Friday 7 July 2017

When life intervenes

I am sure many of you have experienced times in your life when, for one reason or another, writing has had to take a back seat. We may want to lock ourselves away and get on with our work in progress, yet other responsibilities or life events intervene to make that impossible.

Towards the end of March, my husband and I went away for a few days, to enable some much-needed renovations to be done to our old house. We arrived home to a new, almost completed kitchen—but also found a letter, telling us a three bedroom unit had become available in a nearby Village complex. We decided to take it—it was just what we wanted.

That same week, our house went on the market. Eleven days later, without our planned auction ever taking place, it sold.

On 26th May, we moved into our lovely unit, after two hectic months of sorting, packing and cleaning. Then we busied ourselves unpacking everything, exploring our new environment and shopping for various household items. It was exhilarating to be able to create a pleasant, new living space and especially to see my new study take shape, just as I wanted it. I enjoyed it all.

But now at last, I am beginning to feel I can allow myself to remember I am a writer! Yes, speaking in various places and minding grandchildren continue apace, as they have throughout our move, but I know there will be those available hours ahead when I can again let the words flow and endeavour to shape them into a novel.

Yet, even in the midst of all our comings and goings these past months, I did not stop writing completely. At the outset, I made the decision to continue my weekly personal blog because, after all, it was not as if I had nothing to say. Everywhere around me, God seemed to have caused so many things to fall into place. And I wanted to share my joy in it all and the lessons I was learning, hopefully blessing others in the process. I also kept on writing in my journal about things that impacted me from God’s Word and from life in general. I knew I had to keep that God connection firm and sure, through all the changes in our lives, and allow God to unfold things at just the right pace.

All these recent experiences of mine have caused me to reflect more on this challenge to writers to keep on writing. Things happen. Life intervenes. And, in the midst of it all, we can get so frustrated, unless we remember that nothing takes God by surprise and that God has not forgotten us. It can be a struggle, can’t it, to find time to let those creative juices flow and not to give up the whole enterprise? But in these times, let’s take a step back and remember we belong to an amazing God who holds us close through it all and will direct our paths, watching over us all the way. And ... let’s keep on writing too!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.   Proverbs 3:5-6
Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and two non-fiction works, ‘Soul Friend’ and ‘Becoming Me’. Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and four grandchildren. For more information, please visit


  1. I identify very much with your thoughts here, Jo-Anne. For me the last couple of weeks has been a bout of one of the "winter ills". This has meant my writing schedule, such as it was to start with, has been thrown into turmoil. However, I am beginning to see that as always EVERYTHNG in my life is in God's marvellous timing. In a very personal way, this is where Proverbs 3:5-6 always comes true in my life circumstances. Thank you once again for this timely post.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mary. I hope that is the end of those winter ills for you, although I can well imagine how cold it must be in Tassie right now! And I hope you are soon able to get back to that writing and editing you hope to do.

  2. Thanks Jo-Anne. I've enjoyed reading your blog, and being regularly reminded about God's faithfulness. How good to remember to 'snuggle up to God' regardless of the season we're in. And how good to have a lovely organized study to enjoy!

  3. I'm glad you have enjoyed travelling with me via my own blog on my journey of moving house, Carolyn! And yes, I do love my study, with the morning sun shining in as it is right now and the green shrubs outside my window.

  4. A very timely post as I've struggled to find writing time over the past six months. Thank you.

    1. I feel for you, Nicki, in that big hiatus in your writing, but, you know, it probably won't look so big down the track a bit. And perhaps those plots are being refined in your head during this time as well, even though you haven't had time to put it all into words on the screen.


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