it's lonely and i like it. it's lonely and i kinda don't like it. i have days where i set myself up for a day at the office with an ambience that doesn't have to meet anyone else's approval. it's just me and the laptop. i've got my goals for the day, the week, and the month and i'm ready to get after it.
every morning i'm praying about some aspect of the book, but typically the big picture. ben pauses to pray with me. i know i've stepped into a dream much bigger than i can accomplish on my own. through prayer, i engage with the Holy Spirit who is the One speaking as i pen His words.
i thought this process would be different. i imagined i'd feel like i had arrived into this glorious circle of writers who have gone before me and are currently best-sellers. (yes, i see actual faces in this circle and i'm figuring out in my humanity that they are real people with crumbs on their floor, too) rather...
a city is better explored with gelato in one hand after a full belly.
note: we walked vienna on the two hottest days in june 2017. we were visiting friends who gave us the grandest tour. when we put the fork down, we were walking a few blocks to pick up the spoon.
here is day one itinerary:
take the train from the airport to the city center. super clean and easy.
lunch at figlmuller. known for amazing schnitzel. eat downstairs in the cellar.
gelato at castelletto. no sampling allowed. go with your gut. i'm certain you won't be disappointed.
demel for melange coffee and apple strudel. melange is the german word for the viennese blend. similar to a cappuccino. the desserts were on display. it's an art here. and you are expected to sit and enjoy. it's a good thing. we had literally finished up our gelato outside this place to throw away the remnants and step into this dessert place.
you keep eating, but allow me to pause and say we need more "sweet" places to meet up at rather than happy hour and meal time. places to sit down with chandeliers overhead and talk long over coffee and sweets without being rushed.
my dad and my writer friends wonder why. my kids correct me when i sign their field trip forms. i've been writing in lowercase for years. for two reasons, but one reason that just makes me...me. and i'm learning to be more me than ever before.
He must increase i must decrease.
what do you see?
the only words that i write in uppercase are the ones that pertain to God. you figured it out, eh? i love how it looks. everything lower and His Name higher. it's that simple.
then i read what jeff goins and michael hyatt say about voice and i have locked in to this being the way i use my writing voice. taking what makes me me and letting it speak to you.
to use my writing voice to exalt Him.
they are one in the same, these reasons, aren't they? yet one is using my voice creatively and the other is magnifying the Creator.
when we can't be in each other's presence for me to hear joy and struggle in your voice and i share the same vulnerabilities, i use this writing voice to convey that He is everything and He is where we look. we look up. to gaze upon Him and only glance at our circumstances. to fix our eyes on Jesus rather than being fixated on the temporary.
i want the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart to be pleasing to God. i want you to hear that when we are together, but more often than not, we're here on this blog and you read my writing voice. and the same is true here as if we are enjoying that cup of tea. i want my voice to lift Him up so that is what you hear the most.
what is uniquely you that others can clearly hear you say? if you're not sure, ask a close friend. have them tell you what makes you uniquely you.
if we could sit down and have tea and you share with me what you are learning, then i’d take a turn and tell you what God is showing me.
recently i read tweets and scrolled through insta-photos and wondered if it’s worth it. to be liked and popular on social media? my gut doesn’t want that to be my platform. i want to love well and be highly liked in my own home, in my city, and among my faith community. ultimately, i want to be most known by my Father — to receive His wisdom, go where He’s going, love like He loves.
i’ve been on mission trips before. where you buy specific things needed to make the journey most comfortable and pack the items that you are okay parting with if they get too dirty or become too smelly to bring home.
i’ve arrived by bus, van, plane, rickshaw, and train. i’ve set out to see lives changed, encourage the local believers, and make a difference. i’ve raised support to get me there and bring me back. i’ve even carted our kids on these mission trips.
but what i’ve discovered is that a partnership is better than a mission trip.
the word mission is a latin word ‘mittere’ meaning “send.” it denotes the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world.
this is our mission — to take the Good News to the world. i’m just not sure one can do it on a trip!
what we can do is partner with those in their called places who are living out the mission of Christ.
i saw you in the park today corralling one into a stroller and keeping an eye on the other chasing butterflies. i watched as you tried desperately to catch up with a friend, but both of you clearly had constant little squeaky interruptions. i saw another one of you nursing your infant and the longing for adult interaction thick in your soul.
i have a hunch that when you do make it home, cart the sleepy one to bed and turn on some coping mechanism for the other, that you’ll tackle the 3 hour damp clothes in the washer, the dirty dishes in the sink and the clean ones in the dishwasher. you’ll look around and feel behind on your projects, wishing you had time for a yard sale (maybe do a salvation army run one day), a spa day, a gourmet meal planned, but a cup of goldfish will do.
your go-to reward after a day at the park and an early morning wake up call would naturally be the smart phone that’s overcome with missed calls, texts, notifications, and a smothered raisin.