Thursday, May 7, 2015

NEED A JOLT OF HIGH-POWERED ENERGY?

Recharging my Inspirational Batteries

By Robin Patchen

I went for a walk this afternoon. Not the kind of thing I generally do these days. Too busy, don’t you know, writing and editing and marketing my latest release. Not to mention taking care of my teenagers, my husband, and my house. Not time for nonsense like dropping everything in the middle of a workday to wander alone in the park.

But I learned something recently, and as I slogged through this afternoon, it came back to me.
I had the privilege of hearing Allen Arnold speak at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference in March. He taught on how to write not for God, but with Him.
Robin Patchen
It was inspiring, to say the least. The entire conference was life-altering for me. Maybe it had something to do with the setting. Mt. Hermon is nestled in the redwood forest of California, just the kind of place that makes my heart sing. I’m a New Hampshire transplant stuck in the lands of high winds and short trees of central Oklahoma. And I love it here—I do. But I didn’t realize until I stepped into the woods in California how much I missed the trees. Five minutes wandering along the rough, dirt-packed path, and I was ready to pick up stakes and move.

My family, not so much.

So I’m back in Oklahoma, back to the grind, trying to remember everything Allen said. His nuggets of truth flit in and out of my day like the birds I watch through my picture window. I ignore those birds as I set my timer and try to work a little harder, a little faster, a little more efficiently. But sometimes, Allen’s words of wisdom penetrate my focused mind. One of points points pressed into me this weekend. This is a paraphrase, but essentially he said this:

God did not give us the gift of creativity so we could create for him. He gave us this so we could create with him. And to do that, we must be connected to him. God doesn’t care about productivity as much as he cares about intimacy.

In all my work, was I intimate with God? Because sometimes for me to feel intimate with God, I need to get away from the laptop and the dishes and the laundry.

So I went for a walk. And I thought and prayed and dreamed and
looked at the beauty around me. No, it wasn’t the wild redwood forest of California, and I wasn’t picking my way along dirt trails. I walked in a well-manicured park along paved paths. But God met me there, walked with me, and filled me.

And you know what? I think tomorrow will be more productive than today was. Because without recharging those inspirational batteries, nothing I write will be worth reading. And even if I do write something halfway decent, if God’s not in it, then what’s the point?

Where do you go to reconnect with God?

Bio:
Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, is available now. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

Finding Amanda links

Finding Amanda Back Cover Copy
Chef and popular blogger Amanda Johnson hopes publishing her memoir will provide healing and justice. Her estranged husband, contractor and veteran soldier Mark Johnson, tries to talk her out of it, fearing the psychiatrist who seduced her when she was a teen might return to silence her.

But Amanda doesn’t need advice, certainly not from her judgmental soon-to-be ex-husband. Her overconfidence makes her vulnerable when she travels out of town and runs into the abuser from her past. A kind stranger comes to her rescue and offers her protection.

Now Mark must safeguard his wife both from the fiend who threatens her life and from the stranger who threatens their marriage.