It never ceases to amaze me where inspiration will come from. Something I hear or see can send me off to another place as inspiration for my writing. It can be word, picture, or phrase that prompts me further along in my novel from some of the most unlikely places.
I did not suddenly wake up one day and decide to start writing the Grace Series, but it did happen rather quickly and with little effort on my part in the beginning. For more detail about the beginning of the Grace Series, click here.
Experiences I had begun to weave together to help create Viviane’s story. Different aspects came to me, I’d see something and the story just started to take shape.
You say – How? I know you’re asking!
Flashback to April 2013, I had just gotten a Bible that allowed for journaling. I wanted something I could take notes in, scribble ideas and thoughts, write important tidbits about specific passages from sermons directly into the Bible. Bible journaling was becoming more popular, and I was able to find an English Standard Version I really loved. I remember the next morning staring at the protective cover, excited for the new possibilities it meant.
BOY, WAS I IN FOR A SURPRISE.
The initials in the English Standard Version looked stylized and elegant… almost like a monogrammed initial on someone’s bag. My mother and I sometimes play a game while driving on long road trips. We’d take the letters from the license plate and create a phrase. I looked at the ESV and the name Elizabeth Viviane Stanton unbidden popped into my head.
Not only the name came to me, but facts about her. I knew she was a photographer with shoulder length dark hair and vivid blue eyes that stayed with you long after you stopped looking at her.
Suddenly, her story was there, just waiting for me to write. I asked Mom if she wanted to make a trip to Barnes and Noble. We went later that week and I found a book called Book in a Month. I loved it because it was laid out as a workbook with step by step instructions and lists.
The organization that my soul loves!
A few days before May first, I talked to Mom about writing a book in a month, Viviane’s book. And the rest is history. Restoring Grace, Viviane’s story will be available on August 14th with more Grace stories on the way.
Looking back, God still amazes me with the ways He works. Sometimes I wonder if He sits on His throne, smiling over the breadcrumbs He sends our way. Little reminders that He is in control and He loves us.
I think of the verse in the Bible from Jeremiah 10: 23-24b (Message) I know, God, that mere mortals can’t run their own lives, That men and women don’t have what it takes to take charge of life. So correct us, God, as you see best.
If I followed the plans I had for my own life, it would be VERY different from what I’m doing now. I’d be in a different city, a completely different job, and NOT following the plan God had for my life.
While the path here was rocky and I often fought, kicking and screaming (See POST) – I don’t regret where God lead me BECAUSE IT’S SO MUCH BETTER THAN MY OWN PLAN!
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
I THANK GOD for ordering my steps, making His plans happen, not my own.
I thank Him for saying No when I begged him to stay in Atlanta at my Gables apartment.
I thank Him for saying not yet to my job search until the perfect career came along.
I thank Him for a wrist injury that slowed me down to hear Him place more books in my heart.
I thank Him for telling me to wait until my beautiful home was built – perfect for me.
THANK GOD for the detours, the stops, the steps backward and forward because I want him to direct my path. I know it will be a good path. Not an easy path, not an always fun path, but a path meant specifically for me!
Hopefully, this will encourage you in our own path, designed by God, but sometimes difficult to walk. Know that you are NEVER alone, even with it feels like it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, encouragement and of course, inspiration. It’s there for the taking.
Please feel free to comment if you’ve experienced something similar or are in the midst of a difficult walk right now. You never know when you could be an encouragement to someone else while lifting yourself up!
Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,