My eldest son, Reuben, is brilliant and calculates risk in his three-year-old way before he does a new thing. He wants to understand, to get the full picture before climbing that ladder or jumping into the deep end. Once he has sufficient understanding, he conquers the thing, his fear making his hands tremble as he does it. But, he doesn’t give up, he doesn’t give in to the fear. And soon, before we know it, his bravery takes over to the point that he is going too high, or taking too much risk for parental comfort. It occurs to me that he isn’t brave because he doesn’t have fear, but he is brave because he stands in the presence of his fear and he doesn’t give in.
I started faintnotmom.com almost a year ago. I worked hard to cast a vision, design, and build a blog for moms, artists, and people of faith to come, have a laugh, be inspired and, most of all, be encouraged by authenticity and the truth of the Gospel. I have grown as a writer this year and I have experienced both being on a rocking-roll, and boulder-like writer’s block. I am often bursting with ideas to write about and then, in the missing moments of the day, attempting to sit down at my computer only to struggle to find the words—well, the RIGHT words—to express what I want to say. I’ve been blown away by the response of total strangers to some of my writing and disappointed when I see a particular blog post not get the attention I thought it deserved. Basically, I have experienced the ups and downs of a creative, pioneering a new frontier for herself. At the end of 2015, I seriously considered stopping this wagon-ride across the hostile plains. (Sorry, when I think pioneers, my thought process is very literal. ;)
There are a million reasons for me to let this whole blog thing go. Our family is defined mostly by one word in my mind right now and that word is a big, fat, bolded, underlined, followed by an annoying amount of exclamation points: TRANSITION. Since starting this blog, my husband left his job in Colorado and we sold our home. We gave away, sold, or threw away almost everything we owned and we moved in with my in-laws in Texas—and not to a basement apartment situation, we are talking sharing walls, real cohabitation. Tom is now in full-time seminary, we went to Europe for three weeks, Arkansas for two, I went to a blogging conference in Indiana, and Nashville for ministry trip...on and on it goes!
And the thing that was the impetus for all of this craziness, is an exciting and compelling call to missions in France for us as a family. When God calls you, how can your world not get shaken upside-down?
I have been discouraged that I have not had the time to write, to escape to my little world of words and wittiness. To be honest, I haven’t felt witty or particularly like sharing. I retreat from social media because it only reminds me of the posts I’m not writing, the connections I’m not making, the blogs I should be and want to be reading, and the reversal of the advancement of the brand that I worked hard to create. My writing has suffered from inconsistency. My blog ideas for artist features, the holidays, and age-relevant posts expire. With each day that goes by, I feel one more dig into the ground under my feet, only deepening this creative hole in which I have found myself. Sometimes I can make myself feel better and say, “This is a season. It’s ok to miss a week. People will understand.” But a week turns into two and then a month goes by and I’m desperately banging out a post so that I can hold on to this thread of creativity that I thought I had a year ago.
Life is shifting, changing directions, gearing up for a new and unique craziness that I don’t even understand yet, and won’t, most likely, until I’m knee-deep in it. Through all this I am trying to be a good mother to my three boys and a good wife to my husband, a good daughter-in-law, friend, pastor, and barista (I forgot to mention, I started working at Starbucks again as well). The question is, can I be a good child of God in all this ‘being good’ for everybody else? And even as I wrote that sentence, I am struck with the beauty of God's gentle voice saying that all I have to be is a child of God because I will never be good. I will never be good at anything, unless it is Him working through me.
And here I am, back at the beginning, the reason I started this blog is based on this verse, Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Somehow, when God created everything, he included me in His perfect plan, creating me in His image and giving me a spirit to create as well. And if I have done any good in this past year through this silly little URL, then it is all by His prompting and love. So in the spirit of this blog, whose purpose is to encourage us all to not grow faint in doing the things God has called us to, I will not give up.
Like Reuben, I long to understand what is coming, how it will all work, and how I can hold all these things together without failing miserably. I pray that God will make me as brave as the child he gave me, that maybe I can overcome these fears and frustrations even in the presence of my trembling hands. I may not knock it out of the park every time, I may not get a post out every week, I may not even make sense most of the time, but I promise to not give in to the fear of failure, but live with it’s existence and conquer it anyways.
Are you weary in doing the good that God has called you to? Don’t give up. You aren’t alone. God is doing all the good through you anyways so you can rest on His promises, His hope, and the truth that fear and failure were conquered on the cross. And though they may be present in our lives and world, they will never have the last word.