While the writer’s chair sat abandoned, the walls reverberated with silence, and the carpel-tunnel syndrome rested blissfully unprovoked, this distressed Momma’s heart propped its proverbial feet up on the desk and sighed a prayer of relief:
- Thank you for the fracture from Facebook frenzy
- Thank you for the pause of every word pleading perfection
- Thank you for the space between posts summoning ever-soaring statistics
- Thank you for rest from my interest in search engine optimization, reader comments, and view counts.
Although blogging and writing fed my inner Mark Twain, the statistics of my writing “success” and the online approval of my peers threatened to overshadow a previously agreed-upon hobby – mainly raising the four children sitting at my.own.kitchen.table! I had to ask the question. “Was it time to stop?”
Emily Freeman authors several websites including my recent fave: Hope Writers.com. It’s a community of people who write about hope and who value encouragement and practical advice about writing as craft, a business, and a calling. Recently she shared these words:
Your world – your family, your friends, your neighbors – need you to be fully yourself. And if writing helps you to become more fully yourself, then that’s what you need to do.
She was encouraging the fledgling writer to embrace her title, spread her wings, and fearlessly hurl her writing into the precarious winds of exposed prose. For your family, your friends, your neighbors, they NEED YOU to be more fully alive! And they do.
But as I read her words, I heard an entirely altered message.
Your world – your family, your friends, your neighbors – need you to be fully yourself. And if resting from writing helps you to become more fully yourself, then that’s what you need to do.
For two months shy of a year, I’ve heeded this call to be more fully myself. I’ve gotten out of the writer’s chair and into the life that swirls about me. I’ve escaped my writer’s escape and instead, burrowed into the minds and hearts of the four little souls who threaten to grow up in the time it takes me to wash the dishes. I rested from writing, hoping to become more fully myself, and in the resting I found a few precious treasures:
- An invitation into my 8-yr old’s Marvel character LEGO world, complete with self-destructing buildings, teams of supernatural heroes, and untold unnatural disasters (aka. flying sneakers, Nerf gun attacks, and mighty fists of annihilation.)
- A gap through the cracks and corners of the 9-yr old’s private, yet glass-encased world. The middle child screaming from behind the sound barrier of two older siblings. The little one needing so much more of me than I realized, or cared to admit.
- A trail of bread crumbs behind the trekker: my 11-yr old, nearly-as-tall-as-mom little girl foraging a new trail, yet pleading for someone to follow along. The used-to-wear-pink-bows-and-smocked-dresses pre-teenager turned jeans-and-grey-or-navy t-shirt wearer just praying for someone to share her awkwardness and hold her close when those darn pink bows threatened to accessorize her wardrobe again.
- And a 13-yr old man-child reeling from the hurricane of irrational hormones. I found him looking for rest too: a tent of refuge from the tempest, an asylum from the squall, a safe place to ride out storm.
Now this world, this family, needed me to be more fully myself. They needed me to be less frantic to fix whatever problem gets shoved in my face, less rushed to get back to the to-do list in my mind, and more fully available to play LEGOs, unlock glass doors, pursue mountain trekkers, and protect the hurricane runner. And if resting from writing helped me to become more fully myself, then that’s what I needed to do.
Until today I thought I was writing my “adieu” post to the blog-o-sphere. I thought I was sitting in the writer’s chair one last time to say, “Online world promising approval ratings and platform development, you’ve stolen my heart, and my family needs it back!”
But in true God fashion, my plans have not become His plans. And my thoughts about writing have not become His thoughts about writing. Despite winning my wrestling match with rest, He’s called me to write again. This time, it’s a book proposal.
I tried to talk Him out of it. Really, I did. I told Him of all the ways this was outrageous, unreasonable, irrational, implausible, unaffordable! I stomped my feet, dug in my heels, and even channeled my inner toddler. I was a tear-streaming, breath-catching, tantrum-throwing mess. (My inner toddler doesn’t play well with others, especially with my inner Mark Twain.) But in the end, I sit here – in the writer’s chair. Ready to begin the adventure to become more fully myself, once again.
Might I Pray for Us?
Dear Jesus, You are always in the business of helping us become more fully ourselves. More fully alive in Christ. More fully representative of You and Your Truth in us. Thank you for giving us rest when that makes us more fully alive. Thank you for calling us out into the world when it’s time to get up from the rest. Thank you for never leaving us, never forsaking us, never giving up on us. We need You on this adventure. Please hold us up when the world threatens to press us down. Please give us courage to breathe in more fully, exhale out more fully, and enjoy the living more abundantly. You are so good to us. Amen.