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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Reflections of My Heart!

Reflections of My Heart!

Please be patient with me today as I digress from the devotions.

I hope you have discovered challenges for your spiritual walk in my writings. My desire is to create space for you and meditations that will affect both your life and your art/ creativity. Personally, I don’t think one can be separated from the other. (Being a Type Four in the Enneagram explains that.1 ) Do you look at your creative adventure with God as a sacrifice of praise? Can you see your writings through the eyes of worship? This calls for intentionally spending time with God to see what is on His heart for you. In other word using a form of spiritual discipline to seek God’s face for your art, for your life.  

The devotions are also meant to bring up a few questions in your creative approach you might not have considered before. For example: is art involved with justice, how does God express His heart today through creativity, is God seen in secular art? Response of your thoughts and discussion are encouraged.

Now to today’s post. I am stepping into the vulnerable waters of my personal space. Come and join me.

At the end of each post I draw you into a time of contemplation. I ask you to:

RECEIVE, REFLECT, RESPOND,

to the devotions I shared and the time you spend with God in the genre of your choice. I think it is only fair for me to share with you how my creative journey is going. ☺

First and foremost I know- God is Good, all the time. This includes the times my words do not flow. This is true when the photo app does not work as my mind’s eye envisions the art. This is true when I can’t understand certain requirements to upgrade my presentation. This is true when my mind feels as though everyone else is better at things then I am.

Slow down to enjoy God in the very small things in life. Through the tears, the anger, the pain. At times it REALLY needs to be intentional.

It has been on tough on me lately. I have been trying to see life through the Lens of God’s grace and acceptance.  I know My Creator loves me, but sadly, through my tears, my anger, my pain, loving myself was/is very hard.

I analyzed. I prayed. I wrote. Finally I reached something tangible because even though I don’t completely feel out of the forest, I found two constants running through the debts of my emotions.

Type Fours get ready (small drum roll)——–

Envy and Comparison.   

For me, these two sins are a deadly duo. Type Fours are not the only ones who experience such an emotional attack on our walk in life, but it does seem that we do have a tendency to be a bit more susceptible to this upset.2 (Creatives of all types, how do these two enemies of our art and life show up in your walk?)

In my case the attacks come:

  • from looking at other peoples’ accomplishments in creativity (and my lack),
  • how quickly something is understood by people in my field but I am really slow to catch on.
  • I see myself surrounded by “shoulds”. This comparison comes as I draw out expectations to meet certain standards and everyone else is whizzing by with their accomplishments. Where do I see myself? Still on first place or wondering why I need to do the activity in the first place?

If you identify with any of these, you are not crazy. You do not need to handle the internal battle on your own. These natural battles and more will arise on your journey in creative expressing/ living. This is the time where the deeper/ closer walk with God comes in.

The words of the Sunday School song—

Yes Jesus Loves, Me-The Bible tells me so.

These words are an absolute truth. Do you walk around as if in a fog at times? Yes, Jesus does loves you and walks with you in your creativity!

 are filled with absolute truth.   I don’t want a theological debate here, but I need something in the words and beyond words to run its course in my soul when Envy and Comparison are battling for my peace of mind.

What is my course of action?

I need to stop and allow TRUTH to sink into my heart. I have to ask the Holy Spirit to move in my heart. I can’t just say “get out”, and brush my hands with a finished flare. I have to ask the Holy Spirit to clean out my heart and remove the rubbish so Truth is what I Breathe. This may take time. This is what needs to happen to move my words. I cannot try just having the words move my words.

This post is a time to stop. I do not mean stop creating. I am asking you to stop and breathe. If there is a nudge from the Holy Spirit, take time with a friend, go out for coffee and confess. Confess where everything or anything out there is having a bigger affect on your life than God.

 If the creative “calling” is chaotic and it’s yelling is louder than the simple truth of “Jesus Loves Me”, consider a time out with Jesus as a possible next choice.

Does the stopping and asking mean the change will happen quickly? Sadly, there are no guarantees to an immediate difference. I will say, if you do not stop and talk to God it may never happen.

Is it important to you for people to stop and take the time to listen to what you are sharing? How do you respond when God asks you to stop and listen to the Words of Life He shares with you?

Through the chaos, God’s Love is always here. He is working a good plan.
God Takes My Hand. He completes what He starts. That brings JOY.

BE

FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOU

WERE

CREATED!

1 If you are interested in finding out more about the Enneagrams Type Four of Nine Types, you can read THE ROAD BACK TO YOU by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016)

2 Referring to Type Fours being susceptible to ENVY and COMPARISON :Ibid.
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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 ————

Enjoy the day outdoorsimg_3295

          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.