I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that inspiration often strikes in the most unexpected places. I remember driving from Blenheim to Christchurch after a work trip and along the way the inspiration for my latest novel, Broken Shells, blossomed in my mind. Think turquoise seas, vineyards, clusters of grapes and braided rivers. I kept pulling off the road to make notes and by the time I arrived home, the book was outlined.
On another occasion, I was flying home from Auckland to Christchurch and I felt the Lord whisper to me that I should compile a book of true short stories about lessons I’ve learned in the sky. By the time we landed, the chapters of Fly with Me were growing in my heart.
I’ve learnt that I need to have a notebook and pen with me at all times. This is not just for writing purposes but also to record those moments when God speaks directly to my heart. In September last year, I was on a business trip to Houston. I had a free evening and after doing some research, I found that Lakewood Church (Joel and Victoria Osteen) had a writing group that was meeting at the church that evening. I emailed the group leader and asked if I could join them. I had a great time with them, was introduced to one of the pastors, and they asked for a photo with me as they’d never had a writer from New Zealand visit before.
On my way out, I asked if I could have a look at the auditorium. The pastor took me downstairs and explained a meeting was underway but I was welcome to join in. There were about 300 people clustered in the front and a woman was leading worship from the stage. It was a celebration service for people recovering from addictions so I thought I’d just stay for a few minutes and then catch an Uber ride back to my hotel. The music came to an end and a big black guy got up to preach – he was articulate, loud, and mopped his head with a large hanky every couple of minutes. I was thinking of leaving when he said something that stopped me in my tracks. God was speaking directly to me – and although I’d just been to a writer’s group I didn’t have a notebook and pen with me. Not even a scrap of paper to write on! I pulled my phone out and started taking notes on it. It wasn’t ideal but I captured the basics and those words have had a profound effect on my life.
I’m more careful these days and my notebook goes everywhere with me. It’s full of random thoughts, impressions, ideas and inspiration that the Lord drops into my heart. Some of it may never end up in a book but it’s my life story. It’s what God is saying to me, things He’s showing me, corrections He’s bringing and whispers of love for me.
I encourage you to start recording what the Lord says to you. Be prepared, take notes, look for the gold in every situation, and expect to see God. I’ve discovered the more I anticipate, the more I see and discover!