Thursday, April 26, 2007


This isn't a rant so much as it is a question:

What do you do when you're feeling burned out on life?

I've been looking for work for several months now. I've been invited in for interviews, I just haven't been hired anywhere yet. And I'm beginning to feel worn down by it all. I don't think it's a depression thing as I'm still able to sleep, eat, and enjoy life in general.... but it is adversely affecting my level of creativity and interest in writing.

Any words of wisdom? What can I do to push through this?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Nobody's Going Anywhere Just Yet, Meanwhile....

I want to know what others may think of any conclusions we might of come to or drawn in regard to our fellow Christian Koreans trapped in a Stalinist regime such as that-this from a country whose roots are still anchored in faith?What keeps them going? How could they deny themselves, living with a constant nagging hunger (subsisting on corn and salt water rations under the burden of slave labor), that they and their fellow inmates would consider catching a rat for a meal-a good day! They not only endure torture and persecution but also are made to watch unspeakable horror perpetrated against their fellow brothers and sisters around them (biological testing for example).

I’m not going to ask, “why is God allowing this”, cause He certainly is! Instead...You can read the full article here-

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ever get pissed off?

Seems to me the new thing in Faith is to write about those you disagree with and instead of going to them do it on a blog or forum?

Shouldn't we be aware of Gossip and rumours?

Whatever happened to the Matt 18 principle going to another person before airing their laundry all over the place?

I guess, we as Christians, are just as guilty as others as spreading the lies.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

An Abundance of Bathwater

**This is my latest essay. I luckily get to "publish" them to our church's weekly enewsletter from time to time.
I'd love some feedback:
  • How can I make this better?
  • What is the general tone/feel you get from this essay?
  • How does my writing style come across - how would you describe it?
  • Is it trite? passionate? meaningful? where do I veer from one into the other?
You can put your feedback in the comments, or contact me directly at Leah AT mypinktoes DOT com.
I am working hard at developing my voice. I know that practice practice practice is the only way. I'm looking for some help in the journey.
Thanks! ***

John 10:10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Romans 5:3-5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

An Abundance of Bathwater

By Leah Smith

Do you know what the overflow valve is in your bathtub? It’s a little hole that drains the extra water out of your tub if it rises above a certain level - like when you leave the faucet on too long, or swish around in the tub. The overflow valve is a safety mechanism, built right in. You put the water in, and if it gets too high – no worries! – the extra goes right down the drain and not over the edge of your tub. It’s nice. It creates a sense of balance – you can put so much in, but not too much – so your bets are hedged against a forgetful mind or a wayward knee.

I have found I don’t actually like to take baths – they are just not comfortable for me. I’m very tall, quite overweight, and have serious chronic pain problems. Sitting in a half-full, hard porcelain box is not soothing or relaxing. It is safe, but not rejuvenating in any way. It’s a difficult dance - deciding which body parts will be bare and cold, and which ones will be covered with warm water at any particular moment. It’s too exhausting.

Guess what I found out about bathtubs? For about 5 bucks, you can buy a plastic disc called a ‘drain subverter’ that covers up the overflow valve in your bathtub. As a result, you can fill your bathtub all the way up – enough to cover long limbs and ample bellies. Enough to enable you to have a full-fledged SOAK.

I have spent a lot of time trying to replicate an overflow-valve-type of mechanism for my life – I wanted to be able to exert just the right amount of energy, to not make waves, to not make a mess, so that things would feel safe and consistent. I thought I was searching for balance. I thought it would bring me peace. Instead, I have felt empty and restless in this pursuit.

In my search for this overflow drain-like “balance” in my life, I have discovered that God’s love and God’s Spirit in its true form can’t be contained, either. Living the abundant life, full of Jesus’s love, is like bathing in a tub with one of those plastic drain subverters. His love keeps flowing and flowing and can’t be contained. It spills out of us, leaking from our weakest places, splashing up and over the top of our hearts.

We often try to invent our own “overflow valves”, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid dealing with the dangerous thrill of God’s abundant love. We try to box God into a specific time period (like Sundays, or during our quiet times, or just during a formal prayer), or into a particular personality (wrathful, or judgmental, or benignly detached from the details of our lives).

