Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For when you've fallen off the bandwagon

I am weary. And I fear I have said those words, and been in this place, far too many times before. Enough times that I already know what you will say, what your responses will be, what I need to do, and grace-especially-for-me.
But I know all of this already, and I'm actually extending grace to myself right now. Right here. By allowing myself to admit defeat. To give up when I need to give up, rather than simply putting my head down and trying harder. Because I haven't found myself unable to write for 31 days straight for a lack of things to say. I have about 17 half-finished, just-started, lightly-organized posts sitting here and there. And I cannot find five minutes alone to pee, let alone thirty or forty-five minutes alone to create/think/write anything at all.

This whole momma-to-two-small-children thing? It's hard. And busy. And honestly a little bit soul-sucking; particularly for this introvert who writes-to-process, yet finds herself both always and never alone. Entangled in the kind of lonely that feels dangerous rather than lovely. Because there exists an alone I treasure. An alone that involves a quiet house and a cup of coffee, candles lit and book open. This, my friends, is not the kind of alone we find in abundance around here.

So I'm not angry at myself for not writing for 31 days. I don't have much of a problem admitting that kind of defeat. Rather, I am frustrated at a lack of space to listen. A lack of time to hear. A chronic busyness that trickles into every single piece of my life. Until I find myself so busy hurrying to do good things that I forget to actually be a good person and neighbor.

Loving ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors. This is hard and holy work. And it means a consciously brave act of setting my feet on the floor each morning wrapped in the prayer and resolve to allow myself to simply be.

Somehow, this looms far harder to accomplish than it sounds. Because more often than not, I am not so much bravely setting my feet on the ground as I am startling awake to the silent five year old staring at me from beside my bed, or the two year old wailing from his crib that he HAS POOPS.

And even when I have the wherewithal to accomplish this rising from bed with my attitude properly aligned, I find myself quickly crumbling into survival mode again with demands for snacks and breakfast simultaneously, wrestling into school clothes and out the door, knocks and requests for rides-because-we-missed-the-bus, and traffic. Always the traffic.

So the problem, the frustration, becomes how to honor the person God has made me to be (an introvert who desperately needs both rest and alone-time), in the midst of the life and season I have been called into right now (mom to two young children doing inner-city ministry).

Because to-heck with 31days, or writing here at all, if it becomes anything but life-giving. But while it gives life for me to write, I need to find my way here (or to my journal, or wherever I am writing).

I have no answers. No solutions, obviously. Just prayers and hopes. I am open, of course, to suggestions, with the recognition that our lives and our ministry tend to be overwhelmed by crisis-upon-crisis. And saying no and making space looms far harder and more complicated than it appears. Rising earlier? Would be a wonderful idea if I could get in bed before midnight some nights. Perhaps y'all have some magical formula for living without sleep? That might help. 

"Creativity without rest, and creation without renewal, leads to an exhaustion of our inner resources."  - Newell, The Book of Creation

5 comments:

  1. I feel like a broken record too. It's nice to have some company. xoxoxo

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  2. Hi! Just found your blog a few days ago... I love your words and your photography! I'm just coming off of a "blog break" that became a little more "extended" than I planned. But I've found in all my stuff I do (photography, blogging, reading, crafting) that taking a break is good sometimes. So don't feel bad for taking a break! This season of life is tough! I try to remember it's only a season... which is good and bad. Good in that it won't last long, bad in that it won't last long! My boys will only be this age for a short time... I have to remind myself to be OK with only focusing on them sometimes! You're doing great!

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  3. Oh my. I could just sign my name to this, it so accurately describes life for me right now. My kids are young (2 &1) like yours and my soul longs for quiet space. My mornings are always a struggle, waking up to the same 2-year-old with poops thing you're dealing with! I wish I had an answer or words of encouragement for you, but all I have to offer is YOU ARE SO NOT ALONE!! Thanks for your openness. It's so good to know I'm not unique in my struggles!

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  4. So sorry, friend. I love your honesty as hard as it is to say/write. Wish I could give you a hug and have coffee and obscene amounts of cake. xo!

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  5. I have to tell myself that sometimes survival isn't always pretty; that it doesn't always feel good. These days of raising two small young people are draining and hard. They just ARE.

    Somehow reminding myself of that takes some of the sting of what I feel are my downfalls day after day after day.

    Much love, Becca. Your soul is a beautiful one.

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