Monday, 25 March 2019

Trust and Obey



Saturday morning. We’d just moved into our new home and it was great having extra space to settle into. My husband and I agreed that our new home had lashings of magic in it. Cosy nooks and corners called out to us; picturesque walking areas outdoors greeted us with a warm welcome. I made my beloved his special Saturday brunch which he usually enjoys with a movie. Leaving him to it, I was about to take my own breakfast to our dining area, when I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to go out to our backyard instead. “Yes, Lord”, I whispered as I settled myself in a chair outdoors, sipping of a cool fresh autumn day.

I was soon lost in a good book as I tucked into my own breakfast of rice, scrambled egg and spicy sambol. The author mentioned the importance of getting up early to spend time with God. Hmm…. I'd always been a night owl, so waking up early was not an easy accomplishment for the likes of me. In our former home, fiery sunsets had tingled my senses each evening. But here in our new home it was different. A bold sunrise would flash its stunning smile at me every morning through my kitchen window. So perhaps it did make sense to get up to greet the dawn? Was I up to it? It was then I heard the sound. “Pitter patter Pitter patter” yelled the raindrops as they splashed joyfully onto our patio roof. Oh no! I had hung my washed clothes on the line. My husband looked up from his movie as I dashed past him in a hurry to get my clothes.


“It’s raining”. I rushed through our family room and towards the laundry.

Already?” Shan followed me and joined me in our yard, helping me bring the clothes in, bless him. If I hadn’t sat out in the garden, I’d not have heard the rain on the patio roof because my ears had ear buds stuffed into them with praise music on at full volume. My almost dry clothes could have been soaked. What a good thing I’d listened to God’s nudge that morning to sit outdoors!

Trust and Obey. A simple way to live—the only way really. Several years ago, I decided it was time I wrote a novel. I had published one non-fiction book and ten short stories in anthologies. Two manuscripts (one of which was a children’s fiction book), had made it to being finalists in two writing competitions. I was on a roll. I decided it was time delve into writing fiction. I got busy with a host of great ideas. What fun it was to figure out who my characters were! What joy it was to plot and dream! I found the perfect title and I created a believable story-line. I even found pictures on the Internet of what my characters looked like, pasting them in a file to delve into as I wrote. I was excited. I was ready.


The day had arrived! I made myself a cuppa and sat down at my computer. I felt my heart was beating a little faster than usual. Today was the day—the day the magic happened.  I poised my hands over the keyboard, and … and ….. and ….! What happened? When I tried to flesh out my story, nothing happened. No words. No words? No words. Writer’s block? I never have writer’s block! How could this be? I was sure I had it all figured out. I’d enjoyed so many fiction books for over five decades, that I was sure the words would flow out of me like a gurgling brook.

But each subsequent attempt at writing my special work of fiction did not bear fruit. I could not keep going. Gradually, the realisation dawned on me that writing a novel was my idea, not God’s. Oh? I had been driving along this road I had imagined God wanted me on. I now had to reverse and move towards a new pathway, because at last I had got it. And so, my tail tucked between my legs, I began to travel towards my first love, my calling. Non-fiction. Most of my life, I’d read mainly fiction. I'd tried my hand at writing a few children's books when I was a child. But in the previous 10 or 15 years, something had changed. Every time I browsed books at the library, I had found myself choosing a large number of non-fiction books. I had guzzled them down like a hungry puppy wolfing down a chocolate cake he’d found on the kitchen table. 



God wanted me to continue to write non-fiction. I knew that now. I’d taken a wrong turn, following my own desires. As understanding flooded my spirit, I slid the vehicle of my writing journey back into God’s highway—exactly where I needed to be. Hooray! I was back on track. I zoomed off into the sunset, happy as Larry.

Trust and Obey. That’s what it boils down to. God may still lead me to write a fiction book or two eventually and I hope He will. But for now, let me do what He calls me to, not what I think is best. Trust and Obey. How easy it is to make my own plans and to ask God to bless them or to mistake my plans for His. 

