Tag Archives: blogging

When You Realize Writing is Not Actually Your Dream

I saw the invite – a save the date, really – and immediately checked my calendar to make sure the day was still free. It was the last time I checked (when there was only the hint of an event), but I had to be certain.

Because when Emily Freeman started talking about this Barn event – an afternoon At the Barn with her family and a relatively small gathering to spend time in soul-encouraging conversation about art, dreams, goals – all I could think was YES.

I’m in.

when you realize writing is not actually your dream

But as I purchased the ticket, I couldn’t help but also stop and think about how I now find myself taking all kinds of risks (of the best kind) with community and events and opportunities – like spending an afternoon with a bunch of fellow blog readers or spending five days getting Wrecked in Guatemala with complete strangers … and then doing it again six months later. All because of this gift of blogging which began as an extension of this gift of writing.

And it’s all in the very same season that I find myself pulling back on the frequency of posts and re-evaluating the purpose of this space.

A couple of months ago, I wasn’t even sure if I should continue blogging. This community is small and I’m not always convinced my words are necessary additions to the noise of this world.

But this community is also growing, and opportunities keep crossing my path to connect with other artists and other Jesus-followers as a result.

And I just know.

It’s not time to give-up this blogging thing yet.

Someday, God may ask that of me, but as I’ve been praying over and carefully considering whether or not that time is now, although the sitting-still long enough to think and write has been hard lately, I find I’m not finished here yet.

I want this space to be a place of restful harbor, filled with peace, where God speaks.

And more than anything, I want to honor and glorify Him in and through it.

So this community is small and the growth is slow.

But it’s His. And it’s good.

I began this blog a little over three years ago with a thought in the back of my mind that someday I might like to publish a book of some sort, but I could go ahead and start blogging without knowing if that would ever happen. I could begin sharing the message that the Lord had placed on my heart. I didn’t have to wait for that.

But somewhere along the way, I began to realize that while writing is a part of me and is a craft that I both love and enjoy, writing (or perhaps more specifically, publishing) wasn’t actually my dream.

The only problem? I didn’t know what was.

But all I knew to do was to keep writing, to keep taking small steps in obedience and faithfulness, and to keep seeking the Lord’s face.

Because that’s always right.

And through the writing, I kept sensing that there was something in all of this, something that I couldn’t quite figure out, something that I still needed to learn.

So now in this season, as my dreams and goals for this life are shifted and refined, I’m beginning to see at least a part of that something.

I’ve sought hard and waited long for the sort of dream I’m now beginning to consider. The one that in intentionally broad and vague terms revolves around orphan care (and no, I don’t know exactly what that means or what it will look like), the one that is so far beyond me and my ability, the one that scares the heck out of me, and the one that feels more like a God-whisper than anything I could dare to imagine on my own.

I’m not against the idea of publishing if that’s where the Lord leads and I suspect this won’t be the last times my dreams undergo some refining, but I also know this dream that’s slowly unveiling finally feels like mine. Like something only the Lord could have orchestrated and begun to reveal. And that makes it worth wanting and working toward and continuing to figure out … because it’s really only just a glimpse of a fuller vision. A hint of what could be.

So I’ll continue to write and I’ll continue to blog in this space.

And I’ll continue to lead and encourage this community to draw near to Christ.

To seek Him more. To know Him more. To trust Him more. To rest in Him more.

Because nothing – no amount of dreaming regardless of how right the dream seems – in this life matters more.

5 Things

1. Coffee shop conversation is my love language.

5Things

2. This quote has been swirling around my mind since I read it several days ago:

“So we don’t risk at random, jumping off any cliff. We risk jumping obediently where God says to jump.” – Jennie Allen

See the whole context in this post.

3. Apparently starting too many new things at once makes me anxious. Logically, I know there’s no good reason for the anxiety. And while I’m learning some good coping mechanisms (for the record, good sleep does wonders for restored perspective!), really, this hasn’t been something I’ve been able to fully attack on my own.

I’m beyond serious when I say I think there’s been an element of spiritual warfare in this. I’m entering into a new season of ministry (in more than one area), and I’m SO excited about all of it, but it’s also not something I can do on my own. Each ministry I’m involved in requires absolute dependence on Christ. Which is awesome. In the truest sense of the word. But I’m thinking the enemy cannot be too pleased with this heightened awareness of my desperate, moment-by-moment need to walk by the Spirit, and he seems to have been working on overdrive to fire his flaming arrows my way as a result.

But oh, the power of prayer in the midst! And when I have no idea what to pray, simply saying the name of Jesus over and over again is somehow enough. And perhaps more powerful than anything else I could possibly think to add.

4. After two weeks of complete silence in this space, I’m back at blogging and there’s some good stuff coming in September … starting Tuesday, so be sure to check back then!

5. And this. Because Jesus is so good, and we don’t even make sense apart from Him:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – Jesus
John 15:5 (ESV)

5 Things

5 Things

1) This photo. Summer colors and sunshine. Amen.

2) Moving has as much to do with the heart as it is a physical act. I’m still learning.

3) My blogging schedule is clearly a mess these days (refer to #2). I intend to get back to Tuesday / Friday posts soon. But giving myself a little grace through the end of the summer to get back into a good rhythm.

4) The anniversary of my little brother’s death is coming up on Monday, July 29th. It’s been 11 years. That sounds like such an anti-climactic number, but I always seem to find myself a little more contemplative in the weeks surrounding this date. I never really know how I’m going to react on the anniversary day itself. I just can’t always anticipate how grief will look, but I’m still learning to just ride the waves as they come.

