#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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faith, marriage, music

Day 5: “Dancing in the Minefields”

Andrew Peterson is probably my favorite songwriter of all time. It was easy to choose his song “Dancing in the Minefields” as a follow up from yesterday’s post on marriage. This song reminds me of something my dear friend Anne used to say: “It’s often the hardest things that are the best things.” That is certainly true of my marriage.

Here’s Andrew’s description of the song:

In December of 2009 my wife and I celebrated fifteen years of marriage. A few days later, we got in a silly argument and I wrote this song after she went to bed. Marriage, see, was God’s idea. It’s one of the most potent metaphors in all of Scripture for the way God loves us and the way we’re to let ourselves be loved by him. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To the contrary, it’s fraught with peril. Any good marriage involves a thousand deaths to self—the good news is, in Christ that marriage involves at least as many resurrections. We lay our lives down and enter this perilous dance with another human being who has done the same. Why should we expect to emerge unscathed? 

In another interview about this song, Andrew said:

Marriage is a perilous journey. If it hasn’t been yet, get ready because it will get hard. It is a crucible, and an important lesson to learn how to lay down our lives for another person. Just because it is hard doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Some young people have a tendency to think marriage is a cake walk. They’ll say, “Other people fight, we don’t fight.” You need to know that if you are in an intimate relationship with someone there will be arguments. There will be tension. Mountains are moving in your soul and you’ll have scars. That’s part of God’s design and that makes marriage beautiful.

Find “Dancing in the Minefields” Lyrics here.

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