accomplishing the Ordinary

Ever feel ordinary? When you read the stories of past and present heroes and heroines of the faith, do you ever wonder if you were in the bathroom when the call went out for volunteers?

I’m about as ordinary as can be. My days are filled with planning and preparing meals, cleaning the house (admittedly that fills as few of my days as possible), and writing stories about made-up people and events that exist only in my imagination. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked God, is this really all you want me to do? Shouldn’t I be out feeding the hungry, stopping abortion, ministering to the sick and imprisoned? It seems so ordinary. So unremarkable. I confess that when I read about others who follow the Lord’s call to minister in Uganda or the Middle East or even inner city USA, I’m a little bit…convicted? Intimidated? Embarrassed at my lack of accomplishments? Makes me wonder, am I not listening? Did I not recognize the Lord’s voice when He called me to do something extraordinary? Was I not paying attention?

Whenever I’m feeling common, ordinary—may I say, useless?—I remind myself that God makes some vessels for special purposes and some for common use. (Romans 9:21) We tend to remember the Biblical giants of the faith, like Abraham and Moses and Paul, but there were many who were used for ordinary purposes. Read the genealogies of the Old Testament, or even Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1:1-16 or Luke 3:23-38. No doubt, you’ll recognize some of the names, but a lot of them we know nothing about. They were just ordinary people like you and me, going about their daily routines. Unremarkable, except that they were the human ancestors of the God-man, Jesus Christ.

I often think of Susanna Wesley, a mother who went about her daily chores. Would we know anything about her if not for her famous sons, John and Charles? The same could be said for most well-known figures, from presidents to movie stars to business leaders to sports figures. Someone had to do the ordinary things of life in order for them to fulfill their special purpose.

Maybe that’s why Solomon wrote, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) And Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord…” (Colossians 3:23)

Even common ordinary vessels are important in their own way. God has a plan and a purpose for us. It may not be glamorous. It may not make us famous, but that’s not the goal anyway. The goal is to make His name famous. And if He chooses to do that through ordinary means, I’m one of His first volunteers.


Alt. headshotAuthor Bio:

Not exactly ordinary, Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three spectacular children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. She even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.

When not writing, Mary enjoys ordinary activities like knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.


Connect with Mary:

Website/blog: http://www.maryhamiltonbooks.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maryhamiltonbooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mhamiltonbooks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/@MHamiltonAuthor


Book Links:

Hear No Evil, Book 1: http://tinyurl.com/kl5bovo

Speak No Evil, Book 2: http://tinyurl.com/oaleqya

See No Evil: http://amzn.to/1MtOkMj