Sunday, September 14, 2014

In Which I Return to My Writing Roots


Dear Friend ~

I'm more than thrilled to be back doing life with you again! 

Wow ... have I missed YOU!

I did some heavy duty journaling while I've been gone, a number of conversations with God scrawled across lined pages in a blue leather book, a long ago gift from a friend.  Together, the Lover of my soul and I simply sat with life as it is in this season.  The sheer joy that strangely co-exists with deep sadness.  The avalanche of intriguing challenges that keeps me on my oft' weary toes as we wend our way, hand in hand, along this pathway He has carefully traced out ... together navigating the crazy twists and unexpected turns and faith-stretching jumps I never quite expected.

He knows exactly what I need to keep me totally dependent on His merciful grace.  

These conversations were interlaced with strong threads of sincere gratitude, a handful of way-too-deep questions, and the occasional hot teardrops that had no choice but to brim over and run down, their bittersweet release freeing me up to breathe in, yet once again, that strong and sacred peace. 

And strewn here and there over the days were some musings about blogging ...




day 1  //  invitation
I finished up blogging today and I'm missing it already.  I'm feeling quite unsettled tonight, and that is probably one of the reasons why.

Which is a good enough reason to take a break for a few weeks.  Missing anything that much is surely a cause for pause.  I know that writing is a non-negotiable in my life, and it all started with journaling a decade ago or so.  It's only fit that I return to these printed words on these lined pages ...

So thank You for the rather clear invitation to step away from the writing online and the open door to this writing with real-life pen and ink, aimed at conversing with You.  I know I have needed it.  And I sense that there is some unpacking to do, some re-evaluation that needs to occur, a bit of re-prioritizing to be considered ...

As the little boy Samuel spoke, 'Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.'  I am Your captive audience. 

Redeem these weeks, claim them as Your own. 

I await Your lead, Your call, Your promises, Your ministry to my weary soul.
 
 
day 3  //  obedience
So thankful I am today, feeling a bit lighter as I release more of my online world and embrace this unplugged experience.  I think here and there about future posts and wonder about 31 Days a bit.  But mostly I'm content to let it all go slowly.  And be more fully present in what's happening right here, right now.

In obedience, I am finding a larger peace, a greater sense of myself, wider margins, a spaciousness that is laced with freedom.  I want to find a renewed identification of who I am in You, Lord.  Not based on performance or acceptance or kudos or stats of any kind.

Just based on Your love for me. 


day 7  //  realization
I see a slow fade in people coming by as I check in on the stats from time to time.  There's a part of me that is missing this connection.  And yet another piece is grateful for the time apart.  I guess these two seemingly opposite pulls have no problem dwelling together.

Some ideas for future posts are brewing, but they do so quietly, percolating somewhere deep.  Themes and brainstorms whisper and bring a smile.  But there's a distinct unwillingness, a rather surprising inability to make a 31 Day commitment to daily writing.  Since I've been a huge 31 Day fan, I am paying attention to how the invitation to join that great big online gathering is making me feel this year. 

And, dare I say it, the word is {gasp} exhausted.

I'm listening to what that speaks to me, God, and I acknowledge that there's only so much energy to go around right about now.  The idea of publishing something of value for 31 days straight is just too much.  And I hear You whispering, 'that's ok.  It really is ok.'

Yes, I feel a yearning to publish words that are deep, full, and substantial.  But for 31 straight days?

Sorry, not this time around.  I just can't do it.

 
day 8  //  clarity
I'm finding a lovely relief as I work through some blogging logistics.  Knowing what I'm not going to do simply opens up doors for fresh considerations.  I love that for every 'no, thanks!' you speak, you get to say, 'yes, please!' to another invitation, option, opportunity, or focus.
 
And that's looking really appealing to me, even though I'm not sure exactly how that plays out.
 
And that's all good.  'Cause I don't need to know the future's minute details of writing ... or anything else for that matter.  My heart's desire is to key into Your heart, discover Your intentions for me.  And use the energy and live out the calling that You've tucked deep inside.
 
Going there gives me joy.  I feel Your smile on my labors of love whether they are deeply personal or aimed toward ministry.
 
And there's where it gets all golden and glorious. 
 
Because this whole blogging thing encompasses the best of both worlds.  It comes from somewhere deep within the core of who I am.  And each word, every relationship built in that sacred space is all about honoring You.  And making You known in those mysterious wonders, the freeing winds of emotional healing.  Spiritual formation.  And vibrant living.
 
Just like it says on the website's header. 
 
As Creekside starts its 8th year, I realize once again, that the things that we value most, that we prize deeply, that we are called to live out in this ministry just never change.
 
Praise be ...
 
 
day 13  // replenished
When all is said and done, Sarah said it exquisitely.  She took my breath away with this.  Right here ...
 
'Find a bit of water to look at it, it doesn’t have to be much.  Maybe a pond, a lake?  If you’re really lucky, find the ocean.  But go there alone at sunset. I  know it seems indulgent and impossible – that’s because it is.  But every once in a while, the best way to keep moving through your life is do something that seems impossibly kind for your own soul.
 
