It seems to go without fail that every new season brings with it new ideas, new thoughts to enchant me and catch my attention repeatedly. These are the words capturing my heart right now.
Earlier this year, I participated in The 100 Day Project and doodled 100 pages in a mini sketchbook. Last month, I joined Bailey's Blog-Tember Challenge a few times when my schedule was free and I actually remembered. This month, I decided to join in the fun of "Write 31 Days" and give October a fun focus.
For the next 31 days, I'll pick a word a day and freewrite a blog post about it. I'm envisioning that some days will just be stream of consciousness writing, some days will be lists of associations and connections that come to mind, and some days might be more like poetry.
This is where you can find it all. I'll add the links to each day at the bottom of this post, so you know where to find everything.
DAY ONE: COMMIT.
The biggest takeaway from this year's 100 Day Project was that dedication is necessary, and that it's hard to consistently show up and create. I decided I wanted to commit, and I did. With the Blog-tember Challenge, I didn't. I halfheartedly wanted to participate (maybe selfishly just to connect with new people and grow my blogging network) and my lackluster attempts are no surprise. I didn't commit.
Having the accountability of the massive 100 Day Project community kept me going and kept me coming back to make something with my pen and paper, and I know this month will do more of the same. It's refreshing and challenging and so rewarding to push toward a goal day by day and put the effort in to make art happen.
I want to commit. A few years ago, commit was my word of the year. Even now, I crave intentionality. My time is too precious, my to-do lists too long, and my life too short to waste my heart, my talents, and my passion on things that are frivolous or meaningless. In everything, I want to lean in and dig deep. I want to embrace things that intimidate me and rise to challenges as I face them. I want to commit to projects like this one and do the work of showing up day after day after day.
I'm happy you're here. Thanks for sticking around as I figure out what this space holds for me. Thanks for entertaining my wild ideas and reading my words and coming back. I hope what you find here meets you where you are, too.
Click on each image to read that day's post:
come back tomorrow!
This last week, so many things I read just resonated with me SO MUCH. And I want you all to read them all now. Here's a roundup of the best things I've read online recently! Enjoy.
"Don’t be the next anybody. Be deeply, weirdly, completely, totally you." // Shauna Niequist drops an awesome bomb with this post.
"I think my generation is venturing into some seriously uncharted waters, because while we’re hesitant to label relationships, we do participate in some deviation of them." // Jordana Narin won this year's Modern Love College Essay Contest from The New York Times, and it's a strikingly true look at what our generation has turned love and relationships into.
"If we were on a coffee date, I'd encourage you to write yourself letters. Buy yourself a journal and just write to you. Dear you and Love, me are powerful things." // Amber Thomas writes these posts as if you were on a coffee date with her, and every single time, I so deeply wish I was.
"For introverts who generate ideas best without the looming presence of others, knowing the topic in advance is key." // This post on the TED Blog is GREAT. Every brainstorm meeting I've been a part of has been stressful for me as an introvert, and this post has fantastic tips for making that NOT the case.
"We desperately need someone to tell us we are going to make it. To simple say, "I'll be there when you make it", and "I'll still be here while you make your way"." // Katherine Henson could have pulled these words from my very core, they struck me so deeply. They're the words I've been feeling and wrestling with but not really knowing how to say. These are the kinds of people I want.
"So here is my suggestion: Read a bit of poetry today." // Sarah Bessey reminded me of what my heart knows to be true: I need to surround myself with beautiful words that slow me down and open my eyes to lovely things. I need to read poetry today and every day.
I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed today, and saw that an old friend of mine commented on a mutual friend's photo. She said something that I used to say all the time when we lived together back at JMU, saying the girl in the photo was the cutest "human". It was one of those things that other people around me picked up and started saying because I said it so much. I called everyone humans. I'm pretty sure I picked it up from one of my best friends before I started saying it, too.
Seeing that little comment struck me. That little word is in her vocabulary now, it's something she says to other people. And she, on probably way too many occasions, heard it said from me. And I first heard it said from someone else. It became a phrase that came out of my mouth often, without me even really ever thinking about it.
Saying "human" a lot is a really little, insignificant thing. But it became part of my normal vocabulary because I spent time around someone who said it often, and I absorbed it, and it become something I, in turn, said often. And now, somebody who spent a lot of time around me hearing me say that says it too.
That little word doesn't really matter. Life doesn't really come from it. Nobody is really changed by it.
But words can bring life. Words can bring change. I know that the more time I spend in the Word, the more I absorb it and the more it becomes something I talk about often. I hear the words first said by Jesus Christ and they become words that I speak in my life too. I want to speak more words that first came from Him. I want to spend more time around Him, in His word, absorbing His grace and His love and His language so that it flows from me effortlessly and constantly.
I know the more time I spend around my friends, the more we begin to talk like each other, echoing different speech patterns or phrases or little quirks. I know the more time I spend with my Savior and Creator, the more I'll begin to look and act and speak like Him. I'll find His words becoming part of my conversations, I'll hear His truth resounding in my heart, I'll find myself echoing all that He said and all that He was and is. I want to spend so much time in the Word and in conversation with my Father that it becomes so hard to tell where His words stop and mine start. I want to sound like Him. I want to speak His truth. I want to share His love. I want to look and sound so much more like Him than like myself. My words are clumsy, insignificant, meaningless. His words are life. His words are love. His words are perfect, true, powerful. Lord, let my words be Yours.
I will wait and hold fast to Your word
Heart on Your heart and my eyes on You.