Have You Gotten Your Call?
For the (hopefully) beautiful month of September, Innovative Editing is featuring the lovely, encouraging and thought-provoking Tabitha Deller.
Every month, Innovative Editing features one creative or non-fiction writer who catches its editorial eye. These authors can be self-published or traditionally published, Innovative Editing clients or outside recommendations.
But regardless, they stand out! (If you think you do too, reach out right here.)
That’s certainly true for Tabitha and her inspirational women’s Bible study, Called. It’s got a game-changing message you can use to get through whatever summer heat we have left… the holiday rush (it really is around the calendar’s corner)… and whatever winter we’re in for beyond that.
Essentially, Called contains a timeless message for women everywhere who want to stop merely existing and really start thriving.
Who knows… that “thriving” might even include writing something yourself, as Tabitha found out in her case…
August’s Author of the Month: Tabitha Deller
Featured Title: Called
Genre: Women’s Bible Study
Age Appropriate: All
Bio: Tabitha Deller is a wife, mom, teacher, and writer. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, Steve, and their four sons, Joshua, Caleb, Nathan, and Isaac. She loves words – written or spoken – and is passionate about God’s Word and the life-changing truths found in it. She loves reading it, writing about it, and challenging others to do the same. She has authored and taught Bible studies for large groups, small groups, and online groups. She also loves encouraging ladies of all ages by speaking at events and retreats, and has done so for MOPS, single moms, teens, and young girls.
Jeannette: Hi, Tabitha! We’re going to get right into it. Tell us a bit about your book, Called. What makes it tick? What’s it about?
Tabitha: This book has been stirring in my heart for over a decade! More than words on a page, it’s a journal of sorts logging an ongoing journey I’m on with the Lord.
My passion for women to be in God’s Word started with my passion to be in the Word. I wanted to do more than read it and regurgitate it. I wanted to live it and give it! This book is a way to do just that.
The Bible study pages are not an afterthought or an addendum. They are interwoven in the chapters, rhythmic like a beating heart, because they are truly what make the book tick and come alive!
Jeannette: Come alive indeed! I love how you say at one point in Called that God’s calling on each of our lives is an invitation. And an “invitation requires a response.” In other words, we have to be animate. Active. Alive.
It’s so simple and yet so profound! What drew you to that conclusion?
Tabitha: I am such a great starter of things, but not so great at finishing them! If there is something fun to do, sign me up. But when that thing requires a definitive commitment that may hinder my ability to do other things?
Well, hmmm… maybe I need to reconsider.
Knowing that an invitation requires a response, and how that implies an ongoing commitment, allows me to find freedom in the fact that quitting is not an option. I can still be a great starter, but my “yes” response to God allows me to partner with a Faithful Finisher. And knowing that makes it easier to stay steadfast in my commitment.
Jeannette: And steadfast you stayed with this particular project – despite all the writing doubts that came your way – a topic we’ll touch on in a moment. For now though, what was the most stunning revelation that came out of you putting pen to paper?
Tabitha: Probably that it allows me to process practical ways to apply profound truths. That way, I get to work through my fears and insecurities by allowing God’s Word to filter my thoughts as they pass from my head to my heart and then become words on a page.
It’s a beautiful thing to witness confidence in His faithfulness swallow up the insecurity of my humanness.
Jeannette: That segues beautifully into a question I was going to ask toward the end. But hey. Lets go there!
Pretty early on in the book, you say, “Stop planning to write. Stop waiting for the perfect ‘coffee shop’ setting to write. Stop scheduling things to help you write, and just write! Your insecurity has crippled you, and you’re allowing it to get you off track.” Can you expound upon those insecurities? The more the writing community understands exactly how common they are, the more we can resist them.
Tabitha: The biggest one for me is probably the comparison trap. I’m afraid I won’t measure up to more seasoned writers.
Another equally crippling insecurity is that writing requires vulnerability. When you release your words (whether spoken or written), others see inside your heart. They then have the right to weigh in on it.
Jeannette: Which is scary, to say the least.
Tabitha: Extremely so! My insecurities urge me to keep the words to myself, but I’m learning that when I boldly let the words go, they have the ability to do more good than bad when my motives are steeped in a desire to help and encourage others.
Jeannette: That definitely came through in Called between the personal stories you share, the Bible verses you delve into and all the music you mention. So many great songs.
So here’s a fun question since you’re such a song junky. What would you say is your all-around favorite?
Tabitha: [laughing] I chuckle because my boys give me a hard time about my "favorite" Christian songs. They say I have a new one every week, which will incidentally be on repeat at home, in the car, and anywhere we are.
But probably my all-time favorite would be “Clear the Stage” by Jimmy Needham. And the funny thing is I don't even mention this one in the book! The lyrics are profound though and remind me that nothing comes before the Lord; and if anything does, it is an idol.
The second verse is my favorite:
Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the word and put to test the things you've heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken
Jeannette: Wow! That’s thought-provoking. It sounds along the lines of one of my all-time favorites, Sidewalk Prophet’s “Keep Making Me,” which I won’t quote here to save on space.
It also makes me think of your chapter about being still – something that comes so anything-but-easy for too many of us. Myself included.
I don’t want you to give everything about Called away, of course, but could you just give a brief explanation of what can come out of stillness?
Tabitha: A quiet confidence. Peace. Surrender.
Honestly, it’s like a long exhale (letting go of the bustle of busy) followed by a long inhale (breathing in the peace of His presence).
Jeannette: Tabitha, thank you so much. And readers, if that sounds like something you need in your life, here’s where you can find her online:
The Called private Facebook group:
And of course, her newly published book itself. Get a taste of what it means to be Called today!