Written by Barbara Baranowski
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 (KJV)
Like many writers, I dream of writing without ceasing. I have ideas and inspirations to share and words to write before I sleep. Sometimes, though, God has a different plan for me.
We were packing to take a family beach vacation. We had rented a house and were looking forward to spending time with our family, especially enjoying our grandchildren.
As usual, I packed my writing supplies. I fantasized about meditating on the beauty of the beach, walking the sand at sunset with pencil and pad in hand, and dashing off inspirational pieces. Along with family time, I had visualized a writer’s retreat. How blissful. How unrealistic! A retreat doesn’t happen with family, especially children, around. I had prayed for everything concerning the week, except how the Lord would use it from a writing perspective.
After the first day, reality knocked on the door of my sandcastle dreams. I loved being with our grandchildren. I planned out treasure hunts, played games, built roads in the sand, and read lots of books. We watched children’s movies and went shell hunting. The only time I could write was early mornings or at night. That didn’t work. I was too tired from playing to plan an article or write a devotional.
I prayed, “Lord, did you bring me to this lovely spot to hear your voice and apply it to my writing, or do you have another plan for me?”
I could almost hear God laughing as He spoke to my heart, “ Child, sometimes I provide writing time for you, and sometimes I place you in the middle of things to write about. With spiritual eyes watch yourself interact with your family—playing with your grandchildren and teaching lessons about Me from the beauty around you.”
I was reminded that this was not the time to write about adventures with the Lord; it was the time to live them. I could write about them later. Learning the importance of discerning writing “seasons” by listening and being obedient to the Lord is as important as the writing itself.