Answers in the quiet

quietSometimes it would be nice if we had signposts set out for us. “This way.” “Turn here.” “Left up ahead.”

We might even appreciate, “Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.”

But instead we often feel like Bilbo in the goblin caves.

”’Go back?’ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!’ So up he got and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”

I’ve got my sword (the word of God) and on I trot, but my heart is often all of a patter and a pitter, hoping for some clear direction

Still. The time of quiet. Prayer. Listening. It draws me close to the Father’s heart. Refreshes me. And only one thing to do, go forward. So on I go. Trusting him to open what needs to open. Close what should be closed. Make straight the way ahead.

Jon and I have finished Wonder, our second book in our photo devotionals, the Be Still series. I will step out in faith and do a little marketing for a November release, just in time for the holidays (and various fairs and book events).

I have to say, it’s been an incredible blessing to be able to work with my talented, sweet husband in putting the books together. God revealed to me Jon’s heart through his photographs. When we were dating, Jon put together a slide show (yes, slides, the old slide carousel, and a projector) with piano background music. The slides were his photos, showing God’s creation from sunup to sundown. The pictures provided a glimpse of how he saw the world, a peek into his heart and soul. And I loved what I saw.

Ever since, wherever we lived, we have always found a sunset watching spot and he has always taken pictures. Up until recently, his pictures have lived in a box (pre digital) or on his computer. They captured a bit of God’s creation and gave glimpses of God’s glory and I wanted to share them with others. Thus, the inspiration of our first book, Praise: Proclaiming the Glory of God. I included “Book One” on the cover, as a promise to myself that there would be others. As I sought direction for the second, the Lord brought to mind the many notes I took in a woman’s bible study on Isaiah. I poured over and prayed over the notes, identified twenty-four verses and wrote twenty-four devotionals. Wonder: Contemplating the Mysteries of God slowly came together. But we needed pictures. New pictures. Ones to complement and communicate the accompanying truths.

So we set out on a journey, a trip from Texas, to Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and home again. Our goal, besides visiting places we hadn’t been to, was for Jon to take pictures for the book. Before we left, a sweet friend in my writer’s group prayed that the Lord would show off during our trip. That become our prayer of expectation.

Lord, how will you show up and show off today?

Every day he did. And when I look at some of the photos, and remember the challenging opportunities those days presented, I am amazed (but not really surprised, actually) that they made for some of the best photographs for the devotional.
Of course.

Because isn’t that how the Lord is?

secret gate
“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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2 Responses to Answers in the quiet

  1. Linda Kofke Tuggle says:

    Love this! I have Praise on display on our piano! Thank you for your inspirational gift!


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