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Archive for the tag “passion”

a love note

What are you wildly passionate about? What is the beautiful, driving thing you believe you’re born to do? What makes you feel on fire? There was a rather scary period of time when I didn’t have any passions. But it’s amazing what passion I uncovered after that dark, ugly thing—depression—that hounded me for years, almost killed me, was vanquished. I rediscovered a love of writing but there was something even greater, a passion for truth [italicized to distinguish the kind of truth I’m referring to] because it saved my life. Now, I can’t stop writing about truth.

Smothered under depression I used to believe that truth was hard, unyielding, cruel in it’s pristine perfection. It was utter condemnation—I saw the truth of me and it was nothing good. There was no grace in this truth and I needed more grace than I could afford. So I avoided truth.

His truth first came to me under the guise of grace. God isn’t pharisaical. That’s impossible for him because he is LOVE. Full, complete, perfect love. The kind of love that flies in the face of logic but is the only substance on earth that can save us all.

And yet, the hard, inescapable truth is that he is the final judge and can’t tolerate a spec of sin. In this most peculiar mixture of love and justice he ruled all lives with any sin must pay with death but then he stepped down from the bench, handcuffed himself, and paid the price—his death for mine, for all of us who choose to accept it.

The truth he offers says I can be redeemed, that I have worth, that fear has no place, that he has a plan for my life, that he can vanquish the darkness plaguing me. His truth is an invitation to a new way of life that has immortal, life-giving repercussions. His truth does not shy away from my sins [I must ask for forgiveness] but in the space of a breath, he offers me forgiveness, a way out, and takes away my shame.

I guess my passion for truth is a love note to Him. And it’s a message I feel compared to share for the rest of us who need unaffordable grace and a new way to live.

Question time: I’m wondering, how do you feel about this truth and what are you passionate about? I know, seems like two separate questions but I’m wondering, is what you’re passionate about linked at all to whether you believe in this truth or not?

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Passion

crystalHow does someone with extreme passion and energy make you feel? Here’s an example: If you are like me, you may enjoy the ballad of a soulful singer instead of the “classically trained” or aesthetically-pleasing one.

A while ago, I was listening to my Mom’s satellite radio station while driving her car. Of course, it was “all Elvis—all the time”. Swaying to his sweet voice singing “Peace in the Valley”, it touched me. One of the most iconic figures of all time, Elvis was not the most amazing singer (I know I may get some slack for saying that, but come on, I’m being honest). However, he had amazing passion and energy. With each song he performed, interview, etc., there was no doubt he possessed enormous passion that carried him to high places, touching people’s lives.

In today’s world of entertainment, it is sad to hear much of the mainstream music, as production and image-conscious priorities have taken over in many areas.  Those artists do not reach me. No, the ones who arouse passion in my heart…they are the ones that make me stop in my tracks: Ray LaMontagne, Jonny Lang, Harry Gettings (shameless plug for my hubby) and many more. These are the artists that touch me, prompting my soul to sing.

What brings out passion in you? What makes your soul sing? Can others see it? If you are truly passionate about someone or something, then it is pretty easy to notice. As artists, passion is a necessity. Without it, the well is barren and we are lost. Of course, there will be times when passion may wane and we will see no land at sight. Keep the faith. Continue taking the small steps even when it feels useless. He will guide us when we ask and as we seek.

Here’s to a “passionate Thursday” and rest of the week!

With Passion,

Crystal Gettings

the romance of boundaries

heather“God respects our boundaries in many ways.  First, he leaves work for us to do that only we can do.  And he allows us to experience the painful consequences of our behavior so that we will change…It hurts him deeply when we don’t.  But at the same time, he does not rescue us; he wants us to work it our for our own good.  He will not violate our wish to be left alone, although he will plead with us to come back to him.

Second, he respects our no.  He tries neither to control nor nag us.  He allows us to say no and go our way…When people say no, he allows it and keeps on loving them.  He is a giver.  And one of the things he always gives is a choice…He respects boundaries.”  [Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend]

God loves me so much that he gave me a role to fill in life, one that I am perfectly tailored to do.  There were many years in my past when I believed I was worth nothing and had no work to do.  It was incredibly dehumanizing.  But then, as I came to realize that God had given me a purpose, I became afraid.  What if I couldn’t do the job?  What if I wasn’t doing it fast enough, or perfect enough?  When would I screw up so bad that God would have no choice but to abandon me?

I have screwed up.  Many times.  Many ways.  And I have effectively told God I would not be a writer.  And he respected my no.  And by doing so he gave me the chance to explore what I can do as a human and as an artist.  He’s allowed me to explore my boundaries so that I can take ownership of what he’s given me.

They say the best thing you can do is set the one you love free.  Let them come back to you.  God set me free.  And now, by choice, I’ve come back to him and back to my calling as a writer.  Lately, as I have begun to slowly embrace the idea of boundaries in my life, I’ve come to realize that God wants to use them to heal me and redefine my relationship with writing.  He wants to eradicate my fears and reignite my passions.  He wants to restore me.

God is not scared by my no, my confusion, fear or failure.  He is not surprised or thrown off.  He isn’t in a panicked rush to fix my mistakes.  He is steady, constant.  He is God.  The pressure is off me to produce perfect work.  I do not have to prove my worth.  I can simply be a human.  But what I think is so amazing is that in the moment I let go – be human, explore my boundaries, show God my pain – at that very moment my work is the best it can be and I am the person I want to be.  I think I’ve said this before, but God is as romantic as he is practical.  So now my question; how have boundaries helped you?

Learning through Obstacles

As you pursue your passion, art or lifelong interest, do you have moments or days when you question what you are doing? Have you encountered obstacles that not only slowed you down, but made you interrogate the One who graciously gave you the gift and ability in the first place?

I had one of those times last night. Still recovering from a virus and cough, I pursued my art through it, which may not be the brightest of all my ideas. But I’m glad I did.  My determination and direction propel me like nothing else.  When I was a young teenager, my determination morphed into complete rebellion, but today, it has grown into a strong tower of tenacity.

As I finished up artistic time and left early last night, I encountered a series of obstacles—including a literal roadblock which sent me down dark back roads on an extended trip home. In addition, an infection raged through my right eye, sealing it almost all the way shut. I was frustrated. I was angry. But I was complete.

Thankfully, my husband guided me home safely over the phone (thank you Google Maps). As I slowly walked up to my villa doorstep with a strange, irate sense of confidence, I thought, “Nothing will hold me back. You already told me to do this, Lord. I’m going to keep doing it, even when I look like a hot mess and my husband thinks I’m crazy.”

This is a season where I am realizing when to push myself and when I need more rest. Before now, I could have rested more. He is showing me how to cut out activities and projects that don’t need to be on my plate.

The cool thing is: I don’t care what people think anymore. I care what He thinks, but I’m not afraid to make mistakes. I’d rather take a risk, offering all that I have to give, and get shot down later than to never risk at all.

What about you? What are you risking with your art, your life right now?

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