The pink petunias in front of me emit an earthy smell. I don’t often write in this spot, but it’s quiet and inspirational. From just inside the clubhouse balcony, I see the lake slightly rippling; sailboat masts stand still. The American flag lazily flaps and occasionally hangs limp. It’s a Saturday afternoon in late July, cloudy, very humid, sometimes cool.
My husband and I spend much time on our boat, or at our marina pool near Lake Michigan’s shore. We have the empty nest; our “kids” are on their own, and we’re pre-grandchildren. My hectic world of teaching long past. My husband still has a “real” job.
Sometimes I guilt myself about not “doing” more, like church and community volunteering. But I realize this is a sacred, privileged time which won’t last. That inner “should” voice wants to torment, but I remembered an important turning point this spring.
My spiritual and writing life took a right turn, as a friend challenged, and spoke words of wisdom to me. Our paths crossed through a unique series of events. She’s my unofficial writing mentor, by the Lord’s design.
As cold rain pelted the windows in April, she said, “Myrna, if you feel God calling, you need to shrink your world, especially while writing this first book.”
She raised her hands, lowering them between us, as if holding a baseball.
“It must be God, your closest family and friends, and your writing.”
Placing both hands over mine, her blue eyes pierced through me like I was transparent. This beloved woman said, “Myrna, you need to follow the call. Take a first step.”
I squirmed because she kept using my name. She asked a very pointed question, “Myrna, what does your devotional time look like?” Cupping my brow, I confessed wasted time on my phone, sleeping in, errands, and scatter-brained rabbit trails. She got dead serious.
This dear experienced author friend was sent to speak the truth in love. She felt led to sacrifice another activity, to allow the Holy Spirit’s still small voice to work into me.
I intentionally took a first step the very next morning. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, my phone is off in the morning until after I have meaningful time with God. The length varies greatly. No matter how long our session is, He redeems the time, allowing me to accomplish necessary activities the rest of the day.
I’ve had “quiet times” most of my adult life-sometimes just another “should.” Because I’m human, I will fail, but God will not. The desire and accountability is stronger. Now I hunger without this food for my soul.
The next step is finding that perfect writing time, being an inspirational writer, who is a late night person.
I love my Lord, my life, my mentor friend, my very supportive husband who believes in me and my writing, best friends, and church friends who encourage. The Holy Spirit will lead in His timing; I just have to trust and obey.