life lessons · Writing

Stepping Back + Other Thoughts

I’ve been blogging since the days of xanga and livejournal. I’ve written in a diary since I was in the second grade. Documenting my life and expressing my thoughts has always been a part of me. Fleshing out my feelings through a journal entry has gotten me through many hard roads. I love going through old journals from my early years in marriage/motherhood and seeing how God worked in my life!

I really wish I still had access to my old blogs from my preteen – high school years, but then again, maybe not! Because blogging was still reserved for a community of only a few people who I had chosen to read my stuff, I was often very candid and detailed in my experiences.

Simply put, some things aren’t worth re living.

Anyway, I say all of that to say this – I see nothing wrong with blogging. Or social media. Or even vlogging. (Although I do think it’s a bit goofy to film and edit our lives for likes and shares. But there’s money in it, I guess.) I appreciate blogs dedicated to giving advice, as they’ve been a huge help to me. Or even ones which document real life in order to show the rest of us we aren’t the only crazy ones. There’s definitely a lot of good out there.

But one day, the idea of documenting my life began to feel ridiculous. Does anyone care what I ate for dinner? Aside from grandparents + aunts and uncles, does anyone really need to see what my kids are doing? Do I really need to share my opinion on everything? Do I need to update you through stories and posts on every detail of my life? And do I need to spend hours of my life reading + watching yours? Why do you need to know that I worked out? Is it even safe?!

I like to blog to share a thought. With much discretion and discernment, I want to write things which would edify and strengthen another in Christ. Or share the frank, humorous reality of being a mom and wife. Beyond that, I’m not interested in opening my life up to the world. I don’t want to live in a false illusion of the highlight reel. Really, I want to have a joyful, abundant life well lived. And then perhaps I’ll write about it, because that’s what I do.

If another person enjoys more than that, cool! But for me, I feel I miss out on the present when I’m thinking of a clever Facebook post or photo. It cheapens the value of the moments I truly live in with my family. Hiding behind a screen removes the need to personally invest time in people and see how they’re doing, because we can just see it on social and let them know we care with a heart.

I don’t know. I guess I just want more than that. I suppose I feel as though I’m missing real life while getting lost in the virtual.

I’m not dogmatic about this. I do not believe social media is a sin or that blogging our lives is wrong. I DO enjoy seeing the positive things about my friends and family as well as staying connected. I like watching funny videos or reading encouraging posts. But couldn’t I just do a little better about making the effort to see how they’re doing in another way?

I don’t know. I’m rambling a lot here. I just think it’s goofy to document every waking moment and then spending time reading everyone else’s rather than just living. Think about how much our conversations with one another would be enriched and how we would personally draw closer if we weren’t so connected on social. (Or if we didn’t depend on it so much to stay connected!)

I also know how vain I can be. I know how I can get a false gratification from likes and hearts. Let’s get real! We can not accurately gauge the success and health of our lives by how we’re perceived through a post!

Anyway, I don’t want to stop blogging. I enjoy this community. But I’m stepping way back. I want to write meaningful things, not just little snippets with trendy catchphrases and hashtags on Instagram. I just want to live life. I want to serve Jesus, my husband, my kids, and the ones I love.

And then I’ll write. Rather than creating experiences to write about or living for content, I’ll create from the outflow of what God is doing in my life.

❤️

Christian living · pregnancy

Life Updates

I love to write, but lately I’ve been holding back a ton. I suppose writing for me is letting my hair down, cutting loose, whatever. And with everything that’s been going on this last year, I suppose I’ve been a bit pent up. Does that make any sense?

Mom received her cancer diagnosis in November and from that moment, life got crazy. She is now cancer free, back to work, and doing amazing! But I will say – it shook up our world a bit. I found out I was pregnant in January, which has been a unique experience to say the least. I think I was seven weeks pregnant for a month straight … that first trimester seemed like it would never end.

And school? Well, by the grace of God we have hung in there. Between many dentist appointments, OB visits, mom’s surgeries and days where morning sickness had me curled on the couch … we managed to only get slightly behind. We should complete our school year by the end of the month, just in time for vacation!

So, it’s been a crazy year. And I suppose I have allowed fear and worry to keep me from stopping to smell the roses too many times. I have a book which SERIOUSLY needs revising and editing, but for whatever reason, I’ve thought that if I just let go of my worries and get sucked into that … one more crazy or bad thing might happen. I have had several blog post ideas, specifically talking about pregnancy and pregnancy after loss. But in the shadows of my mind, I think I’m just jinxing myself and something tragic will happen by my acknowledging that this pregnancy is really happening. Like I need to spend my free time with a firm grasp on my fear rather than living life and doing what I love.

