Writing holds the power to be understood and to understand. Together, my son and I discovered the healing power of writing as we worked our way through a season of struggle and misunderstanding. The rest of our story is over on Claire DeBoer’s blog, The Gift of Writing
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Do you remember the line in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, when Meg Ryan is trying to figure out what NY150 means? She leans in toward Tom Hanks and laughingly declares “150 insights into my soul!”
Except the insights into my soul came through assignments I completed in a recent online journaling class. As the picture above reveals, I have journaled for years. Inside those journals are the ups and downs of my every day life, the things God has taught me in the midst of those times, and the hard questions I could only admit in writing.
But in all my years of expressing myself in journals, I have never before touched such deep, sensitive places in my heart. Sometimes I laughed as I wrote, yet other times tears dripped onto the pages and smeared the words I had written. I look back on these past few weeks with a sense of contentment.
For I wrote from my soul…from the depths of my being. My heart poured out on the pages and expressed my deep longings, my joys, my wounds, my healing, and ultimately my freedom. It was as if chains dropped off while I wrote and life took on a sweet freshness. Unresolved situations were settled, and my soul found peace. A picture emerged of my core values, my strengths and my purpose. They were things I already knew, yet suddenly they seemed alive in a whole new way.
I especially want to thank Claire DeBoer, for creating and offering the online course “Journaling For Creative Growth”. It has helped me tremendously!
After four wonderful weeks of insightful journaling, I can honestly say, “It is well with my soul.”
I had heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and considered it a very novel idea. But, I’m not a novel writer, so I never considered it. Then I came across an article about NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). This idea captivated me!
I recently set my blog aside in order to work on a writing course. But, making it a priority to write every day had become a huge hurdle I hadn’t been able to overcome. Since NaBloPoMo is about writing a blog post every day, I wondered if this could be the answer to my dilemma.Only one other issue concerned me…half the month was already gone! However, I quickly decided it would be a good exercise for me, regardless of how much time had elapsed.
So, today is a beginning. A starting place for me to discipline my craft. To put it out there…daily…for the next 17 days. I find myself excited about this endeavor and I wonder why? Perhaps it’s because action is better than waiting. And what have I been waiting for anyway? Have I been waiting to finish my writing course, waiting to write the perfect story or waiting for the best possible idea to blog about?
I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know it is time to stop waiting. I’m writing a post a day for the next 17 days. Because I need to do this. For myself. For my craft. To break through my writer’s block! I’m not sure what I will be posting, but at least I will have written. There’s something satisfying about simply writing!
So here I go! Day #1 is in the books.
You might have heard the word “meme” in your Web search travels. Basically, a meme on the Web is a phenomenon, fad, sensation, rumor, or oddity that gets passed around quickly to large numbers of people; this can be via email, word of mouth… A blogger friend, Deanna, from Creekside Cottage, shared a meme on her blog the other day and suggested those of us with blogs, give it a try. You can find Deanna’s HERE. You can find mine below:
If you haven’t read yesterday’s post about finding one word on which to focus my life this next year, you might want to read it prior to reading this post.
I found great synonyms for my word. Words like: aboveboard, deeply ,earnestly, from the bottom of heart, genuinely, in all conscience, in all sincerity, in good faith, ingenuously, profoundly, really, truly, truthfully, without equivocation.
This word can be applied in all areas of my life and will enhance whatever task I am doing or will do. Applying this word to the aspects of my life will most likely produce fruitfulness in whatever area it is utilized! Already I have seen its positive affect on my relationships and responsibilities. This will make more sense once I reveal my one word!
So, drum roll please………. my One Word for 2013 is:
The definition in my old Webster’s dictionary defined wholeheartedly as: “a sincerity and earnestness, as in devotion to a person, cause or the like!”
My journal reads: “Lord, this is my desire, but…Oh, how I need Your grace to make it happen. To not extend myself too far, yet to do life with wholehearted devotion to it. I wholeheartedly enter 2013. I wholeheartedly yield to You and to the plans and purposes You have for my life. And I wholeheartedly expect and receive Your direction!”
