Poetry

Just Be

Come just as you are
Ugly, broken, scarred
You won’t find judgement here
Only love that overcomes all fear

Just be
With me
Just be
Enjoy me
Just be

Come just as you are
Run into my open arms
I’ll turn your wounds into useful
I’ll turn your ashes into beautiful

Just be
With me
Just be
Enjoy me
Just be

You belong, you are free, you are whole
You can be at peace with your soul
You can dance, you can shout, you can sing
You can be at home in your skin

Just be
With me
Just be
Enjoy me
Just be

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Thoughts

Giving Everything

Journal entry about giving everything

For twelve years I was part of a team of Christians that ran a family holiday program at the beach. The team became a family as we did life together, and we would share deeply with each other. One time, we were given the question: what has God been teaching you?

We discussed this in groups and I was with a lady named Ros.

‘Tina the Tree,’ she said. ‘That’s what I’ve been learning.’

Earlier in the week, Ros read us Tina the Tree.* The book begins with Tina sitting beside a river. Tina runs around trying to do all she can to help different animals: building a nest for a galah, catching flies for a spider, finding food for a koala, providing shade for a kangaroo. She gets so exhausted running around until one of the animals gives Tina some advice which went something like this, ‘Tina, the best way you can help us is if you stay beside the water and just be a tree.’

At the end of the book, the animals carry Tina back to the river where her roots grow deep into the water and all the animals enjoy what she has to offer: a hollow nest for the galah, branches for the spider, gum leaves for the koala, and shade for the kangaroo.

Ros said she was reminded of this story when she had a conversation with one of the mums who came to the program. Ros shared that she’d had a hard year and felt like she went into the holiday program with an empty tank and wasn’t able to give as much as she wanted to. The mum said to her, ‘But remember the woman at the temple. She only gave two coins but it was everything.’

The woman at the temple was a lady recorded in the Bible. While people around her had lots of money and gave lots of money, she was poor and only had two coins. But she gave more than everyone else because what she gave was everything she had.

This spoke to Ros and helped her know that even though she felt like she wasn’t giving much, she was giving what she could, and it was everything. She didn’t need to rush around like Tina the Tree trying to do everything. Instead she could just be Ros and do what she could.

I love Ros’ story. I love how it weaves a book, a conversation, and her story together with the Bible, and brings out a helpful truth. This truth gave me a light-bulb moment. It made me see ‘not much’ efforts in a new way. It flipped my thinking from, ‘I’m not giving much’ to ‘Actually, I’m giving everything.’

This reassures me that I don’t have to try to do everything, meet every need, and please everyone. I can be like Tina, the woman at the temple, and Ros, and simply do what I can. Even if it isn’t much, it’s everything I have.

This insight came at the right time.

Heading into that particular year, I felt like I had nothing to give because I was exhausted from living a rushing-around-like-Tina life. So I stepped back from a lot of roles and focused on writing a book that I felt God told me to write. It felt like I wasn’t doing much which made me feel guilty, but Ros’ story showed me that I didn’t have to do everything to be giving everything. I poured out my heart and soul into writing the book and it was enough.

It might not look like I’m giving much, but I know I’m giving everything.

*You can read Tina the Tree by Andrew McDonough at this website: www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/tina-the-tree

Drawings

Treasure Chest

Treasure Chest – Find the gold in everyone, and remember you have gold in you too

This drawing captures one of my core beliefs that everyone has treasure in them.

I see all people as treasure chests filled with all sorts of treasure in the form of stories, talents, wisdom, experiences, personality, etc. These are all gifts that can be given to others.

Not only do I believe we all have gifts to share, but I believe we ourselves are gifts. When we share ourselves, we give one of the greatest gifts.

I love looking for the treasure in people, identifying it, and drawing it out. I want to see everyone’s treasure.

Sometimes I forget that I have my own treasure and that I am a gift too. This picture reminds me to keep finding the treasure in others and to share my own treasure.

19th March 2017, Prismacolor on A3 cartridge paper

Thoughts

My word for the year

Usually I love setting goals for the year, but this year I’ve got a word.

It kept coming up through a phone conversation, a chat with a friend, a book, Bible verses, and even a dream.

My word is LIGHT.

This gives me the guiding questions:

  • How can I best bring light where I am?
  • What can I do that will maximise the light in me?

These questions were inspired by a story I read in Tim Costello’s Hope. Here is my retelling:

A father and son were walking in a dark cave when the father’s torch went out. They were separated and the son called out to his father for help because he couldn’t see where to go. His father told him to turn his headlamp on.

‘How much light is there?’ the father asked.

‘Only enough light for one step in front of me,’ said the son.

‘Take that step,’ said the father. 

The son took the step. 

‘How much light is there now?’ asked the father.

‘Only enough for one step.’

‘Take that step.’

This continued with the father guiding the son to keep taking the next step that was in front of him until he reached the safety of his father’s arms.

This story encourages me because it tells me I don’t need to know the grand plan with ten steps all laid out in front of me. I can simply take one step and trust that God will reveal the next step to me.

There is always enough light to take one step and he will always give light for the next step.

Also, this story encourages me because it tells me no matter what is going on, there is always light in us that we can shine.

For me, I’ve had to learn that one of the best ways I can shine light is by sharing my words and art. My light is a creative light. To embrace this I can’t compare myself to other people’s lights or be like them. Our lights will look different to each other. So instead of being a standard light bulb that fits in, I’m more of a chandelier living creatively.

One more thought:

I was struck by the fact that the first words God speaks in the Bible are ‘Let there be light.’

This tells me about who God is and what he is doing. He is all light and he is bringing light into all the dark places in the world.

Later in the Bible, we are called the ‘light of the world.’ I love that one of the ways God brings light into the dark places is through us.

Journal prompt: What kind of light are you? What light do you have to give?

Do you have a word for the year?

Uncategorized

Welcome to my new blog

Well, I’m not sure what this is going to look like but I’m here to share my words and art. I hope they bring a bit of light and love into the world.

Think of this as my creative journal where I’ll share my drawings, poems, and thoughts. I hope it inspires you to start/share your own creative journaling.

One of my projects this year is to write a book on everything I’ve learnt from my journey with depression and  anxiety. So, I’ll be sharing that journey here as I relive it and process it.

I’m interested in:

  • Being real and honest
  • Living an intentional life
  • Getting to know people’s hearts
  • Spreading kindness and generosity
  • Journaling creatively for our wellbeing
  • Sharing our stories and gifts to help others

If any of this is resonating with you, I’d love to hear from you and invite you to journey with me.

Let me know what you blog about or what you’re interested in.

Do you like to write and create?