Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Best of 2014 ~ #TheLoft

Hello, Loft crew!  We made it through another week – whew! 🙂  Did you find it hard to choose a favorite from 2014 to share?  I certainly did.

I think I’m finding myself as a writer more this year, and so the choosing was difficult because I actually like some of what was written.  That’s an exciting thought, but also a little scary because it means I’m putting more of my real self out there.

In the end, it was a close tie between the post where I talked about my fat-girl insecurities and another one.

Since I’ve already shared about my fat-girl insecurities with The Loft crew, I decided to share something from earlier this year about choosing the struggle, fighting the fight, even when it feels like we might not be winning.  Look for it in the link-up.

I can’t wait to read YOUR best from this year, too!

Jen 🙂

If you are new here and want to join in, it’s an easy week to do so.

Just follow the instructions below.

We’d be happy to have you as part of our community of writers!

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

This Week’s Topic: “Potluck: Best of 2014” (Link up your best post of 2014. “Best” is defined loosely!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Christmas Traditions” (Tell us how you celebrate this rich holiday.)

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

While there are many link and leave blog hops out there, we are different in that we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic. This fosters community and conversation. It also helps us practice “topic” writing as bloggers. Please mention The Loft in your post so we can find each other. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic 🙂

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find and share with each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

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Mystery Topic ~ #TheLoft

Okay, Lofters, I know you’ve all been waiting for this moment – our little secret we’ve been keeping is out in the open!  Read below for this week’s fun “topic.”

Praying you all have Joyful Thanksgivings (for those in the U.S. that is)!

Jen 🙂

The Loft is open, come on up!

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

This Week’s Mystery Topic is…. (drum roll)

Well, seeing it is Thanksgiving week, we want to actually GIVE THANKS. So this week, we are playing Thanksgiving Tag!

How to play:

We are taking to the social media streets this week, tagging people we are thankful for!

Pick one social media site (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc) and tag 5 bloggers or writers that you appreciate. Tell them why you are thankful for them. You can link back to this page if you’d like (so they know why and by whom they are getting tagged and to help spread the word about The Loft)… but a link back isn’t required. 🙂

Since we won’t be doing this week’s topic on our blogs, there won’t be a linky this week. The linky will be back up next week.

That’s it! We are thankful for YOU, for your contribution, for being part of this community, and we all wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Next Week’s Topic: 2014 in Review (Time to get introspective. We look forward to hearing what you’ve learned in 2014.)

About #TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

PLEASE NOTE: While there are many link and leave blog hops out there, we are different in that we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic. This fosters community and conversation. It also helps us practice “topic” writing as bloggers. Oh, and please mention The Loft in your post! Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic 🙂

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

The Loft Link Up

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Favorite Fall Recipes ~ #TheLoft

It’s our favorite time of week again! This week we’ll be sharing our favorite fall recipes with you, so come join us in the linkup.

Jen 🙂

 

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

This Week’s Topic: “Fall Recipes” (Yum!)

Get a running start on Next Week’s Topic: “Thanksgiving” (Food, traditions, an essay or video, or just your own gratitude list. Maybe we’ll find some new ideas to incorporate into our celebration this year!)

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic 🙂

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Fall Recipes”

 

Enter your link below:

Leave a comment »

It’s a Blogger’s World ~ TheLoft

It’s that time of week again! Meet you in the link-up?
Jen 🙂

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

This Week’s Topic: “Blogging” I hope you guys have a lot to say! Some ideas are: Tell us why you started blogging, your blogging goals, needs, how we can help you. Share your favorite blogging tips and tricks, the floor’s open!

Get a running start on Next Week’s Topic: “Intimacy with Jesus” (What does that look like for you? How do you abide in the vine? What barriers do you face or victories you’ve discovered in maintaining intimacy with Jesus? Let’s encourage each other!)

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic 🙂

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

 

Add Your Link Here:

2 Comments »

Fall Potluck ~ #TheLoft

It’s my favorite time of week again! Even though I have not been able to link-up with a post of my own the past few weeks, I’ve really enjoyed the encouragement I’ve received from those of you who have linked up. For this week’s  link-up, I’m sharing a post about Joy (look for it in the link-up). Join with us, whether you blog or not, for some encouraging words in this week’s “potluck-style edition” of #TheLoft.

Keep pressing on, sisters!
Jen 🙂

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

Hi Lofters! Today is pot-luck and I do believe this is a favorite “topic.” 🙂 Link up any post you’d love to share with us and we’ll come visit. Oh I do love this little community! Can’t wait to visit with you this week.

