Tag Archive | creativity

Lessons Learned while Writing: Omniscience vs Free Will

This might seem like an odd thing to learn about while writing fiction but hang in there with me. My master’s degree is from a seminary. I have taught theology and studied the attributes of God. His omniscience vs out free will is an issue people have been arguing about for centuries.

I don’t really have the answer to that debate although I fully believe in both. God knows everything which should terrify us. EVERYTHING. Every thought and intention of our hearts, our motives, the words we don’t say out loud but think. Our wants and desires. Our deepest fears. Amazingly enough, He wanted His human creation, dependant upon Him for every breath we take and every beat of our hearts, to have the freedom to accept or reject Him.

He didn’t want puppets to worship Him. He wanted people willing to give their all to Him because He called and we chose to respond.

Now we could debate about how could God, who knows everything we will do, give us free will since He already knows we will do it?

I can’t answer that. Some thoughts are far too lofty for this mere mortal.

But I came to a place of peace with this because of my writing. It is not a perfect illustration because again, as a writer, I’m a mortal, not eternal like God is.

When I write my story I have an idea of what the journey for my characters will be like and who they are. (Remember, these people don’t really exist even if they seem to in my mind).  I have a general concept of my ending. Since I write happily-ever-afters it will be a happy ending. There will be love. Maybe a kiss or a wedding, and regardless of where my characters start on their journey, they will have grown emotionally and spiritually. Because I’m human and haven’t written the book yet, I’m not sure of all the details of those journeys to love and greater wholeness.

Whether a writer is a panster (write by the seat of his/her pants) or a plotter, planning out general points of the story’s plot, our characters sometimes surprise us. I can have in-depth interviews with these imaginary people but they sometimes throw me for a loop with a memory, or an issue I wasn’t expecting. Sometimes they make a choice I didn’t anticipate. However, I get them to my desired end for the book.

Once the book is written I am fully aware of their choices and decisions and the precise ending.

God knows my beginning and my end. He has a plan and a purpose for my life but I still make choices. Unlike me as an author, God is never surprised because He’s already read the end of my story. He read it before I was even born. That doesn’t mean He dictated my path.

I’m not even sure if that fully makes sense to you, but it does to me. I can’t understand just how it really works with an all-knowing, sovereign Lord, only that I can listen for His voice and maybe I’ll make mistakes, but He will get me to my desired end and use me to fulfill His purpose here on earth. Maybe I’ll sport some bruises from my failures, but He will never stop loving me on the journey through my story.

And He is also the One who leads me as I write. How else can my characters surprise me if my God-given imagination didn’t let that happen? An imagination designed for me combined with my history and past experiences to create a story out of nothing because I am an image-bearer of the Creator Himself.

Maybe this is too lofty, but I’ve found peace in not understanding how it all happens. It is a holy mystery beyond my ability to grasp but His omniscience doesn’t negate free will and there is wonderful security in that truth.

Making Cards

Years ago I attended a Stampin’ Up! Party and learned how to do all kinds of fun and creative stuff with stamps. Cards are my favorite and it had been awhile since I’ve done this and with a depressingly long winter, even the first day I tried, I didn’t enjoy myself and wasn’t  impressed with my efforts. After awhile though, I started to have fun again. I don’t often let myself play and this was play time. Here are some of the cards I made.

This first trio are done with colored pencils – by my daughter Joy (age 8).

IMG_0305IMG_0315IMG_0313

This next set I had fun using browns, which is not a normal palette for me but was fun. Hey, there was till pink in there…

IMG_0310IMG_0311

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there were the happy, hoppy frogs… they were fun and I used watercolor pencils for those and some I even cut out and used pop-ups under so they “jump” out at you a little more.

IMG_0319IMG_0321

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I wasn’t done… Some more masculine brown/green/gold but then more cheerful pinks and oranges and lime greens.

IMG_0306IMG_0322

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were fun mixing textures and patterns.

IMG_0318

I have plenty more that I made in about a week (I did about eighty cards). I don’t mail out cards as much as I used to, but now when I do they will be ones made by me and hopefully cherished a little more for the time and effort that went into making them along with putting them in an envelope with an old fashioned stamp and sending them snail mail.