Did you know I wanted to write a book?
Actually, I did write a book. I wanted to get it published.
I describe myself as a girl with a preacher's heart and I mean it, there is nothing I love more than holding forth on the Holy Scriptures. So I had some words I wanted to share with the world in the form of a bound and bonafide book.
It turns out, as with most things in this world, that process was more complicated than I imagined it would be so I turned to the experts. Be an expert. That's what they told me. Pick one thing and get really really good at writing about it.
So I picked faith and following Jesus. Because I for sure love that.
But a funny thing happened as I spent the last three years hammering out posts for the page...my faith spilled right off of the edge of it.
I found that it had marched right off the bookshelf where I keep my Bible and snuck into my closet; I found it guarding the door to my creative spaces, it had seeped into my political views, and set itself at my table.
But surrender is often a hard walk in the opposite direction you think you should be going. I have spent three years building this website into Kaylie Hodges dot com because I wanted to write a book, and to have a book you have to have a platform, and to have a platform people have to know your name, and to make a name you have to be an expert.
I'm exhausted from even typing it all out. I'm so sick of my own name I can hardly stand it. That's not what this was supposed to be about. But it's so easy to get stuck. I'm a mom. I'm a teacher. I'm a writer. I'm a wife. I'm a homeschooler.
We take our lives and shove them down into whatever box is most convenient and our faith gets tucked in around the edges while we sit on the lid and pray that it stays put. Because it will make a mess if the lid comes off and our life goes everywhere.
We've left ourselves no room to explore. No room to tell a more beautiful story because we are forever unwilling to break the story we are in. But it turns out if we make our faith a small place to live, it stays small.
I want a faith that is much bigger than me. I want to know for sure that there really isn't anything too small or too shallow for Jesus not to care about, no place He can't work. I want to know I play a part in that whole "On earth as it is in Heaven" thing the way Jesus meant for me to. I need to know that this tiny life I live in this small life can bring big Glory to a big God, and if any of that can help y'all too then, Hallelujah.
So one day in the middle of an identity crises and halfway through the chorus of Reckless Love the words just started pouring out of my pen. A permission slip to talk about beauty, about family, about life. A Manifesto, not just for what I write, but for the way I want to live:
Bright And Beautiful
All Things Bright And Beautiful
All Creatures Great and Small
All Things Wise and Wonderful
The Lord God Made them All
All Things Bright and Beautiful:
We believe in the Light of the World and in that light reflected in every created thing.
We believe Jesus is making all things new and we join that redemptive work when we call out the beauty in the brokeness.
All Creatures Great and Small:
We will try to tread lightly on the world and hold our people tightly.
We believe there is no service too small and that caring about anything makes us more compassionate about everything.
All Thing Wise and Wonderful:
We believe in sitting quietly to watch and listen in wonder-filled awe.
And in responding by entering the world with curiosity and creativity.
The Lord God Made Them All:
We believe our faith starts with Jesus and moves boldly forward into every part of our world.
We believe when we let God into our closets, bedrooms, and kitchens; when our faith goes before us into coffee shops, car rides, and strange new space that is where we change the world to be on earth as it is in heaven.
We can do better than living stuck. We can believe that the Kingdom of God wants to invade with Life and Light to every corner of our life. We can actually live like we believe that He cares for us. and has commissioned us.
So the wonderful Erin Nausin made this manifesto into a printable for me, and for you. I have mine tapped above my computer so I can see it every time I sit down to share my life. It's permission to share any part of my life, because every part of my life has been touched by the light.
Do you feel like you need a permission slip to get unstuck? I'd love to hear the story God is writing for you.
Just pop in your email and name to get the Bright and Beautiful Life Manifesto sent to your inbox!