Sunday morning at the ACFW Conference, literary agent Chip MacGregor shared a devotion after breakfast. I'm going to give a very bare-bones, doesn't-do-it-justice paraphrase here, but basically, he asked... do you want to be successful or significant?
Significance is a little harder to pin down. What touches one person may mean nothing to another. But ultimately, it's those times when our work strikes a chord in someone that makes it significant.
During a rare time between running from this to that, I was sitting with a friend and talking about what kind of stories we write. For the first time, I acknowledged a common thread running through all of mine: identity. In The Pastor's Wife, I wrote about a woman who tried so hard to live up to the expectations of others that she lost track of who God meant for her to be. In The Mother Road (which comes out in April 2012), a marriage expert is thrown for a loop when her husband tells her he wants a divorce, making her doubt everything she thought was true about herself. Obviously, identity is a topic I'm passionate about. And I believe it's significant.
When I started my blog, The Pastor's Wife Speaks, I did it with the goal of supporting women who live on the front lines of ministry... women who sometimes struggle to separate their true selves from the expectations others have for them. When I told someone (who shall remain nameless) about the plan, I was asked this question, "How are you going to make any money from that?"
I understand the reasoning behind the question. Starting up and maintaining a new blog is a lot of work, and most people won't put that much work into something without an expectation of financial return. But the blog isn't about success for me... it's about creating something with significance. I knew I was on the right track when I got an email saying, "I'm so thankful for today's post. I thought I was the only one who felt that way."
How about you? Besides raising your kids (because let's face it, that's the first thing most of us women think of, and rightly so), what's the most significant thing you've been a part of?
In the above picture: Four significant women... Bonnie Calhoun, Anita Mae Draper, Lisa Richardson, and Jen AlLee