by Elizabeth Musser
Often when I see a musical, one song will resonate with me so that it replays itself ad nauseum in my brain for days and weeks and months afterwards. Such was the case when I watched the wonderful film Mary Poppins Returns back in February. Here we are at the beginning of May, and I’m still singing, “Count your blessings; you’re a lucky guy for you’re underneath the lovely London sky.”
But I don’t mind.
Everything about the lyrics in this song makes me smile. First of all, the London sky doesn’t exactly have the reputation of being that welcoming for much of the year. But can’t a gray sky be lovely? It’s all about perspective as the song goes on to tell us. When we write, we are giving our readers a certain perspective and hoping that they’ll catch on. Part of that perspective for us as Christian authors is to infuse our stories with hope.
I want to give encouragement to my readers, but sometimes I sense the Lord simply wants my readers to be an encouragement to me. He whispers to me on those days when I’m feeling distracted or uninspired, “Count your blessings and look up!”
As writers, we need to do this throughout each day so that our imaginations which are often creating conflict and angst don’t hijack the joy of the present. It’s a juggling act, isn’t it?
I’m not underneath the London sky, but rather the Lyon, France sky. Under my sky today my grandchildren who live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are frolicking right outside the window of my writing chalet here in France. Aside from making it very hard for me to concentrate on writing, this very experience is a huge blessing that I never even dreamed would happen. So I look up from my manuscript and wave to them and hum that tune in my head.
A few days ago, I was talking on the phone with my father in Atlanta. He told me that his new next-door-neighbor had just discovered that I was an author and that she’d read and greatly enjoyed some of my novels and couldn’t wait to meet me. Look up! That was a fun and unexpected blessing for my father, this woman and me.
This past Sunday at our little church here in France, my husband, Paul, met a young Dutch woman named Judith who was visiting her sister in Lyon where her sister and husband attend our church. Paul mentioned to Judith that we had traveled to The Netherlands often because my novels are published there. Then Paul introduced me to Judith, and I explained that I write Christian fiction. Her eyes got wide when she asked me my name and I replied, “Elizabeth Musser.”
“I’ve read your books and love them!” she said. “And I just bought another of your novels to give to my mother for Mother’s Day.”
We chatted for a while, both of us certainly blessed by that serendipitous encounter. Today I am mailing a few signed name plates to Judith to put in her books and the one she will be giving her mother.
So often we can’t see the impact of our words on others. “Is what I’m doing really making a difference, Lord,” we may ask. Then He pulls back the veil, ever so briefly, and gives us a peek at the lovely sky wherever we are with its different point of view awaiting us if we would just look up. He intertwines lives at the right time so that indeed we’ll be blessed.
My sky today keeps changing from sunny and blue to moody and gray to frivolous with puffy white clouds. I think it is going to rain soon. But I’ll keep looking up. Won’t you, too?Writers, count your blessings even when creating conflict and angst. @EMusserAuthor #ACFWBlogs #amwriting Click To Tweet
Elizabeth Musser writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Her new novel, When I Close My Eyes, will be released in November of 2019. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.