Writing for Glory: His and Not Our Own

Writing for God's Glory

As a member of the Redbud Writers Guild, I had the opportunity to write for the Redbud blog this week.
Here is the start of my article. You can read the full piece here!

I have been writing, now, for decades. It started back in elementary school, when we were given blank books in second grade, books that were pure white, inside and out. The covers, the pages, the seams of the binding—all of it, whiter than winter clouds. There were no lines, no rules. Just space. For a student who went to school long before photo websites offered personalized books for any and every occasion, a blank book was a mystery and a rarity. It felt like a prize.

And all of these pages were given to me—for filling. I was given empty space and also the opportunity to fill it. It felt, to me, like a great gift.

It also felt like a burden.

All writing is like that for me—a gift and a burden. I am not handed blank books anymore; there is no teacher setting one down on my desk every month. Instead, I open a new screen and seek to fill the space with meaningful words that recall moments and share stories and offer truth. I do this because I have always been drawn to writing, and because have spent the better part of the last ten years studying words, learning how to tie them together with strands so thin they part like fumes in the wake of a whisper. I have spent time with words, learning how to train them like sentinels waiting for the trumpet blow, ready to release the hammering shock of truth to a willing reader. It is a gift to be able to write. It is also a holy burden to seek to do that well, and faithfully. The gift and the burden, bound up together.

 This is the start of my article for the Redbud Writers Guild–a group of female, Christian writers who are committed to expanding the feminine voice in our churches, communities, and culture. I feel privileged to be a part of this guild of women and encourage you to check out our website and the other female writers and speakers there!

Time with God Shouldn’t Be a Chore: An Article for RELEVANT Magazine

How to Make Quiet Time with God FUN!

[This is from my newest piece at RELEVANT Magazine. Click here to read the entire article!]

Quiet time, devotional time, prayer time, personal time—whatever you want to call it, most of us are referring to something similar: a regular time when we seek to meet with the Lord, read his World and worship Him, love Him and know Him better.

It’s a wonderful value and a beautiful aspect of our relationship with Christ—that we can, actually, have a personal and meaningful relationship with the King of the Universe. When you think about it, it’s fairly unfathomable that the biggest power in the world has time for each of us, especially if, like me, you’re not a foreign dignitary, a millionaire or a superstar. It’s pretty incredible that God wants to have an intentional relationship with each of us.

And as with anyone we want to get to know, we need to actually spend time with that person in order to grow in friendship. Thus the idea of regular time with God. Often, this time is spent reading the Bible, praying, perhaps journaling or singing. But do our quiet times actually need to be, ahem, quiet? I don’t think so.

Here are a few ways, other than Scripture reading, we can get to know God in unexpected avenues.

The Arts

If you’re a creative at heart, consider adding in an artistic element to your devotional time. Paint your prayers, doodle your thoughts, pen a poem to God. As you participate in the creative process, consider God’s creativity in the world, and ask Him how you can partner with His creativity at work.

Music

If you’re musical, consider writing songs that focus on what you love about God. Put Scripture to song, or sing to Jesus about whatever bubbles up out of your heart. God, who sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17), welcomes our songs of praise and thanksgiving back to Him.

Nature

If being outside makes your soul come alive, set aside intentional time to connect with God in the great outdoors. The One who called the earth into existence is the same God who died on the crossbars of a tree to save us. The whole earth is full of God’s glory (Isaiah 6:3)—so go and encounter Him there. Sit by a river and meditate on Scripture. Go on a hike and let the beauty of the earth remind you of God’s beauty.

Friends

There is a long and biblical history of God’s people gathering together to worship Him—and weekly church is a wonderful thing. But what about spending “quiet time” together with a friend or two? You can pray for and with one another; you can read Scripture to and with one another. You can eat together and share your hearts over a shared meal. The early church was meeting together daily (Acts 2:42-47); we can too.


Read more over at RELEVANT Magazine!

Why You Should Keep a Health Journal: An Article for Darling Magazine

Keeping a Health Journal-Why & How

Image via Darling via Milena Mallory This is my newest article for Darling Magazine. Read it here! Sometimes, it’s not until we are feeling ill or uncomfortable that we pay attention to what our bodies might be trying to tell us. When we are truly … [Continue reading]

4 Healthy Ways to Accept Change: Trusting God in the Process

4 healthy ways to accept change

[This is the start of my newest article for RELEVANT Magazine.] One year ago, my husband and I had solid jobs, a great community and a church that we loved. At this moment, we are living with my parents, we are unemployed and we are moving to a new … [Continue reading]

Picking Raspberries: A Summer of Abundance

Receiving God's Abundance with thankfulness. www.annswindell.com

Have you ever picked raspberries? We don't live close to any wild raspberry bushes, but when we visited friends in the UK years back, they had raspberries growing in their backyard. The home they were renting had been built on land that … [Continue reading]

Saying No to Being Busy, Saying Yes to Resting in God

Saying No to Being Busy, Saying Yes to Trusting God.  www.annswindell.com

The river here is humming. Steady, even, strong. We are in the mountains of Colorado on a family vacation, and in my hours on the back deck, I am attending to that hum. I am not just hearing, I am listening. And in the quiet of listening to the … [Continue reading]