#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.

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#write31days, 31 days, faith, music

Day 11: “Do Everything”

Steven Curtis Chapman has been around for a while! I can remember singing his songs at youth retreats when I was a teenager– and I’m 35 now! He’s still around and still making music!

I remember first hearing this song, “Do Everything,” on the radio while I was driving home in my car with my oldest son (back when he was my only son). It caught my attention because the first verse sounded like he was singing my life (minus the lipstick). I loved and needed the reminder at the time– and still do today– that all those seemingly menial tasks I do everyday actually do matter. It’s all for God’s glory.

When asked about the message behind this song, Steven said,  “As Christians we have this tendency to want to draw that line down the middle of life and go, okay there’s my spiritual life and then there’s just life–a job, work, and that kind of thing–but God is in the details. He’s interested in all of it. Every moment matters, and everything we do really should be done as an act of worship.”

Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost For His Highest: “Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound… Our safeguard is in the shallow things. We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way. The tendency is to look for the marvelous in our experience; but another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying attention to us…”

So, as I mentioned yesterday, everything matters. Do everything– whatever it is that you do– for the glory of God.

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