Faith

The Splendid Things

I need to write.

I have deadlines.

I think of myself as a writer until I have a deadline.

And then I’m just another desperate woman praying for something she doesn’t have. It’s the whole point, and I understand that. It’s not in my own strength anyway. But it’s frustrating to feel so empty.

I do what I often do when I feel like I have nothing to say: I search for quotes from people I consider wise.

Most of them are dead.

And I come across this gem.

Life has loveliness to sell, all beautiful and splendid things, blue waves whitened on a cliff, soaring fire that sways and sings, and children’s faces looking up, holding wonder like a cup.” {Sarah Teasdale}

Tears fill my eyes and I allow them to invade my focus.

I become keenly aware that the deadline is making me miss the words.

Does it do the same for you?

We are all writers, quills in hand, waiting to document what is before us and rewrite those things we left behind.

We are desperate women, aching to make meaning where there is beauty and hope where there is brokenness.

Our hands tremble at the prospect.

We are all writers.

It takes a lot of bravery to craft the book of our lives-to put it in chapter and form, and to know that one day it will close and we will have nothing left to offer but the ink, nearly dry as we craft.

It is, at once, beautiful and devastating to live a life that realizes the power of a moment.

I shake my head.

It’s too much, I think.

Who am I to believe my words matter?

Do you wonder the same?

But He whispers with love and power-

I shape the letters of your life. Look around at the beautiful and splendid things, and write them.

Your job, love, is not to create the story.

It is to turn each page and listen.

Look.

Believe that it is all worth telling.

I know the truth underneath this, after all.

My hands tremble not in my own power, but the knowledge of my own iniquity.

And the privilege overwhelms me, steals my breath.

I am His forever.

Let the wind whip through the chapters and the words drip onto the pages as they will…

I will see Him here.

My fingers outstretched toward the cup-not to gulp-but rather, to hold its wonder as long as time allows.

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17 Comments

  • Reply Kristen O'Neill Strong October 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Breathtaking, Angie. Oh my. I’ll be holding this cup close to me for a good long while. Much love to you!

  • Reply SouthernGalThoughts October 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    “Your job, love, is not to create the story. It is to turn each page and listen.” You’ve said it so beautifully.

  • Reply Alexa Sandin October 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Even when what I’m writing are lesson plans? :)
    This is just lovely Angie….

  • Reply Brittany Houck October 9, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Beautiful! Love this and thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable.

  • Reply Kaye October 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    You are so right, so many wise quotes by people before our time. We discussed that during Sunday School this past Sunday.
    Thank you for sharing this. You always know exactly what we need to read.
    Blessings today and every day,
    Kaye
    Matthew 21:22

  • Reply E. Ivy October 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Angie!
    I just bought 5 of your What Women Fear books off Amazon to give as Christmas gifts! I believe there is power in the pages of that book. I am reading it for the second time now. Your vulnerability, widson and annointed candidness spoke to my heart and I am praying that it speaks to my loved one’s as well.
    Thank you, sister, for following God’s calling on your life – because you have, we get to share in the blessing.
    Amen, sister!
    Erin

  • Reply Mindy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Angie,
    Your entire beautiful post reminded me of the refrain of the old hymn “The Love Of God”.
    It goes like this:

    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade,
    To write the love of God above,
    Would drain the ocean dry.
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.
    “Let the wind whip through the chapters and the words drip onto the pages as they will…”
    Lovely reminder!-Mindy

  • Reply Krista Wilbur October 10, 2012 at 1:05 am

    This one line:

    I shape the letters of your life. Look around at the beautiful and splendid things, and write them.

    Oh, man. Every time I read it, my skin tingles. So beautifully said, Ang. Thank you for the reminder to simply write the words as His story unfolds and not to try to create the story itself as I so often struggle with.

  • Reply Anything « Krista on Purpose October 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    […] and I am seriously petrified of what that means. This life is your life. As my favorite blogger Angie Smith wrote today: I shape the letters of your life. Look around at the beautiful and splendid things, and write […]

  • Reply Kelli Goings October 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Angie, I love reading your blog. Please update us on your homeschooling journey! It is encouraging since I am 2 years behind you in the journey:))

  • Reply Erin Cooper October 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Angie, this is truly beautiful. And hugely encouraging for a “writer” such as myself.

    “We are desperate women, aching to make meaning where there is beauty and hope where there is brokenness.”

    That is exactly why I write, why I live in the joy and struggle of transparency. Thank you for writing – your courage (in your books/your blog) give me courage. Here’s to turning life’s pages and listening. Always listening…

    -Erin <
    http://www.erinflewthecoop.blogspot.com

  • Reply Tami October 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Writing has been something that I have considered therapeutic for a long time. Years ago, when I started my blog, I tried to give myself deadlines… Until I figured out that the purpose of my blog (for me, at least) is to just capture time in a bottle. Ever since then, my writing has changed. My voice is different. When I look back over the pages through time, I can smell those days. I can taste them. I can feel them too. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this if I wouldn’t have taken the time to stop and listen. Thank you for your encouragement! :)

  • Reply mindysue October 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Beautiful, inspired words I will read and read again.

  • Reply Wick Anderson October 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

    May we continue to sip wonder slowly, warmed by it’s presence in our hands as much as the taste of it on our lips. Great reminder. :)

  • Reply Melanie November 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply mostgladgirl November 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Wow…..that takes my breath away……..I came upon this “accidentally” and it was just what I needed today! Thank you…. Andi

  • Reply Alexis February 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    “I think of myself as a writer until I have a deadline. And then I’m just another desperate woman praying for something she doesn’t have.” LOL You’re funny, Angie! Loved this post! But do not agree that everybody’s a writer, to me that’s like saying everybody’s a doctor. Certain professions you need to have a God-given ability to do then go to school and get your talent trained. Sure, anyone can write in a journal or pen an essay/paper for school. But not everyone is born to write for a career. BUT I do understand where you’re going with that statement. :) Great devotional post! Thanks Angie!

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