Take Hold #oneword365

 

I’ve come to say goodbye. I’m not sure how long I’ll be away but I didn’t want to leave without an explanation.

 

I’ve been away on some adventures with my family over the past few weeks, and as is always the case with these times, I’ve had time to look at my life from a distance and make some plans for the year to come.

 

I’ve read some brilliant books which I’d highly recommend – Brene Brown: Daring Greatly, Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic, Madeleine L’Engle: Walking on Water, and Desmond and Mpho Tutu: The Book of Forgiving. They’ve spoken to some of my deepest needs and my deepest yearnings and they have left me changed.

 

Whilst away I took time to discern my oneword for the year. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that practice but in 2013 I came across it – people choosing one word for the coming year that would guide their choices and act as a paradigm through which to live well.

 

In 2014 my word was Hope, and in 2015 it was Rooted. Both proved to be transformative in my life. This year I’m taking liberties and I have two words – ‘Take Hold’. There is a verse in the bible which says ‘take hold of the life which is truly life’ ( 1 Timothy 6 verse 19). It is in the context of Paul (the letter writer) telling Timothy ( a much younger man) to stop worrying about the things everyone else worries about, and instead seek God, do good and be generous, so that he will take hold of the life which is truly life.

 

I’ve spent the past few years being very unsure of my direction in life. I’ve tried out so many new things and I’ve explored all kinds of fascinating and life giving experiences.  I’ve shed an old skin and grown a new one, and I think this year I need to stop searching and instead take hold of the life that I have and live it for the glory of God. I’ve been working on PhD research for the past three years, and despite frequent interruptions from life I’m still plodding along. But the time has come for me to commit to it in an all or nothing kind of way. The research has finished and I need to analyse the data and write the thesis. It’s about a topic which I’m passionate about and it needs to come to life.

 

The books I’ve read on creativity and writing, vulnerability and courage have helped me to see that there will always be 101 other ideas which I want to grab hold of and try to make happen. I’ve done a bit of that in these past years. As an illustration of that I will admit that I’ve had (slightly embarrassed admission) 5 blogs over the past two years. Two in my name, three in pseudonyms. Some of you have read all of them. Some just this one. Thanks for being my community. I’ve worked my way into a place where I now believe that I can call myself a writer, and it’s become very clear to me that this year I need to focus all of that need to write on just one thing – my thesis. I don’t want to stop blogging, or guest posting, or doing all the other non writing related things I love to do, but I also really, really want to wholeheartedly take hold of the life that I should be living.

 

It’s a bit of a tale, but my entry into this thesis programme, complete with funding and amazing opportunities was all a bit big magic, divine intervention, God initiated, however you like to term it. So I think I need to stop being scared of my own inadequacies and just get on and write the darn thing !

 

I expect all the other ideas and opportunities will still be there when I come out of my thesis writing phase (I’m hoping it will be one year). If they’re not still waiting for me I have no doubt that there will be others to step into their places.

 

I’m not very good at always sticking to ‘this is it’ declarations, so I may post here occasionally . Who knows !  I will close down the facebook page, but I will still be on instagram, as I find it to be a life giving creative space  providing me with the opportunity to check into my own life with visuals when something needs expression but I don’t have the words for it. So maybe I’ll see you over there.

 

It’s been fun.

Until whenever:  Take hold.

 

Shona

 

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8 Comments

  1. As someone who has started a ridiculous number of blogs only to turn around and discover they no longer fit after my last growth spurt, I empathize. I will miss your voice – AND I am so utterly thrilled that you are drilling down into the work that you know is yours for this season. May the Muse be a kind taskmaster as you write your thesis.

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  2. Your words reflect so well my thoughts. I have two blogs, one writing, one grief related, and really only keep the grief one going as that’s most needed by my readers – more through time restrictions than anything else (if I had no children and pretty much no responsibility I would sit and write all day!). I realised not long after starting blogging that I didn’t want to be a slave to my blogs and keeping up with blogs just for the sake of it, rather than following and reading those I genuinely love (yours being one of them!). I’m not a blogger, I don’t want to make money from it. I’m a writer. I will keep both my blogs open and when I decide to write I will post on them. I don’t commit to regular posts and often have a flurry of thoughts I have to share before having a lull. I hope that’s what you will do, rather than stopping completely. Take some time out, refocus as you need to, and once in a while you may find sharing a post is a satisfying thing to do. Your approach sounds very sensible. I LOVED the quote from Timothy, I try to remember this always. There are many places in the Bible where God is telling us not to dwell on the material, the must-dos and must-haves, and to keep our eyes on Jesus. It’s so true. God is guiding you and has helped you heal and move on – it’s wonderful! I also am a ‘fidget’ when it comes to life, and often think there is something I should be doing somewhere else, especially when life is tough, but I realised it’s chasing dreams that add pressure to myself. I have deliberated over marriage, career you name it. Why couldn’t I be content?! And realised it was my God-shaped hole inside that I was trying to fill with other stuff I felt I should do, rather than focus on what was right there in front of me. The phrase ‘Bloom where you are planted’ has been my mantra for this year and it’s helped me appreciate all I have and be less irritable that I’m not doing something else (if that makes sense), and that I can bloom in my own space rather than feeling like I should keep moving. I’m trying to be more like Mary and less like Martha! I wish you every success and am excited for you. Keep us in touch with you on Instagram, as your pics and captions are fabulous! Kelly x

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    1. Kelly thank you. I really love it when you share with me what you are thinking, and how your own journey is going. I’m not sure what the next season will look like, but I do love ‘bloom where you are planted’ – definitely keeping that in mind as I go forward. I’ll be on IG – I love it ! See you there xxx

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    1. thanks Amy! The book on forgiveness is so good. It’s one to be worked through, and I’m about to begin, but already on a straight read through it’s impacted me. I felt like they were inside my head – such understanding and compassionate, life giving writing. I think probably everyone should read it …

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