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Stuff and Coffee


As Facebook is so fond of telling me, “There are bunches of people that like Lisa Michelle Hess who haven’t heard from her in 12…22…35 days.” Forgive me, my friends. Don’t, for one minute, think that I don’t appreciate all the likes and shares. They mean more to me and my writing than you can probably imagine.

But life is full, you know? The novel is coming together—I’m in the homestretch—two chapters to go and TOUCHDOWN! Then, there are the three other book projects I’m hoping to develop and the rest of my homeschooling mom/wife life. Who am I talking to? You know what I’m saying.

Being busy doesn’t stop me from thinking, pondering, ruminating, fulminating…about all the topics I’d like to share with you, though. I have over a month’s worth. Where to start?

As I write this, I’m sitting in “that coffee shop that shall not be named,” waiting for my son to finish a session with his math tutor. Wow! Does anybody work in an office anymore? There is some serious business happening here this morning, accompanied by the whine and hiss of the espresso machine and the cries of, “Turkey Rustico Panini! Nonfat No Whip Decaf White Mocha!” (Do you think behind the counter they call that drink “Why Bother?”)

On the way here, our sun, which has been very shy of late, made a brief appearance through the haze. An incredible song was playing on the Christian station we listen to and it was a beauty moment. It brought to mind God’s presence in our lives, His grace, and the times He gives us glimpses of hope that carry us through the darkest of times. Then, the overly cheerful d.j. came on and chirped, “That’s [artist] with some of her latest stuff.”

Stuff??? I know she wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, but seriously? I could only think of how hard it must be to write a good song. Then I thought of all that has to happen to get that song produced well and finally, onto my radio in my car. The effort that not just one person, but many people made to create a song for the Christian Contemporary market that wasn’t just another trite, over-produced, cringe-worthy religious anthem…and it gets labeled “stuff.” It was only the presence of my children in the car that kept the profanities that sprang to my lips from getting air-time at that point.

So we could talk about my dramatic mood swings and all the fruits of the Spirit I still lack, but let’s talk about this instead: Developing and nurturing a creation is hard work, whether it’s a song, or a novel, or a child.

Creating something meaningful and moving is monumental.

Creating something meaningful and moving that, even for a moment, opens a window onto heaven for someone else—that’s an act of God. Let’s give the art, and those in service to God and us through their works…what? What do we owe them? Look, Christians in the arts aren’t in it for the adoration or the money. But a little respect, a show of support, that would be nice.

Time to pick up the boy, but my cup runneth over, and not just because I am now thoroughly overcaffeinated. More later.

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