It's the Dry Season

“Drought,” my niece said looking out the window of the car as we drove out of the neighborhood. “We’re in a drought.”

“We are?” I looked to see what she was looking at. 

It was just a green field, no brown patches, but I guess it was true that it hadn’t rained in a while. It was the typical spring dry season in Florida, after all, before the daily thunderstorms of summer arrived.

“Drought is one of her vocabulary words this week,” my sister explained.

“Yep, drought,” my niece said, still looking out the window. "D-R-O-U-G-H-T."

Fourth-grade vocabulary words.  

That's one I can relate to.

I’ve felt a little parched too lately.  

And about as inspired and lively as one of those headless statues I saw all over Rome.

It’s hard to write when I feel stressed and wilted and tired.

So I thought maybe what I needed to do to spark some creativity was to read instead. 

And when I say, read, I mean I decided to read more.

I always have a stack of books beside my bed that I'm meandering through, but maybe what I needed was to get lost in some really good books.

So I drove all the way downtown, to the county’s largest library. 

Library at the American Academy in Rome

I roamed over three floors and checked out a huge stack of books. 

Far too many to carry in The Great Gatsby tote bag I brought with me to stash them in as I wandered through the shelves.

When I got home, I started reading five or six to see which ones drew me in the quickest. 

But after a week or two, that huge stack started stressing me out. 

I knew I’d never get through them all, even if I renewed them several times, so I started skimming and reading faster. 

I read while I ate, while I watched TV, and propped a book open while I blew-dry my hair. 

It occurred to me that maybe this reading-to-relax idea was backfiring because I wasn't really feeling refreshed, revived or inspired.

Maybe instead what I really needed to do was just write.

But I had nothing to say. No ideas, no words. 

A writing drought.

But I sat down at my desk anyway and started typing. Anything.

I know that words on the screen trickle into sentences, and even if they don't make complete sense at first, they eventually flow into paragraphs that slowly spring to life.

Because that’s the thing.

About writing, or whatever it is we do with the artistry, talents and abilities we've been given. 

Even when we're depleted and lackluster, they somehow infuse us with passion and fulfillment and life again if we pour out what little we have and offer it up to God, while holding it out to those around us.

Apartment in Rome

Maybe it's not just a blog post.

Not just a penciled sketch or painted picture or a home-cooked meal or another packed lunch. It's not just a spreadsheet at work or another sale closed or the hundredth email returned.

It's more than time spent with a child's geography project or an out-of-the-way errand for a spouse or coffee with a friend. 

It's where our purpose and passion collide in the abundant rushing stream that waters our souls, pours out refreshment, and anchors our roots deep in God's wisdom, knowing we can weather the next drought.

In due season, even though we might not see it yet, we know that God is doing a new thing in us. 

And maybe we can't yet feel the streams trickling toward us that will end our dry season and desert-wandering, but we know they are on the way. 

Just because we can't see the refreshing rain showers from where we are right now, doesn't mean the clouds that will revive us aren't on the horizon. 

Faith is believing in the unseen and the yet-to-come. 

So it rained last Saturday. 

I'd checked the weather just the day before and the forecasters said there was no rain in sight. 

But things can change overnight sometimes.

There were rain showers off and on all afternoon. 

Just when I thought it was done, I got out my patio cushions and sat outside with my laptop, but it wasn't finished yet. 

The raindrops sprinkled on my laptop keyboard and since the sun was still shining, I searched the sky for a rainbow. 

I couldn’t find one, but my view was blocked by trees and the top of my screened patio. 

I felt sure there must be a rainbow somewhere.

Maybe it's just a little further ahead of where my eyes can see right now.

A little note on the photos: the books are from the library at the American Academy in Rome and the garden photos are from Rome's public park, Villa Aldobrandini.

I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart


  1. I'm sorry for your writing drought, Valerie, but it is comforting to know others also experience this! And this: "In due season, even though we might not see it yet, we know that God is doing a new thing in us." I'm holding on to this right now too. I've seen it happen before, so I trust it will happen again. Encouraging words, my friend!

