The Stuff of Life

A Fresh Perspective


Cecil Murphey sent me a book. A book he wrote. Did you catch that? He is a writer. In fact, he is a New York Times bestselling writer, and he gave me one of his books.

And you know what else he did? He gifted me with a full scholarship to spend four days in Chicago at a writer’s conference. I have no idea how many people applied for the scholarship. Maybe 100. Maybe 1. But the fact is, this successful real life writer, is paying my way.

You may remember my post from last week about my struggle to consider myself a writer. (You can find it here. Since the elation from receiving the scholarship has waned, I have been fighting voices in my head that keep telling me I can’t do this.  I went from on top of the world to feeling like the floor dropped out from under me.

Now I have leveled out a bit. I’m not in the clouds, but I’m not falling through the floor either.  I’ve found that it helps to fight the ugly voices with the beautiful truth found in the lyrics of Jason Gray’s Remind Me Who I Am.

I guess my recent struggles stem from my fear of failure. And that fear wants to paralyze me. If I don’t put myself out there, I won’t fail. But on the flipside, if I don’t put myself out there I won’t succeed either.

What is failure in writing? If it is people not wanting to publish my work then I’ve failed about a dozen times this year. If it is not having a book deal, then I’m not gonna make it in this writing world. If it is feeling as though I’ve poured my heart out to an empty void, well, I’ve failed in that area too.

The very first meditation in Cecil Murphey’s book, Knowing God Knowing Myself (the one he sent me :)), gave me a fresh perspective on writing and the role it plays in my life. Here’s an excerpt.

“Think about yourself. Because you’ve been disappointed, you may be afraid to hope or feel enthusiasm over possibilities. I’ve been shot down before, you tell yourself. Yes, disappointment may strike repeatedly, but why not enjoy giving yourself to something you love doing? Why not anticipate having fun on the journey? Why not consider the immense, enriching experience right now?

Suppose your efforts fail. What have you lost? Time perhaps. But can it be wasted if you have fun along the way?

Why not throw yourself into the venture and dream of all the wonderful things that lie ahead? If they don’t happen, it’s all right, and you enjoyed that phase of the journey. You’ve done your best. Now you can prepare for and enjoy the next task.”   Cecil Murphey, Knowing God, Knowing Myself

He ends the meditation with this phrase:

I am passionately involved in the process

I am emotionally detached from the result. 

Looks like I have a new phrase to add to my arsenal for fighting the ugly voices in my head.

You can learn more about Cecil Murphey at You can find Knowing God Knowing Myself on amazon.


Author: Kim Harms

I am the wife of a guitar-playing, worship-leading, adventure-loving husband. I am the mother of three incredible sons: two of whom recently surpassed me in height, and one of whom I am going to pretend is still my baby. I am saved by grace; a daughter of the King who was and is and is to come. *** I am a regular contributor at Today’s Christian Woman, a monthly blogger at Inspire a Fire and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guideposts. *** The 500 Dresses ministry that I started with my mom in 2010 is our way of answering the call to serve those in poverty.

7 thoughts on “A Fresh Perspective

  1. Kim — I am SO happy for you regarding your scholarship!!!! Go! Enjoy! Karen (the combs variety)

  2. Thanks Karen. I am so thankful for the scholarship. I’m also a little nervous at the thought of how out of my comfort zone I’m going to be.

  3. Love the phrase at the end! And I’m excited for your conference. The way I see it, your scholarship is one of those little nudges from God to affirm where you’re headed. He is so good!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement Cinnamon. I just thought it was really cool that the first chapter of that book was exactly what I needed to hear.

  5. Kim that is amazing! I’m so happy for you! I know exactly how you feel about ‘putting yourself out there.’ I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades trying everything and then backing out before coming to a point where I’m expected to actually be exceptionally good at something. It’s the fear of failure thing.

    I loved the excerpt, how fitting!

  6. Thanks Cala. I leave for the conference tomorrow. I’m kind of nervous and excited at the same time. I love the excerpt form Murphey’s book.

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