Blog

God sightings, Living in Faith, Scripture verses

How a puzzle reminded me of what the Bible says about procrastination

Tomorrow — June 23 — is Typewriter Day, so I’d like to share the story of the typewriter jigsaw puzzle in my office. And, as silly as it seems, how that puzzle reminded me of what the Bible says about procrastination.

what the bible says about procrastinationAs soon as I saw the puzzle on the shelf at our local bookstore, I knew I would buy it. After all, I’m a writer and the puzzle is an old typewriter. I was so happy to find that puzzle and could picture it framed and hanging on my wall at work.

What I couldn’t picture was how long it would take for that to actually happen.

Putting the puzzle together took less time than I expected. We finished it in about three days, with all four of us pitching in at different times. Then the anxiety set in.

I had never glued and framed a puzzle. And this one was a bit intimidating as a starting point since it’s contoured instead of straight-edged and big — a bit more than 20 inches across. What if I messed something up when I glued it? Once I glued the front, what if it fell apart when I flipped it to glue the back?

I dealt with the anxiety by ignoring it. The puzzle lay on the dining room table for a couple weeks, until just before family came over to celebrate our son’s birthday. I slid a piece of posterboard under it and carefully relocated it to my office downstairs.

That typewriter puzzle claimed a spot on my office floor for weeks … then months … then more months. As embarrassing as it is to admit, it stayed on my floor for more than a year.

Yes, more than a year. All because I was afraid something would go wrong when gluing and then taking it to the frame shop.

What a silly reason to procrastinate! I wish I could claim procrastinating is unusual for me, but it’s easy to do for all sorts of things. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment. Cleaning out the fridge. Starting a new exercise or eating program. Getting back to church after watching online services for so many months. Carving out prayer time. The list goes on.

For some situations, procrastinating can seem valid because something really could go wrong. In other situations, though, all procrastinating does is create a roadblock that doesn’t have to be there.

What the Bible says about procrastinating

Of course, the Bible includes plenty of verses chiding people who procrastinate, even labeling those people as sloths, sluggards and lazy. Ouch! Here are a few of those verses (realizing I’m not digging into their full context here):

  • But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
  • Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
  • If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4:17)
  • As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4)
  • One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (Proverbs 18:9)

It’s easy to agree that everything should be done “in a fitting and orderly way.” But to compare someone who slacks in their work to one who destroys? That’s a zinger.

We assign ourselves “to-do’s,” but some also come from God. While it’s clear that we need to do whatever work is in front of us, procrastinating on some things — like gluing and framing my typewriter puzzle — won’t necessarily make much difference in the big picture of life.

Procrastinating on the things we believe God wants us to do is more serious. Whatever those things might be, if God wants us to do them, He’ll show us how. We might not need to jump in and do everything overnight. But as long as we take small steps in that direction, God will help us keep moving where He wants.

We might even look back later and realize our procrastination was pointless. That’s what happened with my puzzle. I put several layers of glue on the front and nothing fell out of place when we flipped it. I put a couple more layers on the back and had no trouble getting it to Hobby Lobby. The framing department was having such a quiet day that they finished it while I wandered the store for a while (which is easy for me to do there!).

So, yes, the puzzle I procrastinated about for more than a year was mounted, framed and ready to take home less than an hour after I took it to the store. I hung it in my home office that afternoon instead of waiting to take it to work.

Now it’s a focal point that always makes me smile. And a constant reminder that the things that make me anxious — the things that tempt me to procrastinate — can sometimes be things that aren’t worth worrying about in the first place.

 

Lord, it’s so easy to put things off because we’re anxious about what might happen, but that’s crazy because we’re not the ones in control anyway. You’re the one in control and we’re so glad for it. Help us keep moving forward the way you want us to go instead of letting ourselves get bogged down by procrastination. Amen.


Don’t Miss a Post

Have posts delivered to your in-box so you don’t miss anything

Book Love, Christian non-fiction

Announcing the 2021 Selah Award nonfiction winners

For those of you who enjoy reading Christian nonfiction, books honored with Selah Awards are definitely worth a look. They’re announced as part of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, which is one of the best Christian writers conferences in the industry.

Last week I shared the 2021 Selah Award winners for Christian fiction. As promised, here’s the list of 2021 Selah Award nonfiction winners.

