Two Life Lessons I Learned in the 45 Minutes it Took Me to Write This Post

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Writing, for me, is like a sacrament. And going too long without it leads to feeling rather malnourished on a soul level. The days have ticked by and I haven’t written here.

Restless and scattered, my soul has been without one good exhale since I don’t know when. Sometimes the days are too full of lists and demands and busy-ness that you never asked for. And some that you did. And then those days turn into weeks. And then that heavy weight that sits on your chest every so often just sits there all the time.

I crave soul rest but when given the opportunity to partake of it, even in a small way, I’m prone to saying no. Instead I leap in the direction of productivity or looking at the to-do list again or spinning my wheels in something that seems productive but that is actually ridiculousness. Or something that I know is not in any way productive and is straight up ridiculousness. {I’m looking at you bobbibrown.com and your dreamy makeup that I covet and pretend shop for. And also at you vintage brown leather purses on ebay.}

Like an addict, I run from what I need and cozy up into the lap of what I want. I find instant almost-gratification {since the shopping is still pretend, whatiswrongwithme?} but no actual renewal.

When life presses in, our real coping mechanisms spill out.

Yesterday I told a friend that I feel afraid of the future that’s right around the bend — one kid in high school, one in middle school, one in elementary school.

I’m afraid of the demands that I’m already struggling to meet and how those will only increase.

I’m afraid of failure — mine and theirs.

I’m afraid of so many expectations.

I’m afraid my to-do list will murder me in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping.

I’m afraid that I will have no rest.

I’m afraid we’ll never sell our house and move.

I’m afraid we will sell our house and move.

I’m afraid of how certain others feel about me.

I’m afraid of really and truly becoming a crazy person who rants in customer service lines and spends all of her real time spending pretend money on pretend make-up.

And just seeing all of these words right here on the screen, one “I’m afraid” after the other — well, the tears well up out of nowhere and I remember that this is why I write. Writing dredges up the deep stuff of the soul that I can’t articulate, not even for myself. Ninety something percent of the time I show up here and I don’t know what will come out but something always does and it’s always the truth of the matter.

So when I say that my soul can’t find rest because life is too busy, I’m really saying that I’m afraid. I’m just afraid.

Busyness isn’t the primary reason for my breathlessness. Fear is. And that’s why I can’t find rest. I’m too busy hooking up with fear. And Fear feels a lot like a big mean guy holding a cattle-prod and chasing after me.

There’s this simple line from Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman. It came to me the other day and it comes to me again now:

Fear drives. But love leads.

Two things I learned since I started this post. 1. I’m not living loved. I’m living driven. 2. I’m not writing enough.

I have to make time for it even if it kills me. Because not making time for it? Also kills me. I am actually writing as part of my job. But it’s not “writing the real” like I do here.

I don’t have a neat and tidy end to this post. But today is my birthday and I simply needed to show up and give myself this gift — a post about busyness and not writing and fear and pretend makeup shopping.

Writing is not everyone’s thing. It’s not even most people’s thing. But I bet you have something that gets at the heart of the matter for you — a practice, a person, or a place that invites the unclear forms to take shape and the fears to be named and the soul to be soothed.

This weekend, I give you the gift of permission. Permission to take some time and tend to your insides, even if it’s just for a bit, instead of tending to all of the other things that call {or scream} for your attention.

As for me, I plan to do some more writing. And sip an iced macchiato or three. And pay a long-awaited visit to the actual Bobbi Brown counter for a complimentary makeover.

I realize that I just went from soulful to superficial in half a second. It’s my birthday. Don’t judge.

I’m curious. What’s your “thing?” Your practice, person, place, or whatever that brings clarity, confession, and comfort? 

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Comments

  1. Mom says

    And … Happy Birthday to my firstborn! What a sweet gift to wake up to something from you this morning. Write on, dear girl

    LYF

  2. Kayla says

    First off Happy Birthday Marian!! Hope you will have a wonderful weekend as you take some time to just sit back and relax. I love reading your post, because you are always so real and don’t pretend. To answer your question when i am stressed or afraid there are three different things I use
    to find comfort., depending in the situation. Either I go on a short fast walk. I write my feelings out then destroying it afterwards or I have a long Martha talk.

  3. Andrea Haebig says

    Happy birthday! As always, your writing hits home for many reasons. Your blog is my very favorite…because of your transparency. I can see myself in so many in your thoughts…and fears. I read somewhere that all decisions are made out of either love or fear. I desperately want to choose love, but my knee-jerk reaction is fear. My place of comfort used to be running (until I got injured), but is now nature. Finding a lovely place that reflects God’s handiwork brings me instant peace and comfort. If that doesn’t work, there is always coffee ice cream!!

    • Marian says

      Andrea, I’m a runner who can’t run too! Oh how I miss it as my best stress reliever. But I love your alternatives, especially the coffee ice-cream. Thanks for chiming in!

  4. Sarah says

    My “thing” is prayer. Verbally getting it out to God is what helps me process and feel lighter the most. And no, I do not take the time I need for it. Because there is so much inside, it feels overwhelming to start at times. And my other “thing” that I use to escape is tan leather purses on ebay or whatever other website I can find them on. Also, it is very much pretend shopping, I have yet to purchase one ha. Praying you have a blessed birthday.

    • Marian says

      Well, it doesn’t get any better than prayer. So thanks for that reminder. I’m so glad we can spill our guts in the rawest form to a listening, living God.

      And it’s great to know I’m not alone in my leather purse pretend shopping! : )

  5. says

    happy birthday! Hope you’re having a wonderful day. Can we see a pic of the makeover you had? :)

    My thing is creating, whether that’s through photography, writing (blogging), creating a printable/ e-course, or making something with my hands like food, something crafty, or just putting together a gift beautifully, I need to create daily.

    • Marian says

      Ah, creating. Something I don’t make time for but that is so good for the soul. : )

      I’ll try to do a post soon about the makeover!

  6. Kim says

    Happy Birthday! (a day late) My thing is being outdoors, either biking, running, or walking. If outdoors is not an option, I bake or read. Sometimes I cook, creative time consuming meals I don’t usually have the time for.

    • Marian says

      Thanks Kim! I love all of those ideas. It’s interesting how the deep stuff of the soul can simply rise to the surface when we’re doing creative, soulful, reflective things.

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