Yesterday evening after a wonderful Easter dinner and board games, my sister Angela and I stole away to our childhood kitchen to talk. We covered a lot of ground in a few solitary minutes, and one thing that came up was social media and what I choose to write about here on this blog. (Social media itself is a much-happening conversation in my life lately, by the way; an interesting shift is happening amongst my friends.)
I shared with her that over the years I have at times written very personal stories and enjoyed the warm embrace of whoever my readers were at that time. Sometimes though, and almost always at the times it would hurt the most, I have shared deeply private things and felt some serious backlash. So I lately tend to keep it pretty much on the surface.
All that to say that I have so much more to write about. Stuff beyond more frequent updates about #farmlife and #slowfood and my ground-breaking salad ideas (ha!) and running goals. Not that those topics aren’t fun! But they only scratch the surface. The daily fabric of life is important and how we relate to each other. But certainly, we all have secrets and tragedies and spiritual battles, family histories and terrifying giants that we’re trusting can be felled by five stones in God’s name. We relate to each other this way, too. It’s just that shame, fear of backlash, and other reasons keep us from sharing those stories.
So there are many, many stories like this that are begging to be written. And I would hope that the writing might be more than cathartic for me; I would hope to buoy someone or shed light into a murky situation, at least.
What really happened in Colorado last November and where Jocelyn is now. And what our friends and family did to help us. Why I know we did the right thing, no matter what is being said about us now, by the same people who called us for desperate help then.
The advice my Dad has given us since November. (I should really share this because maybe you need it too. He’s a really amazing Dad and I am so lucky to have him.)
Why my children were gone for so long (at least as I see it).
What unprecedented miracles have happened in recent months to restore our family.
The time DHS appeared at the farm. And how vicious a custody battle can be.
Why I tend to form resentments against certain “types” of mothers. And how I am trying to soften my heart in that respect.
What happened with my husband’s sister and her adult son, what they did to the home where we raised the girls.
And the restorative miracles God has provided since then, both financially and emotionally.
The nature of addiction and the foul, destructive ways it has permeated our family (and my ex-husband’s) throughout generations.
The actual differences and similarities between Catholicism and Pentecost, in my own experience.
Why I am at peace with our church being closed. How much deeper my spiritual walk has been since, and yet how much I do understand what all those years meant to my husband (and to me for that matter).
The time we have been spending with new friends at monthly small group discussions.
Our new Lazy W Outreach project.
The deepest reasons I love running. (Five years into this, it’s about so much more than weight management now. Man.)
What my sister Angela’s life has been like these recent years, and the years before that, and what she has learned about fear and love, all about the same time I have been learning it too. And why I have resented her so bitterly. And how we have finally made peace and started a brand new friendship.
The sight of a woman I used to respect and admire, strapped to a hospital bed following a suicide attempt. And the precipitating storms since then.
What it’s like not having a “real job” in our stormy climate of feminism and all that jazz. And how it feels when people assume I have gobs of free time available for the taking. And how much I love having time free for my own taking, and my husband’s.
The few vivid and unshakable reasons I will always “unfriend” people on social media and why I am quick to burn certain bridges, seemingly out of the blue.
The first thoughts I tend to have when someone says they are trying to have a baby, or they are battling infertility.
How Jessica is faring and what her journey has looked like this past year especially. I want to tell you all about her stay in Germany with the Benedictine nuns and also all about her next chapter.
How I can tell the difference between a dream that is mental junk and a dream that is a message from God. Also, how I know His voice in the daytime. I’ve known since I was about six years old.
Why book club ended so suddenly, according to me.
And so very much more. Honestly, the things I could write about but choose to protect far outnumber the things I could write about but just don’t take the time to, because I do stay pretty busy these days. I am sure if pressed, you would say the same about your own life.
Life is messy and being a human is complicated, as my friend Mickey says.
You might glance through this quickly brainstormed list and easily peg the topics that I would protect mostly because the stories belong also to other people. Our lives are interconnected after all, and my own experience is only ever one of many overlapping circles, you know? I would never want to dilute someone else’s truth by highlighting my own.
(That is exactly why writing for Listen to Your Mother last spring was so difficult. Which is a whole other story to include in this list!)
Lots of shame, too. And even without shame, lots of things in life are just plain difficult to explain fully, and it hurts to live them over and over again. I have healed from plenty over the years, just like you have, and if given I choice I always choose to move forward.
Face the light, celebrate the miracles, live in the moment, today. Expect good things in the future.
I believe this stuff.
So why do these things keep circling?
Okay, friends. I don’t know what this means for this blog, going forward. I just needed to catch my breath and punctuate this a bit. Thank you for reading today and every single time you visit here. Thank you for your kind comments and emails, always, and for the unkind ones too because they have taught me a lot. Thank you for good vibes and prayers. You have mine always!
Now, on this chilly April morning, I am going to check on the animals and my gardens, because we woke up to a frosty farm. And then I will run 7 or 8 easy miles and go buy some white thread to finish a sewing project for Jessica and work on aprons for friends. And then? We will see. The list is long, as always, just like yours but probably very different too.
“Courage starts with showing up
and letting ourselves be seen.”