Thursday, January 7, 2016

"Where Do You Get Your Ideas?"

Hello and Happy New Year from Renee Andrews :)

One of the most frequent questions I receive when people learn I am an author is: “Where do you get your ideas?” My answer, almost always, is, “I get the majority of my stories from living.”

Many of my stories have been sparked by a conversation, or by something I’ve viewed, or by one of the many life situations I’ve experienced over the years. And I find that the best way I learn to convey more emotion in my stories is to recall the emotions that affected me throughout life. When I write of a small child, I can relate to my feelings toward my sons when they were younger or to my grandchildren now. When I write of death, I recall the whirlwind of emotions experienced when I held my Granny’s hand as she passed on to her reward. When I write of sickness, I think of the family members that have battled cancer.

I also pull from first-hand, not-so-typical experiences, but times when God showed out the way only He can.

With this being the first month of the new year, I wanted to share one of those experiences that occurred on New Year’s Eve where God definitely set His plan in motion to allow us to help one of His children…

On New Year’s Eve, J.R. and I spent the evening visiting with church friends. We wanted to be off the road before midnight, so we left at 10:30, but I forgot my purse, and we turned around to get it from our friends’ home. Then the church youth group needed blankets at their lock-in, so we went home for blankets and delivered them to the group. By the time that was done, it was midnight.

On the way home, we saw a teenage girl standing beside a car on the side of the road and stopped to help. She had run out of gas and was alone, scared and trembling. We drove her to a gas station where two employees were locking up. After telling them what happened, they opened the station and helped by allowing us to purchase gas.

Driving home, I couldn’t help but run through the “What ifs”. What if I hadn’t left my purse? What if the kids hadn’t needed more blankets? What if we’d made it home by midnight like I wanted? What if someone else had seen that girl on the side of the road – someone who wasn’t intending to help her at all?

I don’t know about you, but I believe God indeed works in mysterious ways.  He put each of those events in place and allowed us to start the New Year showing His love to someone who needed help. I pray that God continues to show us—to show all of us—ways to share His love in this New Year.

I have no doubt I will use the emotions and events in this experience as an example for how God sets his plan in motion and how He gives us opportunities to help others the way Christ would help others. Start the New Year showing His love by helping His children.

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