Devotionals

  • Third Place: Finding Hope in Crisis by Grace Fox
  • Second Place: Grief: The Unwanted Journey by Janet K. Johnson
  • First Place: Sunshine for the Soul by Linda Kozar (also named the 2021 Book of the Year for Nonfiction)

Inspiration and Gift

Christian Life

  • Third Place: Overcoming the Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath, and Other Domestic Abusers by Charlene D. Quint, J.D.
  • Second Place: Faith Wins: Overcoming a Crisis of Belief by Adam Groza
  • First Place: Extraordinary Hospitality for Ordinary Christians by Victoria Duerstock

Memoir

  • Third Place: Cross Addicted: Breaking Free from Family Trauma and Addiction by Paula Jauch
  • Second Place: Unleash Your God-given Healing by Ginny Dent Brant
  • First Place: Unwanted No More: From Exploited to Embraced by God by B.J. Garrett

Children’s Picture Books

2021 Directors’ Choice Award for Children’s Books

2021 Directors’ Choice Award for General Nonfiction

2021 Directors’ Choice Award for Devotionals

  • 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories by Julie Lavender

I’ll admit that when I sit down to read, I’m usually looking for a fun escape with fiction rather than a nonfiction title (other than what I read during my devotional time). I need to do better with that and challenge myself to learn some new things. Do you tend to lean toward one more than the other?


Don’t Miss a Post

Have posts delivered to your in-box so you don’t miss anything

Book Love, Christian fiction

Find a new Christian author through the 2021 Selah Award fiction winners

One of the biggest and most respected conferences for Christian writers was last week: the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina. They celebrate on the last night of the conference with the Selah Awards, which cover multiple categories of Christian fiction and nonfiction works that were published in the past year.

Books that win the Selah Award are definitely worth checking out, so I wanted to share them in case any look interesting to you.

This week I’m sharing the winners from the fiction categories, complete with links if you’d like to learn more. Next week I’ll share the nonfiction Selah Award winners. Happy browsing!

First Novel

Novella

Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Historical / Biblical Fiction

Historical Romance Fiction

Contemporary Romance Fiction

Romantic Suspense Fiction

Mystery/Suspense Fiction

Western Fiction

Speculative Fiction

General Fiction

YA Fiction

Middle Grade Fiction

What’s your favorite genre to read? I’ve added several of these titles to my own to-read list; would love to know if any look interesting to you.

If you’d like an even easier way to find new authors in the genres you enjoy, you can also sign up for my e-newsletter and get a free download of “75 Clean Fiction Authors Worth Reading.” It’s a great way to find a new favorite author this summer!


Don’t Miss a Post

Have posts delivered to your in-box so you don’t miss anything

 

Book Love, Christian fiction

Introducing Clean Fiction Book Reviews

Today I’d like to introduce a new website to you: Clean Fiction Book Reviews. In case you haven’t noticed the widget in the sidebar, it’s my new website where I’m posting reviews of many books I read.

Clean Fiction Book ReviewsWhy a second site? I love words and books and anything related to either (always have and expect I always will!). I read a lot, and across many genres. When I read a great book or discover a new-to-me author whose work I enjoy, I want to share that with others.

Plus, in case you didn’t realize it, writing and sharing reviews is one of the best ways you can help your favorite authors (other than buying their books, of course!).

I’ve been doing more of that in recent months on my Instagram page, but wanted to go further. So, Clean Fiction Book Reviews was born to house reviews of many books I read. I’ll still post some reviews here (especially for the 2021 Read Something New Book Challenge) but it’s nice to have a dedicated site for them.

Most of the books I post about are considered Christian fiction, but others would be classified as “clean” instead. These books don’t necessarily have an obvious Christian/faith-based message or plot thread, but they support a Christian worldview and don’t have foul language or super graphic scenes. I explain a bit more about my interpretation of “clean fiction” on that site.

The website still in its baby stages and will continue to grow, but I’d love for you to check it out and subscribe if you enjoy reading clean fiction and are interested in keeping up with my reviews. If you want to recommend a book for me to review, just drop me an email! And please tell your friends, since us bookish people know how fun it is to find new books and authors.

What have you read lately? I’ve just finished A Dance in Donegal, a historical romance set in Ireland, by debut author Jennifer Deibel. Share what’s on your reading stack. 🙂

Happy reading!


Don’t Miss a Post

Have posts delivered to your in-box so you don’t miss anything