A New Series: Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays image

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, to me, 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. It is a gift to be able to write. It is also a holy burden to seek to do that well, and faithfully.

I 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 blow of truth to any ready listener.

I love words. I spend my days, now, teaching college students how to use them with grace and with power, for a purpose greater than themselves. I write in this space, I write for other publications, and I write in my journal as a way of knowing God more fully. I am, it seems, unraveled and built up most easily by words.

With these things in mind, I am starting #WritingWednesdays here on the blog. I want to offer some of what I have learned over the last decade to others who also want to write—not because I am a spectacular writer, but because writing is one of the gifts I have to offer others. I teach it to others for a living, and I thought this might be a fun space to share some writing prompts, tips, and tools.

Let me know in the comments (at the top of the post) if you have any particular questions you would like answered in this series. I’m also offering a “Linky Party” for those of you who want to join in the conversation about writing. If you are writing about writing or want to respond to the question “How has writing been important in your life?” through a blog post, feel free to link up below so that we can get to know one another and enjoy one another’s writing! If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, use the #WritingWednesdays hashtag so that we can connect!

 



Hope Has Risen & a Little Light Prints Giveaway!

Little Light Prints Hope

Through the long season of Lent, we have finally–and joyfully–arrived at Easter. From my days in a liturgical church, I can hear the refrain echoing:

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

There is another refrain that I remember, another call and response that echoes that ache we often feel:

Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

Christ will come again. I talked with a friend this morning about the reality of living in the tension between the now and the not yet of faith. We talked about how Lent, perhaps more than any other season in the Christian calendar, reminds us of the dissonance that often exists between the desires of our hearts and the reality of our existence. There is still brokenness, both in ourselves and in the world we inhabit. There is still pain. And yet. Yet.

Christ will come again.

There is a day coming when he will make all things new, when brokenness and pain will no longer exist. And Easter, with all of its hope and celebration, points us to that day. The day where all things are made right in Christ.

Sometimes, though, the days get long and hard, and we need reminders of those truths. I’ve written before about how putting Scripture up in our homes can encourage us and help us stay connected to Jesus when our hearts are tired or busy. And today, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to partner with Little Light Prints to give away an 8×10 print to one of my readers–the winner gets to choose her print!

Here are two of my favorites:

 giveaway.joy

 

giveaway.earth

I love Carly’s prints and just purchased one for my daughter’s nursery. She has generously offered an 8×10 print of the winner’s choice as a giveaway–enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Of His Kingdom, There Will Be No End

Christ is risen indeed!

To Christ, the cost of the cross was immeasurable. To those who loved him, his death was unbearable. To those who killed him, his resurrection was unstoppable. To those who believe in him, his victory is unending. And of his Kingdom, … [Continue reading]

Good Friday, Easter, and the Ache for Home

lent.home

  This last weekend, I went to Grand Rapids to attend the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing. My mom and daughter came along with me; it was a great weekend full of seeing old friends, making new ones, and talking about writing. This was the … [Continue reading]

Living Dead

For the joy set before him...

I imagine Jesus on this Monday all those years ago. I imagine him because this is Holy Week; all of our straining toward Easter during this Lenten season has brought us here, to the week of his passion. For Easter does not come, we know, without Holy … [Continue reading]

Restorative Resurrection

The restorative power of the resurrection

During my early years, I grew up in a church that wound its way through the months by following the liturgical church calendar. We had different-colored banners up in every season of the year, based on what was being observed in the cycle of the … [Continue reading]