Cultivating Your Craft

Cultivate, Kinetic Worship

“If God gives you something that you can do,
why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”
~Stephen King, ‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’~

“Make us more like You
Cultivate a heart that’s new, Lord
Make us more like You
Every day we surrender our lives unto You”
~from “Cultivate” by Kinetic Worship~

“The people for whom I write begin anywhere,
—with the first flower or seed they happen to pick up;
and then work on—anyhow!
That is, not heedlessly, nor neglectfully, but as they can.
Therefore not line by line and rule, which is often an impossibility;
but in some strange wildwood way making a path through difficulties, and reaching their Fairyland ‘cross lots’.”
~Anna Bartlett Warner, Gardening By Myself, 1872~

The summer stretches before me, and what with a different rhythm to life schedules, I’m taking liberty to shift gears in my writing. I have been mulling on investing more time in continuing a writing project I had worked on last summer during a writing workshop. While one of the goals of the project was to slam out as many words as possible in a short amount of time, I have been wrestling with the idea of adding more. In order to accomplish this, I have decided to reallocate the time that I devote to this humble devotional blog to instead working on augmenting that project. That being said, any reader who peruses A Walk Down Chamomile Lane can expect to get tinctures of this devotional project of mine, A Thyme to Grow: Devotional Meditations From My Herb Garden.

Writing is like planting a garden or a field. Unless you tend to your planting—weeding, turning up the soil, watering—you’re likelihood of a harvest is left to chance. So when I signed up for the writing workshop last spring, I was actually seeking clarity concerning my Walk Down Chamomile Lane blog, thinking it would be a wise investment of time in honing my craft. It was for personal development. What was actually birthed within me was a “download” for a devotional. Using herbal lore and meanings as metaphors in our growing relationship with God, A Thyme to Grow unpacks God’s truth and explores how He weaves His story within us from perspectives gained through the elemental soil of herbs. He cultivates His kingdom perspectives through our life circumstances, or through whatever means will most likely speak to His child. What would happen if we all tuned our spirits to hearing Him in the midst of the small circumstances?

Olympian and missionary Eric Liddell was known to have said, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” One could say that running was Eric Liddell’s craft.

I, too, feel God’s pleasure over me and within me when at my craft. In the midst of a worship set, the notes imbibe my spirit like colors at play. When I write, the cultivating of words and joining together of thoughts and themes help me process as I reach for kingdom perspectives on this life’s journey. I would even say I’m at my craft when on ambles through the woods or cross-country skiing the sun-kissed fields; I still my soul. It is grounding when you simply allow your mind and body to be.

When I set out on a walk, I generally don’t really know which path I’m going to veer toward; more often than not, my dog Friday makes that decision for me. And that is okay to sometimes go down a path that leads in a way less traveled. There is a sense of whimsy and adventure even when carving out a small corner of your day to cultivate a craft. It reminds me of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” the final stanza here:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

So it is with cultivating this craft of writing. I do not know where my road of writing will take me, but I do know that the crafting of words helps cultivate within me a peace that pervades me when I accept the invitation to walk that way.

In this season, I pray you also sense the guiding of His hand cultivating your character through your circumstances and see how He has planted you where you are for such a time as this. And I hope you will be blessed by the upcoming devotional excerpts from A Thyme to Grow: Devotional Meditations From My Herb Garden.

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