"Trust and Obey", God often reminds my wayward heart. Obedience is after all, what He calls me to in every sphere of my walk with Him.

What are your writing plans this year? Have you heard our Father's whispers? How has He led you? I'd love to hear all about it.


Have you learnt what it means to trust and obey?
I’m still learning. Come join me.

May the rest of 2019 see the fulfillment of your writing dreams as you follow God’s heart. Happy Writing and may God richly bless you.
Anusha’s been on many interesting detours in life, as a lab technician, a computer programmer, a full time Mum, a full time volunteer, a charity director, a full time job chaser, until one golden day (or was it a dark moonless night?) God tapped her on her shoulder and called her to write for Him. She has never recovered from the joy it brought her. She loves to see others enjoying life with Jesus and does her mite to hurry the process in her world through her writing and through her life. The goodness of God is her theme song through each season, as she dances in the rain with Jesus. Please stop by at her website Dancing in the Rain to say G’day. Her first book Enjoying the Journey contains 75 little God stories that will bring you closer to your Creator. 

Her 2nd book ‘Dancing in the Rain was released in March 2018 and brings you hope and comfort for life’s soggy seasons.



Mortals make elaborate plans,but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. Proverbs 16:1-3 (MSG)


25 comments:

  1. Hi Anusha, that's such a great message. It's surely true that when God gives us an idea, He also provides the grace and ease to see it through. I'm sure many of us are grateful that He's provided your gift and drive for non-fiction, as we've all benefited from it. It's a perfect reminder to remain sensitive to real promptings, and tell them apart from the desires of our own hearts. Interestingly, I've had similar epiphanies over the years about cool non-fiction, self-help style guides He never really put on my heart to write :D

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    1. Hi Paula. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Interesting to hear that you too had some cool non fiction ideas and similar epiphenies. And yes, as you said - if God leads us to a job He will enable us to complete the task. I often find it hard to discern between my own desires and God's, which is why I am finding that the Christian life is all about attuning my heart to the Spirit's leading. I am a slow learner, that's for sure. Praise God for His patience. :) And thanks so much for your encouragement Paula. Bless you.

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  2. Hi Anusha. So much easier to follow Holy Spirit. When I first started to write El Shaddai as directed by God I faltered. God was speaking as a character and I became overwhelmed with putting words in God’s mouth. So I abandoned the book.
    But there wasn’t another single creative idea in my head. I wrote a few articles and short stories but had no clue about another novel
    At one of the writers conferences we were grouped to pray for each other. In that atmosphere I heard God say, ‘Write the book I’m in.’
    I went home and wrote it in two months with the help of NaNoWroMo. Yes the words fly when I flow with Holy Spirit

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    1. Hi Jo. Loved your testimony of how God led you with El Shaddai. I can understand you being overwhelmed by putting words in God's mouth. I know Sarah Young the author of many devotionals shares as if God is speaking. She has had to endure nasty comments by those who don't seem to like that. And yet, she too has been obedient (as you) in sharing what God placed on her heart and has blessed millions including me. Love what you said about the words flowing with the Holy Spirit's leading. So true.

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  3. Great, thanks Anu. I'd love to write another novel but I've started about six and I lose interest after about fifty pages. What I really feel called to write is 'faction', a true story but with my creativity adorning the story in all its details. Oh dear - all those lovely words for nothing! Practice, I guess. The first half of Mirage was 'faction'. All the best as you keep encouraging us all with your writing!

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    1. Hi Nettie. Thanks so much for sharing. It encouraged me that I am not the only one. Interested to hear that you are called to write faction. You have a great way with words and I love reading your beautiful blog. All the best to you as you continue to follow His leading in your writing. I know God will continue to bless the world through your pen. And thank you for the encouragement my friend.

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  4. Great post, thanks Anusha. "Trust and obey' - such a simple rubric but so vital to follow God's leading. Not always easy though to hear clearly when our own wishes and wants get in the way.

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  5. Thanks Jenny. You've said it very well. Yes, I often find it hard to discern God's voice from my own. :) But it's so good when I do work it out and then follow His voice. Trust and obey is so simple and yet often difficult. :) Bless you for your encouragement.

