A photo from the back of a woman gazing toward the ocean with the word "Idea"

@JeanneTakenaka

In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life. 

As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing-life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.

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One of the biggest reasons I was never brave enough to write a book was because I had no idea what to write about. From the time the initial desire, when I was a teen, to weave a story on the page until my early forties, I struggled with the idea of writing a book. 

As a teen, I wrote poetry. I journaled a ton, and most of those words came through the filter of experiences or events I was trying to understand or/and remember. But writing an actual book? I wasn’t brave enough to even pray about that . . .

a photo taken from the back of a man and woman holding hands

Until Hubs and I attended a marriage retreat. That weekend, a couple shared about the correlations between ballroom dancing and marriage. And it was like God was saying, “Are you listening, Jeanne? Here’s your heroine’s name. And ballroom dancing is the vehicle for the story.” I straightened in my chair, scribbled down the ideas that filled my mind, and my heart beat out a crazy rhythm. 

I was out of excuses. 

A woman typing on her laptop

The idea marinated in my heart and my thoughts for a couple of weeks before I even shared it with my husband. Excitement pulsed beneath my every thought. I wanted to write, but how did one go about writing a book?

A simple conversation with an author friend spurred me on the journey to learning how to write a novel.

God’s timing is always perfect. Long after I had given up on the idea of writing anything besides journal entries, He resurrected the, “Maybe someday . . . ” that lingered at the outer edges of my heart. 

A paved path through the woods with sunlight casting shadows through the branches

At the right time, God sprinkled the seeds of that book idea into my thoughts. I wasn’t looking for it. But, for whatever reason, He showed me writing a book was the next step in my life journey. 

The idea had to come from Him because I would never have been brave enough to step out and ask, “How do I get an idea to write a book?” I‘d have continued to sit on that desire, live my wife-mom-busy life and always wonder what it would have been like to really write.

A country road with trees on one side, a field on the other and mountains in the distance

Sometimes, God uses ideas to nudge us forward, to spur us to action. Other times, He uses them to change the direction we’re traveling in. 

One thing I love about God is that, when He gives us a calling or a responsibility—especially one that requires faith in order to fulfill—He offers us all that we need when we need them.

When I began blogging, I had no clue where ideas for blog posts would come from. And yet, here I am, six years later and I’m still sharing weekly posts.

A narrow path leading around a large rock on one side and a forest on the other

As a writer and blogger, I often feel like I’m at His mercy. If He doesn’t show me what to write about, I’m sunk. He has a way of showing me where to look for inspirations for writing. 

Sometimes, I have lots of topics to write about. I also have dry seasons when I find myself begging Him for inspiration for the next blog post . . . the next scene for my book. 

The thing about being at God’s mercy is that He always meets us where we are. 

When we choose to depend on God—to ask Him to walk alongside us—He provides what we need. 

A meme with a picture of a bridge going over a creek and the words, "When we choose to depend on God—to ask Him to walk alongside us—He proves what we need."

Often, we must cultivate the habit of looking around. 

We need to pray for His perspective. 

I’ve found when I look beyond my way of doing things, my expectations, He surprises me with a fresh perspective.

This is true in writing and in life. When I’m struggling in a relationship, I ask Him to help me see that person through His eyes. When I’m open to seeing them as He does my heart has greater compassion for the other person. 

A man and a woman walking with a small child, the woman holding the child's hands

When we choose to be brave, to place ourselves in a position of dependence on the Lord, He opens our hearts in ways we never could have expected and often takes us to places we never could have imagined. 

What about you? What helps you find ideas for the things you’re working on? When has God surprised you with an idea?

***I’m taking a short break next week to spend some time with my family, but I’ll see you back here in two weeks!***

Click to Tweet: I’ve found when I look beyond my way of doing things, my expectations, He surprises me with a fresh perspective.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

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