Category Archives: writing
I’m a writer.
We operate in silence. in solitary. in fact, we like this. because as soon as someone interrupts us, we are done. Have to start ALL over again. from the beginning.
We are self starters. i mean, who is gonna start us? we, the people, who are here by ourselves.
Lonely? not us. we like it this way. usually. but it’s not as easy as it seems. have you noticed?
Creating a structure for yourself is a monumental effort. Not a soul in the house to tell you, “GET to WORK!” Nobody holding you accountable. No one demanding billable hours.
Just you. and the screen. or rather you and your thoughts before a screen.
So many have said, “you’re so lucky! You have no one telling you what to do!” no annoyance. no interruption. Pure, you-time. Well, now we all have you-time. Whatchu doing with your you-time?
I’m constantly looking for mine. Not kidding, it’s a 24 hour search.
And all that unstructured time you used to envy me for? all that time that I was free to spend however I wished?
Ah, now we’re all in this together. you and me and every we.
How’s that structure coming? now that we have to supply it. No structure, no problem?
No structure, big problem.
Ask a writer. we specialize in long, empty days that we fill with whatever comes. when it comes.
A lot has come.
“You can make people feel,” he told me. That’s high praise, coming from a world famous poet and a marvelous compliment coming from a person who is in touch with “all the feels.”
But it’s not me “making people feel.” The stories I share and the way I share them is thanks to the people who have inclined me to open the door to my feelings and offered a safe space for me to feel them. It’s my gratitude for these lessons learned, messages communicated, insights shone, and perspectives gained that spills onto the page.
My new book, Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through our Bodies comes out in February. It is a “devotional workbook” for individuals and small groups but not your typical book of devotions. It’s not a daily, Jesus Calling, kind of reading to assure you that Jesus loves you and God will never leave you, though I subscribe to both of those beliefs.
No, this book is really, well, I guess its the product of the practice of writing thank you notes that my mother began in me all those years ago. It started me writing notes to people who I thought deserved a thanking. And not just the canned version:
Thank you for ______.
I’ll use it for _________.
I really appreciate it.
But the real version — the “felt” version — written with the Lord’s guidance, letting a heart that was truthfully grateful take the lead. Somehow, gratitude lets us turn the knob on the door to a passageway we didn’t know existed. It opens onto the hallway of feeling. All feelings. None prohibited. It is a safe zone where trust can abide and healing reigns.
Because feeling can be hard. It can be gut-wrenching and head-spinning, earth-shattering and life-altering. But, it can also be breathtaking and awe-inspiring, heart-healing and life-giving. Life offers us the opportunity to turn the knob and enter in, not knowing what we will find on the other side.
The courage to do this doesn’t come from the author who invites you in, but from the Author of Life who is there to facilitate your discovery. Whatever you find there, I will help you handle. Whatever you need there, I will supply. Because I will be with you in the feeling, the you who emerges will be changed.
I don’t “make people feel.” I invite people, through words birthed in gratitude, to experience their feelings and then to be healed by the only Healer I know whose work lasts forever.
My book is a thank you note to the world. Each page, a person. If it “makes you feel,” I am grateful because I know God’s grace is at work in that space between gratitude and glory.
Sometimes there is a friend, early on, say, in high school, who writes in your yearbook.
Pages and pages, continued here and then over there, with a message that defies time and space.
Dispensing with the cursory, superficial gibberish, this friend heads straight for the truth with words so profound that, at 17 years old, you actually transcribe them so you can call on them again and again. Each time you do, they speak something new.
They planted a seed in me then, and now they reverberate through the ages. It’s as if Jesus Himself spoke to me through this friend.
Today, I have a special prayer for you: I hope that you find fulfillment, and that you are at peace with yourself and God. Because that is what I think is most important, what gives meaning and direction. His love is so great, Dear One, that the very thought of someone who loves me that much, in spite of the cursory lip service and lack of time I give Him makes me cry almost in shame and in joy.
There are so many pressures. After all, you will only be happy if you get straight A’s, hit .400, play at every game, go to every party, attend every Prom, lose 10 pounds, get accepted to five colleges, win a scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, and more or less win honor and glory in every endeavor.
But you don’t have to. Even if you hit .155 or sit in McDonald’s on Homecoming night, or fail every class, God loves you and is proud of you anyway. And that alone is enough to give you courage to stay up an extra hour studying, or keep running for office, or whatever. Someone who loves you so totally deserves never to be let down.
All of my love.
Imagine. A love like this