Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Words and Sharing

I've only been gone since Thursday, but I still feel that strange nervousness, like seeing an old friend for the first time in ages and feeling unsure of where to start.

It's not you, it's me.
Life here is wild and full. It's rushed and then it's the slow drip of sap in a bucket.

It must be spring.

A few days ago I lamented to Cory, "I can't find my thoughts." My words, the ones I type and maybe even the ones I speak, come from those things that turn in my mind, loose fistfuls of gravel banging around until at least some of the edges are smooth. "My feelings have run dry," I said. "I'm numb."

Without missing a beat, he responded, "You've said that before. They always come back."

I knew he was right. I know it's true.

My house is full of commotion and my head is fixed on the solitary work of translating the tangled truth of my heart into the linear shape of paragraphs and chapters. It makes for an interesting existence.

What I know for sure is that this blog is an extension of my home.

You guys are my neighbors, and I need you.


I've spent half a decade trying to imagine what it would be like to write this book, and it feels nothing like I thought. It's consuming. It empties me out. It keeps me in a state of walking backwards in order to really see where the good light falls.  It's exhilarating, the best kind of challenging. It's slow and fast. It's like waking up, line by line. The day is bright and the sun feels so nice.

I spoke to an Important Person a few weeks ago and told her the truth, that people assume I was a writer, so I started a blog.

In reality, I started a blog and then became a writer.
For me it was backwards.

 
It happened word upon word, settling into that white house down the sort-of-long lane, sinking my hands into the earth, rocking babies, flying to Korea and back, weeping hot tears into my pillow and believing for just a moment they might never stop spilling. We lost jobs and gained perspective, we walked away from chapters that were closing and fumbled in the dark for what would become of us.

I became a writer as life made less and less sense. I wrote because I wanted to, and then because I had to.
 
We all have a story, one that's meant to be shared. It doesn't matter if it's told on paper or over mugs of gone-cold tea.

You are among my favorite sharing places. You've met me in some of my most vulnerable places, and offered yourselves back to me. Don't ever believe that's a small thing. You guys have carried me, and I know I'm an awkward load.


I might be a bit more scarce around here for a while, but I'll never, ever quit you. And since I'm already sitting here with my wringing hands and morning hair, I'll go ahead and ask you to pray for me if I come to mind.

My writing prayer for myself is usually the same, "Give me the words to say and the courage to say them. Let them only be Yours." Feel free to crib my prayer, though I have a feeling yours might be a bit shinier.

I'm not sure what life looks like for you today, but I'm guessing it looks something like mine. It's probably full of shifts and lurches, that hilly terrain that gives life its depth and beauty. If you want to tell me about it, I'd love to listen. If you're the quiet kind, that's okay, too.

Just promise you'll share it with someone, because that's what I know for sure: We're all better off together.

Happy Tuesday, Homies.

Ever,
Shannan


44 comments:

  1. Sweet Shannan, prayers for you and for the words to flow. Thanks for always laying your heart out there for all of us. Your writing is amazing, as I have said before. You have an awesome gift. God's got this. Just lean in and listen. He's right there ready to whisper. Have a great day! hugs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much.
      I think He's whispering...I keep asking Him to speak up a little. Ha!

      Delete
  2. I pray for you.

    I will pray for you. I have been scarce around here too (to the point I wonder if you even know who I am when I do comment) after life stopped making sense and God led us away from our forever farm. Wherever God leads you, follow. His Way is always best (I know you know.) I will never forget you and will always be grateful for the Amazing way God chose to speak in part though you to give me the courage to step off the only gravel road I had ever known on to a new life, an abundant one at that. Too think what I might have missed...
    Love you much farmgirl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, OF COURSE I remember you!
      We've walked a familiar road, haven't we? Thanks for taking the time to say Hi.
      Love you back!

