Worship, Create, Dream

Be free to Worship God. Create with abandonement because He is the Creator. Let's discover our Dreams together.


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CAN YOU CELEBRATE WHEN YOU CAN’T WRITE?

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Fluffy clouds, Warm sunshine. The children are napping or possibly in school. Maybe there are no children at home. Maybe you are at an age when as an empty nester, the house seems quieter and your time is more your own.  A slight breeze is wafting through an open window.  Your favorite beverage is sitting next to you on an uncluttered stand. The gentle aroma of a sweet cinnamon candle is slowly burning.   Your computer is open or the blank sheet is laying bare, ready for the next fantastic creative notion to flow and ————

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          WHAT HAPPENED?

NOTHING!

That’s right. You look at your page or screen with a blank stare on your face. Picture one of these:

  • A scrunched nose with eyes staring into the sky looking for inspiration.
  • Pursed lips with eyes roaming back and forth as if searching the room for a clue.
  • The pen tapping on the empty page for a secret code you are trying to understand.
  • A cocked head leaning on a raised hand gazing past the windows, hoping a word will pop into your head getting the creation on a role.

Ah the life of a writer!

Why do we put ourselves through this type of endeavor over and over?  Isn’t there an activity, a pastime to keep us occupied which would be less agonizing, frustrating?

Possibly.

 As a writer, there is something inside which says we are to at least try to put pen to paper, tap words on the screen. It is our duty. An inner calling. We must express.

Does agony rise up when all is prepared and there is absolutely nothing inside to flow.  An emotional trauma has sideswiped the words right out of you. Can there be other unknown reasons  your regular word stream has met a dam?

You have crashed and burned with nothing coming out.

Can you still celebrate when you can’t write?

This is the time to be part of a writer’s small group. I belong to two. One is a small group at our church called the :

  Duluth Vineyard Writers’ Studio

I also belong to an online writer’s group :  hope writers¹

 

There is a difference between only reading about a situation and being surrounded by people with a similar vision wanting to help me succeed.  The main goal in the two group I belong to is to create and help each other use the gifts God has put inside us.

Even though both groups have a different approach,  if there are  problems and the words for creating will not come, the doors to the inner barrier are gently met,  with support and encouragement and if wanted, prayer.

Can you celebrate in who you are even when no words come to the surface?

No words are coming!  I claim to be a writer!  If I cannot write, who am I?

As a Type 4 in the Enneagram, I am given to a wide range of emotions.   Can I celebrate who I am as a Child of God when words are not coming to the surface?  Type 4’s have a  Primary fear of being unnoticed.2  If the words do not flow, or the outcome does not reach an expected bar,  can I still celebrate in who I am?  If I have nothing to write, what will I have to post?  If I don’t post, how will I get read? If I don’t get read, I will be unnoticed. A vicious cycle.

To add to the emotional battle there can be SHAME. As a Christian writer, there seems to be this idea stating :

I have to have it all together.  I am the author people are reading and looking to for guidance.

If there are no words, there must be something wrong with me. I am not doing what I am suppose to, but who can I tell?  😦

Writing is truly a community effort.  If these little lies, (yes, the previous statements are lies) make so much noise yelling at how bad a writer I am, I also hear the words ” you are a  bad person”.  I am surrounded by friends who know me  I  have been really honest in my fear. I  am secure enough to share my dreams. They in turn are authentic with  support and guidance and prayer in my time of uncertainty.  It is the care I need keep me going in a healthy manner.

These are the words I hear and  can celebrate:

You are  a Child of God- He made you  a Creator.

              You are a Child of God- He made up a Writer.

                             You are a Child of God.

                                     Can you celebrate in you when you cannot write?

Be free to create.

Reading and researching gives helpful tools on this journey. Realizing experienced authors go through the same pain and frustration you are going through. It can help you feel less isolated in your battle.  (here is a list of my personal favorite right now: Emily Freeman, Luci Shaw, Ann Voskamp, Madeliene L’Engle and Anne Lamott).

