Entering the Creative Process
The bird also has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself
where she may lay her young.
With a singular focus and deliberation the bird circles and circles until she finds a safe place in which to nest. She is stirred and on a mission until she finds what it is she is looking for: a place. And then she broods, rarely if ever leaving until her eggs hatch.
A woman intuitively looks for safe places in which to lay her young, whether it’s for the children of her womb or the artistic endeavors of her spirit. She longs to give birth to the verses and the stories and the melodies but until their appointed time they remain hidden deep within … taking form, growing, nourished through her until they are able to sustain life on their own.
Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2:9
Scripture talks about how the way of the Spirit of God is mysterious. I would venture to say that the way of the Spirit is not unlike the mystery of conception and birth. A baby is a twinkle in her Daddy’s eye … he’s got a great idea. But from the point of where the idea begins until he bounces that sweet-faced child on his knee … we can only marvel!
When we enter into the creative process we are partnering with God to bring the stuff of the Spirit into the natural realm. The miracle of birth is always God’s doing but every time His own DNA mingles with that of the child’s parents. And let’s not forget about the heart. God always mixes in love, an ingredient He never forgets. Whether a creative work or the much hoped-for wee child: all that originates in His heart bears His image, His thumbprint.
As women we are utterly consumed with the birth process: awaiting the day when our knowing look will give us away; carrying the planted seed within, stretching out our lives to prepare for its presence; yielding to the transition and then the inevitable, unavoidable birth process. If a mother does not give birth she will likely die and certainly her child will die. Birth is not optional. Her body literally changes structure, her emotions are all fiercely protective and locked in on one objective: to bring this child into the world. And so it is with the creative works that He plants into our hearts, designed to come from us. Beautiful and yet ugly; awkward and yet perfectly orchestrated, red-faced and slippery our little ones come into this world.
Just as a mother has a core-level connection with her infant so have we with our creative works. Nothing is so wildly beautiful to a mother than the face of her son or daughter. From the outside we observe and critique but a mother never hears friend or foe call her baby ugly. Her role and calling are to lovingly carry, lead, discipline and cheer her child until he reaches full maturity.
Revision upon revision, reshaped until it stands on it’s own. One day the song will sing its melody in hidden places throughout the earth. The story will tell itself to the nations … until the day in which the melody expands and the story’s seed is flung to the wind.
And Father’s heart will have expanded once again.
With dove’s eyes the Creative will again find a safe place in which to lay her young.
The Children of My Heart
For the woman who wanted more children. The Dad who always wanted a little princess. For the unmarried woman who sees her wee ones in every child that passes.
As a write this I’m seated in a crowded restaurant and the couple next to me cuddles an adorable little girl dressed in white patterned tights and lime green corduroy dress that has delicate smocking across the front. The dress looks just like dresses I wore when I was a little girl. She’s getting ready to launch from her Daddy’s arms, flapping her wings, certain that she’s ready to fly. At the table next to them is a little boy who is trying out screaming tones for the first or second time …By jove, I think he’s got the hang of it.
This morning the Lord gave me a glimpse of the babies I’ve carried in my heart. So numerous they were! I watched as they turned somersaults and toddled around Heaven’s playground. When I asked the Lord about what I was seeing He said this …
Every time you agreed to carry something in your heart for Me, I gave birth to it in the realm of the Spirit. So many broken people have abandoned what I was birthing in their womb and while it does break My heart I have a place for these little ones.
You have not known the fullness of what I’ve been doing but perhaps you’ve felt it?
While showing me these children He reminded me of all the times that I carried a dream or a prayer in my heart … a willingness to dream big dreams with a friend, or believe for healing of a friend’s illness … In Heaven’s economy we are owning another person’s pain, linking our strength with their fragile faith. It’s the heart of a parent manifesting. And Father never withholds, never ceases to reward a single glance of our eyes. Our heart expands and Father tucks another wee one under our wings.
When I mentioned that I wasn’t exactly clear on how the dots connect, He simply said, “My economy rocks My way.” And at that moment, I just saw Him as a man with His arms full of babies, rocking one with His foot and the woman in me cannot help but smile and do what I’m wired to do.
Through The Eyes of a Child
Maybe it’s the nature of who I am. Or maybe its this lifetime of never having been married. I’m 44, for heaven’s sake. Did you know that AARP had the audacity to send me an early enrollment form? I nearly spat on it. I don’t know what compels me toward child-likeness, but I’ll suggest that it’s a dominant gene in my DNA.
And yes, Virginia, your DNA is twisted all to heck.
And did I tell you I might be slightly ADD? I’m only just now getting the picture. It’s that whole distraction thing. Like a freight train. Bird! Plane! Boing! Zoom! But ADD folk make great writers and programmers as long as you give them headphones with classical music. It soothes their fuffled reathers.
Childlike. To be like a child.
So many things in life demand every inch of our attention span, our energy, our focus. We need to drive the ROI. Think outside the box. Strategize. Give! Be present in the moment! Expand. Reduce. Minimize. Be faster, more efficient. It’s exhausting to just write the phrases let alone give them any meaningful consideration.
I possess memories of a nearly idyllic childhood. As kids in the Penhale family, together with our friends, we ran wild across acreages with creeks and barns and trees and open fields. We lived in the land of make believe. We would tumble indoors after playing in the creek all day, soaked to the bone, muddy, covered with horse hair or just outdoor-ness. We thought we were so burdened, so encumbered with cares. In reality we lived like bandits. Our needs were few. We trusted more. We didn’t need elaborate explanations about why.
A little boy asked me once, “Why is red?”
I looked him square in the eye and said, “Because.” He nodded solemnly, and ran off to play.
It’s enough to be like a child.
Dance … On Writers Block
There is, hiding within, a song that needs to be sung, a shout that needs to come out, and tears that yearn to water the fallow ground.
Awake fettered soul, and release the characters who will sell out about the City. The one that has foundations.
In my slumber I remember the ones who know how the story goes.
– The yellow ball who finds a boy.
– The African sun that sets on twelve young boys and girls, now fully loved out of a lifetime of huffing and fully protected from guerrilla warfare.
– Two women, sworn friends for life until death swallows the one and her yet single friend takes guardianship of her now orphaned sons.
They are there at the edge of the City; one by one they slide down the ripple of the sinking sun. “My story friends!”, I cried. Out of reach I’ll never be able to love them into stories now.Their voices a silhouette as I shrink within myself.
It’s then that I hear the still small Voice beckoning to me.
“Don’t be dismayed, Little One, when the storms broil. Rather partner with the sparrow who knows not what the morrow brings.
The edifice you are building requires more of you each day.
On the ground you lay, willing its foundations to come forth.
You lean on it’s walls only to discover they are doors beckoning you beyond.
Have you forgotten how to entice your friends into their stories?
Take hold, Beloved.
Grasp for their history. Lean into their tale. Wind it around yourself like a veil and stay within until they come to fore.
Cause them to sing.
Your people will weep if you will weep.
They will dance in the moonlight if you will lead them.”
“Though your reason for living feels a distant tune sung by someone else, and you consider relinquishing your call..
Press in, Beloved.
Wrest the sleep from your eyes and pierce your own heart with their tale and soon you’ll know how they go.
Soon you’ll beat out the rhythm of their heartbeat and they’ll rattle to life.
You’ll whistle their wanderings and they’ll stand upon their emptied graves and cry “Sing it again!” and “Shout some more!”
And soon you’ll know how the stories go.
Dance, Beloved. Dance.”