Washed Clean

crayons-933521_640Who am I when the world turns black? When the world I’ve known has fallen to pieces, what is left of me? I’m not always living according to who I am. I want to, but I don’t. I suppose it’s like Paul said, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

I want to be more than this. I believe we were designed to be more than this. Sin entered the world and things fell apart, but we’re still here. God didn’t leave us alone or abandoned. He still let us live, even if the world is less than what He designed it to be.

We can take an expensive painting and scribble all over it with crayon. That doesn’t change what the painting is underneath. That’s kind of how we are. Maybe a little messier than we could have been, but still there, buried beneath the pain and our mistakes in life.

The good news is that God can heal. He carefully takes us in and washes all those marks away until we’re restored and made whole again. I am so thankful for God’s grace filled love.

Ups and downs will come and go, but God’s love will never change. How wonderful it is to rest in that knowledge, even when it doesn’t match exactly how I feel.

What are you thankful for today?

Retrieving Creativity

road-163518_640Creativity comes in all different forms, various types of visual art, writing, music, even gardening or making a meal. It’s all about creating something in a unique and personal way, with thought and purpose behind it, though sometimes it’s completely free-flowing and comes so fast we don’t even know what to do with it or what it represents. Our subconscious has a way of weaving things in that we don’t even realize, but when we recognize it, that’s a really cool feeling.

After I was diagnosed with PTSD writing was really set on the back burner for a while, at least, my novels were. I had just finished NaNoWriMo the month before, so I suppose it was good timing. I’ve continued freewriting, creative writing, and journaling, but that was about it. I’m starting to step back into the novels, dipping my toe in the stream. I don’t feel as attached or connected as I did before, and I’ve shifted to another creative focus.

Recently I’ve begun morning pages once again. Writing a couple pages every morning has cleared my mind and allowed me to be more productive on any creative focus I might have. But my heart isn’t as into writing novels as it used to be. Yet, these books, the stories and characters, deeply matter to me. I don’t want to leave them sitting on a hard drive, or locked away in a file on my computer. I want to set them free.

The past month or so has been really challenging, but it’s also pressed me forward and deeper into who I want to be. I’m regaining my creativity, and stepping back into the worlds that I’ve created.

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay engaged, but I want to give my characters the chance that they deserve.

Creativity is a journey, we’re never going to be in the exact same place twice. This is true for every moment of our lives, but creativity seems to change and morph and grow more quickly than other areas.

What is your experience with creative slumps? Or jumping back into creativity after it’s been a while?

God Is Faithful

God is so good. He places the perfect people and situations in our lives just when we need it most. That doesn’t mean that those lowest lows won’t come first, but God will always eventually pull us from the pit.

depression-1347544_640I had one heck of a week last week. Every single day something crazy happened and I got progressively more worn down to the point where I just couldn’t contain it anymore. I know it could have been much worse, and I’m so thankful that it wasn’t, but it still wore me out.

God uses even our messes for our good. My eyes have been opened to some poor life choices and areas in which I’m not living to my full potential, areas in which I’ve allowed others to take over and overwrite me and who I am.

I can’t say how much is going to change going forward, but I do know that God is faithful. And I see Him working in these situations.

He’s placed friends and people in my life as champions and supporters. They have shown so much love and understanding it just blows me away and there’s no doubt in my mind that God has allowed this in order to grow and mature me, to show me His love and to help me to trust.

We can’t control other people, we can hardly control ourselves. We don’t have control over everything that happens in life, but God does. He holds all of us, no matter where we my be, perfectly and completely in His love.

Hope In The Struggle

I’m not perfect. I’m never going to be perfect… At least not in this life. But I do know that I am loved. And I am never alone.

Sometimes we feel alone during times of struggle, or even times of hope. There are moments when we feel that no one has ever felt the depths of our lowest low, or that we’re the only one holding on and having faith when everyone else is letting go.

rainbow-1201862_640We are not alone. We do not need to be afraid. We are not abandoned. Our God is greater. And He will use these struggles, storms, and trials, and He will bring something beautiful from it.

