writing less, talking more

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

It has been a bit of a mystery to me, this huge writing break I have been taking. I mean, am I trying to make up for having written one or more times every day of 2013? Am I all out of ideas? Am I lazy or selfish or unfocused? Am I moving past being a writer at this point in my life? I wonder these things, from time to time.

Really, though, I lately I have come to the conclusion that it might just boil down to: I can’t do everything at once. First, there is the issue of priority. G and I have been married for 339 days and about 6 1/2 hours, as I write this. I am still very much in newlywed mode. I have to say that I’ve been very intentional in making my marriage priority number two, coming in only behind my relationship with God. Since there are only so many hours in a day, when the choice comes down to focusing on my writing or on my marriage, my marriage wins. End of story.

But there’s something else. At the beginning of this year, our pastors challenged the leadership team at church to pray and choose a “theme” for the year. At the time, my friends on the leadership chose themes and asked me what my theme would be. At the time, I was not ON the leadership team, and I told them I wouldn’t need to be choosing a theme.

Nonetheless, in short order, the Lord showed me that He DID have a theme in mind for my year, and oh yes, we WERE going forward with it. Ummm….okay. The theme: SPEAK FORTH. And oh BOY does that theme manifest itself in my life, from many angles!

If you only know me from my blog, you might not think I need to grow in speaking forth. I say a lot of words and some of them are very transparent. But Karen in real life is another deal. I HATE confrontation, I DREAD saying things that people might not want to hear. While I love public speaking, whether in a small or large setting, on a one-on-one or unplanned basis I am very daunted. The page is my safe place to talk, where I can carefully measure my words and delete words or thoughts before anyone needs to see them. Where I can stand removed from people’s first responses.

What’s been happening while I’ve been mostly away from the blog is HUGE growth in speaking out.

It happens with my husband. Things come up sometimes that push my buttons. Often my first instinct is not to tell him – to sit on the feelings and decide it is only my problem. While it is generally ALWAYS a good idea to measure oneself carefully and take full responsibility for one’s own part and to avoid putting expectations on others unfairly, a big part of my silence is not that – it is FEAR. A clear and compelling thought that if I say what is on my mind, I will wreck everything – it will change G’s opinion of me, change our relationship, and nothing will ever be the same. “Speaking forth,” in this case, means that when I come to that place, I clearly feel/hear God compelling me, “Tell him. Tell him. TELL HIM!!” It is relentless, and even when I fight it until my stomach aches, I eventually surrender and tell G what is on my mind. You know what? He always welcomes the information with great grace and gentleness. Our relationship always grows from the exchange. I always feel even safer, even more cherished afterward. Oh, I still fight it hard at the outset – that fear has an old and very familiar voice and I’m not at the place yet of spotting it for what it is, at first. Nonetheless, God is being faithful in continuing to teach me: SPEAK FORTH.

It happens at work. I guess I should have known God was setting this theme up, clear back in December of 2013. A coworker who spends the last 40 days of the year in special, focused prayer for others confided that he had prayed over me that I would speak forth. I didn’t know whether to thank him or give him a forehead smack for that. But at work I am increasingly called upon to speak forth, whether the call is from others around me or from the situation.

It happens in church. I jokingly asked our pastor if he was “in league” with God on this (funny question – if he WEREN’T in league with God, I sure wouldn’t want him to be my pastor!)…though I never told either of our pastors that “speak forth” was my theme for the year, I am speaking for the 3rd and 4th time in a year within the next 2 months. This one is fun for me – while some are uncomfortable talking in a such a setting, for me it is like a great big gift wrapped up with a glittery bow. Sure, I’m growing as I write the messages, but mostly this one just feels like a special treat God arranged for me just because He could.

It happens in my personal relationships – I find myself speaking much more bluntly, more directly, much more plainly with others. I find myself giving counsel that I simply couldn’t have gathered the courage to give. In the past, I’d have questioned my own wisdom too much, I’d have worried to much about offending, I’d have just wiggled and squirmed and tried to get off the hook.

So in the end, I wonder if one of the major reasons I’ve not been writing has been part of His design for my SPEAK FORTH year – maybe He’s been arranging for me not to utilize my safe refuge so much, while I am being stretched so hard on speaking forth *in person* – maybe? I think maybe.

  1. Amymarie says:

    Keep it up, Karen!!!

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