Here I am again, a day later, blogging.
I guess sometimes you need to vent about something to feel right again.
Life is good today. While work was a bit rough and I felt a bit off all day, there were some definite bright spots in between 8am & 4pm. For example: chatting with Dana in the morning, getting some solid work done, finally receiving the school’s updated phone list (yippee! Seriously), and my friend Ashlee bringing me a cranberry-orange smoothie from Panera and chatting with me at the end of the day.
I also got a good start this morning with my Daily Walk Bible. I’m up to Genesis 15, and it’s really cool to see some themes start to emerge:
After work, Dayne was supposed to be out til 7, so I actually summoned the energy to go run some errands! I read a great article today entitled, “You Never Marry the Right Person“, and was so excited about it that I decided to buy the book at Barnes & Noble: The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. CANNOT. WAIT. to read it. I also picked up The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht, because I read great reviews of it and have been wanting to read a new novel. And I bought a new journal for notetaking during sermons, prayer requests, etc. for 2012. I write everything down.
I *also* ran to Target and finished buying my husband’s surprise birthday presents!! His birthday is February 6th.
…Feel free to leave him love notes, as long as they’re not too lovey.
The day settled with cheeseburgers and corn for dinner, made by my hubby, with our conversation on what we’ve been reading in the Bible and the catch-up of our days. In case you’re wondering, Dayne had a good day, too. I’m proud of the fantastic job he does at work and thrilled that he is such a great provider. I’m a blessed lady.
Well, my blog friends, that is about all I wanted to say. I needed an encouraging day pretty badly, and God gave me one. I am thankful for my many blessings tonight, and I even have the energy to stay up a little later so that I can write this blog and start my new journal.
I hope you’re all feeling some peace and joy today, too — though those words are often on Christmas cards, I am feeling them ever-so-strongly tonight.
From The War of Art by Steven Pressfield:
“Once you make your break, you can’t turn around for your buddy who catches his trouser leg on the barbed wire. The best thing you can do for that friend (and he’d tell you this himself, if he really is your friend) is to get over the wall and keep [moving].
The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.” (p. 20, emphasis mine)
I’d like to suggest that you could replace “artist” in that last sentence with just about anything – “Christian”, “woman”, “man”, “coworker”, “friend”, “human being”.
The War of Art is about connecting with your inspiration and defeating “Resistance” (anything that gets in the way of you executing your “art”: your gifts, talents, creative nature). I think inspiration can come from just the mere suggestion that you could (and most likely will) inspire someone else. And I think that’s one way we love other people!
It’s interesting; I was just reading an article recently about how it doesn’t help people who are going through a tough time to be miserable with them, even though we think that is true or natural empathy. What really helps is to be the face of (tactful and attentive) optimism and hope for that person.
I wrestle with this philosophy in my Christian walk. When others are struggling with walking in step with Jesus, I often think that the best thing I can do is seek to understand where they’re coming from and focus on the difficulties of Christian life. But if I’m honest, when I’m struggling, do I want to be around people who are lagging behind and complaining about Christianity, or do I want to be around people who are genuinely connecting with God and others and living through Him (i.e. do I want to be inspired)?
Donald Miller (the Christian author who wrote Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years) wrote recently on his blog:
“It’s hard to remember that… people will actually be benefited by our work.
…Most writers don’t think [their] work really matters. I’ve met writers who have sold thousands of books and still don’t think anybody’s life has been changed by their efforts. There’s an enemy whispering in their ear, I think.
I wrote four books and sold millions before I realized I was helping anybody. Sure I knew people were reading my stuff, but I didn’t realize they were making better decisions because we’d sat down for a few hours and I shared my heart.
…Just the thought that somebody out there might not leave their spouse, or quit on that book they’re writing, or change their career or find God. In all those books about writing filled with tips and tricks, I think loving the reader is the best motivator I’ve found.
…So the next time you sit down to write a blog, just remember somebody is going to read it and be encouraged.”
Even though Donald’s focusing on writing specifically, the same principle holds true: the next time you sit down to make a phone call, or write an email, or complete a task at work, or do something you’ve been feeling called to do for a very long time… people are going to notice what you do. We have such power to encourage and inspire.
Use it! Be inspiring!
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. – Romans 12:6-9 (NIV)