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  6. Proverbs 16 1-3. Amen to it and to all you said, Anusha. I'm quietly musing over the very long detour I took after misreading the road signs because I was looking through the 'good plan' lens, instead of the 'God plan' lens. I had moved away from creative writing and desk-top publishing, towards pastoral church ministry till I encountered what I've come to see as His roadblock. I followed a long, tortuous, loopy, miserable wilderness track on my way back to His road. As I sit here, now, (in the passenger seat content to let the Holy Spirit do the driving) I feel incredibly grateful that God, in His marvelously redemptive way, is using many of the things I saw and experienced while on my detour as incredibly positive and useful resources for the task He has actually given me to do. I look down, and realise in front of me are a set of dual controls - accelerator, break, clutch pedals - as you would find in a vehicle modified for learner drivers. He says, 'Rest your feet on the controls. Feel they way I move them. Get to understand my touch, the amount of pressure I apply here, the way I ease back gently there, the way I coordinate the stop and the go for consistent and safe progress. Soon you'll have your licence to drive this new kind of vehicle along my highway. Not only will you be able to get to the places I want you to go, you'll have confidence to drive My way.'

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    1. Wow! What a beautiful analogy Mazzy. Thank you. How interesting to hear of your own journey through the wilderness. Well done on allowing the Holy Spirit to do all the driving now. We can trust Him implicitly to take us in the right direction, can’t we?

      I also love it how God uses our mistakes and detours for good. What an amazing God! How precious that none of it is not wasted but even enhances your present journey. Wow! That’s so encouraging! I love the picture you paint with your words. Thank you Mazzy. Keep racing on God’s highway and I will be waving at you from the parallel lane as our Papa guides us both.

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    2. Mazzy what a wonderful testimony. Thanks for sharing your journey. I too am still trying to learn enough to get that license but suspect he will continue to co-drive with me. And I’m fine with that 😍

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  7. Thanks Anu! You are The Great Encourager.

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    1. Awww! Thank you Nettie. You made my day. :) Do feel that's the calling on my life, so glad God's using little me in some way. He is always faithful. xoxo

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  8. Hi Anusha - Good on you for following God's leading. I have ideas for lots of books - fiction, nonfiction and poetry - and it's not always easy to know which one to work on. However, if we follow God's leading, it's all so much easier. Sometimes when I was writing my novel, I wondered what on earth I was doing. But I couldn't escape the fact that God had led me to that particular story, and he had guided me at various points along the way. I've got ideas for three more novels, but also nonfiction books. Your post is a great reminder to stop and pray and then work on the one next that God wants me to work on. Thanks for your encouragement. You are brilliant at nonfiction. Maybe in the future, we'll be reading your novels too :)

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    1. Hi Nola. Thanks so much for your encouraging words. Loved hearing how God has been leading you as you work on your novel. He sure knows what He's about and I am so looking forward to reading your novel in the near future. Glad to hear you too have lots of ideas for more books. I have so many ideas at present for non fiction books that I'm trying to figure out which I should start working on. Bless you for your encouragement my friend. And yes, here's hoping I will be able to write a few novels eventually. All the best in ALL your writing. You are brilliant at them all! :)

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  9. THanks Anusha. WE do have to listen hard to hear our Lord sometimes, but I know He has our best at heart, and we will be satified like nothing else when we are doing what He has made us for. Amazing how we get 'An Idea', but it isn't what He wants. I have had to learn that I am to write --- poetry! - never did I think I'd be doing that!
    I did really enjoy your Dancing in the Rain book - one of the stories has stuck with me forever!
    ANd yes, you are the great encourager!

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    1. Hi Pam. Lovely to hear from you. You are so right in saying that there is no satisfaction like the satisfaction of hearing Him and being obedient. Wow - you are writing poetry? Good on you! I'm sure you will enjoy the journey and produce many gems along the way. Thanks for your encouragement too about my being an encourager. :) Bless you. And all the best with those poems.