Do not make your writing a Lone Ranger affair. There are many personal ways of support to help you celebrate in you when you can’t find the words.

This blog is meant as one of those places. I would like you to feel this is  a place for you to share thoughts, dreams and hopes for your creating.  I do not have all the answer, but I can encourage you to follow your dreams as I am following mine.

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Be

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!


  hope*writers

2    Marylin Vancil, Self to Lose Self to Find  ( A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types),  (Enumclaw, WA: Redemption Press, 2016), 104.


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The Joy of The Lord is Your Strength.

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 Chaos bounces from place to place , with no respecter of persons as it destroys and  takes it’s victims. How can one celebrate? Does creativity truly and  honestly  reflect hope when surrounded in a shroud of hopelessness?

If you create with paint or  in clay, how would you express the scene from this book in Nehemiah from the Old Testament?

The Law of Moses had just been read by Ezra the High Priest to the Israelite people.  The Temple wall was was rebuilt. It was a joyful time of celebration. New Beginnings. The Jewish people were in exile for 70 years. No physical or spiritual connection to God.  Their temple was destroyed. They felt abandoned. They painfully  knew previous choices from their ancestors caused there own abandonment.

 Finally, a long awaited physical connection of the reconstructed wall was completed. A spiritual connection was attempted in reading the Sacred Texts. The initial response was not filled with joy.

 “ He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square”…Ezra read the Law of Moses.

How could they rejoice? So many laws to keep and they felt so weak.   Depression, despair and dejection covered them like a blanket, questioning how to respond.

Nehemiah (the governor)  and Ezra would have none of this. They heard the same words  but their hearts received  something far different. God was not giving His people simply a set of mere rules to follow.  These were tools to create a connection for building intimacy. This intimacy would go from people to people and from His people and Himself.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. (NIV)

Nehemiah and Ezra knew, this people would never be able to accomplish the requirements  on their own. That did not stop Nehemiah from going forward. He commanded this day to be one of celebration. Was the governor being heartless, uncaring? No!  Nehemiah stated truth:

“Do not grieve for

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH”.

 

As the Jews embraced the reality of their freedom from the burden of carrying the law on their shoulders, they received joy.  They understood it was not in themselves where their strength was found  but in the strength of the Creator of the Universe and His Joy over them.

Read verse 12 again to understand why they were able to have joy and to celebrate after hearing the Law.

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

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Celebration does not always come easily. The discipline of celebration is not always going out participating in a big party.  Celebration is hard work at times. Celebration may be  an inner discovery instead of an outer activity.  Life does not always hand you a bowlful of cherries to enjoy. What happens if while eating the cherries, you come across a pit? How do you respond? Celebrate and Dance

How can a person be joyful in a pain-filled world..”

This became an honest question for a fellow creative. She suffered a hairline fracture in her wrist which caused not only extreme physical pain, but also emotional chaos. It was a time when  she was stepping into a season of creative classes and personal growth. Suddenly the tiny super ball of chaos started zinging back and forth in her life.  Celebration and Worship! HOW?  Just as the Jews questioned Nehemiah when the LAW was  read to them, my friend had the same questions when this happened to her wrist?

How did my friend cope?

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!

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As my friend went to God with her pain, she said “Yes” to worship. The  “Yes” to worship allowed her to receive the Joy of the Lord to be her strength.

The result was worship and celebration in  this beautiful painting.Normas artwork.

“Worshiping with art seriously is therapy for pain-physically or pain of the soul”¹

Come Celebrate and dance. To celebrate causes you to take a step beyond where you might be and engage deeper into where you can be. The strength of Creator of the Universe and His Joy over you is your strength.

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Are you experiencing a physical or emotional burden?

                       Are you willing to take a chance to celebrate and dance?

Did you see artwork from the story in Nehemiah as a people finding it easy or difficult to worship?

        Can you take the time to create their fear or express their joy?

Where do you go for strength in your time of pain?

Who is your strength?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment line concerning  your journey.  We are all on this path together.

BE

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!

 

 

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¹Quote from my friend concerning what God is doing in her through worship and creativity.