Tuesday, November 22, 2011

nature reveals her secrets

All labor, bodily or mental, needs time and effort. We must give ourselves up to it. Nature reveals her secrets and yields her treasures only to diligent and thoughtful labor.

-Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer

Friday, November 4, 2011

a lot left

"You know, I have spent a lot of days ... feeling sad about the things that I've lost. But doing the marathon really shows me that I still have a lot left in me."
 Gweneviere Mann in this sweet StoryCorps story.

(For those of you not familiar with StoryCorps, the stories are in the form of recorded conversations. So don't just read about this story -- listen for yourself!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

to me, from me

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does it. You come across a website or article or bit of information that you just know will get lost inside that crowded, distracted brain of yours. In the old days we made copies, clipped from newspapers, or, I guess, just wrote it down somewhere. I like these options sometimes -- saving something in print, or seeing it in my own writing, can be more valuable and meaningful than a bookmarked link on my computer. Other times the easiest way for me to file these nuggets away for future reference is to email them to myself. This serves as a sort of virtual idea notebook for myself -- to feed ideas for my future, my writing and my thinking and creativity (and sometimes my stomach, as you'll see below...).

A requirement is a short but descriptive subject line so I can easily recall and recognize the information*. (Sometimes I add a fun note in the body to liven things up.) Here's a list of subject lines from recent emails I sent to myself. For fun, I included the links, too -- most are worthy of sharing with people beyond myself!

mind of the maker
mfa reading list 
end of men
coaching article
Saturday run
aloo gobi
modern love

*Once I send them to myself, I also label them in my gmail. This helps me remember why I saved the link.

What about you? What kinds of information and ideas do you send to yourself? How does this help your creativity?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

post-it quote: tightly tied as they are

My HipstaPrint 0
Following a calling is like walking a tightrope — exacting, courageous and exhilarating all at once. And then there’s the fear of falling, one misstep that sends you tumbling or the loss of balance that keeps you from moving forward. To onlookers it may look effortless, like a dance in the clouds. But in reality it requires more focus and demands more sacrifice than you ever thought possible when first signing up. And though others may cheer you on, you are essentially alone out there, just you and the wire. You learn to trust it and to trust yourself that way.


I’ve taken to the habit of reading various versions of the scripture I’m meditating on at the moment. I find that different combinations of words and word pictures help to open it up deeper and give me new visuals or ideas. When I read Colossians 1 in The Message, this verse popped out at me:

The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taught by hope. (vs 5)

I closed my eyes and waited for the right image to come and show me what this looks like. I saw a tightrope walker skillfully walking forward, with utmost concentration, in the purpose that only God can speak into our lives. This purpose moves us heavenward toward what we were meant to be and what we are in the perfect, loving and imaginative eye of God. The rope is held in the perfect tension, allowing us to walk forward, allowing us to trust the next step.

What we fear most is that the lines of purpose will grow slack, or that they aren’t there at all. To many of us they seem invisible, and we keep toeing around to feel for the next step but are never quite sure if we’re to take it or if we’ll tumble down into the abyss.

I imagine an important part of tight-rope-walking is to use all the senses — to know where to keep your vision focused, to feel the way the breeze is moving and to hear the stillness and perhaps drown out the distracting noise. There’s also that sixth sense, that feel that we all have for the purpose we’re made to pursue, the one that helps us just know. We need to learn to use this or we’ll be frozen in fear on a fine wire over the rushing waters of Niagra Falls.

P.S. I watched Man On Wire a few months ago, maybe it’s time to view it again?
P.P.S. The first man to tight rope over Niagra Falls.

Post-it quotes is a series. Each post features a new quote that's made it's way to a post-it note on my computer at work, combining two of my loves -- wise words and post-it notes -- with my desire to stay focused and develop excellence at my work and craft.