Instead we wound up lingering on the porch despite the 100 degree heat, asking each other general questions about what’s new, when we were all equally caught off guard by the tears that immediately started rolling down my face.
I laughed, a little embarrassed as I brushed away the freshest layer of wetness from my cheeks. Then I made a joke about how it was sweat and definitely *not* tears and shook my fist dramatically at the sweltering Oregon sun.
They laughed, but continued to sit comfortably with me, neither of them moving to change the subject or rushing me to explain my sudden display of emotion. They both know I’m a blurter and it’s only a matter of time until it all comes tumbling out anyway.
“I’m just not sure if I’m doing it right.
Any of it!
The mothering, the writing, the prioritizing, the expectations I’m setting for myself, my Yeses, my Nos, or the way I’m holding them together all at once…”
They waited. There was more.
Because of course there was.
“I feel like I’m on this precipice, and my toes are hanging off the edge… and I don’t know whether I’m supposed to dive off or if I’m supposed to grip the edge harder.”
Yes I know. It all sounds a bit melodramatic. But I can’t help it. You see, I’m neck-deep in a season of flux. Of transition. Of being in the middle. I feel one season slipping away, and another season not yet within my reach, and I’m not sure how to bravely inhabit the place I’m in right now.
My littles are becoming bigs and my role as their mother is shifting so quickly that I can hardly keep my bearings. I miss the simpler days scheduled around nap times, when the hardest thing I had to do was keep the 1-year-old out of the toilet and the 3-year-old out of my makeup. (Said with zero sarcasm, because we all know how hard that really is).
Meanwhile, my creative work- the writing, the coaching- it’s all changing from a hobby that I secretly played at, to a calling I’m taking seriously and a vocation I’m stepping into. Where I used to give myself free rein to play, to embrace my amateurism, and to throw my love of it around like confetti at a parade, I now tend to give myself expectations, timelines, and heaps of pressure to get it right.
I’m still learning how to weave together that amateurish love of writing with the narrative that serves you as the reader. There’s a crossover, I think. There has to be. Because I feel a deep resonance when I write from that place. I hope you feel it too.
All my roles are shifting, and while that’s exciting, I worry a lot about whether I’m getting it right here in the transition. The pause between two notes. The split second of awareness between what’s behind and what’s ahead.
I think a big part of me yearns for those simpler days, both with mothering and with my creative endeavors, back when the stakes didn’t always feel so high.
But there’s this whole other part of me that also yearns to up the ante and go all in. Step towards to the next thing.
I guess I’m still learning how to be “all in” as a mom and be “all in” as a creative at the same time.
Because even though I’m on a path that feels right and rings true, even though there’s a deep resonance with this work that makes it difficult in all the best ways, I’m still constantly tripping myself up with hesitation. Fear of making a wrong step.
I’m caught between wanting to freeze time so I can enjoy these fun, independent, capable kids who no longer fit on my lap, and wanting to hurry up so I can grow my own dreams right along with them.
I think that’s why I was crying on my porch about the precipice, and wondering whether or not I’m doing this part right.
Maybe you’re wondering too.
Maybe you’re here, in the middle of that thrilling and scary place, where you feel yourself voyaging between seasons of motherhood, of creativity, or of work, when all the lines are constantly moving and you have no clue how to stay inside them.
Or maybe you’re in that equally thrilling and scary place where, in the middle of all of that,☝🏼your dreams have come bubbling to the surface of your heart, and you can’t ignore them, but maybe you aren’t sure what to do with them either.
How does it all fit together?
How do we live this part well?
No seriously, I’m asking.
Because so far I’ve only got one answer:
Rest is the only way I know how to simultaneously recover from what’s finished and to prepare for what’s ahead.
Pausing to sit in this tension instead of struggle against it. To embrace this middle place. To acknowledge the questions and wait patiently for the answers.
To let my feelings be messy and to know that it doesn’t mean I’m doing it wrong, it just means I’m a human person.
Before I go, I have to tell you about this thing that Sarah Bessey said. I came across it while I was writing this very piece about rest, and it was so heart-stoppingly simple and profound that I had to share it with you. She was talking about the power of faithfulness, of staying, of not giving up on our creative work.
She said, “Cultivate joy and rest and renewal as an act of resistance.”
I can’t stop thinking about that last part.
An act of resistance.
Maybe the only way to push back against the questions, the pressure, the scary unknown stretched out before us… maybe it’s rest. Maybe it’s getting low and getting quiet and trusting God to lead us while we find joy in this brief moment on the precipice.
*this post was sent from my computer and my heart*