The start of the school year has come with a lot of excuses not to write. Too tired, cranky, busy, uninspired. A lot of excuses…

Lately I’ve heard a few positive things about the book I worked on this summer and have been encouraged to get back to work. It is amazing how inspiring a little bit of encouragement can be and it makes me realize that encouragement has a big role in a Christ-Like Classroom.

Over the summer, this writing project went from a journal to a book to a blog to a ministry and movement in my mind to bring together teachers of faith. I’ve felt God moving me to work on this since the school year started, but listened to the enemy instead, citing laziness and lack of direction.

The truth is I wasn’t too busy to write. I could have found time. I thought about it a lot, but I was discouraged. At the end of the summer I spoke with a lot of people about the book, asked them to read it and provide critical feedback so I could tighten it up before the publishing process. Then, silence. I realized August was an awful time to ask people, especially teachers, to read something. I was so hopeful that some feedback would keep me motivated so this didn’t become another summer fantasy.

The silence was discouraging. I asked God to show me my next steps. He asked me to be patient and faithful.

Then, this weekend I received some much-awaited feedback. One teacher said it was incredible, that she really connected it, and that it inspired her to bring prayer into the classroom. Wow! Something I wrote did that? Definitely the encouragement I needed.

Today, the pastor of my church said he had the chance to read it! I opened the email with baited breath. He is someone I highly respect. The Holy Spirit moved through his messages to inspire me to begin this project in the first place. If he didn’t care for it, I would chug along anyway, but truly be crushed.

Well, he said it was great and gave some very positive feedback.

While my ego swelled from these encouraging bits of feedback, God revealed my next step to me: Get someone to be critical. Even though I’ve asked readers for criticism, I haven’t received it. God knew I wasn’t ready, yet. But now I am.