You know those scenes in movies where people walk into an old house for the first time in forever? That’s how I feel on my blog right this very second.
They walk through the house slowly, not wanting to disturb anything, letting their fingers trace the edges of dusty desktops, and across the old books on the shelves.
There’s something sacred about visiting a place that was once so loved, but also something unfamiliar and eerie about it. You’re not quite sure what to do next, or how to return what was abandoned for so long back to its former glory.
If I’m honest, that’s how I feel about my blog today.
I love my blog. I love this little corner of the internet. It’s home to me — home to so many of my favorite stories, home to lessons that I absolutely learned the hard way. This space chronicles some of the most beautiful and most difficult and most heartbreaking and most triumphant moments of my life over the last 5 years, and I just love that.
It even looks like me. It looks like me, and smells like me (if a website can have a smell, just go with me here), and I love that about it.
But at the same time, this little space, this beautiful corner that I love so much has been gathering dust for so long, I don’t even want to count the months. And I have to be honest with you, I don’t really know how to begin again.
And the truth of it is that even though I haven’t been blogging, I still have been writing. In fact, I’ve been writing more than ever. I wrote a book, and then a friendship small group guide, and then an eBook, and then a course and another course. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words in the last two years, but very few of them have ended up here.
And in some ways, I think that’s okay. It’s okay because that book is the story I want to share with you above all others. Those courses and that small group guide are lessons, resources, and guides that I have used in my own life that have just transformed everything for me. There’s nothing I want to share with you more than those things, and so the best of my heart, and my mind, and my words, and my time have gone into creating those. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But, strangely and wonderfully enough, those things are done. Those resources are created and finished, and now I’m sitting here, in the chair next to the window in my office, looking at my blog and feeling like it’s an old abandoned house, and I am really not sure how to return it to its former glory.
And so that’s just where I wanted to start today. I wanted to start by being honest about where I am, and where I think I’m headed — although I’m not entirely sure.
So, if it’s okay with you, I’d love to start by telling you a little bit more about where I am right now.
To be honest, I’m tired. I feel a little bit like a sponge that’s been rung out, and sitting in the sun too long. I feel dry. I feel like all of my best words, and best thoughts, and best ideas, and all of my get-up-and-go has been used up in the last few years. I feel like I need a long season to fill back up, slow down, pray, spend time with my people.
The truth is, I need some time to rest.
And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it looks like to rest. For awhile, part of me thought that I could only rest if I had absolutely nothing to do. I thought that rest could only come with an entirely empty to-do list. Anyone else ever thought that?
And so I worked my tail off for weeks, and months, trying to get every little thing done. But as soon as I’d get one thing done, I’d remember something else I really should add to the list. It’s never ending. I know you’ve been there.
But somewhere along the way I realized, I don’t actually want to do nothing this summer. Because doing nothing isn’t really my favorite way to rest. It’s kind of like how totally not-rested you feel after a long Netflix binge. You get up and feel like, “Gosh, I really wasted this day!” instead of, “Gosh, I feel like a new person!”
So doing nothing doesn’t really make sense. I don’t want a summer of doing nothing.
Instead, I think what I really need is a summer to slow down and notice the little things again. Because that is actually my favorite way to live.
I’ve talked about this before, but one of the most powerful seasons in my life was a season where I was doing what Ann Voskamp talks about in her book 1000 gifts. I took the challenge seriously and started actually counting 1000 things that I was grateful for. I had a little notebook and I carried it with me everywhere. I wrote down anything I could think of, training my eyes to see beauty and God’s goodness everywhere I looked.
Those are the moments when I’ve been the most rested, the most filled up. They’re the moments when I’m fully present, totally there, totally in the moment. They’re the moments when I’m looking for God and His goodness around every corner, savoring every single gift, even if it’s as small as the sun streaming through the window, or enough space in the day to go for a long walk.
And that’s the way I want to live this summer. That’s the rest I think my soul really needs.
I want to practice a way of living that I think got squashed for awhile in favor of productivity, efficiency, and getting one more thing checked off the list. I want to live slower again. I want to notice again. I want to live fully, in the moment, to be there, and present and accounted for again.
AND… I want to take the time to write it down.
This morning I was thinking about some of the times in my life when I felt the most filled-up, felt like my heart was overflowing the very most, and they’re the times when I was writing right here on my blog.
Something about the writing process helped me notice better. It’s like one of my very favorite writing quotes says:
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin
And so that’s what I’m hoping this little space can be this summer. I’m hoping to share some of the stories I’m living as I live them and some of the stories I’ve lived but haven’t had the chance to tell you about yet.
I’m hoping this can be a space that reminds me to notice, reminds me to slow down and pay attention to the stories unfolding in my heart, and on my front porch, and in the conversations with my dad and my best friends, and in my quiet moments with God.
And I’m hoping that this can be a place that reminds you to do the same.
This place still feels dusty, and I feel entirely rusty and a little bit lost in it. But I’m here, and we’re here together, and I think that’s the perfect way to start.
Thanks so much for being here sweet friend. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 🙂
P.S. If there are any things you’d like to hear about, anything you’d like me to write about in particular this summer, any questions you have for me, I would love to hear them! I feel a little bit like a radio DJ taking requests, but I love it. 🙂 So pop them in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!