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.




Writing . . . Inspired or Not

There’s something that feels sacred in putting words down in the right moments. Something about a pencil and a piece of paper, a typewriter with a fresh ribbon, a computer with a blank screen and all the bells and whistles turned off–this calls to me. I used to listen to the call. As a child, my mom regularly evicted me from my spot at the kitchen table where I would have happily sat for hours writing stories, rhymes, little snippets and observations of what seemed and what wasn’t real. She would send me outside, afraid that my desire to sit with paper and my imagination would leave me friendless or socially awkward or some other fate worse than what she hoped for me. But lately, the sensation that I need to put some words down comes at inconvenient times. And I know, when the moment strikes, that if I just stop everything and take a moment and jot down those little pulls and those tugs of feeling-becoming-words that I’ll have something. Something real, true, needing to be said, inspired. But if I don’t stop–and so often I don’t–the sensation soon passes. It will return, but not as soon as it once did, not with the same frequency or urgency. So the goal is to listen more. To tune my sense to those moments. And, yes, sometimes to write when I don’t feel the weight of inspiration on me. To write even when it means tugging each word out from deep inside and sometimes hating the way the words fit together or the dissonant rhythms that testify to my lack of creative impulse in the moment. And then–then it’s a chore. But when I listen: Oh, the relief of writing inspired! Writing when I’m willing to set aside my priorities and my to-do list and all the things I want to do instead so often leads to pure joy, pleasure, and something that makes me smile when it’s finished. So I write.


Every Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker provides a prompt for “Five-Minute Friday“: Write for five minutes only–no editing, no rewriting. This week’s prompt is “Write.”

Five Minute Friday