Thursday, July 7, 2011

Focus Found ~By Erika Mitchell

Hello! I’m Erika, a writer, wife, mother, and child of God. I’m also a daughter, sister, and a friend, but that’s not relevant to the story I’m trying to tell. I also have trouble staying on task. But again, not relevant.
Or maybe it is. You see, of all these roles of mine, child of God is far and away the most important. This is the one that should hold my focus most. All the rest of them are a tenuous house of cards, but that one’s eternal. Unchanging. It’s The Big One.
I forget that though. A lot. In fact, I’ve spent the past year and a half or so forgetting it. Or, rather, relegating it to the back of my mind where I touch on it occasionally but rarely take it out for a good old-fashioned spin.
You see, I had a baby a year and half ago and it turns out that being a mother is busy and distracting. Going to church is a lot harder with a baby, especially a baby who reacts to the church nursery like it’s filled with mustard gas. In the miasma of feedings, wakings, laundry, and growth spurts I’ve let my focus slide off God.
It doesn’t make me a bad person. Just an exceedingly human one.
What doesn’t help is that I’m also a writer. Just had my first book published, in fact. I have approximately thirty stories swirling around my head at any given time, and if I get a spare minute I’m either writing or thinking about writing. So between the writing and the adorable baby, I clear out exactly no time for God. I don’t read the Bible. I rarely pray. I love God, but my spiritual growth has stagnated.
I’m not unaware of the situation. I’ve been praying for months now for God to wake up my heart. To give me a passion and thirst for His word. To renew my spirit.
He answered in the most awesome way.
I got trolled when my book came out, and some people were exceedingly unkind in their opinions on my writing. It all made for a very bad day, so I shared that with my friends in the hopes of some encouragement.
Ronda responded (because she’s a terrific friend) and offered to make me biscotti, then suggested I might like to write about the experience. To share how God has blessed me. Well, it turned out the offer in itself was how God blessed me in that situation.
It led to a heartfelt conversation between Ronda and I, during which I felt like Ronda’s passion for Christ was like a breath of fresh air to my stagnant spirit. We both felt it, and after she prayed for me and we hung up I felt refreshed. Made new. On fire for God and exuberantly joyful about it.
It amazes me that God can take the cruelty of strangers on the Internet and make something beautiful come out of it. I’m just glad Ronda had prepared her heart to be receptive to being used by God to help a friend.

Erika Mitchell, Sammamish, Washington

Note from Ronda~
Dear Erika,
You are such a gifted writer.  I love reading your witty blog blips, and the first two chapters of your book had me craving more and I can't wait til it comes out in print when I will be able to snatch one up.  I give God all glory and credit for prompting our conversation and for gentle nudges from friends.  I have had many nudges, some shoves, some shakes, some "what the heck are you doin?!?'s" and in all that I too have been tremendously grateful.  God is constantly at work in us if we desire to be worked on.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman...he won't pry, he won't go where he is not welcome.  I am greatful that I got to be a part of your story, and that he is working in your life.  I will be keeping you on my prayer list and in front of my eyes.

And I was thrilled that you loved the Biscotti!
For those of you who would like to check out Erika's writing you can find her over at

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