A Postcard from the Muck

  
I dont think I’ve ever sat down to write a more difficult post. Or a more necessary one.
There will be no fancy formatting, no pretty pictures, and no perfecty designed pinnable graphic with a carefully selected quote from the writing. Just words, in their truest and most naked form, slowly trickling from my keyboard and taking their places is neat rows across the screen. I feel a bit like a singer who tells the band to put down their instruments and steps up to the mic with a single guitar.

I’ve missed you dear readers. Its been a long summer that somehow bled over into the fall and made it harder and harder to get back to business the longer I was away. In the beginning it started as Aidan finishin out Kindergarten and coming home for the summer. And for all the ways he has so dramatically grown and thrived this first year here (and I promise, I have an entire post coming down the pipeline dedicated solely to an Aidan update,) it had also grown really clear he desperately needed some hands on love and attention this summer. And so I stepped quietly back from the keys, temporarily let go of the thing I worked so hard to build, and trusted that God would reward the choice to put my most important job first for awhile.

It was a beautiful summer and Aidan is absolutely better off for that choice. But somehow in the crevices of my mind the lie started to creep in: you’ve lost your blog. You worked so hard and now you’ve burned out and fizzled into nothing. Your readers have all lost interest and left. You wrecked it.

Little by little the lie took root and the anxieties grew. It became a more and more difficult task to sit down and face that stark white page with nothing but a blinking cursor waiting for me to say something, anything at all. Even if I could manage to type some words, the reality of the editing, and the formatting, and designing graphics, and social media cross promotion – all the “shoulds” of a strong professional blog – it was overwhelming. The longer it went on, the more difficult a return became.

And then came the BIG curveballs.

Major flares of my health conditions. A schedule packed with meetings for Aidans IEP and other educational needs. Kidney stones. A double kidney infection. All sort of reasons to excuse myself from my calling and retreat to the couch defeated.

So there I lay, on that couch, right in the thick of the muck. And nobody wants to hear from somebody in the muck. No, we want a recovery story! We want our bright and shiny heroine to return from her struggle and tell us all about how it was and about the glory of it defeat. So I kept waiting for the victory to come, so I could be worthy to sit in front of these keys and speak to you once again, all bright and shiny and new and full of wisdom and DIY tutorials.

But the hits kept coming. And the muck kept stinking.

And somehow the calling kept aching. That part of my soul that says “Child of God I created you a storyteller. I formed you in your mothers womb with a purpose, and that purpose calls you to write, and speak, and share. You are a truthteller, no matter what other design you may try on or attempt to squeeze into or hide behind or even convince yourself you’re trapped under. You are still, at your core, what I created you to be. And you can’t run from that.”

So, dear readers, this is my postcard to you. Greetings from the muck. I’m here, not shiny, not new, and not entirely sure of how this season of life will play out. But Immeasurably More is still true: He still gives good and perfect gifts, Immeasurably More than whatever I could ask for or even imagine in the first place, even if its hard to see laying on this couch surround by perscription bottles and discarded piles of plans and “should haves.”

But there’s one thing I no longer keep on this couch with me: the lie that it would be better to share nothing than to share anything less than I’ve come to expect of these posts. That lie has been thrown right out into the trash. That lie has been carried all the way to the dump and incinerated. 

This is the first post Im writing from my new couch office – a refurbished ipad, a special keyboard case to essentially convert it to a laptop, and soon there will even be a lapdesk. Im going to get back to the business of who I was created to be, because even covered in muck Im still that same creation. Its time to get back to the heart and soul of who I was created to be as an author. Its time to recognize that sometimes when that singer steps forward away from the band, and the lights go down, and we hear those first bare and naked sounds of a voice quietly singing out, clear and uninumbered? We hear with our hearts, we’re moved in our souls, and something magical happens.

Im ready to step up to the mic again, even if some of these songs have to be unplugged.

Greetings from the muck. I’ve missed you.

Comments

  1. Lauren Nicole says

    Thank you, sweet one, for being authentic. I’ve already told you a million things that you needed to hear but let me add one more: the joy and the fun and the adventure of our FAVORITE stories is seeing the heroes in the muck. We don’t want to open a novel where the first page says, “And they lived happily ever after.” We want that on the last page (if that! usually we want a To Be Continued so we never have the leave the story). Imagine Lord of the Rings if the first scene was the entire Fellowship and all the celebrated armies and peoples of Middle Earth standing in Minis Tirrith to watch Aragorn be crowned king. That story only has value because we watched the Fellowship struggle, we watched Aragorn fight to choose his calling as king and transform into the man he was born to be, we watched Frodo and Sam carry that ring across impossible odds to the heart of Mount Doom. That amazing scene in Minis Tirrith only matters because we saw those characters TURN INTO HEROES there in the muck. I love you, dear one, muck and all.

  2. says

    You are not alone in your misery, hun. I have been there for the past three years but my blog is still here.

    I have been dealing with a month long virus, Sinus infection, double middle ear infections on top of lymphocytic colitis,fibromyalgia and Psoriatic arthritis and a plethora of other illnesses.

    You were missed dearly but you are right, family always come first.

    Like a friend told me, give yourself the same grace as you would a dear friend who was in the same situation ((hugz))

  3. Robin says

    Stephanie, I just found you blog today. Wow, Your words brought me to tears. “You are still, at your core, what I created you to be. And you can’t run from that.” You are a powerful writer! I’m sorry things are in a muck. I’d say don’t worry about writing only the “good stuff”.