When Light Breaks You Open

by Christina Hubbard

Only the strength of His light

Carries me through

Gray days.

Within this mortal cage

I expand

Until ribs cannot

Hold oxygen

One second

More.

Once I burst

Clean open.

A crack in the shell

Split under

Pressure.

When you see me next,

Brilliance might just

Blind you.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday. Our one-word writing prompt today is ONLY. Join us!

Where is light pushing its way out in you today?

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Waiting on Words and Other Advent-worthy Pursuits

I’m breaking from the words which struggle to come. A pause to come back to the free flow of blogging. A hope that writing unhindered will bring about the magic.

Yet I suspect it’s not magic that I need, but patience on the words to work their way through me. One thing I am learning with all of my being: God is in no certain hurry.

I pull at my memories and skills, trying to conjure a polished product from my repertoire of wordsmithing tricks. But I haven’t written what needs to be said yet, and I know this.

Advent, too, is upon me, and I feel it’s pregnant pause. It’s widdling work, gently growing, inch by inch within my heart. What Advent bestows is a hope seed, right in the middle of pain. It says, Anticipate. Percolate. Worry not. Wait. Oh, just wait.

I feel it. This story working in and through me. It’s stretching tight muscles, churning up unresolved pain, and inviting me into a reliance which grates against my fierce independence. I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a long, long while and I will, bit by bit, in whatever form God provides. Already, that form is changing, and so must I.

If I had the emotion to convey, I would. Simply put, I am in need. Of direction and focus, experience and healing. I show up to the words. The routine of lighting a candle and pumping up the playlist plods alongside the doing.

I believe what I am writing will be helpful to someone someday, and with God’s help, transformational. Humbly, I work. Patiently, I wait.

To the outsider, there may seem so much lag time, staring out the window, taking walks, and napping. But this is the pace of a story in process, a work which I am really working on very little. It is working on me.

Despite the best words’ blessed arrival to show up on the page where I want them, I take joy by the hand and listen to her whispers. I will relish what I have been given today.

I trust He is remaking you too, waking you up to a sacred space burning in your chest.

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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).

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

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