This is all a little strange.
If you could see me now, you would shake your head in confusion, you may laugh and say to yourself, what on earth is she doing?
It’s more like a strange dream than a vacation. As I sit and type this to you, I see Ketchikan Alaska to my right, it’s not bad, just different. Different than where I ever thought I would be.
We all have our list, you know “the travel wish list” and this wasn’t on mine. Of course I am extra interested in all the workers on board, seeing they are from the Philippines and India. I just want to talk to them, hear their stories, go with them to visit their countries. I think they think I am strange.
It’s ok to be strange. (smile)
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful, I am just slightly confused why I am here. I am snickering as I write this, it’s just funny. A fish out of water, no pun intended.
I have eaten a lot. I am really full as I sit here and wait on my biscuits and gravy.
You may wonder why I am here and what the point of this blog is, good question.
I am learning about visual storytelling! It’s something that seems easy, but there is a lot to it, it’s an art all of it’s own!
The conference is small and the teachers are brilliant! They are Hollywood people! Like the real kind. It’s crazy! They also love Jesus, which of course I think is awesome!
The others at the conference are way ahead of me in the art of “screenwriting”- I just came to check it out! My new friends have pilots written, screenplays even. As for me, I just enjoy being the dumbest person in the room, you learn best that way!
We have been talking a lot about THEME, plot and characters.
And the theme of this trip seems to be TRUST. I keep coming back to TRUST.
Throughout the week God keeps asking me if I trust Him?
Me: “Yes Lord, I do!” I repeatedly clamor!
As the next thought that zips across my brain is “what on earth am I doing here? Have I totally lost my marbles?”
Again His response to me: “Do you trust me Lindsay?”
As I look over my journal from the past few days, I find empty pages with a date at the top and then the words: “I have no idea”
To be honest, I am starting to think this “no idea” part is exactly where God wants me.
Nothing, not even one thing seems to “make sense”.
Suddenly I was reminded to take a sip of my own medicine, “read your own blog Lindsay” I heard in my head. “Let go of the need to know. Trust the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, let Him write the next scene of your life”
It’s all a little too ironic.
I reminded myself again, He (GOD) created the universe, the glaciers I saw, the ocean I am floating around in, He created all of it.
I “randomly” opened my Bible over coffee yesterday morning and saw this in Psalm 97 (verse 3) For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. The depths of the earth are in His hand, and the mountain peaks are His. (I saw some of His mountain peaks, they indeed are incredible) it goes on to say: The sea is His, He made it, His hands formed the dry land.
Ya’all THAT’S crazy.
God who created it all, loves us, cares about what we care about, cries with us when we cry.
Don’t let the world steal that from you, it’s a big deal, the Bible says, draw near to God and He will draw near to you!
This cruise, this screenwriting stuff, it’s all kind of irrelevant if I am being really honest with myself, especially compared to the LOVE of the One who created love.
We wouldn’t even know what LOVE was if it were not for Him.
I have put my identity in plenty of things over the past 36 years. I refuse to do it again, it isn’t about what I may or may not accomplish in my writing, on this cruise, in this lifetime. It is about the hard to understand, but ever present LOVE of the One who created me, and YOU.
That’s it, that’s all I really know! That and the fact that every town in Alaska looks like an episode of Northern Exposure!
I had to post this quick, internet is .75 cents a minute.. so excuse any mistakes…
My blog is called Putting the Pencil Down because 4 years ago a dear friend of mine who I immensely respect said to me “Lindsay, let go and let God write the story of your life.”
I honestly had never heard that before, but it impacted me deeply, she probably doesn’t remember, but it changed something inside of me.
I had always thought it was up to me to make my life what it was and it was my fault if my life was a failure. This thought put a lot of pressure on me and I didn’t handle it well. I lived in stress and deep seeded fear. I had my outlets as most do. None of them were healthy, but I couldn’t do this life alone, it was too hard.
My writing seems to always be about the grace, the struggle and the expectant heart of a moment by moment surrender to the God who created the universe. The God who is capable, much more capable than me to lead my life. I just didn’t know He cared. I thought He was busy with world wars and starving people, why would He care about little me?
Then I learned about Jesus, it seems so outrageous that God would come to earth as a human, a man, His own son because He loved the people He created so much!
He came to rescue us from our own sin.
