Don’t Excuse Yourself from the Table of Vulnerability

by Christina Hubbard

Do you find it hard to be vulnerable with God and others? As a creative, I know this is one of the most powerful ways to connect. Yet, how often do we excuse ourselves from authentic conversations because they make us a little uncomfortable?

I’ve been seeing an amazing therapist for almost a year now. It’s amazing to reflect on my vulnerability journey. I have often longed for it, but the process would send me into an emotional spiral. With practice, it gets easier. Vulnerability creates depth and connection. I’m not advocating spilling your guts during every conversation. Instead, approach others with your whole self: in honesty, which can definitely be through laughter and curiosity.

//

Three ways to create an authentic connection 

1. Ask open-ended questions.
2. Share a story of how you struggled and what you discovered.
3. Look at others through the lens of love. Thank them for who they are.

What I’m learning is being vulnerable is putting myself out there, no matter what others think.  I do care what others think, but I care more what God thinks. In that safe space, I am free to bring my whole paradoxical, utterly beautiful messy self to the table. Hopefully, others will feel like they belong here too.//

Don’t excuse yourself from the table of relationship: try a moment of vulnerability and see what happens.Tweet This

This post was written in conjunction with Five Minute Friday. We write each Friday for five minutes on one word. Today the word was EXCUSE. (// indicates the start and stop of five minutes).

Share the Love
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Bring Love to Your Mess

by Christina Hubbard

I’ve been struggling with my mess. My physical, emotional, intellectual, and soulful mess. The visual of which is dog food in the garage, in my kitchen, new white fluffy kitchen towels stained with blueberries, candy wrappers in the dining room, tennis shoes peeking out from under the coffee table. All the stuff I told the kids to put away comes out in my tone of voice, my mannerisms. Kids are kids, yet I internalize and absorb the mess into myself.

Then I want to tidy it up. I’m not talking about the physical mess anymore. I’m talking about me. The parts of me that don’t make sense. I feel like I’m losing control in a way when I see these vexations, these annoyances, which cause my environment to reel out of place.

Order is good, but it often masks the inner turmoil, work going on in our heart. We can have perfectly dusted, straightened bookshelves but have a whole pile of scary stuff we shoved behind cabinet doors below. This stuff needs time and careful sorting to find if there’s still room for it.

A word I’m sitting with lately is SPACE.

This morning I walked by my son’s room strewn with clothes. I was going to shut the door and wal downstairs. Instead, I went and stood in the middle of yesterday’s pants, PJs, and half-read books. Right in the messy space. Looking out the window at squirrels playing in the oak tree, comforting words came on the radio, still playing.

God is there in my haunting fears, of being too much and too messy. Standing in the fray, I felt peace wrap me in close and warm.

I didn’t pick up a sock or straighten a shelf.

I stood in the middle of my messy space, and joy sang over me.

Share the Love
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Settle into Silence

by Christina Hubbard

//Here, in silence, before you, God,

My posturing stills.

I sit with breath and bone,

Your presence light in my lap,

Around my shoulders,

Soft on my lips.

 

Here, in silence, before you, God,

My pretending surrenders.

I hear a clock tick, a fridge hum.

Your wind bends tree beings

Out my window.

Oh, God, may that be me, bent to You.

 

Here, in silence, before you, God,

My face wants to hide.

I hear my need cry softly in my chest.

Your Spirit comforts as I listen,

Listen within.//

Help me stay put.

 

Here, in silence, before you, God,

My world halts.

I breathe free of time and effort,

Without show or success,

As much as I am able.

Take every weight I never need to bear.

 

Here, in silence, before you, Jesus,

My voice rests.

I sit with you, Friend,

Your heart beats so near.

I lay my head on your chest

Settle me down. Settle me in.

This post is written in conjunction with the Five Minute Friday community. We write for five minutes on word. Today’s word was SILENCE.  (// indicates the start and stop of five minutes.)

Three Ways to Settle into Silence

  • Focus on a visual: the trees outside your window, a piece of art which evokes serenity, or a symbol of Christ.
  • Write down the distractions. Have pen and paper ready to write down the inevitable task lists and thoughts that will come to mind. Give them a place to rest.
  • Expect internal resistance. The discipline of silence is hard. One minute, two, or five. Start small. Every small bit benefits your soul.

Constant noise floods our world. Without silent time, our systems are in a constant state of heightened anxiety. We can’t focus. We’re irritable. We’re overwhelmed and exhausted.

Getting quiet with God is crucial to our wholeness. Tweet ThisGive it a try this weekend, and let me know how it goes.

What obstacles do you face when you try to be silent with God?

