The End + Beginning of Writing Freely

end beginning writing freelyI started the month wanting to write freely. I had been chained by doubts, by the editor’s voice in my head, by my laziness and lack of discipline. I had been afraid of what others would say and if I was falling behind in the race to grow my influence. It was exhausting, it made me feel inadequate, and enough was enough.

The 31 Days challenge taught me more about writing and myself, and what I gained most from it wasn’t through focused effort on each post. It was through the process of writing often, of writing without the need to please that I learned to write freely. In a way, this challenge was the best kind of teacher- not giving me answers straight away but allowing the journey to bring me to these epiphanies.

  • I learned that talking and writing about my fears and doubts don’t help. Instead, sitting at the computer, staring at the blank screen, sitting in the discomfort of having to do the thing I’m avoiding, and actually writing is what will get me out of the funk, out of the rut. Just write.
  • I learned that I’m a writer so I have to write. Not the other way around. It’s how I’m wired, how I was created, and if I don’t write, I’m not well.
  • I don’t need ears to hear for me to write. It’s wonderful to have influence, and I love it when people connect with my words, but even if no one were to listen, even if no one were to read, I can and still need to write because it’s how I’m meant to display His glory.
  • I can have the discipline and endurance to write often if I choose to do so. I only wrote 17 out of the 31 days, but I hope to work out better writing rhythms if I keep moving forward.

The challenge ends today, but I’m only at the beginning of writing freely. There is surely more to come.

*All posts from this series have been archived here.*

It’s Almost Christmastime

almost christmastimeMy fingertips are cracked. The weather is cooling, and winter is coming.

The gloom.
The wait.
The ache.
The longing.

I wonder about the Israelites looking for their Messiah, wondering who it would be and if it would happen in their lifetime. I wonder how they felt in exile and what it must’ve been like to be one of those who returned. Does God still mean what He said to us long ago? Do His promises still hold? Is He with us now as He was then? 

I wonder about the heaviness of the silence before the Baby was born- how the older generation mourned the olden days while the younger generation couldn’t even imagine what it had been like, and no one could have imagined what life would be like with the coming Savior.

I wonder what it was like to be Mary, to hold the Promise in her womb, and to be the one who brought Him into this world.

The Light.
The Joy.
The Love.
The Hope.

It’s almost Christmastime, and I wonder how many of us are in the gloom, in the wait, in the ache. I wonder how many of us are hoping for new life and light, how many of us are longing to be saved out of our pits, out of our ruts, out of the loneliness that sits heavy in our hearts.

It’s almost Christmastime, but really, it’s already here. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicesHe has come. He is with us now. Take heart, dear friends. He is Immanuel, and He is coming again soon.

It Does Get Easier

it does get easierAutumn has her animal friends tucked in with her, and Peter has his thumb in his mouth. Everyone is snuggled under their muslin blankets, and I hope against hope they’ll fall asleep soon. Sooner than later please. I close the door, let my shoulders droop with relief- we made it.

I keep hearing my friend’s voice in my head- It does get easier. Promise. She texted it to me over the weekend, and I don’t know what convinced me, but for the first time I started to believe it could be true. Maybe it’s because she has four of her own or because the toddler years were hard for her too, but her text felt as though she were reaching across the table, squeezing my hand, and telling me she gets it. She’s been there. She’s known the unseen hardships, she’s made it out alive, and now she’s telling me that I will too.

But some days it’s hard to believe I’ll make it- not through toddlerhood but through the day. When both kids are teething and the whining and needing are incessant, it doesn’t feel like I’ll make it. When they have to sit close and nestle into my body after they’ve already climbed all over me, when both are screaming so loudly and at a pitch so high my eardrums hurt, it doesn’t feel like I’ll make it. The clock seems to be mocking me, the hours feel twice as long, and I wish someone would come watch the kids so I can just take a nap.

But then there are those magical moments when sibling love reigns and my heart fills to the brim. Or when browsing through old photos makes me mourn over how much they’ve grown. My heart aches for time to stop. I want them to be little forever, to fit in my arms forever. I wish I could bottle up that ache and feel it every time I think I won’t make it through the day. I want to remember how inconsiderate time really is and treasure these years when they need me and want me to be with them.

At the end of our text, my friend wrote this-

Know you will get time to yourself to do what you want- it may not be right now, but it will come and you will wish you had those distractions that come from your littles wanting you to be with them. 

I get what she’s saying. It may not be easy now, but this, right now, is brief. It will pass sooner than I think, and it will get easier.