On Subduing Wild Ideas and Making Something Alive

Of late I notice when I get a few days away from this space I get antsy.

It's kind of a new thing. When I go for long writing breaks this doesn't happen, but lately I have been writing and writing and writing, just not as much here. And I miss writing here.

There are things afoot. Crazy dreams being dreamed and actually acted upon, which is something for this family of wild wonderers and deep thinkers. We think a lot, read a ton, talk quite a bit, start all sorts of things. But the day-in day-out keep-at-it-tude (oh I like that)... it is, well, hard.

It's hard to keep slogging through the details, the WORK of making dreams happen. Of giving wings to ideas.

I'll be straight with you. I am not a very self-disciplined person. I'm thinking you've figured that out by my posting schedule here, yes? In fact, I have a serious life-skills issue... I do not know how to gauge time. I have learned to use a timer liberally and am always always shocked when a five minute timer goes off. Five minutes is, oh, two minutes in my world.

Yes, I am always late.

And I am a screech-into-the-last-minute deadline meet-er too. Bleh.

If I might linger in self-analysis for a moment, I'd say that there are two main forces at work with my last minutitis. The first is perfectionism, my never-ending nemesis. I don't finish because there is always "just one more thing" to get right.

The other is that I get interrupted just about constantly (only two major interruptions so far on this post), so I don't even want to start. Which is also called perfectionism.

I was absolutely serious when I wrote about not making excuses. That's not what I am doing here.

What I am fascinated by is the possibility that I might be able to harness these facets of myself... my floating about in time, the effectiveness of timers and deadlines, the reality that perfectionism hinders my starting and my stopping... and make something actually come of them.

I started this blog because I knew I had to write. Had to write, like I had to breathe. Not because I have anything wonderful or new to say, but because that was what I was made to do.

I make elaborate meals because it's part of who I am to play with food and want to give people I love something beautiful and delicious... I don't question whether I am being arrogant in doing that.

But writing? How many times have I not broken the white page because of whispers... "Who are you to write? What makes you think you are special? Who really cares what you think anyway?"


Just another pile of excuses. Fear and perfectionism wrapped up in a nasty box.

{and there was interruption number three}

My husband... he makes music. Amazing and beautiful music. It's what he was made to do. I can be very objective about that. I see the beauty and joy his music brings into the world, I see how making it makes him more himself.

In writing words and music, he and I both understand that our inspiration comes from God, that our gifts come from God, but that we have a role that is essential... if we don't act, something that is real and beautiful just won't happen.

In a way it's like love. Our culture is so confused, thinking love is some romantic feeling, when in fact love, LOVE, is a verb... it's a doing, it's a choice, it's a keep-on-doing-even-when-it's-hard.

These creative pursuits, music and writing, they aren't just some vague thing that sort of happens, they are a doing, a choice, a keep-on-doing-even-when-it's-hard.

God is THE creator, but we participate by being little co-creators as we subdue the wild ideas, the whispy guitar riffs, the perfect first lines, and mold them into something alive.

I'm working on subduing myself too. Wanting to take dominion over my tendency to leave cupboard doors open or work on five things at once. Harnessing my magnetic attraction to "just quickly checking my email" and all things chocolate. Oh I have a long way to go.

Maybe someday I'll be molded into something really alive!


P.S. Just to underscore the insanity-that-is-me, I will now share that I spent over an hour moving text around on a photo of a flower. So that I'd have a photo for this post. Good grief. Pray for my family.

photo credit


  1. Oh my goodness. This is a fabulous post. So many insights; I especially like, "I see how making it makes him more himself." It makes so much sense! When we are *doing* what we are made for, we are we really *being* what we are made for!

  2. P.S. Btw, the picture looks fabulous! ;-)

  3. Beautiful post Patti. Thanks for writing. And WOW - you created an amazing image!


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