Friday, January 16, 2015

Keeping It Weird in 2015

Something in me has resisted the idea of making big plans for 2015, or setting major goals. I haven't even picked a word. (If memory serves me, I didn't pick one last year, either.)

I'm a big picture person by nature. A list-maker. My favorite thing to do with Cory is sit alone and talk about the future, or our dreams for certain areas of our life. (He might say I do 85% of the talking. I say: Prove it, Jail Chap.)

Dreaming makes my soul feel free, like good things are still possible, or like maybe there's still a shred of control resting in my hot little (giant) hands (claws).

Over the past few years, our dreams keep changing shape. They shift when we're standing still. They lose their edges while we sleep. The things I used to dream about are, for the most part, off my radar now.

Back in the day, when we stole a quiet hour together, we had to swear off talking about our kids. You know that thing, right? Now, when we sneak off for lunch, we have to intentionally kick our neighbors under the table for a while so we can sit and intentionally talk about our kids.

There are days it all seems right and there are others when the world seems desperately off-balance. I mourn those daydreams about adding on to our already-huge-farmhouse. (Who was that girl???) I know every life is complicated in its own way, but I look around sometime and wonder what it's like to just worry about ourselves, our own little unit. I used to live that, and now I can't even remember the feeling. Not even a little bit.

The point of this isn't that I'm some kind of martyr or the Best Jesus Girl Ever. (Don't make me prove that's not the point, holy cow, don't. do. it.)

The point is, I worry every single day that we're losing ourselves. 

The other point is, I'm reminded just as often that in order for the Universe to be truly right, God has to increase. And the only way that can happen is for me to decrease.

I'm over here decreasing, guys. That's what I'm doing, and it feels like trying to climb out of my own body.  It feels like spinning and rocketing then stopping on a dime. It feels lonely, sometimes. Painful, sometimes.


My God loves me. He wants to own my identity and boss my schedule around. Yep. He wants to keep cramming bodies into this smallish house. He wants my days to feel so unmanageable that I impulsively turn my back to the room while I'm stirring marinara and say, out loud, "Jesus, take the wheel." (That was an honest prayer I prayed yesterday and I wasn't even trying to be funny, which probably cracked God up even more than the times I do joke around with Him. There were other prayers, but that was the most urgent. And probably the longest.)

God wants me at the end of myself so He can build me back up in ways that reflect more goodness, more Him. He wants my self-pity and ego to be sacrificed on the altar of Much Better Things.

But He's kind of crazy about Shannan Martin and her wonky ways.
Just like Austin TX, He wants to keep me weird.

Weirdness is the essence of who He created me to be, so we guard it like the Hope diamond.
Weirdness is the source of my creativity, and the thing that keeps me from fleeing life when it feels too scratchy and hard.

Women talk a lot about self-care. I honestly have trouble getting on board with the idea that I come first, but only because it's not true. It sounds so good, in theory, but it's really a lie. I was never meant to be first. Neither were you.

Still, I do factor in somewhere. Dying by living is the goal, but in order for the living part to happen, we have to be, well, alive. It'd be nice if we could be alive with clean socks, delicious dinner, and a few idle hours.

These days, I'm paying attention to what I need and when and where I can find it. I'm doing more listening, less talking. I'm giving myself permission to regroup in necessary ways, and discovering the path to regrouping is to simply Be.

It turns out, God's economy of Always Enough applies even to me.
I can spend and keep spending my life for the sake of God, but at some point the best service I can offer is to lock my door and read a magazine.

So, here's what I know right now. I know my house is quiet for the next hour, after which it will be Game Freaking On for the rest of the day/weekend/oh-my-gosh-Monday-is-a-holiday.

So I will spend this hour well.
I will wear it out.
My worship and obedience will be soup.

That's honestly the extent of what I know.

God has a plan for my day, which has already included some angst/drama/inconvenience/stress. It's already packed with everything I need to keep running to Him. The bad news is, I would have chosen differently. The good news is, I'm learning to trust His ideas more.

I'll let you know in December what my word for 2015 was.
Right now, I have no dang clue.

(Hashtag Adventure. Hashtag I like surprises. Hashtag I hope some of them are fun-good and not just hard-good.)


