It started out on Monday after I dropped off my l.a.d. at one of my sister's home. I planned to go to the small library near my neighborhood to write. Whenever I pass that particular library it seemed to be very light on traffic. I felt as though it would be the perfect place. I drove up, put the car in park and then noticed the sign that displayed the times the library was open. It did not open until noon. It was nine o'clock in the morning. No wonder I never saw any cars in its parking lot. I took a deep breath and started driving. To where, I had no clue. I remembered a park not far from there that has a very large pond. I didn't frequent it often because it offers fishing and a walking trail only, and I am not in the habit of doing either. As I began to go in that direction I had another thought. Perhaps my other sister would let me use her house this week. No one would be home during the day or come home early in the day, unlike my home and the homes of my immediate family. I pulled over at a near by school and called her. She didn't answer (of course) so I proceeded to the park.
I thought that I would go to the park, take in some scenery and await my sister's return call. When I arrived at the park, I parked and got out of the car. I took a few steps toward the park entrance and stopped. I felt prompted to bring all of my writing accoutrement and my canvas folding chair - which is always in my trunk - well, because you just never know! I slung the chair over my shoulder along with my binder briefcase, books I utilized in research, my bible, IPad, and my lunch bag with plenty of water, snacks and of course my lunch. I spotted an area that was by the pond that had a large tree that offered some shade. I headed in that direction because though it was the morning, it is still summertime in Houston, Texas.
When I got near the spot with the shade, I saw something that the tree had obscured from my view. My mouth fell open and then I smiled a very big smile. There was a cross about ten feet high, with a podium and some benches in front of it. The best way to describe it, is as an outdoor chapel. Connected beside it was a little trail that led up to a nook with flowers, a fruit tree and lush foliage with a few benches nestled within. It was a garden and a chapel situated behind a church. One I never realized existed. The church property line met right against the park property line and I imagine they decided to put that outdoor chapel there as a witness for Jesus. I loved it.
I arrived at her house and made myself at home. I sat in one of her reclining chairs in the couch and I wrote. I took a break for lunch and then I wrote some more. Around five o'clock I packed everything up and went to get my l.a.d.. It had been a very good day of writing.
Tuesday morning I set out to my sister's house after leaving my l.a.d. with my mother. I didn't have the same focus and drive as I had the day before. I knew exactly why. I originally had decided not to make or accept calls all week (except for necessary ones, like checking in on my l.a.d.). But, Monday night I felt that I could let my hair down just a little bit and I accepted calls, and I made calls. As a result, I got distracted. I had conversations that could have and should have waited until the week was out. To be quite honest, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me not to have any conversations at all. I disobeyed. What harm could it do? I thought. Harm it did. I only wrote two pages on Tuesday. And they weren't even good pages.
In my frustration, I decided to go into my sister's back yard to see if I could "shake it off". Being around nature typically helps me. As I walked around I noticed a brown bird, a mourning dove, sitting in a nest. I was thrilled. I had never been that up close and personal to a bird perched in a nest. I must have lingered a bit too long for the dove's comfort because she flew away. That's when I noticed that she had been sitting on two eggs. Perfect, I thought, this is what I need to witness right now! New beginnings! I ran into my sister's garage, found a ladder, took it to the back yard and took pictures of the promise of new life.
Wednesday morning I was determined to stave off the writer's block. My l.a.d. would be with my mother-in-law that day. I headed back to my sister's house with a plan. I would play praise and worship music and do my devotional before getting started. That would surely do it! I stopped and picked up a sausage, egg and cheese croissant and the owner gave me a free chocolate covered french cruller (just because I asked how different it was from a regular donut). I was glad for God's favor (and the chocolate fix). I went to my sister's, set up my area, pumped up the worship tunes, read my bible and sang along. I was having a good time. About an hour later I thought, I was enjoying myself too much because I had forgotten the task at hand! I needed to write. So, put up my bible and grabbed my binder. About an hour and a few words later I sat there in disbelief. Why couldn't I write? Then, it hit me. I actually stopped spending time with God to write because I thought I was essentially wasting time or doing something unnecessary.
I actually thought writing my book was more important than spending time with God.
Talk about wrong thinking.
I repented there in my sister's living room. I grabbed my bible and started reading and listening to worship music again.
When I left to pick my l.a.d., I felt prompted to call a friend, this time I made the call knowing I was supposed to. I shared with her my writing woes and she in turn encouraged me. I was grateful for her words and hung up knowing that God could and would redeem the time I squandered days earlier.
That night around ten o'clock, when the house was relatively quiet, I felt like words were welling up in me so quickly that if I didn't write them down I might loose them. I grabbed my pencil and my binder and started writing. And writing. And writing. I wrote until three in the morning. I was feeling very tired the next morning, especially since my l.a.d. didn't allow me to sleep past 6:30 that morning.
I trudged through the morning. I took her to my other sister's house and headed to the park. I needed some fresh air and to get some clarity. I went to the park and walked out on one of the piers. I began to just thank God for his creation and the beauty of it all.
Early Friday morning I was able to wake up and write, my l.a.d. had been at a sleepover so I didn't have to concern myself with her. About mid morning I went to my sister's and wrote. I cut it short mid afternoon to pick up my l.a.d.. On my way to get her I reflected on the week. I learned (again) to listen to the Holy Spirit at all times because my finite mind can't comprehend what He is keeping me for and from. I was reminded that no matter what the task is at hand, spending time with God always, always, comes first! And I experienced His grace over and over again through outdoor chapels, eggs in a bird nest, encouragement from friends and a free chocolate covered french cruller!
I finished about two thirds of the book. The original plan was to hunker down and complete it. I am not disappointed however, because of my short comings (and lessons learned) and God's grace through it all, I was able to recalibrate my faith. I am thankful for the experience. With one third of the book still to go, I know that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me and that He really won't leave me or forsake me.
Just Around the Corner,