Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roadblock Or Opportunity?

This weekend was supposed to be my big writing weekend. I had planned to get a ton of book #3 accomplished, and I was looking forward to being able to make great strides in the story. It was a well-planned, much anticipated few days... and then I injured my back.

I have no idea how. There was no moment of, "Oh, now I've done it." There was no slip or fall or over-long shopping trip in too-high heels. But that didn't matter because I was limited to two relatively comfortable positions, nonetheless. So instead of hours of productivity, I ended up with hours in bed, dependent on a heating pad and Advil.

It took me a while, but after a little quiet time before the Lord it hit me... maybe I do know what caused it. After all, there's something to be said about a weekend of forced relaxation. Sometimes we're just so busy, so focused on our goals, that we don't listen to what the Lord is trying to tell us. We don't take the time to sit still and listen, to read His word, to pray over our problems and concerns, to worship.

So sometimes He takes us out of commission. Physically, our goals become out of our reach, and all our well-intentioned plans fall by the wayside. That was my weekend. I got absolutely no work done at all. And the way my back is hollering at me right now, I'm sure I won't get more than this blog done today, as well.

But this is no slump. The Lord blessed me with His presence in wonderful ways this weekend, and I'm incredibly grateful that He chose to force me there. I only wish that wasn't necessary; that I could remove myself from the hectic pace of life voluntarily and sit before Him willingly.

So if you find yourself struggling physically today, maybe you're being called to rest, too. Try not to look at your circumstances as roadblocks but as opportunities. Anytime we can take a vacation from life to bask in the renewed life only God can give, we start to see the world differently. God's perspective seeps into the picture and the daily tasks don't seem so daunting.

I probably won't be able to get back at the computer for a day or two more, but you know what? The story will still be there for me when I get back. And the likelihood is, it'll go from my head to my keyboard a lot more effectively. Because God is the master of perspective and ability, and the more time I spend in His presence, the more they're bound to rub off on me.

And I figure I could use all the help I can get.


Blakelyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your back! But I like your attitude and I agree with it 100%.

My mom is the ultimate workaholic - if she's not AT work, she's working at home, cleaning, washing clothes, cooking, working in the yard...she's always doing something, and she hardly ever sits down to rest. But about 5 weeks ago when we were in Texas, she broke her right foot. Not only did she break her right foot, but she severely sprained the left one. For the last 5-6 weeks, she's been forced to stay off her feet, and I think it has been God's way of telling her she needed to take a break. She still cooks and cleans, but now it is from the comfort of her wheelchair. Her pace is a bit slower and she's been forced to just relax.

Ethan M. said...

Ouch! Yeah, I pulled my neck out a week ago and was out of commission for a few days. Sorry 'bout dat.
Anyway I started Cottonwood Whispers. Thanks for the ARC. I don't know how you do it Aunt Jen, your just simply amazing. I've read a lot of books, classics to modern, and I've never seen an author who can express their characters so well. Even while reading the Left Behind: The Kids series by Jerry Jenkins (which I'm reading right now, yet stopped to read Cottonwood Whispers) I have trouble picturing the characters. It's much easier in the Fireflies series. The way you write in the southern drawl, or Mr. Poe's speech, it all makes for such a charming and absorbing experience that makes it painful to put down. At 11:00 at night I had to force my self to put it away. This book is shaping up to be even more spectacular than the first. And THAT is truly a difficult feat.

Jennifer Valent said...

Oh, Blakelyn, I'm so sorry about your mom. It's so frustrating to have something like that happen anytime, much less on vacation. Please wish her well for me.

Ethan, you're making me blush! I'm glad you're enjoying it, but if you get in trouble staying up too late, don't blame me. :)Love you!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

I've got to agree with Ethan. You've got a rare gift with characters, Jen.

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks, Lori! It's not a bad job being able to make up imaginary people for a living!

Ethan M. said...

GACK! Don't say imaginary! Takes the magic away.
So I finished this book called Cottonwood Whispers. It's by some girl named Jennifer Erin Valent. Yeah ya'know, nothin' too fancy. Just begs the title "one of the best books on planet earth" or "pure literary genius," ya'know, somethin' humble like that.

Cristi said...

Ethan, I agree. I thought Cottonwood was better than the first too (and I thought Fireflies was great!)

Jennifer Valent said...

Okay, Ethan, I'll never be able to live up to your descriptions! But, you can keep saying stuff like that if you want to. :)

Thanks, Cristi. That's what I was hoping for!

Ethan M. said...

So what your saying is you'll never live up to the truth, huh? Suit yourself!

C.J. Darlington said...

I hope you're feeling better!

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks, CJ. I'm gettin' there!