For When A Ringtone Reminds You Who You Are (Word of The Week)


September 7, 2014 by Beth Hess

romans-12-6My mind has referenced the moment so very many times that I wish I could remember more of the context. But I know it was a room of church leaders. And among us, a cross. The prompting was to list an attribute of yourself that you felt God might be calling you to use for Him. And pin it to the actual cross as an offering.


At the time, these words came hurtling at me unexpectedly. Though a journal-writer since I was 16 and a journalist by profession for almost 2 decades, at the time of that event, my career path was on a different track, this blog did not exist, and long gaps filled my notebook pages.

But the moment my spirit heard the words, I knew I could say nothing else.

Jotting “I WRITE” on a 3×5 card, I tacked it to the cross with a push pin and to my heart with a prayer.


What was intended to be a quick swap out of phones turned into all three of us bringing home new devices. This unexpected turn of events found me scrolling through the ringtones, determining important things like which would could be heard from the bottom of my purse and which would NOT make me want to pull my hair out each time I heard it.

It was the one at the very end, hidden at the bottom, and almost missed, that called me out.

“Writing adventure” — a catchy, skipping tune with the sound of a scratching pencil. As if every call is a story waiting to be told.

Because maybe it is. And maybe it’s mine to tell.

Because that’s what I do.


I do, these days, define myself as a storyteller. God has taken that scribbled offering of several years ago and fashioned it into beautiful things.

Because I was willing to start using it again.

Because God doesn’t give us knickknack gifts. He doesn’t hand out blessings made to be set on shelves or talents to be pulled out only on special occasions.

He gives to us, that we may USE the gifts. And watch His kingdom math multiply it again and again and again.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. (Romans 12:6 – bolding mine)

What gift might you need to brush off and start using again?


I return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To meditate upon. To use as a jumping off point for whatever other words God would have me hear during the week. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading. 

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.


14 thoughts on “For When A Ringtone Reminds You Who You Are (Word of The Week)

  1. ambercadenas says:

    Yes, you sure do write. And it’s a gift you have, inked (typed) out on the page from the offering of your heart and life. I love that you call yourself a storyteller. That is what I’ve come to call myself over the last few years, too, and it just fits, doesn’t it? I love reading your story, Beth, and I am excited to see how and where your stories continue to unfold and be told.


  2. blessingcounterdeb says:

    You made me want to run and see if I have that ringtone on my phone too. 🙂 I never thought of myself as a writer . . . words on paper were hard for me in school. But in 2007 God gave me the nudge to use my weakness for His glory, and now I’m obsessed with sharing Him through the stories He gives me. And yes, you were definitely called to write!


    • Beth Hess says:

      The words we use to define ourselves are so powerful. I’m learning to say what I want to be and then grow into it. Sounds a lot like your “writer” path. How wonderful that you are walking in obedience to it.


  3. So joyful that you answered the call to tell stories, to become a storyteller. I love writing and have to do it somehow every day. I look forward to reading more of your writing. Jumping over from Unforced Rhythms.


  4. Natalie says:

    Sometimes the brushing off can be painful. I called most of 2012-2013 the season of old dog, new tricks, because after years of singing on worship teams followed by a 4 year hiatus, I started to sing again. The situation was different. The songs and the format and eveything was different. I had to sing alone–a lot, for the first time since college. I learned to harmonize for the first time ever. I’ve learned so much, but the dusting off felt more like abrasive scouring–of the best kind. When I the old dogs season ended, I thought, Well, what am I supposed to learn now? Thanks for the encouragement to keep praying about that.


    • Beth Hess says:

      Yes, Natalie! I love how you compare the brushing off to abrasiveness. It can be work, huh? Thank you for sharing your story about singing and how God is using that in you. Can’t wait to hear what He asks you to brush off next!


  5. joanneviola says:

    I love this –> God doesn’t give us knickknack gifts. May those who read this post, look to see what needs some brushing off & usage!


  6. I love this story and the way that calling has worked itself out in your life. Isn’t it strange how we need to be reminded often of the gifts we’ve been given. Writing is helping me these days (as it always has) especially journaling, so here I go . . . of to write!


  7. boebertj11 says:

    It was a surprise to me about a year ago, when I heard God’s voice quite clearly after I told him something I really wanted… I really want you to write. It just about knocked my socks off because I was 17 years into being a teacher, not a writer. I started my blog and have been trying some other avenues on and off since then. It is tough, sometimes, because I have to work to help pay the bills and writing takes time — I believe, though, that if I remain in Him, He will guide me. So – me too – I write. Or at least, I’m working on it! 🙂 By the way, I didn’t get that thing I really wanted; I think I got more… God’s kind of like that, yes?


    • Beth Hess says:

      I’m thankful for this encouragement. Because I’m also in a season of talking to God about something I really want. And sometimes it doesn’t feel like that’s what HE wants to talk about right now. So I’m grateful for your story and the reminder that He may have more in mind. (And YEAH for you for embracing the writing. I’m on my way to your site now to read more.)


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