I almost missed my writer’s group Saturday morning. I received a text from my friend Barb asking where we were meeting. I looked at the time on my phone and noticed I was already a half an hour late. I guess she was late as well. Should I skip? It was raining, I was still in my warm pajamas. I remembered how excited I am after each meeting and decided could use a little of that fire. I quickly pulled on jeans and a warm sweater.
We met at Cunningham’s Cafe. I found my name on the wall and pulled my mug off the hook. It’s plain and simple with the word “blessed” etched on the side. I meet at this same cafe every week with my friend Sue. We have been looking for the “perfect” mug to hang on the wall there. I saw this particular one just the week before. I asked to purchase it, but the owner noticed a chip on the side and told me she was just going to throw it away. I asked her not to. I liked the idea of it being a little broken, not “perfect’. It was flawed and blessed just like me.
I walked in the room. The group had already started. I looked around and saw four familiar faces and one new one. I felt the warmth of my fellow writers already in deep discussion. I couldn’t wait to jump in.
Jan sat at the head of the table, she’s a natural born leader. A polished writer that has years of experience under her belt. She offers us great advice as we are all new to this. I cradled my new coffee cup as she shared with us the progress of a book that she is writing. She is well on her way to completing it. We are all excited for her.
My friend Barb read us her poem shortly after I arrived. It was about heroin addiction. You could feel her anger, her confusion and her compassion as she read. I felt chills as she read the ending to us. Unfortunately, I think the poem will hit home to way too many.
The new member that I had never met, passed around copies of two poems she had written years ago. We all smiled as she read them to us. She has lots of experience as well and I look forward to her joining our group.
Faye went next. She joined us for the first-time last month. I liked her right away. She is recently retired and looking to start writing again. She read us an entry from her journal. She warned us it wasn’t polished, that she just wrote down her thoughts. We told her that’s how it works. Just write whatever is on your mind.
Patty is a former librarian. She spent a lot of time around (or should I say in) books, so I’m always interested in what she has to say. She typically writes fiction for us. I like that we all have something different to offer. Her stories always have a twist. I took a copy of what she prepared home with me since I missed her reading because I was late. It was a scary story, right on time for Halloween. I read it the night before and wished there was more. It’s a great start to a cool story.
It was then my turn. I didn’t have anything new to share. I pulled out my pink journal with the works “make it happen”. I try to write in it as often as I can. I flipped it open to an entry about books. How appropriate for a writer’s group. I read them the following…
9.25.18 I want to write every day, but my inspiration is gone. I pray that it returns.
I started reading a new book this morning, “The Worn-Out Woman”. It asked me to write a few sentences on what drew me to the book. (How quickly prayers are answered.) Big surprise, I came up with way more than a few sentences.
I was at the Newman Center’s Annual Book Sale. On my way back from grocery shopping I saw the sign. I told Ben that we had 45 minutes until it closed. He took a break from studying and agreed to take me even though he said it wasn’t much time.
We arrived at the tent 10 minutes later to hundreds and hundreds of books. I wondered how I could possibly even make a dent. I quickly saw that they were organized by category and I rushed over to the religion section. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even glanced at this section, but this day…I was pulled towards it.
I stared at the hundreds of books just in this section. I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer “God, please help me find something to take home…something I need!” I opened my eyes and picked up a yellow bound book titled “Consider the Ant”. The author listed on the side was Bill Blair. I thought to myself “Hey my pastor’s name is the same…could this be him?” Sure enough, when I opened the book and turned to the back, there he was, staring back at me. All of these books and God had me choose that one!
This was a cool game we were playing.
I asked God to help me find another. The next one I picked up was a beautiful blue bound book titled “Happy on Purpose”. The orange flower on the front made me smile and for $0.50 cents…that was cheap joy. I opened that book yesterday. It made me so happy that I even took an activity from it and had our staff send thank-you cards to someone who had helped them the week before. Hmmm…was God trying to tell me something? Maybe I’m not a Payroll Manager but a Team-Spirit Leader? Hmmm… I like it.
Back to the game…
The next book I grabbed was a book for teens. I decided I’d get it for Josh. I nonchalantly gave it to him when I got home. I opened his closed door that he spends most of his time behind nowadays. I throw it to him. I spoke his language and said to him “it may be crap, but it was worth a try for $0.50 cents'”. He shakes his head and says “Cool”. I saw it the next day on his nightstand. Even if he opened it up to read one thing, I will consider it a win.
I was hitting the jackpot.
The next book I chose was “The Power of a Praying Wife”. A wife that prays for her husband is someone I desperately wanted to become. I know that Ben could use a little of this in his life. It is, after all, my job to do this for him. He was now finished scanning the books himself, so he waited for me patiently while I looked at the remainder of the religious section. I wondered to myself if he stood there asking himself ‘why was his wife drawn to this section…when did she become a fanatic?’ I secretly hoped that he had noticed a change for the better in me since my new interest in the subject. I grabbed the book and hoped he would see the title to know that I am on his side.
The five-minute warning was spoken…that brings me to the last-minute find.
A beautiful green book (my favorite color) with a small white flower (I love flowers). “The Worn-Out Woman”. Just what I needed…I have been completely worn out! I sit here this morning with it open in my lap. Just minutes before I opened it, I wrote a prayer. “I want to write every day, but my inspiration is gone”. I open the book and the first activity is … Describe what draws you to this book. Seriously? God knows me too well! I’ll end with a prayer of thanks. “God, thank you for always knowing what I need and thank you for my spiritual gift of recognizing it!”
The ladies in my group smiled as I finished. I realized that they too, were a gift from God. I’m so glad I decided to get out of the comfort of my home and experience the warmth of His love with my fellow writers. Just as my imperfect coffee cup says…I truly am blessed!