Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Trusting Grace - Day 1 - Let's Begin...

We're sitting on the red couches with homemade scones and hot coffee.  All the best conversations happen here.  We're talking life and time and lists and work and the struggle to just fit it all in.  And I speak it in a question: With all of this, how do we as artists, as creatives, maintain our artistry and actually create?

Because before I launched into this career thing, I was that girl who walked around with a journal in one hand and a pen in the other.  I was that girl you would find sitting under a tree between classes scratching down thoughts, scrawling out a poem.  These days it's a month between journal entries and even longer between blog posts.  I'm plenty successful in the things I do, but I can feel my soul reaching for those old times.  I can feel my soul longing to create something of beauty for its own sake, rather than the sake of performance.

And I want to stop ignoring the reaching because I love words and I believe that words hold power and that the flow of ink promotes the flow of the Spirit and the act of writing transforms lives in big ways.  But how do I make a change?  I guess creativity (which I define as the inclination toward and then act of creating beauty) works like Mary Daly says courage does: "You get [courage] by courageous acts.  It's like you learn to swim by swimming.  You learn courage by couraging."  The way I see it, you learn creativity by creating.  So that's where the next 31 days comes in.

For at least a few years now, in the blog world, writers take the month of October to write... every day.  So if you learn courage by couraging, trust by trusting, creativity by creating, and writing by writing I think I'm ready to jump in.  I am, after all, no stranger to daily practice (or at least the concept...), but I'm a little nervous, to be honest.  Not because of who will or won't read this and what they'll think (or not think), but because I am challenging myself, and I don't like failure.  Writing every day for 31 days?  Where will I find the time?  How will I think of things to write about?  How in the world will this work?  And that's when I think back to January and this adventure we've been on with that one word: TRUST.  Can I trust the leading of the Holy Spirit in this undertaking?  Can I trust grace?

So there you have it... at the very least I have a title: 31 Days of Trusting Grace.  I'll close out day 1 with three reasons why I'm excited about this challenge:

1.  Perfectionists like me (though I prefer the term "recovering perfectionist") don't like to learn things by doing.  If I am learning by doing I will not be able to do perfectly at first.  This poses a problem.  I like the idea of stretching in this way.

2.  Having to write every day frees me to be a little more gracious.  I won't have the time to proof read as well if I am going to keep up.  My inner critic won't have as much time for her commentary (though she will try, I know she will!).  This is a good thing.

3.  Trying to find things to write about forces me to be present, make observations, listen, experience, process.  I'd like to always live my life with that kind of attentiveness.

Here's to trusting grace and creating beauty one day at a time!

Catch all 31 entries here.


Arabah said...

Hi Stephanie! I'm visiting you back from 31 days...couldn't help it after you mentioned your topic! I'm a little nervous too because I've never written for that long, every day. But I'm reading to take things up a notch! I'll be checking in on you and look forward to reading your posts. Your blog looks great,

Pam said...

Hi Stephanie... I'm with you on creating for the joy of it, and to the pleasing of His heart, not just performance. :) I know He will fill your pen with words! :)