I recently had the pleasure of attending the Breathe Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. If there is one thing a good writers conference will do for me, it is motivating me to find my creative rhythm. By this I mean, finding a structured time, ideally each day, when I can write.
Since returning from my conference I have found that 6:00 am is my sweet spot. The house is quiet. No one is after me. I can sit alone and think, write, create.
Getting up early is not my nature, and yet, somehow, there’s life in it. It’s like coffee, only better. When my kids get up and my writing time ends, I get on with the rest of my day. But as I make breakfast, make beds, make little minds turn around our homeschooling table, I feeling giddy, nourished, and deeply satisfied.
At first I thought it was a fluke, the natural response to the first real writing time I’d had in weeks, but as the days linked up and I kept going with my 6:00 am appointments, my happiness phenomena kept happening. Life kept filling my bones and everything seemed good, and perfect, and new.
A few days after my conference, I stumbled upon a podcast by Ransomed Heart Ministries about creativity and our relationship with God. As I listened, the men on this podcast, Craig McConell and Allen Arnold put into words what I was experiencing during my early morning writing times. Quoting one of Allen’s blog posts Craig said,
“God’s primary desire is not that we write about him, or even for him, it’s that we write with him.”
Of course, I thought. That’s it. When I sit down to write, whether it’s at 6:00 in the morning, 2:00 in the afternoon, or 10:00 at night. Whether I’m in a room full of people or a quiet corner of my house, in these times of creative of solitude, I am never alone. I am always with God.
The giddiness, nourishment, and deep satisfaction doesn’t come from the writing. It comes from being with God.
There’s no other way to explain it. On Tuesday I picked up my Bible and read, purely because I wanted to, for the first time in weeks. On Wednesday I longed for community, for fellowship with a friend. On Thursday I felt like Ann Voskamp, crazy grateful for golden leaves, yellow school buses, and sticky fingerprints on my window.
All of it came from being with God. From starting my day with Him. From sitting on my couch, typing out words in the presence of my King. It is simple, it is sacred, and somehow feels like the most honest prayer I’ve know.
Later in the podcast Allen describes the work we do as a little boy playing with blocks. As the boy plays, his father watches and asks if he can come build blocks with him. “No thanks,” the boy says. “I’m doing fine by myself.” Allen explains that this is what we do with God when we fail or refuse to invite Him in, when our work or our creating is done while He sits across the room.
When we do our work or our creating with God, we experience life and we experience freedom.
For me this means all the worrying I do about building a platform, creating a following, and finding a publisher fades into a deeper purpose of building, creating, and finding intimacy with God. I don’t have to worry; I just have to be me. I just have to do the work I love with Him by my side.
It’s kind of a game changer.
This post I’m writing may not be a hit. My book may never get published. I might be an obscure writer who never knows fame or success. But in the end, my biggest fan is the creator of the universe, the greatest hero of all time. He’s in the trenches with me. Every word I write is shared with God, and if nothing ever comes of it, that’s okay, because we did it together. It came from Him.
This is enough. I am enough. His presence in my life, by my side, in my work, is always, always, more than enough.
So that thing you do? Go do it. Find your rhythm. Create your masterpiece. Do the work He’s given you.
And build your blocks with God.
To listen to the podcast mentioned in this post please visit: http://www.ransomedheart.com/podcast/creativity-and-story-part-1