The Outdoor Alternative to Starbucks

by Faye Wilson Walton


“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want”

(Philippians 4:12, NIV).

“Stay home,” our governing officials advise us, lest we contract the Coronavirus. While others have vented their woes about what they can’t do—until further notice—I imagined what I could do, what I could write.

Over the past year or better, I’ve gone to either Starbucks or Panera on Saturday mornings. Due to another commitment I’ve had for a few months, I hadn’t been able to do either. I thought I’d be able to cope well not being able to take my “little vacation.” Besides, I don’t need another tall mint-java-chip-frap or bagel, after all.

I rethought this on a Saturday afternoon while on my back porch reading a book. Earlier that morning, I attended a Word Weavers meeting via Zoom, a virtual meeting. As could be expected after interacting with other authors, I was inspired.  I wanted to move the plots of my works in progress forward. However, I couldn’t do it: I’d been staring at the same wall and sitting at the same desk too long. I needed a change of atmosphere. Where could I go? I could see it right in front of me—­a park.

I sprang up from my lounge chair and packed my backpack with my journal, my writing notebook and a few pens. With my backpack strapped on my back, I marched across the street and found a place to sit. The sunny but slightly chilly day and the fresh air allowed me to finish writing in my journal (four pages later, front and back).  I also continued my work on the outline of one of my many works in progress.

How are you coping with this pandemic? Have your creative juices been flowing, or do you have relentless writer’s block? Are you closer to finishing a first draft of a novel, or do you still have a blank page?

Father, I thank you for being faithful to meet all our needs and our heart’s desires. Help us to rely on you in every season, in every detail of our lives. Help us to prosper during this pandemic and to strengthen our bodies and minds. Amen.



Faye Wilson Walton is the author of Crawling to the Light, Wise Turned Foolish and Active Waiting. Her hobbies include running, swimming, journaling, reading a variety of books, and playing drums. She and her husband David live in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can follow her on and

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