Friday Fuel: Orphanages, Body Image and Pastors on Pedestals

January 23, 2015

Was it a short week?

Around blog-land, it seems like it was. Most of us took the day off for the King holiday. A few of us watched the POTUS on Tuesday. (I did watch some, but I couldn’t make it to the end. Nine o’clock is the new midnight in the Appling house.)

But around the different corners of my blog universe, it amazes me how there always emerge some fresh ideas that encourage or challenge me. Here’s what fueled me this week.

Across the Ocean

It is hard to believe that a year ago, I was in Africa. It is a memory that is still fresh in my mind. Photos of children’s faces hang in my hallway to remind me every day of my responsibility to the least of these.

I went with World Help on a mission to get an infant rescue center funded, and I am so happy to say that today, three new infant rescue centers have been fully funded. When at full capacity, they will pull abandoned children out of the slums and put them on a path to a bright and happy life. I cannot think of many things more gratifying than that.

In My Blog Feed

By far, the most interesting, challenging and universally applicable thing I read this week had nothing directly to do with me. It’s about weight and body image. Now I’ve never had a struggle with weight (though I can’t seem to get back to my high school size anymore), but what Lindsey at The Fearless Experiment writes in Why God Doesn’t Care How Big Your Butt Is…But He Might Care Why is absolutely relevant to every human struggle. Stop looking at the surface of things. Start asking why.

Another word that has always challenged me as a shy extrovert, Hannah Brencher talks about the challenging joy of staying in community.

Emily Wierenga says that we have put pastors on a pedestal, and now they must be taken down.

Finally, Sarah Mae talks about the importance of writing from your own well. When I started Plus or Minus, my publisher thought it would be about 40,000 words. I was scared to death to tell him it had actually become 60,000 words. I was afraid I’d be required to gut everything. But some stories we think are going to take 70k words only need 50k. The point is, we don’t have to make our stories something they are not. We cannot generate an extra 20,000 words to fluff up ourselves, nor do we need to leave out the dark parts just to make ourselves fit. (Plus, Sarah is part of a new venture called Author Launch, which is run by some very near and dear friends of mine.)

That’s what interested, challenged and fueled me. See you next week.