On Creativity, Vulnerability, and Discernment.

I don’t think of myself as a highly creative person…

And, if it weren’t for Instagram and Pinterest, I would feel even less creative.

I’m one of those closet Pinterest people. I really like Pinterest. I do use some of the recipes I pin. Actually, I’ve used quite a few of them. But, besides pinning ideas and recipes, I have a secret Pinterest board (that I guess isn’t so secret anymore). I have this slight annoyance with people that pin away for their “dream house” or “dream wedding,” when a.) They aren’t buying a house anytime soon or b.) They aren’t getting married anytime soon. In fact, they aren’t even dating anyone at the moment. So, I pin my hopes and ideas for my wedding secretly like a scrapbook, holding it close like a journal. So, with pictures of lace, roses, and pearls tucked away, I feel more creative.

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(Nope, these aren’t from my secret board…then it would no longer be secret. I mean, I already gave away that I have a secret board.)

However, running makes me creative and vulnerable. God gave me a gift that I can use to praise him and to hear His voice more clearly. As my training partner, Lauren Kleppin, and I enjoyed our mid-week long run in Mammoth a few weeks ago, we talked about how running is a part of our day and always will be. Running doesn’t define me, but I love it. I love that it’s a channel for worship, creativity, joy, tears, frustration, grace. I love that God has used running to help me build some of my deepest relationships, make hard decisions, have genuine conversations, and grow in humbleness.

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You also get to decide how creative and full you want to life your life: God’s given you a gift…you have to choose if you use it. Without Pinterest, you are creative. And, without Instagram, you can still take beautiful pictures of the life God has given you. Of smiles, of laughter, of memories.

My mom has sweetly encouraged me to blog while I’m home. I’m tapering, meaning that I’m not running as much as usual, since my marathon is less than 2 weeks away. I’m resting. Eating. Sleeping. And, spending too much time at Whole Foods. I’ve told my mom, “I don’t write just to write. When something comes to mind, I’ll write.” I also told her that I choose my second runs my re-playing trails in my mind. I choose my locations by what I feel, what sounds fun, what makes sense for today. And, as I did my second run in 100 degrees today, I wrote away, ignoring the sun beating down on me. In fact, the run was a blur, as I typed away in my mind, flickering through memories and dreams, goals, conversations. I realized that I write when I run. My blog was already written by the time I finished my double.

Running has also taught me: bigger is not better. So many of my decisions have been made during runs. God has given me the gift of discernment, which I’ve known since I was young. When I visited different colleges, I had this dream of running at a Division I school, since I had gone to a small Christian college. I wanted to run fast, to grow, to be challenged. Venturing to Liberty University my junior year in HS, I was sure that’s where I’d run. But, it was far from what I wanted once I got there. So, I took a step back, prayed, waited. I would still go to a competitive Christian college, but it wouldn’t be Division I. It also wouldn’t be in Southern California, according to my plan. Then, God rocked my world. When I stepped onto APU’s campus, I knew that’s where I was supposed to go.

And, the same happened in choosing my first marathon. I was set on doing London Marathon or maybe Paris. Big. Competitive. International. Then, I took a step back, prayed, waited, listening for God’s whisper—for His voice instead of my own. And, I chose Grandma’s Marathon because God gave me peace over a smaller marathon, still competitive, and, where I know I’m supposed to race.

So, let God use your gift to make you creative, vulnerable, full of life. “There is nothing more creative than vulnerability.”-Brene Brown.

You are creative.

You may not be an artist, but you are creative. You are full of life. You are worthy of telling your story, of sharing your thoughts and voice. You don’t have to be a painter to make a creation.

And, I’ve learned, running is my art. What makes you thrive? What challenges you, makes you vulnerable? What helps you share your love for Christ? Your drive?

Also, on another note: my creativity for today in cookies: Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies with coconut oil and almond butter.

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4 thoughts on “On Creativity, Vulnerability, and Discernment.

  1. Thanks Lauren for your post and sharing your faith in a deep way. Some of my most intimate, vulnerable and raw times with God in prayer are on my runs too – no headphones, usually on trails and early in the morning. There is something so amazing about running in His creation at the start of the day. Your blog has started to help me see that my daily runs aren’t just a selfish thing that I do alone, taking time away from my boys and husband. It’s an essential time for me to get close with God, so I can be a better mom and wife when I get back. I would love to hear more about how you serve God and reach others through running. You are blessed with such speed and mental strength that running can be your career right now. I on the other hand place well in local 5 and 10Ks, but that is the extent of it. Running is such an individual sport and I struggle with finding ways to make it not just about me and really seeing it as a gift He wants me to use. I guess I am still figuring out how to use my running for His glory and not mine. =)

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