 

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic 🙂

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Jen
Rebekah
Leah
Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Potluck” (It’s that time again! Link up a favorite post you’ve shared on your blog and surprise us!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Blogging” (The floor is open! Some ideas are: Tell us why you started blogging, your blogging goals, needs, how we can help you. Share your favorite blogging tips and tricks. Woo-hoo!)

 

Add Your Link Here:

Leave a comment »

The Loft – “Potluck” Style

 

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

Hello Loft buddies! This week is an online version of pot-luck. {Who doesn’t like variety?} Just link up the post of your choice and surprise us with the yummy when we visit!

 

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic 🙂

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 5 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah
Kathy
Arabah
Jen
Rebekah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Potluck” (Periodically, we’ll have a “potluck.” This is a blogging version of bring-your-own-dish. So pick a post and link up any post you want to share with our community!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Trust” (Opening another can of worms here, but let’s go there anyway~ wink. Is trust hard for you? Why or why not? What area are you struggling to trust God in? What have you learned about trust? The floor is open!)

 

Add Your Link Here:

9 Comments »

A Lift for the Soul (and #TheLoft)

 

The Loft is open, come on up!

This week at #TheLoft , we’re sharing our favorite online sources of inspiration and encouragement.

If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know that we have faced many struggles in the past year, and I spent a lot of time waiting on the Lord.  In times of darkness, the Lord has provided many sources of light, and one of those sources has been some of the blogs I follow online.

My sisters, we all face dark moments, days, weeks, perhaps even years.  But I’ve learned from this last year that the most discouraging feeling is that of being alone in your struggles. It’s the Enemy’s greatest weapon and he uses it liberally.  When we feel alone, we also feel ashamed, afraid to own up to our weaknesses, afraid that something is wrong with us, afraid that brokenness might be the end of the story.

But the body of Christ was made for community!  We crave it, do we not? And when we drag those weaknesses out into the Light, they don’t seem quite so scary or overwhelming. When we realize we’re not alone, we begin to experience hope for brighter tomorrows.

 

#TheLoft,  inspiration, bloggers, writers, women of faith, encouragement

 

And that’s why I appreciate the ladies I’m going to share with you today, because they help me realize that I’m not alone. No, I’m not. And you’re not alone either, sister, whatever you may be going through!

One of the first bloggers I ever chose to “follow” was Alia Joy @ Narrow Paths to Higher Places.  I discovered Alia through Five Minute Friday, a free-writing exercise for bloggers that takes place every Friday (well, Thursday night for some). Her writing is beautiful, full of imagery and depth. But even more than that, I appreciate that she doesn’t wear a mask; she doesn’t sugarcoat.

She’s brave and honest, even about the ugly parts of life. She’s not afraid to tackle tough issues, either, but even then, the manner in which she does so doesn’t smack of preachiness at all.  She has a way of drawing the reader in to both herself and to Christ. Yes, I can identify with Alia Joy.

Another blogger I really appreciate is Angie Knutson, who also happens to be my cousin. She’s a blogging pro who started out writing about kids’ products for companies like Tommy Nelson and Alex Toys , so you can find all sorts of parenting and homeschooling excellence on her site. However, she’s currently in the middle of transitioning her blog to be able to write more of what is on her heart.  And what is on her heart is Christ!

I like Angie’s writing because it is true to her character, and I probably admire her even more because I know how she lives her real life. 🙂  She is another transparent blogger who isn’t afraid to share her own struggles. I find her devotional posts uplifting and encouraging and appreciate that she uses scripture to back up what she’s writing.

One last blogger I want to be sure to share with you is Jennifer Camp @ You Are My Girls, whom I also found through Five Minute Friday.  Jennifer is a Christ-follower who is talented at reminding women of who we are in Christ.

Jennifer encourages freedom, and community, and story-sharing, and all sorts of other excellent things.  Her writing speaks to my soul and inspires me to want to live totally surrendered to the Father!

I could share quite a few more but lack the time and the space.  I hope you find someone here who can encourage you as you walk with the Lord!

Be ever in His Presence.

Jen 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to link-up below if you wish!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

Then, Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the link goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

Listening is a lost art. Especially in the blogosphere where everyone wants to be heard.

At The Loft, we know that listening is rewarding and rich… surprisingly so. So we want to provide an opportunity for Christian bloggers to speak and listen, grow and be encouraged. We invite you up to the Loft, an out of the way upper room where we’ll talk, laugh, learn, and leave a little bit changed.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

To Participate:

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

The Loft Link Up

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 6 blogs (only 5 this week)! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah

Kathy

Arabah

Jen

Rebekah

Now it’s time to link up!

