Sliced Bananas

Sliced Bananas

Listen to advice, but follow your heart – Conway Twitty

 

There is a woman in our church, a former pastor’s wife, who came to church Wednesday night in a bit of a mood. She grumbled about everything, from those who missed church due to sick kids and work schedules, to those who signed up for too many salads on the carry-in dinner schedule, to how the same people sign up for specials. Nothing missed the sharpness of her tongue.

I reached for the sign-up sheet for the potluck after the lady grumbled, wrote something, and stepped away, and noticed that nobody signed up for fruit.  I signed my name there, and mentioned that to another woman as I handed the planner to her. The first lady immediately grumbled she was sick and tired of sliced bananas.

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Okay then. I don’t remember sliced bananas ever being served at a church potluck. Except maybe in a jell-o salad.

I am still bringing fruit. One of those lovely fruit trays with grapes and different varieties of melons, oranges (a daughter’s favorite), strawberries, and whatever else I choose to add.

I’m doing what I want.

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The same applies to writing. I am in two different critique groups and have two one-on-one critique partners. I like this because they all find different things and three of the critique partners really challenge me to grow as a writer.

 

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

But there are others in my critique groups that occasionally mark through words on a random basis. I read through the critique when I get it back, with every other word or phrase marked out – what am I supposed to do with this?  It doesn’t make sense to read it without the marked out words. None. There are no clues as to what they were thinking when they did the critique.  I stare, baffled, at my poor chapter, then ultimately decide she/he wasted their time on the critique. I can’t work with that. And I delete it. Maybe they were having a bad day, like the lady at church who found fault with everything.

What it all boils down to in the end… It is the story God gave me to write. The story God gave you.  And even after it’s published (whether tradionally or indie) there are some who will find fault with everything. I bathe every word I write—or rewrite—in prayer. I know other authors who do, too. But we live in a fallen world. And what is “too Christian, too preachy” for one reader is “not enough of a faith message” for another.

What ministers to you may not be what ministers to me.

We’re all different. We like different songs: Southern Gospel, Praise and Worship, or Hymns. We like reading different genres. But we serve the same God.

Are you tired of sliced bananas? Would you like strawberries instead?

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Laura Hilton About Laura Hilton

Laura Hilton lives and writes in Arkansas, surrounded by her husband and five children. The author of inspirational novels about the Amish, she is also a book reviewer. Find Laura online at: her blog or Facebook page.

Comments

  1. Isn’t it crazy how we can let those random, whiny comments bring us down. Sometimes, we have to just step back, take a deep breath, and Forget About It! Be you are, bring what you want to the potluck, write what you want. God Loves You! And pray for the whiners.

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  2. Christy Miller says:

    So true! We all need to write what God calls us to write. Thanks for this great reminder!

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  3. Beth Bell says:

    So thankful that the Lord loves variety! It’s wonderful to have choices. I Corinthians 12 comes to mind. 🙂

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  4. Kate Hodges says:

    That’s funny, I have people like that in my critique groups, too. The good ones I mean, it is a good thing to find those who both challenge and encourage you . . . have had some of those useless critiques as well, not many, but sometimes you just have to take it with a grain of grace instead of salt.
    I’ll take the strawberries!

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  5. Good post, Laura. I know I can drive myself crazy wondering what needs to stay or go when it comes to critiques. I try to go with what keeps coming up and pray about the lone comments here and there.

    You’re right, I think bathing in prayer is essential, and I know you’re faithful to do it.

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  6. Cathy Hickling says:

    I’m partial to strawberries, personally, but wouldn’t turn down a sliced banana. How many stories go unread or even unwritten because of a writer’s fear of criticism? Too many I’d guess. Good stuff, Laura.

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