Express or Impress?

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As a recovering lifelong people pleaser, I have always had a great need to impress others. I attempted to gain approval and love and attention by means of good behavior or well-played music or a good grade. One of the great freedoms and releases of my life was after becoming a born-again Christian. I realized that Jesus loves me unconditionally, not based on what I have done or not done. He loves me simply because I am His.

Now that I am writing more, I find myself grappling with my old struggle with pleasing. Or to phrase it differently, impressing. Impressing my blog readers with a clever or especially inspirational blog. Impressing some future publisher with the novel that I’m working on currently. Impressing my family with how hard I’m working on my writing. On and on and on.

Any form of art, whether it be writing, music, drama, dance, etc., requires honesty, truth, and expression. Expressing the truth of what I’m thinking and feeling is sometimes difficult. What will my family and friends think? What will my fellow church members think of this character? What will the readers think when I leave my normal pattern to explore a different line of expression? And then, as soon as these dangerous questions arise, you are stuck. Paralyzed. Trapped in the sad and useless web of people pleasing.

Expression or impression? I am striving, with God’s help, for more of the former. Because we all struggle with the same struggles, more or less. My weaknesses, struggles, honesty, and truths are undoubtedly someone else’s also. No one is encouraged by a perfect person with no foibles. I am the most encouraged by seeing a person who struggles, falls sometimes, but by the grace of God, gets back up again and keeps going.

I want to write to express what is churning inside me. Words and thoughts and feelings.

Write your life well and true, fellow artists. Love, Lisa

Voice

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As a writer, I have two voices. The one that is my best or aspirational self, the one that tries to encourage and uplift. But I also have another writing voice. My brutally honest, venting, cathartic voice, that doesn’t hide the difficulties of life. Outside of this blog, this is the one I have been needing to use lately in my writing.

I have been struggling to write, because these two voices are fighting. Trying to find my real voice, while not being a Debbie Downer, is a challenge. Because writing, or art, or music, is nothing if it is not honest. But all of us, including me, need to be encouraged and lifted up with words, not dragged down.

Where is the truth and honesty and cohesiveness in all this? I think by acknowledging that we are complex creatures created by God to have many different emotions. Happy, sad, confused, excited, angry, hopeful, distant, loving. We have good days, bad days.

So here it is today….just words that are grasping for honesty. Words that are saying that I don’t know all the answers to anything, but I know the God who does. Words that are attempting to lift up someone else who is struggling to stay positive during all this mess, just by stating something that maybe they are feeling.

Truth. Honesty. There is beauty in that, even if it is hard beauty.

Love, Lisa

Wide Open

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Honesty can scare because there is no hiding

Words and feelings bare and exposed

Wide open

Honesty can heal if honesty is kind

Words and feelings showing care and concern

Wide open

Honesty is found in the face of Love

The One who died for us and all our words and feelings

Arms wide open

Mercy wide open

Heaven wide open

c2017 Lisa Lyons

 

Straight and True

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“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.  And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.  All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.  But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” 

~John 3:17-21

Jesus is good, kind, wonderful, yes.  But He’s also a straight shooter; says it right out, plainly.  Who He is, why He came. But always with love, and out of love.   And I’m so thankful for that.  I love people who are honest yet kind.  When they speak you know there’s no pretense or falseness.  Speaking the truth with love.  Choose life, choose hope, choose Jesus.  Blessings, Lisa