“I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write you a short one.” – Blaise Pascal
I'm renaming my blog to be the same as my journals. I'm calling it The Plain Paper Journals. I like writing on plain white paper. Plain white sketchpads. Plain white formate in goodnotes.
And "naming it" seems to be important for me. It helps me know where my freedom is. It helps me know how to look at things.
Why is it so important to name things?
Jesus. That name unlike any other.
Abram got renamed to Abraham when he started walking like the person he was created to be. He faced Resistance and Chaos at every turn and kept walking.
Me? I'm a whimp.
I start walking and hit Resistance and curl up in a ball. Afraid. If just being my best self is going to mean all these walls and wars, then I'll just dream about it. But never really BE it.
But I don't think Papa God is going to let me off the hook that easily. He's speaking to me and I'm listening in stereo mode these days. By that I mean, I'm reading three or four books at present and ALL of them are saying the same thing!
So it's like being in surround sound. Like "maybe you should really pay attention to this! Wake. up."
Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art, says, "There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.
He says, "Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."
He goes on to say that the minute you take even a baby step toward the you that God created you to be, the you that gifts the world with something that will help, the higher you - that very minute you act, you'll face Resistance.
He has written a very short but incredibly profound book. Books don't have to be long when they get right to the point and have something profound to say.
And THEN, I'm also reading CHAOS CAN'T by Allen Arnold. I've met Allen
and heard him speak both live and on Matt Tommey's podcast, The Thriving Christian Artist. He's a man who listens and doesn't take himself too seriously. He's beyond that. He's gone deeper. He's found a place he can actually enjoy himself and yet do amazing and serious work.
His name for Resistance is CHAOS.
He says that God trumps over CHAOS. And I'm just beginning the book, but I'm already challenged out of my gourd.
As if this weren't clear enough, I'm also slowly digesting The Sound of Life's Unspeakable Beauty by Martin Schleske. He's a luthier (someone who makes violins by hand with great skill) who has a philosopher's heart. I read a little. Cry a little. It's a beautiful book.
Take a deep breath and read this slowly:
Schleske names this attacking wall of opposition "Crisis." He says, "Crisis and revelation speak clearly: if you want to be a strong person, then you must be not only of this world. Faith in Jesus will never entail a contemplative retreat into an inner world but will defy every crisis to its face. It is only when we see that crisis and familiarity build the whole picture together that we learn to affirm that which life entrusts to and expects of us. The completed pattern says: Have courage! Have faith! That is the profound authority that will change you and present o the the world as a changed person."
(You can see why it's taking me a long time to read Schleske! I'm only on page 48 and every page is deep water.)
I don't WANT to fight! I don't WANT to be famous! I don't WANT to pursue something so big that I get beat up!
But then there's this book in me. I'm so pregnant with this book I can no longer breathe. It's kicking me in the ribs. It's growing inside me at such a rate that there's little room for anything else.
To try to write this book, I took Bob Goff's first ever writing course. I got great encouragement. I have promises for forwards. I have groups waiting to use it as a fund raiser.
This book is the story behind 7 dresses that I painted. It is ripe to be finished, and offered.
But if I write it - and publish it... My chest is constricting just typing the words.
I. am. afraid.
This book is so personal. It's the story of an unremarkable person getting totally kissed by a most remarkable God. I went to a place in those dress canvases that was completely bare and exposed and was loved.
And then it got attacked by someone very close to me. They're no longer alive, but the memory is still there. The pressure to change my painting to be more acceptable in their eyes so that it won't make them so uncomfortable. So that it can make money in a "respectable" way. I'll have to put this in the book now. The pain of it is now part of the story. And the forgiving it required for me to be free...
But I don't WANT to have to forgive the others who will surely come if I publish.
Still, I DO want to publish it. I DO want to tell the story. I DO want to hold the full color book in my hand and say, "There. It's done."
(and as I look back on what I just wrote, I see my commitment to Jesus, the Lover of my soul, in those words "I do.")
Here's the rub.
I can now name the wall. Resistance Chaos Crisis, son of the Enemy most low.
But what will I name the Book?
I feel like once I can name it, I'll be able to finish it.
And that's all for today. Don't wait for me. GO AHEAD! Pass me by. By all means, pick up your smooth stone and slay your Goliath. Don't try to negotiate with your Goliath. He is a lier and will happily chop off your head while you're leaning over to sign an "agreement."
What? You're as afraid as I am?
OK? Let's ask ourselves this one question. What is the next tiny step we can take in the direction of our "big thing"?
For me, I need to go through each chapter and add in the 5 senses.
Too big. Make it smaller.
OK. I'll look at each dress and just make a random 5 senses list for each one without trying to make any sense of it. Trying to edit without that list is too daunting.
I can actually do that today.
What's your one baby thing?
Let's do it.
jumping off the deep end,
©2022 Lydia D Crouch