    1. Hi Lois,
      I guess it's so true that eventually all seasons pass and feelings come around again so eventually we know things will change -- for the better, hopefully! xo

  2. So, that's why I couldn't "find" you last're suffering from drought! I loved today's post - I call these ramblings and they are my fave!!! Fonts? I use them all the time even pay the $5.00 / month subscription to get the "premium" fonts!!! I get all my images from pixabay. BUT you have awesome photos... And, OMT, Madeleine L'Engles "Walking on Water" a must read for the creative soul in a drought. Go get it, find some still water, a big cuppa iced tea and languish!!! xoxo

    1. Hi Susan,
      How nice of you to look for me last week! You know, I do have that book Walking on Water, but it's a been awhile since I've read it so maybe I should add it back on my stack! :) xo

    2. Oh yes, highly recommended!

  3. I'm sorry you're feeling stressed, wilted, and tired, Valerie. I miss your posts when you're not here. But no pressure! I know we need to step back sometimes and allow ourselves grace and rest. But just so you know... You always put a smile in my heart and spiritual food in my soul. Headless statues? I wonder what that is supposed to signify? Other than a sign of the lifeless way we feel sometime. I am so encouraged by this truth - "Just because we can't see the refreshing rain showers from where we are right now, doesn't mean the clouds that will revive us aren't on the horizon." Such hope in that! Thank you! Love and hugs to you!

    1. Hi Trudy,
      The tour guides in Rome told us the statues had their heads knocked off when rulers decided Christianity should replace pagan memorials. Not sure how true that is since I'm not sure how old those statues were but there were more headless statues in the Rome Forum too! And thank you for your kind words about my posts. At least I have photos to share even if the words have dried up! :) xo

  4. Girl do I ever know about a dry season!! That's what this whole year has felt like! I love your challenge to just create-- even when we don't feel like it, if we'll just be obedient to the few drops God can turn it into an all out flood ♥. And you are not alone in your stack of books-- I've got a rival one going right now! Hope you are feeling a little more refreshed on this beautiful day! xxoo

    1. Heather,
      So glad you can relate -- is it the year, perhaps? And next year we're due for a sparkling fountain or gushing well of water?! :) A change in the season does help so I'm hoping you're feeling revived over there in Virginia too! And do tell me what books are in your stack? xoxo I'm in the midst of the recent-ish biography of CS Lewis.

  5. So much resonates with me here, especially feeling depleted and lacklustre (my usual state of being!), and still seeking to bring an offering, trusting God to water my soul enough for there to be sprinkles left over to share with others. Maybe we miss a deluge, but I think God continues to point out the puddles in our midst and offer us hope when we are dry and parched. Our souls become refreshed in His presence. Keep on looking for that rainbow, Valerie! I love your writing style (and the gorgeous photos), and despite currently trying to cut down on some of the blogs I follow/read, I am about to subscribe to your site. Bless you, friend! xo

    1. Hi Joy,
      How I love your words that our souls become drenched in his presence - -beautiful! I'm so honored that you'd subscribe and so happy to call you friend! xo

  6. Hello!
    Sorry you are in a season of drought. They are rough. I am more in a stormy season of life. But you nailed it when you said that God is working in us for His purpose. That is something to hold onto, something I hold onto. Wishing you well

    1. Hi Kristina,
      I've been wondering how you are! Hope things are going well as you await your new arrival! xo

  7. Hi Valerie :) so great to read this and connect with you tonight! I missed you last week! i can completely relate to this- as I feel this way now-We have had so much craziness if feels like the words are just choked right out of me. So when last night a huge part of the ceiling in the family room came crashing down revealing 4 small holes in the pipes, I decided my blog post wasn’t going to happen (again :( :( ) I love this line" Even when we're depleted and lackluster, they somehow infuse us with passion and fulfillment and life again if we pour out what little we have and offer it up to God, while holding it out to those around us.” It is encouraging to think that God is at work even when we can’t see it. He is sovereign over all! Thanks for this encouragement! How great that it rained despite the forecast! So thankful for our amazing Jesus who meets our every need! sending hugs xxoxo

    1. Hi Susie,
      Oh my! What a shock for the ceiling to collapse and I hope no one was under it when it happened! I can imagine that your time is being taken up with repairs -- as well as your new puppy! Yet I'm honored that you took time out of your crazy schedule to read here and comment -- you are such an encourager! I'm hoping a season of serenity settles upon your household very soon -- and maybe some well-deserved rest and relaxation! xoxo