      Delete
  3. Praying for you friend!!! God is always faithful no matter what!! He truly speaks through you! Every post feeds us in such a beautiful, much needed way!! Always thankful for your heart ♡

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow - how amazing you write what my heart feels. Thank you. You pray for me and I'll pray for you. We are definitely better as neighbours, no matter the number of miles that separate your kitchen table from mine. You will be missed in the inbetweens but know we've got you covered. Life does lurch, and leap and wallow. Crazy how that is, and yet, always, always there He is, waiting to take our hand and help us along our wild and wooly way, no matter how much we fumble, turn back or pick our way along.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rough patches happen ever single day. Words are hard to find and elusive and I struggle with staying afloat. Isn't wonderful to know we are not in this alone? We have each other and our words of encouragement and we have Him. Praying for you and all of us. Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the way you put into words the very thing my heart is trying to say...but can't! I will pray for you :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh yeah....today has already been full of shifts and lurches. My prayer for myself is Psalm 19:14.....ALL DAY LONG!

    BUT, as I type, I am praying Psalm 18:1 NLT for you!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both excellent prayers!
      Love that you know I'm an NLT girl. :)

      Delete
  8. we walked away from chapters that were closing and fumbled in the dark for what would become of us.

    I feel that!! husbands' job is moving-he's not moving w/them, not sure what our income will be. He's talking of going in a different direction, maybe further education. I'm recently changed from active parenting to grown children, what will the LORD have me do now? a lot of uncertain ideas & thoughts...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you're in a season of change - how exciting!

      Delete
  9. your heart is beautiful - even when it's feeling windswept. thank you for sharing. thank you for giving us the opportunity to pray for you. I was going to say, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help hold your arms up, but then I remembered that's not your jam - ha. seriously though, praying. we'll be here and ready when you have words for us, and the days that you don't, we'll be looking forward to the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This cracked me UP.
      Oddly enough, I always like songs/verses that refer to God or others lifting our hands up. So maybe I'm just lazy? :D

      Delete
  10. Even though I have lurked long, I have never commented before but with the invitation you just offered, I felt I must ! Your words give me courage and inspiration as I prepare to take a similar road to you - leaving a leafy Georgian market town in Yorkshire UK - known as the best place to live in UK - to the city known as the worst place to live in the UK- ten miles down the road, into a depleted, neglected, poverty stricken neighbourhood. My husband is taking up a new role working in a tiny church in the neighbourhood, and I am currently conducting a frenetic relationship with all of the 'organising your stuff to fit into two cupboards' boards on Pinterest!! I feel scared and excited - and am so encouraged to look at your life and see what the road ahead may look like in some ways for us... Wish I could meet up for a cup of tea ( I am English!) and a good old chat but as we live on different continents and have never met I guess that is unlikely. Makes your writing so very important for me though - please keep telling the rare and precious story....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to drop everything I'm doing and fly straight to you, where I'll immediately insert u's in to words like favourite. And yes, pour me a cup of tea. I DREAM of visiting the UK one day! Did a whistle-stop once, on a long lay-over, but I need to go for real. Keep on truckin', sister. I'm cheering you on!

      Delete
  11. Praying for you, Shannan. Thanks for letting God use your words to speak to others (including me 😊). So glad I found your little corner of the web!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hardly ever comment but I was planning to even before you asked us to tell you about our lives. ;) I wanted to tell you I remember the moment I realized you were a write and knew that you would write books. <-- Books. ;) It was when you had come home with sweet Silas and he was having a hard time adjusting. You wrote about our prayers and that you stirred them in your coffee. I know it's crazy but I remember that for some reason and it struck me as such beautiful words. Your blog is the only one I tell people they have to read!! Prayers lifted for you!! Oh, and don't be jealous but my life is in a slowwww season, empty nesting. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so good to me!
      And I remember that post like yesterday. Thank you for the kind encouragement.

      Delete
  13. of course i will pray. my prayers have been stunted lately, but more frequent for sure. it might just be, "Lord, please help Shannan", but i'm sure those still count! sending love your way!

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh, shannan. XO
    praying for you, so grateful you share your story.
    love you forever. (see you soon!)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love your thoughts, your heart, and your words. They are clearly inspired. Keep them coming, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yours is one of 5 blogs that I always read, no matter what. My husband makes fun of me when I say, 'My friend said," when i'm talking about something I read on your blog. That's why I like reading your words - it's like it's coming from a friend. You have a way of pulling me into the same place you are. I like that, even when it makes me squirm a little. You also have a way of making me think about salsa more than I used to. I will be praying for your hard work. Maybe it's time for salsa?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're totally friends. The husbands just don't get it.