This Week’s Topic: “Blogs that Inspire” (Since we all love blogs and bloggers, tell us what blogs or websites you go to for inspiration. Why do you love the blogs you love? Are there certain writing styles you are drawn to? Topics? Personalities? Spill the beans and then check out what other’s are saying too.)


Next Week’s Topic: “Greatest Insecurity” (We are going vulnerable here, asking you to share your greatest insecurity. How do you recognize it when it creeps up? What does insecurity sound like to you: What do you do to silence it? Any scriptures that help you fight it?)

 

Click through below to share your link!

Sharing this post with: Missional Women

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Welcome to The Loft!

I’m sure some of you have noticed that this blog went absolutely silent at the beginning of summer.  I hadn’t planned for such a long absence. It really started out as a week off when my husband and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary with a trip all to ourselves (thanks to the generosity of others).

anniversary vacation blogging break

 

Loft ocean twilight

And when we returned, the school year was ending; chaos ensued.  And then we were enjoying the first week of summer break – lazy mornings, late evenings and no real schedule to speak of.

I think that’s when I decided that I wouldn’t blog again until I felt prompted to do so, that I would take the summer to enjoy the extra family time. That I would soak up every last bit of these pre-K years before our twins would head to school and our home would be empty during the day.

There’s something about the oldest starting High School and the youngest starting Kindergarten that startled me into realizing how easy it is to waste precious time with precious people.

#TheLoft, fourth of july, kids, blessings

It’s been a wondrous break; worth every minute!  The only thing I regret now is not telling you all that I was taking it in the first place. 🙂

 

So, now I’m back, and what better way to get back into the groove than participating in a weekly link-up that brings encouragement to each other and glory to the Lord?!  I beg you to join us for our first ever gathering at The Loft!

Jen 🙂

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth. Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

Then, Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the link goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

 

Listening is a lost art. Especially in the blogosphere where everyone wants to be heard. At The Loft, we know that listening is rewarding and rich… surprisingly so. So grab your coffee mug and come on up. Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 6 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are:

Leah

Kathy

Arabah

Jen

Rebekah

Kimberly

 

Now it’s time to link up! Today is our FIRST EVER link-up! We want to get to know each other and begin making relationships, thus this week’s topic:

 

This Week’s Topic: “I am…” (finish the sentence, introduce yourself, share your passions, experiences, maybe tell us a few odd facts, or just link to your “About” page. We’re all ears!)


Next Week’s Topic: “Blogs that Inspire” (tell us what blogs or websites you go to for inspiration and what makes them attractive. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if someone mentions yours after finding you today?)

 

Click through below to join the link-up:

An InLinkz Link-up

6 Comments »

Fear No Evil, Just Write

It’s Five Minute Friday again!

Write.

Writing has been necessary for me from a very young age.  In the early years I wrote for creativity’s sake.  I reveled in developing stories for my pleasure alone, not worrying what anyone else thought.  Even as I grew older, school writing assignments brought a smile to my face while the rest of my classmates groaned.

As a teen, my writing became more introverted – the good old diary was my space of choice.  I could say whatever I wanted to whomever I wanted with no fear of rejection or repercussion.

But at some point in time, we had to start sharing our writing with “peers” in class and suddenly, writing became a little more scary.  I wrote less and less until almost not at all. Although hidden, the urge remained and burst forth in occasional poems, encouraging notes, or impassioned letters to the editor.  I might take it out for a bit, dust it off, and admire the desire to write, yet put it back in the box neatly where it was safe. Safe.

Because the thing about writing is that it’s sort of a portal to the soul, whether you want it to be or not.  A lie detector test.  A forced honesty of character and feeling.

And sometimes I don’t want to be that open with the world.  I fear my words might not be good enough, my ideas not great enough, that I’M not enough.  I fear my failings as a work-in-progress woman.  I fear others might see the real me.  Because as our friend, Lisa-Jo Baker said, control is an illusion, and writing out truths here in this small space breaks that illusion apart bit by bit.

There’s fear in the writing, and sometimes pain in the writing, but also joy, and wonder, and beauty, and peace, and understanding.  Isn’t that the way it is with all things in life? 🙂

I wonder if the psalmist David faced such fears, or if he just wrote because he had to, because it was in him.  Imagine if he had never penned his agonies or his alternating ecstasies.  Imagine if he thought no one would to ever read the words or sing the melodies, so why create them in the first place?  Or worse yet, some might read them and scoff, so why bother?

