I’m breaking out the journals this week for our Random Journal Day foray into the recording of our thoughts and inspirations.
I find that as I age I’m more prone to record inspirations rather than thoughts. I’m not quite so ready to pen my innermost feelings as I am to record the words of others which impress deeply upon my innermost feelings. In doing so, I am separating out good food to nibble upon like chocolate.
My husband makes fun of the way I eat chocolate. I do so with little mouse bites–even those “fun” size chocolates that get smaller every year. You know–the ones you can practically swallow whole like your morning vitamin.
Yes. I did compare chocolate to vitamins in one breath and I’m not apologizing for it. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to remember where I stashed some of those “fun size” bits of sweet stuff, even now, as I write this. The point is that nibbling slowly on honeycomb words and inspirational writings extends the pleasure of it. I taste every ounce. I am nourished over time.
Well–maybe not so much by the chocolate. I’m speaking metaphorically here about writing that inspires me.
I have to RE-WRITE it. And that’s where most of my journals in the past ten years have come in.
Not so much about my words–but the honest, clever, instructional, enriching, ignited words of others. I look over what I’ve re-written of a particular author’s work, and feel that I cannot say it any better. Or perhaps–what I might try to say would be a poor man’s stale bread to their succulent feast.
But–and stay with me on this since I’m into the bread and chocolate metaphor . . . AS I re-write, record, and ruminate with nibbles on these journal collections of mine, encountering them each time I pour over the pages . . . I expand.
This is extra weight I’m not so eager to be rid of. It becomes layers of literacy encounters that expand me in heart, mind, and understanding.
I am so enriched, that something new will be birthed in due season–and become fresh bread I can share with others.
I was ruminating on this truth earlier in the week when I prepared for a new home-schooled student I’m mentoring in the art of literature and writing through the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery. She’s in 7th grade–the very age I was when I first met Anne Shirley of Green Gables fame–click to see my post on the subject.
You’ll read about the “layering of literary encounters” as noted above, that have been stepping stones to bring me to the place I am today as a writer and ruminator of all good things and beauty.
And a communicator of same–sharing that fresh bread, or chocolate, as the case may be.
So, here’s a couple of “layers” of recorded inspiration that are about to come out of the oven. Mmmmm . . . I can smell the bread rising in the fires of “almost done” . . .
Look at the bees amid the banks of thyme. They find there a very bitter juice, but when they suck it out, they change it into honey because they have the ability to do so.
Frances DeSales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life: A Letter to Philothea
Three stages of spiritual growth:
1. Beginning awareness (grace) those who cannot fly (ostriches)
2. Strength to do good works (love) those that fly clumsily (chickens)
3. Ability to do good frequently (devotion) those that soar (eagles)
And . . . in relation to the bees . . . every vocation dipped in honey:
Devotion must be exercised in different ways by the gentleman, the worker, the servant, the prince, the widow, the young girl, and the married woman. Not only is this true, but the practice of devotion must also be adapted to the strength, activities, and duties of each particular person.
Philothea, true devotion does us no harm whatsoever, but instead perfects all things. When it goes contrary to one’s lawful vocation, it is undoubtedly false. “The bee,” Aristotle says, “extracts honey out of flowers without hurting them,” and leaves them as whole and fresh as it finds them. True devotion does better still. It not only does no injury to one’s vocation or occupation, but on the contrary adorns and beautifies it. All kinds of precious stones take on greater luster when dipped into honey, each according to its color. So also, every vocation becomes more agreeable when united with devotion. Care of one’s family is rendered more peaceable, love of husband and wife more sincere, service of one’s prince more faithful, and every type of employment more pleasant and agreeable.
I fed on that bit of honey for some time.
That was also around the time I’d come across a quote by C. S. Lewis about us being like eggs, but needing to hatch or else we’d go bad. Later in 2007, I used the egg metaphor to write Mother Chicken’s Eggs: Choosing to Grow into Greater Things. I published that story as a picture book earlier this year, with in-depth study guides coming out by the end of the year.
The calling to “story” through the written and spoken word is another one of those “layers of encounters” I’ve grown fat with eating.