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  10. Thanks for sharing, Anusha. I take great encouragement from reading about the lessons you learned. You asked us to share something of our own writing challenge. Here's mine: I put my dream of being a published author on hold, 26 years ago, when my youngest son went from being a difficult baby to an almost impossible toddler. My ministry to children and families has stretched me since then. Last year, I was struggling with post-university study blues, and some issues at the school where I work part-time. I had fallen back to the summer holiday habit of planning romantic adventures that would never be written, but then autumn came, and I couldn't seem to let go. I took this to God, and he told me to sit down and start typing. With his permission, the words accumulated on the screen until I had 120,000 words. I went back to him and he told me that I had a book, and I had better do something about getting it published. A year later, and I have four books in a series in different stages of pre-publishing. He provided me with the help I needed along the way. His timing is exquisite. I am learning to wait, and to deal with each lesson as he opens my mind to receive it.

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    1. Hi Chrissy. So glad you liked it. Thank you very much for sharing your own journey with us. Wow! Loved your testimony. Your journey sounds a lot like mine. I paid for a Creative Writing Course when my son was born 29 years ago - but he needed me 24/7 so there was no way I could do it. It was 17 years later that God called me to write. Congratulations Chrissy on listening to His still small voice and being obedient. Four books in a series in different stages of pre-publishing? Wow! That is wonderful. He is am awesome God and yes, He does provide all the help we need. May He continue to work in your life. All the best with them all.

      May I ask what your books are about? And yes, waiting for His timing is crucial isn't it?

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    2. Thanks for the blessing, Anusha. I am also thankful to have you ask about my book. They will fit somewhere in the Romantic Suspense Genre. Transformation, good versus evil, social justice and redemption are strong themes. I include prayers and God's miraculous answers along with the drama, so that readers can see that God doesn't leave us to muddle on without the help we desperately need. )i(

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    3. Thanks for responding to my question Chrissy. Love the sound of your genre and themes. And that's interesting to hear you offer prayers and God's miraculous answers too. I'm sure God will use them to touch and bless your readers and draw them closer to Him. Very exciting!

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  11. Hi Anusha. Thank you for this wonderful, thought provoking post. Yes, I often hear Our Lord's voice beckoning me, but my own stubborn, human nature, and will to control everything myself takes over. I wouldn't have broken my hand in January if I had been going a little slower, listening to Him, and letting others help. Lesson learned … I hope. This year I shall be endeavouring to complete my long overdue Memoir course, and also Novel Blueprint course. I think (and am hoping) that God would want me to at least finish what I have started. I have also committed to writing a monthly devotional blog post for Australasian Christian Writers, and I have been reading a lot. I am starting to write again, as my healing hand allows. I need to take a break every 30 minutes, and can only do a couple of hours each day at the moment (typing with just seven of my ten fingers) :-) So I shall plod along, trying to keep my ears, eyes, and heart open for the Lord. May God bless you in everything you do Anusha - you do have a beautiful style of writing xo

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    1. PS: I love that final bible verse - Proverbs 16:1-3 (MSG)
      It just says it all :-)

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    2. Hi sweet Jo’Anne,
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I am very glad it resonated with you. Oh Jo’Anne. I am really sorry about your hand – that would have been very hard. I hope it is mending slowly but surely? Sounds like it is a slow recovery and that must make life pretty difficult. Praying for healing. Wow – sounds like a busy year for you dear friend. Well done. I was happy to hear of the monthly devotional post for ACW. So glad you too like that passage in Proverbs. I have learnt, time and time again – that when God over-writes my plans – it is for good. So surrendering and letting Him lead is what it’s all about. What a slow learner I am! Blessings sweet friend for your writing journey in 2019. Praying your hand heals quickly and that it will be a fulfilling year for you on many levels filled with the grace and love and blessing of God.

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  12. Well-done Anu! Thanks for the candied way in which you write! Simple and inspiring and practical.Amalways able to derive wisdom and instruction as Iread your posts. May God continue to use you to encourage and motivate many other's to seek God's direction for their own lives and also to write, so they may reach many others with their own experiences of God and life.

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