You may have noticed (although I understand if you haven’t!) that it’s been quiet around these parts recently. Life has been busy in a way that I’m not quite sure I understood before now.
I’ve actually been on the road more than I’ve been home (22 days out of the last 6 weeks), and we’ve spent more than 60 hours driving and taken 4 flights so far, with another trip to Florida (this time to help my parents unpack their new home!) again on Friday. Add the days it takes to prepare for those trips and recover from them once we’re home, and to say I’ve been feeling stretched is putting it mildly.
But there’s another reason I haven’t been blogging, and that’s because the things that are occupying my brain and my heart and my time just simply aren’t my stories to share.
I’m pretty much an open book as a blogger. I talk about my struggles and my successes, my fears and my joys, and there are plenty of times I simply ramble as I try to make sense of my own thoughts and feelings.
But I’ve always been careful when I blog about other people: I write a lot about my babies and toddlers, but I always ask my girls’ permission before sharing a story about one of them. For the most part Sean prefers that I don’t talk about him too much on the blog, so I will never be a sex or marriage blogger. And I don’t share stories about other people without first asking them. (I even had my mom read last week’s open letter before I posted it.)
The last six weeks have been very “others” focused for us. There’s been a lot of heartache, a lot of prayer, a lot of listening. (And a lot of joy in the midst of that too!) I recently said that life has been relentless; it’s been one big thing after another, and any time we’re tempted to relax or get comfortable, another curve ball comes our way.
And, honestly, it’s been hard for me to carry all of that around without a way to process it in writing. For whatever reason, I’ve never been much of a journaler in the traditional sense (or at least not since middle school), and it’s not something I’ve been able to pick back up as an adult. But I have come to rely on the writing process here on the blog to help me clarify my thoughts and feelings, so it’s been hard not to be able to do that.
I’m also still working my regular job for Ultimate Bundles in cracks of time…in airports and in the car, after everyone is in bed and whenever the baby is happy enough for me to lay him down for a few minutes.
Between work and a brain and heart that are stuffed full, I just can’t seem to make room to write posts about how our spiral checklists have evolved, what we’re having for dinner, or why I’m going to have to revise this year’s reading goal.
While I can’t share the specifics (or even the generals!) about the things that are occupying my mind and heart these days, here’s what I can share:
1. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say.” I’m so thankful for this bit of wisdom that my mom passed on to me. Instead of hiding from the situations where we’re not sure what to say, it’s 100% okay to simply state that upfront and then listen. Hugs and sitting side by side sharing a meal go a long way, and sometimes silence is better than words anyway.
2. All people really want is to know you’re there. You don’t have to give them advice, make it better, or even fully understand. They want you to look them in the eye and say, “I hear you. And I love you. Not in spite of what you’re sharing, but just because you’re you.”
3. Margin is a good thing, but the margin is there for when life overflows. It’s okay to be intentional about your yeses and liberal with your nos, but sometimes someone you love needs you right now. And saying yes in those cases might take you from a comfortably full life to just-do-the-next-thing. But holding on too tightly to your margin and plans can make you miss out on real relationship and community.
I can’t say for sure when I’m going to get back to a regular posting schedule—hopefully soon! In the meantime, I think this kind of busyness might be the very definition of living wholeheartedly. I won’t be able to keep it up for the longterm, but I’m glad I’m saying yes to the people I love for now.