Lately (read the last 20 years), I’ve been just a tad preoccupied with others.

I’ve found myself reading something that I loved and instead of just loving it, I decided to roll it up into a bat and beat myself about the head with it. I’ll take a swing like,”You can’t write like this so why do you bother writing at all. She writes the way you only hope to write and she is funny and original.” And then I’ll rare back and hit it out of the park, “Everyone wonders why you even bother.” And then I’ll think, “Ouch. At least I have my photography.” I’ll go searching for some good photography for inspiration and rather than be inspired, the photographs become little bullets I load into my gun of self abuse and start playing Russion roulette. “You couldn’t take a picture that good if you were given all the time in the world.” It hurts – this campaign I launch against myself.

Why do we do this? Why do we think that because someone else is good it means we are bad? What if everyone stopped creating just because they appreciated someone else’s creativity? What a limited world that would be.

So today, this evening, I’ve decided to tackle this. I’m going to sneak up on it and tackle it to the ground.

I write because within me is a burning desire to write. I write because the world makes more sense when it comes out of my head, through my hands and on a piece of paper. I share my writing because I love reading what other people write. I feel connected to humanity through writing. I feel known and understood and challenged – all through the written word. That is powerful and amazing stuff and God created me to be a part of it. I was made to write. I surely was. Now if only God would have seen fit to also make me love grammar and the rules of the english language, what a powerful combo that would be! Alas, we are stuck with my oddly placed comma’s and bone jarring grammatical errors until that lovely day when an editor in a publishing company can stand it no longer and gives me a great book deal.

This attacking of ourselves – it is evil – it is evil people. Seriously. What better way to stifle love than to shut down creativity and expression?

Take Courage, My Friend.

Life requires fearlessness, don’t you think? I would love to remember this, “Be fearless.” Not the kind of fearlessness that lands you in a full body cast. Not the kind that results in rehab. But the kind of fearlessness that sets you free.

Be free of concerning yourself with what others think. Be free to follow the promptings of the Spirit within you. Be free to pursue your passions and interests regardless of whether or not that’s how you make your money.

I don’t know if we are ever truly free while on earth though. Even now – there is so much I long to write about, but I don’t, out of fear.

I love that my relationship with God is such that I am comfortable with Him knowing all the details of my missteps and mistakes. I love that my marriage is a reflection of that – I trust Greg with everything. I find trusting others much more difficult. That’s a block for me in writing. Writing + Trust Issues = Frequent writers block.

But it’s more than that isn’t it? Don’t you have areas of your life that are just lived out in your interior space? Things you want to scream out loud and you really really want the world to know, but instead the words just bounce around inside your head? Why are we like that?

The Spirit is leading to be more honest and more open and so, needless to say, I’m (even now) in a perpetual arm wrestling match with the Holy Spirit. I’ll keep you posted on the results.

To those of you who leave me little notes of encouragement – THANK YOU. I am a total freak about needing affirmation and praise. It’s revolting really – a tiny little nugget of encouragement can keep me going for days. I would totally admit to not needing raises if I get enough praises. I would admit that if I didn’t know that my manager sometimes stumbles across my blog. (While I might live on praise alone, my children do need to be fed…so, so, so very often.)

There is some statistic out there that only like 3% of readers comment – that means, based on my comments to date, there are NINE of you out there…I know you are there!

So, obviously, my most grating personality trait on display for the moment is groveling for affirmation – how uncool is that. At least I have finally admitted it – first step and all to resolution. God is helping me in this. I’m learning.

I recently read a post from a favorite blogger about the abundance in the world and the need for us women to be more kind to one another. It stuck with me for days and then my mom also read it and posted it on facebook and I said, “Ok God, I hear you.”

Hears a little excerpt:

“A few years ago I got a little overwhelmed and consumed by jealousy so I decided to try believing in abundance. I decided, with the help of my long suffering and eternally patient tutor, Jesus, to quit believing in half empty or half full, and start believing in completely full….
…On my stable days, I even understand that not only can I allow other people to keep their good stuff…I can even give my own good stuff away because when I do, more will always be made available to me.”

momastery.com (She is all I ever hope to be in a writer – authentic, honest, funny – go read her stuff!)

It’s a beautiful idea – and one I am faithfully trying to emulate. The other message God has been giving me is that it is His affirmation that I am to seek with my whole heart. It is that peace that surpasses comprehension that I feel in my soul when I am writing what He has laid on my heart. That is more than enough – that is brimming over. The more I listen for it, the clearer I can hear.

One more truth that God gave me with so much love as I left my house this evening: I write for those of you who were not made to write but also long to be known. I write because, although sometimes I feel like the only freak at the white tie affair, I know some of you well enough to know that you totally borrowed that gown! I am in this with you. I am needy and self conscious. I am inept and silly and just ridiculous…often. And I won’t tell anyone about the gown.

  • Greg austin

    Yep, this hits home!

    • allnewpeople

      I am trying to decide if this means – See what I have to put up with?! Or Me too!

  • Rose Boulware

    I love your writing. You put into words so much that I also feel and don’t have the courage to admit. Keep up the writing. I really feel it is a gift.

    • allnewpeople

      Thank you Aunt Rose – I so appreciate it!

  • Penny Garver

    I’m bad about writing a comment on your facebook and not here on your blog after I read your entries, so I’ll do my best to help you in your search for affirmation. 🙂 You spin words in such a lovely, meaningful way, and I would say that more than a desire to write, you have a NEED to write. God has blessed your life, and He is using you and your writing as an instrument to touch others. Don’t stop.

    • allnewpeople

      Thank you so much Penny!

  • I AM ONE OF THE THREE PERCENT! Already I feel important today. Beautifully, beautifully said, Julie. There are so many quotes within that post that I need to print out and frame.
    When we believe in abundance, we do our best work, form collaborations, free the Holy Spirit, and on and on. You have struck gold, my friend!

    • Thank you so much Shannon – from one author to another, this means so very much to me.

      Can’t wait for you to guest blog!!!!!

  • You just put into words what has been rattling around in my head for quite some time. It’s such a relief to have someone–you!–articulate it! Reading this makes me take a deep breath, center myself in who I am in Christ, and…relax. Bless you, friend!

  • Christy

    I am one of those that was not made to write and I love that you are. I could almost be sad about how critical you can be toward yourself but I know it is something you will get past and be triumphant! I admire how you have stuck with this despite your fears and doubts. You are awesome.

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