The “With” Factor

by Jan Powell


“Wherefore, comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as you also do”

(I Thessalonians 5:11, KJV).


A grandmother returned home with her granddaughter from church, where they had each attended Bible classes. After lunch, the grandmother announced nap time.

Though compliant on most days, the little girl retorted, “I don’t want to go to sleep!”

“Why?” The grandmother asked.

“Because they told us Jesus is coming back, and I don’t want to miss him.”

She didn’t want to miss being with Jesus

I often consider my own “with” factor. Who or what do I want to be careful not to miss?

I work interesting opportunities into my schedule but know I can’t do everything. I must either cut some activities or face burnout.  Enthusiasm may lead to exhaustion. Avoidance could result in a missed blessing. All involve choosing my “with.”

When events loom, we need to decide whether to maintain or increase our output. On certain months of the year, National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo), presents the challenge of completing an entire first draft of a novel—fifty thousand words—in thirty days.  If we attempt to spend this much time with our computers, we google tips to increase our effectiveness.  If we don’t plan to follow that intense schedule, we still plan to stay on track with our call to write during these challenging seasons. These are “with” decisions.

I prioritize my writing community, where I get refueled for my lonely composing time. Like that young girl, I don’t want to miss my important “with” choices. That’s why I meet with writers online or in person. I look forward to those regular gatherings for friendship along with the benefits of editing and being edited. Critique groups provide a good way to further my goals of excellence with Christ.

Writing and Christian fellowship groups equip us to fulfill Paul’s command for comfort and edification for all of our life. Consistency will give us a similar response to that young girl. We’ll look forward to the time we spend with each other as something that we don’t want to miss.

Lord of all beneficial community, help us choose our “withs” well. Amen.




Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. As a writer she has worked with thirty people on forty book projects through Writing with You. Jan edits, coaches, and ghost writes for fiction and non-fiction. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal, Splickety, and regularly contributes to Inkspirations.

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