Chesed

Of Many Things

Which might be a title for, I have no idea where this is going.

I don’t even know where to start or which of the ten bajillion things in my brain I should let spill out, but I’m going to at least dust off this space and try again.

I’ve taken breaks before, but I’m not ever sure it’s been this long.  I lost my mood to write soon after we moved to Maryland and made myself do it now and then just to keep words moving around in my brain.  Now I’m home and the urge is coming back, but I’m needing to do some personal processessing to see if I really want to be vulnerable again.

The internet has changed a lot since the day I start writing.  My first blog was more of a social community and less about writing style or even content.  Kind of like women hanging out over coffee except that we were all hanging out in our homes with a cup of Folgers and talking through our fingers.  These days it feels like mostly the serious bloggers remain.  Either the ones who are talented writers or DIYers or the people who are passionate about social issues or the people who are cu-razy talented bakers or home designers or … you get the picture.  That’s not me.

It’s changed in other ways, too.  Even Facebook seems to have shifted from mostly cute baby pictures and snarky comments about the weather and great cups of coffee to being heavily interspersed with arguments about vaccines and  the refugee crisis.  It’s a bit frightening.  Sometimes those of us who are verbal apparently appear confident and unshakeable because we are “willing to put ourselves out there.”  That must mean we are are made of stainless steel and can be shot at verbally.  That may be true for some people.  It may also just be that some of us are extroverts and process things by talking or writing while other people are introverts and process things by reading and thinking.  So, while I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth and freedom in the last four years, I’m not sure I’m completely ready to live out loud again.  But I’m ready to grow some more and to learn how to respond in kindness instead of cowering.

Oct 16 (144 of 143)

But I’m ready for several reasons.  One, I don’t have time to scrapbook right now.  I love, love, love going back to read our family’s story.  It’s nothing amazing, just normal life.  But as I read I remember so many details I’d have forgotten.  I see the faithfulness of God woven through our story in the mundane and the miraculous.  I remember what it felt like to be that person in that time.  Sometimes I cringe a little, but most of the time I melt inside at the precious gift of life. So even if no one else reads it, I’m going to write again so that I can remember these days.

I’m going to write again because I think storytelling is important.  We learn through story.  I’ve benefited so very, very much from watching other women.  There is negativity online but there is also a strong, positive community.  There are strong women who are wrestling with life in beautiful, varied ways.  Sometimes they make me laugh. Sometimes they show me how.  Sometimes they don’t know the answers and I watch them search and learn and wait.

I’m going to write again because in the same way that the children of Israel were told to set stones as a remembrance, writing is my “altar.”  It’s my way of recording what God is doing so that I don’t forget.  Sometimes you will see it, too.  Sometimes it’s hidden and I only allude to something, but I will remember what God was doing in our lives at the time.  I often called my time in Maryland my #lifeinthewilderness because it really did feel that way.  It felt physically like a wilderness, but it was also a personal emotional and spiritual wilderness.  David and I often felt that it was for a season and that it was preparatory.  We still don’t know for what, but I learned so, so much inside my soul in those four years and four months.

I’m going to write because sometimes those social issues like the refugee crisis stir things so deeply in my heart that I feel as though I cannot function unless I talk about them.  So far they’ve been long Facebook posts that get typed out and then deleted instead of published.  Or scrawls on the back of envelopes lying around on the counter because my head feels as though it will explode if I don’t get it out.  As a friend of mine once said, “Silence is not always golden.”

I’m going to blog again because while there is plenty of selfishness left inside of me, I’m getting lost in the shuffle of motherhood.  I’ve always said that our marriages and families benefit when we stay alive as women.  I still believe that.  But it *feels* next to impossible to do anything for me.  These days I’m happy if I get a hot shower.  I’m feeling that urge to just not care.  To let it go.  To lay it all down.  While it’s good and noble to lay down our wants for our families, I think a little tension is actually a good thing.  When it’s easier to not care that I don’t get to do anything for me, then I know I need to carve out some space so I don’t get lost as a person.  We are women.  We are caretakers.  And while we’re taking care of everyone else, we really should take care of ourselves.  I don’t think when God called us to be mothers that He imagined lost personhood as a way to glorify Him.

