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Writing and Dishes and Blossoms and Faith {Writing Life}

washingdishes

I’ve been distracted from my novel these last few weeks. There’s a list of reasons in my brain, and some of them are real. Yesterday, I decided to do something about it. Did I put my bottom in my chair and write no matter what? No, although that is often the best option. Instead, I washed dishes by hand. Because the dishwasher (my favorite kitchen appliance) was full of clean dishes, and I didn’t feel like emptying it. And because sinking my aching hands into the bubbly warmth is good for me (osteoarthritis). And because one of my favorite authors said…

“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” Agatha Christie

Feeling better, but still overwhelmed by this non-writing jag, I peeked in my office. That room is one of my favorite places, but instead of sitting down, I grabbed my camera and went outside. Our green and yellow John Deere Gator was gassed up and ready to roll. With the gear shift in the forward position I prayed, “Please let me see something that will take my breath away.”

Immediately, my eyes were drawn to the pansy I planted in the rotting nook of a tree. What a great way to start a day and a ride!

pansy

Assuming the moment had already arrived, I took off at a pretty brisk pace. Even with bug spray on, the mosquitoes and flies were enjoying my blood.

I stopped on the way for a moment because I think blooming grass is beautiful and snapped a picture. Snuggled into the blossoms was a bug – one of the few not fighting for position on my skin. For a moment, I watched two mosquitoes fighting over the same tiny place on my right arm – really! At just the right second, I squished them both. It was sort of a victory moment, and I felt a little bit like The Brave Little Tailor (played by Mickey Mouse) might have when he killed seven flies in one swat! Yes, I smiled. Big.

bugbloominggrass

I looked across the gravel drive, and there was a bit of stately elegance in the ditch.

beautyintheditch

Not ready to end my ride, I turned the Gator toward the path that leads to our pond that is more of a bog. It was strangely quiet there. The bullfrogs usually try to out-sing the throaty song of the Gator’s engine, and the birds usually join in. Other than gnats, mosquitoes, and horse flies, it was quiet. Sitting in the solitude, I wondered if they knew something I didn’t. Maybe there was a coyote nearby or a hawk watching for its breakfast. Or perhaps the nearly silent moment was a gift. I prayed again, “Lord let me see something I’ve never seen before. Intent on finding what that might be, I looked into the foliage inches away from my knee, and there it was; in the crease of a leaf…tiny pieces of storm debris.

debris

Satisfied and more than a little thankful, I backed the Gator up for the last part of my journey back to the house. I was mostly grateful, but did mention to my Creator that although I’d seen some neat things, nothing had taken my breath away, and I asked Him if I was taking His gifts for granted. If so, I was very sorry.

Then…it happened. My breath was gone. I stomped on the brake, shut the Gator off, and jumped out of my seat. I stood in the grass gazing at the answer to my first prayer as the morning dew soaked into my shoes and cooled my feet. Nearby, a cardinal sang. Then a red-black bird joined in. And the frogs. Oh my.

I took a deep breath when a horsefly burrowed into my hair bit me. I smashed him against my skull – something a former city girl like me would not have done, but the country girl in me is fine with because when nature is mean, you do what you have to do. His nasty-to-me act reeled me back and I knew it was time to start my day for real. To do stuff. Just before I did that, I was given this bit of radiance. . .

lightlily

I drove to the house assuming a lot of words would flow from my mind to my fingers – maybe a couple thousand. Instead, there was coffee to drink, a journal to write in, dogs to walk, and bug bites to scratch. And a tender, but sad talk with my mom, sorrows to ponder, a headache, more prayers to utter, and some tears.

All of that was gently wrapped up in a moment where God used a lily to take my breath away.

What about the words? Today is a different day. Infused by His goodness to me yesterday, they have arrived and are racing around in my brain ready to escape through my fingers on the keyboard and onto the page. It’s a writing day!

What a difference dishes, blossoms, and faith can make if one lets them.

Until Next Time,

Joy

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