Gratefulness swept over my heart as I opened my editor’s email, revealing my article contracts for the upcoming year—a blessing and a gift. Another year of writing, of hearing amazing mission stories, of listening to the hearts of people across the globe and to the hearts of people just down the road.
I don’t take the writing opportunity for granted because one, my confidence level doesn’t soar, and two, there are boo-koos of writers to fill my disposable shoes.
Every single story touches my heart, changes me, in one way or another. Thankful.
Two missions touched my heart so much that I’ve written novels about them. And I’m looking for a third idea, so if you know of a heart-touching mission, I’d love to hear about it.
Closing down my email, I realized that it’s been 8 years since I’ve been writing for Woman’s Missionary Union. Eight years. Thankful.
When I first received the invitation to write for WMU, it was July 4th weekend of 2008 and family was visiting. Excitement spiraled through me over the opportunity, but fear shook me.
My sister-in-law sat in the rocking chair next to me.
“I got asked to write a missions article. I don’t know what to do,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll be calling Africa, and talking to a 19-year-old young woman from Brazil. Her story is too important … entrusted to me? I’m scared.” Tears surfaced. “I’m scared I can’t do it or won’t do it justice. She deserves better than me.”
“Shelli, you can do this.” She smiled, rocking in that chair. “You can do this.” Thankful.
And I’ve been doing this for 8 years. I can still hear that sweet girl’s Brazilian accent … and I’m so blessed to keep up with her on Facebook, all the way in Brazil now. Her mother even wrote to thank me for the article. Her letter was written in Portuguese, and I had to ask for an interpreter. Thankful.
When I receive the magazine that one of my articles is in … my heart swells with gratitude. Seeing my work in print never gets old. But seeing God use the stories to bless people or encourage missions or support missions … that’s the sweetest. Thankful.
I’ll tell you that sometimes I feel a tinge of guilt that I write about missions more than I do them. But my editor continually reminds me each year that writers are important … that they help share what’s happening in missions around the world. That it takes everyone doing their part. Thankful.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret … I’ve been a stay-at-home wife and mom for most of my adult life, and because of that, I’ve always had to watch each dime. And here’s the secret—I look forward to the day that I can take a week or two mission trip overseas. What group will God have prepared for me? What will their sweet faces look like? What will their hugs feel like?
But missions is everywhere and needed everywhere. My latest November 2016 cover story is on missions here at home, in Philadelphia, about being thankful in tough times. There’s much need all around us. And I have my sights set on a mission to help here in Texas … I’ve just got to get in gear and join in.
So with this 8-year-mark, I want to shout out my gratitude—for writing opportunity, for God’s undeserved grace and mercy, for so many things, but especially for you. Thank you for always reading my “scribblings” and supporting me. Even a “hello” brings so much encouragement along this journey. Thankful.
And because of that, I’m so excited to do a fun giveaway, offering two one-year subscriptions to Missions Mosaic magazine. If you have a heart for missions or have a family member who loves missions, this giveaway is for you. It’s a perfect Christmas gift for yourself or a loved one.
What should you do to enter?
Be a U.S. or Canadian resident and simply leave a comment in the comment section, stating that you’d like to be entered. Or hop over and leave a comment on my Facebook page or my Instagram @shelli_littleton …
If you comment in three places, you can be entered up to 3 times, max.
And I’m so sorry that I can’t offer the giveaway to my dear friends across the water. I so love you.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
What are you most thankful for? Is there something you hope to do/accomplish one day?
*The giveaway will close November 17th at midnight Central Time and the winners will be announced on Nov 22nd. The subscriptions will be ordered immediately, just in time for Christmas.