Hi Friends! Happy Monday to ya'! Today I was invited by this lovely, my co-worker extraordinaire, Sue, to hop on a blog tour with her.
Gang, I can't tell you how great it is to work with a sister in the Lord and participate in the little kingdom adventures we get to have at our thrift store. You would not believe how many little parables are lived out in that place daily. One of the things I appreciate most about Sue is how she makes our customers feel like they are an honored guest in our midst. I hear her buoyant voice now, "Heeeelllllloooo Jerry! How are ya? So good to see you!" She makes them feel like the most important person in the place. Reminds me a lot of how Jesus made the outcasts feel... w e l c o m e!
Hop on over to Sue's blog Welcome Heart. I promise three things: you'll laugh, you'll relate, and you'll feel Jesus' welcoming heart jump off the page!
Sue invited me to jump on this blogging train by answering four questions about how and why I create. Such a good and necessary p a u s e. Not just for me but for you too! Why do you create? We're all co-creators in some way, and I've found partnering with God creatively is awesome in the truest sense of the word! Wow, what a great thing to celebrate!
I am an a r t i s t. Oooo, that's hard to type. See how Resistance has already started to rear her yucky face.
I make beautiful s p a c e s (i.e. decorator/event designer/merchandiser). Gack! Can I say that? Can I name before you and truly own that I have a gift of making spaces prettier than before?
I am a writer, exhorter, and person of wisdom. Dear me, it's ever so hard to say I am these things. To joyfully accept that Jesus has gazed into my eyes, lifted my head, and said, "You, yes you my Beloved, offer these precious gifts in my name. I am glad you are these things, I celebrate them, and long to use them on behalf of My Kingdom."So grab some coffee, nestle in, and let me share with you, and normalize, the beautiful mess of my creative process.
1) What are you I working on?
Being a new wife. Seriously. I took a break from blogging during our engagement and spent time preparing for marriage (counseling) and a wedding. The last six months I've primarily been a wedding planner, thrift store worker, and fiance/wife. I was working on staying present and receiving the generous gift being handed to me!
I'm now back to blogging and feel more excited than ever to share with my readers life in my early days of my marriage--through my home, musings on Christ found in the everyday, and expanding my heart to love through "wifeing" and step-mothering. God has pulled the rug on the identity I found in singleness, longing, waiting, and the ache (I didn't even know I had built my own little kingdom on these things until now) the dust is floating everywhere and the new sacred ground is being relayed and restored built on union, the now, flourishing together, and the process of becoming one. Just when you think you begin to get life with God, he adds a whole new colorful dimension and depth to the ground he originally laid.
My memoir is on the shelf right now (literally the manuscript is sitting on my bookshelf). She whispers to me every now and then, "We're not done." And depending on the day I either smile and say, "Yes, I know. I'll see you soon." or grimace, "Gack! What was I thinking believing I could pull that one off?"
2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Great question (and more hesitancy as I own what I bring). I think I bring a conversational intimacy with God into the content. I primarily like to share about how God wants to tell us a new story each and everyday about our lives. He does it in the most ordinary things that then become extraordinary! God shows up in the everyday, so I like to share about it. Things like decorating, gathering, working, going on walks--all that everyday stuff we do He wants to participate in!
I love to share how He is rebuilding me from my old, wobbly self into a new being, more secure, and enjoying my new kingdom self rebuilt by Him. And this all takes t i m e. Lots. Of. Time. And journeying. I want to invite you into the process that I'm in, to normalize it and name it for what it is. I call this soul care. Letting Christ care for my soul so I can care for others. I try to model that on the page and celebrate it!
3) Why do you write/create what you do?
In part, I write for me. God has given me the privilege of walking through some tough terrain (depression/anxiety, singleness, and some tough years in ministry), and we developed a beautiful intimacy through it. He has regularly reminded me I am to share and "sing our song." One way I do that is through writing. Writing helps ground me in my life and name things God is doing in it. My writing, in many ways, has become a spiritual practice.
My decorating both at work and in our home settles me and brings me incredible joy. I celebrate beauty in its many forms and can't not try to make something look prettier than before. It's deeply satisfying when people come into the store or our home and comment on how lovely it is and how much they enjoy being there. I think God longs for us to create sacred spaces and/or go to sacred spaces to look for him and enjoy him.
4) How does your writing/creating process work?
I am not one of those bloggers who has a quarterly plan of the content they are going to cover. My process is pretty organic. I write about what God is up to or, maybe better said, own more of what God is up to as I write it. I work best on a deadline so I tell myself twice a week I need to post something. It's a really important exercise in my life with God and worship. It's been a long journey owning my voice and letting Him have His way with me.
In terms of design, I excel working within limits. I think it's why I thrive decorating at the thrift store. I would feel totally lost if someone said, "Here is a blank check, go buy what you want." That is not fun to me. I like to work with what is already there and maximize it's beauty or place in the collective whole. I make things work with what is there and then buy things to compliment it (and get rid of things that just don't belong). Creating beauty is definitely part of who I am and what I bring and something I think women can overlook as part of their life with God. I hope to talk more about that down the road.
So, now that you know more about me, I hope you will continue the tour at Sue's place here.
Thanks for letting me share! Enjoy theses lovelies!