Ruminating in the Sad Parts

I think one of the hardest times for me to write is when I am sad. I have huge gaps here in my blog and the majority of them have occurred when life is just hard.  When things are not going my way, I struggle to find and articulate my thoughts, to make them cohesive and to get them down without self-editing to death. I believe one part of that is the response that is often garnished from a display of vulnerability like that. Coming from a place of sadness, most people hurt for you and genuinely want to bring you out of that place of sadness or just help shine a light in the midst of it.

Brene Brown is this researcher-storyteller (self-proclaimed) who is rising in a Christian circle I’m in. She has dedicated a large portion of her life’s research to two issues; shame and grief. Not exactly a “happy” task. I recently saw a video interview with her where she is talking about the hurts of life. One thing she likens life’s tough spots to is childbirth with the mid-wife standing by and saying “yeah, it hurts. It’s supposed to. Now push.” Without that work of pushing the joy of life is snuffed out. There’s sacrifice involved.

Right now my family is going through a challenging time. There are parts that are hurting, and parts that are beautiful. There are wounds not gushing (yet) and struggling to heal. But there is rich depth forming in relationships with others. What makes me feel even more heavy and sad in this time, is that so many of my friends are also bearing heavy things right now. There are these big things looming in my friends lives and in our lives that make our hearts say, “man, this hurts!”.  Life, death, deceit, brokenness. And yet in those places, the balm of togetherness is what is soothing the wounds.

Being able to laugh over a glass of wine, counting the moments of joy with a new sense of deep gratefulness. The beauty is more beautiful when the hurt is all around and fresh.

As I’ve struggled to find the words to write today in my place of sadness, I’m grateful for those who will just sit with me in it. Those who will weep with me and just be there. Tomorrow is a new day and could change it all. What I’ve always known and relied on is that through this and anything else thrown at us, God is here. The presence of a Savior and one who offers hope is what calms my weary soul and heavy heart and helps me to do as the midwife says, “push”. Push in. Push through. Feel it all.

If you’d like to catch a glimpse of Brene Brown, here is the interview I mentioned:
http://www.mbird.com/2013/07/brene-brown-reflects-on-how-jesus-wept/

UnPlugging

I’m a Facebook junkie. You probably already know that though. I get lovingly teased about my frequent status updates and high activity level on occasion. Sometimes I sarcastically tell them to stop following me if it’s so annoying (with a wink and a nudge) and sometimes I explain myself. I’m a high extrovert. I’m also a SAHM (stay at home mom). My job is to teach, referee, love, discipline, drive, encourage, cook, clean, shop/provide and help others. I love my job! But my job can get me so focused on my to-do list that I start to get lost in my work. I get lost in work and I get lonely sometimes. So for me, social media is a delicious treat. I can plug in to people whenever I want! Hurray!

However, I’ve been reading several blog posts about the value in unplugging. Yesterday a friend posted that she took Facebook and Twitter off her phone! (And she is a high E like me!) GASP! I followed the comments on her act and was surprised to see people discussing this idea and how freeing it is/has been for them to just leave their phone at home or to remove those apps from their phones. I felt a little twinge inside me…a little tweak of “that’s crazy talk!”.

Then I started to check myself. “How often AM I on my phone?”

I thought of the day my toddler screamed at me every time I reached for my phone. She and I were playing on the floor while dinner simmered away on the stove and a friend began a long string of text messages to me. Every time I reached for my phone to read/respond to the text string, my daughter screamed at me. Yikes….

I follow Donald Miller’s blog (author of Blue Like Jazz and other great works) and today he was discussing relationships and the three things he is focusing on remembering as he interacts with others. That sounds like a loose tie, but in my mind it reminds me how much I love real life personal interactions. How much more valuable they are to me than quick things that come and go on Facebook.

Anyway, I could go on and on with this topic. My point is that I’m considering unplugging from social media or at least regulating my activity level. Not because everyone else is, but because I’ve got other things I truly should be doing. I have real people I can reach out and touch who I am called to invest in. Yet, I have real people who live far, far away that I want to stay in contact with. Such is the pull!