So showing up here after more than a year feels a little like walking over dead grass in summer and wondering if it will come back to life when the dry season is over. Was the death of this blog just a seasonal quieting down? I guess we’re about to find out.
I never intended to quit blogging, instead I disappeared on accident when I tried to write a book (like a real one, with a real publisher and real editors and real everything). Maybe I could have told you sooner, but I felt weird about making a “Hey Everybody, I’m taking a break from blogging to write a book!” announcement, because when I agreed to write a whole entire book, I wasn’t actually sure if I could do it. To come in here and make it a thing would have been like shining a spot light on my next potential failure, and I just can’t handle that kind of pressure to perform. As it turns out, book writing is a greedy process, and it sucked up all of my words and most of my fully developed thoughts and a large chunk of my heart for the better part of 18 months. Also? I could do it. I mean, I did it.
I wrote a whole damn book. …And now I can’t decide if I feel proud as hell or utterly terrified that someone might pick it up and read it. It’s really confusing.
I’ll save the details for later, when the powers that be make me beg you to buy the shit out of it, but for now I will just warn you that it’s one of those obnoxious, self-indulgent, Spiritual memoirs, which, to be honest, is not at all what I set out to write. What I really wanted to write was like a cookbook or something. Y’know, something that didn’t require the bearing of a soul or the sharing of painful truths. But if I’ve learned anything at all through this journey, it’s that a book has a way of becoming itself, and apparently mine was always meant to be personal.
Admittedly, this lengthy silence isn’t solely the book’s fault. The truth is, it has been a dry season around here for many difficult reasons and I haven’t had the grit to put much of it into words. I’ve been over here, quietly abiding scary things, like the rapid transformation of my chubby baby boys into three long lean adults, actual grownass men with their own ideas about life and faith and politics. My oldest is 23, but I’m still trying to find my feet as the Mother of men, still learning when to listen and when to help, when to offer advise and when to argue, when to shut my stupid mouth and when to let my eyes roll all the way out of my head and onto the floor right in front of them. It’s complicated stuff, this parenting of grownup people, and I find myself apologizing often for mistakes I made when they were 2 and 7 and 13, and for all the other years.
During this silent spell, I’ve also been earnestly seeking God, trying to figure out how to wrestle the Hope and Grace of Jesus from the white-knuckle grip of a Church that seems hellbent on claiming it, but not sharing it. Though I’ve been in this process for a few years now, I’m still as lost and lonely as anyone – as everyone – who’s found themselves in this wilderness, wondering what Church is supposed to look like apart from those buildings and those programs and those people. I am the church, this I know…but beyond that, I have no fucking idea, so don’t ask me.
But since the moment I finished the book (basically like 5 seconds ago), my mind has been itching to return to this space. My fingers are suddenly dying to tap out the stories and ideas and questions that have been driven into the margins of my life by a big project and giant kids and marriage stuff and money stuff and mental health stuff and just a lot of other stuff in general. So, anyway, now I’m back, and it’s been so long and there is so much to talk about. And I’m excited to see what a new season will bring…