Like a rainbow after the storm. God promises will never come up empty.

Stronger

Once again I stand in awe, blown away at God’s faithfulness and love for us. There’s been an ongoing situation that causes me a lot of pain. It challenges my faith and I often wonder why God doesn’t step in and change it. I know He could at any second, but I often struggle with the patiently waiting on His timing. But God’s timing is perfect, whether we see it right now or not.

I’m seeing how this situation is impacting my life and my relationships, but I also see something beautiful blossoming from it. God is growing my trust in Him, and I’ve been able to help and encourage others in similar situations because of what I’ve been walking (often stumbling) through.

I’ve formed connections and relationships that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve had understanding for people in situations that I know I wouldn’t have to the same degree if I didn’t walk this path.

God can use even evil and turn it around for His good.

girl-429380_640I want God’s will and His purpose in my life. This deepening trust fills my heart with so much peace, and even joy through the pain and trials. This is what it means to receive God’s love. To be comforted and surrounded by peace, even through the worst of storms.

I’ve noticed, just this morning, how much God has changed in us over the past couple months. The situation may not be changed, but we begin to transform. God is faithful, and He is good.

There’s a hope now that I didn’t have before. Sometimes we have to walk through darkness to appreciate the light. I’ve questioned for a long time now why God doesn’t just bring it to an end, and maybe this is why, we need to learn to trust, we need to feel His peace. God’s goal is to transform us and renew us, to heal us and bring us growth, and understanding. It may not always look the way we want it to, but God is faithful to walk with us through the fires and through the storms.

God is bigger than this situation. God is stronger than our enemies. God is in control. God can give us peace, and He will calm the storms.

We may be crushed, but we are not destroyed. God gives us strength and grace to trust, and we’ll come out of this stronger. I’m beginning to see a glimmer of that hope and healing.

Failure And Organization

stack-letters-447579_640I feel like I’ve failed miserably lately. I haven’t been keeping up with everything I need to do, and I haven’t even used my free time well because I’ve been stressed over not being productive. (For the most part, though I have found some peaceful and quiet moments.)

I know those thoughts don’t help. We have to focus on the right things. There are many ways to do this, but sometimes it does take being intentional and also making a point of being grateful for the things we do have and have accomplished.

I haven’t read blog posts from all you lovely people in a while, and I really miss it. Sometimes we need to just slow down and take a break, and sometimes we need to try something a little more serious, like a schedule.

I hate schedules, but I love routines. I’m trying to incorporate aspects of both and I hope it helps, we’ll see where this goes. I think if I start setting a timer for myself and getting the things done that a dread doing first off, then I’ll have that weight off my shoulders to go on into the rest of the day, instead of stalling because of the dreaded project that I don’t want to face.

I like to keep my life at least semi-organized. I know I function best that way, but sometimes a bunch of little things slip through the cracks. Things like my bullet journal have really helped with that.

What methods do you use to help motivate yourself and stay organized? I’d love to hear from you!:)

My Summer Day – July 18, 2016

notebook-july-18-2016-infjramblings.wordpress.comToday I spent most of the day outside. A perfect breeze played through the trees and offered a much welcome reprieve from the heat. The water below wound through its path in a peaceful lullaby. Birds sang their glorious and diverse songs. I heard music all around me.

A picnic lunch and ice water to stay hydrated, a notebook with a pen. I wrote to my heart’s content, and just sat and took it all in. It was the perfect afternoon.

On days like this I wonder why I don’t incorporate more of this into my everyday life. I suppose that’s what I was trying to do. I need the peaceful environment to wind down and relax. To let my worries go as my thoughts bleed out onto a page.

I love each of the seasons because they each offer something different and lovely. Summer holds those days that somehow seem to cement themselves in time. The moment stops and time stands still. We’re held breathless in a moment, unsure where we’ve been or where we’re going, but all that matters is where we are right now.

I’m so thankful for days like these and the freedom to take advantage of them. Days like this fill my heart with peace and joy, and I’m thankful to be alive. I want to seize more of these opportunities in the future, and especially while summer still remains.

How was your day today?