“Tell the negative committee that meets
inside your head to sit down and shut up.”
-Ann Bradford

 Oh Ann Bradford, how did you know?

This morning the sun was shining. The mountain air was crisp and brisk. I walked with a skip in my step.

This is going to be a great day. I feel strong. I feel content. I feel ready. Ah, breathe it all in, Janell.

While listening to the keynote speaker of the Writer’s Conference I’m attending, some very sneaky old friends tiptoed in the back door of my mind. One by one, they sat down and began conversing to one another. They knew I could hear them.

The Negative Committee

You might know exactly who they are. In fact, they may have visited you a time or two.

The Negative Committee.

Well-dressed and well-spoken. Pretty on the outside but dark on the inside. They have titles, yes, and wear them well: Discontent. Discouragement. Shame. Incapacity. Fear. Failure.

Before I knew it, their dark clouds were covering the sun, which only moments before, had been shining so brightly.

I let them have a few moments of fun.

But then, I did something brand new. I “put into practice” the words I’ve been writing in my newest book project. Simply, I began meditating on 2 Corinthians 10:5, which I’ve been trying to memorize:

5″We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

And, in the Message:

3-6 “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity(The Message).

Note the power of these words: Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction.

Can I please hear an amen?

The past few months I’ve been working really hard on several manuscripts, hoping to return to my love of creating books that will help people. After a long course of finishing my graduate work and then unexpectedly, but unquestionably, taking care of my dear Mom during her long, arduous physical battle, I’ve been praying for open doors and wide spaces. Time opened for me to come to this amazing conference to learn, to fall in love with writing, and to hopefully find publishers for these projects. And, even more importantly, meet like-minded wordsmiths that I might connect with.

This has happened and so much more. And, because of all the preparations involved in crafting these powerful book projects, my tools were ready for clearing the ground of every obstruction.

Without any hesitation, I heeded Ann Bradford’s advice and unpolitely told that negative committee meeting in my head to sit down and shut up.

They did.

The rest of the day unfolded like the beautiful peonies in my garden back home.


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