Saturday, January 8, 2011

Faith Comes By Hearing

Jenn here. I wanted to share how a simple #kindle has helped make my life better--even my faith walk.

For the past couple of years I've been struggling with time management. People are always asking me, how do you find time to do all that writing, research, editing and promotion on top of working a full-time job, mothering a special needs child, and exercise without neglecting your husband and God? Truth is, sometimes someone is neglected.

Sometimes it is God, because I think, "Hey, God is God. He doesn't need me as much as they do. He isn't going anywhere. He will always be right there waiting for me as soon as I get over this immediate crisis." Whatever the current crisis might be.

Other times it is my husband, because I think, "Well, he's a big boy. He can take care of himself. My daughter isn't grown like he is. He sees all the stress I'm under. He'll understand. He loves me."

When it really gets bad, it's my daughter, and I reason, "She has Dwayne. He can help her with her homework, transport her here and there, it won't hurt her if she watches a few hours of extra TV tonight."

But most of the time it's me, because I think, "I really need to exercise, but I'm so exhausted. I need to get to the salon, but I don't have time. I really need some sleep, but I've got to finish this word count or answer this email so people don't thing I'm neglecting them. I really need to make a (dentist, opthalmologist, allergist, etc) appointment, but my daughter should get all her appointments first."

To others, I may make it seem like it's all working, and for the most part, it is...but I have my moments of time when one of us is neglected. I will be convicted by something my daughter or husband says or God will whisper a Word to my heart. This is when I stop, pray, and ask for direction. Sometimes the answer is immediate and other times I'm lost until a project is over and I can actually breathe again. If this is the case, and a deadline is the culprit, I go to my family and God, ask for forgiveness and promise to do something special with them when I've met my deadline. I keep that promise.

What does all this have to do with faith comes by hearing? I'm getting there. When I started having problems with my eyes a couple of years ago, I couldn't bring myself to read the Bible after giving my eyes to my job all day. I tried getting up earlier, but the bottom line was, I was already getting up early enough and my body couldn't take losing more sleep. I was dragging myself to work and everywhere--barely coherent. I struggled with writing because I couldn't stand to look at a computer screen after work or before work.

What was I going to do? I was in pain all the time, my eyes burned worse than anything I'd ever experienced and it was constant and chronic. I was tired, experiencing headaches, and none of the doctors seemed to know what to do. They began treating me by trial and error. I went through a number of eye drops that didn't work, tests that didn't provide answers, and in the meantime, my faith began to waver because I wasn't getting the spiritual food I needed from the Word, because I couldn't read it.

I began to wonder, what would I do if I lost my sight? How do blind people read the Word? If this wasn't going to go away, I had to find a way to adapt and deal with my circumstances. I began doing research on text to speech features and praying for solutions to help me adapt, not just beg for deliverance. Endorsement requests were coming in, and I didn't want to turn people down. I needed to find something that would read the manuscripts to me. Then I realized, I could read the Bible the same way!

My husband bought me a Kindle for my birthday in October. I can plug my earphones into it and let it read to me. Instead of listening to the radio on my hour drive to work in the morning I listen to the Bible. On the way home, I listen to a story--a fiction novel. This has saved both my eyes and keeps me from taking time from my family and it gives me time with God. It's a solution for everyone. I have to be in the car during that time any way, why not make it productive?

My eyes are better provided I stay on my Restasis and I take 3-4 fish oil pills a day, and I get a decent amount of sleep.. I write on my AlphaSmart and download my manuscripts and blogs and use the Kindle to read to me when possible. I save my eyes for computer time at work, email, social media, and editing manuscripts. Plus, I only wear my contacts for special events and on weekends.

At first I was guilty for not reading the Bible myself. I felt like I was cheating God, but in His gentle way, He reminded me, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

I prayed for a solution, and He has answered that prayer.

What circumstances in life led YOU to change? How did you hear God through that change?


  1. Hi Jennifer:

    If readers only knew what went into writing a book, I think they would appreciate each word as a gift from the author. But they don’t. They think writing is a talent like having a beautiful singing voice.

    I read where there is a Kindle service where they will put your manuscript into Kindle format and sent it back to you on the wireless so you can read and play it on your Kindle. It may be free! I plan to do this with my WIP when I rewrite one of the chapters. Check the Kindle site for details.

    Imagine if you could have your WIP read to you in male or female voice on your way to work! You can!

    BTW: I think I’m just like your husband. Sometimes I even think of myself as ‘background noise’ and sing a song I wrote. Here is the first verse;

    I’m just one of the poor boys
    Who never had his own toys
    Who grew up only to become
    Part of the background noise.

    Whenever I feel neglected I just sing my song. : )


  2. Vince, it is definitely free to upload a manuscript and download it on one's Kindle. There is a specific method so the directions have to be followed just as given.

    Cute song!

    My husband channels his neglect into online hockey games with his buddies.

  3. Great post Jenn. Very interesting about the kindle.

    There are so many things I want to change. Sometimes I don't know where to begin. God has remained faithful to my family during tough times. For that I am thankful.

  4. Beautiful post, Jenn. Thanks for sharing the verse in Romans! I'm glad the Kindle has been helping relieve your eyestrain.

    One big change that really changed by life was when I started listening to a Christian radio station--104.7 The Fish (in Atlanta) several years ago. I found it changed so much! I quit feeling so frantic as I was driving. I think my driving actually slowed down. My outlook also changed as the music bathed me in God's Word and positive messages.

  5. I love the solution, Jenn. Also great advice for thinking of original solutions for all of us.