Obviously I’ve been away for awhile. Our road trip venture this summer pushed me into a space of wonder. “I wonder what it is I’m supposed to be doing right now. I wonder where you are calling me Lord. I wonder what will become of me now Lord.” Swirling thoughts of doubt, questioning and dullness. Oh, the trip was absolutely wonderful and God showed His hand in our lives but once home, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do nor what I thought God was asking me to do.
I had lunch recently with an dear friend whom I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting with in quite some time. As we talked it felt as if God had taken me, plopped me into a popcorn popper along with a bunch of seeds and turned the machine on. Ideas were flying as I poured out my heart to her and she matter-of-factly challenged me. I walked away from that two hour discussion energized, hopeful, and more centered than I had felt in a long time.
Just before having this lunch time explosion, I’d been reading a number of books about creativity and writing. I’ve always loved writing, always thought I’d write something, articles mostly. It was the starting that presented problems. And then it’s funny how, when you believe in God, He will bring a thing in front of your face over and over so you’ll eventually bump into it. The book, “The Artist’s Way” was one of those. I bumped into it about three times, all from completely different sources. The third bump hit me; “I think I need to take a look at this book!” I picked up a used copy and dived in.
I love what Julia Cameron has to say. It seems our creative self is a bit like a child, hiding from us, lowering her head to ignore our cries that we desperately want her to come out to play. One of her big reasons for not coming out to play is our own internal critic’s moves to keep her at bay. She may come out for a time, helping to write a blog for instance, and then the critic booms, “who do you think you are writing that thing? You don’t have anything to say that anyone would be interested in. Shut the silly thing down, close up shop, it’s useless.” Oh yes, the internal critic is rather ruthless at times. Well, Ms. Cameron goes on to say you have to practice, practice, practice in order to coax the child artist out and quell the critic. Trust me, she does a splendid job of explaining this process and if you find yourself in such a spot of wanting to throw your artistic side out the window (whether it be writing, singing, dancing, painting or whatever), get hold of this book and read it…now!
I’m sitting in a retreat-ish place for me at the moment amongst huge Ponderosa Pines and a lazy river drifting by. It’s sunny but the warmth of the sun is a bit thin here, betraying the arrival of fall in its crisp glory. The leaves are just beginning to fall and the squirrels are quite busy, running to and fro with their mouths full of tidbits that will help sustain them through the coming winter. I can hear God here. “Come sit with Me Linda and let’s just be still for a time. I want to fill you up. We won’t worry about the impending winter just now. Enjoy this time with Me for we’ve had so little of this kind of filling this summer. I’ve been with you through it all, but you’ve been looking beyond Me. Let Me give you rest my daughter.”
Oh Lord, I am so grateful for what you bring into my life. Good books, good friends, inspirations, and yes, even down times. They all have their purposes in molding, transforming, and the renewing Your Holy Spirit loves to bring about. I’m breathing easy right now. Sustain me Lord Jesus!