    2. Thanks Valerie! maybe its time for some scones and tea-:) wanna join me?! :)(i wish!) xoxo

  8. Dear Valerie,
    I am sorry you are in a drought now--I missed you last week and sent up a prayer for you! Your trip to Rome was full of such beautiful words and photos for sharing! But even when you feel so dry, your words here today have still brought sweet encouragement to me, in my own difficult season! May you be blessed dear friend! xoxo

    1. Hi Bettie,
      That you would offer a prayer for me and come here to read and comment when I read your post about your recent challenges, is encouraging to me! I'm praying that God surrounds you with peace and even joy through this painful time. Thinking of you today! xoxo

  9. I feel ya! There are times I don't have any words. It makes me feel like I have nothing to give, but God must want us to rest in those moments!

    1. Sarah,
      So true! Rest or keep going? It's hard to tell sometimes, isn't it? :)

  10. I love these thoughts, Valerie! These dry seasons seem to be the ones that test our faith and our desire to be close to the Lord -- and it becomes even harder when you see others pour out their hearts and words from the Lord so beautifully. I'm sorry that's the place where the Lord has you right now but I know there are great things coming ahead that are being prepared in this season. I'm praying for you, friend!

    1. Ronja,
      It's true there is beauty in those times that are uncomfortable and confusing because those can be the richest in our relationship with God. Sometimes when we determine to ride out the season instead of hurrying out of it can bring us depth that we never imagined! Love seeing you here! xo

  11. Oh Valerie! I totally understand the dry seasons. Some of the time I write through anyway, but I sense my writing is dry and stale. So glad to know spring rains come eventually! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ellen,
      So glad to see you back here and appreciate how you can relate, too. Sometimes just the effort is worth celebrating, isn't it?! xo

  12. I know I can always count on you for precious encouragement, sweet friend. I love seeing your posts in my inbox, and I usually save them for the times that I can sit down and really savor them and give them the attention they deserve. You never disappoint, and I just thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a faithful encourager and blessing to all who stop here. I also want you to know that the precious, kind words you left at my blog just lifted my spirits and were such a dear blessing to me. May the dear Lord bless you and fill you with everything your heart desires. :)

    1. Cheryl,
      Your gracious words about my posts are incredibly kind! You are the author of some of the sweetest words in the blogosphere and I'm so honored if I can offer encouragement to you! xo

  13. "It's where our purpose and passion collide in the abundant rushing stream that waters our souls, pours out refreshment, and anchors our roots deep in God's wisdom, knowing we can weather the next drought." Very beautiful writing, Valerie! I was just reading this morning how God is working in our resting. and building our faith during those times of quiet. Draughts can be so frustrating! I pray you continually know that God is doing a new thing in you, always. Hugs!

    1. Lynn,
      Yes! Building our faith through difficult times is what makes us stronger and I do think sometimes keeping our faith steady while navigating those seasons is where we can find priceless gems!

  14. Dear Valerie,

    I appreciate your photos and your honest writing style. Glad you kept writing. And I can relate to how a goal with good intent can sometimes swirl off into stress. Your post made me look up Isa. 43:19, which is a promise that was highlighted for me last year when I felt like I was in a drought in certain parts of my life. "Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
    I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert." The interesting thing is that the new thing begins "in the wilderness," and "in the desert." Not where I like my adventures to begin but yet that is often what God does. Maybe He knows something I don't... Thanks for making me think. xoxo and all good things to you :-)

    1. Hi Dolly,
      I love your insight! Yes, maybe the place we think is the desert is really the place where new things start! xo

  15. Drought. Oh yeah, I've been there, too.

    I've found walking away from the computer, shutting it down for a period of time does wonders for my soul, my creativity, my joy, my relationships, my faith.

    We're craving time to live life to the fullest. Not just write about what that might look like.

    Thanks for going there today, friend. Oh so good.

    I hope your weekend refreshes your soul ...

    1. Hi Linda,
      Love hearing how you deal with drought and it sounds just what a wise counselor would offer! Love it! xo

  16. There you are Valerie! I realized some time back that I wasn't receiving email updates from you and I thought I went in and signed up again. Today, when I saw your comment on another friend's post I remembered what I'd been missing. So, to ensure I don't miss out, I've signed up to follow by email, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! Now I need to go and catch up on your posts. ;)

    1. Patti,
      What an encouragement you are to me! I'm so grateful for you! xo


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