On Writing in Your Own Voice

“Come away with me by yourselves and get some rest.” Jesus, Mark Chapter 6

Pushing the patio chair into place undercover, I scan the deck for my little table. I want to sit a while and take advantage of the peace and quiet to listen.
Not read my Bible, read a book, look at my phone, just sit with my journal and pay attention to what I hear, what I see, what my heart wants to tell me.
But I need my footstool first.  My legs are too short to touch the decking and I can’t relax ‘til my feet are in place. Ah, there it is hidden under the plastic tablecloth out of the rain.
Now I’m settled. My eyes train on the birds at our feeders. I grin at their acrobatic antics, bouncing marionette-like from feeder to tree, swooping like jets coming in for a landing. I’m quite certain the only reason God created birds was to delight us and him.
Instead of writing anything, I begin to read the lines I penned over the past year; little conversations with Jesus and I show up on the page. ‘Aha’s’ are circled or highlighted, questions I pondered and the answer that came after it are underlined. There are pencil scratchings in the margin, messages from the Spirit of God right to my soul.
Someone asked the question recently, ‘What is saving your life right now?’
And here’s what I have to say–the spiritual practice of listening, stopping to hear God’s voice to me, and hear my own voice.  This is what I know:
  • When you give God time to touch you, He will.
  • When you give Him space to speak, He will.
  • When you give Him room to move, He will.
Part of my conversations with Jesus lately have been about story—mine, in particular.
Story that includes things like the day job I have and how it affects my understanding of God.
Or the love I have for books and their power to move me. And maybe others.
Or the passion I have about social issues and shining a light in dark places.
My random thoughts can run all over and it’s hard to rein them in.
At the end of the day I sat with my bedside journal–I have lined volumes in many, many places in the house. I scanned the lines I’d written, finding over and over again the truest parts of me on the page.

The line that caught my eye before I turned out the light was, “Trust your voice.” I felt the Holy Spirit say, “I have a story to tell of my goodness and love through your life alone. I have a way of encouraging others through your testimony and your story.  Stop trying to be like everyone else and write what you know, tell the world what you hear.”

I woke with that in mind, full of a confidence that God will guide my thoughts , that I’ll hear Him speak not only to me, but through me, as I continue to give Him space and time to speak.
How might you take some time or space to make room for God to speak to you this week? Trust what He says…and trust your own voice—we need you.

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14 thoughts on “On Writing in Your Own Voice

  1. “to and through . . . He will, He will, He will.” And did. Thank you!
    And if earth is His footstool, how apt to begin with one propping your feet. 🙂 Love this detail. Feet that don't quite reach the floor get restless indeed, along with the legs, which become a distraction.

  2. Listening–yours
    Elohim's birdsong serenade
    filtering through
    dawn's sunrise breeze
    into heart and mind
    of one soul…

  3. Kimberlee, you say it so much better than I do! yes, listening to God first and He drops into our souls what He wants us to share with the world.
    So grateful for you, my kindred spirit friend.

  4. Isn't this what writing is all about? Being still–outwardly and within. Learning to listen. And from that rich silence (Maggie Ross calls it “logophatic silence,” a term I love–silence in which the Word speaks), writing what we hear. Or sometimes writing is the way we hear. (Eugene Peterson calls it heuristic writing–writing our way into what we didn't know we knew.) Either way, we have to listen first.

    Which is why you and I keep hosting these crazy writing retreats: to give women space and quiet to listen. Because we all need the silence to be able to hear God's voice, and our own.

    So, so grateful for you, friend!

  5. All of us who follow your delightful, thought-provoking blog say: Thank you, Jody, for taking time and making space for God to speak to you and through you. We so appreciate the particular brand of wisdom/creativity he ushers through you! And thank you for encouraging us to do the same, to trust what God says to us, and then trust our own voices that he inspires. Bless you, my friend!

  6. Susie, God's gifts to us and through us come in so many 'packages.' May He bless you and your little 'butterfly' as your voice goes out into the world. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Jody I came by because you left a sweet comment on my blog…and i LOVE your blog so much! This post brought tears to my eyes because it really hit home. So beautiful! Thank you for writing it and opening your self up in such a vulnerable way to us.

  8. Yes, the hummingbird background is new….had to change it up a bit. You know I'm a little bit nuts about birds, especially the hummers. Thanks for reading, Kelly.

  9. This is such a beautiful musing about your favorite spot and meeting God..how you listen for God's guidance, pondering your journal, thinking of things you love, looking at the birds..love this “I'm quite certain the only reason God created birds was to delight us and him.” PS love the #smallwonder link button!! Thank you for visiting me today and sharing your Swami's story!Amazing!! Blessings,hope to share again!!

  10. Oh! Look at you, using the link button. Lovely. And I love the hummingbird background – is that new? Quieting, listening, and trusting – they all go hand-in-hand. Thanks for joining us at #SmallWonder, Jody.

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