What we allow to capture our imaginations and hearts shapes how we think and act 😀
Which means . . . books are powerful!! 😀
As an author that is a scary and wonderful thought all wrapped into one! Scary because of the responsibility that comes from publishing words and ideas that will influence others. And wonderful because God is able to use my efforts for His glory!
Today I want to share with you how God used a series of books in my life when I was younger–but the effects were lasting. 🙂
From a young age, I’ve loved words, writing (not that I started writing stories ’til my teens), and READING!! When I was just learning my letters, Mum said that I would sit down with a large sheet of paper and fill it up with letters of the alphabet (picture a whole sheet of capital A’s 😛 ). It just goes to show that my loving of writing started waaay back before I even contemplated being an author. 😉
Then as I began to read, I devoured books! I loved trips to the library and even wanted to be a librarian one day (after I gave up the idea of being a hair-dresser. Haha!) 😀
As we began to care more about the type of books we read, it became a challenge for Mum to keep up with my reading “demands.” I’m sure some of you can relate!!
Looking back, I read a lot of books that sadly didn’t include anything to do with God, and therefore didn’t have a whole lot of substance in my opinion. 🙁 But I certainly was blessed to read other series of books that were faith-based! Which brings me to the books my tale is about–The A Life of Faith Collection published by Mission City Press.
Within this collection are several eight books series, each following a different (but slightly interlinked) girl from when she is young to when she grows up and marries. Two of these series in particular influenced me strongly: The Elise Dinsmore Series and the Millie Keith Series (just so you know, these are quite different to the original Elsie Dinsmore books by Martha Finley!).
And do you know why they influenced me? Because the main characters seemed real to me–they had struggles and happy times, heartache and joy. I became “friends” with the characters through the pages of the books. 😀
And I’m so glad that the influence was positive not negative. Both Elsie and Millie loved reading God’s Word–it’s where they turned for hope, comfort, and strength. And both girls kept a diary–pouring out their prayers, struggles etc on its pages. 🙂
And you know what happened as I read these books?! I wanted to read God’s Word more. The characters influenced how I was thinking and what I was desiring! I followed their example and turned to God’s Word for comfort and help. I was learning to rely on God more and to find strength to face my fears by asking God for help and clinging to His promises–just like Millie and Elsie did.
And yes! I also began my first attempts at writing in a diary! 😀 From memory my entries were pretty sporadic, but it was the start of a diary-writing journey! It is certainly amazing how God uses previous things I’ve written to put things back in perspective for me. 🙂
So all this to say–I know what a powerful influence these books have had on me and my life!
For sure, every book won’t have such a powerful affect on me, but every book has an influence of some kind–whether we realise it of not! Nothing is neutral.
Every book has an influence of some kind . . .
Writing this post has left me encouraged and excited! Maybe God will use something I write to have a powerful influence in someone’s life. 😀 But it’s also a good reminder to choose reading material wisely!
Let’s pray that God blesses us with discernment as we choose what to read and write! Because yes, it DOES matter! 😀