Share the Love
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Let the Rest Go

by Christina Hubbard

Rest in His unchanging love,

For you are beloved.

Be here in this identity.

Relax your body,

Stretch your mind,

Still your soul.

Let Him hold your heart.

You will always make

As the One who formed you.

Let the rest go.

Love from Fellow Creatives

This is the last day of #write31days, and we’ve got double the encouragement!

“Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.” -Emily Freeman

When we dare to be who we really are, we offer the world the specific artistic gift we have been given. This gift is unique to you. Only you can share your slant on this life. Only you can create sculpture or melody that speaks deep to others’ hearts.

Comparison wants us to look around us and see what we could be doing. It wants us to see what lays in our hands, head, and heart as not enough. But when you dare to be you, when you stand firm in what you have been given as enough, you break the hold of comparison. You are free to behold the work of other creatives around you and fiercely encourage their gifts and celebrate together.

Janel Andrews, storyteller + poet.

God created us all different and unique. Each of us has a different story to tell. Different words to speak and different ways of telling the same truth. So continue to speak, write, and be creative. God is using each of us to tell the truth is a way our people will resonate with, in a way their ears and hearts can hear.

Don’t get discouraged. Be encouraged. Create!

Theresa Boedeker, author + storyteller.

When the church in Jerusalem got wind of this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to check on things. As soon as he arrived, he saw that God was behind and in it all. He threw himself in with them, got behind them, urging them to stay with it the rest of their lives. He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit’s ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master. Acts. 11:22-24 MSG

Where will you rest your creative identity?

Thanks for reading with us through 31 Days of Good Enough! Check out all of the posts here.

Don’t forget! Today is the last day to get Ten Habits of the Spiritual Creative.

 

Share the Love
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

When Rejection Refines

by Christina Hubbard

I’ve been let go.

I’ve been critiqued.

I’ve been rewritten.

I’ve been unfriended.

I’ve been erased.

I’ve been rejected.

So have you.

But we will not stay down.

Never.

We gird strength upon strength,

Knowing upon knowing,

Failure upon failure.

We are gold,

Dug up,

Dusted off,

Chiseled,

Refined,

Becoming like the ultimate Maker:

How brilliant we shine!

Blinding!

Love from a Fellow Creative

As creatives we face rejection. Sigh. If only it weren’t so. Honestly, rejection doesn’t feel good. Not at all. It feels like the end. But it isn’t. Rejection isn’t the end, it’s just a chance to try again.

Susie Finkbeiner, writer & musician.

We all know how silver seams the rocks, we’ve seen the stuff from which gold is refined, We’re aware of how iron is dug out of the ground and copper is smelted from rock. Miners penetrate the earth’s darkness, searching the roots of the mountains for ore, digging away in the suffocating darkness. Far from civilization, far from the traffic, they cut a shaft, and are lowered into it by ropes. Earth’s surface is a field for grain, but its depths are a forge Firing sapphires from stones and chiseling gold from rocks.  Isaiah 28:1-6 MSG

Share the Love
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Following the Call

by Christina Hubbard

Follow fast

The way

Set within you.

Walk Confidence Boulevard.

God’s trees release their colors

Falling in your hair,

On your shoulders,

At your feet.

Love from a Fellow Creative

In those times when I wonder if what I make is good enough; when I compare what I make to others’ work; when I get consumed with wondering if others will like what I do; in those times I try to refocus on the reasons why I create.

For me, creativity and the act of creating are about the process. And the process serves two purposes. The first, and main one is that creating is an act of worship. We were created by God who is Creator. We were created in His image to be creators ourselves. So when I walk through the woods with my camera or sit down to cut and glue and paint in my art journal, I find that these activities become spiritual acts – no different than when I sit down to read my Bible or pray. I connect with God in these times and through these practices. And, more often than not, God speaks to my heart in the process.

The other purpose of the process for me, as an introvert, is about restoring the energy I have used up in the outer world. Gaining knowledge of how I am put together has been so beneficial in enabling me to keep on going through the stressful and busy times of being in fulltime ministry. Art time and time taking photos outside refuel my mind and soul.

My husband often encourages me with a phrase used to encourage baseball pitchers: trust your stuff. Remember why you create. Remember Who you create for. Know yourself and trust your stuff.

-Mary Brack, art journaler & photographer.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

How will you follow the Creator’s call this week?

FREE PDF: Ten Habits of the Spiritual Creative is available for three more days. Get it here.

 

Share the Love
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrEmail this to someone
Subscribe

Each Friday I'll email you stories packed with courage and freedom. You'll also get my ebook Five Ways To Love Like You Mean It. FREE. P.S. Your email is safe with me.