Friday, June 10, 2011

June Blog Chain

I hope you have been inspired by the recent posts of my fellow Christian writers. We all are gifted in different ways. What a boring world we would have if we all wrote the same way. I lean toward the devotional aspect of writing, as you well know. For this post, I am going to stretch my wings and share with you how I am inspired to write. I hope you enjoy this personal sharing—Fresh Air is our June topic-- my post is called

“My Writing Inspiration”

Believe it or not my first writing was poetry. I loved the rhythmic sounds how poems flowed in words and emotions. Out of rhyming words my vocabulary grew into longer sentences. I didn't study poetry forms; I don't know a free form from a non-free form. I've always tried to rhyme the ending words. Perhaps it was all those nursery rhymes I heard growing up. 

I think that is why I love music so much. Lyrics are poetry set to music. I was never much for the name of an artist or group, but give me the first few notes and I could name that tune.

Growing up in Southern California has its advantages, namely the beaches. My parents were beach bums in their younger days. Just about every weekend we'd travel the twenty minutes to the shore. Back in those days you could have bon fires, so cook outs on the beach were our special treat.

The roar of the waves has always intrigued me. Growing up I found solace in their thunder more than once. You could scream, yell, cry or curse; no one could hear you but God. Whenever a big decision plagued me, I would head for the beach. Sometimes I just needed to hear the sounds of the waves to reassure me that I was still alive.

I discovered other places that gave me a sense of well-being, a visit to the mountains or the desert. In the mountains, the majestic beauty overwhelmed my sights and senses. Green meadows, meandering creeks, trees so tall you couldn't see the top. The fragrance of pine needles in the heat of summer is quite exhilarating. 

You may question the desert as a place of refreshment, but the absolute stillness is breathtaking. The golden mounds with a cloudless sky as backdrop, felt surreal at times. Appearing devoid of life, if you move too fast you'll miss it. Life blossoms in the desert. Not much to draw your attention away. No wonder the Israelites were led through the desert first.

I left California over twenty years ago, along with my favorite places. So where does my inspiration come from? It comes from the same places it always has—from the Word of God. With a Word God spoke all of creation into existence. There is nothing made that He did not make. It doesn't matter where I live, near the ocean, mountains or desert, God is not far away. He is constantly available. “The heavens declare His workmanship”

In those days before I met Jesus, I needed those places to hide. The beach for the roaring waves, reminds me of my restless soul searching for God. In the forests for their overwhelming beauty, I wanted so much for their beauty to be translated in me. I didn't feel lovely or beautiful. The desert reminded me of the emptiness of my life without God. 

In all those places, God was there, calling me to trust Him. Come to him and let Him fill the void in my life. I praise Him because He never quit calling. It was through the wonder of His creation that I finally woke up and responded to Him.

As an artist, I've always been a sensitive type. Beauty and pain have always moved me in profound ways. Writing is the only way I know how I express myself. Like a painter who expresses themselves with canvas and paint, I express my innermost thoughts through words.

I've heard some writers agonize over articles for days, weeks or even a month, unable to get the words right. There have been times when I try to force the words and nothing will come, ideas are stagnate, nothing I would be happy to publish. It's then when I realize I am trying to go it alone, and then I return to my source.

The Holy Spirit is my writing partner. I wait for His prompting on a subject. Then I meditate and pray and the words flow.

I still find nature as a place of refreshment and peace, but these days I travel as far as my front steps or back porch, in the fresh air. There I still my heart, close my eyes, breathe deep. Listening to the sounds of life and I begin to praise the Lord. I am refreshed and inspired for my next Blog post, story idea or book.

Just a couple scriptures I hold on to when I lose sight of things:

“Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins. Then wonderful times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord.  (Acts 3:19-20 NLT)

“Be still and know I am God” (Psalms 46:10)

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-


Tracy Krauss said...

Hooray! I'm the first one to comment. I find it interesting that the places of our childhood still hold such power for us. We see this is the positive memories and continued inspiration of a certain place (as you mentioned) but also the negative effects of childhood abuse, neglect etc.
I liked how you slipped 'in the fresh air' into your sentence about going outside your own doorstep. :) You are so right about God's word being the true refresher, too.
NOTE: I noticed some comments on the CW forum about a bad link, and sure enough I couldn't initially get to your blog. All I had to do to fix it was ad a set of quotation marks after 'com' in the link. People who copied the list should take note of this.
(Following your blog now, too)

E. G. Lewis said...

Welcome to the Blog Chain.
I can't believe I'm making the first comment...that's never happened to me before. Great post. I agree about the healing power of the ocean. Perhaps it's due to the ocean's tremendous size and power. My story is just the reverse of yours. I grew up in the Midwest and moved to coastal Oregon 25 years ago. Although it's become physically difficult to walk the beaches now, I never tire of the ocean. Peace and Blessings

Terrie said...

Thank you Tracy for becoming a follower! I appreciate the support from my writing family! I love it that I hear his voice everywhere, especially now that I recognize it. We are so blessed by His beauty! Continued success in your writing. Many many be blessed by your gift!

Terrie said...

E.G. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy for the support of all my CW buddies. We've been fortunate to live in many places in the US-just came back wast from the Midwest. Just can't keep a west coast gal too far from home! Blessings in your writing!

Traci B said...

Terrie, this was a lovely post; I enjoyed reading about your childhood interactions with nature and how they parallel your spiritual journey with the Lord.

