#TellHisStory Featured Writer: Cara Sexton

May 7, 2013 | 17 comments

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During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight Wednesday to link up your God Story by clicking here. You are free to share ANY story that God lays on your heart.)

And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my writer friend, Cara Sexton.

 

Writing is the act of deliberate re-living, unraveling each moment until it is threadbare, then winding it back up again slowly, noticing the sound of the string and the taste of the air.

Chew on your words long and slow, and roll them around your teeth. Become familiar with them, have your fill.

Write first for you…to understand, to see things differently, to find God in this. In the re-telling live the experience more presently than the first time, in slow motion. Notice what you didn’t see before: the assembly line of ants on the windowsill, the frayed ends of his shoelaces, the abandoned slingshot lying in the dirt.

Find the universal truth at hand, the impossible beauty of the thorn bush, and lay it on the altar as offering in the same bowed posture as you submit your very self. Writing is worship.

The challenge is remaining close enough to your work that it is an extension of your very breath but far enough removed to detach yourself when the growing is done and it’s time to push it out of the nest and see if it can fly.

Cara is a mom of four living in Ashland, Oregon, where she writes, creates, decorates, studies, reads, blogs, and dreams ridiculous dreams with the support of her awesome and hilarious family.

Find her at: 

Blog: www.WhimsySmitten.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WhimsySmitten

Twitter: www.twitter.com/whimsysmitten

YOUR TURN: Tell about a time when you experienced what Cara calls “writing as worship.”

by | May 7, 2013 | 17 comments

17 Comments

  1. dukeslee

    So, first of all, Cara … reading YOUR writing is an act of worship. I’ve long enjoyed the way you make words waltz and paragraphs pirouette. It’s all a liturgical dance, and I’m positively smitten with you, Ms. Whimsey Smitten.

    To answer the question tonight: I have had strong and intense periods — sometimes weeks — of feeling that writing is like worship. Other times, I go through these dry wilderness periods, but I write anyway. And maybe that’s a form of worship, too, to press through and write anyway. Maybe that’s really the best offering of all. (But it sure is a lot more fun when the write-worship is fun-worship, eh?) 😉

    How about you, Cara? Does writing always feel like worship to you? Or if I focus on “feeling,” am I sort of missing the point?

    Thanks for being here, good friend.

    Reply
    • Cara @ WhimsySmitten

      Jennifer (and all your awesome readers), I am honored to be here with you all. Thank you for receiving my words. I believe that writing always “can” be worship, if we are fully present, if our hearts and minds aren’t distracted, if we are totally tuned in. But I also think we write to tell a story, and not always a story we are constructing out of details and senses. I love to write that way, but I don’t get to very often. Most of the time I write to give information, and it can be hard for me to feel the same way about the breadth and depth of it when that’s the purpose. But when I write just to center, to focus on Him, it’s almost as if I develop another sense for just those moments, and I have to sidle up close to the breath of God and work my pen or keyboard like a paintbrush in His hands…organically, full of sense and Love and Light and Truth.

      As for focusing on feeling, for me, that’s how I get to that place…by opening a window and focus on smelling the rain or the way the light spills dappled through new spring leaves, like a thousand mirrors tumbling off the sun. This may only be true for me, I don’t know, but those are the moments I learn how to be still and know that He is God. I am a wife, mom of 4, college student, business owner, book editor, blogger, friend, daughter and more…and thus, I am not still very often. I’m not even still in my sleep. 🙂

      But I am learning, day by day, hour by second that those “be still” moments can be milliseconds or hours. I can be still and know when I see a smile or a dandelion or the curve of my husband’s foot, and those glimpses come way more often since I’ve begun to learn to see the living of life as worship. Worship in the potato peels and worship in the shampoo bottle and worship, too, in the crumbs on the counter while I sit and rock my too-big-already “baby” boy. Putting our “shoulds” in perspective frees our hearts to open wide, and in that posture, at least for me, He leads more easily into those thin places that are fresh with Heaven.

      Wow. Sooooo wrote a rambly novel. So sorry. Perhaps I should delete all that and just write: “Nope. Not always.” 😉

      PS – I am downright Smitten with your space here. Need to spend more time here and breathe in the wonder and awe of the Father’s heart that you inspire. 🙂 Love you, friend!

      Reply
      • Amy Hunt (@grace_full_life)

        You both . . . worship is All of this. Simply, life lived out. I smile over this. Giddy. As, He has me declaring worship these days — over and over again.

        Reply
  2. Rebekah@asoftgentlevoice

    Thank you for offering these words up. I will re-read them over and over! So much to learn and take in!! Thank you, Thank you, to both of you!!!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thanks for stopping by Rebekah! 🙂

      Reply
    • Cara @ WhimsySmitten

      Right back atcha, sweet Elizabeth. Thank you for reading and being such an encouragement, my friend.

      Reply
  3. jodyo70

    Cara, I believe we should call you ‘Professor’–you write with such remarkable clarity and inspiration–you make me wanna be a better writer. Scratch that. You make me aspire to be a better writer. This was wonderful!

    Reply
    • Cara @ WhimsySmitten

      You are so sweet! Thank you for your kindness. Writing your heart, writing His heart in yours, isn’t about being perfect but being *open.* Love that you are inspired. And? LOL on “Professor.” Maybe someday (I hope!) Thanks again for reading! You are a blessing. <3

      Reply
  4. Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

    Alright, here’s my profound comment I tried to leave via phone last night: Cara, I just do not know how you do this. I am in awe of your ability to see, taste, touch, hear, and smell these kinds of details and to translate them into words.

    So grateful God planted me in a seat next to you at that conference in PA. Jennifer, thanks for hosting the whimsy girl!

    Reply
  5. SimplyDarlene

    Thank you, miss Cara, for recognizing and reminding us about slow-motion. I think it’s easy in this on-demand internet age to forget that essential element in our writerly bag o’ tricks.

    Blessings.

    Reply
  6. Shelly Miller

    This is gorgeous Cara, I read it twice and savored. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Mari Mayborn

    Cara, Agree in heart with Jennifer—you led us into the place of bowing low before the throne to worship. Beautiful.

    Reply
  8. Tresta

    Beautiful words, Cara. It’s the whole “pushing it out of the nest” part that is the hardest I think. Writing your heart and guiding it to the page,and then opening it up to the big-bad-world…but that others would worship Him with you, that’s the fruit. Thanks.

    Reply
  9. Lisa @ four simply living

    Oh man this hit every button of mine. And just when I thought I was too weary to write, up at 1;00 in the morning to jot down words. Thank you Cara!

    Reply

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