If anyone has been wondering about my silence through the weekend, I have found myself honestly in sort of a writing slump trying to figure out how to share and what to write. I also found myself fitting in goodbye parties, time with friends, time spent talking with family long distance, and time with my husband before seeing him off for a month long trip for work. So all that to say, the blogging kept getting delayed. Either I sat down and didn’t know what to write, or something came up that I had to prioritize and thus put it aside.
Then I found myself fretting over the fact that I got behind in my posting schedule, and I start worrying that my lack of consistency will affect my readers and attracting new ones. Then I berate myself for caring so much about “the success” of my blog, and building it, and forgetting why I started this in the first place and why I am writing.
The truth is, I am far more imperfect and insecure than I ever want to admit to. I hate myself for procrastinating and often willfully overlook the deeper emotions that I am running scared from that lie just beneath the easy choice to put something off.
What I found though, is throughout the week there were several people out there writing just the encouragement I needed to hear.
Do you ever find yourself having one of those days or those weeks, where no matter how much you try to remind yourself of the truth or to cheer yourself up — the fears and the doubts seem so much greater?
This has definitely been one of those weeks for me.
So I would like to take this time to share what spoke to me this past week, oftentimes just when I needed to find it.
Thoughts Worth Reading:
I don’t always tell you about the mornings I wake up and feel the absence of God as though it were a presence—thick and certain, remembered all over again the way you remember in the morning that someone you love has died. – Rachel Held Evans
This post captured me when I read it a few days ago. Rachel, yet again, put into words what I question and struggle with often on a daily basis. Beginning to write, in some ways has only made that voice louder, as now that the fact that I am struggling is out there for the world to see I question all the more, whether I will ever figure it all out. Probably not. My certainty-loving self, is dying a very-hard death.
I don’t really know what to make of the “wilderness.” I’m a bit discouraged by it, to be honest, worn down by all this wandering. – Ben Moberg
Of course this would be the week where all my favorite bloggers, write on exactly the issues I am struggling with. This wilderness season has gotten long, and I often wonder if I will ever find myself outside of it. Thank you Ben, for reminding me yet again that I am not alone.
I have a hard time letting go, too. I’m convinced that if I just work harder and longer–then the desired results will happen. If I just deny myself a little more, if I just try a little harder… Here’s the thing, though: the outcome is entirely out of my control. I can do my part. I can work. I can try. But the way things work out is not up to me. – Elizabeth Esther
I read this post last night on my way to bed. It was one of those posts where you read it and feel like it was written just for you. I am waiting on some decisions to be made currently that will greatly affect the rest of my plans for the year, and the waiting is KILLING Me. As much as I want to just know or try to control the outcome of these decisions, it is completely out of my hands. Elizabeth, brought tears to my eyes as she spoke wisdom to my soul to remember that it is not up to me.
I’m no poster child for the modern superwoman. I’m still a flawed, multitasking superwoman wannabe who will put the oxygen masks on others before putting one on myself. All I can do is to remember to breathe and sit in stillness every so often. ~ Amy Pang
Yet another post I have found reminding me of this Summer’s Mantra — Be still, rest, and wait. This is a hard lesson for me to learn.
The only requirement of an artist is this: You must try to love and forgive yourself completely before you create. If you are ashamed of any part of yourself, you will hide the one thing from us we most need to see. If you keep from us the dirty gold, there will be no in-between moment for us. And the in-between moment is everything. – Glennon Doyle Melton
I love Glennon. She is yet another favorite author I follow diligently, and she too always knows what to write and say just when I need to hear it. Doubting my ability to write anything worth reading has been quite the struggle this past week, so I really appreciated such a beautiful reminder.
There are greater pursuits available to us than excess. But they can be difficult to discover when all our energies are being directed at the wrong things. Admire success. But do not praise excess. Our society is longing for people who can tell the difference. – Joshua Becker
This blog is one I enjoy following because it continually challenges my ideas of what success and happiness and comfort truly look like. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have, where I am, and who loves me rather than waste my time taking it all for granted and searching to find perfection. How often do I do this? It is such a struggle to get caught up listening to those voices screaming at me — You are not enough, you need more to be happy, you need to be stronger in your faith, you need to be better at this or that, if you only get this or that then these problems and fears will somehow become lesser, etc. Voices and Lies that only get louder and louder the more I listen to them.