      :)

      Delete
  17. Praying for you, dear Shannon. I am one of the quiet ones, but your words pierced me to the heart this morning. "Just promise you'll share it with someone, because that's what I know for sure: We're all better off together." I don't have a friend I can call and share with. It's no one's fault but my own. We moved; I started a new job and my whole network of parents-of-my-children's-friends didn't work in this new place because my children didn't move with us (I have an empty nest). I promise to quit procrastinating and find a 'bosom friend.' But know this: I, too, quote you as "A friend of mine said..." and I will continue to do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pinkie promise???
      All I know is, someone, somewhere, is praying for a friend like YOU. Find her!
      xo

      Delete
  18. HI, from a lurker that pops up around here a lot. ;) I echo Kara: yours is one of the few blogs that I always check and make sure to catch up on new words because I know each post will wreck and bless and encourage and push boundaries. I love how your share your heart and what the Lord gives you to say and LIVE.

    That being said, I'm happy to be praying Isaiah 50:4 over you and your book (!!!!): "The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue _(I include pen)_, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed." May it be so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oooooh girl, thank you for this.
      I pop up around your place, too. :)

      Delete
  19. I'm one of the quiet ones, too, and I wish I had the gift of getting my words into print like you do. We love hearing about your imperfect life...from challenges with the kiddos, or your favorites deals you found at Aldi that day. We relate because it's real life, and that's what keeps us coming back. Whether we voice it in words or not, you have influenced us all significantly in one way or another. I bet a box of those butter kek (?) thingies after the kids are asleep will help :) Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  20. "I became a writer as life made less and less sense. I wrote because I wanted to, and then because I had to.

    We all have a story, one that's meant to be shared. It doesn't matter if it's told on paper or over mugs of gone-cold tea"

    Just the words I needed to read right now, Shannan.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sometimes God keeps our emotions revving and our thoughts bouncing around, so he can order our words. If we take a second to boss our thoughts as we prepare to write, we quickly realize this jumble of laundry will get us nowhere. It's then that he speaks. He moves our fingers over keyboards and keeps the words in an invisible queue doling out a few lines at a time lest we run away with them and make them our own again.
    God is a finisher of his work. He is a lover of his babies. Sometimes we think we are too old to crawl up in his lap and lean our head into the warmth of his neck, but he knows better. We need that familiar snuggle. So lean in sister. Lean in and be poised at the keyboard. Let his love roll off of you and onto those pages and know that we are praying.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My prayers are with you! I'm sure that everything will be all right and your book will be great.
    Love the wall ehind that poster, the flowers and colours are wonderful.

    Domestic cleaning Battersea

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh this is me right now for sure. Not that I'm writing a book or anything, but the part about life being so up and down and mixed up and chaotic and still, and then not knowing how to figure out what my heart is saying. I know you will find the words as you keep plowing forward in this journey..and when I'm stuck in my head I'll pray for you too...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Shannon, I love your writing, and your heart. So many of us feel the same feelings and yet you are able to give our feelings a voice. I will be praying for you in this season of unrest. I am in the middle of a local bible study here in Austin with Jennie Allen. It's called NUMB. once it becomes available you must check it out. You are not alone!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so happy to know you're writing your story, Shannan. I've loved your story from the very start. I'll be praying; I promise. I wrote a little book because, although fiction, it sat on my heart for years. I got brave, sent it off and learned about rejection. Having a hard time sending my heart out again. So that's me right now. Praying your words find their way to many hearts.

    ReplyDelete
  26. When you doubt yourself and can't find the words, remember this....we all believe in you. I am so glad you are writing. I have always loved your style...the way you open your soul and let people in. It is a joy to soak up your words and feel them inside. You go girl! Michelle from Canada.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? You truly can't know how much it means to know that you guys believe in me. And I do know it! And it makes such a difference.

      Delete
  27. I came from Emily Freeman's site. Glad I did. I nodded and nodded in agreement all the way through : )

    ReplyDelete
  28. I know that feeling of wanting to write but feeling numb...sometimes from the perpetual mundane strung together day after day, sometimes from the heavier things of life that leave you wondering if what you have to say really makes a difference at all. Glad I pondered upon this post today (also from Emily Freeman's site!) (:

    ReplyDelete