Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


Giving Myself Permission to Write

I’m an inconsistent and sporadic blogger. I always was, and it’s only getting worse. Rather than hide from it, rather than try to pretend that if I put my mind to it I’ll post regularly, I think it’s time to just admit that I’m a write-when-I-can kind of blogger. At least for this season of my life.

Because the more I try to tell myself that I should write consistently, the more I frighten myself away from writing. And that really isn’t what I want.

So, whether it makes sense in a social media world or not, whether it’s the “right way” or not, whether it’s a way to build followers or scare them away, I’m going to commit, right now, to blogging when I can. Which means that I probably won’t write consistently. And I’m going to be okay with that, because otherwise I’m not going to write.

I have always been a pretty long-winded blogger, but I’m giving myself permission to change in that regard too. Life with a baby is truly worth the wait, and I love being able to spend time cuddling my son and loving on him. So maybe when I do write, I’ll write short snippy things because my free time is rare and often short-lived or quickly interrupted.

I’m back in school full time, which means 7 hours this summer and 9 in the fall. Last fall I took 15 hours and I didn’t know what free time was. This spring I had a baby and took 3 and barely got it together to study when I needed to for that. But babies grow–very quickly as it turns out–and as Penn has gotten just that much more independent, I’m finding I have a few minutes here and there to toss a load of laundry in or rinse a few dishes. And as he’s napping in his crib now and going to bed before me (most nights), I’m finding some time to do my homework for my classes. And, well, sometimes maybe I’ll be here, blogging.

I love having this space, but I guess I need to treat it as what it is: a space for me. For reflecting and writing and growing. For recognizing the seasons I’m in and the lessons I’m learning. And maybe sometimes it will be interesting for other people and maybe–likely often–it won’t. But if I get hung up on that, I’m not going to write.

And I know I have had a baby. And that changes a lot when you’re dealing with infertility and so many posts for so many months were so focused on not having one and wanting desperately for circumstances to change. Infertility has shaped me. And it’s something we expect to deal with every time we want to grow our family. But the fact remains that having had a child changes the scene and changes the focus. I’m not worrying about treatments. I’m not despearately crying out to God every night for a change in our circumstances, because the circumstances are changed. And that change is going to spill over into my blog because otherwise this isn’t going to be an honest place.

So, dear readers, I won’t be offended if you need to leave because I’m talking about the joys and challenges of having a baby. Because while I wouldn’t change it for the world, being a mother does come with challenges. I think we all know that, but I’m just coming to really, personally, know that.

And if I don’t make this a place where I can speak honestly, I’m not going to write. Which may partially explain why I haven’t really written in such a long time.

That, and because four months of motherhood have flown by and I’ve hardly had moments to acknowledge any of it.

So, this post is about me finding the freedom to write what I want to write and to let myself write when I can. Because some days I want to and I can’t. And today I can, so I am.




Sunshine Award

Well, I’m not sure I deserve it, what with the vacillating between highs and lows that I’ve been doing the past several weeks or so, but I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Award by three excellent bloggers. I’m seriously touched and honored and, well, I guess I like answering these questions that never fail to remind me of those chain letters we all used to get when the Internet was new. Anyone?

So, here goes:

From Lauren at Tear Drops Falling (who, PTL, is expecting!):

  1. List 3 of your best and worst personality traits – Best: I like to give to others, I like to learn new things, I like people. Worst: I lack self-discipline, I am very prideful, I struggle to respect authority and tend to complain too much.
  2. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? I love travelling and have had the privilege of seeing many wonderful places. But I want to see it all! I guess my top three today are: Victoria Falls, the Great Wall in China, and Israel with a side trip to Petra, Jordan.
  3. You’re about to walk the green mile, what do you have as your last meal? Steak and garlic mashed potatoes, a side salad, maybe some sweet potato and ice cream for dessert. Incidentally, this is what I eat when we go to Saltgrass . . . minus the ice cream. I can make that at home. So I’d just assume skip the about-to-be-executed part.
  4. If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be? To have it said of me that I walked with God, to want what God wants me to have, to trust God 100 percent instead of wanting and insisting on my own way. (But man it would be hard not to wish for a baby!)
  5. Why do you blog? To survive. Well, that’s why I started this blog. I’ve always imagined myself having a blog but never really had a focus to write about. Now that I’m a year into this blogging thing I’m stoked I kept it up, though I find my focus is evolving and maybe widening some.
  6. List 5 goals on your life’s to-do list: Hmmmm… to write a book, to be a mom, to go to seminary/learn Greek and Hebrew, to go in a hot air balloon, to figure out how to keep my house nicely.
  7. Any tattoos or piercings? No tattoos. I have my ears pierced–left twice, right once. I like that it’s asymmetrical. I got my nose pierced on my 25th birthday (my quarter-life crisis?). I didn’t like it at first and almost took it out, but now I wear a tiny stud in it and it would be weird not to have it.
  8. If you could be any animal, what would you be? Humans are animals, aren’t we? But in the spirit of the question, I think I wouldn’t mind being one of my own dogs. Those four-legged beasts have a pretty sweet life.
  9. Are you mostly a clean or messy person? Mostly neat, not necessarily clean. Not really messy though.
  10. Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid and 1 thing you love about being an adult: I miss having time to just be and to experience life and play and learn new things. I love that as an adult (as a married adult, really), I get to have a slumber party with my best friend almost every night.