July 16, 2012
History–from Greek “historia” meaning the learning that comes by narrative telling–story
Story is the primary means we have for learning what the world is, and what it means to be a human being in it. No wonder that from the time we acquire the rudiments of language, we demand stories.
Eugene Peterson quote, Breath for the Bones by Luci Shaw (Chapter 4 excerpt)
Every time we tell a story or write a poem or compose an essay, we give chaos a way of reintegrating into order; we reverse entropy; pattern and meaning begin to overcome randomness and decay.
Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones (Chapter 4)
The parables were not merely meant to be dissected analytically; they were designed to be absorbed by the senses and the imagination and felt, the subtext of ideal, principle, and truth absorbed almost unconsciously as the mental image and the quickening power of narrative suffuse the understanding over a period of time, a kind of divine soft-sell salesmanship. And this, in our time, is the Spirit’s work.
Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones (Chapter 4)
I recorded these excerpts from the very excellent Breath for the Bones less than one year before I noticed a young gal named Noah at church, with a pen sketch on a small bit of cardboard doing the job of a bookmark. It was of a woman by a barn feeding chickens. I asked the girl if she’d ever thought about illustrating a picture book. She replied with enthusiasm that she’d love the opportunity. Well, that C. S. Lewis quote about hatching eggs I’d recorded in my journal back in 2007 had been nibbled on by me long enough. We both had expanded and needed to hatch.
One year later, I tucked Noah’s illustrations to Mother Chicken’s Eggs under my arm, headed to the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference, and entered the world of print publishing. Stepping out in faith, hatching out of my egg, I knew it was time to begin sharing that baked bread I’d been nibbling on.
I was writing words–but not in a journal–in a book. On my blog. And in in-depth companion study guides.
The layers of encounters with inspiration–nibbling and being enriched–were an egg that I had to hatch out of last year to bring Mother Chicken’s Eggs to print.
Now, my bee story is in the oven with a honey of a tale to tell.
It’s had layers of inspiration encounters added to it since first I recorded Frances DeSales words in 2007. Eight years later, here I sit on the verge of bringing this original “parable” to life and enrichment in the lives of Christian families seeking quality literature for teaching and learning. Through story I can explore deeper life biblical principles, speaking to all ages . . . all at the same time.
Just Like Jesus
Jesus gave people Living Bread to nibble on–and plenty of it. He power-packed mountains of details into concise stories that could minister on varied levels. My Fable Springs Parables picture books are the blossom grown through the years from that inspired seed.
Did I have any idea of this when I opened my journals to record in longhand the words of other writers as they pierced my heart in 2007 and 2013?
Not in the slightest.
But, the history of where my present calling was birthed from is secured in my precious journals . . . in my own handwriting. A primary source for me to return to again and again to remember the initiating inspiration like a compass. Keeping my calling to write–the why and the what–on course to accomplish His purposes.
And–I must be about HIS PURPOSES.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
I am currently hosting a Go Fund Me drive to raise the capital necessary to go the next step in these purposes. I don’t know why God called me to this, providing so many open doors and the fundamental resources to accomplish the task–yet not the ready bankroll at my fingertips. But–this faith walk is all about moving mountains and trusting God in the fullest of provisions and details.
I’m making use of this crowdfunding tool to give others the opportunity to join with me on this journey. We’re moving words birthed on journal pages into full bloom–and ultimately enriching families over a broad landscape through marketing them as books.
Can you help me reach my goal? Visit the Pageant Wagon Publishing Family Literacy Capital Fund page at Go Fund Me for more details–and the latest little book trailer for Bugaboo-Bee’s Bop: Patience for the Prize. It’s a story about a bee who learns to make sweet honey in the vocation of bitter seasons, before taking hold of the prize “amid the banks of thyme.”
Yep–I lived out the story about hatching out of eggs to grow into greater things. Now, I’m living through the bee story about growing patience for the prize.
True stories! And I’ve got them recorded in my journals to prove it!
Sharing Using Journals to Re-Write Inspirational Chocolate this week with:
Random Journal Day at Enthusiastically Dawn
Not Just Homemaking Party at Hope in Every Season
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger