This may go down in the books as my worst blog post ever, since I’m pretty sure I’m about to ramble and be all over the place, but I wanted to say something in this space. And sometimes this is just how it goes…
In case it’s not obvious, I’m still on what was at first an unintentional (but I liked it so much that I decided to continue with it) break from my photo of the week 2014 project.
Life has been full lately.
It would exhaust both me and you to try list the specifics of everything going on this side of the screen. Some good things, some not as good things. But overall, just full.
Full of uncertainties and unknowns and changes.
Full of just barely hanging on or just hanging in there for one more day.
Full of so many friends hearing less than stellar news (cancer can just go away. can I get an amen?).
Full of blessed moments of fun and celebration and lightness and rest.
It’s been intense and consuming and draining and exhausting.
And it’s required more of me than at times I thought I had to give.
And typically, my response to this sort of fullness would be to process through writing. And naturally, some of that writing would end up here. In this space where I try to intentionally process and download and think through what it looks like to walk out the truth of the Gospel in my everyday life and encourage you to do the same.
But this time?
Part of me has wanted to write, to say something, and sometimes that part of me wins, but the other part of me that’s been winning most of the time lately doesn’t really want to sit down and write at all. I’ve been choosing other things in its place … things like reading, cleaning, organizing, and painting nightstands.
And you know what? It’s been good.
That photo of the week project was (and maybe will be again…) all about learning to see and understand and identify and somehow creatively represent rest. True rest. Soul rest. But as I mentioned briefly before, it was beginning to feel very un-restful. It was beginning to feel like a chore. And when your creative outlet becomes less of a challenge to express something creatively and rather becomes just one more thing that should be done, it’s time to step back.
I’ve already learned so much from more intentionally seeing rest. And as I continue to lean further into this season of intentional rest and as I continue to learn as much as I can about what that really means, I may have more to share. But for now, a couple of themes have repeatedly stood out in my photos: home and nature.
And I don’t think either is a mistake.
As I looked back at this photo that I posted on instagram several weeks ago (a sort of behind-the-scenes of one of my photos of the week), I realized that I hashtagged four words that mean even more to me now than they did then: quiet, simple, creative, rest.
Those words say much about me and the season I’m currently in. And I almost didn’t recognize it.
Sometimes slowing down is a challenge. But I’m grateful for the slow and simple moments. And for the soul space they allow.
And the truth is, I’m feeling a strong pull towards more of those slow and quiet and simple and small moments. And my posting here may continue to be sporadic for a while.
I’m not sure.
But in the fullness of real life, I find myself being ever more careful with my words and my thoughts. And I don’t ever want to force content here just to follow some arbitrary rule of blogging.
So in the midst of the fullness that is this life, I’ve just been hunkering down and holding on and reading a whole heck of a lot.
Because what else do you do when your world quits making sense? Read stories that resolve. Read other stories that don’t. Read novels with happy endings and memoirs with sad ones. And realize that you’re not so alone and most certainly not the only person on the planet.
(Not to mention there’s some really great writing out there!)
There’s a history full of people before you who lived and existed and had lives full of purpose and meaning, but in the middle of their worst days, they didn’t know how to make sense of it all either.
And there’s a future full of bright hope and certainty because there’s eternity with Christ. And likely some more living this side of heaven before we get there that promises to be full of HIS good purposes and plans.
Life is sometimes hard and often full of unknown, but with my head down, I’m still fighting and moving forward.
And I know this fight that’s being renewed and swelling within me isn’t me at all. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit in me and it’s the power of prayer at work.
Because if it had been up to me, I would have quit fighting for light and truth in the murky darkness weeks ago.
But by HIS grace and power and strength within me, I’m still here.
And it is only by the power of the Spirit in me that I keep walking. That I don’t give up, that I don’t give in.
And just to be perfectly clear. This is what was promised. Not that life would be easy, but that those of us who have new life in Christ would never be alone and would never be without hope. And that’s real life.