Life is crazy, it’s one miracle and miraculous answered prayer followed by a run in with your flesh (usually with the help of the deceiver) that straight up hijacks your peace, steals your joy and tries to take you out.
Hold on dear one with everything in you.
Situation after situation we seem to have a choice, a choice that says “am I going to control it, am I going to manipulate it, am I going to make it happen? Am I going to worry about how to make it happen, or am I going to be still and know He is God?
I was dealing with this just last week, a desire I had, seemingly small I thought.
I thought things were going “my way” until I had a conversation that made me aware that it just might not go my way. I had a million ideas on how I could “make this happen” I wasn’t necessarily being manipulative. I just knew the right people to talk to, the right things to say to get my way.
I knew deep down I wasn’t trusting God in this situation and as faithful as God has been to me in the past 5 years, in the past 35 years even when I didn’t give a lick about Him, He was still faithful. But “this time Lord? Will you be faithful THIS time?”
My point (good question, right?): surrender isn’t a one time act, it is a moment by moment decision YOU make to either keep the “pencil” and write the ending, the next chapter, the next scene yourself or to hand it back to your Maker, the Creator of the entire Universe. Trusting Him at His word, to pray until peace arises from within. Oh please know, I do know it is hard, it is sometimes a battle, it is a lot of time on our knees, fighting for what IS already ours.
I sometimes (more than I care to admit) wonder “can I really trust you God in ______ (insert your struggle of the moment) and then I think, who else on earth would I rather trust?
He created me! He created the ENTIRE universe, He knows every hair on my head, He loves me most. He loves me when I am at “my best” in my faith and He also loves me JUST THE SAME when I struggle to believe Him.
Then the question still remains, is there anyone better to trust?
What if the Bible really is God’s Word? What if the Bible was penned divinely by God through man?
I believe it is.
What if God really IS LOVE.
The Bible says: God IS Love (1 John 4:8)
Not God is the best at love, not God loves a lot, not God gives love, not God wants you to know He loves you.
NO, it says GOD is LOVE.
Do you ever just sit and think about what that means?
What if that place deep deep inside each one of us, that place we incessantly try to fill with everything from spouses, friends, dogs, children, chocolate (all good things, well I am not really a dog person) but what if we let that space be filled by the One who actually made us. The One who knit us together in our mother’s womb, the One who even put that longing in us?
What if we opened up our hearts a little more and let more of Love Himself in? Would it make our relationships better? Would we love those around us more?
I don’t know, I am just asking the question.
Years ago a therapist of mine gave me this:
Receiving and Giving
I am a novice when it comes to receiving.
Giving has become my expertise
But giving alone without getting
Becomes soon a fatal disease
If the intake valve is not opened
There’s no way to maintain a supply
There comes a point in the cycle of life
When the out-going stream runs dry
Straining out love from a vacuum
Is like drinking from the heart of a stone
Try as we may, at the end of the day,
We’re exhausted, frustrated, alone.
“Better to give than receive,” we are taught.
Yet another truth I’ve learned just by living:
Only the soul with the grace to receive,
Excels in the fine art of giving.
The Rev. Dr. James A Forbes Jr.
Senior Pastor, The Riverside Church, NYC
Copyright 1995, New York City
I had to peal it off my refrigerator to type it up. It’s been hanging on up there for the past 6 years. She knew! She knew I had trouble receiving love. I didn’t know that until years later, but she knew. I didn’t know God then and neither did she, but God knew I needed to understand this about myself. SO I ended up with this little poem, which was pretty impactful at the time.
I have come a long way since then, but I am often reminded I need to sit and soak up the LOVE of God before I can really function in any manner for anyone else.
I do forget sometimes (kind of a lot to be honest) and then I find myself running low on tolerance for people, traffic or just life in general. I am quickly reminded that I need to be loved on by the One who loves and adores me most. The One who created the Universe, the One who came down and rescued me. Ahhhhhhh… YES…..
He loves me! He loves you!
It sounds cliché, but the fact of the matter is, it’s 100% TRUE..
It is life changing to let that love in, to humble ourselves to receive His gift of salvation and then to receive His love every single second of every single day… To sit with Love Himself.
Be loved on by your creator, He is good and He loves you. And He does know the world around you is not how it was suppose to be, but that does not change His love for you!
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