Making it “Official”

Making it “Official”

In case you didn’t notice, we live in the times of the internet. We have a lot of information right at our fingertips and hardly even know what a day without instant access to all our social media sources is like.

News comes from posts and photos as people share the prominent or pretty parts of their lives with the rest of the “network”…because that’s just what we do. To avoid posting something requires almost a special request or reason to not include it online. Just like that, so much of our lives are shared and revealed to the masses.

I write and say random tidbits about my days, so I’m hardly any different. But I also try to think long and hard about what it is I’m saying and why. Do I share because I feel compelled to do so? Or because it would be useful to know? Or because I just had a really great hair day? So many thoughts and decisions on what’s best, especially in the past few months, have caused me to step back and withdraw from social media and even blogging for a bit. The problem is, eventually people think you’re hiding. And then you question what it is you’re hiding from and why? If you don’t share it online, are you embarrassed or overly secretive or just overthinking it?

This. This has been my constant cycle of thoughts recently as, quite frankly, we’ve found ourselves with some BIG news. News that can’t be summed up in one description or emoji. Unlike what our social media networks and text-based conversations would suggest, we can’t relate on the same level with people as we can face-to-face or in a one-on-one conversation. Simply giving something a heart or a star or a thumbs up doesn’t sit well with me anymore. I want to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Blasting a bit of news doesn’t allow me to do those things quite the way I’d like to.

But social media forces us share in abrupt snippets. Even if we don’t, eventually someone will leak the info online or a photo will surface, and we can’t “hide” from the news–be it good or bad. Let’s be honest, I don’t think most news is quite so simple as only good or bad. Sometimes there’s excitement and panic and confusion and pain and joy and whatever you had for lunch today mixed in all at once.

Our big news? We’re expecting. We’ve actually been expecting for several months now. Expecting to have a baby and become parents and find out just how much that completely changes our lives.

But you? I don’t know what’s going on with you or how you feel about that. Maybe you’re thrilled. Maybe that news hurts to hear. Maybe you wish it was you. Maybe you’re glad it’s not. Maybe you’re wondering why the heck it took so long for me to say something. Maybe you really don’t care. Whatever it is, I don’t get to experience what you’re experiencing on the other side of the screen here. Perhaps that’s for the best, but I feel I’d be remiss to ignore that my news causes something for you, too. To be honest, it causes more than one simple emotion for me as well.

We don’t know what we’re doing or where life will take us from here, but we’re expectant. Expecting that we’ll somehow figure it out together and also lean on trusted people around us. Expecting to be challenged in new ways and to learn a few things the hard way, no matter how much we try to best prepare. Expecting to walk alongside friends who are in the same stage of life as well as with those who aren’t. Expecting to make sacrifices and expecting to find new sources of joy and inspiration.

S+S on the steps-4952

 

 

 

What I Write and What I Want

On the Horizon
It’s been a few weeks, and I’m still not sure how to pick up where I left off. A lot has happened and is happening. A few difficult yet vaguely described months this past fall/winter were followed by some resolve, some redirection, and some utter ridiculousness. In all of that, I question what it is I most want to say.

I have talked a few times about how much I appreciate writing and have been grateful that this blog has been a place for that. It’s been a way to update people, to share my thoughts, and to think through the different things going on in our lives. But it is also a place people come to read those things, which is something I consider very carefully. A handful of people have told me that they read my blog, which is always a flattering compliment, so I have a limited notion of my audience. There are also many people I’ve never met and know nothing about.

To me, the listeners/readers are often just as important as the message. This isn’t a journal, so if I don’t consider my audience, I do a disservice to us both. Lately, with a lot of transition and life going on, I’ve been considering even more carefully what it is that I’m saying and how my words are portrayed to those who are watching and reading. There are times filled with great news or success that I want to shout about and times when I just love the little details in life and want to share them. There are moments of frustration I want to lash out in passive aggression and moments of hurt or fear that I want to describe and sort through.

But the question becomes, what is my purpose? What is it I most want to do through my life and likewise, my writing?

Do I want to have a big platform? Do I want lots of likes and attention? Do I want to promote or sell something? Do I want to woo or impress? Do I want to simply have a creative outlet or a modern-day scrapbook?