Sometimes we create these ‘overflow valves’ out of fear. I’ve lived with a mediocre ‘bathtub’ experience for far too long because I’ve been afraid of letting the Spirit overflow in me. What will happen when I can’t contain it? When I can’t have control over what’s happening next?

The answers have been surprising for me: letting God’s love over flow into my life has been so healing. Yes, it’s messy – but it is glorious.

I’m no longer serving out of duty – meting out my ‘bathwater’, as it were, for the various things that I want to do or feel I need to do - seeking that elusive balance. Instead, I am discovering - and believing for the first time - that God created me with specific talents and passions that He WANTS me to discover, develop, and use. These passions I have bubbling up inside are from HIM and are part of this abundant life. They come from being filled to overflowing with the love of Jesus.

With the regular bathtub overflow valve, I can leave the bathroom and forget I left the water on. I can move however I want to in the tub and be sure I won’t make a mess. But I’m missing out on the amazing pleasure of reveling in a full tub of water.

With the drain subverter on, I have to pay attention. I have to be near the flowing water, watching where it is going. If I move in the tub, I AM going to make waves. The water IS going to spill over. There is no way around it. Subverting the overflow on your bathtub is NOT safe. You’re likely to end up with a mess all over the bathroom. But what a glorious, warm, bubbly mess!

What will I choose? To play it safe with the overflow valves? Or to go for it in the full tub – to go for the abundant life?

It’s still a battle to keep that drain subverter on. Some days I feel like I don’t deserve this luxury – that I’m kidding myself that God actually loves me this much and wants to pour himself into me. Some days I have to make a conscious choice to keep that subverter on. Some days I lose the battle and take it off. But I keep coming back to the amazing experience of the abundant life. Now that I have tasted it, I can’t go back to my old life of contained bathwater with safe and artificial balance.

I pray for you that you will find the courage to find God in the glorious mess that is created when you put a ‘drain subverter’ on. Bathe in the wonder of God’s abundant love for you. May you feel awash in the Spirit. May you feel secure in the amazing love of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Writing Resources Recommendations?

Are there any other links to writing resources that you would like to see added to this site?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Writing Process

How organized are you when it comes to writing? Do you set aside specific days or times to write?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Out of Sodom

Looking back
I keep looking back

Get out of Sodom
We were told.



Leave now.
My Spirit has gone from there.

But I keep looking back
salt tears,
til I can no longer walk.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Meridian and Washington--I've seen you
Cross when I close my eyes in places
Hundreds of miles away.
Now you sit at the right hand,
With Sam and Dante and Bill
Laughing at the words, the sweat,
Dreams of interviews and tours,
Fame for saying what you know,
What we all knew,
What nobody can know.
So it goes.

If You Need to Write...

I thought this was interesting:

Of the many reasons for anger, one of the least understood and yet most important is this: the denial or blocking of creativity.

If you need to write a poem, better struggle to write it, even if you have to eat simply and live in a garret. If you need to write a book, you had better write it. If you need to create a piece of sculpture, you had better do it...

You can continue reading this article here.

Friday, April 13, 2007


The last retro-Lydia poem, circa 2002. Like the title says, it's based on a dream I had back then. I'll try to have some newer stuff up some time in the next few days.

at first, the water came too much, too
fast. sucking crumbling foundations from
houses and we all tumbled into the sea
as the last sliver of land disappeared
into calm, cool waters. Not knowing what
else to do, we treaded water. Exhausted,
I releasted my strangle-hold on this
world, my head dipping beneath the surface
as I come, not to the end, but the beginning.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I wrote this poem several years ago, while at Matt Redman's "Facedown" song writing conference. (And if you buy his "Facedown" album and listen very closely, you might be able to hear me singing along.) Anyway, it was supposed to be a song about the very big topic of God's grace. But it just wouldn't behave. So we (myself and a good friend) turned it into a song/poem. The verses are spoken word and the chorus (grace calling me...) is sung. Feel free to make up your own tune. :)


I come to You broken
I’ve tried to fix me
but all my hammering only yields
more cracks and splinters
Still, You let me come

I come to You empty
I’ve tried to fill me
but for every bucket of me I pour in
it seems two more spill out
Still, You let me come

Grace calling me
Grace drawing me
Grace enabling me
Grace claiming me
I come to You with my toys and my trinkets
with my bells and my whistles
with my song and my dance
and I try to impress You
Look at me! Look what I’ve brought