5) I am a hot mess of runaway thoughts and emotions these days. And the more I try to control it, the more out of control I feel. I hate it and I love it. Hate it because it’s wildly uncomfortable. But love it because it forces me to Jesus in a whole new way. And that’s really precious.

As a words person, it pains me to not be able to exactly describe what I mean. But I just can’t. I’m not sure I even fully understand. I just know it’s like I’m walking in this deep and intentional relationship, and when I miss spending time with Him, I feel like I can’t breathe quite right. Because He’s my constant and my rest and my relief and my all. He physically calms me. Though I’m still trying to figure out how to hold onto that calm for a little longer throughout each day. And I’m still learning how to react to situations in a manner that reflects His presence well.

But I’m more desperate for Him and more dependent on Him. I feel like I’m getting life all wrong, but He’s so near. So I’m literally attempting to walk right on His heels just to stay near Him and to know where to go next. Though from that place right on His heels, all I can really see is Him. And while that means I don’t know much at all about where we’re headed, I trust it’s good.

—–

*07/31/13 update: I didn’t plan on using this post to link up with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky for her “what we learned in July” linky, but I realized that I repeated the phrase “I’m still learning…” several times, so I’m thinking it counts! Thanks for stopping by!*

A Quick Post

a quick post

This is just a quick post to let you know that I’m taking this week to step away from the blog.

To quiet my heart before the Lord. To hear His voice. To lean into Him.

So there will be no devo thought today and no post at all on Friday.

Regular posting will resume next week.

Until then and in the absence of my words, might I humbly suggest you read HIS instead.

I just started the book of Joshua…

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:8-9 (ESV – emphasis added)

5 Things

5things - railroad crossing

1. I took this photo last night when my roommate, B, and I were stopped for the slowest. train. ever. on the way home from dinner last night. I kinda love it.

2. If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have noticed that I posted a status about dreams not too long ago. Basically, I’m considering writing a post or two about dreams/hopes/plans for the future. I’ve never considered myself much of a dreamer, but lately, I find myself dreaming about and considering “big” things for the future a lot. And it’s a little uncomfortable.

I suppose I’m hesitant to become what I consider a dreamer because I don’t want to leave the Lord out of my dreams for the future or not give Him room to move and re-direct in their midst.

Something about naming a dream and putting a hope for the future into words makes it seem like a real thing, too. As in, if it’s truly a dream or desire I have, it might require action on my part, and it may not be easy. But maybe the Lord gives dreams … or at least works through them? Maybe there’s something to delighting yourself in Him and being given the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)? Maybe the closer we move towards Him, the more our hearts align with His, and the dreams of our hearts reflect His heart?

I don’t know. I don’t have a schedule for this yet. And I’m sure I won’t get it right. But I’m interested in talking about it and exploring it if you’re willing to come along for the ride.

3. Remember that baby dedication I mentioned in last month’s “5 Things” post? Well, my friend (and favorite photographer. no lie. except for these boys. they still top my list.) let me use her good camera (uh, I was a little nervous, but it was super fun!) to take a few shots of the event, and ended up using a few in this post of my favorite 9 month old (I promise she’s incredibly cute!!). Check it out. And take a few minutes to look at some other photos while you’re over at her blog. Beautiful, right?!

4. This verse has been swirling around in my heart and mind ever since I read it a couple of weeks ago…

“They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.”
Nehemiah 9:17 (ESV)

5. According to the official WordPress count (which means feed readers aren’t included…), I’m ONE blog subscriber away from 100. I know. Numbers don’t mean that much and that particular number is not really anything to write home about. But if you read my blog with some degree of regularity, would you consider subscribing to receive updates via email? (note: I blog twice a week.)

If so, see the sidebar to the right, type in your email address, and click the ‘Yes, please!’ button. If I make it over 100, I could even be convinced to have another giveaway to honor the occasion.

And just for the record, I so appreciate each and every one of you! Whether you subscribe or not. Whether you comment or not. I’m just grateful you read here and pray you walk away encouraged and filled with truth. So there.

5 Things

5things

1. I may have more stories of Holy Spirit moments from Guatemala to share at some point (because trust me, it was such a Holy Spirit led and filled trip that there are still many of them!), but my heart needed a break from sharing in this space. So because it’s Friday, a catch-all 5 things post seemed in order.

2. But speaking of Guatemala, have you read this post yet? You should. Seriously. The message is so far beyond me and the story is so worth hearing.

3. Have you noticed there’s a new schedule around here? The goal is new posts on Tuesdays and Fridays with the occasional third post thrown in if necessary. It’s a recent shift, but I like the rhythm of it so far. Tuesdays will be for devo thoughts and Fridays will be for anything goes.

4. It snowed last weekend, y’all! In typical Charlotte style, it snowed on Saturday afternoon and was pretty much completely melted by Sunday afternoon, but it was beautiful while it lasted. The photo is the view out my kitchen window.

5. This verse has been extremely close to my heart all week…

“…for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

5 Things

1. The beach is pretty much my favorite place. Ever.

2. This here blog has a new look. Nothing too drastic, but if you usually read through a feed reader or via email, you should click over and check it out!

3. There’s just something about watering plants on a Saturday evening that makes me want to embrace my inner child and play in the hose.

4. This makes my heart happy and is just plain goodness:

“Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”

– Psalm 28:6-7

5. I’m currently eating a bowl of cocoa puffs (yes, at 10:30pm) and watching the season premiere of Covert Affairs (love that show!), so I’m gonna get back to that now. . .good night!