Monday, January 9, 2017

Be Prepared

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!

13 comments:

  1. Do agree Debbie. I have a little notebook in my bag at all times. Loved reading about your experiences and your output through following that inspiration where it led you! Wonderful. That was great about you joining the writers'group at the Lakewood Church and afterwards at their service. It sounded like a very inspiring time. Thanks for an encouraging blog.

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    1. It was an inspiring time! Thanks for reading.

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  2. I've used my phone to write a poem or two when the inspiration strikes but do agree, best to have a notebook and pen. Thanks for great post, Debbie :)

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    1. Yes, I can scribble quicker than I can write on my phone :)

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  3. I have a notebook in my bag - and beside my bed, plus I take notes on my phone. The only problem is compiling all the notes taken... ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. I have several notebooks scattered around - one would be better but I haven't quite got it right yet!

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  4. I've learned the same lesson as you, Debbie, and always carry a little notebook around in my handbag for those moments. It usually works well, except on those occasions when hubby or kids have borrowed the pen from it and forgotten to replace it :)

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    1. Ah yes, pens are a story in themselves :)

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  5. There's something about not having a pen and paper when you're a writer. (Amazing what you can write on tho'...) I too have learned to always have pen and paper - but speech to text works on my phone when desperate! (just need to edit it or it can be very embarrassing)

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    1. I'd never thought of that - could be a good back up plan :) Thank you!

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  6. I can really relate to that, Debbie. I always keep a notebook in my handbag, but sometimes inspiration strikes at other times. I remember a mission trip to NZ way back in 1991. Our team had a day off, but it had been raining. We decided to go to Rangitoto Island anyway. By the time we got there, the rain had stopped but the island was covered in mist. As we walked to the top, I was lagging behind and found myself walking through the mist alone. It was so beautiful and I felt God speaking to me in that moment. Not a notebook in sight, but I kept repeating the words in my head. By the time I got back, I'd written most of the lyrics to a song called 'Mist Over Rangitoto'. A good reminder to always have that notebook handy. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Awesome! We never know when God is going to speak - glad you were able to remember the words.

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  7. Great post Debbie! Thank you :-)
    I have learnt the hard way to always have a pen and notebook in my handbag. There's nothing worse than having a brainwave (or a whisper from Jesus), and then having to write these thoughts around the edge of a shopping docket. Thanks for sharing :-)

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