~Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life : they feed the soul. ~ Anne Lamott ~
Hey friend. I am going to call you friend, because if I could gather every person who has taken the time to read the words on this blog over the past three years, I would invite you to sit at my table, and I would call you friend. Five people at a time, because I only have five chairs, but still. I would open up to you over a meal I most likely ordered in.
When I started writing, it was for one, very defined purpose. I wanted to connect the reader to the heart of a loving God through the beauty of soul soothing worship songs, and their lyrics. It was, in part, a way to write to myself about the love of a God I didn’t really understand, though I so desperately wanted my friends and family to understand.
After having Liam and Jude, writing became a “rolling away of the stone” to the grave my mind had been placed in by postpartum depression. Writing it out, and getting it out, became cathartic, needed even. During that time, I wrote with a depth of honesty and vulnerability that I struggle to include in my writing today. I shared those posts, recklessly at times, in a search to find other women like me. I wanted to know that I was okay, by other people telling me I was okay, and that I wasn’t at the time, or ever going to be, a horrible mom.
I opened the blog to guest writers, which is still one of my favorite things about this blog, hoping that opening up a place for people to share would connect people to the power of their story and the encouragement it would manifest in others. It worked, and the blog’s audience and impact grew.
And then, well, the pulse of creativity and direction flat-lined. I kept the blog alive on a ventilator of sorts, writing at random here and there, talking about marriage and life lessons learned from conversations on planes and people-watching in airports.
So here is the thing, friend. For these past several years, I have been writing for you. YOU have been on my heart, mind, and in the words I have released into the world. YOU. At first, I wanted to save you. Really. I wanted you to know Jesus, and to choose Jesus, and go to Heaven. I wanted that for you probably more than I wanted it for myself. The call to “go and make disciples” was a heavy call on my heart, so my ‘GO’ was this blog. If I could get you to connect to worship music, then I could get you to Jesus. I connected with Jesus through music, so it was simple to me. I would find out, it is not always that easy.
Then, I wanted you to know that being a mom is crazy hard, and crazy wonderful. I wanted you to feel human when you doubted, or yelled at your kids, or didn’t understand your spouse, or had days that you ate tubs of cheese balls and watched Netflix for hours. I wanted you to feel human, because I wanted to feel human. Not messed up or unthankful or unappreciative of my children. I wanted you to feel safe enough to say “this sucks” because I wouldn’t say “but do you know how blessed you are?” I wanted you to know, because I needed to know.
Finally, I just started guessing about what I wanted you to know. Or about what I needed to know.
And I realized something. I have been writing for the wrong audience. All of this time I have been writing for you, and praying for you, and cheering for you, and getting to know you, when the person I should have been writing for, and cheering for, and at the core was always writing to, was myself. I LOVE re-reading my stuff, because I am writing to myself. I see it now. I see this beautiful journal of trying to understand spirituality, of climbing out of depression, of pain and uncertainty, of honest musings of marriage, of touching the depth of love and chaos that comes with raising small children, and of the absolute necessity of real and true friendships.
As much as I want to continue to write for you, to write with you in mind, I am changing my relationship with my blog. Mostly because it is a lot of work trying to figure out what to write for you, and to make sure you like me, and to make sure you keep coming back, and to make sure I don’t write something too offensive or liberal, or too conservative and safe. Moving forward, I am writing FOR myself, since I have essentially always been writing TO myself. I know this sounds all selfish and new-agey, but this in the simplest form is one of the healthiest decisions I have made in a long time. If I am writing for myself, friend, I know what to write.
I am currently taking a class called the Ultimate Journey, and as part of the class I, with four other people, dug through my middle school years. In this class, you write about different times in your life, and to the person (you-you write to your younger self) that you were in those years. After I read my letter, had laughs with my classmates about the awkwardness of those years, and reflected on that girl, one of the ladies in my class said “you really should write all this out..the chronicles of a late bloomer.” In that moment, it hit me. I have been writing about things that I wanted you to know, instead of writing about things that I already knew, and needed to know, about myself.
I tossed the idea around in my head for a few days, and the thought of writing, and sharing the stories of my youth until present day just makes sense. After talking it over with a few trusted friends, there was discussion of a book, but I don’t feel the urge to publish the stories anywhere but here. All I know is that I need to write the stories, as a means to better understand and love who I am, and how I was uniquely created.
As for you, I really hope you stay here. I hope the stories make you laugh, and give encouragement, or at the very least give you something to read on your lunch-break. For those of you who were born in the eighties, and experienced Jr High. and High-school in the nineties, the stories may seem comforting and familiar. I hope they will. Mostly, I want you to still feel welcome to swing by this corner of the internet.
Finally, thank you. Thank you to the thousands of people who have faithfully read the blog. That number may seem inflated, at least it does to me, but according to WordPress, it is indeed in the thousands. Thank you for encouraging me to write, and encouraging me to be myself, and reaching out with your own stories of struggle and healing, and for every share of a post, and for every nod my way. I read every. single. comment. and felt every kind word.
I can’t wait to share with you THE CHRONICLES OF A LATE BLOOMER. There will be slight changes to the lay-out of the blog, and a new design for the stories, but this will still be the place I publish the shenanigans.
For the first time, that I can remember, I feel okay in my skin. Thanks for helping with that. Thanks for being here. All my love.