On Being a Writer and a Daughter. Mostly a Daughter.

I can’t think of a purer Daddy-daughter moment: the unfettered joy of her wrinkled nose and full mouth, and the deep satisfaction of his father’s heart that’s even bigger than that cookie. My husband often reminds me of the heart of Father God toward me and each one of His children. I had a moment yesterday with my Father I’d love to share with you, in case you’ve lost that daughterly feeling. He knew what I needed as I struggle to be a writer who is read.

*

In the space between waking and rising, the Lord clearly reminds me of the promise He gave me the day I climbed my hill and claimed the stake deep: I have a voice and I will use it.

Yes, I remember His promise and just how He said it.

His intentional words begin to clear weeks of soul clutter as I find purple slippers, pour creamer, listen to the sparrows, click on keys. And in this space, I find a little peace. I feel a bit like a daughter again instead of an orphan fighting for a seat at the table. I hadn’t noticed how harried and orphan-like I’ve become. I forget this feeling of silken hems swishing against my feet as I slowly approach the throne of grace, take my seat and feast with my Lord at Cair Paravel.

Forgive me, Father, for thinking it’s MY job to fulfill Your promise. Forgive me for thinking the promise is about my fame instead of Yours. Forgive me for living in the pig pen and trying to make my own wealth apart from You. Forgive me for my independence, for thinking I could do it better. Forgive me for craving Turkish Delight. Forgive me for spending my own money on what does not satisfy, when all along You’ve prepared all this water and wine and milk I don’t have to spend a dime on.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And on earth, I desire nothing but You.

I forgive you, beautiful one. Come sit with me a while!

Selah.

*

Oh Father, I’ve forgotten what silence feels like, how knowing You soothes my soul. I can rest for so many reasons:

Because I am Your daughter.

Because You know what will come.

Because You have my best interests at heart.

Because You have everyone else’s best interests at heart.

Because You created me to Remain in Your Love. (Where there’s plenty of room for me.)

Because in You there is more than enough.

Because You give me everything freely; grace, wisdom, freedom, favor, fullness cannot be earned.

Because You don’t stop at speaking the promise. Your job is not done until the promise is fulfilled.

My do-er wrestles and writhes here: if that’s not my job, to make it happen, how will anything get done? How will I grow my platform? How will I finish the hard editing? How will I connect to my story?

The better question here is What IS my job? I ask You Father, now that we’ve finished the first course and I am full enough to get back to work, to go make it happen, isn’t it time to work on my list? I’m half way out of my seat thinking I know just what to do when You sit me back down and have me ask with ears to hear:

What is my job here, Lord?

My daughter, your job is simply to be My daughter. My queen. Dwell in this castle with Me! You cannot do anything apart from Me. You are a conduit of My favor, wisdom and goodness. You are not the producer, only the conduit. Your primary job is to remain clean and clear so I can give through you. The more you abide, the more you yield to My pruning, the cleaner you will be. Your job is to say yes to Me. To let me make you lie down in green pastures. To let me prepare a table for you, even here, with all these voices in your head. Your job is to remain in and receive from Me. 

Now I see! If all my doing builds my own kingdom, it is for me. Not God. If all my efforts are done with an orphan mentality, they will be missing the heart of the Father – the very thing this world needs flowing through His children.

So I will sit and dine with the One who’s counted the hairs on my head and the words on all my pages and just receive all this decadence. I will let go of my lists and let You show me where to lean, what to be faithful in one step at a time. I’ll look for Your love and favor. I’ll study your face as we explore new cuisine and remember old stories and dream up new adventures together. I will listen carefully to You and eat what is good and delight myself in the richest of fare. When you buy me the biggest cookie I’ve ever seen, I’ll dig in! When you offer more wine, I won’t be ‘polite.’ I’ll let you fill my cup to overflowing. And I will drink! And there will be more than enough overflow to give away!

All this fullness seems wasted on me, yet You explain again – it is unto Your renown.

You restore my soul

You guide me in paths of righteousness

For Your name’s sake.

For the wonder of Your renown – to this end I climb my hill again and drive my stake in deeper. It’s not about me, it’s about You and Your kingdom and all these beautiful sons and daughters who have yet to feast on Your goodness. Yes! Let’s draw them in. You don’t want a single seat empty, do You, my King?

And one more time – what about all that needs to be done?

Well, daughter, remember how my Father’s heart settles you? All the doing will be much easier and more enjoyable and of course more fruitful when it’s done out of sonship. Whenever you feel harried or worried or overwhelmed, that is a part of your heart that needs to know she is my daughter. It’s my job to guide you along the path. It is your job to walk in it. Anywhere I take you, I will provide. I am for you. You don’t have to provide for yourself, you simply take the next right step.

Surely Goodness and Lovingkindness will follow me

All the days of my life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Oh Lord, thank You for another reminder to do everything from this dwelling place. Inside Your heart, Your will {my safest place}, Remaining in Your Love. Seated at Your table, where Your banner over me is Love.

 

“Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me;

listen, that you may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

my faithful love promised to David.

See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,

a ruler and commander of the peoples.

Surely you will summon nations you know not,

and nations you do not know will come running to you,

because of the LORD your God,

the Holy One of Israel,

for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Seek the LORD while he may be found;

call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,

and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.

This will be for the LORD’s renown,

for an everlasting sign,

that will endure forever.”

Isaiah 55

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