As long as I can remember, writing has poured from my fingers the way painting splashes onto the canvas. The words, the thoughts, just left my head as if they had been stored there for that exact moment in time. I recall one year when I was probably 10 years old, deciding to make a ‘happy anniversary’ book for my parents. I carefully crafted a little book that I wrapped in cabinet contact paper or possibly wallpaper, who knows, as a child you don’t have hobby lobby at your disposal. I remember it was a light blue with white flowers and to me it displayed elegance. I sculpted sonnets out of the love I felt for these 2 people who I was so lucky to call mom and dad. I remember the tears flowing from my moms eyes and she read, marveled and adorned this little book that was made for her. I don’t know where this book is today or if it survived the treacherous feat of moves but I know that it existed, I know that it was my creation being poured out for the ones I loved.
As a mom of three, wife, daughter, sister, student, friend, I can say without a doubt that I have been given an arsenal of topics to write about. I have been graced with experience and blessed with life. Why then did I not put my hands on a keyboard until 4 short years ago? Why did I let this gift given to me go to waste and not be displayed for a majority of my lifetime? I believe we are all born with gifts that are unique and special to each of us. I believe these gifts are the very things that others find difficult and we do without batting an eyelash. For some this may look like caring for the elderly or teaching small children, decoding a program or building a website, for me this looked like writing, this looked like sharing.
Going back to the question above, it was darkness, despair and sadness that would place my fingers upon the keyboard again. It was a miscarriage, followed by another and then another. It was when I was raw, alone and left to fend for the thoughts entering my head that I put the pen to the paper, my fingers to the keys. I truly feel that it is when we strip away every role, every duty required of us, every expectation, that our creativity escapes. It’s when we stop planning, preparing and scheduling that our mind is free to explore the little things that bring us joy. It may have taken a tragedy for me to be stripped clean of all that I thought I was suppose to be doing, but that does not need to be your story. In this moment of your life, you can stop, think and be present with the little things that light you up inside. You can intentionally place these modalities or experiences into your hands and begin creating. Creating beauty, structure, peace. While jobs are necessary to pay the bills, they don’t always fill that creative void or display the talent that is stored in your body. Whether your escape is in the kitchen, garden or a quiet room, take the time to do this. Bake those beautiful cakes, clip those fragrant flowers and paint those pretty portraits. This is your opportunity to let the creative juices flow and release the endorphins that will sustain you and carry you when life gets hard and the seasons get dark.
So as I started placing words upon paper, I realized that they weren’t all that bad. That these words, my experiences were mine and they were worth sharing. As I studied scripture and learned more about the God who created me, I found that it is in my story that I can comfort others, with my words. 15,000 words later, I realized, I might have a book on my hands. I never set out to write a book, so the number of words at the bottom of my word document caught me off guard. I started organizing my content by chapters and the creation of my story laid before my eyes. This book, which is still a work in progress, gave me a vision. It gave me the thought that maybe there was more to this creative outlet and it should be shared. Shared to comfort, to encourage, to be vulnerable and open about my own personal struggles, about miscarriage.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
So the book, while I will finish, is still one of my most lofty goals, felt a bit huge. I loved the idea of it but I knew this would take more time and more resources. Once the idea of getting my thoughts out into the world, to comfort, to love, was created, my impatience kicked in and I wanted to begin the journey now. This is where Mothering in the Mess, my blog, was born. Born out of the darkness of my pain, the joy of motherhood and the impatience of wanting to get my thoughts out into the world. This became my work. My space. My space to create, my space to reflect, my space to share. Sharing our gifts with the world is the reason we have them. We were never meant to place our gifts in shackles to whither away. Can you imagine if Steve Jobs never explored the idea of a phone without buttons or if Ellen never pursued stand up and acting? While we may never receive the status or recognition of Steve Jobs or Ellen DeGeneres, we are US. Our role matters and our gifts are needed. We were all uniquely and wonderfully made to serve our creator and His people.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
If you sit here today reading this post with no clue once so ever what your gifts or purpose may be, can I just say, join the club! As I write and find a piece of myself in sharing my thoughts, I still yearn to know God’s will and purpose for my life. What I have discovered is that as long as what I am doing is bringing Him, myself and others joy, I am probably on the right track. If you have ever been complimented on anything, your make-up, fashion sense, photography, how well you listen to others, cooking, organization, research, the list can go on and on, then explore that. Explore the things that come “easy” to you and bring you joy. Explore your innermost desires and set fire to those passions. This my friend is your purpose today. It may change next week, next month, next year as your experiences change, as you live life. One interest may be a catalyst into a real passion that sets the wheels in motion. But you must start. Start with a thought, an idea, an excitement for something, anything. Don’t worry about making money at it. Start it as something you do for you in your spare time and watch it sprout and grow into what may become a full time job, when it’s meant to. I only write as I feel inspired and this is not my paying job. I still run my household, do waxing’s during nap time and take college courses full time. I have not placed my life on hold to write, I have graced my already full schedule with writing, because this is for me. Find others that are doing what you want to do and watch them. Wisdom is found by learning from those who have walked the paths before us. Study them, listen, ask questions. Those who truly love what they do love sharing their passion and drive with others. They want you to find your path, they want you to feel the joy and excitement that they have found. Listen to podcasts, read books, follow your mentors on social media. As cliche’ as it sounds, the sky truly is the limit. You are the only one that can block your journey from taking off the ground and I am here to tell you, you can do it. Today is your day. This is your moment. Carpe’ diem my dear dreamers!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9