PS - There must be something in the water, because my pretend sisters Emily and Myquillyn both wrote posts this week that resonated so deeply within me, I almost cry-talked.

I also love the way Hayley talks about Mothering herself.


  1. I am so glad that I found you by doing the 'Unfolding of you' course. My world is different and small compared to yours, but I am learning so much from your big heart! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Sitting with these words for a while. I kind of feel like I'm in the calm before a big storm coming in the rest of the year. This is encouragement to trust and be brave in the face of what's to come. Thanks, Shannan.

  3. I have always, at a deep level, resisted the whole "me-time" idea as not sitting right in my heart. Now, as mama to 6 children in a small cabin, I have come to realize something. Sometimes for me to serve my people well I need to "recharge my batteries" alone. And when I realized that the recharge time was not motivated by selfishness or laziness by but by the desire to be the best servant hearted mama/friend I can be, well then it finally felt ok. Wishing you all the Holy Spirit's help this long weekend!

  4. on Sunday when i bowed out from all. the. things. it wasn't the plan for the day. these words help me see it was just that paying attention and listening that you talked about. i started with just sitting. i now had a few glorious hours A.l.o.n.e. in our smallish house and knew there was rest needed, but clueless as to what that looked like. Then i watched Good Will Hunting- I didn't know it was just what i needed, but the One who is the Boss of me (too) knew-i'm coming to realize that not only can i not control my days, but He control's my rest too--and that is becoming more beautiful and less frustrating as i experience it.

  5. I love you, have I mentioned that? :-) also, i just watched your thrifting video too - it made me feel like we were hanging out :-) so fun!

  6. Have you heard Meredith Andrews' song Worth It All?? Gosh this post reminds me of those lyrics.

    "I let go of all I have just to have more of You." Everything we've lost, we've found in Him - we decrease, and somehow, somehow this allows Him to increase (cannot/will not probably ever really wrap my hard human head around that).

    Crank that sucker up on Pandora, YouTube - something. So much more I want to type but it's too jumbled...just - that song.

  7. you are forever and always preaching to my heart. we have extra peoples sleeping under this roof as i type, and my first thought when i was asked to take in two more was, really? this whole campus of folks who have only their small units to care for, and you want the girl with 27 souls to track to squeeze in another pair? (my second thought was just as ugly; something about how nice it must be that other people can flit away for a break when we can't ever ever ever leave our smallest person with anyone else, ever. i mean we can, but the backlash is never worth it.)


    after several dozen seconds of condensed selfishness via the most rollicking pity party you've ever seen, i said, Jesus, help me to do this with joy. or at least peace.

    and He did. and He does. i am a scattered, ridiculous mess of a thing, but in His hands. and it's ever the last part that ends up counting.

    love you.

  8. i read my favorite mommy blogs every day- i check out their style, decor, recipes, fun kid anecdotes, lifestyle, but every time it comes to god, i just check out. i'm not christian, i'm sort of agnostic everything but your particular posts about spirituality feel like the only ones that get through. i really enjoy your blog and hope you continue endlessly. thanks.

  9. Oh that is good Shannon! We are not supposed to come first. Yes, so many are buying into the lie. It is good to be reminded.

  10. weird = good

    So, looking forward to 2015! :-)

  11. I found you through Unfolding and I am so thankful to see your heart and wisdom. Thank you! My pastor preached last week and said if we got to vote on the cross, we would vote a big "NO!" It would have been the wrong decision. I love that we can trust Him to know what is best. Thank you for your example and for being like Jesus. I'm inspired.

  12. Isn't so hard to deny ourselves? In lieu of what He has planned? Surrendering totally is so scary...will I have to move a billion miles away & not watch tv anymore? Sigh. Right there with you in the decreasing.

  13. you are pretty weird - ;)
    in a good way . . .lol.
    i haven't chosen a word either - and i always do - but normally one seems to choose me.
    i noticed your
    dead rose &
    de crease
    are like almost the same.


  14. This was wonderful and just what I needed. God lets things get hectic to bring glory to Him. He's been reminding me of the same thing. Thank the Lord for The Best yes and blogs like yours in the Influence network that remind me that I am not alone and that God is sovereign and good. Hashtag Keep Running The Race

  15. This is a wonderful post! I feel like I can relate to so much of this for my 2015 as well!