Oct 16 (17 of 143)b

Well, that’s a little crazy.  I wasn’t planning to talk about any of that.  I logged on trying to decide if I should do a “We’re home” catch up or talk about Bella.  Because I’ve just lived four months of her darling babyhood with barely a scratch on the back of an envelope to show for it.

Maybe I needed this even more than I realized.

18 thoughts on “Of Many Things

  1. Janelle Martin

    Glad to see you’re back. I’m a busy mom with 3 little guys… And many days feel my ‘personhood’ being on the verge of getting lost. A good blog post from another mom is always a day brightener, brain stretching, and so very encouraging.

  2. Deborah

    I’m so glad you’re back. Looking forward to hearing more from you! I so agree with the thought of writing being an altar; a place to set up stones of remembrance. But I confess to being one of those who mostly keeps my scribblings private, even though I love to process and learn from what others share. Though sometimes that feels lopsided… Anyway, I’m always delighted to see you in my inbox!

    1. Michelle Post author

      Don’t feel guilty for scribbling in private! Some of us process better in private and some of us need to do it aloud. There are so many ways to give of ourselves. And there are definitely seasons in our lives when God asks us to be quiet. I think the more important thing is that we share when and how he asks us to share. Whether that’s to a group or to one person in casual conversation. <3

  3. Mardi

    Oh yay! I smile when I get an email with a fresh blog from you!:) I feel inspired reading your words and I to love to reread stuff I wrote later about life, marriage n the kids. I’m currently rereading my old journals from age 15 to current 30 and oh boy, how life has CHANGED!😉 Sometimes I call my sister and we laugh til we can hardly speak and other times I thank God for growth n that I don’t deal with that particular issue any more. God is good! Thanks for writing!

  4. Phebe

    Hey I enjoy following you! Here and on face book. Since I don’t blog…I journal. But I think I understand the vulnerability of public blogging. I do find encouragement from those who do.

  5. Gina

    Welcome back, Michelle! I’ve been thinking of emailing you and BEGGING you to blog again. But I didn’t want to annoy you knowing that you are in that busy stage that words waft out to sea with no chance to grab them before they are gone. But I miss hearing from you. I actually asked Nola the other week how you were doing. I do hope you are adjusting back to VA life. Are you still homeschooling? Please do share baby photos.

    And I’m one who is hoping that the next years hold more writing from you. Don’t you have more book dreams hidden somewhere?
    Gina

    1. Michelle Post author

      Hey, hey! Good to hear from you! We are still homeschooling and I have tons of baby photos to share. :) I don’t know what writing will look like in the future. I’ve kind of learned am learning to stop saying never. 😉 But, I have to say, a book isn’t on my dream list anymore. There are definitely easier ways of writing without all the commitment and inconvenience. 😀

  6. Mim

    Thank you so much for writing. I just had my third child a month ago and I feel like I lost my identity. Thank you for reminding me that I need to take care of myself so I can better take care of my family.

  7. Clarita

    Ooooh, I was nodding my head through nearly your whole post. The whole community that blogging used to be vs. the “Instagram-perfect” style many people do now, the talking out loud on social media vs. the rude debates that I’ve seen now…. Just so much. I am so excited you’re writing again. I’ve love to hear how it’s going for you back in Virginia too!

    1. Michelle Post author

      It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one who is feeling all the feels about this! I wish we could sit and chat about this because I have a feeling you’ve done some wise thinking about it already. I’m excited about writing again and determined to find the discipline to make it happen until the spontaneous want to returns in full. <3

  8. Mary Kuepfer

    Oh Michelle, So good to hear from you again! I missed you so much! Your posts inspire me to a greater journey and walk with the Father!

  9. Melissa

    Thanks for blogging again! I have only started following any blogs in the past year but I have greatly enjoyed yours since I found it. I too am a mom of 4 who has trouble finding time to remember that I am a person, not just a mom!!

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