From dear Caroline at In Due Time (who, Lord willing, I’m going to be meeting IRL tomorrow!):

  1. Night Owl or Early Bird? I’m a night owl, definitely. But I’m trying to convert because I feel like people who wake up early have more time and because my DH is absolutely a morning person. It’s been a challenge.
  2. How many languages do you speak? One very well. I majored in Spanish, but I wouldn’t consider myself fluent. That said, I can get around without much trouble in Spanish-speaking countries. I love languages, though, and would like to learn more. I’m hoping if I go to seminary to get a thorough education in Greek and Hebrew.
  3. Where were you born? St. Louis. Like Tootie in Meet Me in St. Louis, I feel lucky to have been born in my favorite city. I’d live there again in a heartbeat. And since they’re playing today: GO CARDS!
  4. What are you most thankful for in 2013? My absolutely wonderful husband. I don’t know who or where I’d be without that man.
  5. What is something you have never done, but would love to try? I’d like to give birth. Ha ha. I’d also like to ride in a hot air balloon.
  6. Warm or cold weather? COLD! Absolutely love winter and winter clothes . . . and fall, and fall layers . . . and snow, and changing leaves . . . and all those things I miss the most about being in Texas. I don’t like to be hot: I figure you can always add a layer, but at some point you can’t take anything else off.
  7. Youngest, Middle, Oldest or Only child? Oldest. Of four. And DH is oldest, too, though he just has one sister.
  8. Do you have any nieces or nephews? Nope, not yet. Which is kind of a blessing. Our siblings are all younger, and none of them are married, so it’s good they don’t have babies yet. But DH’s cousins (who live near us) each have one child and they kind of seem like our niece and nephew.
  9. Music or TV/Movies? I guess it depends on the circumstances. I like to listen to music when I’m cleaning or cooking. Though now that I think about it, I would probably watch TV while I did those things if we had a TV I could see from the kitchen. I love watching movies or shows on Netflix with DH, though. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time together.
  10. Beach or Mountains? Mountains are beautiful, but I love a good beach. So, both, I guess, with the scales tipped slightly in favor of beaches.

And from Daryl at Something Out of Nothing (also expecting! And who has been such an encouragement to me from the beginning):

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? There are way too many good answers to this question. I have a long list of places I’d love to live and a short list of places I would prefer not to live–Houston was on the second list, but it’s growing on me. So, pretty much anywhere is fine. But I’d love to live abroad someday, even if only for a few years. The UK would be fun . . . especially with young children who could return to the States with adorable accents.
  2. What crazy celebrity baby name do you secretly love? So I really am not very hip and I have very little knowledge about celebrity names. Except, like, Apple. And Suri. Suri’s not too bad. I found this list, and there are some interesting names here–and some downright ridiculous ones. But I don’t think I’d go here for naming inspiration for my own children.
  3. If you had three hours to yourself, what would you do with that time? I’d like to think I’d spend it productively in ways I can’t do when other people are around: writing or painting (for fun) or wandering around a museum or an artistic part of a city. But the reality is I often have hours to myself each day and I rarely do those things. I’m excited when I get a blog post up!
  4. What’s the best thing on TV right now? I really enjoy Nashville. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure for me. So much drama!
  5. What’s your favorite family recipe? My grandmother’s meatloaf. It’s the best. Really the only meatloaf I’ll eat. She gave me the recipe and I’ve enjoyed making it. Of course, it has bread crumbs, so the gluten-free me has tried a couple of times to make it with alternatives with limited success. Oh well.
  6. What’s your hidden talent? If I told you, it wouldn’t be hidden anymore. 🙂
  7. Would you rather spend Thanksgiving with your own family or your husband/partner’s family? Mine. DH’s family is wonderful, but my family has traditions and I like that. With his family I never know if we’re going to have turkey or enjoy our meal at a seafood restaurant (as in, the first Thanksgiving I spent with his side. True story).
  8. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Too long. I am the SLOWEST person in the morning. And in the evening. And generally, I’m just slow moving in all things. Even running. But if I have to be somewhere, I’m decent at cutting things out (who needs hygiene, really?) and can get out of the house pretty quickly.
  9. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?  With whom? I’m not sure it counts, but when we were in Thailand last spring DH and I had a hotel room with a private pool. But that’s the only time.
  10. What’s your guilty pleasure? For the sake of consistency: Watching Nashville. That and green tea lattes at Starbucks. Would have them every day if they weren’t $4 a pop.

So, it’s my turn to nominate. No pressure anyone. I’d love to see your answers, but I hope getting the award just brightens your day a bit. And, all these blogs are powered by awesome people and worth reading:

In no particular order:

  1. Barren and Unemployed
  2. She Is Worth Far More Than Rubies
  3. It Is Well with My Soul
  4. Today I Hope
  5. This Luminous Road I Travel
  6. smgisttc
  7. An Anchor to My Soul
  8. Husbands and Infertility
  9. For This Is What I Seek
  10. Two Bees in Love

And my questions for all of you (and anyone else who wants to play along):

  1. What fictional character do you most relate to and why?
  2. If you were at a sushi restaurant, what would you order?
  3. What are the top three things on your to-do list right now?
  4. How are housekeeping and cooking chores distributed in your household?
  5. What is the last book you read (and would you recommend it)?
  6. How do you occupy yourself in waiting rooms?
  7. Sudoku or crossword puzzle? Why?
  8. You have a free plane ticket, and one week’s room and board for anywhere in the world, but you have to leave next weekend. Where will you go?
  9. Are you a sports fan? Which team(s) and why?
  10. What color best describes your personality?