by robin gayle howard

Category Archives: Listening


How can I sum up what I experienced this past Friday evening and all day Saturday? It was amazing!  I spent this time with a group of talented, dedicated writers who came together to learn more about how to inspire and help others through the written word. And that is exactly what happened.  The Inspire Christian Writers 2013 Write To Inspire Conference lived up to its promises.  (And a huge THANK YOU to Beth Thompson and her team for their work to put this all together)  The speakers, Debbie Alsdorf and John Olson, poured their hearts and passion into all who attended.  Their encouragement brought a great deal of affirmation.  “Become an archaeologist and dig out who you really are.”  When John spoke those words, he spoke about my journey.  The past two and a half years I have been excavating to uncover who God created me to be.  Debbie encouraged us to pay attention to our thoughts and ask, “God, is that you?”  The past year and a half I have been focusing on listening.  That, in and of itself, has been an amazing journey.  There were so many more pearls shared that I need to take a few days to review, ponder, and let it all sink in.  What I took away from this conference was the need to keep pushing forward.  I have been on the right path, and just need to continue persevering.  Learning, growing, and honing my craft.  We were reminded that God is always working behind the scenes.  I can totally attest to that given the events in my life over the past year.  Every day brings a new present and a new challenge.  I am being so stretched, and enjoying every minute of it.  There is so much more to that story and I will bring it to you as it unfolds.  The gravy for the weekend was that I won first place in the children’s book contest.  WooHoo!  I received a very nice prize as well as a critique from Christine Tangvald, author of a bazillion children’s books ( actually more than eighty-five children’s books with almost 3 million in print!!).

So, its back to work on the many stories that have been floating around in my head and just beginning to grow in black and white.

So who are you?  What moves you?  What are you living for?  Walk with me as we all learn to find the answers to these questions.  Have a blessed week!

I have been on a new adventure in listening over the past two weeks and I am more than amazed.  In seeking how to obtain inspiration from the Master Creator in my own creativity,  I came across several books that would aid me in this journey. 

Reading “Finding Divine Inspiration – Working with the Holy Spirit in your Creativity” by J. Scott McElroy, I found the needed tools to enable this adventure to begin.  And what an adventure in this first week! 

Here is a portion of my journal entry that reflects this amazing experience and sorry that it is a bit lengthy, but it all needs to be included:

“Monday, in my listening, one of the messages I felt that came from God was ‘heal the broken hearted–you will know how when the time comes.’  Well, that just seemed unusual for me as I am a therapist and trained to listen to people and help them in healing their heart.  Of course I would know what to do.  But God had a specific person in mind and a specific message to deliver.  And it had nothing to do with my training, and nothing to do with my own understanding of things.  Tuesday morning, my son’s cab driver pulls up a few minutes late and apologizes for crying.  She just received a call from a friend who had a nice dream about her son who was murdered last July!!!  She went on to say how Easter was so hard because it was the first Easter without him.  At that point, I did not remember what God told me to do just the day before.  So, I went into discussing, briefly, how grief is a difficult process and different for every person and it just takes what it takes to get through it.  A short time after she left, I was in the shower thinking about the morning and then it dawned on me.  I finally connected the dots.  God cares about her and it is my job to let her know that.  He cares so much for her that He told me on Monday, had her friend dream Monday night, had her friend call her on the way to my house to tell her about the dream, then had her share that difficult part of her life with me.  Too much coincidence to be coincidental!  I told my husband about this, then purposed in my heart to reach out to her that evening to plan a time together so that I would be able to share this with her. ”

We did meet Friday night!  She was overwhelmed with God’s love for her and said that she really needed to hear this message at this time.   

It is so important to listen and then obey.  What a blessing this experience was!  Even though I had been seeking direction in my artistic endeavors, it was first important for me to see what God was doing around me, hear how He wanted me to help in that task, then to do what He wanted me to do.  I had no idea how she would respond, but that was not my job to worry about that.  God was in control.

Not every day has an experience like this, but each day now begins with the anticipation of listening.