on writing

My husband just sent me this article on 15 famous authors and why they write. I could read the rationales of 100 great authors on why they write and not get bored.

Judy Blume says:

Those of us who write do it because there are stories inside us burning to get out. Writing is essential to our well-being.

I get this. Sometimes the ideas are nothing but a wretched muddle of my fragments in my head but writing can be healing. The words belong on the paper. Getting them out is good for me (and for the people around me).

As Joan Didion said:

write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

Writing is a voyage of discovery into one’s own soul. I rarely know where my blog posts are going when I start them. The process of writing can be deeply revealing about what I think and feel and why.

Stephen King captures the two-way nature of writing:

In the end all writing is about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.

I often wrestle with the question – why would anyone want to read what I say/think? I pray my writing enriches other’s lives and I’m thankful that since starting this blog various friends, colleagues and acquaintances have encouraged me with their feedback. Most of the time I have no idea if what I write helps or hinders other people’s lives but the truth is – I would write even if I knew no-one was reading.

I am a writer.

My husband gave me a hat for Christmas just because he thought it looked like a writer’s hat. He has been ascribing me with the title ‘writer’ for a couple of years, but I’ve only recently settled into it.

the writer, the hat and the husband, January 2012

Writing makes me ‘come alive.’ In writing I learn more of myself and more of my maker. The more I write, the more I want to write. I hope and pray this passion only ever grows.

Not my plans but yours, oh Lord.

This time in two weeks I will have just finished my first day at my new role as Editor/Writer at CMS Australia. Not quite what I had planned to do two weeks before Christmas, but it seems God had other plans. Typical.

I have been quite content in my role as Executive Assistant at International Teams. It has been an incredible time of growth in faith, of being humbled daily  and has opened so many doors for me to go deeper in my passion for mission and to really help make a difference – just exactly what I had hoped. I have been contentedly plugging away at International Teams and wasn’t looking to leave anytime soon.

One of the things I have really loved at International Teams has been writing stories of God at work, developing the website and publishing. I get a certain pleasure out of seeing things that really matter (especially in an eternal sense), communicated well. And I rarely just read. I proofread.

When I saw a tweet about the position at CMS Australia back in October, I was curious. The job description sounded a bit like my dream role… writing and editing for a mission organisation full time? Really? With the bonus of one quick train ride to the city. So I applied, still unsure if I even wanted to leave, but trusting that God’s purposes and plans would prevail.

Just a couple of days before I submitted my application, I saw a profile I’d written of myself in a Year 12 ‘memories’ book, which had been brought along to the reunion. One of the questions asked what would I be doing in 10 years time? I said something like…

Married; working as a journalist and involved in making a difference in the world.

Wow. I had forgotten how long I’d had this dream.

As I went through the Application process, God just kept opening the doors and one week ago, I accepted the offer of the position and resigned from my current role. God has taken me on an incredible journey over the last ten years to get to this (from media/law studies, short term missions, planning lawyer, Executive Assistant and soon Editor). And the exciting thing is, the journey continues.

I’m looking forward to sharing new stories of God at work through His people all over the world and how Aussies can be involved in what He is doing and learning from the team I will be working with. I am especially looking forward to all God has in store for this new season as I continue to grow in trusting Him and His plans for my life. They are always much better than mine!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

I have peace knowing also that God will provide for International Teams in my absence also. Already there is someone to work a couple of days doing my job and I will keep championing for RenovArte Café, Mexico too. It’s all His work after all.

shine

On Saturday I had the privilege of going to SHINE music conference at my old church in Castle Hill. Having led singing at our church in Redfern for a few years now with basically no training or experience, I realised by the end of the day just how hungry I was for teaching about it! Here are my highlights…

Be brave!!

When we lead worship, we are announcing God’s presence to the congregation.

“Come near to God and He will come hear to you.” James 4:8

Let me be a light upon / a hill so you can shine upon / A world that needs you mighty one ~ “Light upon a Hill,” by St Paul’s

A great encouraging day of equipping and catching up with friends. And I was excited to get up the next morning and starting putting into practice back in Redfern.

What is clear to me is that worship is about living all of a life with a heart which loves God above all. And I fail miserably at this every day. But God remains ever faithful, ever merciful and ever overflowing with abundant love. It’s about Him, it’s not about me. Shining His bright light, and not my own feeble one.