The Lord has really been growing my faith through all of this, proving to me that I’m never alone, that He can handle it. And at that scary stinkin’ anatomy scan for the baby last week, He reminded me of His power and control. He held out His hand and simply asked me to hold it.

Oh, it’s not always that easy. I have to do my part through prayer and Bible reading, through casting down my crazzzyyy imaginations. But for the first time in a while, I was able to breathe, look at my fears and say, “so what?”

Sometimes I think we go through these patches of life simply for God to reveal His glory. Pregnancy in itself is a trying of a woman’s faith! I sang a song at revival last week that has the line, “I have peace when it doesn’t make sense.” And indeed, in a world full of trouble and a crazy, unpredictable life, I have peace. It doesn’t make sense. But it’s not supposed to. I am simply supposed to trust my Lord.

That’s what I have to do. No amount of holding tight to what ifs will change the future and it certainly drains me of today’s strength. I simply have to surrender every bit of fear and my future to Him.

That’s been life lately. I’m a bit neurotic and sometimes get a little too stuck in my head, but God is good.

And thank you Jesus! I’m back to drinking coffee after two long months of feeling like the smell would make me vomit.

God’s been good.

Humor · pregnancy

My Dentist Knew I Was Pregnant Before Anyone Else

I was mortified to discover I had a broken tooth and a terrible cavity in one of my back molars. Of course, in my mind, I was thinking I have some kind of an infection and would have to have an extraction. The infection was going to go into my blood and kill me.

I’m not over dramatic or much of a worry wart at all. *eye roll*

So, I went to the dentist for the first time in 10 years. It was embarrassing to admit, but he did say my teeth were surprisingly in great shape. (I was prepared to be told I had severe gum disease or something.) Well, other than the one that needed work. He said I needed a root canal.

I told them I might be pregnant. It was embarrassing to admit that it was too early to test, I was just watching my cycles so closely I knew I could be. You know. The time between conception and implantation.

Try explaining that to a man. He’s a dentist, not an OB. Awkward.

All of the girls in the office were giggling and saying, “hope you get good news this week!”

I figured I probably wasn’t pregnant. I wanted to be. In fact, I think that was one of my last posts on here. (Sorry for being so MIA, by the way.) But I knew the disappointment all too well. I scheduled my root canal for the following week and planned to take a test for peace of mind.

Of course, I was barely 3 weeks pregnant – not even far enough to show on a test. But peeing on a stick is an irresistible thing. It’s an addiction when you’re trying to conceive. Of course, I went and bought a cheap early response test and took it.

Negative. WELL MAYBE. Nah. It’s negative. We’ll see.

It was a two pack, so of course I took the other test the next morning.

I saw that same BARELY there squinter line. My mom glanced at the test under the light and shook her head as if she felt sorry for me.

“I don’t see it.”

Maybe the tests were defective? I told myself I’d wait til two days before my appointment to take another test.

And my resolve lasted all of about 2 hours before I went to the Dollar General and bought the $1 cheapies. (Those are just as sensitive and accurate as the name brand. Just so you know. Don’t waste $15 on EPT.)

I waited til the next morning to take it and there was a line. Faint. My mom still didn’t see it. My husband kind of saw it.

I crawled into my bed and told the Lord that if this was really a pregnancy and I wasn’t going crazy, I was thankful for each moment. I held my tummy as I imagined the little person only the size of a pen tip. I wouldn’t let myself imagine a baby I’d give birth to. I didn’t even look up a possible due date. I just imagined my little seed, praying for him or her to get snug in there.

Each day, the lines got darker. So, I called my dentist’s office and informed them of my good news. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure if it was good news yet. I was experiencing intense cramping and terrified of bleeding like I did with the pregnancy I lost. I’ll confess I checked each time I went to the restroom.

The peestick addiction was intense this time around. I believe altogether I took 10 tests before I was confident.

My dentist called back and said, “Well, congratulations! Looks like you called it, huh?”

We decided to hold off on the root canal until I was in my second trimester. (Well, last Wednesday.) The fella was so sweet and called me personally to explain why he didn’t feel comfortable doing the procedure so early on. I recommend this dentist to anyone local! Just saying!

So, the root canal was placed on hold and I began my newest journey of trusting in spite of the unknown.

More to come …