About 20 years ago, a career change resulted in unexpected freedom to reinvent my life. Having quit a full-time job at a church, I could suddenly explore possibilities. My husband encouraged me to take my time and refrain from settling for something bland simply because it offered a paycheck.I know. He’s amazing.Well, during those years on staff at the church, I’d been developing administrative skills. But believe me, organization is not my natural bent. I’d been directing drama sketches, as well, and while I’m creative, I’m not born for the theater. Nothing I’d been doing seemed like a perfect fit, so I felt the need to explore all options. Hopeful and curious, I pulled off the library shelves books like What Color Is Your Parachute? Nothing was helping much, however, until one afternoon at the library when I spotted a title at the end of a shelf. It caught my eye because I thought it said “Witchcraft.” Shocked at the audacity, I stared at the unexpectedly bright and colorful cover design.When I got closer, I saw that the title was Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want. Ah, wishcraft. Whew! Interested in the author’s approach to “wishing”, I tossed the book on my stack and took it home.Once I opened the book and read the first few pages, I reached for my journal to scribble responses to the exercises designed to reveal long-lost dreams and wishes for what might have been. The idea being, of course, that if those dreams and wishes are resurrected, revisited, and revised into actual goals, what might have been can turn into what will be.Those exercises—that book—led to my confident pursuit of a writing life.While I am not the most prolific nor widely known writer, I am grateful to have moved toward that goal.With one exception—a deep longing to live near the beach—I’m living the life I wanted, the life that I felt the Lord was pointing me to pursue.The other night, I found myself wondering about Wishcraft. I ended up discovering that the entire book is available for free online at wishcraft.com. Each chapter is downloadable as a pdf file.I’ve been reading through the chapters again, pausing to revisit some of the exercises. It seems wise to go through them periodically, as I move into new phases of life. So far, I seem to have stayed true to my earliest dreams—even the simpler, smaller wishes and daydreams.Missing from the book is any sense of Christ-centeredness. The book doesn’t lead the reader to live a life worthy of the Lord, a life submitted to Him. I added that perspective on my own, and I do hope that my dreams, wishes and goals reflect my faith in Him to lead me along the way.Now, in fact, I’m looking forward to guiding my kids through a similar process in hopes that they will pursue a life that reflects how God has made them and His desire for what they do with this one wild and precious life they’ve been given.
Have I already posted this? If so, I refuse to apologize, as we should all watch it again.
While trying to describe the above video to my high school composition students, I imitated Annie Sullivan and demonstrated how she placed Helen’s hands on her throat, mouth and nose. And then, because I like to mimic, I created an Annie Sullivan voice.On the last day of co-op, the students claimed that they will carry my Annie Sullivan impersonation with them the rest of their lives. And then, one by one, they each stretched out one of their hands, positioning their fingers on their own throats, mouths and noses while attempting a voice characterized by precise diction.I am happy to recreate this performance on demand.
Watch out! School is wrapping up, so as soon as I turn in grades next week, I am free to focus on writing. Unless family disruptions alter my plans, I anticipate a more creative, prolific and vibrant set of posts this summer. Will you be around to read them?
For old time’s sake, I did a couple of the exercises in Chapter 3 of Wishcraft. One of the author’s suggestions is to list 20 things you like to do. You have to make it to 20, but the last few entries can be simple (ride a bike, drink hot chocolate, stare at sunsets), because even simple activities reflect a person’s personality.After generating the list, I was to make a little chart and determine:
- How long since last done?
- Costs money or free?
- Alone or with someone?
- Planned or spontaneous?
- Job related?
- Physical risk?
- Fast or slow-paced?
- Mind, body or spiritual?
I probably shouldn’t do this exercise on the last day of school, when I’m worn and weary. My list, including such entries as “read”, “write”, “take pictures,” and “drink a pot of tea,” is void of adventure as it reflects the desire for a low-cost, low-key, low-risk, slow-paced, quiet, contemplative lifestyle.
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Notebook image by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved. You may “pin” in a way that links back to this post.