Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Fresh Start

It's been several weeks since my last post and I admit I have been a bit dry.  Bone dry.  Like "Do I have anything to say?" dry. 

Frankly, there are a few things going on here.  But you have things going on, too.  If I'm calling myself a writer, I should be able to put words on the page.  As the time has crept along, I've begun to think maybe I don't have enough structure in my writing practices.   This morning I read a post by a leading writing and blogging expert and I determined to try to be more intentional and structured and focused.  And overcome some tech issues that I've never been able to master.  All afternoon I pushed.  I tried.  It was like trying to birth a baby that was stuck in the birth canal.  I had been at it for several hours when my husband came home from the golf course.  After enduring my frame of mind for a few minutes, he probably wanted to go back.  I had to apologize.

Finally, I quit and picked up a book.  That's when I found this quote from a Lutheran minister and creative writing teacher, Walter Wangerin, Jr.:

As a writer, I think it is my job to seek God in the common things; indeed, to believe that God is already in the common things ahead of and outside of me.  This happens in three ways: first of all, to see the glory of God in the world, to perceive it, to find it, sometimes to be stunned by the discovery of it when I hadn't been looking well enough.  Second, having perceived it, to acknowledge it, to salute it, to be aware of it, to know it, to dance with it, to think about it, to engage with it - and having engaged with it, to give that glory back to God.  The third part involves writing - or maybe I should say praise.  Ultimately, it is my job to praise.

And there it is...the heart of what I do.  And I realize that even if there's a writing deadline or a speaking message looming, the message that will give the glory and praise to God most likely will not be found in the confines of this house.  I have to get out, if it's just to the sanctuary of my back porch.  The crepe myrtle is blooming in the back yard, the birds are singing new songs as they flit among the branches of the oak trees, and my friendly squirrels are waiting to give me greeting.

I must also take the time to wander.  My friend, Judy, is stepping into a hobby she has talked about for a long time:  photography.  Last weekend, we took off and drove down roads we haven't visited in a long time, just to see what's there and take it's picture.  We will do that more often in days ahead. 

I write because I have to seek God's glory in the common things.  That's how I praise.  If I'm going to write about the common things, I have to take the time to enjoy them and experience them.  Time.  Take Time.  It's a never-ending theme for all of us.  I also have to give myself the freedom to practice my art my own way.  If my best writing position is propped up in my recliner with my computer on my knees and stock cars running in circles on TV, then so be it.  So much for the advice of that writing expert.

We all have things we have to do and we all have challenges when it comes to getting them done.  What are yours?  Do you fight the demons that want you to believe your creativity doesn't matter?  Do the clock and the calendar beat you up?  Are you trying to fit into somebody else's mold?  Do Life's distractions just get the best of you?

Maybe we all just need to take a walk.  God's already out there, in all the common things that make up his magnificent creation. 

Photography by Judy Deeson