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#tbt – Finding the voice within

As a PhD student, we have to attend 2 mandatory PhD colloquys. Today, I attended my second colloquy. As part of the plenary talk, the president of the seminary was talking about the need for each of us to find our own voice. This has been something of a struggle for me as an academic. However, this has not been the first time I have thought about this issue. I actually wrote about this very issue awhile ago as a guest blogger with Amused Now. This is the present me trying to learn from the past me. Oh, how easy it is to forget things. Sigh.

Here’s the link to the blog post. Or, just continue reading below. Hope you like it!

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Why? I seriously have to ask myself that question. Why bother writing a book? There’s enough lining the book stores. Why add one more to the pile? If I don’t ask myself this question now, I know that when I’m in the middle of writing a book, when I feel discouraged and feel like I’m drifting farther and farther away from my deadline, I won’t stand a chance of finishing it. I have to ask this now or else be crippled into lack of action later.

My initial response is “because I like writing.” While that may be true, writing a book can be a daunting task. It is not for the undisciplined.

When there is no “inspiration,” can I keep going based on sheer will and determination until the next wave of inspiration hits me? What if I only have that one initial wave of inspiration to tide me over throughout the whole journey? Is that enough? And so, I realize, that I have to dig deeper. I needed a better reason. I needed one that can sustain me throughout the writing process: from the initial brainstorming, to the first chapter, and the never ending edits that will come along with a “finished” product.

There’s a scene in the movie The King’s Speech when the king’s speech therapist asks him why people should listen to him? To which the king replies: “Because I have a right to be heard. I have a voice!” I was moved beyond comprehension by this brief exchange on the screen by two amazing actors. I wanted to get up from my seat and yell “Yes, I do have a voice!”

However, I was able to restrain myself and I am sure that those in the theater are happy that I did. What he said was true! I do have a right to be heard because I have a voice! I am who I am and that is enough for me to be heard. That is why I am writing a book. I want my voice to be heard loud and clear. I want my voice to be heard because I know somewhere out there, someone will read it and think “I am not alone.”

Right now, I have a couple of ideas that I am trying to work through. As I was initially brainstorming about ideas for the book, I was amazed and surprised that I had a few that I wanted to write. I initially thought I would have nothing to work with. As I work through each idea, it will give me a greater sense of which idea needs to be heard now. I am heavily inspired by classic philosophers and current pop culture trends. I am looking forward to write a book fashioned by my life experiences and travels across the world.

Trust me, you’re going to love it.

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Tunes for Tuesday – July 9, 2013

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Today’s Tunes for Tuesday, I get to highlight two artists whom I absolutely love! I fell in love with Emili Sandé when I heard her sing during the 2012 Olympics. And my friend Reneé Robinson has been astounding me with her gorgeous voice for more years than I would like to disclose lolz So what happens when my love for these two singers collide? This version of “Daddy” by Emeli Sandé sung by Reneé Robinson =) You can follow Reneé on Twitter and FB

Any covers of your favourite artists you think I should listen to? Let me know in the comments below. 

Friendly Friday: On Marriage, Identity, and the One Who Called You By Name

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Welcome to Friendly Friday! If this is your first time here at my website, thanks for checking it out! Basically, this is my way of highlighting my friends who I think are pretty awesome and are doing great things in the world!

Today’s post is actually an experiment of sorts. This is the first time that I’m cross posting! What that means is that my friend, Ricki W., is a guest blogger at my site at the same time that I’m a guest blogger at her site. We even write about the same thing! =)

I’ve known Ricki for a couple of years now and one of the things that I really appreciate is her desire to be an encouragement to me and to others. It’s a great quality to have in a friend. She is also smart and very down-to-earth. And she’s real… very real. I think that it is that very thing that really shows up in her writing. It is real. It is authentic. And it is vulnerable. As a writer, our life experiences are the fodder for the things we write and she is not an exception to that truth.

Marriage is something that is often on the minds of many people, especially the single variety. In both secular and Christian circles, there seems to be this unspoken, but very tangible, message that singleness is a bad thing. Especially in Christian circles, there is this weird message that if you’re single, something must be wrong with you. It’s almost as if you’re a second-class Christian if you’re not married. While I think that marriage is a great thing to have and to experience, we need to be careful not to idolize it. Jesus, after all, was single. Paul, a key figure in Christianity, was also single. So think on that!

And now, for your reading pleasure….

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My brother is getting married on Saturday and I am SO excited for him. I have never looked forward to an event so much as seeing my brother wed his lovely bride. His enthusiasm has somehow rubbed off on me… at least enough to write this.

Marriage is a wonderful thing. It is God-ordained… it was written into the very fabric of this earth. God himself said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So He set about to create a helper for him. I love marriage. I love love. I am pro anything that God created good. Yet, sometimes I ask myself– what is going on in my life? All my friends are getting married… everyone seems to be pairing off. What’s wrong with me? Am I not beautiful enough? Am I not kind enough? Am I not good enough?

I think we all struggle with these questions. Whether or not you admit it, you likely struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Perhaps as a child you were made fun of. Or maybe you’re overweight. Maybe you weren’t good at things in school. Or maybe like me, you have accomplished a lot and just haven’t seem to “land” the right one. Maybe, like me, you have relatives that ask you why you aren’t looking harder or tell you that you just need to “get out there more.” Maybe you’ve stuffed down that perfectly horrible retort to their answer one too many times– and like a volatile feral cat, you’re feeling like you could rip their heads off.

Here’s the thing.

Marriage will not fulfill you the way you hope. It will not fill that God-sized hole you have in your chest. Yes, it may stave off loneliness. It may bring you great joy. Marriage is a wonderful thing. But let me say this. It will not fix your problems. Your problem is an identity issue, not a mate issue. You must find your identity in Christ before “finding yourself” elsewhere.

So note this:

You are beautiful. You are wonderful. You are specially made. Tonight, I was taking a walk as the sun was setting and I just said to God, “Wow. You must be really proud of your work here.” And you know what He said? “I’m really proud of you.” I almost burst into tears because there I was standing in the midst of his glorious creation, and the thing he remarked upon was me.

“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” God knit you together in your mother’s womb. He knows you by name and he LOVES you. Can you believe it? Do you believe it?

Yes, people will always talk. That’s what we seem to do as humans. But whose voice should you be listening to?

 

Ricki is a self-described hillbilly with a literary flair. Passionate about Jesus, books, botany, hiking, and teaching, she desires to inspire the world with love, laughter, and timely doses of her own ramblings.

Twitter: @rickiblueeyes7

Blog: rickiblue.wordpress.com

I would love to hear your thoughts on marriage and singleness. Feel free to post a comment! Just remember to be nice. =)

Guest blogging with Amused Now!

I had the great opportunity and privilege to be a guest blogger with Amused Now (www.amusednow.com). I wrote about my inspiration and motivation in writing a book. Click here to read it!  Hope you like it! =)

Feel free to share it, like it, retweet, or +1.

http://amusednow.com/blog/why-im-writing-a-book/