Then I look at the bigness of You
and the smallness of me
and I realize that everything I have
is nothing You need
Still, You let me come

Every breath is grace
and every step is grace
upon the ground of grace
into Your courts of grace
and by grace I cry
“My God, what am I
that you give me the grace to come?”
I come, and it’s déjà vu all over again
things I thought I had released long ago
still hanging on
like a balloon tied to my wrist by a string
and I wonder why I can’t seem to let go

Is it my pride?
Or am I afraid that, if I let all of me go
I’ll have nothing left to give You?
Or nothing left of me to keep?
And still, You let me come

Every breath is grace
and every step is grace
upon the ground of grace
into Your courts of grace
and by grace I cry
“My God, what am I
that you give me the grace to come?”

Interesting Article

Pearls Before Breakfast

What was I thinking?

So last nite in my small group - the dreaded question was asked.

(We're studying if You want to walk on water, you gotta get out of the boat)

So what was the question? Here it was - what was one thing you struggled with of God being Big?

Personally, It was when I was pissed off at God. I wrestled with questions of doubt, cussed him out, and wondered why some of my friends had to die. It was the whole idea and problem of pain.

Finally - I heard it in the midst of all that cussing, anger, and getting it off my chest ... God wasn't disciplining me but basically said "Are you done, yet?" "Do you feel better now?" I was kind of like "Yeah!". God's response: "Good! Let's get back to work"

So that was it. Do I have times where I go back and do that again? You bet. Is it healthy? For me it is. I think God understands it. He seen it through such people as David, Job, Jonah ... and asking God ... I don't know about this but you're God.

How about you? Ever get angry at God? Ever feel like a trapped Bird and wanting to let God know you just want to get out of the pain and cage of life?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Creative Commons (CC)

You may have noticed this on the lower right hand of this blog:

Creative Commons License

work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence.


A quick explanation of it: is a charitable institution that is dedicated to helping ordinary people like us protect our intellectual property. Their website has a list of licenses that can be used to let other people know where the boundaries are when it comes to using or distributing your work.

I chose the most restrictive license on the site for this blog - it's better to be safe than sorry, and all that. :)

Click here to read more about it.

Sunday Side Up

More vintage Lydia poetry. I think this one dates back to my preacher's kid days when I was becoming rapidly burned out on it all.

I wear a wrap skirt today -
that way, nobody notices
the legs I didn't shave.
It's a quiet way to rebel.

Sunday service, 9 to 11.
Can you feel God here?
Everybody else does -
Their eyes are closed.

There are coffee and donuts
to eat afterwards. No
cream in the coffee, please.
It'll hurt my stomach.

The best part is lunch -
baby back ribs and, for
dessert, fried bananas
while the grown-ups talk.

God owns the evening service.
It's strange seeing how faces
sag with exhaustion at the end
of the day. A few more songs...

And then we're gone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

God is a Hermaphrodite

Today I found a notebook full of poems I wrote in the early 2000's when I was really questioning many of the things I had been taught about God and religion as a child. I thought I'd share a few.

God is a Hermaphrodite

gentle strength.
quiet roar.
the opening statement.
the ending prayer.


Lydia's Introduction

My name is Lydia. I'm 23 years old, married, and I live in Toronto.

I was a preacher's kid for most of my childhood and adolescence- the churches my parents pastored tended to be non-denominational or Charismatic/Pentecostal, although there were a few exceptions to this rule.

Last summer I became the Associate Faith Editor at

I've been writing poetry, short stories and essays since grade school. About six months ago I started working on my first novel, although my progress on it has been nearly nonexistent lately for a few different reasons: the job search has been taking up a great deal of my time, and I've also been having some difficulty communicating with and understanding the motives of the main character in the story.

So, hello. :)

Monday, April 9, 2007


Welcome to the Writing About Faith blog. My name is Lydia, and I have been a writer for nearly as many years as I have been a Christian.

It is my hope that this blog will become a good place for writers who are working on creative, faith-inspired works to meet, share ideas, ask questions, and maybe even give the occasionally bit of advice or encouragement if it is necessary.

I do plan to share some of my own poetry, essays, or other creative works in the near future. Feel free to post your own work as well.