Writing is a tough climb. Mental conversations begin. Stop. Turn back.
In the climb, I reach a decision point. This is the point where I need to get clear on what this writing is and why I am writing. The point where I gain clarity on why I am keeping on. A new conversation emerges. Keep on.
My writing is a work in progress. A partnership between this moment and the very next step.
Lean in. Keep on. Build writing wings. Enjoy the energy.
And on that climb I often give my writing a special moment to read a piece of literature that excites my writing practice:
'He listened to her with silent attention, and her ceasing to speak, rose directly from his seat, and after saying in a voice of emotion, 'To your sister I wish all imaginable happiness; to Willoughby, that he may endeavor to deserve her,' took leave and went away. Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
As I enter into my creative space, someone insists on coming along with me. It is never invited and comes in anyway. It is my Goliath. This uninvited visitor is called performing and positioning.
Performing and positioning looks like thinking about the outcome and needing it to look a certain way. At times it feels like I am on stage delivering a line in front of a crowd. Using hashtags to position myself in certain places. Saving ideas, insights, and words for a later day or never. These are just a few ways performing and positioning make their way to my creative life. These have taken me to stuck places and have stopped me, in their own unique way, from doing the work that needs to be done.
So I pray for new insights into how to tackle this Goliath that keeps inviting himself. Today, the insight comes in the form of peacefully fruitful. I want my work to be a faithful and peaceful response to promptings from the Spirit.
My peacefully fruitful insight looks like this today:
the outcome doesn't matter. walk into the unexpected.
i am not on stage. it is a life. a joyful response to the Spirit. my beacon.
hashtags are fun. use them purposefully and sparingly.
saving creates overwhelm. savor and share openly.
Goliath will come with full force or in subtle ways. And because I don't expect him to knock next time, clarifying ways to respond is today's prompting.
When I think about what makes me take a deep breath, it is mostly when it rains and the moment after it rains. There is certain freshness that I want to breathe in. Then I think about how rain makes my heart breathe too and how much it expands.
My heart breathes when I spend time in God's word and his grace. It breathes when I read words that
touch my soul, when the Lord highlights words that comfort and guide- my heart breathes, when I can share my faith in creative ways that extend hope-it breathes, when I dwell in the hope that all is well in the hands of God.........it breathes.
Psalms 147:8 says,
He covers the heavens with clouds;
He prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass grow on hills.
I am intentionally noticing these moments. Releasing those that do not let my heart breathe and making adjustments to moments that are part of daily life that could be more let my heart breathe moments.
Well before dawn. Rising this early for me continues to be a daily rhythm. It is a great opportunity to begin with freshness and goodness daily. I love how slowly the light begins to emerge. There is goodness there.
Several weeks ago I started working through the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Tidying up in categories. Clothes have been sorted, taken through the joy filter, and donated. It's incredible how light it already feels. So now let me backtrack a bit.
In December 2014, the Lord took me to Psalms 147:14. 'He makes peace in your borders; and fills you with the finest of wheat.' It immediately became my guiding verse. The one that took me to my phrase of the year Draw Me Closer. The verse that wonderfully wraps me.
When I had the opportunity to reflect on what project I needed to focus on these next months as part of a beautiful circle of women, my heart eventually led me to my home. The way I needed to begin growing peace in my borders was by creating #homespaceblessings. This is one way to begin making mental and physical space.
1. The clothes have been sorted, taken through the joy filter, and donated. Yay!
2. All our books are stacked up in one area. It is a happy kind of overwhelm. The goal this week
is to take all the books and magazines through the joy filter. I had been wondering about the best way to donate the books. Last week, I received an e-mail from my son's school about the yearly book swap. They will be receiving donations starting next week so it's perfect timing. Any extra books that don't get swapped will be donated to classrooms and a local medical clinic.
The interesting thing about this project is how the concept of tidying up in categories transferred to something much more meaningful. It is already beginning to feel like I entered a doorway to tidy up and fell right into wonderland.
1.Identified 4 top major categories that describe God's leading for me. It all starts here: flourishing assuring rhythm, home space blessings, joy of art making, and essentially storytellers. Let's face it, adding creative language to practices is a joyful process.
2. The next step was to evaluate everything I have going on in all areas and identify 2 or 3 projects that fit the categories mentioned.
Getting rid of the excess or creative overwhelms is huge. Now I can begin to focus on really matters.
It may sound really simple, but I am trying to understand it in my own way in order to follow through.
This is where I am. More importantly, it is an important step to let peace in my borders grow the way God needs it to grow. The way God is guiding me in his own way; in his own timing; in unlikely ways; in unexpected ways is life-changing.
My original plan was to write a detailed story of this new season. The heart whispered 'let's make peace in our boundaries'. Now something I have learned is that God almost always guides me in unexpected ways. Even though I am focusing on these categories for the rest of the year, I am already beginning to feel so much freedom, presence, vibrancy,and surprise.