The Pen Hovers

My first diary was a soft, red-bound book with tiny bears covering the front and back in orderly rows. It was a thrilling gift for a nine-year-old with serious secrets to keep.

Dear Diary,

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone but I like Brandon D. I think he’s really cute and funny but I don’t want anyone to know. Thanks for keeping my secret safe.

That was the first thing I wrote in my beloved book. I remember penning those words as if the moment had just slipped past. I was serious about liking Brandon D. and I seriously didn’t want anyone to know.

Through the years, that little red book ceased to be merely a Diary for my angsty gossip and soon became the book of my heart felt anguish. In those pages I recorded my struggles with body image and insecurity. My pen hovered gently over each page as I searched for the perfect words to capture my emotions. I remember writing things like, How do I quench the thirst in my soul? and The little leaf flutters to the ground in a dance just as my heartache flutters in haphazard turns and twists.

Clearly I was a bit of a dramatic, yes?

But writing in those pages became a source of comfort for me. It was there that I felt free to shout, to cry, to dance and to sing, all through the flowing rythmn of pen on paper. Writing in that journal was my worship.

Sometime in high school, that little journal was lost, most likely dropped off at a local Goodwill in a mix of discarded books. Perhaps someone picked it up and chuckled at my girlishness and the dramatic ponderings of my youthful heart. Perhaps it was simply tossed into the trash bin. I don’t know what happened to those treasured words, but I do know that a passion ignited inside of me and writing became more than a hobby.

It became my anthem of praise.

I filled the pages of many, many journals as the years progressed. Late nights and early mornings were spent writing the story of me. I penned poetry and songs. I wrote luxurious prose in the times when my soul danced and ravaged, fragmented sentences when the storms rolled in. There were ups and downs and every day, as my pen hovered over the pages, I felt a surge of energy knowing that these words would only be read by One Other.

Somewhere along the way, though, something happened. I think it occurred sometime around the birth of my second child when life got chaotic and crazy and suddenly the pen didn’t hover so freely any more. There were other, more pressing, matters to tend to and the pages of my journal remained blank and untouched.

And I forgot how to praise.

When I began blogging four years ago, I tried to treat this space as a journal of sorts but the truth is, it can’t be that. For one thing, no one would read it because it would be a jumbled mess. Who could possibly read a blogger that said such things as, The quivering ache for freedom doth shake me deeply. *eyeroll*

(Incidentally, as a young girl, I really loved to write a lot of Thee’s and Thou’s in my journal. It made me feel all Jane Eyre…)

But beyond the inner romantic that seeps out of my pen, the simple fact remains that I cannot tap into that worship and praise through my keyboard. To a degree I can, but not the way I used to. I can’t really let loose when I know that other people are reading. I worry too much about what the readers might be thinking. It’s time for that to change. It’s time for me to sit still  over a blank sheet of paper and watch for what might flow forth.

It’s time for me to pick up the pen, open the book and make the words dance.

This is my 2012 goal. What are your goals for this fresh new year?


  1. Well, you just wrote the story of me and my camera. I am now in love with the phrase “my anthem of praise.” And yeah, sometimes my finger hovers over the shutter release and fails to fire simply because I am not sure anyone else will appreciate the image that results. It’s time for me to stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks of my photos and just focus (pun fully intended) on shooting (that one was unintended) for what praises Him.

  2. That’s a good memory you have there! I have no idea what I wrote in my first journal. Though I was never a serious journal .. ist?

    • I only remember those things because they were so dang funny. I would constantly re-read those lines and laugh at myself. As for the ever so eloquent yet entirely confusing lines, I thought those quotes were sooooo cool and sooooo original that I reused them more than once in other journals. Other than that I don’t remember much of what I wrote in that journal. I wish I still had it. It would probably be a riot to read. 🙂

  3. I became a “serious” journal-er about 6 years ago. It has been such an amazing record of God’s faithfulness….through both good and bad times. There is something special about “praying and worshiping in black and white.

    • My grandmother was a serious journaler and after she died, I was given all her old journals. It is like reading a time capsule and is so, so neat to have. I get to read my heritage whenever I want. So special.

  4. Great post. Be brave and make ’em dance, Kelli.