A Holy Distillation

holy distillation

The challenge of writing is actually doing the work of it.

Let me share a bit of unedited brain dump, lifted directly from my journal recently–

“Can we talk about how distracted I become when I sit down to (intentionally, purposefully) write? I am suddenly inspired to reorganize my closet (and go online shopping for those essential fall items), clean out the fridge and meal plan (for like, the next three months), or deep clean the bathroom (although, this legitimately might be the only time that gets done…) HELP. Must write real words.”

The word “help” scrawled on the page was indeed a prayer. This has been my everyday, every breath prayer as of late. Help me, Lord! Holy Spirit, help.

My oldest son has started school this week and it has shifted our life to exist within four blocks of time (morning routine/school hours/after-school/evening.) I am still working, still mothering our second son, and still growing our third son (who will be here sometime in mid-October.) Our life is busy. I am tired. And yet, I remain a living, breathing, desiring creature who has a specific set of tools- generously handed to her by her Maker- that are still in an unrefined, immature state. When I was younger the internal question was more along the lines of, “What has God made me to do?” Now, in my mid-thirties, the questioning has shifted.

The last several months have allowed for another perspective to emerge where I am now asking: How do I help cultivate these precious gifts during the everyday grind? How do I cherish what I’ve been given when life is so scheduled? How do I respond to the Spirit in that supernatural, perichoretic way, while there is so much laundry to be done? How do I daily submit myself as a vessel to be made ready and available for the work of something greater? My prayer is simply, help.

The writing has to be done. Words will ebb and flow through my mind, sometimes nearer but mostly farther away from my grasp. Thoughts flowing like a river swelled at spring, or still and quiet in the afternoon summer heat, or dry and shallow and starved for any hint of life. The words will not tame themselves. I have to do the work of directing the flow, of siphoning the single stream of an idea. I have to actually put fingers to keys, or pen to journal. In this way, I am learning what it means to partner with the movement of the Spirit. To surrender my tools and my dreams and my very self to this holy distillation process.

It may seem like a small thing to surrender but I think God works in the deep, quiet places of our hearts and minds. What is one seemingly “small” area of your life that you struggle with turning over? Have you identified the gift or tool that the Holy Spirit is wanting to mature within you? Please share and let me know that I’m not the only one going through this process 😉


Published by Sara Beth Longenecker

Sara Beth Longenecker is a writer and blogger based in Nashville, TN. She helps women sort through the noise of our culture by bringing them truth, beauty, and everyday theology.

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