The Purpose In Just Being You/Divine Purpose Magazine

My article, ‘The Purpose In Just Being You,’ has appeared in the Spring 2021 Issue of Divine Purpose Magazine.

It’s been exciting to see my first article published, and I thank the Editors are Divine Purpose for including my piece this quarter. You can find the magazine HERE at ISSUE.com. The article appears on page 22.

Also, a huge thank you to my friend Jackie for helping me with editing. I learned so much from our back and forth, and treasure the time you took to invest in me. THANK YOU!

Joy

Found in simple spaces
when lights have dimmed to ease
weariness of day from shoulders prone.

In the morning beams
where radiance sings
reserving stage for feathered accompaniment notes.

Shimmers in the shadows
like the fuzziness of heat,
but greats in bells that chime with chirping mirth.

Often hid amid
wide open space
blending with a magic you can not trace.

Given to the few
who look beyond circumstance
to find the lines God painted beneath.

Even when awash,
paying untold cost,
finding treasure hid and hold relief.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Keeping Creative in Isolation

We often overlook the power of quiet in our world. For many creatives, finding that quiet space can be difficult.

What do you do when the quiet finds you, and won’t leave?

We have been subjected to isolation few have known before. For some, this has created safe spaces to create, even given us a boost. We have taken stock and finish projects. It’s been thrilling!

But, It’s been over a year. How do you keep your creativity thriving when you can’t watch the hustle and bustle of everyday life from your favorite coffee shop window, when trips that feed your inspiration are discouraged? What do you do when it’s been weeks since your last conversation with another adult, and all you hear in your own brain is baby talk and cartoon theme songs? Or even just silence, and the silence is weighting on you, crushing your creativity.

Get basic.

It’s time to remember your ‘why’. What do I mean by that?

Every person engaging in their creativity has a why, an underlying reason they create. What’s yours?

For me, it’s not a choice. I must write or I get sick. It’s how my brain puts pieces together and manages stress. It’s how I entertain and am entertained. I dream, think, and live in a world of words. My why?

I write to understand myself and the word.

What is your why?

Whatever form your creativity takes, revisit your why. After you hold it in my mind and heart again, ask yourself, is it still enough? Has it changed this past year? Should it change?

I can’t answer those questions for you. I will trust you can find the answers. After you remember your why, it’s time to practice.

Practice? Yes, practice.

Sometimes creatives believe the lie that, “We always need to have a project going.” That is not true.

When you are tired, lonely, depressed, give your brain and heart a rest. Revisit things you know best like the beginning strokes of a painting, the simple forms of poetry you played with as a child.

Hop,
mop,
clop!

Let your brain wonder through small things.

What does your coffee smell like?

Is there a word to describe the wind chimes outside on the back porch?

If your art is more physical, return to the exercises your body knows. Muscle memory is powerful.

Pick up your guitar and play Mary Had A little lamb. Let your fingers roam over the strings, finding the notes your heart loves best, a favorite song. Just sing.

Then take a brake.

Put it down, walk away, play with the kids. Phone Mom! Send your girlfriend a hand-written letter.
Let creativity grow. Once you start something, it will call to you. Your heart and mind will tell you when to engage with creativity.

Do you hear her calling you?

When you do, it’s then that your heart is ready to learn from her again. This road of creativity in loneliness is difficult. But if you feed that flame inside, it won’t die. Be kind to yourself.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (19)

Why is spring so fraught with rain?

Why does it pour and spatter and spit?

Dissolving snow and rinsing grime from my window pane, it’s like He knows the earth needs a good morning shower.

Or is it grief, a liquid love?

Does He weep for those who have fallen asleep in the cold shadow of winter’s rest?

Does He weep to awaken those who sleep in Gethsemane?

“Will you pray for me?”

The heavier the pour, the more of His tears I can hold to my heart.

I know He already prays for me.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo’s sourced from unsplash.com

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Love Is

Something felt and
something done.
An action filled emotion.
Understood
by not a one.

Something that was broken.
Something
to fill its cracks.
Something that’s so human
yet everybody lacks.

Something that is given,
flowing free
from Calvary.
Something overlooked
by lost humanity.

Hell is something’s absence,
a solitude of soul.
Hell on earth
refuses
to give something control.

Something
beyond our passions.
It pushes past our fear.
Something so elusive,
yet need is crystal clear.

Something that lingers,
still present
on our world.
Something that is woven,
into every atom curled.

Something is a someone.
He set the world
to spin.
Yet He made my soul,
To him, I am akin.

Someone who is calling,
wooing
humankind.
Back into arms
that are with something lined.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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When the Kids Are Home

  1. Plush rug of red hues
    Toes settle in to fibers
    Food crumbs giggle felt
  2. Satisfying thunk
    As toys tossed in to trunk
    Sound of spill down hall
  3. Peanut butter smile
    Handprints left on window, wall
    Kiss smells of childhood

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Six Word Stories (18)

I used to sit in the field making wishes on dandelion fluff.

I once rolled through the tall grasses, collecting the white seeds on my clothes and dark curls. Helping them spread as I ran back to the house, arms outstretched.

“I can fly!” I would cry, and daydream of Peter Pan and Tinkebell.

It was my life’s spring.

Now I watch my own children wading through puddles. The freshness on their cheeks and sweaters always flavored with a hint of damp growth when coming home from an evenings play.

But I still dream of fairy wings and mermaid foam.

My sisters and I used to rub our cheeks yellow with dandelion buds, and weave tiny field daises in to wreathes for our head.

Now I watch my own girls pick wildflowers and supervise as all kinds of pretend soups are mixed in sandbox buckets with sticks that are just as much magic wands as they are spoons.

The right now is there spring.

The scent of fresh tree blossoms might hold different meanings for me then they once did. But it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you listen closely with your heart they will share wisdom with you.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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December Night, Art Highlight

I am excited to introduce you to my second new design of the year. “December Night” was painted in early 2020. The poem was written in December of the same year.

I felt the two belonged together, though I didn’t plan for it when the small original was painted. I chose the first two stanzas of the original poem fit best with the painting.

I have made it available on 72 different products via my Redbubble Shop.

All profits from my art are used to fund future publications and the blog. Thank you all for your continued interest in my writing and art.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Spring Sunday

The passing winter mourned,
as busyness begins.
Remember friend,
dispute the sun
over rushing never wins.

Still, need for peace.
Yet thirst for rest.
Take the day God gifted you.
He knows what man needs best.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

I find myself pressing in to the simple things of life. Constantly reminded that my spirit has been calling for quiet for years, and now that I have it, it shouldn’t be abandoned. I never imagined God would use a pandemic to gift me rest. Despite the pain of isolation, he has helped me flourish in the last twelve months. I write this as my reminder to not forget.

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Six Word Stories (17)

Tunnels, arches, trails, these things hold a fascination for me.

They beckon.

“Come explore, come and learn, come experience our adventure.”

But in adventure, there is always change.

Change of self, change of place, change of perspective.

Is it worth it, this stepping into the known?

Dare we?

If we don’t dare, we will never know what we have missed. But the question of what if will always hang there.

I don’t always dare. But sometimes I am lent a bravery not of myself and jump in feet first.

Sometimes I am swept away to places I never dreamed of. Places I never wanted to go. Places of pain.

Sometimes I land in the middle of tumultuous beauty and breath-taking experiences. I am still learning to be thankful for both.

When those experiences look arching waves, may God help me find the blessing beneath life’s crush.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sourced from unsplash.com

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