4 Ways to Show the Love When Writing is a Trusted Friend

A few of my childhood friends

An only child, such as myself, is known for entertaining imaginary friends. With them we clinked tea cups, whispered at bedtime and played out back in the summertime. It was only recently, however, that I realized another trusted friend had hitched a ride to my adulthood. 

“Writing is a friend whose shoulder we can cry on. Writing is a confidant who listens and lets us sort things out. Writing is a comrade, marching with us through the steep days of sorrow and despair.” -Julia Cameron, The Right to Write 

Writing has been a friend, a constant companion throughout my life. One letter in the above picture was handwritten to my grandfather when I was a young girl, maybe 8, asking if he loved me (using the reliable ✔ the box method, of course.) Another letter was to my cousin, Lisa, during a typing (yes, typing!) class in middle school. In high school I kept a daily diary and I’ve journaled my prayers for over twenty years. Over the past several years, God has also awakened a desire to write in ways I never imagined. 

Like any true friendship, love is to be reciprocated. Here are four ways I try to show the love:

  • Listen to the promptings within. Don’t ignore them. Jot them down! I carry a tiny Moleskin wherever I go. My scribbling rarely lets me down. How I wish I could say the same for my memory.
  • Respond to those ideas. Pray over them, drink coffee, write a terrible first draft, drink more coffee. If you’re not quite ready to explore the ideas further, that’s okay. Keep them close by, ready for action. 
  • Feed the friendship. No one wants to take a friend for granted. If God has called us to write, it’s our responsibility to hone our God-inspired skills to the best of our ability. We notice intricate details, the dialogue of a couple eating ice cream behind us, along with a host of other quirks. Let’s return the love by reading, writing, and thanking God often. 
  • Rest. We wouldn’t exhaust our friends by keeping them on the go for days on end, would we? Our writing deserves the same benefit. I’ve failed miserably in the past but now I’m taking a break from writing on Sundays. No getting-ahead-on-my-blog-schedule kind of writing for me. I refuse to give up the truth that if God can rest one day from creating, so can I.

Imagine. Long before I knew or appreciated it, God decided to tuck a friend in my pocket that would help see me through a myriad of situations in my life.

How about you? Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, how can you look back and see your God-inspired skills used in unexpected ways? 

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways. 
Psalm 139:1-4

Unpacking our Internal Bags

This week’s “Wow!” moment in Jonah:

“We can pack our internal bags just as quickly as Jonah packed his and be on a boat headed in the opposite direction of God’s will even while we are in the throes of everyday life.” – Priscilla Shirer

Would you agree that running from God is easier to spot if buying a ticket to Tarshish, but a bit more difficult when it’s our heart/mind that’s doing the packing?

I may not hold a ticket in my hand, but I am, unfortunately, much like Jonah when it comes to mentally running from God. Perhaps we’re not alone in this boat?

  • We properly position our bottoms, Bibles, and bible studies for quiet time—all the external necessities in place—without realizing that our heart, the one internal necessity, is playing hooky.
  • We go to church, but rather than expecting God’s presence to be active, alive, and eager to speak, we perceive a faint mental click in the background, signaling the proverbial ✓ being placed in the “I went to church this week” box instead.
  • God prompts us to speak truth, shift priorities, __________ (fill in the blank), but instead of running towards God’s desires, we choose instead to get busy, avoid prayer and other believers, or dive into a new addiction (do Junior Mints count?).

To unlock the internal luggage, we simply need to confess to God the specific ways we’ve tried to flee (He already knows!), ask for forgiveness, receive it, and head for the Ninevah God has planned for each of us. No luggage required!

I begin this week with a fresh appreciation in knowing there is no place—physically, emotionally, or spiritually—that my heavenly Father is not already there. (Psalm 139)

How about you?

– Photo courtesy of Lifegroup413.org

My Friday Fave – Psalm 139

Warning! Adorable (Grand)Baby On Board

It’s been ten weeks of pure bliss watching Piper’s expressions change, listening to her coos, and enjoying her sweet smiles.

How could anyone not believe in God when a baby is nearby?

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139: 13, 14

You’re Never a Distraction

Peering from my window I see:

High shadows from children’s swings being swung in the City Park.
Teenagers playing hoops.

A man sitting on a bench alone, head hung low
never raising his head to acknowledge those passing by.
Is his heart as barren as the trees surrounding him?

People drive past — most at the speed of light, others singing merrily as they cruise by.
Where are they going?
A few spot me perched in my upstairs window and wave, most are oblivious to the fact that a house is standing nearby.

All this while Beef Burgundy simmers on the stove downstairs. No wonder I never finished the post I began two hours ago.

Aren’t you thankful the Lord never sees us as a distraction?

Christmas reminds us once a year of dynamic truths that can launch every day to heights never imagined: God is with us. He resides within us. He watches over us. He is intimately acquainted with us. No one knows us better—or loves us more. No one.

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3

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