Do you ever space out and then come-to to find yourself staring at the most basic or random things? This happened to me earlier today. I found myself deeply gazing at my bookcase in my living room. Not sure why my gaze was locked on that bookcase because there are plenty of other things I could have locked my eyes on. Like, for example, my regal and handsome dog. Or, the pictures on the wall. Or, my awesome moose rug. Well after coming-to, I took a moment to analyze the bookcase. I mean, clearly there was a reason why my eyes were so fixated upon that thing, right? The bookcase mainly holds books from seminary. I call that shelf the “ugh” shelf. I love and hate that shelf all at the same time. The bookcase also holds a handful of cookbooks, a “The Best of Bob Marley Guitar Tabs” book, a book on West Africa, a couple of inspiring novels, and other random books including an empty photo book that are quite effective in making a bookcase appear cozy and full. But lastly, the bookcase has a special shelf. I call that shelf the top shelf.
On that top shelf are not bottles of my favorite liquors and my favorite beers but my favorite books written by my favorite authors. Barbara Brown Taylor, Sue Monk Kidd, Anne Lamott, Shauna Niequist, Lillian Daniel, and Glennon Doyle Melton make their homes on that top shelf of my bookcase. I love that shelf. Love love love. I love it so much because the books on that shelf have reached my heart during times of need, times of praise, times of lament, and times of celebration. The common denominator? Story-telling. These female authors are remarkable not just because they are published, well-known authors (even though they are indeed published and well-known) but because they are truth-seekers, truth-catchers, and truth-tellers. They are not afraid to say things if they know those things might have the slightest chance of freeing a soul, of giving someone hope, of showing someone love and thus, the love of God. They have this uncanny ability to speak truth, love, and justice through stories – mostly theirs and sometimes others’. Even though I have been reading their material for years, I am just now realizing the immeasurable impact they have had on my life.
So, I have decided. It is with excitement and a fluttery heart that I tell you what is next. I am going to write. I am going to write with passion, conviction, truth, and authenticity. I am going to do that through 365 devotions inspired by life – life on the roads and trails, life in the kitchen, life with friends and family, life in the trenches – life. I genuinely enjoy writing. I enjoy exegeting. (I can thank seminary for that.) I especially enjoy telling stories. So why wouldn’t I do this?
I have NO idea how this devotional will look when it is finished. And I have NO idea when I will finish it. I just know I WILL do it so help me God. (Seriously, God. Help me.) In reference to my previous blog post, I’m pursuing that thing that might seem a little crazy. But, there’s a little voice connected to my brain and my heart, whispering in my ears that it will be worth it.
To all of those female authors, I say thank you. A bajillion times, thank you. Your work but more so your ability to be vulnerable and real is inspirational to me and countless others.