Don’t Just Write (Blog, Sing, Teach, Parent). Make Something Beautiful

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to blog anymore. I mean I want to blog, but I don’t want to just blog. I don’t want to just write either, or just be married or just go to church or just keep my house clean or just make dinner.

I want to make something beautiful.

something-beautiful
Photo Credit: Courtney Carmody, Creative Commons

It seems like a subtle distinction, but I don’t think it is really that subtle. It might be a subtle change in language, but when it plays out in real life, I think it can be the difference between a life that falls flat and one that jumps of the page.

I think it can be the difference between a life of boredom and a life of  whimsey.

I think it can be the difference between a life full of joy, and one full of Prozac and pointless suffering.

Lately I’ve been paying attention. I’ve been watching people who are just going through the motions, and people who are making something beautiful. And the most surprising part of what I’ve noticed is that the differences aren’t what you’d think they’d be.

Lives full of beauty aren’t lives full of perfection. They’re lives full of intention.

Lives that are empty aren’t empty because they lack physical possessions. They’re empty because they lack direction.

And to be honest, I feel like I fall on both sides of the spectrum, depending on which day you catch me. In some moments, I know what I am working towards. If you catch me at the right time, I know what I am building, what I am creating with my own two hands—and I’m certain it is beautiful.

Other times, I’m just putting one foot in front of the other. I’m just following the “rules” I think I’m supposed to follow to get some obscure “reward” at the end.

And although I’ve fought with depression all of my life—although anxiety has been like a vindictive friend always knocking at my door—I doubt have to explain to you which days the depression is heavier, which days the anxiety worsens.

I doubt I have to explain what days it feels easy to get out of bed.

I don’t want to go through the motions. I don’t want to just blog, or just write, or just travel or just sing or just show up to church on Sunday morning. I want to make something beautiful.

I want to create something enduring, something that feels good when you hold it—like running your hand across an expensive piece of fabric, or the tears that run down your face when a film moves you from the theater’s seat to somewhere else entirely.

I want my life to feel like one of those stones you pick up while going for a stroll down a deserted beach—smooth, but at the same time, heavy, sturdy and lasting.

I want an heirloom that can be passed down to my daughters.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just write, just sing, just teach, just be a mom, just go through the motions of modern living. I want to make something beautiful.

14 comments on “Don’t Just Write (Blog, Sing, Teach, Parent). Make Something Beautiful

  1. Allison — every thing you said, for every reason you said it, is exactly why I chose authenticity over “just” writing.

    I want my content to be evergeen, and for folks to relate to what I’m saying. I want my content to be life changing, rather than sharable.

    Love this post, really, really love it. 🙂

  2. “I want to make something beautiful….I think it can be the difference between a life full of joy, and one full of Prozac and pointless suffering.”

    I’m not sure about the pointless suffering part, but I think your comment about Prozac must reflect situations in your experience where folks are on it for mild depression. I think you must not have known TRULY, CLINICALLY depressed persons…for them the Prozac IS the difference between a life full of joy and one of pointless suffering!

  3. Yes!! We are sons & daughters of GOD, made in His image and much more than ‘boring & mundane’ runs through our veins. We have been predestined, designed & created for adventure and a love like we could never imagine. Being intentional about living a life like that is key when we live in a world that’s constantly pulling us away from it. We must fight for it! Oh, the sweet magic & mystery of it all… It’s incredible the life that we could live if only we took hold of it. Being more & doing more than just blog, teach, parent, work… I’m with you!

  4. I do resonate with these sentiments. One of my biggest fears is that one day I will look back on my life and realize that I was just going through the motions, never making anything valuable or beautiful with my days. I want to seize every moment I’m granted. Each one is a gift. Whether I’m doing something “grand” or just the everyday chores and activities, I want to do these things with joy and purpose.

  5. Wonderful inspiration Allison! I’ve been feeling the same way but had not been able to put it into such elegant words. I decided my word for the year is PURPOSE. Like you, I don’t want to “just” do things anymore. I want them to mean more.
    My favorite quote from this… “Lives full of beauty aren’t lives full of perfection. They’re lives full of intention.
    Lives that are empty aren’t empty because they lack physical possessions. They’re empty because they lack direction.”

  6. I agree completely, Allison.

    I feel like the difference for me often comes from making time in my day to create space in my mind. If I spend some time in the early morning just listening to the world, it gives me an awesome reference point for the rest of the day. Sometimes it doesn’t last all day, and I have to repeat the process (or I forget to repeat the process).

  7. For several months, I’ve realized I’ve gone through the motions for way too long. About 8 months ago I started getting intentional with my life and then the last two months has even become more so, with my wife getting in on the intentionality with me. WOW, is all I can say. Intentional and purposeful progress is not the easiest, but it is by far the most satisfying, fulfilling!

  8. Allison, You are BY FAR the most personally inspiring writer I’ve read. Thank you for employing your gift for God’s Kingdom. I am fueled to live a “bigger” life because of your thoughts, thoughts expressed ever-so eloquently. Thanks again. Kim

  9. Thx again for that inspiring post Allison. I feel so connected 2 u as if we were Bff or even sisters. Everything u write about is so close 2 home. I understand no 2 people have the same story but definitely relatable. I have been searching for awhile. I think I’m closer 2 my answer than I know. … writing!!!!.. I want to inspire others.

  10. You need to learn to quilt, any kind of quilt – art quilt, traditional quilt, modern quilt, just any kind. Even if you’ve never sewn in your entire life. Find your local quilt shop or a friend that quilts and is willing to teach you. You won’t believe the community of people you’ll meet if you start quilting! Don’t think you have to be old to take this up, a lot of younger people are getting into it. Google “modern quilts” and see what the younger set is doing.

  11. Great post, Allison!

    It is so easy just to go through the motions when we get busy or preoccupied; but making something that is beautiful makes life worth living.

    Thanks for giving giving me some inspiration for the upcoming week!

    Laura

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