What if all of the nudges, passions and ideas that came into our minds were given proper credit? What if instead of shrugging something off as a natural response or ignoring a pressing concern or itch towards saying something, what if we acted upon those? What if all of the wisdom and passion that we pray for, was fully recognized when it came throughout the day? Instead of asking for more and more of His presence, we acted on the very Presence that He has put within us…
About a year ago, I was at a fork in the road. We had recently moved our family with 3 little ones (3, 1, 6-months) from a comfortable suburb in America to a new bustling city across the ocean. London. And aside from all of the transitions in our daily life and the move from a big house to a tiny flat; 2 cars to no cars; and all of the other drastic changes that were underway, I had a stirring in my gut.
I had finally come to call myself a “writer.” I had blogged for about 4 years, starting with our family details- the firsts of a first baby, what life was like for Midwesterners in Florida (which is where we were living at the time) and I slowly evolved to becoming a writer of faith, lessons, and musings of my own heart. I found myself growing and changing my voice as I grew and changed myself. And it challenged me and scared me and it began erasing so many of the guarded, shameful, fearful lines that I had no idea used to surround me. At times, writing felt like a silly hobby and at times it felt like a connection to who I am and how I was made to be. Listening to and sharing the nudges and ideas that came into my heart. That were, in hindsight, unique gifts and whispers of my heavenly Father. So, fast-forward, then to the fork in the road.
God had been teaching me a lot in the short time since our move. Mostly, that the Holy Spirit was a living and moving God and entered into me when I became a Christian at 4 years old. A dimension to my faith that I had not yet tapped into and have come to realize, I was holding it at arm’s length out of a fear of false leading, emotional responses, or potential lions who were looking to devour…
So, back to that fork. It was a fork of what to do next. Something felt like it needed to be done and I prayed and chatted with friends about what that thing was. Was I a Christian writer? Was I a secular writer? Was it that I just wanted more followers for my own blog and if it was, why? And was that ok? Again, a mix of thoughts & feelings came that wanted to shrug the nudges off. I’m just a mom, right? I need to focus on much bigger things that my own personal writing and silly hobby.
And then the visions started forming. The clarity started coming when I was willing to give credit to the feelings and the nudges that were forming in my heart. Saying them out loud. When I brought those nudges into community with others and didn’t ignore them or falsely humble myself out of them.
The first vision was that I am not a Christian writer. I am not a secular writer. I am a writer who is a Christian. And bigger, I am a woman. I am a woman who prays that the Holy Spirit would overflow into every area of my life and would blur lines and would not just influence how I act or carry myself, but be who I am and how I carry myself.
I was given the vision of God the Father directing our steps- our steps? Jesus right next to me along the way. And the Holy Spirit literally residing within me. Speaking to me in visions and ideas and whispers on my heart.
I was given a vision of inclusivity with other women. In my own journey of sharing my personal process with other women instead of putting my head down and doing it on my own. Being vulnerable by being open and overcoming embarrassment by approaching it as a community. That’s one I still have to keep in check as I tend towards independence and do-it-myself-ness (as also shows in my 3 ½ year old…)
And this same inclusivity? Would apply to featuring other women who are putting voices, art, passion, heart out there already. Recycling positivity. Wondering how much louder our voices would be if they were joined into one place instead of each saying our own thing. Featuring the work of other women and forging relationships of inclusivity in place of competition or togetherness in place of personal agendas. All the while, I should add, respecting and valuing each woman as an artist in charge of her own work and never featuring the work of anyone who wouldn’t want to be featured. Which I had to figure out the hard way as I approached some women at the beginning of this process. But since then? My goodness, I’m drinking in the relationships that have been forming in this little corner of my life. Artists respecting one another and applauding one another.
And I was given a vision of ministry. Not only words on faith. Not only words on beauty or nutrition or self-care or exercise or home décor. Words on all of those things with one common thread- words that inspire. Ideas and stories that would draw in readers of all faiths and ages and perspectives, all the while honoring and boldly proclaiming the love and hope and joy of the God that provides love and hope and joy. And that through women sharing their faith, others would come to experience His comforting presence.
And lastly, I was given the vision to do something with my vision. Whether it would be perceived as “successful” or not. Whether I would have to totally change gears at some point. Even if there were hard or defeating lessons to learn along the way. I was given the vision of me on a cliff and I could choose to turn around or I could fly.
I believe that some things have to happen in order to fully listen to the nudges that I keep referring to.
- Toxic thoughts need to be identified, addressed and overcome through a process of communication with God and with others. Thoughts like “I don’t have time for that” or “no one would care about what I have to say/do/create” or “I’m so silly/excitable/naive to think that I could actually make that happen.”
- We need to make quiet space for the nudges to be heard, listened to, and acted on. Not even active bible study, which is important as well, but literally sitting in the quiet and doing nothing. For me? That is the morning before the whole house wakes up. On an empty stomach and even before coffee. That’s the initial listening. And then the action has to come all day long. Sometimes acting out of emotion and getting it wrong, but acting at all is a big thing for me. I am a stuffer and a “oh that couldn’t be for me..” If it’s intentionally sought, it’s intentionally put in there. And the second half that I have learned recently, is to stop asking and start taking the gifts and the boldness and the whispers that He uses to answer those prayers.
- And we need to be connected. I have a very wise aunt who recently gave me a little token of insight: “I think we are going to come to find that we were meant to be much more connected while we were here on earth.” And it’s been ringing in my ears. It can be scary to say our dreams or aspirations out loud. And it can be freeing and life-changing as well.
So, in a nutshell, that was the process behind Inspo: A Positive Lens for the Modern Woman. Inspo is a website dedicated to sharing and spreading positivity, but more than that, Inspo is a step of obedience to my audience of 1. And it is a place where I dream of working together with other women, encouraging one another on in their nudges and as we continue to grow- working with younger women and empowering them to use their giftedness on the efforts of the vision. Spreading the positivity, inclusivity, ministry, and love that went into the creation of the space. Do you have words to contribute? Do you know anyone else who might? We are always looking to experience new writers and perspectives and ideas and passions and art and would love to connect with you. Much love…
Twitter handle: @inspowoman
IG handle: @inspo_woman
Kacey Lake is the editor of Inspo: A Positive Lens for the Modern Woman. But that’s just one of her hats, as most women can relate. Her other hats include: follower of Jesus, wife to Bryon, mother of 3 littles, American living in London, think on the bright-side-er, sisterhood believer, and lover of experiences. Her first novel debuted at 14 years old and the next one will come as soon as life calms down. Right… Follow Kacey’s London adventures on her personal IG account: @kaceyjoy.