a copy of her just published memoir "Atlas Girl".....
Join me in a big Seekerville welcome!
I pin the colored fabric as though savoring a mango, this slice of time so sweet, and the sounds of children splashing in the pool. And all I want is to rest. To open wide this moment and step into it, to sit on a beach chair and hold my babies and breathe in their skin, and funny how, once you get what you want, all you can think about is the other.
But I am learning to write, in spite of myself.
Because I want to honor the call.
But I also don’t want to miss out on my children. Nor the man I made them with.
And sometimes, I’m just plain worn out. I don’t have any more words in me, and hasn’t it all been said before?So how do we do it? How do we balance the laptop with the laundry and the liturgy?
How do we still our souls in a world that never sleeps?
To know God, in the stillness. Less of us, more of him, and sometimes we think we have to produce when really, we’re slaves to no one. Christ calls us friends, and there is freedom in this. We serve God alone, and have nothing to fear. So, when we’re burning out, we need to quiet our souls.
Here, friends, are 10 ways to find that stillness:
1. Turn off the laptop. I have made a habit of turning it off for the entire morning and spending those hours with my pre-schoolers. By noon, I’m normally more than excited to begin to write, and all of the fear of yesterday has fled in light of having a space of “me time.” Even if you turn it off for a full day, then return to it in the evening, let your mind, let your spirit, breathe. The sound of victory whooshing through your soul.
2. Cry, and laugh, a lot. Experience that ALIVE feeling again. Remember: “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a (poor) first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” ― Anne Lamott, Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life
3. Read. Whether it’s a novel or a memoir or the Psalms in your pajamas, don’t read the same kind of genre you’re writing in, or you’ll get your own writing voice mixed up with someone else’s. So if you’re writing fiction, read non-fiction, and vice-versa.
4. Take a bath with some Epsom salts and a candle.
5. Eat some dark chocolate. And then eat some more.
6. Write a letter to someone you trust.
7. Surround yourself with inspiration. My friend constantly mails me encouraging quotes and artwork; I have posted these quotes and pieces of art above my desk to provide visual stimulation.
8. Hug your kids. Because they’re your greatest story. It’s incredible to be able to make up stories but it’s even more incredible to live them. To hear the words tumbling from your child’s mouth as he talks about his favorite blue flashlight as you lie beside him in his bunk-bed. “Some flashlights are small, and some are big, and some are tiny and some are huge,” he says as he slips his hand into yours there in the dark.
9. Kiss your husband. Because he’s your biggest fan.
10. Pray. The kind of praying that finds you on the floor. The kind that feels like home. Pray as you write, as you edit, as you rest. Pray through it all. Because God is the Word. He gave you this calling. So trust him to work through you, even on days when the pool and the sunlight and the birds are calling. For in the end, it’s all about him. And if he doesn’t write through us, we write in vain.
So, KNOW when to write, and when to stop.
And if God is calling you to write, then know you’re engaged in a spiritual battle because this is what this writing world is friends: it’s a place to speak the truth in love. It’s a place to engage, sometimes, in battle. Our words are holy tools being used to carve out the tomb, to resurrect a God the world says is dead, to point and say–LOOK, he’s alive and he’s here in our midst and do we know Him?
Do our words know him? Do our families and our children and our husbands and our relatives know him? Does the man who delivers your mail know him? Does anything else matter?
I totally love, love, love this picture!!!!! Emily's website is HERE: http://www.emilywierenga.com/
Visit there. You will love it. I promise.
Now to the business of food!!!! We've got coffee and cronuts inside, I brought them back FRESH from Manhattan (okay, they have like a two-hour shelf life, so that's not GOOD 48 hours later, 'sall I'm sayin'....) Never mind the cronuts, we'll feast on God's love today.... and pastries from Financier on Williams St.