Play Hurt

What are we trying to heal, anyway? The athlete knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain-free. He has to play hurt. (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, pg. 48)

Play hurt. As long as you are living, you will be broken. Some part of you will be weak. You can’t eliminate the pain, but you can participate in the process of it being redeemed. 

That’s a daily choice for me – choosing to play hurt. But I think the opposite of it inevitably leads me to bitterness or apathy. So playing hurt may not be the easy choice. Or the comfortable choice. But, I’d rather limp along in pain than sit idle in bitterness.  

Honestly, I’m not so sure that YOU can heal you anyway. I think we’ve got to keep walking and, in doing so, participate in a process that will find us on the road to healing 6 months, 18 months, 2 years from now.

Don’t wait to be whole before walking alongside a friend who is also broken. Don’t wait to be perfect to write that book you’ve been waiting on, paint your next piece, take your next photo, write your next song. Believe that your creativity comes from a place in you deeper than your pain. And that your pain makes your creativity richer as it flows out through that place.

Awkwardness: A Catalyst for Growth

For most of my life I have tried to avoid awkwardness with all my might to avoid. And to be honest, I still don’t necessarily “like” it per se. I often wish there was another way. But, I’m discovering that sometimes the best catalyst for growth in relationships, in myself, & in creativity is awkward moments…sometimes even whole seasons of them.

The friendships in my life that are the richest, have the deepest connections are oftentimes the ones that have had the greatest number of awkward conversations & awkward seasons. They’re rich because they are deeply honest. And they’re deeply honest because we’ve fought through awkward seasons & attacked the elephants in the room through conversation.

There’s something about fighting through awkwardness that leaves me just a bit more confident, slightly more sure of who I was created to be. It’s as if I’ve passed a test & now I can certify myself in some new skill chipping away just a bit more at self doubt that likes to creep its way in.

Awkwardness is often the result of tension & discomfort – both of which, I believe, are core components of some of our greatest creative labor. It causes us to wrestle, to question, to redefine, to live the work our art requires before we can produce something to share with the world. 

Chances are, I may never “like” awkwardness, but I’m trying to welcome it nonetheless. She may be a less than polite house guest – oftentimes arriving unannounced she seems to have an agenda of her own, but she earns her keep by doing her part in instigating growth. 

Where have you seen awkwardness as a catalyst for growth in your life? 

I Have…Had…Am Living…a Dream

I have this dream

I have this dream that I get to live in a world where I am free to serve,
Where my schedule is not a barrier to love in action.
A world where life is work & work is life,
That is a big tangled messy but beautiful pile of spaghetti.
A world where what I do is who I am.

I have this dream of community that loves well,
Really loves…in the mud & the rain as well as in the sunshine.
Friends who encourage & speak truth,
Who know all my junk & love my anyway,
Who are splendidly unconventional.
People who love relentlessly because it is simply who they are.

I have this dream of a world where I get to collaborate on Kingdom things with friends.
A world where I get to live adventure.
Where not living according to a plan means being blissfully surprised by the little things.
Where I get to listen when called upon.
A world where God uses the story he’s writing in my life to encourage someone else in theirs.

“Katie, your life is like a dream, one so many would kill for.” (He had listened to me muse for at least 30 minutes about being less than satisfied with life at the moment)

Sometimes my friends speak truth I already know & it wakes me up.

I woke up & remembered that I am living that dream.
And not only am I living that dream but the life I’ve been given the opportunity to live is far greater than anything I could ever dream.

I had this dream. That dream is life.


Have you ever had a moment like this?


When You Don’t Even Know What Pieces You’re Holding

As I sat across from my friend yesterday I felt helpless. Stuck. Weak. I didn’t have answers I was seeking affirmation for. In fact I didn’t even have questions I was seeking answers for. All I had were the broken pieces & no idea how to begin putting them back together or what it was I was even trying to put together.

Honestly I’m not even sure I know what pieces I’m holding. 

I got an email from another friend a few hours later “How are you doing? Be honest. Don’t bull crap me.” My response was a paragraph that ended with “So yeah, that’s honest. And messy. You’re welcome. :)”

I don’t remember the last time I felt this strategy-less, plan-less, solution-less. When the problem wasn’t going away because I refused to do what I knew I needed to do but rather because I hadn’t yet even figured out what the problem was. How are you supposed to pray for answers when you don’t have any questions? How do you start putting the puzzle together when you’re not sure if you’re holding puzzle pieces or a random collection of game board pieces from Monopoly & Candy Land?

But you can only dwell on it for so long, right? Because there’s work to be done, meetings to be had, friends to be seen, life to be lived. The world isn’t going to be stopping anytime soon while I figure out what questions to ask.

Why do I tell you this? I tell you this because sometimes I think we need to hear that life is messy for other people to. That there are days, even for those of us who believe in an ever-present Father who never fails us, we feel quite lonely…like we’d much prefer curling up in a ball in a cave & not having to face the world until we choose to. Sometimes our heart needs to know that hope feels as distant for someone else as it does for us. That even those who seem to have it all together have seasons where emotions are thread bare.

And maybe, on some level, I need to remind myself of all of those things too and writing them down roots them a little deeper into my stubborn doubtful heart. 

So, if you’re in a place like I am today, take heart, you’re not alone. And tomorrow, if it comes, is a new day. Because while there may be a lot that I don’t know right now, that much I do – that each day is a new one, a small chance to start from scratch.