Ultimately, none of those are my purpose, and in realizing this, I’ve stepped back. I’ve considered each word and each post and the impact it has. In this time of contemplation I have yet to figure out where to go from here and what I most want to say. But I know I want to keep writing. I want to connect with people. I want to write in a way that encourages, inspires, and relates.

Not only is this my favorite type of writing, but this is the type of writing I most love to read. I have learned and grown so much from reading what others write as they face challenges, celebrate victories, find their faith, and pursue their purpose. Not only that, but these are the lives that carry the greatest impact. Some people have strong voices or get loads of attention, but I’m not after the megaphone moments or a picture perfect type of lifestyle.

I want true authenticity and real relationships; loud joy and quiet success; wisdom over wealth; words filled with grace and also with thanks, and through it all, no matter what, I want to have faith, hope, and love

My Love for Writing

Typewriter - photo by Dustin Lee

It’s Valentine’s Day, so let’s keep with the love theme. I really love writing. 

As a writer, you’re supposed to “show, don’t tell” and even though I just told you about my love for writing, hopefully you’ve seen it, too. For starters, this blog has been around for well over three years now, and it is far from my first blog. I have worked in all sorts of jobs and writing has been a part of many of those positions (including now). On top of that, I write in other places as well, be it with online publications or by writing lyrics with my talented musician of a husband. I’d like to think all of that adds up to “show” my love of writing.

So where is this going? I’m not really sure. I toy with the idea of writing even more. There are days and weeks that I write practically nonstop, be it for a book that may never see the light of day or submitting articles that are hopelessly rejected. I get caught in this cycle of making small progress with pieces of work showing up here and there while exhausting myself writing a mountain of content that most will never know or see. In that battle to write and create, I lose momentum. One lost blog post becomes a week and before you know it, it’s been over two weeks. All the “pro” bloggers wouldn’t dare go more than a day or two between posts, but perhaps that’s why I’ll never go pro.

For me, writing is so much more than having this blog. It’s a creative outlet, it’s a way to process thoughts, it’s an opportunity to connect with people, and it’s sometimes what pays the bills. But each of those categories take on different forms and live in different spaces. Processing thoughts and connecting with people both hold a place on this blog, but my professional pieces never show up here. Sometimes connecting with people looks more like a lengthy personal email or doesn’t include writing at all. As an ambivert, sure, some of my thoughts can be found here on my blog, while so many other thoughts are processed quietly and without any audience. Creative short stories or even waves of ridiculous tweets seldom shine in this particular space. Yet each of these different avenues and styles of writing ignite and inspire me, so I’m not willing to give one up to solely pursue another.

The last few weeks I’ve struggled with feeling more boxed in and constrained by what to write here. My writing has not stopped, it has just been elsewhere. Have no fear, I do not plan to quit altogether or start an entirely new blog my any means. I just want to allow myself the space and opportunity to continue to write in ways that appeal most to me. To be less of a blogger and more of a writer. To let go of self-placed pressures and weekly Thursday Three “deadlines” and hold on to what I love most about writing.

I love the blank space and the thoughts I did not even realize I had that tumble out. I love the clever hooks and the creative words that liven up a sentence. I love the challenge of relaying a message in just a way that captures someone’s attention and allows them to so clearly relate without ever having to directly experience something themselves. I love hearing life stories and figuring out the right way to tell them. I love summing up an idea or a thought so well that it perfectly describes what someone else is feeling or thinking, without ever having met them. I love the opportunity and the unknown with writing, even though it completely terrifies me. I love that writing has always been a part of me and likely always will be.

 

Five Years

Wedding Day | Moving Peaces

Five years.

Five sweet, short, long, hard, crazy, wonderful years, and here we are.

We’re different than when we first met. Our goals have the same roots but have grown and changed just as we have. Our quirks and personalities, while still uniquely ours, have shifted over time. We’ve experienced pain and loss, just as we’ve experienced joy and grace.

I can’t say that life together has been everything we planned or expected. There’s no way we could imagine how we’d grow and change over time. We’ve taken on some incredible adventures and challenges I never would have dreamed we’d face. It is impossible to sum up all of the emotions and fun we have had. I cannot pretend it’s all been easy, but I also know it’s been more than worth it.

Five years ago we were two kids in love. Today, we’re still two kids in love, but somehow in an entirely different way.

