The first Friday freewrite: Bare but beautiful

If you have no idea what this whole “Friday freewrite” deal is, read this post. And then come back here, and read on. If you want, you can even join in, too. Happy Friday!

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Driving home a few nights ago as the sun was fading out of the sky, I was in awe of the stark beauty of winter trees against the streaky, watercolor sunset. When the sun is almost out of sight and the clouds are illuminated with colors so vibrant and rich, the silhouette of the trees is bold and beautiful. The branches are bare, no leaves to hide the setting sun from view, just dark shoots of wood in harsh lines against the soft sky.

We are those trees. There are seasons of our lives where we are barren. We feel stripped of the things that make us beautiful. We feel dead, naked, exposed, far from our fullest potential.

But it isn’t about us. It’s about the radiant, glorious Light of all the world. It’s about not just the sun, but the Son of our living God. And when are lives are seen up against His, it isn’t the nakedness and the bareness of our lives that stands out, it’s the radiance of His shining through us. It’s a season where we feel like we aren’t offering the world much, we aren’t bearing fruit, we aren’t seeing the growth, but He is using those times when there is less in the way competing for His attention, and He is shining unbelievably through us. Can you picture that?

It’s not about us. It’s not about our best efforts and our best fruit and our best seasons of growth. Those make us who we are, yes. But our life has always come from the Son, like a tree’s life has always come from the bright and shining sun. Our growth has always come from taking root in Him. Our beauty has always come from His beauty radiating out of our souls. Our light has always been a tiny flicker of His mighty fire.

Our dead branches stand out in stark contrast against His beauty, His glory, His perfection. But that contrast is what makes us human, what makes Him divinity. We are His, and He makes us glorious when He shines through us, even in our seasons of winter.

Introducing: Friday freewrite

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Loyal friends and followers, and anyone else stumbling on to this blog, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You ready? Here it is: my life is very busy. It’s not an excuse, I don’t want to be consumed by it, and I’m not glorifying it. What I doing, however, is giving myself a little room for grace, and a little room to grow.

Thus, the “Friday freewrite” was born. Every Friday, I’ll post a blog aptly named “Friday freewrite”, and it will be the result of a fifteen minute (no more no less) outpouring of all the chaos and art in my head into a post. No edits, no revisions, no thinking, just writing. It may be awesome, it may be awful, it may make no sense. But every Friday, it will come. It’s my hope that this practice will help challenge me, will help lighten the burdens of perfection that I too often carry, and will help empower me to say what’s on my heart, nothing held back.

It’s also my hope that you’ll join in. If you’re a blogger and you know what it’s like to carry a mix of tangled blog ideas in your brain at all times, let’s do this together. Friday freewrite will be more fun with friends!

Steal my images, plop them on your post, give me a shout, and let me know you’re in. Let’s freewrite on Fridays. Let’s be genuine, let’s pour our words out with no hesitation and just see what comes.

See you on Friday!