There are about a million things I could be/should be doing. There are dishes to wash, laundry to fold, tubs to scrub. And Canon and Christian are in some kind of “who can jump the furthest off the chair” competition. Scratch that – in between the last sentence and this one, 2-year-old, supposed to be potty trained, Christian, made the conscious decision to not use the potty. And when I came back from cleaning that mess, the baby monitor battery died and by the time I find the charger, Elena Joy will likely be waking up from her nap…
And right up there is where Christian Miles just added his input to this page and Canon Joel wants me to fix his wristwatch and he is leaning his head over the computer now. What was I even sitting down to write about? Do I really have any business attempting to write at this season of life?
That’s the big question I keep coming back to. “You’re a writer.” I’ve been told my whole life, as long as I can remember. But I’m just not sure if now is the time to go for it. Yes, I know – I’m writing right now. But look at it. The mess on the page is rivaled by the mess in every corner of my house. I want to excel. As a mother. As a wife. As a writer. How can I do more than one thing and do it well?
Here we are on the second day of a new year. Last year was big for us. In May, after much prayer, Micah purchased his own business and made the bittersweet decision not to enter into what would have been his 6th year as a teacher. In August, sweet Elena Joy was born, making us a family of 5 with three children, 5 and under.
Canon Joel, Christian Miles, and Elena Joy. They are the inner circle of our lives, with God at the center. Everything revolves around the center. Kids, Family, Church, Household, Business, Friends, etc. Floating somewhere out there in the space of our lives are all of the words that I wish I could pull to the page everyday by some gravitational force. But to sit down and actually take the time to write? I feel like I’m cheating someone or something else out of its priority. But I want to think about this coming year. I want to take a moment to access my heart and hopes for 2018. In a year from now do I want to be sitting in front of a blinking cursor wondering if this will be the year that I find my purpose as a writer?
I LOVE motherhood. I love doing everything I can to make sure my babies know that they are loved. I love showing them the lessons that each day can bring. Helping them find truth and joy. I love cuddling and singing songs. I love reading books, coloring, and painting. I love hearing Canon Joel talk about loving others and what that means to him. I love watching the moment that he grasps a concept and knowing that it will forever contribute to his perception of the world. I love the untamable wildness of Christian’s passion. I love the pure joy of Elena’s smile.
I LOVE being a wife. I was just thinking yesterday about Micah and the conversations we have. I was thinking how amazingly blessed we are that God put us together because I don’t believe that there is anyone else in the world who I could dive to such conversational depths with, being tethered by a rope of absolute silliness to bounce us back to the clouds when we hit the bottom. Give us a quiet porch and an endless supply of coffee and we would be as happy as a couple on vacation.
I LOVE writing. I love the discovery – that moment when you are writing and the question comes, “Now what exactly am I getting at here?” You start to feel nervous, you think about retreat. You could hit that backspace all the way to a blank page. But you keep digging instead and suddenly whatever it is that you’re trying to uncover becomes clear and there’s a beautiful moment. I think it’s a taste of something eternal. It makes me think about when Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like finding a treasure hidden in a field.” To me, writing is a taste of the kingdom.
So what holds me back? In truth? I can’t say that it’s time because, although it has literally taken over the course of a day to get little more than a page, here I am digging away with every spare moment.
I am not a perfectionist – not by any means. But I do fear imperfection. So what has that made me? I suppose, in many ways, it has made me a coward. Dig a little deeper and you will see that very first sin that is the foundation for all loss – the re-occurring fork in the road at which we part from the highest and best that God has for us – pride. Ultimately, it’s always pride that is separating us from the good that God has. And if I’m honest, it is pride that freezes my fingers at the keyboard of my computer and it’s pride that would keep me from the journey of discovery on which God is bidding me to embark. It’s pride that would halt at that sentence and refuse to take one more step. You see, God wants us to discover something beautiful. He has hidden treasures for us – kingdom treasures and we each in our own way have a journey of discovering – discovering who we are in His eyes. The best thing we can do for ourselves and the world around us is to become who God sees when He looks at us. Writing is one of my tools of discovery.
So I don’t know what exactly to call this. Going against every advice in the “blogging world” of knowing exactly who your audience is and
knowing exactly what it is you’re trying to say, here I am, stepping out the door and “there’s no knowing where I might be swept off to.” In our journeys we often feel very alone. But I don’t believe any of us will fully know in this lifetime who and what the journey was for. It’s just important that we go.
Today I was a good mom. I stopped – often- and played with my children. We built train tracks, we sang songs, we painted and sat down together for lunch. I was a good wife. I had coffee and quiet time with my husband. We laughed and talked and the night is still young.
Dinner will be served, the house will be clean enough and there will be more moments for play and bedtime stories and rocking to sleep.
And was I a good writer?
I don’t know. But I was a good adventurer. It took me all day to arrive but here is where I will stop for the night. It is not about perfection. It is about discovery. And I think what I’ve discovered today is that I can’t not be a writer any more than I could not be a mom or a wife or a daughter. It is part of who I am. It is part of how He sees me. So I won’t fear the imperfection any longer. We have these days for the journey. We have eternity for perfection.