I have been absent from this blog for good reason these past two months. March brought in some time-consuming, unexpected, and temporary responsibilities. When I took them on, I knew that for a month or two I would have to set aside the time I typically spend writing—as a mom with three young kids with other work obligations, there was already very little discretionary time in my schedule. I hinted at those new commitments and the change to my writing life in my most recent post, talking about the way trees must shed their leaves before bearing the weight of snow. Then as March rolled into April I answered a phone call that changed every part of my daily life far more radically than the temporary changes of March.
Perhaps you’ve read why my family chooses to be a foster family. As a family that is our first commitment and priority. Last fall we expected a newborn to join us. He didn’t. We let the agency know that we have a room set aside and all of the baby supplies we need to care for a baby (thanks to many generous people); if they need a home for a baby, call us.
As tends to happen in foster care, in the midst of a busy day a few weeks ago when a call from the agency was far from my mind, I was asked to drive to the hospital in a couple of hours and bring home a baby boy.
Oh he is precious. So perfect. Breath-takingly little. Sweetness that melts your heart and makes up-all-night somehow the most peaceful hours of the day. (Though admittedly I am more than ready to start sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time again!)
But what now happens to the “Writing—do not disturb” block that I had boldly entered into the calendar for every Wednesday afternoon while toddler napped? Suddenly predictable schedules are meaningless! Not to mention writing takes mental effort, something that my brain simply ceases to do when it is significantly sleep deprived.
What now must I shed (besides sleep and showers and the former rhythm of things) for this new season of life? I cannot completely let go of writing, it is too infused in my soul now.
But it too must yield. God has unquestionably planted this seed of desire in my life to spend time writing, and I need to honor it. But that also means I can trust Him to hold it for me, to be tucked away as all seeds must, deep into the earth even where all light and growth seem impossible. The mystery of new life is one of the greatest marvels of our world, be it the tiny baby in my arms or the new shoots of spring… life grows and bursts forward from the darkness, from the unseen depths. To plant a seed is not to bury it forever, but to wait for a new season of growth.
What now must I shed? I cannot let go all of my writing, no, never that. But I must let go of the prioritized development of it. For some time my blog has actually felt like a distraction from the real core of my writing, particularly when life with a toddler at home meant I was only able to set aside a mere handful of hours a week to focus on writing. But, I reasoned, the blog is my only visible outlet of writing, something that is critical to my development as a writer. And surly it has served its purpose of propelling me to more disciplined writing, to taking thoughts and transforming them from scribbled fragments to something coherent and hopefully moving. Nevertheless, I have already struggled with how to allocate such limited time to write.
So now when time with a pen or a keyboard will be stolen only in snatches and I have a few coveted moments to write, what do I choose? Writing to share with whoever is inclined to read it, or the currents that have pulled me to them over and over again, the ones that I whisper about to only a few ears, the ones that so far have seen no eyes but my own?
It’s a choice I don’t want to make, but faced with it, the decision is clear. For now, my blog is what I must let go. I don’t do it begrudgingly, for I’m thrilled with the addition of this little one to our for-today family… and never knowing how long foster care lasts, I do not want to miss the beauty before me with eyes on something else.
I can’t imagine that I am DONE posting, or that there will not be a surprise post now and then. (If you’d like to read those random posts, subscribe on the side panel and it will be delivered to your inbox!) But today I need to (give myself) freedom to focus first on these tiny toes and fingers, and when I snatch a quiet moment to capture some thoughts, I need the freedom to delve into the long-term projects I’ve been working on.
Friend, truly, I thank you for reading. It’s an overwhelming, presumptuous, scary thing to place my thoughts before someone else, and your encouraging comments and responses have given me the momentum to continue writing and sharing. I hope that my words have spoken life, encouragement, and even a challenge or two into your life.