Last Sunday, Cara Putman drove down from West Lafayette to share with our adult Sunday School class how she’d become a Christian novelist. Cara’s a remarkable woman, unique in many ways, while at the same time typical of the determination and self-sacrifice that other writers must have if they are to influence other people’s lives.

Cara’s website gives a thumbnail sketch of her life, but she was able to share much more in the hour she spent with us.

Ten years ago, Cara found herself living in the Washington, DC area, where she and her husband both worked for large non-profit organizations (Cara as an attorney, her husband as a fund-raiser.). Ever since she was a little girl, Cara had dreamed of being a novelist. The demands of her professional schedule, not to mention being a supportive wife and raising a young daughter of her own, left her little time even to think about how to get started as a writer.

Then her husband was asked to head up the development office of Purdue University’s school of agriculture. Cara had to give up her own job so her family could move to central Indiana. But that disruption proved to be an opportunity. While seeking a new position with an Indiana law firm, Cara had time to complete her first novel and submit it to a publisher. “I’ve been very blessed,” she says, “because my first novel was published, even without an agent.” So was her second.

Cara’s life has become busier than ever. She now works for a corporate law firm, lectures at a local university, serves actively in her church, and provides the nurture that only a Christian wife and mother can. Along the way (!), she’s had 11 novels published since 2006. As a result, she’s become a conference leader for the American Christian Fiction Writers and has been instrumental in launching its Indiana chapter.

I admire Cara’s tenacity and determination to keep on developing her skill as a writer, despite her many other obligations and commitments. Even more, she challenges me to deepen my relationship with Christ in the midst of a busy ministry. We can’t take that for granted. There’s a real danger of allowing a multitude of “good things” distract us from the “one thing” that’s needful, as Jesus reminded his harried hostess, Martha.

Cara Putman has learned to keep her life focused on the Lord. As a result, she’s bearing bountiful fruit for Him.