#write31days, faith

Day 30: Telling THE Story

I have so loved getting to share on this blog for this 31 days series. It’s been a joyful burden. After all, aren’t the best things the hardest of all? It has been a delight to do the things I love and come alive to who God made me to be in order to reflect His glory. I feel like this 31 days writing challenge was a gift God gave to me to rediscover my buried talents. I love telling His story by telling my own (because it’s all really His story anyway).

Remember this from day one?

This summer I read a book, A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman, where she essentially tells her audience that each of us was created by the ultimate Artist, God Himself, to reflect His glory. We do that by being who He made us to be —artists—by coming alive to the talents, gifts, and uniqueness that He has given us.

“But you are designed to reflect the glory of God, and when you release the fullness of who you most deeply are, we will see God because we’re finally seeing you,” she writes.

You were made by the ultimate Artist to be an artist. We point others to him. Perceived worldly success doesn’t even factor in when we’re doing it for Him anyway.

Singer-songwriter Christa Wells wrote the following in regards to Dave, the under-discovered artist: “Maybe Dave fell in love with the idea of becoming an acclaimed artist, where I fell in love with the Original Artist and the idea of being a part of what He’s making. Dave, like many hard-working people, wants to be a SUCCESS story, but what I want most is to help tell THE story.”

Christa goes on to say this:

It’s who we ARE and WHAT WE GIVE AWAY that makes us a PART of something worthwhile.  If they remember our names 300 years from now (and they won’t), we won’t be here to care about it, anyway, so why not celebrate and honor the fact that we’re alive today and have something to share?

Why not do what brings you so much joy that you do it when you’re NOT getting paid–because you “feel God’s pleasure” when you do it?

Why not do what meets someone else’s need and sends people reeling, thinking “There MUST be a design to all of this”?

Do something that tells the truth and asks good questions and leaves a footprint on souls that won’t wash out when the tide comes for our bodies.

Do small, unnoticed things you’re good at that make a difference to your family and community.

Do it with LOVE.   Do it at a cost to yourself.  Do it in small increments, in the midnight hours, after working your day job, or the wee hours of the morning, if that’s all you’ve got.

Do it because you CAN’T STOP.  (hat tip to Miley)

I pray that this 31 days series has helped to tell THE story, as Christa put it. I pray that you know that you– yes, you— have something to offer as well. You are an artist.

Christa Wells, me, and Emily Freeman

Christa Wells, me, and Emily Freeman

p.s. A huge thank you to Emily Freeman and Christa Wells for their art that has encouraged me and their writer’s conference in September that inspired me to start this blog and join the 31 days writing challenge.

Advertisements
Standard
faith, music

Day 3: “Shine”

The song that most strongly connects to yesterday’s post on comparison and inferiority for me is “Shine” by Christa Wells.

As a lover of music and an amateur songwriter myself, I have always loved learning the stories behind songs. It’s like peeking inside the open windows of a brightly lit living room on a dark night. It gives us a peek into the songwriter’s world. Read more, if you’d like, of her story behind this song here, here, and here.

I love the whole song, but I especially identify with the second verse. Christa wrote, “When I look back at the lyrics, ‘Yes, we could lay our talents in the earth’ that started way back when I was in college…I went home from college and attended a Bible study with a college pastor who preached on the parable of the talents. I had heard the parable and only thought it was about financial resources. I hadn’t thought about it as actual talents. The message felt directed right at me and I was convicted that I was the one with a small amount of talent and I was burying it. That was the seed of the idea that it’s not about you. It doesn’t even belong to you. It’s been handed to you to invest in it and grow it. I realized that burying the talent is not honoring to God who entrusted and gave it to you.”

Lyrics:
Yes, it’s hard to believe
When you’re well aware that you’re not what you mean to be
And your house is full of unfinished rooms
‘Cause you’re fond of starts, but you find it hard to follow through
You think you’re recognized by your faults
But the mirror that you hold is false
‘Cause you shine
 
He shines His light through a prism
We give back what we’re given
To color this, to color this
To color this world, color this world
Be the friend you never had
Be the one to take a stand
Say it your way, say it your way
Say it your own way
 
And it’s hard to believe
That I count as much as those on either side of me
‘Cause I don’t have it, whatever it takes
To be like them, they are gifted in so many ways
Yes, we could lay our talents in the earth
We could pile on the doubt like dirt
Or we can shine 
 
He shines His light through a prism
We give back what we’re given
To color this, to color this
To color this world, color this world
Be the friend you never had
Be the one to take a stand
Say it your way, say it your way
Say it your own way
 
Shine, we shine, His light refracted
Shine, we shine His light refracted
Standard