We don't have the mighty crashing waves of other coastlines where I live (barrier islands prevent that), but on windy days the sounds of the choppy waves washing ashore, the Gulf breezes, and even the passing traffic on Highway 90, combine to create a wonderfully meditative mood for a beach walk in the fresh air. (As long as you're not too close to the harbor, that is. Then the air's more fishy than fresh.)

Terrie said...

Traci-I guess we never realize how profound our childhood is on our adult lives.It's in the mold in which we are set. I am so glad that it doesn't have to stay, if is was a bad experience. The truth found in Jesus - will set us free to be all the we were created for. What a blessing is that! Thank you for your support and I pray much success with writing!

lynnmosher said...

Oh, yes, Terrie! The soothing sound of the ocean is so comforting to me. Have always loved it. And I love your post. All your thoughts strike a familiar chord with me. Seems we're a lot alike. Thank you for this. I'm so glad you're a chain-ganger! Blessings to you!

Terrie said...

Thank you Lynn-for your support-you are such an inspiration for me. I enjoy every opportunity I have to visit the coast, it still moves me. I could tell that our hearts beat the same way. I pray for continued success as the Lord blesses your work.

From Carol's Quill said...

Loved this. The Holy Spirit is my writing partner, too. Even if I'm not listening at the moment, when I stop and remember, Spirit will critique, inspire and expand. The writing is always better, because it's no longer just me.

Cindee Snider Re said... breathe deep and drink in the words of a beautiful writer. Tranquility! Wonderful post. Loved your tie between the meaningful places in your past and God's Hand at work in your life. One of my favorite verses too -- "Be still and know that I am God."

Chris Depew said...

Great post. Two of my favorite scriptures. Thanks for sharing.

Terrie said...

Carol-Isn't amazing how well the Holy Spirit does things!! What I love is to be inspired by something I wrote--That's when I know it was God doing the writing!!
Blessings as the Lord leads your pen!!

Terrie said...

Thank you Cindee Snyder for your beautiful comment. I am thrilled you were blessed by this post and humbled at the same time. My God continue to bless the work of your hands. Come by this blog again sometime!!

Terrie said...

Chris Depew- Thank you for your comment. Those 2 verses come to mind when I get way off base. The Lord is so wonderful to warn us when we are going the wrong way. I love it-because He does it out of love for me. Bless you and I hope you visit again soon!

Sarah said...

Great post, Terrie! Sad how many times, even as Christians, we try to do things on our own, forgetting the amazing partner we have in Christ. A great reminder to wait for His prompting. Thanks so much for sharing a piece of your life with us! :)

Christine Henderson said...

Like others I too find refreshment and renewal at the beach but mostly when its empty in the fall or winter on a rainy day. I really love the solitude of a rainy day - it's great to take a walk with God.

You've said you've moved from So Cal years ago and you make mention of the being at the shore. CA folk talk about the beach. Do you by any chance now live in NJ? As that is the only place I have ever lived that uses that term.

Terrie said...

Sarah, Thanks for your wonderful comment. I believe the most difficult part living for Christ, is allowing Him to live in us. We always think we have to "do" something instead of loving and enjoying Him.

Terrie said...

Christine- Nope I ain't been to New Jersey-but I try to stay in touch with euphemisms which I think flavors my writing. I do love being on the beach when it's stormy, it is an awe inspiring scene. It puts my life in prospective, I am nothing against the might of God's creation.
Blessings with your future endeavors.

Adam said...

Thanks Terrie. I enjoyed reading about how you get your inspiration for writing. I can well imagine being inspired in a desert. You would see the handiwork of God idn his creation - especially in those aweome desert vistas you have in America.
Great to have you on the chain.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

I was with you every step: the ocean, the deserts, the mountains, and yes, my back porch. God is there, wherever we choose to look for him. He is the very breath of life. Great imagery and thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Terrie.

Scott Fields said...

Great post, Terrie. We're not so different, you and I--though our nature-based inspirations draw from different sources. You favor the wind and the waves; for me, it's stone and dizzying heights. I grew up (and still live) in Colorado, so I'm a mountain man at heart. Many of the vistas and locales scattered through the Rockies have breathed new air into my work, and have served as the foundations of many places in my books.

Welcome to the chain. Glad you're with us!

Terrie said...

Thanks Adam- Yes we have been exceedingly blessed in America, it's a shame that many take it for granted.

I can't believe I waited so long to get on the "chain gang" LOL


Terrie said...

Cecilia- I am amazed with how many kindred spirits I have met on CW. You all have been such a blessing, encouragement, and support for me as I stretch my wings. Thanks so much for everything. Guess I'll see you on the "porch".

Terrie said...

Scott- One of the paths on this journey has led me through Colorado- Yep! I've got some roots in the rockies! (GO CU!! Go Broncos!!)I completely relate to the mountain man thing. Loved living there-but the winters were a little too long for me. I did get quite a bit of inspiration in the thin air!! LOL
Blessings Bro. in your writing endeavors.

Sheila said...

"The Holy Spirit is my writing partner." Love that and it's so true. Thanks for sharing!

Terrie said...

Thanks Sheila! The Holy Spirit is just full of awesome ideas - I love it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings to you

Keith Wallis said...

Keep breathing God's fresh air wherever you are.

Terrie said...

Thanks Keith- That is just what I intend to do- keep breathing deep the Holy Spirit and His encouragement.

Blessing brother-love your poems and the blessing of the words of your heart