Friday, July 17, 2015

The Gift of Stress

I've always been a summer girl, made for the season when I showed up in the heat of June, my fate sealed when I tied my soul to a blue-eyed man in late August, the sun setting in heat waves as we drove into a future we couldn't even picture if we squinted.

Our first house was bought in the thick of summertime.
Four years later, I wore my lucky skirt and bare legs when we signed papers for the farm.

Calvin came home in August, and Ruby, one year later. Silas embodies the Indian Summer that kicks past the calendar and into late September.

My life is a landscape of summers; a soundtrack of flip-flops and fireworks, a language of flowers.


 This is my first summer under a deadline.

Though I wouldn't have chosen this timing, the circumstances carry the distinct upside of commanding my focus, meting out my self-discipline in haphazard pockets of writing, then melting me into the edges of what I would choose over and over again.

 

I'm writing a book, and the window is slipping down the jamb. It's happening, it's real, and there's never enough time to work. The kids are all home and there's fun to be had, but I can't do it all, so I do what I can.

My in-between reward is my actual life. For every day I hunker down, there are five days of messes and projects and errands and chocolate chip cookies when it's really too hot to turn on the oven.


 
There's drama and angst, but oh, do I choose it.
The watermelon was a dud, but the blueberries are perfect and yes, I choose it.
I choose bare feet tracking dirt across my floors, and I'll sweep them, I will. But I won't mop. The messes don't matter. There's big work to be done, but not today. Today, we rest. We play. We struggle into the mundane. We do it together, just like we did all those summers ago.

I won't tell you the work is easy.
I'm guessing (hoping?) this isn't the most fun part.

But I already love my book. It gave me a gift when it barged into the sacred space of my summer. It stole my heart when it forced me to find solace in the everyday life that I chose - the life I won't stop choosing.

16 comments:

  1. I know without a doubt it will be awesome! I can't wait to read it! Summer is moving so quickly here at our house too and it just breaks my heart, I love it so. Enjoy the journey sweet lady!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouragement! You've been such a faithful friend for so long. Truly, thank you.

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      Delete
  2. You're my favorite. Ever. I cannot wait to read your book (whatever it may be about)! I know it will make me belly laugh, soul cry and wickedly inspire me. All the love and luck to you my friend.

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  3. Encouraging words, Shannan! This is my first summer to have a job that doesn't get time off in the summer...and it's made me sad and mad. I've not wanted to submit to it. But your writing helps me see the great things that I can choose. Can't wait to read your book!

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  4. I cannot wait to read your book- you bring such joy, emotion and light to every topic you write about- and touch my heart in some way each day! I am so happy to have found your blog- and you by extension :) Blessings today Miss Shannan!!

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  5. Wow! I am super excited! didn't know you were writing a book! When does it come out?!

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  6. Thank you for this. I'm also on deadline this summer and like every time a deadline pops up and the kids are home, I don't find it easy. But you're right. I chose this and am so grateful for this. And...since this is first-round edits, there's time to get it right.

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  7. And as you write, we pray...and as you wife, we pray...and as you mother, we pray...and as you neighbor, we pray...and as you just sweep and don't mop, we pray ...and as you love the least of these, we pray....God is Able ..through it all. I can hardly wait to get my hands on your book! God bless!

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  8. I want to be your older best friend. :0) Can't wait to read your book.

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  9. Every time I read your words I think, I want to be this girl's best friend! 😉 I am so SO excited for your book!

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  10. Beautifully written. A grateful heart always hums a sweet tune.

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  11. Can't wait to read your book, Shannan!

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  12. Reading that you love your book is an answer to the prayers that I still pray for you.
    :)

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