I took a look back at my previous blogs the other day. I started on the blog I wrote while I studied art history for the summer in Florence, Italy. That blog was all naiveté trying to mask itself with sophistication, which was a dichotomous (and embarrassingly honest) read to say the least.
Then, I ambled over to the online home of my earliest days of motherhood. On that blog, I was all pride and nerves, trying to figure out where Hayley went and who this mother was that stood in her place. The pictures were grainy, but bursting with adoration. I think I froze time with the flash of my camera each time Noah smile those first months. I knew Noah intimately and intimately conveyed every little thing he did to the grandmas who were reading that blog.
And, then, there’s this space. I’ve always blogged here at Tiny Twig hoping my words had a purpose and an impact outside of my four walls. I started out blogging 52 adventures–a weekly attempt to get outside of myself. I got about halfway through my project, but I grew into my voice.
I want to encourage women to be passionate, but not strive. And that’s a super hard thing to communicate. How do you stretch and grow in ways unique to you (as everyone has their God-given strengths and path) without making someone else feel pressure or WORSE, less than.
It is never my hope to present a “do it all” or a “success at all costs” persona. In fact, I am fiercely ANTI those things. Fiercely.
So, it can be that I don’t know what to share here. Because God is leading me in a way that looks a lot like “do it all” from the outside–but my heart’s cry is still one of anti-busy and enough-ness. I don’t know how to separate my path from my voice.
What I do know is this. Mike and I have a picture of what we feel called to in 10 or so years, it’s a silly specific hope that I have to grip with the loosest of hold. I am making decisions and stepping, inching toward that place.
But, I’m mostly still just a momma during the day. I’m home way, way more than I’m not. I grocery shop on Mondays, knowing how stinkin’ bare the pantry will be by Sunday evening no matter how much I buy. I do laundry, and preschool drop off, and get Noah off the bus in the afternoons. I make the kids snacks, and lunches, and it feels like the food prep never ever ends. We do church and naps on Sundays, with small group meeting on Sunday nights.
I’m a wife whose husband’s currency is quality time. He wants my attention, my face pointing at his. We shut out the world at about 8:30pm and it’s just us after that most nights. No work going on here. Lots of dreaming, sure–but, no busy work or running around. So normal. So boring. So good for us.
I’ll tell you something. This blog won’t/can’t continue to be the sort of blog that only posts “pin-worthy” posts. Those posts would ideally teach you how to do something cool, cook something amazing, or otherwise visually impress you. They should include an image that would be eye-catching on Pinterest, preferably a vertical picture with some sort of “hook” to get people to pin it.
But, I find that when I try to write posts like that, I have very little to say. Not much of value anyway. You can Google and find HOW to do just about anything. I’ve never been a very good teacher anyway. Ask Mike…I am fundamentally missing the piece that allows for communication of the process of things. Probably because I don’t operate that way myself.
When I was reading my old blogs, I remembered the blogs I remember loving to read at that same time. I loved personal blogs where the writer was working things out in real time. I felt like I couldn’t wait to see what happened next in their story. And you know what? I want to be that kind of blogger.
I don’t even know if that’s possible these days. Do you think? Or are we all so connected that there is no mystery or suspense anymore? Isn’t Instagram easier and Twitter quicker? How can we bring back the stories of our mundane lives? Because, those are the things that I’m inspired by. I don’t need another Pinnable post from another blogger–although, I understand why we all write them.
I want to know what life is like in your little corner of the world. I want to know more than a square image with at best a lengthy caption. I want to read your blog like a serial novel, with a new installment popping up each morning or each week or whatever you can manage.
I say this being mindful of the fact that it’s hard. My kids aren’t babies anymore and I don’t love telling their stories. But, I also want to encourage other women who are walking beside me–and sometimes that includes a snippet or two about Noah or Cooper or Asher or E-bug. Y’all don’t know a whole lot about Mike–and that’s been semi-on-purpose. It just feels like it’s time to round things back out here. I’m not an expert, but I’m a learner and I’m a do-er and I’m learning and I’m doing. I want to walk that out with you.
I think I’ve been afraid. The Christian corner of the blogging cafeteria has become both incestuous and contentious in the past few years. It feels like there is a little group of people who are “in” and a whole bunch who are “out”–although, who would ever say who is “in” or “out” other than most of us normally feel on the outside of at least some circle. It seems easy to offend and easy to draw negative attention to yourself for any number of reasons. I’ve become afraid to speak too loudly for fear of actually being heard. If I’m heard, then there is a chance that someone is going to call me out and to the table and parse my words into something I don’t recognize.
One of my biggest underlying fears is being misunderstood. This crosses every aspect of my life, and it’s the biggest hurt when it happens. And it’s super easy to be misunderstood when you dole out 300-700 word mini-chapters on most weekdays. I get it. I do. But, I can’t be afraid anymore. It’s making me play it safe and small and scared. It’s gross and I wouldn’t want it for any other woman. I’d fight to tell her the truth…and so I’ll preach it to myself, too.
All of this is to say that things will be evolving here at Tiny Twig. I’m not sure how, but I feel the rumbling and I feel the itchy stretch when your skin gets too small. I pray that it’ll be compelling and that it will bless you. I pray that God will loosen up the words that have been caught in my throat.