Sunday, May 5, 2013

Before Motherhood: 6 Things I Wish I'd Been Told

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Happy Mothers' Day in advance to all you mom-friends!

This post is part of a Mothers' Day series (over at the blog of a new friend) called Thanks to Motherhood.  

Upon considering motherhood, all its ups and downs and the ways that God continually encounters and shapes my heart through it all, I wrote this list of 6 things I wish I'd known as I stepped into motherhood.

So, all of you, whether you're already a mama, or waiting to be one, or not even sure if you ever want to be one, this is for you.

I wish I had known...

1. That motherhood would bring me to the absolute end of myself. That sleepless nights and exhausting days and seemingly insurmountable obstacles would stretch me beyond the outermost rim of myself, of my capabilities, of my coping skills. And that that’s okay.

2. That motherhood would be the most fulfilling task I’d ever attempt – but only if I embraced each moment of it with a wide open heart. Only if I dove into RIGHT NOW, head first. Only if I chose to be present to my children, to my life, instead of wishing I was somewhere else, doing something else. That living present and engaged was what would make motherhood absolutely. awesome.

Today my writing is being hosted by Sarah, over at Girl Grows Up. You are hereby invited to click on over to Sarah's place to read the other 4 things I wish I'd been told before becoming a mom. :)

Blessings, my friends!

PS. Be thou not confused - I am still "unplugged" over here! :) I wrote this post in advance and have just stopped over here today to activate the link to Girl Grows Up.  See y'all in 2 weeks!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why I'm Disappearing [And Stillness DOES Get Easier!]

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I was afraid it was flaky.  I was afraid of what people would think.  I was afraid I wasn't strong enough if I admited my need.

For what?

Solitude.  Quiet, still, unplugged solitude.

Over the last month or so, I've found in myself a need to pull back.  To disengage from the blogosphere, and even from Facebook, in order to spend more focused time alone with the Lord.  I was a little afraid to give in to it.

But I've realized - I need to give myself permission to unplug.  And not just once, but regularly.  I need to establish this as the rhythm of my life.

Guys, I feel Him drawing me deeper.  Asking me to allow Him to expand my heart, to "grow me" into places I didn't even know existed.  I sense Him challenging me to be braver, to take risks in the way I write - books, blog posts, songs - and in the way I engage in conversations with those He puts before me.  

I don't even know how to articulate everything I feel, but God is stirring my heart. Things are shifting inside me.

I'm excited.  I'm scared.  I'm anticipation-filled.  I'm in awe of Him.  In love with how He draws me to come away with Him, then challenges me to trust, risk big, and step out onto limbs.

I'm saying yes.  Not without trembling. But a yes is a yes in His heart, and courage isn't the absence of fear, but taking purposeful steps of obedience in the face of fear.

I know I'm being rather vague, and I think I'm okay with that for now.  I really don't have clear words yet to describe all He's doing in my heart.  I might not even be close to having words for it at this point.

But I wanted to share it with you as best as I can right now.  

I also wanted to let y'all know that I'm going to disappear for a couple of weeks, starting tomorrow evening.  

**With the exception of one quick post sometime around Mothers' Day. I'll be guest posting at the blog of a new friend then so I'll post here to point y'all in that direction.**

Otherwise, no blogging, and no Facebook.  I'll be unplugging from those things in order to do some other writing and some heart-work with the Lord.

I will still be available via email (

Thanks for grace in this season, friends.  And for your prayers.  They mean so much to me.  (Side note: I will also be getting away this weekend to work on my book - your prayers for this time away are SO appreciated!)

By the way, Stillness Manifesto is getting some fun feedback.  I've so enjoyed reading your comments.  I've also received a few questions and some "I tried it for the first time and this is HARD!" type feedback.

YES.  It is hard at first.  Stillness is SO countercultural and counterintuitive and counter-our-FLESH.  Our flesh naturally bucks stillness because we are so much more comfortable with business - both internal and external.

2 quick things about that:

1. Stillness really does get easier the longer you practice it.  I personally spent time in stillness before Him daily for a month before I realized - Oh my goodness, my heart NEEDS this time so much.  I began to find LIFE in it.  I was surprised by how MUCH God was resourcing my heart as I just dialed down and stilled my heart before Him.

2. Pressing through the hard times is so worth it, friends!  Remember: when it feels like nothing could possibly be happening because you're so distracted, you can trust that He is honoring your heart-intent to tune in to His presence.  God is at work in our depths as we still our hearts before Him, whether we're aware of His activity inside us, or not.

I am so looking forward to spending extra time before Him in these next couple of weeks as I unplug.  While I'm unplugged, know that you all will be on my heart and in my prayers.

Blessings to you, my friends!  You are so loved.  Thanks for tracking with me through all of my processing today.
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