Laundry and Brainstorming

The stories we tell are a window into our souls.

The stories I choose to tell reveal what I believe, what I hold dear, and what I find important. 

And I keep trying to tell stories of everyday life. All of my sermons over the past two months have ended with a celebration of the work of faith in the midst of dishes and traffic jams and people that annoy us. I’ve been drawn to the books that lay out the details of life, what the character had for breakfast and every step of solving the mystery or completing the quest. My favorite blog posts have been about repaying loans and creating habits and the still small work of change. 

I’ve been struggling to find that in my own life. Dishes have been piling up, right next to the piles of books and papers and craft supplies that I don’t feel like organizing right now. Being on time has been a constant struggle, along with finishing tasks more than two seconds before they’re due. Writing feels like a monumentally difficult task, just like praying and reading the Bible feel unimportant. The small stuff feels unimportant, and the big stuff feels impossible. 

I miss the rhythm of working and living well, of taking care of dishes and emails and work to do lists. I miss finding the beauty in habits and repetition, finding the space to think and pray in doing something worth doing. I miss knowing I’d done good things with my day. I miss feeling the freedom to stop at look at the flowers, to take ten minutes and read a chapter of a new book or jot down a story idea. 


I’m trying to rediscover the beauty in the everyday, in folding laundry and praying every morning and submitting poetry, in taking the time to walk to the store and answering the phone and ending the day with journaling. I’m trying to rediscover the beauty of routine and needed tasks, of to do lists and goals, without allowing any of them to become strait jackets. I’m trying to rediscover the beauty in duties and necessities.


That’s what I want to write about. Writing is a part of that; writing forces me to slow down, to listen to myself and others. But there are so many other parts: praying and reading, attention and self-care, grace and reminders. That’s what I want to write about, all of that. That’s why I changed the blog title to Ordinary Adventures. I want to rediscover the new and exciting in my ordinary days, amidst routine and duty and repetition. I want to discover God working in the ordinary.

It won’t always feel like an adventure, but it will be a glorious story.

A Reimagining

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I have been blogging here only sporadically at best. I’ve always had the goal of blogging regularly, but I’ve struggled to find subjects or even to articulate what this blog is about. That’s part of why I haven’t been blogging much–I’ve been trying to figure out what I am blogging about, and what I’d like to blog about.

I chose the title ‘Adventures in Writing’ because writing is something that weaves through my life, but especially because writing is something that gives me life. It’s something that helps me to listen and love myself and connect with God. But a few things became obvious on reflection: 

  • writing here only about writing just isn’t working. It’s been a struggle, and it just doesn’t feel quite right, and
  • writing isn’t the only thing in my life that’s life-giving.

Why not write about everything that gives me life, all of the places I see God, and not just those places that have to do with writing? Why not expand my focus here? I didn’t see any reason not to, so here we are! I’m expanding my subject, and you may notice I’ve changed the name of the blog to reflect that, so let’s give this a try! 

Stay tuned:  Friday I’ll have a post that explains in more detail what I’m hoping for my reimagined blog.

Bees and light

Anyone who has known me for long enough has probably seen me excitedly run after a bee, or stand and watch one on a flower. It’s no secret that I love bees. So it’s rather fitting that my first devotion at the Upper Room is about a bee. I’m honored to be featured.

And, if you’re curious about how I came to see that particular bee, and the trip I was on at the time, I also wrote a blog post for them about the experience.

So…

It’s been a while, embarrassingly so. 

I have all sorts of excuses, but it boils down to the fact that writing has been hard lately. I haven’t felt motivated, and I kept pushing it off until “later.” I’ve had some difficult news on the job search front, and the whole thing has been really discouraging, and it’s been hard to be optimistic and feel like much is worth doing in the midst of that. I haven’t felt like I could listen well enough to write.

I’ve always felt like writing is all about listening–to myself, to others, to God, to the story or article I’m writing. And I’ve been bad at listening lately, whether it’s to God or myself or the people around me. Discouragement makes it hard. Discouragement makes me narrow my focus to myself, to whatever’s gone wrong and whatever I’ve done wrong. Narrowing doesn’t lead to listening. 

