Feeling Like Stretch Armstrong

The Web is full of admonitions to stretch before working out or engaging in any kind of exercise. Why? The plusses are many:

  • Stretching helps prevent injuries.
  • It keeps your muscles in good working order.
  • Tight muscles are less capable.
  • It just makes you feel good.

Plus, if you stretch first you’re less likely to have to listen to your wife laugh (under her breath, of course) while you’re on the chiropractor’s table.

And who hasn’t enjoyed a good shoulder stretch after hours of hammering away at the keyboard?

Writing stretches

Lately, I’ve been doing some serious stretching in my writing/editing life. For just over a year, I’ve served as the editor for a new print magazine for American Christian Fiction Writers, the ACFW Journal.

We have a great team pulling this together (and we’re having a great time, too), but I am being stretched, particularly in the areas of organization and time management. As we enter our second year, even more stretching will be required.

Which, since I’ve also launched a freelance editing business (right here at WritingOnTheFineLine.com) and have just started doing some editing for one of my favorite publishing houses, is adding to my feeling like Stretch Armstrong.

I have to plan, write, and schedule three posts a week for this blog, under a set of (self-imposed) guidelines—stretching me, again, in the area of organization.

Since organization is definitely a weakness of mine (I don’t really even know how to use Excel, but I’m learning), this has all been a great experience. It will definitely lead to me learning how to better use my time.

Strength in weakness

In II Corinthians, Paul writes about how he had asked the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, only to have Jesus tell him, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul then says to his readers, “So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on–I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong” (II Corinthians 12:9-10, The Voice).

What about you? In what areas are you being stretched this year? What weaknesses are you being forced to face? And how will that both benefit you and further the cause of Christ?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line

4 thoughts on “Feeling Like Stretch Armstrong

  1. The thing that helped me the most (besides writer friend Patty Smith Hall who kicked my butt) was realizing this is my mission field. God called me and gifted em to be a storyteller. I honed my craft to become a good writer, and to waste my time is to not be a good steward of my calling. That put a different perspective on it for me. 🙂

  2. I “lost control” of my time-use when my hubby had a stroke in 2010 and permanently lost half his vision. Among other stresses, it meant I had to take over all the driving. He can no longer jump in the car to get that gallon of milk or buy that can of paint or go make a repair at our rental property. Nope. I’m now his personal chauffeur, not quite at his beck and call, but still having to enfold his needs into my schedule.

    Funny thing is, I was comfortable as a “good wife” until then, but being stretched showed a dark lair in my soul, inhabited by a muscle-bound monster with bad breath. Hoo. I’ve turned her over to Christ and she’s at least on His leash now. Mouthwash has also helped.

    I benefit by depending more than ever on Christ. I still struggle with time management (I’ve set up office hours in the morning), but my priorities are, I believe, more pleasing to Him.

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