joy soaked words

finding my way

Month: June, 2019

she’s a writer.

Words falling onto this page, early mornings and bleary eyes. In school, I study words. At home, I write words. Words have become who I am, they flow through my veins like blood cells on the way to my fingertips. A writer, an artist, a creative brain. Some words taste bitter off the tongue, delete. Some words roll, sweet off the lips. Sometimes I feel like writing is like riding a bike, skinned knees and all. You get up and try again, and again. Rejection comes as fast as the pavement to your shins, the unexpected, stinging blow.

I struggle with the term writer. I’ve been published in a few Redeemer related publications, but that is the extent of what work has gone beyond this blog, my journal or my instagram.

I have random pieces of poetry, written on the back of receipts and scrap paper that I keep tucked away. Sometimes, Fear speaks louder than Courage in my mind. Fear likes to tell me that I’m not enough, that my writing doesn’t matter, so why bother. Courage is a different voice than fear, because Courage allows me to share my story. I’ve learned how to give Courage the ability to speak up for herself. To give Courage the ability to speak up for herself, means the creative side of her is aloud to present itself. It allows her to share these marked up receipts and paper torn out of old journals. To give her the ability to say no to things, instead of giving in. Courage yells sometimes, when I know I need to listen to her. I’m learning how to tune out Fear and listen closely for the voice of Courage.

Discipline is a large part of this journey, choosing discipline regardless of what is going on, discipline in my writing, discipline in showing up, in my running and many other areas of my life.

I’m all about the redemption process, the dirt and grime. I’m all ears for how Jesus has stepped into your life, traded out old for new. I want to capture these stories, in words written on paper.

This blog post has come out of soapy water, and cracking over 300 eggs. It comes from the silence in the big room, with my feet tucked under me, and my shoes off and beside me, the rest that I crave after a busy morning of meal making. This blog post has been a paragraph here and there, between cups of coffee and massive pots of macaroni.

It’s how I fully expect this summer to go, little breaks here and there. Sentences in holding, waiting to be.

This is the cool thing about writing, it doesn’t define me. Nor does being a runner, or anything else I enjoy doing, and make time for in my day. I don’t like to be put in a box, being told what I should call myself, or how I should define myself.

There is something so beautiful about mismatched patterns on clothes, having very specific ways I like my coffee, and how I could happily eat cotton candy for every single meal. It doesn’t define me anymore then being a writer does. Writing is in my genes, it’s apart of this bigger story that I am apart of, for I am the pen in His hand.

anyways, meal planning is calling my name.

till next time, little corner of the internet.

njl.

show up.

So far I have cooked 3 meals for over 100 people, without running out of food or burning anything. My feet are aching, but this heart is oh so full. I was chatting with somebody yesterday about how this season is exactly where God has me for right now, and it is so obvious. Through this season, I know that he is preparing me for the next, I can see the gold strands of him throughout it all. Being the head cook at camp this summer, I felt a lot of pressure, I didn’t want there to be strife between the staff I was working with, I wanted to create a menu that was not only camp food, but food that people enjoyed eating. I wanted to create a space in camp, where people felt welcome to come and chat, spend time (washing dishes) with me and my fellow cooks, as well as just a place where good food and good converstation came out of. So far, all of these things are happening, and it’s a joy to stand back and watch how the Lord provides to those who ask. I know that there are going to be days where I want to throw in the towel, and days where the dishes are literally never ending. But I also know that the Lord has asked me to be here, for now. So I am going to keep showing up. Showing up to cook good food, and showing up to those never ending dishes.

Showing up to my writing is just as important, I tend to push off my writing, my blog and any other creative writing. I don’t schedule time to blog, like I schdule everything else in my life. My planner is my best friend, and keeps me organized, but I don’t set aside an hour to just write. I’m changing that, I am setting goals for myself because I work hard to accomplish them. I set a goal to run a 5k in the fall a couple of months ago, and I have been running close to 6 days a week, because of that goal I set.

800 words. That is how many words I want to write in a week, through a blog post, a short story or poetry. 800 words is doable, and it will force me to keep showing up to this blog, to my writing. I can’t be a writer, if I don’t write. I can’t be a runner, if I don’t run. When I first started training, I could hardly run for 30 seconds without having to stop, a couple of weeks ago, I ran 2, 8 minute stretches. I know that isn’t terribly long, but I also am aware of how far I have come since I started.

The first step in my writing dream, was buying my domain. This is my space to write, to create.

Next, 800 words weekly.

Like this kitchen, I have to keep showing up. It’s my anthem.

Also, I just wanted to remind whoever reads this blog and also remind myself, that it is also very okay to mess up. You will mess up, you will forget things, you will burn food and forget to show up sometimes.

Keep showing up. Keep messing up. You have to learn somehow.

This is my way of keeping myself accountable. If the words are in my corner of the internet, I feel as if I know have accountability in this. Accountability in showing up, and sometimes messing up.

Until next time.

njl.

our kitchen table

My mom is the most hospitable person I know, she opens her home to anybody who needs a hot meal, or a warm bed to sleep in for a night. I don’t think there was ever a time that she has turned someone away, because in opening her home, she is loving whoever walks through our front door in the best way she knows how. My mom is a lover through the art of hospitality, and I hope that I can love to the exent that she loves one day, opening my home like she does so often.

My parents have also instilled in us the importance of sharing a meal together, coming together to break bread together. Our kitchen table is in the main area of our home, it serves as a beacon of family and comfort when life is feeling like a chaos of appointments, job schedules and music lessons. As a family, we make time every single day to come together and sit at our table, usually over a meal, but sometimes a card game or two.

The kitchen table that we all grew up eating around, was a table that my dad had made. A labor of love, through his gift in woodworking. That table was full of memories sitting around, laughter and joy echoing off it’s scratched surface. My parents bought a new table, made by an amish woodworker a couple of years ago. Knowing the importance of how my mom loves, they bought a table that can be extended to fit 20 people around it. Fully extended, it basically goes to the other end of the living room. It takes people by surprise every single time they walk into our home for a large gathering.

I think that in Heaven, there is going to be a table that fits every single person at it, because that’s how Jesus loved while he was here on earth. Breaking bread, sharing a meal. He loved in ways that people didn’t understand, turning 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish into enough food to feed 5000, with leftovers. Jesus’s mission here on earth, was a labor of love, loving in the best way he knew how. Being there alongside his followers, healing the sick and sharing the good news.

My parents have shown me how to love others well, through our kitchen table. Love doesn’t have to complicated, it’s knowing a few recipes that go over well with a crowd, and opening your home, even when you don’t want to.

People have walked into our home, and said that they feel at home. That is the kind of atmosphere I want to create when I own a home. A kitchen table full of memories and scratches from dishes being passed around the table.

Thank you, Mom for showing me the importance of a kitchen table.

Thank you, Dad for building that first table, through your labor of love, I have learned how to love others well through good food and laughter.

njl.