May 03, 2014

How To Live in Breathless Expectation by Janis Cox

Spiritual life is the life of a child ~ Oswald Chambers.


Where am I in my writing? 

I am mid-month of a blogging Sabbath rest. I realized or should I say, God pointed out, that I spent too much of my time blogging. Since I started seven years ago, it is fitting that in this seventh year I take a break. I have had projects on the back burner for far too long because each blog post requires thinking, typing, formatting, picture, Tweetable and then social media shout outs.

What have I learned?

  1. Listen to the Holy Spirit
  2. Slow down to feel His Presence
  3. Follow Jesus by making Him my priority.

Last year I wrote on Sunday Stillness about living a leisurely pace.  Then I forgot to do what I wrote.

When we are rightly related to God, life is full of

 spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.

Where do I go from here?

Since I am only 1/2 way through this process of seeking His Presence I can only say that Jesus IS leading me.

What is my progress so far?

  1. I moved my blog #UTCOP - Under the Cover of Prayer, to my website - He Cares for You - streamlining my life.
  2. I am having my new children's story edited.
  3. I am working on the illustrations for that story.
  4. I am learning to control social media so it doesn't control me.
  5. Whatever I "plan" for the day I leave open to the Holy Spirit changing that plan.

As I do these things I know that I work better, and calmer but with the spontaneity that Oswald Chambers talks about.
To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness. It should be rather an expression of breathless expectation ~ Oswald Chambers (emphasis mine).
I can only answer a few questions about my work in progress.

I can tell you that the story is more involved than Tadeo Turtle. It is still a picture book with watercolour illustrations but it is not written in rhyme.

Here is a short excerpt from the middle of the story:

So the years went by and the news of his tremendous gift spread outside the kingdom of Thrim. One day a man named Duff entered his shop. He admired the dolls that Yoj had created. He told him that he could make him the most famous doll maker in the world. He filled Yoj’s head with plans of expansion and lots of money.

Yoj was intrigued. Could life be even better than this? He listened intently to all that Duff told him. He didn’t take the time to ask his friends. He didn’t even ask God what He thought of his plan.

Before anyone knew what had happened, Yoj had closed his shop in Hearts Delight and moved out of the Kingdom of Thrim.

Yoj and Duff traveled for many months through different lands before they arrived in the city of Grimness in Shadow Land. The city was full of people, houses and businesses. Smokestacks dotted the sky. A light grey haze covered the sun.

Immediately after their arrival, Duff took Yoj to a large, grey, four-storey building. He put him into a small office that had a tiny window overlooking another larger grey building. There were no trees or plants anywhere. No one had the time to plant or care for them. ...

Sharing one of the watercolours I might use.

You can find me on Twitter @authorjaniscox ; on Facebook AuthorJanisCox; and Pinterest AuthorJanisCox


Are you uncertain in all your ways - and happy about it? (tweet this)

Do you live in breathless expectation to see what God will do today? (tweet this)

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator
Janis Cox
Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.
Janis is the author of the award winning children's book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.


  1. how wonderful that you are taking a sabbath rest from blogging. May god bless you because for this obedience. I love the watercolor, too. The reds are so vibrant and I love the whimsy and the pattern

  2. Thanks for sharing your progress on your sabbatical month where you are seeking God's presence. Your progress so far is wonderful. I appreciate what you are saying about controlling social media so it doesn't control you. I also appreciate your attitude of making your plan for the day, but being open to the Holy Spirit changing that plan.

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful examples, and congratulations for moving ahead on you new children's story. What an intriguing character your artwork displays, Jan!

  3. Thanks Tracy and Sharon,
    By taking the blogging Sabbath sometimes I feel detached from the energy I get through other writers. However, the enormous strength and vision I get through our Lord more than makes up for that loss.

  4. Janis, I just love your art! I am so glad you share it with us on your posts!

  5. Oh Miss Jan. Your motivation is pure and your enthusiasm contagious. I am intently curious about your new book. Sounds totally different than Tadeo! Can't wait. Blessings. Thanks for sharing a little of your writing journey. xx

  6. Glynis and Ramona,
    Thanks for the comments. I love sharing my artwork. As I feel more confident (just like my writing) it feels good to share.

  7. Janis,
    I enjoyed your excerpt. And yes, it does sound different than Tadeo Turtle. And I pray that your sabbath rest really will be a wonderful one for you.

  8. Thanks Connie,
    I will keep praying and working and see where God leads.

  9. Sounds like a fascinating book and the art fits the mood and scene very well. I sure know what you mean about trying to control social media time, and I'm not even on Twitter yet! I wonder if it's something that we can grow into, like people must have had to when telephones first appeared in the home? :D

  10. Eleanor,
    Thank you for the lovely comment about my story. And as for social media - I think it is more a timing thing. We can only spend so much time on it - then stop. But if we behave like teenagers did with the telephone and now cell phone - then we will be trapped.

  11. I love analogies like this, Jan. Your watercolors will add so much colour and whimsy! God's best to you in this project!
    Pam Mytroen

  12. Pam,
    Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.