“Lord, send someone who sees in me what I can’t see in myself.”
Alton Gansky

Open to New Ideas.

I took a risk. To some it might not seem a risk, but to me it was.

In 2007, my first book was published. Since that time, I have tried to publish again, but to no avail. In many ways, the last 7 years have been a journey from the mountaintop (2009-2010) through the valley (2010-2014). No need to elaborate, but it seems I needed to experience the fire of some trials in order to experience the fire ofย  personal vision.

โ€œMake your ego porous. Will is of little importance,
complaining is nothing, fame is nothing.
Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.โ€
โ€• Rainer Maria Rilke

Make Your Ego Porous

So, when I clicked YES to the registration process of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference, I was shaking. Is it time? Am I ready to basically start over? Leap over the pile of rejections on my office floor in order to see what might happen? Put my heart, which beats through my writing, back out there for all to see?

Suddenly, I had to live the message I literally preach to everyone else: Today is a great day for a fresh start.

And then, as Rilke so wisely wrote, “Make your ego porous.”

What did he mean by that? Looking at the origin of this word, it is a little clearer: From the late 14c., “full of pores,” from Old French poros (14c., Modern French poreux), from Medieval Latin porosus; or directly from Latin porus “an opening.”

Maybe, just maybe, Rilke meant, “Be open to the new.”

Be Open to New Ideas

As I sit here today, six weeks to the day from the conference, I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am that I took the risk. Without begin dramatic, that week in Black Mountain, NC, made me feel born again. There is no other way to say it. From the moment I got out of my car, climbed the steps to the main building, and stood in line to check in, I was breathing new air. Air filled with camaraderie, hospitality, and creative energy, all which made me feel as if I had come home.

Sometimes we forget.

It’s true. Sometimes life gets a little rough around the edges and we forget who we are. Somewhere between marriage + parenting + caring for others + daily tasks + responsibilities + expectations…we lose a little bit of ourselves. I’m not complaining (well, maybe), I’m just reminding myself, that it is important to live out my passions, as well. Not lose sight of those things that make me feel as though I am living out my purpose on earth (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

Sometimes our ego gets bruised.

And, sometimes when the negative committee inside our head won’t shut up, our ego gets bruised and starts to actually believe the words of that negative committee. Why try again? Seriously, girl, give it up. You are obviously beating a dead horse, here. Go ahead and write. It’s a great hobby, but as for ever getting published beyond the Internet, I think it’s pretty clear. It ain’t gonna happen, again. You are a one-book girl.

(Please, fill in the negative words in your head and then pray for them to go away!)

Open to New Ideas.

Sometimes we need to get over ourselves and actually believe again.

I am so glad I got over myself and went to that conference. So glad I gave myself an opportunity for something new to happen.

About midweek, Alton Gansky, gave a powerful keynote that confirmed what I had been thinking.

Open to New Ideas.

He said so many great things, but three that really spoke to me:

  1. We tend to be lousy prophets of our own lives. Never think you can figure it out from where you’re standing now. We don’t know what lies ahead.
  2. Be open to the new.
  3. Pray, “Lord, send someone who sees in me what I can’t see in myself.”

Right then and there, I prayed #3.

God answered. I met remarkable people who saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself. It was astonishing.


Be Open to New Ideas IMG_1443 IMG_1447 IMG_1448 IMG_1449 IMG_1452

Slowly, one by one, each member of the negative committee in my head walked out.

And then, one conversation led to another conversation that led to another conversation…and before I knew it, I was sincerely believing in myself again. A whole new committee, filled with affirming, creative voices, organized in my head.

It felt so darn good.

Open to New Ideas.

Table for One. Celebrating being open to new ideas!

It is amazing what a little affirmation will do for a weary heart. Maybe you need that today. I’m here to tell you three things:

  1. Be open to new ideas. Someone once said, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” Do you need to register for a conference, a class, a _____________ that will fill your passion tank?
  2. New relationships are right around the corner. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience them. Tell that negative committee to sit down and shut up.
  3. Pray, “Lord, send someone who sees in me what I can’t see in myself.”

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