Karen's Devotions

This is a selected collection of my devotions e-published on Daily Devotions, Journey Christian Church, Irvine, California; George Bragg, Editor. To join the mailing list, email George, gbragg@cox.net.

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As a 25+ year homeschooling vet, post-cancer, math prof, mother of five, master's track and field athlete, and certificated private pilot, I have a lot to share about what God has done in my life. In 2000 I began writing devotions as something to try when it seemed like accoustic pianists were becoming an endangered species at church. I have since found great blessings from writing and sharing. God is good.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Circles of Blessings

First Published March 3, 2017

As March has arrived, I am reminded that Journey Christian Devotions is having an anniversary and the fact that I’m frequently asked, “How do you write a devotional?” I hesitate to answer since honestly, I didn’t like writing when I was a grade school girl.  More so, I didn’t particularly like writing in journals.  I’d write an entry like, “I got up today and went to school.”  Sounds quite boring, huh? And, today I write, even bits and pieces of ideas, more than I could have previously imagined.

Upon reflecting back to those “I hate to write” days, I can only attribute my current interest to the grace of God.  He knows my limitations and desires, and he knew that I needed more time than some to be able to communicate in writing.

The next question to typically come around is, “How do you pick what to write about?” Well, the simple answer is that life experiences can dictate the subject matter.  My last piece to come out dealt with my impending entry into grandmother-hood and the Biblical references to that responsibility. The more complex answer is that when I feel compelled to share something that has significantly changed me, that’s when I write. But why is that so complex?

In sociology there is a way to diagram relationships through the use of concentric circles. These can also be used to reflect a person’s influence on these relationships.  Consider concentric circles to diagram what I call one’s circles of blessings.  These would be the influence that your spiritual life experiences have on others related to you.

For instance, in the first circle of my relationships are my husband, and my children.  In the next circle I have close friends and family.  Thirdly, I have frequent friends and coworkers.  In the next circle I have acquaintances, and so on.  Now, if I want to share about a blessing, something in my life that I’m compelled to write about, I typically write down some key words, a Bible verse, or thought.  Next, I consider how far reaching a devotional would be. Should I pray silently in private, thanking the Lord for this wonderful blessing like Jesus’ mother, Mary did?  Or, should I “shout” it aloud reaching a global audience like the angels announcing Jesus’ birth?

Once I decide to continue writing, I try to do so in bits and pieces, perhaps creating several drafts.  I’m simply not skilled enough to write in one sitting. As I near a finished work, I read it out loud to ensure a steady flow and to try and catch any more grammatical errors.  Still, this may not be submitted.  I have twice as many devotions written as I have submitted. Finally, I send a file to George Bragg and wait for a response, a needed revision or acceptance.

Dear God, writing and sharing is truly a gift that could only come from you.  Thank you for the opportunities to reflect the abundant blessings you have bestowed upon me, and I pray that others will in turn be blessed. 

Copyright 2017 by Karen Vaughn