I’m selfish and ambitious all at the same time. I have ideas that keep me up at night and wake me up in the morning but then I’m scared to share those ideas because they might not be good enough. I’m scared to share them and voice them because it might be my last one. It might be my last good idea. Another one may never come. Such is the life of a creative, I’m learning.
I have these ideas for essential oils classes, and gifts I want to send, and cards and letters I want to mail, meals I want to serve to my friends and neighbors, books and articles I want to write. And they come into my brain and then there is this mechanism in there, this program, that stops them.
The cycle usually goes like this:
The thought comes in. I think in words and so I just hear or see a bunch of words. I get really excited about it because I am easily excitable and ideas are my jam. I love hearing them, thinking about them and dreaming about them. I start thinking about the audience. I think of people in my real life who represent people everywhere and how this new idea could help them. I can literally think of nothing else at this moment. Because I love pictures, I start to think of graphics and pretty pictures to accompany the idea. I’m almost obsessing at this point, I’m sure if you took my blood pressure it would be elevated because I’m that excited. And this is where the enemy comes in. This is where the critical voice tells me that I’ve tried something similar before and never finished it. The critical voice tells me that I don’t have a huge enough audience. It reminds me of that IG superstar who did something similar months ago and how much of a success it was because of her huge following and her amazing graphic design skills. This is where my idea literally starts to wheeze but instead of saving it, instead of helping it to breathe by fanning some oxygen its way. Instead of taking its hand, I usually walk away because I’m scared.
I was listening to a youtube interview with Les Brown and he said this:
Imagine if you will being on your death bed- And standing around your bed- the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life. And that you for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book. And there they are standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you, and only you could have given us life! Now we must die with you forever. The question is- if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts, would die with you?
This is not what I want for my life. These dreams, these talents, these abilities. They may not be the greatest, but they are mine. They are what I’ve been entrusted with. And this audience, these people in my life, they may not be the largest. But they are what I have been entrusted with. I’m reminded of the story of the widow in the Bible, who owed a lot of money. You can find it in 2 Kings 4:1-7. It’s a short story but it in the woman has to exercise great faith to listen to Elijah. She goes into more debt borrowing jars from her neighbors but obeys and pours out her little oil and miraculously fills up all of the jars she borrowed. Not one is left empty. Then she sells all the oil and pays off her debts and saves her sons. Her neighbors entrusted her with their jars and she went into her house, shut the door and filled them up with her little bit of oil.
I feel like that woman. I have all of these jars I’ve been entrusted with. I have these talents and these gifts and these passions. And I have a little bit of oil. A little bit of love and experience and desire. And Jesus is trusting me to pour it out. He is trusting me to take the ideas, the book ideas, the blog ideas and the business ideas and run with them. They may never be perfect but the obedience and the lessons from trying, from working something, from writing something, will be worth it.
So here I am, Lord. Here are these words and this space and these people you have given me the privilege of speaking to. Take it, use it, make something of it. Make something of me and of these stories. Make something of the pain and the beauty. It can’t be all about me. It has to be all about you.