It goes on to say: “I wonder how this word can be measured? Surely, if one taught wholeheartedly, studied wholeheartedly, parented wholeheartedly, worshiped wholeheartedly, wrote wholeheartedly and lived wholeheartedly, the outcome could be measured.”
Only time will reveal if it can be measured or not!
So – 2013 – here I come – WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!!
While writing in my journal yesterday, (January 1st, 2013), one word jumped out at me. I love to discover the meaning of words, so I immediately delved into my tattered dictionary to uncover the meaning behind the word. Before divulging the word and its meaning, I need to bring understanding about why it was important to me.
My daughter-in-law, Felicity, recently wrote a blog post (you can find HERE) regarding her decision to be part of One Word 365 (their website is the banner at the top of this post). She simply chose one word, and allowed it to be a bit of a guiding light in her decisions this past year. Her post revealed the way the year had gone and its alignment with the word she had chosen. It was quite evident the word had been significant. Her word was Dare.
Along with this, our family has been “trying” to start a new Christmas/New Year tradition the past few years. (I wrote a post about it HERE). This tradition has been to write down the things we desire to see the Lord do in our lives throughout this next year, share them with one another and pray for each other in those areas through the year.
After reading Felicity’s blog, I wondered if we could simplify our “new tradition” into one word, and at the end of 2013 discover what had happened as a result of the word we each picked. On the One Word 365 website, it reads: “It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow.”
I LOVE that!
Hopefully, now you see the reason behind my search for a special word! To my amazement, it jumped right out of my heart and onto the page of my journal.
My one word, the meaning behind it, as well as the reason I love it….well, those are for another post. So, I’ll see you tomorrow…. for the rest of the story!
It’s been quite a while since I have written a post for my blog!
I have great excuses, but I’m not going to make them. Instead I’m going to tell you what I discovered.
I realized I missed the enjoyment and satisfaction I find in writing! Ever since I was a little girl I have found comfort through writing out my thoughts and feelings.
When I was in fifth grade my grandma died. She was my favorite! She had lived with us for several years and I was very close to her. My parents didn’t take me to her funeral because they didn’t think I would be able to emotionally handle it. And they were probably right.
After her death I remember feeling restless and empty until an idea came to mind! I sat down and wrote a long note to my grandma. I remember crying as I wrote what she meant to me, our special times together, how much I already missed her and how this note was the only way I knew to say goodbye. When I finished writing, I found a card in my mom’s desk, placed the note inside and wrapped it in plastic wrap.
Why plastic wrap?
Grandma died early on a snowy Christmas morning. A few days following her funeral I tucked the card into my coat, went outside as if I was going to go play in the snow, and walked three blocks away to Grandma’s grave. Knowing she was buried beside my Grandpa, I found it quite easily.
I took off my mittens, opened my plastic-covered card and through my tears, read her my note. Standing there reading my words brought immense comfort to my heart. Something deep inside was satisfied as I read aloud the thoughts and feelings I had been unable to express until that moment beside her grave. When I finished, I tucked the card back inside the plastic wrap and placed it in the snow atop her grave.
A few days later, my mom knocked on my bedroom door and asked if she could talk to me. I nodded and replied yes. She entered, sat on the side of my bed and sadly smiled at me. Then she pulled her hand from behind her back and in it she held the card still wrapped in plastic. Embarrassment struck me as I realized she had read it. In my childlike mind I didn’t think anyone would find it out there in the snow. I was wrong.
She held it out to me and tearfully said, “Cheri’, I thought you might want to keep this. Your words are beautiful and true and I’m sure Grandma loved your card to her. But, I also think she would want you to keep it so you can read it again and again and remember all the special things you wrote to her.” Then she hugged me a long time, walked out and closed the door behind her.
Staring down at the card I slowly unwrapped it from its plastic cocoon and softly read it aloud. Again a deep satisfaction filled my heart. As I finished the note, Mom’s words echoed in my mind, “your words are beautiful and true”. I did not know if they were beautiful and true, I only knew they had helped me feel better.
And today I realize this is why I still write.
It helps me feel better!