31:22 The Danger of Beautiful Words

I don’t consider words dangerous in theory.  I love words.  I do however think that in practice words can be dangerous.  And not just in those situations where you dash off a quick reply to someone and say something you shouldn’t before you think.

I’m talking about a more subtle danger.  The danger of hiding behind beautiful words.  Sometimes as writers we have something to say but we are afraid of how it will be perceived so we manipulate the words until they sound acceptable and in the process we lose the message.

I love those lyrical, roll off the tongue phrases that seep into your bones and become part of you.  A well placed phrase can stir just the right emotion. There can be something quite poetic in our writing, even when writing about something as mundane as doing dishes or as serious as our relationship with God.

We just need to be careful that the beautiful writing is a vehicle for the message not a mask to hide the truth.

writing in grace,


You can find other 31 Day writers here.  Go check them out, you may find some new friends.

31:16 – Move

Move – (2) : to proceed toward a certain state or condition

As writers we use words to reach a desired goal.  With our words in tow we “proceed toward a certain state or condition.”  The process is much the same for all of us, but the certain state or condition varies, depending on our audience.

We scribble, rearrange, delete, scribble some more only to crumple the paper and begin again.  We get caught up in the process; we get a high from how the words when blended just right, paint a masterpiece that rivals the beauty hanging on the walls of the Louvre. (OK, I can dream.)

If we’re not careful we become more concerned with the process than we do with the certain state or condition.  Because it is the condition that ultimately drives the weaving of the words.

I love words and how they work together to shape our message.  I love creating the perfectly turned phrase, but at the end of the day I want the message to go deep and hit a raw nerve of emotion. I want it to speak to the condition.  No matter how beautifully the words are arranged if I haven’t addressed the condition I haven’t moved the reader.

Move in Grace


31:9 – The words always have a mission

“You have armed me with strength for the battle…”  2 Sam. 22:40

Sometimes I read things I’ve written in the past.  Then, I cringe.  What was I thinking.  I ask myself if this is what I should really be doing.  If there is a point to all the words lined up like so many soldiers going into battle.

That is what our words do you know.  We put them through their paces, then send them off to do battle.  To make a difference, to defend, to protect, to encourage, to comfort, to inspire.  But, we need to remember that they also have the potential to do harm, to hinder, to squash, to discourage. Then, they become like a group of renegade soldiers that have forgotten their mission. Their calling. Their purpose.

When that happens there is no point.  The battle has been lost and we are right to cringe.  But, we do not have the right to quit.  Giving up on our calling is never the answer.  We must learn from our mistakes, we must continue the training, we must keep sending the words into battle.  Until they are right. Until they have accomplished their purpose.

Then, we begin the training all over again with the next group of rookie words.  Because we know the battle is never over.  The words always have a mission. As the keeper of the words it is our obligation to send them forth prepared and ready to engage.

Training in Grace,


PS – What is your mission? Maybe, like me, you are still working on the exact mission or purpose of your words.  Don’t give up the battle.  It is so worth it.   Need inspiration?  Find other 31 Day bloggers here.

Day 5 – In Which Bolognese Sauce Becomes a Metaphor for Authentic Writing

au·then·tic/ôˈTHentik/ (thanks to google)  Adjective:                                                  Of undisputed origin; genuine: “authentic 14th-century furniture”.  Made or done in the traditional or original way: “authentic Italian meals”.

I spent some time in the kitchen yesterday.  As much as I love discovering new blogs through this 31 Days challenge and as much as I love writing, my husband was in dire need of a good home cooked meal.  You can only go so far with rice and beans, or sandwiches.

This led me to a new recipe for Bolognese sauce that I wanted to try.  Which in turn lead to an affirmation about me – I like things to be authentic.

While the Bolognese was still simmering on the stove, I could tell it was going to be quite tasty; however, it basically looked like spaghetti sauce, so I wondered what made it specifically a Bolognese sauce.  Like any avid researcher, I googled and this  is what I discovered.  Quite the history, and I read it all.

After reading, I came to the conclusion that what I made is not really an authentic Bolognese.  The sentence that clinched the deal for me:  “Serving spaghetti with Bolognese sauce is actually a sign of mediocrity in the understanding of Italian cuisine.” And then this one: “In the United States, the term ‘Bolognese”‘ is sometimes applied to a tomato-and-ground-beef sauce that bears little resemblance to the ragù served in Bologna.”   I had already decided to use Penne which is on the approved list of pastas, so, I felt somewhat validated.  Thank you very much.

I have decided that I want to discover the most authentic recipe I can find and try again. This one seems pretty close.  In the meantime, the sauce I made was quite tasty and it received Mr Piano’s seal of approval.

You may be wondering how discourse on Bolognese sauce relates to word weaving, commonly referred to as writing.  If you have ever read any books written by writers about writing, then you already know the answer.

Our writing must come from truth.  You’ve heard it before – write about what you know. Be authentic. Just like the sauce was a modified version of the original, if we’re not careful, our writing can become a modified version of the truth.  Whatever genre you write, it has to be authentically yours – your voice, coming from your experiences and grounded in your truth.

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.Tennessee Williams

In grace,


Are you following the 31 Days – you can find other participants over at Nesting Place

Day 4 – Let my words descend like dew

A scripture and a Photo for reflection…

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,

like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”


How do we allow our words to descend like dew? Whatever your passion, or calling, if you write in any capacity, then you are a writer and you have words and they descend.  Don’t we have a responsibility to make sure they are dew worthy?

Taken around 2007 in Fleming County, Kentucky. This copy has had the color intensified slightly.

This is the lake where I was baptized as a young girl and how it looks now.  This picture is a reminder to me of the grace I’ve been given.  It is a reminder that to whom much is given, much is required.  It is a reminder that my words descend.

Falling into Grace,


Are you following the 31 Days – you can find other participants over at Nesting Place