Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I forgot to mention grace.

I would like to thank anyone who noticed for not making a big deal about me missing day four.
Or day five.
Or six or seven. 

When I said that prescriptive lists are not my thing, I forgot to mention that an extra measure of grace would be needed for October. Thankfully, you didn't forget to show it. 

I will say, though, I was still sticking to the topic...

I was just doing it in real life. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

take it off the shelf.

For as long as I can remember, I've written stories.

On construction paper.
On word processors.
On computers.
In journals.
On napkins.
In daydreams.

I can meet a person and instantly dream up their story. I can imagine the backstory, the present, the future.

This can be a blessing and a curse. If I'm not careful, I can forget that my story is not reality; and let's be honest--reality is so much better.

On occasion, though, everyone needs to get away into a story. That is my specialty.

In my earliest memories of writing stories, I would sit on the floor in my Aunt Laurie's expansive home office and tell her the story I was dreaming. The office was long and narrow, with a high ceiling and built-in-shelves that spanned floor to ceiling. There were so many books, so many words; but she made me feel like my words were better and my dreams were bigger. She would type it all up, we'd add the perfect pictures, then print them out and add them to a purple, flexible binder. She called it my portfolio...long before I had any notion of what that meant, or that twenty years later, I'd actually need to have one.

And just like that--she created a moody, broody, daydreaming writer.
I could never be enough grateful.

I dove deep into writing in college, but it's one of those things I've shelved for "later".

Later when there's time.
Later when there's an audience.
Later when I have more experience.
Later when I'm older.
Later when whatever I write will be better received.
Just later.

It doesn't even make sense to me why we--why I--put off the things we love; and like I mentioned yesterday, the gifts we've been given were meant for now. 

It's about time we got around to using them.

What that you love have you been putting off?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

an imagination set free

On one of the earliest birthdays I can remember, I received some very good gifts: a wooden rocking cradle for my many little babies and a red cassette player, much like this one.

image found here
Mine was a little darker, a little bigger, and had a strap (so my tape player looked like a purse and was easily portable for all of my backyard adventures). 

I took it everywhere. I wore it out. I remember taking it outside with me, setting it up next to my swingset, blasting whatever children's church musical I was currently obsessed with, and swinging and singing and acting out all the parts until I had exhausted every bit of energy. 

It was like I had my own constant soundtrack. Who wouldn't love that? 

Best gift ever, mom and dad.

It literally eliminated the walls around my dreaming. I could go anywhere and I could be anything. That cassette player set my imagination free.

My imagination, as we'll revisit in the coming days, is something I very much depend on.

The problem, though, is that it's getting harder and harder for me to dream things up. If I still had this old cassette player, I'd dust it off, play one of those old tapes, and see if that would help; but I don't know that it would.

I know the issue, in part, is that I haven't used my imagination much lately. I haven't exercised it and given it time to grow. I've been creative and crafty and made things, but I haven't dreamed anything.

And I'm becoming increasingly aware that the gifts God gives us are given to be used. That may seem so obvious, I needed to actually, really, in my heart learn it. Matthew 25:14-30 tells the story of a master who entrusts his servants with talents while he is away, but when he returns one of the servants hid the talents and did nothing with them, while the others invested theirs and reaped benefits and profits for the master. The master was very displeased.

I wholeheartedly believe that a wild imagination is a gift that can wildly benefit the kingdom, but I've been sitting idly on the one I was given. I want the Master to be pleased with how I've used the talent He entrusted to me. 

I might be twenty years past receiving that red cassette player, but I want to be just as free as the cotton-haired, wild girl who dreamed along with those songs.

It's time to set my imagination free.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

comedic relief

At church a few Sundays ago, a little told me: "Miss Hannah, you make me crack!" 

Um...? "What do mean, Chloe?" 

Giggling wildly, she answered, "Just what I said, Miss Hannah. You're so silly. You make me crack!" 

"Oooh, do you mean I crack you up?" 

At that point she was laughing too hard to answer me, but I think I know what she meant.


I think the number one thing we all need to know for these 31 days is this:

Hannah makes jokes when she's uncomfortable.

Now, before you start thinking I'm uneasy every time I make a joke--that's not the case. I really just like to make people laugh (and myself, to be honest); but when I feel nervous or vulnerable or a little too exposed, the sarcasm and jokes start flying at remarkable speeds.

Everyone has their own self-protective thing, and this, my dears, is one of mine.

This will probably be important information over the next month, because while I'm guessing that we'll jump deep into some sticky stuff, I can guarantee I'll make a joke about it.

When it happens, just laugh a little with me and let's keep moving, ok?

Do you have a self-protective "thing"? What's the first thing you throw out when you're uneasy or nervous? 

for a complete list of #31days posts, click here