Friday, October 7, 2011

Undercover Journalist, Smart Glasses & A Green Scarf

The past couple of weeks have been less than productive as far as writing, or rather, progress on my current book project. I know it's times like these I just have to keep pressing forward. I often find myself feeling anxious and questioning if I am in the "perfect will of God." I know that being anxious is evidence of worrying about the future and I know what the Word of God says about I am determining to live in the present while trusting Him for what is to come, whatever that might be.

I read something yesterday in one of my small books I keep around for motivation. It said, "God is not a magic 8-ball we shake up and peer into whenever we have a decision to make. He is a good God who gives us brains, shows us the way of obedience, and invites us to take risks for Him" (Kevin DeYoung).

Sometimes living a life of faith requires us to step out of what is familiar and comfortable and believe God for something we could not do on our own. That is risky. At the beginning of this year I determined to be FEARLESS, trust God with the impossible, and step out of the boat.

Part of that was attending my first Writer's Conference in July. It was amazing and I came back full of confidence and motivation.

But something happened.

I think one of the great philosophers of all times has spoken to me once again and shown me the error of my ways (I am talking about Dr. Seuss, of course).

"You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly purch. And your gang will fly on. You'll be left in a Lurch. You'll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you'll be in a Slump. And when you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done."

I'm not sure what a Slump is by definition, but I'm pretty sure I've been in one for a few weeks.

So, in a effort to un-slump myself, I spent a day alone (actually I've been spending a lot of days alone in this season) and went for a photo shoot and a professional journalism task . I sat outside of a nearby Starbucks with my notebook, pen, camera, briefcase and my smart glasses (you know, so I could look like I was doing something important, like say...a job) and took notes as I participated in a little People-Watching.

It can be quite entertaining.

I journaled about individuals and groups as they passed by or sat briefly at the table next to me. It's important to find ways to activate your imagination and thinking. This is a fun exercise. Want to read some of the things I wrote?

Sitting outside Starbucks and each time the door opens I am reminded that a white chocolate mocha is waiting for me inside. But I must put work before pleasure (because I am an important journalist, remember?).

So many varying activities going on around me.

An interview to my left. On my right, two girls and their laptops, a table with two friends sharing coffee, and another table, one woman sitting and one standing, getting in a few last words before life pulls her away.

An employee from a nearby shop sits to eat his sack lunch. I suspect he may be people watching as well.

Where is it that everyone is going?

A newspaper, abandoned and free, waves to those passing near.

A toddler splashes in the outdoor fountain, squealing joy as her hands touch the cool water.

An ATM stands erect, conveniently placed for those too busy to visit the bank.

All around me life reflects minutes, hours slipping away.

I pretend to check messages on my smart phone but really I'm just browsing updated facebook statuses.

The newspaper has garnered the attention of the man with the sack lunch. It is re-purposed as a placemat for a diet coke and what I suspect is a ham sandwich.

My sunglasses are sitting on a book on my table and I can secretly watch people behind me.

I'm undercover.

I have my camera and snap an occasional picture - because that's what bloggers sometimes do. I wonder how many of my new subjects are wondering about me?

The sack lunch man puts the newspaper in the trash and heads back to work.

A mother walking, holding her young son's hand makes me miss Logan.

After writing for a couple of hours, I reward myself.

Before heading home, I find a green scarf and remember I have birthday money left in my purse.

Happy Birthday to me, again. :)

Happy Friday, friends!

Write on fellow writers.

And don't be afraid to take a risk.


5 friends had this to say:

Angel said...

Shelly, I find myself completely charmed by your post. I did a similar exercise at a local Starbucks when I was in a "slump" and it truly is a great spot for people watching.

I enjoyed reading your notes and I like how you rewarded yourself after a successful assignment. Seems you are indeed following the right path.


Anonymous said...

How could someone as terrific as you be in a slump? Keep pressing on my friend! All things are possible as long as we walk in His Spirit.
Enjoy the journey girl.


Brandee Shafer said...

This post had me smiling.

Stacy @ Heartprints of God said...

Soul sisters, indeed...right down to the white chocolate mocha! :)

I love seeing the world through your eyes...and I love seeing Jesus through your heart. Both lift me up!

Thank you, sweet Shelly. Keep on pressin' in and pressin' on. I can't wait to read your book! ;)

"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"

Anonymous said...

This was so enjoyable to read!! What stuck out to me the most was, "Sometimes living a life of faith requires us to step out of what is familiar and comfortable and believe God for something we could not do on our own. That is risky." WOW ~ I needed to read this.....He keeps telling me, "do not fear....I am with you"....and what you stated seems to reinforce His quite whispers to my heart!! Thank you so much for sharing ~ much love ~ alice