It’s a funny thing when you are old enough to look back and see the intricate handiwork of God in your life. Not funny ha-ha, but funny ah-ha.
Like that moment in movie when it suddenly dawns on you what’s really going on. Before, the plot was like a jumbled mess of puzzle pieces chaotically waiting form and structure. Then, the corner pieces are anchored, the edges are solid and the middle is more filled in than not.
The puzzle pieces of my life as a feature film are fairly filled in.
I wrote my first book in the 5th grade as an assignment in English class. The project stirred up an excitement in me that grew to the point of near obsession. Math, science, and even reading took a backseat while I wrote, edited and illustrated my tome. All This for That, my 26-page hand written, illustrated and bound debut novel was the beginning of a passion.
The next year, when my 6th grade teacher assigned a spring semester project, I pitched the idea for another novel and Beyond the Horizon was born. The bright yellow book, carefully bound in cardboard and contact paper, sits on my writing desk, as inspiration and reminder. Never mind the story is a watered down version of The Count of Monte Cristo, it’s my version of the Dumas classic.
My passion for writing was unencumbered and uninhibited. I’m not so fearless with my words these days. I could use a dose of my childhood passion. I seek the abandon with which my pen flew across the wide ruled spiral notebooks. The days before the world took hold.
I remember when my two worlds collided. My protected garden of words and the jungle of the world. A teacher smeared blood red ink over a history paper. It wasn’t the grammatical and technical correction that dammed up my creativity. It was the comment he made when he handed back my paper that still stings, “you can’t even spell beginning,” (I left out an “n”) “you’ll never be a writer. . . “ There were words that followed, but I did not hear them. I was defeated.
Ironically, or not, my crisis of words coincided with my crisis of faith. In the 7th grade I was told by the clothed and stoled Monsignor I was going to hell because I was not Catholic. Hell, of course, is where you go when you don’t have Jesus. If my destiny was the fiery inferno, I was defeated with out the hope of a savior.
In this life, you must be lost to be found. Jesus, who came to seek and liberate the lost, found me wandering the world. Our Lord, who is gentle, kind and indeed humorous, found me scared and confused during a Catholic mass on a Palm Sunday in a cathedral in Paris.
Words are precious to me. So is Jesus. I do not take either for granted for I know the desolation of life without them.
I don’t want to be afraid of what the world thinks of my love affair with my savior or the words he gives me. Yet, the tension of the world creeps back, slamming me into the prison cell captive to pride, worry, and fear. Fear of what the history teachers will say. Worry that my words aren’t good enough to be “a writer.” Afraid I’ll say something offensive, or worse wrong. And, so I hide. Safe behind Brussels sprouts and granola ball recipes. Both are delicious and life changing in their own right, by the way.
This winter I’ve been still. Stripped bare from the pleasure and burden of writing and cooking. . . my creativity paused for a season so that I could learn what it means to die to self and care for one who needed me. Before, I was lost in the world. This winter I was lost in Him.
Sometimes we have to lose ourselves in order to be found.
Brooke McGlothlin (@BrookeWrites) says
You are amazing. A deep well of wisdom and goodness and generousity. And Jesus can take what an obviously cranky teacher with no passion to inspire said, turn it around, bring forth something HE planted, and then scream out a holy “nanner, nanner! Look what I can do!”
I’m so proud of you 🙂
I’d love to hear that holy “nanner, nanner!” Anxiously awaiting to see what God can and will do, my friend. Thank you for your encouragement. Means the world. xo
This is the best. You are a writer. You are above good. You have embraced the wrong of the one who tried to teach. You let will and belief conquer. You are a writer.
Um, thanks Mom. Aren’t you glad you get paid the big bucks to say encouraging things to me? And, thanks for not changing your name this time. I love you, K
Diana Trautwein says
Absolutely lovely. Looking forward to whatever words flow because of this season.
Me too Diana! Thank you for being one of my favorite cheerleaders. You are wise and generous. xo, Kristin
Kristin–this right here is me sitting across from you as I listen to you, the real you. From the words maiming you to seeing a recipe as a recipe (at times)…I get it. You are more than your recipes, more than your caring for children & more than what other label given to you. To be still and sit with him is something far better than it all, and I trust Him for this season you’ve been given. I love you dearly!
Ah, my kindred Kamille. Glad we share this table and the one yet to come. Love you!
Megan Willome says
This answers my question: How have you been doing? Now I know. I will be interested to see what emerges when your “spring” comes.
(Just so long as you never forget the life-changing power of Brussels sprouts!)
Megan, I’m interested to see what comes in the spring, too. Rest assured it will include Brussels sprouts, or maybe more beets. But, there’s a stirring I can’t pinpoint yet. Maybe a call to be disciplined to write the books He’s planted in my heart. No matter what. Even if the only audience is God himself. Oh, and my mother (see above!).
Since you are my favorite poet, I leave you with a poem that reminds me of your comment. I read it this morning and it struck a chord.
The seed is in the ground.
Now may we rest in hope
While darkness does its work.
~ Wendell Berry
You are dear, Megan. I treasure our conversations – the ones of food, faith, family, and life. xo
cynthia upchurch says
After returning from our evening vesper services at our local beautiful retirement community (yes I am playing the piano) , I saw the serene garden picture and thought “Kristin has found the Secret Garden!” Cultivate and nurture your garden whether they be plants or books, but always…always continue to grow kindness and love in your heart….
Carey Bailey says
I love seeing your childhood book is still in existence. Precious for you and your kids. I have several of those too. I am blessed by who God designed you to be and will reap the joy of your stillness time with Him.
Love this! All those who have gathered together at your table are cheering you on! We may have come for the recipes, but we stay for more of you. Looking forward to reading more from your heart!
Angie Ryg says
Sometimes we have to lose ourselves in order to be found.
Oh, just this. Thank you. And I would love to attach our picture from Allume on here. It is one that we took right after I met you just because I adore your words and I knew I would adore you. If I am able to go back this year, I can’t wait to say HI once again! Looking forward to your spring! Your words bless.