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Kill the Dragon or cut off a Philistine’s Head

Kill the Dragon

This morning there was a dragon on my staircase. The staircase that leads to the basement. The basement where my painting studio is.

The dragon taunted me, his roars kept me in bed this morning for two hours. Stay in bed! Don’t paint! Who cares! Don’t finish!

I was awake at four, but I didn’t come downstairs to  paint. I stared at the clock and watched the numbers increase until it was six o’clock. The cat scratching at the door got me out of bed.

I still didn’t paint.

Then I thought it would be a good idea to finish reading the book I was reading by Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of  Battling Giants.

Maybe there was a Philistine with poor eyesight on the staircase and not a Dragon? I could throw a rock the Philistine’s forehead to stun him and then I could cut off his head. I have several large rocks in my rock collection, and I have a sharp knife that I used to skin animals in Canada.

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” – Steven Pressfield

Today I am terrified.

I threw the book across the room and said, “Stop stalling, go and paint.”

Today I will kill Resistance and finish. I have to do this. I have to finish. Last year I took a knife and slashed my paintings and painted over them with black paint. A painting of despair.

I will not do that this year. I will paint with bright colors and I will finish.

Today I will paint.

Yesterday I encouraged you to create. Not everyone likes sardines and not everyone will like what you create. Today I have to listen to what I said.

I need to believe it myself.

It is easier for me to tell you to believe in yourself, then it is for me to believe in me.

And thank God I don’t have to go in the basement alone.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13


I painted today.

I cut off the Philistines head.

Go ahead. Kill your Dragon, cut off the Philistines Head. You don’t have to do it alone.

Do you have a Dragon you have to slay? Is there a Philistine on your staircase? Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Valorie MacDonald

    Pamela, I was so happy to be back [it seems I spent the last couple weeks with a dragon sitting on my chest.. or shackled by a philistine of my own making… :/ …] BUT now I’m not sure whether I can make time to visit your site, as I enjoy the banter/encouragement between you and the other readers almost as much as your content! What happens next? i want to comment to encourage or say I’m praying on so many of the threads, and before I know it half my morning is gone! Lol

    • Good Morning Valorie,
      I missed you. Please email me anytime the dragon tries sitting on your chest and I will pray for you. He is keeping your joy and sunshine.
      Thank you for your prayers.
      The paintings are almost finished, and I plan to hang them at the end of this week. Now that I don’t have to work alone in the basement, life is better.

      • Valorie MacDonald

        Thank you Pamela, I will definitely take you up on that! The truth is that just this moment I have no idea where my creative efforts should be on my priority list. I only ever found your site along with a few others, because I told myself “The least you can do is follow this path in some small way, even if it’s to nudge open the door and peer down the long corridor through which other writers/creatives have walked.” The immediate and very natural outcome was for me to begin praying for/ encouraging those whom I began to follow! This was a huge blessing in itself, but I once again found myself in a “supporting role” for lack of a better analogy. Truth be told, it’s what I know; what I’ve always done/been good at… even what others have come to expect of me. Here’s the thing: I LOVE DOING IT BUT I STILL DON”T WANT IT TO HINDER ME FROM TAKING THOSE STEPS WHICH I NEED TO TAKE PERSONALLY!!! ~~sigh~~
        Just writing that exhausts me… you’re so right; I’ve allowed that stinkin dragon to hold back my joy and sunshine.
        And I let him. It’s always been preferable for me to stand in the shadow anyway, so when he started blocking the window,
        I’m not sure I WANTED to knock him out of the way!
        Now I am reaping the frustration and confusion.
        And in the end the doubt that “Maybe I WAS created as just an encourager/supporter of others”… and I don’t even mean that in a self.disparaging way! I LOVE DOING IT!))

        Buuut there’s this fire in me, this KNOWING that there’s something else, not “more”… not a Bigger life, but maybe a Fuller one.
        Sorry to drone on. I’m done now; Thanks again for your encouraging words, and for sharing the ever.growing…ness of your life with us!))

  • I’m glad you slayed the dragon and cut off the Philistine’s head. They deserve to DIE!!!!!! KILL THEM WITH FIRE! (You’re still going to finish David and Goliath aren’t you? It has some really good stuff in it, and if you don’t finish it, how will all my David and Goliath references make any sense?) Oh, and yes, I have lots of dragons to slay, I have to organize them first then I will kill them all.

