Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More from Nouwen's Devotionals

Within my post titled, "My Story," I threaded two of Henry Nouwen's devotional thoughts on writing and sharing our journeys. As I read through the following Nouwen thought I must be honest, I often say to myself, "I have nothing original to say." I am glad and encouraged that Henry does not think this to be a good argument for not writing.

Making Our Lives Available to Others

One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this: "I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to." This, however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

What I gleaned from this devotional thought is the more we share our story, the better we will become at living our story. I believe this to be true. The more I share my life and daily happenings through blogging, personal friendships, and journaling the deeper I can go in the reflective process, which can lead to embracing the good in my life and letting go of the not so good. When I am journaling, I believe I am sharing my story with God, which does bring heart transformation.

A few questions to ponder and if you are bold to comment on:

What stops you from writing or blogging about your story?

How has sharing your story enriched your own journey?

Those who would like to go deeper with Henry Nouwen concerning our life story check out a Nouwen blog titled, Home Tonight. Another blog I would like to mention, for those who have a passion for prayer at marked by faith, yipeng has pulled together a list of prayer resources.

For the curious: I have finished one of the two papers I need done by Friday. The paper I just finished was to describe a current ethical situation I have recently experienced. This was a great task to view my own ethical values. I am now moving on to reading 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus to see what Paul has to say about pastoral ethical values. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement, I will make it through.


Small Footprints said...

I've often thought that there are no original thoughts in the world ... none. But one never knows when their presentation of a non-original thought will touch another person. So, original thoughts (to me) are far less important than sharing.

Wonderful post ... thanks for "sharing" your thoughts (original or not). :)

Small Footprints

Robin said...

Amen. What is original in this world is how we live out the words and thoughts in our heart and mind.
Thanks for visiting, your post are perhaps not entirely original, but very timely and needed in our world.

Prairie Chick said...

These thoughts resonate so deeply with me. I really am one of those people who doesn't "choose" to write, but writing chooses me. It is a way for me to capture and process and savor my thoughts and or experiences of the moment and they are always original to me, and that is all that matters. Writing for me is never about reaching an audience, it's all about capturing the journey and learning to savor the mundane and the miraculous that make up an ordinary life called to extraordinary living.

Robin said...

PC. I like what you have to say about capturing the journey and savoring the mundane and miraculous...yes, it takes everything in life to make a life that is worth living...the good and not so good.

Alleluiabelle said...

I loved what P.C. said:

"It is a way for me to capture and process and savor my thoughts and or experiences of the moment and they are always original to me, and that is all that matters."

I feel the same way. I also feel that if my experiences and thoughts about my life can touch just one person, then that makes me happy inside and God has used me for His purpose. So when I write always from my heart, it's for Him first because that is the way He designed me and yes, we are all unique and live our lives in different ways. Even though some things may have been written by others, we write what is written from our hearts and that's what He wants no matter how it's been written before by others.

I love you Robin. I so enjoy you dear friend.

My prayers are being said for the papers that you are writing to finish up with school too.


sojourner said...

So glad you finished one of your two papers! Your last post prompted my most recent post in which I've decided to blog a piece of my story - it seems we have some commonalities - you must blog between school work - I'm in the process of making study cards for my counseling final and I keep blogging in between to give my mind rest - if we share our stories here we connect across space :0)

Robin said...

sojourner, you are right when we share our stories online we connect in space! LOL I think it is amazing how we can connect through our post.

I have had a strange experience today, my left eye is having spasms.
So I googled it! What would we do without google! Stress, reading, and computers will cause eyes spasms. I am taking a break for the next few hours from it all.

Thanks for connect with me in space.

Jody Hedlund said...

What a really neat post! You encouraged me tonight that journaling and blogging can really enrich our relationships with the Lord too! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Robin ... i'm new here. my writing is poetry ... teeny tiny poems ... even down to just one sentence at times. for those who take the time, they can learn much about my story through the free verse.

my personal experience has shown that in cyberspace, discretion is protection. i tend to be much more intimate in the comment box than in the post ... it works for me.

thank you for the links. i do have a passion for prayer and look forward to visiting mbf.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Hey Jodi thanks for coming back! My journaling goes into a deep relationship with God, and all other writing comes out of this connection.

And I thought I had nothing to say! LOL

Uncommonordinary, I totally understand about discretion, I have had experiences in cyperworld. It took four years to start commenting on blogs. I am rather enjoying making new friends. You will enjoy yipeng's website.

Your blog: simple salubrious words

If I had my way, I would write only haiku.

time nearly sunset
air crisp, crows aware of spring
my day is not over

I enjoyed your simple words on listening and silence. I have blogged about both in the last few weeks.

Robin said...


I could not leave a comment on your blog, I might be missing a link or something. ; )

I found a copy of Henry Nouwen's Home Tonight, Further Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son

On the first page of the prologue are two thoughts I would like to share with you: First, at the top of the page six simple words: walk with me into the story

Second, a quote from A Tree Full of Angels, by Macrina Wiederkehr,

Read with a vulnerable heart. Expect to be blessed in the reading. Read as one awake, one waiting for the beloved. Read with reverence.

Most of the blogs I have entered I have be blessed, and awakened within my spirit...yours was simple, yet God still spoke through the words into my heart.

Blessings to you.