Friday, November 14, 2008
Joanna Bloss, one of the co-authors of Grit for the Oyster 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Authors--which I will be reviewing soon--provided today's guest article about drawing near to God through our writing.
Whether or not I'm writing for publication, I've found writing to be an intensely personal process that allows me to work through feelings, analyze experiences and pour out my heart to God. Writing out prayers keeps me focused and brings clarity to my thoughts and feelings. I've kept prayer journals on and off for the past twenty years. Recently I dug those journals out and found an amazing chronicle of my spiritual journey. It's enormously helpful to see how I've grown and how faithful God has been through the hills and valleys of my life.
I feel the same when I look back over the things I've had published. I've grown a lot since those early days of publication, the writing is better now, but throughout my writing is that common thread of God's faithfulness and provision that definitely draws me closer to him. There are parallels in my writing journey and my spiritual journey--though the two are intertwined, my writing life has become a metaphor for my spiritual life.
My good friend and co-author Faith Tibbetts McDonald recently shared this reflection on our Grit for the Oyster blog (http://gritfortheoyster-book.blogspot.com). Her prayer captures the essence of what it means to draw near to God through writing. Blessings on your writing journey! ~Joanna Bloss
I want to write, but first I come to you.
I grope my way through tangible surroundings to find You--
the essence of You--
and find that first, I must tap into the essence of me.
The essence of me hides in physical needs.
It gets layered in distractions.
Sometimes, I cover it on purpose because I can't stand how weak, how ugly how distorted it is.
Something in me despises that weakness. Something in me wants to cry out, "Ugly!" and place that ugliness on a billboard so passersby can join in the jeer.
Something in me wants to cloak the ugliness in status quo.
And go about life with the ugliness, the lack, the weakness as the mobilizing force.
That is when I get in so much trouble.
I bluster about, clamoring: I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worthy.
You can get through a day doing that!
A trend, a culture can be mobilized when enough folks cry out: I am strong. I am beautiful--white strips have topped off my beauty. I am worthy--I wear designer jeans.
But for me, it works better to come before God--the essence of me meeting the Essence of Life--in quiet--and say, "Please fix me."
And sometimes, He gives me something to write.
~Faith Tibbetts McDonald
The GRIT FOR THE OYSTER VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on November 3 and end on November 26. You can visit the authors' blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in November to find out more about their latest book!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner will be announced on November 30!