I’m trying to listen again, to write again. Both give me hope.

I need some hope.

Not a Robot


Here’s my latest writing update. As you can see, it’s not very consistent or prolific. I reached my goal of an hour a week only twice. And I’m frustrated that I made so little progress. I know I can do better. 

However, it was a difficult few weeks emotionally. Nothing happened, really, but I struggled again with being unemployed and with what I have been learning or should be learning. As much as I’ve loved a lot of the past few months in really unexpected ways, making what feels like little progress is frustrating, and I let that frustration overwhelm me and keep me from writing. 

So… Not as good as I hoped. At all. 

But: I am not a robot. I cannot expect myself to always feel like writing. I cannot expect myself to always write one hour, exactly, not one second more or less. I cannot expect myself to always write well, always be completely undistracted. I am not a robot. It’s okay if I don’t feel like writing, or if I need a day off. Yes, I would like to build writing into a more regular habit, and yes, not feeling like writing isn’t always an excuse to not write. Yes, absolutely, and I am working to write more consistently. That’s why I post these updates. But, as I work towards building this habit, sometimes I need to remember to give myself a little grace, instead of being frustrated that I’m not perfect. 

Give yourself a little grace. You’re not a robot, either.

Writing Update

I really enjoyed updating you on how much writing I’ve done. It was a nice way to feel accountable and inspire myself to keep going, which is why I decided to continue doing updates.

Here are my totals for the past two weeks:


I kept the same goal of writing one hour a day. As you can see, I’ve been more successful this month at reaching at least an hour of writing in a day, which always feels like the big mile marker. Actually reaching it is such a rush! 
It’s funny that I’ve reached an hour more this month, because my focus has shifted. I started focusing more on the every day part of my goal, and just being excited when I wrote every day. If I only wrote ten minutes–well, I wrote. If I didn’t write anything for publication–well, I wrote. Taking the pressure of reaching sixty minutes off of myself was so helpful and freeing, because then I could just focus on writing. Once I took that pressure off, I started to write more days and to reach an hour of writing more often. 

I always forget how important it is to give myself grace and be kind to myself, but I learned that lesson again these past few weeks.

Here’s to learning it again as we go forward!

What have you been writing and learning?

Perfect Writing

One of the reasons I haven’t been writing much lately is because I want everything to be just right. I want to feel that sweet spot of confidence and inspiration; I want to be somewhere that’s exactly the right mix of quiet, comfortable, and interesting but not distracting; I want to be sure what I’ll be writing while also knowing I’ll be flexible enough to accept if the piece doesn’t go exactly as I’d planned; I want to feel surrounded by God and loved enough that I know I’ll be able to trust myself and trust God. I want everything to be just so when I sit down to write. 

And some days, I really am not ready to write, or something else really does come up. And that’s fine.

Most days, however, when all of those factors don’t line up exactly, it’s also fine. It doesn’t feel like it; I feel unsettled enough that it’s harder to sit down to write, or I use it as an excuse for not writing. I can’t do it just so today, so I just won’t do it. I don’t feel capable of perfection, or my best, or the impossible standard that I perceive as my best, or even something that’s ‘good enough.’ 

Like I said, some days I really can’t write well. There’s nothing wrong with that. But most days when I don’t feel ‘ready’ to write, don’t feel like I’ll be good enough–it’s not true. What I write may not be perfect (well–I hate to break it to myself, but duh), but editing exists. There’s value in writing anyway, in listening to the words and to God and sitting in that space of ‘I don’t know what to write’ and ‘Can I really write?’ and ‘What am I doing?’ There’s value in writing anyway. 

Sometimes I just needed to start, just needed to reassure myself that I still remember how to write. Sometimes the words really aren’t ready, or I’m not ready to write them. Sometimes I really just wasn’t ready to write.

But there’s value in writing anyway. 

That’s what I’m learning, and relearning, and relearning, in this season.