Rising from the Ashes
Updated: May 16
The dirt on the marker tells a story.
We'd been outside making art and at some point, my child buried them in the dirt like a dog buries a bone. I'm not sure how long they were there for.
Recalling the retrieval of them, I laughed as we pulled each from the pencil pouch. Gripped with dust and dirt clumps, we made our new schedules a week into being sequestered.
The days stretched long. The ones we'd prayed for because we wanted to slow down, to experience more of lessness.
Night bumped into day, bumped into night; a new rhythm forged over a grueling month of juggling wonky sleep schedules, extra lunches, and wondering how far to inform our kids when peace was always the main goal.
Though there were days we did not hold strictly to the new routines because any new thing is learned in increments, it was a good base to see hanging on the wall, reminding us it was not in fact, one uber-long day holding no accountability.
I, on the other hand, flopped and floundered after turning in book four's manuscript to the editor. I was dandy during writing days but when it came to an end, the common denominator of all book endings found me:
"She's come to The End and must break and celebrate because that's what good people do."
I love a good break as much as the next human but along with it ushers in a dose of familiar amnesia. It sneaks in after a few days because I forget I must schedule an ending to the break.
I think I will remember to start again, and even when I do, imposter syndrome whispers, "You are hilarious, you know that? Throw in the towel and find a different way to spend your time."
But I don't want to and God knows I've tried--and it didn't feel right. So maybe I'll pull a Jon Acuff and "...turned in the book and the day after started on the next one."
Or maybe I'll finally remember to schedule an end date to the break, and a specific start date on the next. I've tried it before and failed miserably, always letting the next urgent thing speak into my life, sabotaging what I already know I'm to do.
Living on whims, whether breaking or working, hasn't been fruitful. When I see fruit, it's from slow and steady work, incorporating rhythms of rest every single day.
I want and need and am getting free from year's worth of stacked up lies preventing me from moving forward; from keeping momentum without large periods of staggering around in the dark, in between.
As I sit here eating strawberries with the heat blowing on my feet, I have come to the conclusion we tell ourselves false stories because deep down, we think everyone else is doing it better.
We think no one else could possibly have the kind of baggage we're toting around.
So we hide and get in funks and prevent ourselves from growing.
But we all have weak spots we're working on.
We all have some form of baggage we're learning to let go of.
We're all shedding old wineskins.
We're all stepping into new territory in some way or another, or have been in the secret, quiet spaces, free of the limelight.
And maybe life won't look how it did before.
Maybe God's asking us to go out on a limb this time, and we're scared we'll have to build new friendships, new routines, new budgets, and climb new mountains.
And we probably will.
But he'll go with us.
Let's do life how we were created to.
It's going to look different for each of us just like our family's lifestyle will look different from yours, and yours from someone else's.
And that's quite alright.