A while back, I acted as the builder in an improvement project on our house where, among other things, we added 900 square feet to the existing dwelling. I had never done anything like this before. I learned so much from the two year experience, that it has greatly impacted my life. This is part 2 of what I learned...
The second thing I learned was how to listen to God's voice in day to day things.
Kerri and I had each come to the conclusion that God had pointed us in the direction of doing this addition inexpensively and acting as builders ourselves, so we could stay in the house we loved and afford the extra room we needed. We pulled our own permits and had a builder friend help us with tough problems along the way.
Having no experience in carpentry, plumbing, roofing, etc., I found the need to pray...a lot! One day while I mowed the lawn, I remember asking God about a back deck project and, in particular, how to build steps. (Let me say, that I also bought books on these subjects and studied very hard later on) I hadn't started any projects yet or pulled our first permit, and the prayer was a casual kind of prayer. Kind of like, "God I don't know how to do this. What do I do?" I got a picture of a set of steps in my head that would work in the spot off the deck I needed to fix up, so I bought some power tools and some treated lumber, and built the steps. The job wasn't the best in the world, but it was solid and the steps fit. I built two more sets of steps for two other outer doors using the same pattern and did a better job. Those two sets of steps are still there and sturdy ten years later.
Until the day I prayed that prayer, I hadn't realized that God had been answering similar prayers and I didn't know it--usually He'd do it with an image or an idea. later on I had to build real stairs for the second story of the addition. These stairs I built by studying builder's guides and making my own stringers, but the lesson I learned that first day stuck with me--ask God about tough problems and expect he''ll answer, because He will.
I use the same spiritual technique when it comes to writing books. When I don't know how, I ask Him and look for the answer. Along with being studious and professional, this has helped me greatly in my growth as an author. In this manner writing has become an intricate part of my spiritual journey in this life.