Finding the Voice God Gave You

Gentle Reader,

“You used to write like…I don’t know, like you were writing for an episode of Friends or something. A lot of quips and sarcasm. I noticed you don’t do that anymore.”

“Well, I did that because I felt like I had to defend everything I wrote in advance. I don’t feel that way anymore.”

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The above exchange between my mom and I took place just a few weeks ago, on one of our early morning walks around the neighborhood. Long has she said that I have “an old soul,” a personality that’s naturally on the quiet, reserved, and serious end of the spectrum. And she’s right. While I do love to laugh, I also love to think. I like to step back and observe. I like to study. My favorite question has always been, “Why?” …

To read the rest, head on over to Rise Up Writers. While you’re there, stay awhile.

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Five Minute (Someday I’ll Do This On Time Again): Goal

 

Gentle Reader,

Spent my Thursday night with a friend at church, trying to sleep on just-this-side of uncomfortable hospital mattresses. We watched a silly television show, ate chocolate, partook of a face mask that made us look like swamp monsters, and chatted into the wee hours. Most importantly, we served three families who are looking to improve their lives. We had the honor of sitting with them during dinner, then cleaning the kitchen while they rested and prepared for the next day.

Loving like Jesus does is a beautiful thing.

Kate says: goal.

Go.

This might surprise you, but I’m not particularly goal-oriented when it comes to my writing.

Not in the traditional sense.

I used to want a multi-book contract. To see my name on the New York Times bestseller list. To write posts that go viral. To develop a big following on social media.

Now…none of that matters.

Of course I wouldn’t turn down a book contract. Of course I’d be delighted to see my name alongside major authors. Of course I’d feel honored if something I wrote spread far and wide. (As to the big following, it’s too scary). I’m just not chasing that stuff anymore. I may not know a lot, and I may have had to learn the things I do know the very hard way, but I can say with confidence that none of the above is fulfilling. None of the above meets the deepest need of my life.

That deepest need? To be loved. To be seen. To be accepted. To have purpose.

Only Jesus does that. Only He reaches down into my heart and draws the broken pieces together. Anything good this world has to offer, it’s just bonus. Extra. Nice and all, but not necessary.

I’m not a super-spiritual saint. Chances are good that as soon as I hit “publish,” I’ll be distracted by something false and shiny. But I know, in that place of knowing in the center of my being that cannot be shaken, that Jesus is the real treasure. Him – not what He provides, but Himself.

My goal, then, is to glorify Him in every word, whether they are read by the many or the few.

Stop.

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Still Typing After all These Years

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Ten years.

A decade.

Three books. An entry in an anthology. Appearances on other sites. Hours wrestling with shortcode. Discovering that I like wrestling with shortcode and other aspects of web design. Over 700 posts. (Somewhere around 800 if you count the ones I’ve purged).

You’d think that I would have run out of things to say by now.

I’ve crossed the line into being an “old timer” within the blogging community. I remember the days when Facebook notes were the thing and I had a LiveJournal account at one point. Before that was the glory and grandeur of MySpace. (Remember Tom)? If there was a free, online platform for me to try, I tried it. Blogger, Google+, TypePad…

If I were doing this the “right” way, I’d give you a list of things I’ve learned and tell you how to build a “successful” blog. I would wax poetic about how wonderful it is to be a writer. But I listicles aren’t really my thing and the most important lesson I can share with you is to never write when you’re angry. While it is wonderful to be a writer, it’s also difficult. It really cutting veins open and splashing blood on the page. Even the most detached, clinical of us knows the struggle and vulnerability inherent in hitting “publish.”

Honestly, I’m at a loss as to how to mark this anniversary. A lot of life has happened. I’m not who I was when I began this practice of putting my words out there for any and all to consume. I had hopes of gaining influence back then. Maybe a little money. Now the number of subscribers I have scares me; it’s a great privilege and responsibility. I can’t be flippant about speaking into anyone’s life. My bank account has seen very little action, which, let’s be real, is discouraging. It’s hard when nobody seems to want your stuff. But that just means the value of my books will go up after I die, right? Starving artist and all that?

Guess my twisted sense of humor remains the same.

Admittedly, I wonder if anything I write truly matters. Do I make a difference? Has anyone come to know and love the Lord even a little bit better because of something they’ve read here?

Maybe I won’t know until Heaven.

Maybe it’s not even about that. Maybe it’s only and always about simply being faithful to share the Gospel the best way I know how. The rest is between the internet surfer and God.

So, I continue on along the way. Certainly older, perhaps a little wiser, definitely with more grey hair. Oh, and scars. A lot more scars. Literally and figuratively.

Thank you, dear reader, for journeying with me. It is my honor to walk this road with you. I wish I could sit across a table from you, see your face and hear your story, while we indulge in some fried chicken and chocolate ice cream. (I’m a medically-mandated clean eater. That meal sounds fabulous to me right now). Until such time when our meeting is possible, I will continue to imagine you on the other side of the screen. I will continue to pray that you come to know and rest in the limitless love of the Savior who gave His all for you. May you be encouraged and equipped to live faithfully in this crazy world.

Onward.

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