So go.  Alone.  Late in the day.
 
Leave behind the book.  Leave behind your prayer journal.  Leave behind the notebooks and schedule planning.  Leave behind ... '
 
 
 



Would you celebrate this homecoming by letting a friend or two know I'm back?  The welcome mat at this little online community is always out, front and center. 
The links are below!

&

I'd love to continue to share life with you in the months ahead.  I've got some special treats in store.  And if you subscribe, you won't miss a single morsel!
Here's where to do it.

//

Catching up with Kristen  & Holley  &  Mel

44 comments:

  1. Beautiful thoughts Linda! I have missed you more than I should. :)
    Glad you are replenished!

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    1. You're a sweetheart!

      It's SO GOOD to be back again, Sarah. I needed the break. And then I needed to return.

      ;-}

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    2. I completely understand both needs. Looking forward to reading what is being revealed!

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    3. And I can't wait to see what He has for me, for us ...

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  2. Welcome back, Linda! I've missed you :) Thank you for sharing such a personal dialogues with God. Looking forward to reading what you & God have in store for us! xx

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    1. I'm just plain filled with anticipation! And isn't that just the best place to be?

      It's good to see you again, friend. I hope this day finds all those creative juices flowing ...

      ;-}

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  3. Nice to have you back Linda. Looking forward to your "replenished self" as she writes and shares.

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    1. 'Replenished.' Yes, that about sums it up. Thanks for the welcome back, Bill!

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  4. I too SO UNDERSTAND the strength needed for a healthy hiatus. Missed your wise words though. Welcome back!

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    1. Yep, it was a healthy thing to step aside just for a bit. And now I'm ready to roll again.

      By His sweet grace ...

      Thanks for being here, Cheryl!

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  5. Welcome back, my friend! I love that you shared your journal here with us. Oh how I miss pen and paper! You have inspired me to get my journal out sometime soon :).
    I had the same internal struggle over the 31 day series. I loved participating last year but it was so draining. I opted out this year. Maybe it will be an every other year thing for me. I knew I just didn't have the energy to commit right now though. I'm thankful to be more accepting of my limits lately.
    I'm glad you found peace and refreshment in your time away. I hope your mom is doing ok and you had some meaningful moments with her.

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    1. I like what you're saying about accepting our limits. And yes, in some seasons we feel stronger and less encumbered than in others. I guess the secret is to be watchful and responsive to what God is trying to say to us before we crash and burn.

      Been there, done that!

      Sigh.

      Thanks for the warm welcome back, Candace. It means alot ...

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  6. I love reading how the Lord is working in your heart and mind at this difficult time, Linda. That's why I love to type my prayers, because I see God's influence and change in me over and over--day after day. I'm glad that you're back, but I do share that same challenge of being exhausted yet called to blog. I don't like pulling back from the social aspect of it all either, but that seems to be the only negotiable at this point. Our hearts do somehow knit tightly with so many kindred souls in that vast internet space! Hugs to you, my knitted in my heart sister!

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    1. You pen truth, friend. Maybe the secret is figuring out what social media stuff works for us ... and how much. And then letting the rest fade from view, no matter what the blog pundits preach at us!

      There's a reason why God rested on the 7th day ...

      I love that you type your prayers. What a legacy that is!

      And I'm grateful you share a bit of yourself here in this space.

      Hugs.

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  7. I love that you journal with colored ink. :) Even that reveals something about you, Linda. You're so full of life and adventure. I've made the 31 Day commitment already (to myself anyway), and I'm looking forward to it. But I understand NOT doing it as well. We each have to listen to His voice guiding us in each season. Thanks for sharing with us the things you are learning!

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    1. I have a fist-full of colored pens that I use for journaling and note writing ... they somehow motivate me! Go figure ...

      And that 31 Day invitation just won't leave my mind. I'm trying to discern what's going on with that ...

      Thanks for being here, Lisa. It's good to see you again!

      ;-}

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  8. So good to see you again, sweet friend. I'm so glad you returned with sharing pieces of your journal with us because it blessed me so. Especially this ... 'Cause I don't need to know the future's minute details of writing ... or anything else for that matter. My heart's desire is to key into Your heart, discover Your intentions for me. And use the energy and live out the calling that You've tucked deep inside.

    It's the very reason I know I need to step away right now . . . to key into His heart. I don't expect it to be permanent but my heart needs to be open to whatever He unfolds. But I do know I need more of Him. I've signed up for a Bible Study Fellowship group (which begin tonight!). I'm super excited about this. And of course for my husband's return home too. Btw, He is now on U.S. soil! Not home yet but one step closer. :)

    Your friendship is a blessing to me and no matter what the status of my blog may be I know that will remain.

    The words Thank You never seem to fully express my gratitude. But THANK YOU.

    Much love to you.
    xoxo

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    1. Hugs and blessings as you head offline for however long. Selfishly, I hope you will return. But more than the connection, I pray for your spiritual health and well-being, and great joy in your marriage as your husband returns home from serving our country.

      I am here for you, friend. Please feel free to stop by and say 'hi' when you can.