    • Hello Kathleen,
      Your ALL CAPS are so refreshing. The Philistine is dead as is the Dragon. Actually it should be dragon, lower case d, not a big D. I finished the book, after I painted.
      Did you organize your dragons yet and kill them? Praying for accuracy in your aim. You rock slinger you

  • Christa Sterken

    Me too, there must be an army of them

    • Hello Christa, did you cut off any Philistine heads this week?

  • Oh Pamela! I think the dragon’s twin brother was here a lot this week!! Thank you for using your difficult situation to inspire others! Off to chop of a Philistine head now! So thankful I won’t be fighting alone!

    • Hello Kim,
      The silly Dragon even kept me away from answering comments! Did you slay my Dragon’s twin brother? How did your battle go with the Philistine? I pray you are well. What do you create Kim?

      • I do think I was able to slay the dragon! I’m hoping that I don’t see anymore for a while! I write! My blog is alifewellpenned.com. I’m enjoying the writing and am a TribeWriter (I believe you are also!).

  • Resistance is a busy guy. He stops by my house all of the time. I’m going to pick up a copy of Gladwell’s latest. Thanks for the post!

    • Resistance is busy. Thankfully we don’t have to face him alone. I would love to know what you think about Gladwell’s book after you read it.

      • It may be a month or so from now, because I’m going to get a friend of mine to bring me the paperback to Portugal. The ebook is about 2x as expensive. However, I will let you know once I finish it. I’ve read Pressfield’s War of Art that Jeff Goins recommends and while I enjoyed the majority of it I found some things a little troubling. That’s another story though.

  • I love this. David and Goliath is a topic dear to my heart. Keep at it. Remember that David did not go into that battlefield unprepared. All those mornings he probably wanted to sleep in he still got up and practiced with his sling. He did not know he would one day need it to face a giant, but he practiced anyway. Keep going. It may be a Philistine you kill today, but it may be an army of them one day. Practice now, and let faithfulness prepare you for more.

    • Thank you Dayna,
      I am going to eat my breakfast of sardines and peas and then go and slay the Philistine on the staircase again. It is time to face my fears and paint.
      Thank you for the reminder that David practiced every day. He was prepared.

  • La McCoy


  • I really loved this post, Pamela! I’ve faced that giant more than once when it comes to writing. I will know I should do it, but put it off because who’s going to notice anyway? What difference is it going to make? This month, I’ve decided to start being more intentional about it, even when I don’t feel like it, and I love the feeling!!! Keep slaying those dragons and acting like the giants are grasshoppers. Your art does matter, and your words encouraged me today. Thanks!

    • Hi Kelly,
      Thank you for encouraging me! Your writing does make a difference. Grasshoppers are not scary. I can just step over them on the staircase and go downstairs and paint. Thank you!

  • kathunsworth

    Pamela I could never slay my dragon I love him, instead I promise him I will feed him and nourish him. I am glad you broke through the ranks and cant wait to see your beautiful paintings up at the gallery.

    • Kath,
      I never thought to feed the dragon. I wonder if he likes popcorn. With lots of butter and salt.
      When the paintings are up I will e-mail you a photograph. I can’t wait to see them up too!

      • kathunsworth

        Popcorn for sure, also grooming it and teaching it tricks lol and I would love to see your art up on the walls for all to see! It all sounds so cool Pamela I am excited for you.

  • I have been doing things that are small dragons. Asking God to show me any that may be hidden. So far, I am slaying whatever He shows me. I have a problem in losing faith when there is no movement. I start believing things are not ever going to happen. So God wants me to trust in His timing. And to flex when things don’t work out the way I thought they would.

    I think my biggest dragon is up ahead. You see, when my first book came out my brother died immediately after that. I didn’t get a chance to really celebrate. You can’t celebrate when you’re crying. So now, as this book gets closer, it’s a little scary. I’m sure the fire breathing dragon will show up when everything is moving.

    • Oh Anne, I can’t even imagine the pain you felt when your brother died. Yes, it would be hard to celebrate when you are crying.
      I pray for the release of your new book and for God to step on the fire breathing dragon. God is bigger. He can stop the dragon.