Hope Writes

writing - notebook and penWords pour out of me – a torrent of expression and emotion. Stories, articles, journal rantings, blog posts. Revisions three or four times then a sending of the results to editors, publishers, agents.

This is how I process grief, how I find my way through the valley and back to life. Future joy is hidden somewhere within paragraphs waiting to be uncovered.

Bullet journaling helps validate my limitations:

  • A surprise trigger in the middle of Wal-Mart
  • Escape to the pets aisle, hang over the cat litter and weep
  • A burnished copper mum on sale at Lowe’s. Buy it now. I need it.
  • Drive through Sonic for cheese tots because grief does not care if I eat healthy
  • The salt of tears, the salt of cheese tots – both necessary
  • A gust of wind driving Deb’s wind machine brings a sudden blip of happiness
  • Gratitudes written at the end of each day, forcing myself to find hope
  • On my knees in prayer, begging for Paraclete comfort
  • Feeling closer to Deb because we shared the same God

Madeleine L’Engle wrote, “It was through story that I was able to make some small sense of the confusions and complications of life.

That is my purpose in the pouring out of words – to find some sense in the loss, some purpose for the taking away.

A new connection on LinkedIn told me, “Write the best book possible, then share it with the world – to encourage others.”

So I reach for that goal, begin a new journal, open another pack of gel pens.

Grateful for the outpouring of words, stories, and blog posts that underscore where I am in this search for a new normal.

Or perhaps a new abnormal, because grief always changes us – scrapes us raw, then makes us see the beauty of what we had before, the gratitudes we might have taken for granted.

Knowing that others are searching, too – longing to find their direction, to process their sufferings in healthy ways.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul” (Psalm 94:19 NASB).

How sweet that the best way to console comes through the communications gift God gave me. This creative urge sustains and upholds, dissects yet discerns.

I am grateful for the process and the journey. Although hating the reason for this valley, perhaps the ultimate meaning brings a better crafting, more outreach of the sentences that define my gifting.

Even in the darkness, words continue to pulse. And writing confirms that the Creator at work in me is also the Giver of hope.

©2017 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Goals Print Cover

If you process life through the gift of writing, then setting and reaching your writing goals will move you toward health and joy. For a guidebook and some accountability tips, order your copy here.

Finding Hope at Lowe’s Garden Center

As I checked another day off my planner, I knew I needed to escape from the office and find something to refresh my spirit.

Ice cream? Nah – not on the healthy eating plan. Chai tea? Nope – too late in the day for caffeine.

So I drove to the one place where I knew I might find something creatively beautiful – something to bring cheer and renewed hope.

Especially during this season of spring, I find enjoyment just walking through aisles of flowers at the Lowe’s Garden Center. Salmon pink lilies, Indian blanket daisies that remind me of New Mexico, mounds of lavender and dark purple clematis – all of these and more give me pause and help me focus on what is truly important.flowers @ Lowes

The color of life blends in with God’s texture of hope. I constantly marvel at the way he so carefully details each stamen, draws tiny faces on pansies and outlines a yellow marigold with a bright orange border.

It is difficult to just walk through the aisles as an observer and not choose something to plant in my own garden, yet I need to watch my budget. On this day, I tried – really I did – for about two minutes. Then I could not ignore that bright coreopsis any longer and also found a sweet zinnia that raised its lovely head and whispered, “Plant me.”

Two purchases that I quickly planted in my yard, mounded the fresh mulch around their roots and prayed a blessing over them. These plants will give me pleasure throughout the summer and autumn months and one of them, the perennial coreopsis, will return next year to greet me when the snows of 2014 melt.

A trip to the garden center may seem like just a bit of retail therapy, but it so much more. For within those aisles of color, texture and beauty – I find not only pretty flowers but I am reminded of Who makes it all possible.

It’s more than just a planting. It’s a reason to worship.