Appalachian Thursday–Deserving?

goldmedallionI got some exciting news this week. My second full-length, Appalachian novel, Until the Harvest, has been nominated for a 2016 Christian Book Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). One of five novels in the fiction category.

This is wonderful and astonishing news!

On Facebook, there was a flurry of well-wishing that I will confess to wallowing in. Just a little bit. In that flurry, several folks made comments along the lines of, “You deserve it!” or “Well-deserved!”

Which is lovely and kind and to each and every one of those folks I say, “Thank you!”

But a line from the Clint Eastwood movie, Unforgiven, kept running through my mind. In the movie, Clint plays retired outlaw Bill Munny who plans to do one last job to earn enough money to take care of his children. Gene Hackman plays Little Bill Daggett, the sheriff who just wants to retire and build a house but has to deal with these dang outlaws coming into town to avenge a prostitute scarred by a drunk cowboy.

The two Bills are, of course, at cross purposes.

(Spoiler alert.) Outlaw Bill shoots Sheriff Little Bill. But before he does there’s a moment when Clint aims his gun at Gene and Gene says, “I don’t deserve to die like this.” Clint, in the way only he can, answers, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

And that’s what I kept thinking on Tuesday.

I like to think my hard work, persistence, and talent have earned me a spot on an awards list. But then I look around. And there are SO MANY hard working, persistent, talented writers publishing today. There are even some in that category who haven’t been published, but should be.

No. Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

This is more like an undeserved blessing and maybe even a responsibility. And the question is–what will I do with it? Does God have some bigger plan than a nice pat on the back?

I’m pretty sure he does. (He always does!)

Luke 12:48From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

I’m excited about this honor. And I pray that I’m equipped for whatever God has planned next.

8 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday–Deserving?

  1. Buffy White

    Congratulations on your honor! Maybe we could say your book deserves it? And I am sure the Lord has many more tasks for you, which will challenge and bless you.

  2. mom

    Did you remember all the plot line to that movie?? I saw it, but could not tell anyone even close to that much! God has blessed you richly with your writing talent so that you can bless so many of us with His teachings through your words… and I stand amazed. Every time I hear one of my friends (or strangers) tell me of what they think of your prose or poetry (especially your poetry) I thank God for His thoughts through you to move so many!! Deserved or not… I couldn’t be prouder. 🙂

  3. Pamela Frey

    You books, your talents are made sense in my mind, once I finally realized who your mama was. He placed you in her arms and home, He bestowed that talent in you, gave you that heart and mind, and surrounded you with experiences to help develop it and a desire to work toward that goal. Now just let me say what I know to be true, that God in His wisdom has plans for you! Congratulations and God bless!

  4. Aww … I know what you mean. But I’m so excited for you. I’ve been working today on my second novel … making Pinterest graphics with quotes from the book … and thinking about what places might need an extra special touch. I so enjoy this. I know you do, too. I’m grateful the Lord is blessing your efforts. 🙂

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