Voices Worth Amplifying:
Everyone is pushing the Love agenda but not enough of us are practicing it. Love means listening more and yelling less. Love means pausing long enough to consider another perspective. Love means making an effort to get to know someone from a dissimilar background. Love means taking risks and stepping outside of what’s comfortable. Love means being willing to face criticism for ceding an inch to the other side. – Rob Snyder
This article speaks volumes, as it reminded me of how important it is to engage in discussion over these controversial issues with respect, love, and understanding versus from a place of pride or assumption. I have done this all too often, and so I greatly appreciated the reminder.
I’m as sick as everyone else of talking about this guy. Believe me. But it makes me even more sick to consider what will happen if we don’t, if his leadership goes unchallenged and he continues to hurt people with his teachings. This is not some obscure pastor with no platform. He’s not a random internet troller who is best left ignored. This is one of the most powerful and influential pastors in evangelical Christianity. – Rachel Held Evans
This post just came out, and it left me with my mouth open and eyes wide in sheer disbelief and horror. I too have been among the many Christians who blindly listened and followed Driscoll’s teachings, both in reading his Real Marriage book, working through the sermon series, and working my way through several others. At first, I didn’t think to question much as it all sounded really similar to what I grew up with — but the more I listened and the longer I listened, I slowly began to realize and question. I now question why I didn’t realize sooner. I can not comprehend this kind of hatred and ugliness, whether it is coming blatantly from a man several years ago who was still a pastor at that time or whether it lies deep beneath beliefs still promoted by him today — even if they are packaged a little nicer.
Different Choices — Not a Betrayal
I didn’t sign up for this. I never asked for my choices to be judged against those of my parents—or for my choices to be seen as an indictment of my parents’ choices. I feel like I was thrust into this position with no say in the matter. – Libby Anne
Libby Anne put words to struggles I find myself debating and agonizing over in my head often. While I am grateful, I share a relationship with my parents that allows me to be honest with them — it isn’t always easy. It never is for any of us. We talk, we cry, we listen, we share, and its a growing process. I am beyond fortunate that they are so adamantly supportive and loving in spite of how difficult it is on all of us sometimes. However, I completely identify with Libby in experiencing the common pressure and expectations from friends and strangers alike that my life and my decisions will somehow match or must match those of my parents, and when they don’t it is taken as some defacto betrayal or judgment because it is different. This is so hard for me, as that is exactly what I never want it to be — and why for so long I just hid how I felt because I never wanted it to be taken that way. And yet hiding away meant suffocating and cowering in fear.
Leaving Home: Escaping the Stay-At-Home-Daughter Movement
For most of my life I was utterly convinced that staying at home was what I wanted, a personal conviction that I had. It took me six years and two degrees in order for me to fully realize that it wasn’t something I ever would have chosen for myself if I’d been truly allowed to consider any other option. – Samantha Field
I loved reading Samantha’s story as I find traces of my own journey throughout it. I know what it was like to carry those convictions wholeheartedly, only to go through years of a process where you realize that what you believed in was more the only choice you knew to adopt and great ignorance to the painful limitations it included. While I am very grateful I am where and who I am today, I hope by sharing stories such as these that some young girl out there will know there is so much more, if you just give yourself a chance to discover it.
When Who You Are Challenges the Status Quo
But you know… I just couldn’t do it. The enormous amount of energy required to push and pull all the odd bits of my personality so I fit in just didn’t ring true for me. I watched, first up close and personal, and then gradually at more of a distance, as many of my peers turned mental and emotional somersaults to belong to the In Crowd. It just seemed to me to take too much away from them. In that context, belonging took more than it gave. – Bev Murril
Bev’s experiences within the church and reducing herself to fit into a mold, and fit in to the “In-Crowd” are hauntingly familiar. That life is what I lived for years, and it was exhausting. It has been even more painful to find myself on the outside and see just how little I thought of myself and how far I was willing to reduce myself too.
My Voice Sharing:
I never used to be or feel uncertain about anything in regards to faith.
Now I am uncertain about more than I am not.
I used to consider my Faith, whole and complete, built on a firm foundation.
Now I see it in broken pieces and shifting sands.
I need Feminism because I have found women among its ranks that made room for me, even when I hated and judged them. Even with a history of women reacting out of hurt and anger and retaliating against men and other women, the movement has still found a way to give women like me space to learn.
This week, I would love some community.
- What is on your heart?
- What have you been writing about or struggling through?
- What voices in your head or your past are you fighting off?
Maybe if we all come together and share, we can find a way to fight them together.