Imperfect Transitions

When I begin a journey, I have a clear picture in my mind of the destination. Sometimes this is a strength, and other times, it’s a weakness. Driving home from my parents house always approaches its end with a clear view of the foothills of the Appalachian mountains right before we exit the interstate and ends with another view of my beloved foothills as we turn into our neighborhood. I feel a sense of home when I see the mountains that watched over my journey into adulthood. When I plan out a project, I have a clear picture of the end product and often get frustrated when what I produce is less than Pinterest perfect, which is most of the time.

When I started writing this blog, I had delusions of grandeur of a book contract within six months of my first published post. The Lord has chiseled away at my imagined perfect endings over the past several years, regularly redirecting me to being present and grateful in the process instead of in the end product. More than two years ago, this blog provided an outlet to process my grief after losing my daughter Cora. Grief is a funny thing; it stays part of the very fiber of your being but eventually, it blends into who you are and doesn’t remain a healthy thing on which to focus. Over the last year and a half, I haven’t been able to share or process “out loud” for all to see. Processing things in private has been a gift to me. Grief informs my motherhood, but my son’s life isn’t about the short life of his older sister. The Lord certainly has a mighty purpose for His life, and I can’t wait to see how He moves in Littleman’s life.

My life has kept moving at an almost blistering and simultaneously slow pace since I stopped writing regularly. We walked through a healthy pregnancy closely monitored by the best medical team I could ask for, we welcomed a Littleman into our family and have started the lifelong process of parenting a baby that we get to know, and Husbandman finished his masters degree. (GLORY, HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD. Let’s not do that again.) All “big” things that take forever until all of a sudden, they’re done. I play ukulele now, sort of. More importantly, the Lord has been growing my desire to study His word and speak hope rooted in truth into other people’s lives.

I want to write again, through a new lens. As I told Husbandman the other day, the lens through which I want to write is still being incubated and sharpened. It’s too new and squishy to tell the world about yet, but I’ll share soon. While it incubates, I’m going to keep working on my PowerSheets for 2018. (More info on them here. They’re the bomb. You should do them.) If you’re in a goal-setting sort of mood too, listen to the Goal Digger Podcast interview with the creator of PowerSheets, Lara Casey.

I can’t wait to see where this process takes us, friends. I’m glad to be back. 

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A New Year

On December 31, 2013, Husband-Man fell asleep while we watched the Lion King. We had planned on going to a friend’s house to ring in the new year, but his stomach hurt so we stayed home. That stomach ache turned into months of pain, weight loss, visits to doctor’s offices, and eventually a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis. It heralded high medical bills, sleepless nights, and a year of waiting for changes and developments.

On December 31, 2014, Husband-Man and I watched four hours of Crocodile Dundee, ate pizza, and went to be early. As we lay in bed before falling asleep, we talked through this unexpected year that stretched us farther than we could ever have imagined, we talked about our hopes and dreams for the new year. We have big plans, and we’re looking forward to another year together of learning how God uses our rough spots to continue to point us to Him.

I am thrilled to see 2014 come to a close, but as we prayed last night and this morning and thanked God for our blessings that sprang to mind easily, I couldn’t help but think about the blessings that hurt the most. We thanked God not because of what we have, but because of who He is. We thanked Him not for what makes us feel comfortable, but that which makes us draw closer to Him. I praise God that we had the year that we had. We often comfort ourselves with Philippians 4:13, but often fail to take the verse in full context. In Philippians 4:10-13, Paul says:

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

The hopes that I held in my heart for 2014 we not all met. In fact, most of them were answered with “wait”. Most of 2014 found us in great need of the Lord, and we were able to walk though the experience because God gave us the strength. God is good. God provides every day, and blessed my little family by leading us through pain and uncertainty. As you plan for 2015, know that God sees the plans that you hold dearly in your heart. And He loves you so much that He won’t give you everything that you want.

Happy New Year, everyone. May you be blessed by drawing nearer to God is all situations. 

Just Enjoy

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

Day 31

It’s the last day of October! I can’t believe that this day has come. It’s been such a fun month of making new friends, learning about writing regularly, and growing in a community I didn’t know about.

So, as we come to the close on this Halloween Day, it’s time for one more #write31days confession.

I don’t understand my husband. He’s an alien that lives in my house. He eats strange things, falls asleep like it’s his job, and has a strange way of focusing on only one thing at a time. Often, when we’re snuggled on the couch or in bed, I look at him as ask him what he’s thinking.

And he looks at me and tells me, “I’m just enjoying.”

This used to drive me crazy. How could he not be thinking? How can he just be 100% here? It makes zero sense to me. How is his mind not working?

This process of working through our year of waiting has made me reconsider how crazy I think he is. I want to “just enjoy”. I want to be 100% here, in this moment, very happy to have accomplished the goal of writing thirty one days, but even happier that God has used this process to bring new friends into my life and to help me grow with Him.

So, let’s “just enjoy” together. What are you “just enjoying” right now?

Thank you for waiting with me.