Fear, Brave, Words, Writing, Blogging

We must write because our Father God has called us to be truth-tellers and truth-spreaders.  We must write because it. is. in us!  We must write because the writing forces honesty, and how can we grow, how can we progress, sisters, if we languish in the illusion that is not?

So, we put on a brave face and just write.

We write happy words and sad words.

We write in victory and also in defeat.

We write hardships and pain and laughter and delight.

We write comfort.

We write, “Me, too.”

We write real.

And we trust Him to do the rest.

Jen 🙂

I’m joining the Five Minute Friday crew again this week over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s place.  We free-write for 5 Minutes on a one-word prompt.  It’s scary; it’s fun; it’s crazy. And so often, it’s oh-so-beautiful.  Join us if you like!

Also sharing with: Wholehearted Home

13 Comments »

When God Says, “Write.”

Often the Lord asks those who are in Christ to do things we aren’t comfortable doing on our own.  Maybe He asks us to talk to someone we don’t really know, invite a neighbor into our home, teach a Sunday School class, or use a gift that He has given in a public setting.  When He asks us to do those things that make us a little afraid, we’re always tempted to say no, at least I am. 🙂

No, Lord, I don’t want to go to Nineveh.

No, Lord, I’m not a good speaker; you should ask someone else to lead your people in exiting Egypt, like my brother.

No, Lord, we cannot take the Promised Land; it’s full of giants and we are small.

promised land

Over and over again in Scripture we find evidence of people just like us, lacking confidence in their God-given, spiritual gifts, or not wanting the responsibility that comes along with using a gift for the Lord’s glory. They feel inadequate or unworthy of the task.

We can look back on their completed lives and marvel at how the Lord worked through them.  We may even call them Heroes of the Bible, but in the moment, they were just ordinary people, afraid of the unkown, afraid of not being “enough.”

I often feel that way, especially about writing.  I’d rather leave it to someone else, after all, others can turn a phrase so much more effectively than I can.  What do I have to offer?

 I’m just an ordinary person.  And I’d rather keep those weaknesses of mine hidden, than be open and vulnerable.  I’d rather not put myself out there for the world to see, and maybe even criticize.  I’d rather avoid, be safe, fly under the radar.

But He commands, “Write.”

A funny thing happens when I obey that still small voice.  (Let’s be honest, sometimes when we don’t listen right away, it becomes a resounding gong that keeps us up ’til 4am!)  I’m the one who benefits.  Me!

It’s exactly the opposite of what I expected when I first started blogging months ago.  I thought He wanted me to share truth with others (and I do think that’s part of it), but I didn’t realize He wanted to share those truths with me, first.

And so I write. I pour it all out, sometimes on pages with pen in hand, sometimes on the keyboard, fingers flying, sometimes in bits and pieces, here and there in my notebook.  On occasion, I try to hold back, tone it down.  I mean, does anyone really need to see ALL of my ugly? 🙂  But He won’t let me.  He requires truth, full disclosure.

“Write, Jen.”

“But this is personal and painful and embarrassing, Father.  I’m so ashamed.  People will know! What will they think?!”

“I said write, Jen.”

“Okay, Father, but are you sure about this part here. Should I really be telling this to the public? I mean, is it really necessary to include? And can I really say this, Lord?  Am I really qualified to write such words?”

I will give you the words, just write.”

“Okay, Father, I’m still not sure about this, but I’ll try.”

And the words pour out. And sometimes the tears do, too.  Because every time He asks me to write, whether about the ugly or the beautiful, He shows me more of Himself, more of myself, and more of who I am becoming in Him.

He teaches me that the best things come when I have nothing to give because then I am an empty vessel for Him.   And I’m the one who is blessed!  Not because the words are so great, but because

the message.

is.

Great.

Not because my gift is so grand, but because writing IS the gift, and it’s for me, and it’s for Him, and it’s for all of us.

More than pretty phrases or clever constructions, the message is what matters.

His message.

So, my sisters in Christ, write, or sing, or teach, or garden, or paint, or mother, or serve, or bake, or whatever He task He lays before you, whether great or small.

Because the blessing is first for you.

Jen 🙂

Join us for Five Minute Fridays over at Lisa-Jo’s place.  We write on a one-word prompt for five minutes – no planning, editing, or stressing. 🙂

I may also be linking up with any of these lovely blogs.

Also sharing with: A Little R &R, Grace and Truth

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