Author Ruth Smith Meyer

Ruth Smith Meyer Inspirational writer, speaker

Thinking out Loud on my Blog

My Work in Progress

Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on March 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

This is the last of the series in Ruth Snyder’s blog hops on writing.( see  What a lot of angles we’ve been privileged to absorb as we’ve heard from different writers on six topics.

This one is to be on Works in Progress. UFOs might be another term that could be applied. (Un-Finished Objectives.) There are several I could tell you about, but I will restrict it to two that have claimed quite a bit of work and time, but haven’t quite made it to the publisher. I’m including possible cover photos just to inspire myself and perhaps you too. They may change several times before the books are published.

Out of the Ordinary 

takes up much of my writing time these days.

It sometimes takes others to suggest that our own stories would be worth telling. We all grow up with a familiarity to what our life is like—it seems like the norm, because it’s the life we know. There were times in my younger years when I was conscious of being different than many in our community. Sometimes that left me with feelings of envy or wishful thinking, in other situations I recognized the value of having different standards or beliefs. Sometimes I felt odd because of how God made me, sometimes I felt loathe to tell others of my feelings. When I began to share more freely, I often was told, “You should write about that.” Over the years I have kept a file of memories hoping to do something with them. When my children began to beg me to get at it, I began to take it seriously.

Being born into a fairly conservative Mennonite family automatically makes a child a little out of the ordinary, but that is only part of my story. The struggle to come to maturity in a world where my abilities didn’t fit with the culture in which I was raised, the differences in my physical make-up that were not visible to others but never-the-less adversely affected me, my search for God’s direction in my life as I took a broader view, the painful journey when my marriage seemed at an end, the death of my 63 year-old husband and my subsequent hard-to-believe re-marriage six years later are all experiences that although others may have shared, are unique to my journey. Some years ago, I learned that sharing such experiences, can both clarify my own thinking and others may learn and be encouraged in their own passages.

Although the writing flows well as I record my memories, it is possibly one of the more difficult writing tasks I have attempted. The difficulty is in disengaging myself enough to do the kind of editing and arranging that must be done if I want to make if available to others.

Conducting Worship that flows with the cadence of exaltation


is the other project that has been in the making for a long time.

Over the years, serving as worship leader and on the worship committee of our church, I became more and more convinced that the role of the worship leader can have a great impact on the effectiveness of the worship servoceI have put together many dramatic readings, Scripture in the form of readers’ theatre, responsive readings, written calls to worship, prayers for different occasions and topics, and other parts of worship. When people began to ask if they could borrow some of my writings, I thought of putting them in a book to make them more readily available. I’ve worked at it for a long time, trying to figure out the way to compile it to make it most readily available to those searching for such material. I have divided it into sections with a short introduction to each part of the service and its importance. Resources for that part follow, broken down to topics or seasons of the church year. I’m still trying to find a way to cross-reference so other parts of the service for a given topic are easy to find.

A year ago, at our local church, I tested the teaching contents of my hoped-for book in two Friday evening/Saturday morning workshops for Worship Leaders and those interested in doing so. The power-point presentation was followed by practicing effective scripture reading then video-taped sessions of the participants reading scripture. The participants were also given time to create other parts of a service. It was a fun and inspiring time together, with several new people assisting in subsequent services.

Those workshops renewed my enthusiasm to get the book put together. In this electronic age, I think it would be most helpful to have much of the content available on the internet. That will stretch my abilities again. But as a writer, that is a challenge that excites me.

Shh-hh! Don’t tell anyone, but when I look at my age, I realize that these projects can’t take as much time from here on as they have taken so far, or they won’t get done. Guess I’m just going to have to learn to stick to a schedule and keep my nose to the grindstone.



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Reply Ruth L. Snyder
10:28 PM on March 24, 2014 
Thanks for sharing about these two projects. Both of them interest me, but the resource for worship leaders especially captures my interest since I'm the main pianist, choir director, and other duties assigned music person :)
Thanks for participating in the blog hop. It's been fun learning more about you and other writers who've participated.
Reply Esther Matteson
1:54 PM on March 25, 2014 
Wow, Ruth! I am really interested in both of those! I'd love reading YOUR story. And I have a high interest (and a lot of practical experience) in putting together worship services, helping my pastor-husband.
Reply Violet N.
7:59 PM on March 25, 2014 
Good for you Ruth! All the best as you tackle those interesting and rewarding projects!
Reply Mary Haskett
4:53 PM on March 26, 2014 
Hi Ruth, You are so good to have participated in this obviously helpful exercise. I for one have been truly touched by the writings you have shared in our writers' group. You have a winner in the making with Out of the Ordinary. I look forward to having my own copy. Love & blessings, Your friend
Reply I.O. Kirkwood
5:15 PM on April 6, 2014 
I agree that telling our stories helps others to understand the purpose and meaning and beauty of their own stories. Thanks for sharing!
Reply Bobbie Ann Cole
3:27 AM on April 13, 2014 
Please do finish both of these. They sound really good.