Monday, March 5, 2012

Inspiration: This Week (Be Bright)

(Every once in a while, I like to share a list of things that are inspiring me. Here are the most recent items.)

Art Journaling...

A couple weekends ago, Kyla begged me to spend the afternoon art journaling. We hadn’t done it together in quite a while so we pulled out our magazines and markers and got to work.

I created three pages. Three. That is the most I’ve ever done in one sitting and when I was done, my first thought was, I feel more like myself!

Here’s the final page I did that afternoon:

Something about this picture strikes me because I’m not sure if I’m the mom or the little girl in it. All I know is that I long to be bright in every way – bold and intelligent. The other funny thing about this picture is that I hadn’t looked at the images since the day I did the page. Within this last week, I almost bought polka dot rain boots, and I did buy some pretty, sexy black heels to wear to an event on Saturday night.

Also, the dress I bought for the dinner was a bold peacock blue. Huh.


The last few months of my writing have been the most daring I’ve done. I’m glad about that. I don’t want to settle or resign myself to writing what’s safe. I hate reading books like that. I know the difference between an author who is writing for others and one who is writing for herself.

I subscribe to e-newsletters from Jeff Goins. Even though I follow his blog too, I love what he puts out to his subscribers. Here’s one of my favorite recent quotes from him:

The world doesn't need more safe, tame writing. It needs words that shake the heavens, that defy expectations and offend our sensibilities.

I have an idea for an e-book project. As I get started, I am attaching this quote in my work space and also on my computer. No tame writing allowed.

Madeleine L’Engle…

I finally finished A Circle of Quiet. Oh my. My life will never be the same.

I’ve also declared this year to be The Year of Madeleine L’Engle. I’ve never read her most popular book, A Wrinkle in Time. This is the 50th Anniversary of that book. In addition, I will probably work on reading more of her journals. (A Circle of Quiet was her first journal.)

I think one of the most important things that came from reading this book was a sense of freedom. Sometimes I think I’m crazy because I have the same propensity every morning to get up and write what’s true. This drive for communicating never goes away.

While I was reading A Circle of Quiet, I also picked up a book my husband Jeff ordered called Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. I’m about 3/4 of the way done with it. It has messed with me in good and bad ways.

The author, Michael Horton, is pretty black and white. I completely agree that America has lost sight of the true gospel. Our churches are country clubs filled with self-help seminars, that includes the “sermons.”

The true gospel is that all of humanity and this world are broken because of what happened at the Fall in Genesis 3. The only way this world, and we ourselves, can be restored is by Christ. God has a plan for redemption. A portion of it was fulfilled when Jesus conquered death through the resurrection. Redemption is still happening and will happen one final time when Christ returns and all is made right.

Horton argues that we don’t know this gospel, and I believe he is right. However, I've had trouble following him chapter after chapter because I believe his stance does not allow for much creativity in communicating the gospel. I had trouble figuring out how my passion for spiritual direction (a practice that explores knowing God and knowing who He created us to be in order to move toward the wholeness available in Christ) and writing might fit into sharing the good news of Christ with the world. I wrestled with this for days.

Madeleine put me at ease with these words:

The gap between our “real” and “actual” selves is, to some degree, in all of us; no one is completely whole. It’s part of what makes us human beings instead of gods. It’s part of our heritage from our mythical forebears, from Adam and Eve. When we refuse to face this gap in ourselves, we widen it.

Oh, sweet breath for my confused mind and heart! 

Again, I believe Michael Horton’s assessment is correct. But I love how God does not narrow the way we communicate the good news of His salvation. As we know, Madeleine spent the better part of her life sharing God’s truth through young adult fiction. I love her words and can’t seem to get enough.

Also, she helps me not feel so crazy on the days when I wonder how it’s possible to meld the artist/writer/wife/mom thing into living. She wondered the same. Somehow, she just kept marching on. I will do the same, drawing encouragement from her and others who know no other way than being who they are and obediently doing what they are called to do.

Monday morning…

How in the world can a Monday morning be inspirational? Over the weekend, Kyla was my shopping buddy. She helped me pick out my dress and heels on Saturday. Then, yesterday, we went to Target to get a couple of things for her.

She picked out a frilly peasant blouse with flowers on top and a pink striped cardigan. She was beaming in the dressing room.

She wanted to wear those items to school today. I noticed she took an extra amount of time getting ready this morning. When she came down, her hair was fixed up with a pretty clip. I told her she looked beautiful. (Side note: We talk often about how beauty is more than clothes or how we look. This morning it felt appropriate to affirm her efforts in choosing an outfit that expressed her so vividly and the time she took to care for herself.)

She said, “I looked at myself in the big mirror in your room. Is that okay?”

“Of course,” I replied.

From the next room, Kaelyn shouts, “I looked at myself too. I look weird!”

First of all, no she didn’t. Secondly, I have no idea where that comment came from!

In conclusion, I hope you each find a way to be bright and bold in your own manner this week.

(Sorry half of this post of bold and half is not. I tried over and over to fix it. Let's not talk about how many times or ways. Blerg. Hellooooo, Monday!)


heckert said...

i love your ladies. bold like their momma. and they deserve to look in the mirror and see they are beauties.

Becca said...

Awww. Thanks, Dawn.