Falling in Love with the Process and not just the Results

When the enneagram “Eight” song released in February, a woman that I follow on Instagram shared that Sleeping at Last had an entire podcast episode discussing the making of the song. I listened and was captivated by how much the vision for the song changed as he worked.

I’ve become obsessed with process. I watched the director’s commentary on the extended edition of Moana. I listened to Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive talk about making “Maybe Next Year.” I’ve been reading books and articles about writing by people who are writing well.

Google may define the word process as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end” but all of these people started with an idea that changed drastically once they started working. They had no idea what the work would come to, but they had a tiny thought that they started chasing.

When we develop ideas- books, companies, songs, ministries- we start with tiny ideas. We start working on the tiny ideas and they are shaped by the changes we make, the influences we exert. We’re not sure what’s going to come from them, if anything. It’s not just Andrew Peterson and the superb job that he and his team did with Resurrection Letters, Vol 1. (Although, friends, it’s almost Easter. This is your time to go listen it. Spoiler: I like it so much that I listen to it year round. It’s a favorite. It makes me feel simultaneously hopeful and homesick.) This is about making anything: a life of significance, a marriage, grounded community, knowledge of the Bible, a book, a song, a dinner event.

So You Want to Start a Blog: Answering a Reader Question

Blogging is supposed to be dead, you know. People don’t read blogs. It’s a waste of time to write blog posts when people want tweets. We read on phone, not computers, and therefore don’t want long-form reflection.

We all know that’s not true, don’t we? What circulated endlessly just last week, provoking laughter, cringing, some (gross) support, and Gospel responses? A blog post about what men prefer in women.

People still read blogs. Of course, the best way to get people to read your blog is to be controversial, to be relevant, to be already famous when you start one. But more than we need people who still read blogs, we need people who still write blogs.

The 100 Day Project: cultivating joy in a life that needs grit

In last week’s Sunday email, I shared that I have been going through life with a lot of determination but lacking some of my usual enthusiasm. The Christian life is represented as a battle but Jesus also promises us joy. We don’t have to stay in the camp of only one: balance in all things.

My word for this year is “warrior.” I want to think about the fact that we are in a battle, that the first woman’s defining word “ezer” is a battle word, that we are called to put on the armor of God before walking into life.  But I want to live with joy in the midst of that (John 15:11, 16:33, Philippians 4:4, 1 John 1:4).

The 100 Day Project starts tomorrow and I’ve been contemplating what to do for almost a month. I participated last year with an Instagram series on motherhood that I still occasionally post to. This year I’m going to do another social media project, just one that’s much more outside of my comfort zone.

The Circle of Fiction

I’m picky about the fiction I read. I open myself and let the stories march straight in. The characters move into my heart and I feel pain when they make bad decision. I feel anguish when life crushes them. I live those stories through them and obviously, that’s the point.

The problem is that I carry those emotions into my life. I still feel unsettled when I’m cooking dinner because Catherine and Heathcliff are tearing each other’s worlds apart. Or- my word- how will Harry live feeling responsible for Cedric Diggory’s death? Really, there are enough situations in my life and the lives of people I love that I don’t have a ton of emotions to throw away on “fake people.”

I’ve always been intrigued at the idea of writing fiction. I just finished reading Stephen King’s On Writing and it had a writing exercise in it. I was reading after the boys went to bed one night and got drawn into the prompt so I closed the book, opened my computer, and started typing. Over 1,000 words later, I felt satisfied with my ending to the story. Of course, it ended with blood pooling under the refrigerator but it was a Stephen King writing exercise.

How To Be Consistent

Sometimes people ask me how I manage to blog when we have four small children and I usually smile and shrug because they don’t really want to know the answer. They want to pretend that I’m a super-person doing things that they could never do because then they don’t have to change. Then they aren’t challenged. But that’s not true; I am an ordinary woman, just like every other woman.

Am I saying they need to blog? Nope. Do I mean that they could? Absolutely! Just like they could get to church with their small children or start painting or start studying their Bible.

I have learned a few things about being consistent, about sticking it out with one activity even when life is busy and there are other things to do. Think about that one thing that you would like to do. Picture it in your mind and apply these ideas to that one thing.

5 Things I’d Tell You: Creative Edition

What we behold is what we become. Input determines output. However you want to phrase it, what’s in front of our faces shapes us. When it comes to creativity, I have intentionally cultivated steady sources of inspiration and education. Today, I thought I would share five things that you might enjoy too.

Andrew Peterson I first heard Andrew at a homeschool conference this past spring. I attended a concert and heard his teaching session and was thoroughly impressed with how he incorporates so many different creative talents into his work. His music a little different from what I typically listen to but I love it.  (Also, I was fascinated to learn that he co-wrote several of my favorite VeggieTales songs.)