January 26, 2015

Looking Up in 2015 by Marnie Pohlmann

“Look Up. Look wa-a-ay up.”

“One little chair for one of you, and a bigger chair for two to curl up in, and for someone who likes to rock, a rocking chair in the middle.”

“And there's that boot.”

“I'll go on ahead and lower the drawbridge.”1

Do you recognize these words? You may be dating yourself along with me if you do. As a child I remember pausing in play to watch The Friendly Giant, who said these lines each show. This month’s theme is looking back, looking forward, and these words of The Friendly Giant help me do both.

In my writing, when I look back I can see some advancement in 2014; but to be honest, I have to look wa-a-ay back to see any real forward movement in my writing. Over the years I have received praise from teachers and professors, known the freedom of journaling to aid in personal healing and understanding, experienced the joy of winning contests, felt the satisfaction of supporting organizations with my prose, and seen the occasional publication of a written gem. Writing is a large part of me no matter what I am doing, but any accomplishment has been happenstance, not purposed, and rarely sought.

The Friendly Giant Museum
For a while I avoided involvement with writing, but last year I reconnected with Inscribe and with some of the local writers here in the Peace Region. I was reminded that while we may enjoy different genres, we also enjoy gathering to share and sharpen our gift of writing. I wonder if writing may be a solitary pursuit best done in community. I appreciate so much the encouragement I find with Inscribe writers; there is no direct competition, simply uplifting support. No matter our preference of expression or desire to publish or not, we are all welcomed. “One little chair for one of you, and a bigger chair for two to curl up in, and for someone who likes to rock, a rocking chair in the middle.”

I am amazed at how fast the last few years have flown by,  with major life events and changes marking time in my journey. Life continued while I was not looking, and I became rusty at what I enjoy. It’s time to get in shape! Being connected to other writers is a way God is encouraging me to exercise writing - making time to write, writing specific projects rather than jumping from one unfinished project to another, and seeking to somehow share my offering. “And there’s that boot.” So in 2015, with God firmly nudging and strengthening me, and with fellow writers to encourage me through accountability, I submit to God and will be more purposed in my writing.

I hesitate to say I undertake this commitment of writing with excitement, but I embark on it because it’s clear the season is now. Nothing in my life has changed - I still minister with my husband while working full time, my health is stable with energy returning and closing on the mark of two years cancer-free, my family is still adjusting to new dynamics in living arrangements - yet the promise I made to God years ago, remains. “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” (Psalm 26:7 KJV) God now seems to be going before me to provide opportunities, so I will head where God is leading, as He goes “on ahead to lower the drawbridge”. What a great picture of hope for our writing - when I see in my circumstances a dangerous moat and no way across, God provides a drawbridge; a path of safety He opens for me.

Whatever genre I settle into, whatever audience of readers it is shared with, if any, God is not simply leading me in my writing - He is leading me in His eternal kingdom. Eternity is a concept hard to grasp - it makes me feel so small, like the little chairs looked next to The Friendly Giant’s hand. Yet eternity with Him is what God promises and what motivates me toward more purposeful writing in this physical realm of that eternity. The only way I know to be purposeful is to look to God for leading, clarification, and inspiration through Scripture, prayer, and relationship. 

My goals for 2015, therefore, are to “Look up, look wa-a-ay up” and to write with purpose – to deadline, to word count, to finish, and to share.

God will do wondrous works in our lives and through our writing as we look to Him this year.

1. The Friendly Giant (1958-1985), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

photo credit:


  1. Marnie, I began your post with a nostalgic smile, and ended with tears in my eyes. (And a runny nose. I always get a runny nose. Sigh.)

    I, too, have been taken from random writing to writing with purpose this year in the form of being called on to present and submit to specific themes. The restriction on my willy-nilly style is hard, but I know it's right.

    In the midst, I find myself yearning for our next Writers Cafe meeting - the writing group I belong to. It's there I feel safe and free, able to be wild with my words!

    You've expressed all of this so well, Marnie, and wrapped it up perfectly. "Look up, look wa-a-ay up."

    Now I shall wipe my nose and go to work. Blessings, my friend.

  2. "I wonder if writing may be a solitary pursuit best done in community." Yes!!! This is so true. I, too, was taken back by nostalgia and I loved the way you wove the lines from the Friendly Giant into your piece. You have such an eloquent way with words.

  3. I remember the Friendly Giant well. He kept my children occupied while I performed the usual tasks of homemaker back then. Your opening was a beautiful reminder of days gone by. I love how you incorporate those words into your nudge to get writing again. God uses the very thing we least expect to motivate us. He can take a memory from our past and put right into the middle of our present and then use it to guide us into the future all the while letting us know that he is right beside the entire time.

  4. And THAT, Marnie, is writing dangerously. :)

  5. You have a wonderful way with words. Keep using that gift.

  6. I loved this Marnie. Excellent job in keeping your theme consistent!

    What a beautifully bold statement you made here: "I submit to God and will be more purposed in my writing."

    Many Blessings on your writing journey, no matter where our friendly giant takes you :)

  7. I love your "Friendly Giant" metaphor. I grew up on that show so I can relate to what you are saying--about looking up to God. I'm glad He is good.

  8. Two lines I connected with as well-"I wonder if writing may be a solitary pursuit best done in community." and the reference to “And there’s that boot.”
    Thanks, and best wishes for your writing in 2015.

  9. "God provides a drawbridge; a path of safety He opens for me."
    Thank you for your grace-filled post about being a writer. I loved it. I am at a difficult place in my journey as a writer and in fact in life and the above sentence about a drawbridge being provided really spoke to me. You are such an encouragement in your writing.


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