I aim for perfect.
The goal isn’t praise or accolades; praise makes me awkward, especially when I’m just doing what was expected of me. Really, I want to avoid disgruntled comments. I desperately want to be competent, and the fear I’ll be weighed and found wanting drives my compulsive striving. I manage better when I limit the areas where I feel a need to be competent.
The problem: I forget to set my limits consciously and strategically.
When everything is up for grabs–home, family, faith, work, photography, friends– my vision blurs like a telephoto zoom lens panning in and out without focusing. It’s exhausting. Continue reading
Every year in the week leading up to Easter, I read the stories of Jesus’ crucifixion in the Gospels. After so many readings, I know how the story ends.
Even so, I find myself wishing for an interruption in the story. I’m like Peter in Matthew 16 who wants to deny that suffering will happen to Jesus. I want Pilate to stand up to the religious leaders. I mutter to myself about the folks eager to get Jesus crucified, and somehow I pray each time they find some hidden capacity for grace and love over fear.
Resurrection — yes, please! But this crucifixion part, I struggle to look full on in the face. Continue reading
Crocus are the flowers that beckon me outside with me camera as winter shifts to spring.
Folks content with simple things intrigue me, particularly those content with enough instead of excess. This discipline remains uncomfortable for me like sitting on the floor and reaching to my outstretched toes — beyond my grasp, but I stretch and it burns. Continue reading
As I wrote the highlights of my reading from 2016, every part of me wanted to defend my reading choices, explain what I learned. Particularly choices I thought may be controversial. As the word count for the draft scaled 1,500 words after book four of twelve, something had to give.
Nobody wants to read that. Not even me. Probably not even J, who likes to read everything I write (God bless him for his enthusiastic support! How I love that man and the way he loves me!).
The words my friend Lo gave me from Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” came rushing into my brain. I don’t have to be perfect. I can be quirky and strange, as I actually am. I don’t need to hang my head as though the books filling my sails with air and faith and hope last year needed to be explained. I am allowed to celebrate the books God used to mold me.
So I chopped and simplified the post, largely leaving the books unqualified and unexplained — minus two with disclaimers from the authors themselves. Perhaps it’s mysterious, perhaps not quite persuasive enough. Perhaps it leaves more questions than answers.
What matters most about that post is not the actual book list, but the vital lesson I learned about me as a writer. Continue reading
Anxiety settled in during May, and I weathered a rough couple of weeks. Hence, the silence in this space. I don’t publish when I’m struggling to keep my head afloat. The clouds have lifted, for which I’m so deeply grateful I could click my heels like a leprechaun.
Still, I hate dwelling in the state of “between” things, the space where I’m not where I was and not yet where I want to be. I want to be at a final destination, in a settled place. I want stability in my grasp for an extended time. I want more than just bread for today. I forget there’s no guarantees in life. All I hold is this moment. I can’t fast-forward, rewind, or pause. Continue reading
Twitter reminds me repeatedly through various posts, “writers write.” I want to be a writer.
Today, however, I don’t want to do the grueling work. Instead, I’d like to gloss over the mess gurgling in me. Lately, I’ll eagerly write other bits, Tasty Thursday posts, or things that feel somehow outside of me. I dutifully post to honor commitments I made to my accountability partner and my husband. Continue reading
This post is a two-fer. First, I celebrate a personal progress milestone in the infertility story. Second, I offer some small talk tips in the event that I made you more socially anxious about conversations with strangers due to my story in part one.