Friday Freewrite: This passion in me.

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!

FRIDAYfreewriteIt’s only been recently that I’ve really gripped onto the idea that I am a creative, that I am a writer, that this is my craft and my art and the thing that I do. I always knew I loved it, but I never really grasped that it defined me and shaped me. It does. It molds the shape of my heart and puts a rhythm to its every beat. It nudges my thoughts into a coursing current of words and phrases and potential blog post titles and rhyming couplets and rambling lyrics. These definitions, these titles of creative and writer, they cultivate in me this thing that I can’t quite wrangle into words. It’s this thing of eyes always open, ears always listening, hand always aching to write, heart always yearning to find meaning. It’s this thing of comparison that sometimes stifles every word that might have come from me. It’s this thing of freedom that liberates my soul to share and open and surrender. It’s this thing of doubt that stampedes over my thoughts with one mighty one: you aren’t good enough for this. It’s this thing of joy that I can’t contain, this thing of intimacy with the most glorious Creator, this thing of purpose and plans and potential. There’s this thing in me, this beast, this passion. It’s my calling, I’m sure of that. It’s at times my burden. It’s at times my very breath and life. There are times where it pushes me into a dark corner, into what feels like a dead end, a place where no words come and no light is in my eyes and nothing flows from my pen. Those times are rich, even when they feel desolate. They cultivate in me a deeply rooted understanding that this is a gift, and it’s not of my own creation. This isn’t of myself. These words may come out of my mouth, but they aren’t my words. They can come and they can go. They are the words of the Author of all, and I’m merely a tool He sometimes uses to craft them and send them out. When the words come, when the ideas flow, when I sail on a breeze, light and free and full of something to offer, I celebrate. When the words are hiding, when my brain is murky, when I battle with the beast of my passion, I still celebrate. I’m a creative. I’m a writer. I’ve been made who I am for His glory alone, come what may.

Devote: January’s reflections on my #oneword365

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There are times where words come easily. They flow from my hand to my pen to my paper fluidly and without ceasing. They are beautiful and meaningful. When I read them back to myself, I am often surprised at how they sound and what they say, having been so engrossed in just getting them on paper that I didn’t even fully know what was being written.

There are other times where bits of words swirl around in my head, and nothing coherent comes from them. I start writing, and stop just as quickly. The thoughts don’t make sense, the flow isn’t there, the unity and purpose is murky and messy and meaningless.

There are times when I start to write, and realize all that I’m saying is an echo of someone else’s words. My sentences are new, my ideas aren’t unique, and I’m just spitting out things I’ve consumed from other places.

Lately, my head has been a jumbled up mess. It hasn’t been pretty; it hasn’t been fun. I’ve felt lost in my own thoughts, racing through tangled webs and mazes of too many concepts and not enough cohesion and clarity. My life is busy, yes, and the tasks on my to-do list seem endless, but isn’t that true of us all, all the time? That can’t be an excuse.

I’m someone who writes constantly, a pen always in my hand, a Moleskine always an arm’s length away, ready to be filled with any rambling thought or flowery doodle. And yet lately, I’ve pushed them away. The date of my last journal entry is days and days past, nothing new filling those grid paper pages I usually love to cover with ink.

How do I get out of that maze of messy thoughts and madness? How do I compartmentalize the many roles I play, so I can be fully present for each? How do I truly devote to each task before me, each relationship, each job, each passion? How do I devote my time to where the Spirit is leading me and not neglect duties and responsibilities and rest and my sanity?

Devote. A word I chose to focus on this year because I knew it would be hard. A word I know requires attention and dedication and intentionality. A word I’m struggling with. January isn’t over yet. The month isn’t lost. I want to be better at devotion, I want this year to start strong to set the tone for the months ahead. Devote. Oh, I want to do this better.

Lord, show me what devotion looks like. Open my eyes and my heart and my life to ways to devote all that I am and have to the things you’ve set before me. I want my life to be characterized by wholehearted devotion in 2014. Show me how.

Introducing Friday Just Write Day

This is a exercise a dear friend once shared with me. Take a few minutes (the length of one song) to write a word for every letter of the alphabet– no hesitation, no debate. Just a stream of consciousness of words. Then, play the song again, and write those words in order into a short story.

I’m going to post one every Friday. Friday Just Write Day. Here’s #1.

 

alone

beloved

creative

destined

eternal

freedom

gracious

homeland

independent

jealousy

kite

lighthearted

majestic

novel

original

purpose

quizzical

roamed

studious

trap

under

voracious

wanderlust

exit

yearning

zeal

 

She was alone in her world, this beloved, creative spirit destined for an eternal freedom she had never been able to comprehend. Her soul was gracious in its humble, quiet way of letting others shine brighter than herself. She always dreamed of her homeland, a place independent of the jealousy in those around her. Her dreams were like a kite to her happiness—a lighthearted escape to a majestic other world where only she existed. There was no shortage of novel ideas in her thoughts—the places she went were her original ones, not schemed up by any other. She knew there was more purpose to life than the way they lived around her. She was constantly quizzical, taking nothing for simply what it was on the surface. She roamed the lands around her, always studious, always seeking. She would never fall in the trap under the spell of their voracious habits. She, unlike they, knew what wanderlust did to the soul. She knew it was an exit from the small world she was in. It filled her with a constant yearning—a zeal they never understood.