      Trust me. You'll be greatly missed ...

      Sigh.

      ;-{

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  9. When blogging becomes an end unto itself--then we need to step back and consider our motivations. I am writing now only when strongly prompted by God. The time I spent writing is now spent talking--with Him! I missed you and your wisdom, Friend. Welcome back---and write for His Good Pleasure!
    Blessings!

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    1. To 'write for His Good Pleasure!' What wisdom you have shared with me, with us, today, Lulu. As always, I am grateful that you are here in this place.

      Enjoy those sacred conversations, friend!

      Blessings this evening ...

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  10. Thank you for sharing your musings. <3

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  11. Great post, Linda. Can sense God's fingerprints as you write. Greater clarity and depth and it shows up in the post. Keep it up, my friend. Blessings...

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    1. Ah, the fingerprints of God. When all is said and done, that's what we want our lives to be imprinted with, defined by ...

      Good to have you drop in today, Sheila! So good ...

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  12. So glad you are back! Missed you and can't wait to see what's next!

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    1. Coming up? Some downright serious stuff ... and some plain and simple fun as we all do life together in this little online community.

      God is good! And I'm glad you're here with us, Val!

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  13. Your final words have stuck with me today: Leave behind. Simple words but not simple to carry out. Good for me to ponder. Thanks for sharing them.

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    1. Sarah said it well, didn't she. Her wise words were like a benediction to me ... to us!

      ;-}

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  14. Welcome back friend! I love journaling and almost always handwrite my posts before I type them and hit publish. It just feels right to join in communion with God through the physical act of writing. I appreciate your cad or in how God is working through you and I appreciate you! The beautiful reminder that we need to do something impossibly kind for our soul is one I will keep etched on my heart. You are a treasure and I look forward to joining you here in the future.

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    1. I'm fascinated that you handwrite your posts! That sure is an intensely personal way to blog ... and it SHOWS in your writing, Mary!

      I'm glad that you spend time with us here. Truly.

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  15. Hi Linda. I'm happy to see you are back. I always appreciate it when bloggers take a needed break. That way they are able to come back more fresh. Looking forward to your new posts.

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    1. Thanks for coming by to say 'hi,' my Bungalow friend! It's time for me to drop by your place and see what's up!

      ;-}

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  16. How wonderful that you took some time offline to rest, reconnect with God and discern next steps. Something we all should do once in a while. Prayers for you as you discern next steps and direction!

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    1. Don't you love how we can pray for each other in those areas that matter most? I appreciate your heart for Jesus, Kathryn. Your light shines bright.

      ;-}

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  17. I am always intrigued by what other journalers record in their journals, yet it is such a private, sacred space that I feel privileged that someone would share those words with me. Thank you for sharing your private thoughts and your processing of the 31 Days. May God bless you and continually refresh you in these coming days and months.

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    1. You're kind. Thanks, Dar.

      From time to time I've shared my journaling {click on the From Pen to Paper link at the bottom of the post.} I do it as an encouragement ... to let people know that this kind of ongoing connection with the Lord can really be a game-changer that leads to a deeper relationship with our Savior.

      ;-}

      Blessings this evening!

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  18. I love the way you chronicled this progression.

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    1. It was super helpful for me ... and I thought it might offer some kind of encouragement to those who gather in this space.

      Your kind words have blessed me, Ginger!

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  19. Welcome back! So inspiring to read your blog once again. Thank you..
    Ria

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    1. You're kind! Absence only made my heart grow fonder for this little online community. And I'm grateful that you are here, Ria!

      ;-}

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  20. Taking a break is the best way to channelize your energy! And we see it here, Linda.

    -Tanya
    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

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    1. We've only been given so much energy each day. We get to choose how to invest it. And periodically, we've just gotta unplug and pull back so we can breathe deep. Experience life at a different level. And sit quietly with the Lover of our soul.

      It was a nurturing, life-giving few weeks!

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  21. Linda, I love journaling and writing in any form and I wanted to tell you how beautiful this is. I love how you called Jesus the lover of your soul and how you find that in journaling you are beside him.
    I don't blog quite like you--I mostly blog recipes for the world to see. I do, however, write in a journal with a pen and, recently, I began a private blog as my journal. It does exist, even if it's hidden from everyone. I love the privacy of writing on pen and paper. In fact, it seems so quiet and like I am with the Lord. Yet, I started journaling online because I think it's easier to reread what I've written, edit for clarity, and use tags so I can find specific posts.
    It's so wonderful to be able to easily look back at wonderful thoughts and impressions I had, whether journaled online or with a pencil and paper.
    I loved your post. Sorry my comment was so long. I got overly excited.
    I also want to invite you to my Retro-Repin Party beginning Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Here's a unique party where you pick 1-2 of your cool old blog posts and share them in pin form. Come visit http://somebodysdinner.blogspot.com/2014/09/retro-re-pin-party-11.html

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    1. I'm not at all sorry that you're excited to share your heart, Julie! Bloggers, journalers? Well, we can get pretty passionate about what we do ... and why.

      Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. I look forward to getting to know you better!

      ;-}

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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