Happy Anniversary to my very favorite person. 

 

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

It’s been real hot out there this week. (They say it’s always good to start any piece of writing with a definition from the dictionary, a famous quote some small talk about the weather.) But for real, this week has been in the high 90s around here, and I believe it even crossed over into triple digits a few times. Obviously, that means it’s the perfect time to…

1. Attend outdoor concerts. We were the lucky folks who managed to squeeze in two amazing concerts in the same week. Mumford and Sons and Brandi Carlile both played outstanding shows that made us come home feeling inspired and ready to work on music of our own.

Mumford and Sons | Moving Peaces

Brandi | Moving Peaces

2. Help friends move. I mean, I would have picked last week or maybe sometime in October if given the option, but glad to help regardless of the weather. I love having the opportunity to show up and support my friends, even if sadly, I won’t get to see them for awhile now. Transitions like these bring great opportunity for growth though, and I am really excited for whatever is next in their lives.

3. Replace your car. Please, just go now. That way, you can avoid the unfortunate situation that we are in. Our dear, 20-year-old Honda broke down on the highway (you guessed it, in the middle of one of those wicked hot days), so we sold it to the mechanic for a whopping $300. It’s been a bit of a rough week with one car while trying to find another one that fits our criteria (not because we’re fancy people, but because we are incredibly practical people).

Sad Honda | Moving Peaces

 

On a completely serious (and unrelated) note, I want to say that today, my heart is heavy. There are a lot of terrible things in the world and the shooting in Charleston, SC, is certainly among them. I don’t have all the words to say, other than to please pray for that community and continue to love your neighbors. 

Thursday Three

Today has been such a jam-packed day that I feel like this could be called the “Thursday Thousand”…yet I can’t even think of what to say for the three. How to sum up the week in a few paragraphs? That sounds nearly impossible. So instead I’ll just spout some basic life lessons and call it good for the day.

Me | Moving Peaces

1. Be right with your people. Those people in your life that you want to have relationships with, whether it’s your family or your friends–make sure to get right with them. There will always be something else to do and another to-do list to cross off or another idea, creative project or work responsibility to tend to. But in a week, month, year, decade, whatever–it’s those people and those relationships that you’ll care about most, so care about them now.

2. Community is both created and pursued. There are seasons in life when maybe community happens more naturally, be it in college or  during the “best summer ever.” But more often, finding and being a part of a community requires intention, thought and time. You have to seek community, even when it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to pay off. Finding community sometimes means finding a lot of rejection first. And then, once you’ve found it, you have to be willing to accept it and fully participate in that community. That takes an incredible amount of effort, transparency and perseverance, but ultimately, it’s worth it.

3. Creativity matters. We need creativity to solve problems, to find inspiration and to lift our spirits. That creativity comes in so many forms and can be absolutely amazing. It drives me crazy to think that people can put creativity solely into an artist or craft box. You have creativity in you. Don’t let the artists, musicians, writers and designers be the only ones who take ownership of the word. You are creative in some way, I’m positive, and you need to use that for the benefit of both yourself and others.

 

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

Oh heyyyyyy! Have no fear because the Thursday Three is back. Sorry for the brief interlude. This month has been one of those months where a ton of great opportunities have come my way, and I just keep finding myself saying, “Yes!!” That is, until I crash because I can’t keep up and hide myself from the world. Then I just do what I have to do and a bunch of other things unfortunately get left out in the cold. Sorry little blog, I promise not to leave for more than a week again like that for some time.

1. February brings a lot of love. I mean, it’s cold and some people have mixed emotions about Valentine’s Day but it also has a lot of hearts and makes you want to spend some time with loved ones. We’ve been lucky enough to spend time with some great friends, traveling couchsurfers and each other. That says love to me.

Sweet FriendsCouchsurfers Valentine

2. Life brings pain. One minute my heart is full from so much love around me and the next minute it breaks for those who are hurting. I don’t have the answers, so just love those around you and pray hard.

3. Snow in the South shuts down the town. This past week the schools have been open for a half day–total. Maybe I hate the cold, but secretly I was glad to see a little snow. A few weeks ago we thought winter had completed escaped us, and it seemed strange to go a year with no snow. I can’t say that we got a lot, but happy to see a few flakes just the same.