Friday, May 3, 2019

Looking Forward.

This has been my longest stint of not blogging or writing in several years. Three, or maybe even four?

When I set out to write every day in January I did not have much of an end-goal in mind. It was almost like a dare. It was something I was afraid I couldn't do, something I wanted to test myself in. And it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought.

When I'm honest, what was really hard was seeing the disinterest of my people. Not that I really feel like I have a "tribe" of people who stick with me and read what I write on a regular basis. I mean, my mom does, my mother-in-law does, and a few loyal friends too, but I could never claim to have much of a following at this point in my life.

Along came February with all its monotony, schoolwork, and rain. I changed my eating habits significantly and was doing some challenge groups with friends, which was certainly worthwhile and took up some of my spare minutes during the day, but it definitely was not something that would excuse my sudden drop off the planet in regards to writing.

I still don't have much of an answer as to why I stopped. I can tell you what I've been doing, but all my attempts at explaining still don't quite paint a clear picture.

I picked up some paintbrushes, brought home some new paints, bought some new brush pens, and have been enjoying that immensely. Somehow though, the 3 in me (yes, I am an Enneagram nerd) always comes out and tries to figure out how to make my endeavors into a successful business. I just love small businesses, especially beautiful ones, and I have always had high hopes of running my own someday.

photo by Tim Arterbury

Today is not that day. Tomorrow might not be either. And I'm working on being okay with that.

Right now, I have to be okay with my limits. They aren't terrible by any means, but they do exist. And while many are results of my choices, they aren't punishment or something to be dreaded.

Homeschooling is not what I consider a calling for myself. While I do enjoy it, and am eternally grateful for all it has given me and my family, I don't see it as a mission from God specifically. I see discipling my children as a mission, and at this point in my life the only way I can figure out how to do that within our constraints is through homeschooling. And that actually gives me a lot of freedom, a lot of opportunity, and I wish it brought me more joy.

It has been a challenging year with homeschooling all three kids. Not beyond crazy, just hard. There's a constant juggling of schedules. I don't have a lot of margin. And when I run out of time to pursue my passions, I quickly run out of sanity. When one child needs an extra 30 minutes to work on something, that has to come from somewhere, and I have trouble not being frustrated when that "somewhere" is my own down-time I was counting on.

But let's get real, I don't think there is enough down-time in the world that could satisfy my desires. There will never be enough hours in the day to read, to experience beauty, to create beautiful things, or to enjoy the beautiful people in my life. And I seriously stink at living well with that reality. I mean, I do know I will have eternity for all those things, but it's hard for me not to get all angsty about not having them now.

I scheme, I try to think of a different plan, I look at job opportunities and other places we could live, but none of it ever pans out. God is leaving me here in this place for now. Can I surrender to that? Am I willing to embrace it? To make the most out of it? To live well where I am today?

I want to say yes, and I will, but I wish I could say yes with a heart full of enthusiasm. Truthfully, I say yes because I trust God (or at least desperately try to) but my heart gets distracted so incredibly often. And that's a problem I am working on too. Distraction gets the best of me a lot.

So what am I doing here now? Why did I hop on here tonight? Good question.

I wanted to say that I am still here. I will still write, but I'm not sure how much. I still want to share my life-lessons with whoever is interested in reading about them. I still feel compelled to homeschool but still struggle with accepting the sacrifice it requires of me. I want to make beautiful things, but I have no idea what form that will take in the long run. And mostly, I want to be okay with all of this. I want to accept this okay but not-okay paradox. I want to say "I trust you God" with all the ways my life is right now, yet still find the heart to strive to be all that I can for His kingdom, even if it's a far less glorious role than I'd pick for myself.

People often say that if you would still write even if no one read it, then you should keep on writing, but I'm not sure I can do that. I do write for myself for sure, but I write because I want to share things. Things about myself (yep, owning my own desires here), but mostly things about life, about how God is in all and uses it all. I want to grab your face and give you a good shake and wake you up the world around you. I need someone to do this for me too! I want to be a part of the lives of the people around me, a person who points them to God no matter what storms surround me.

As I've been thinking a lot about what keeps me going, about what God says should keep me going, I wonder what keeps everyone else going. What gets you out of bed? What keeps you on-track when what lies ahead feels boring, hard, or even impossible? How do you approach the long season of work that comes with little to show in the here and now?

I will come back soon and share some of my answers, but I really want to hear from you. What keeps you going?

We must all keep going. So in case you have been wondering what I've been doing and if I've given up on writing, you hopefully got at least a partial answer. I'm here, I'm still going, but figuring out what speed I can maintain, figuring out how to shake off every hindrance and keep running the race God has put me in. And mostly, learning to trust that I don't need to know the whole course to keep going with confidence. I just need to know Him.

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