Hi, remember me? I am the one that started this blog all excited and motivated. I spilled my guts to you about my pain, and then I disappeared.
I am back. Since it has been 46 days since I have written in this “weekly” blog, I figure I have some explaining to do.
There are so many reasons why I haven’t been disciplined about writing. One of them is the true culprit. Let’s play a game -- see if you can guess the real “excuse” (even though it is inexcusable.)
1. I have been busy.
Our master bathroom is being remodeled and there are contractors in and out of our house daily. To save money, my husband took on some of the steps in the remodel himself. “We” (my part is 99.9% cheerleader) are in charge of putting in the LVP flooring and extending it into the bedroom, painting both rooms, replacing the electrical light fixtures, and a bunch of other small things that I wasn’t paying enough attention to remember. (A wonderful friend with an amazing, top-notch company is who is working with us on this remodel. We are thankful to God for his kindness, generosity, grace, and friendship. Plus, he is the absolute best in the business, so we have been blessed doubly so.)
We have had a couple of unexpected snags along the way. (Nobody’s fault, just part of the process.) One of these snags requires me to tell you a funny story from the past, so you can truly understand the irony.
Once upon a time in the 50s or 60s, not sure, as I am reporting on this story 3rd or 4th hand and you know my memory is poop, anyway…. My grandparents had their bathroom remodeled. At the time, those glass bricks were all the rage and they had them installed floor to ceiling on the outside wall of the bathroom. The idea of the bricks is they would be able to see outside clearly and light could come in, but the outside would have an unfocused, obscured view of the inside - you know - for privacy. Well, the builders installed the bricks the wrong way. My grandmother wondered why the landscapers spent so much time working on the yard by the bathroom. True or not true, the point is that this issue might be hereditary.
The purpose of our remodel was to get rid of our tiny stall shower in the corner and the large garden tub under the window and to replace them both with a large shower. This shower would then be eye level and right-in-front-of-the-window. The window needed replacing anyway, so we decided to go with a modern version of the glass bricks: a waterproof, frosted window specifically for use in bathrooms for privacy, instead of a tinted/frosted film on the existing window. Bryan assured me it would be ok. “People use them all the time,” he said. “Of course nobody can see in,” he said. Then he drove by the back of the house while the vanity contractors were in the bathroom working. He came inside pale as ice and verbally insisting I was right over and over. By his words alone I worried he might have been having a stroke! Then he told me what I was right about. He could see the contractor in the bathroom as he drove by, and he could even read the logo on his t-shirt! The windows are, apparently, not very private. So, we will certainly be finding a way to resolve that and not showering in there in the meantime!
2. I have been overwhelmed.
It’s the holiday season! Thanksgiving was wonderful but required much planning and organization (aka use of my full brain power, which is not always accessible). Christmas is sneaking up on me, and I am determined to be prepared this year so that when it arrives I can relax and relish the moments with my family.
The hustle and bustle, along with the craziness of a global pandemic, make me strive harder to remember the reason for this season (to celebrate that God came into the world in the form of a man to atone for the sins of humanity.)
I want to be careful not to become a victim of the Christmas Can-Can. If you do not know this song, it is worth a listen - a funny (worldly) response to holiday preparations in America: https://youtu.be/1ZveAyEMWJ0
3. I have been distracted.
Bryan and I are very seriously pondering a large change in our lives. It is an exciting and overwhelming and potentially transformative opportunity -- if all the pieces fall in place where we need them to land. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I will be able to be more transparent about this news. (This is not meant as a ploy to keep you reading my blog, although it kind of might work, huh?)
4. I had a bad dental experience.
I don’t want to talk about it, because I cannot do so without bad mouthing my (now former) dentist, but let’s just say after what was supposed to be a simple procedure I needed root canal, but then I didn’t, but now maybe I do.
5. I have been fighting a dive into depression.
This fall into the dark has everything to do with some new medical diagnoses (add lupus and rheumatoid arthritis to my list) and fighting the reactive pain that my body experiences when dealing with stress, change, lack of sleep, or anything slightly overwhelming (see #1 - 4 above).
6. I have not been listening as carefully to God as I should.
After my last post, I sat down at predetermined and scheduled time intervals to write. I had no inspiration or idea of what to write at those times. Perhaps it was writer’s block, which by definition is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. So, I got up and went about my day without writing. At other times, such as in the middle of the night or whilst driving or when I was in a situation in which I did not want to be diverted, I had great ideas and inspirations for writing! In those moments, I believe God provided me with a nudge to write, but I ignored it. Maybe I was too sleepy to sit up and jot down a note so I wouldn’t forget. Or I was too focused on driving (which is a good thing, I understand that) and on worldly tasks and chores to stop and jot down a note to myself so I wouldn’t forget. Or I was too lazy to get the dog off my lap and start writing (I mean, it is my sweet Beaufort… If you haven’t met him, check him out here: https://www.instagram.com/beaufort_hennessy/)
Anyway, again and again, something happened to stop me from acting on the nudge, and guess what? I forgot all of those ideas. Inspiration -- wasted. It is not that I feel I have neglected you all from my words, haha. I am not even sure anyone even reads this anymore. My disobedience to the Spirit’s nudging resulted in ME missing the therapeutic feelings and spiritual thinking I experience upon this time of reflection.
I feel this spirit nudge in other areas of my life, too. I do my best to respond, and most often it is rewarding. A friend I haven’t heard from in a while crosses my mind → I reach out to them to learn they needed a friend at that moment. A sudden prickly urge in my spirit to drive a different route or leave at a different time → I don’t know why, but I trust God and do it. A service or volunteer opportunity that I might not normally act on...nudge! (Maybe reluctantly, though obediently,) I act on it and find personal, spiritual, or positive fellowship and growth rewards in the process. These examples, and more, are how I know these certain nudges were from the Holy Spirit. (1 John 4: 1-3)
My inexcusable excuse for disappearing for 46 days is that I have been ignoring or pushing aside the gentle elbowing nudges of the Holy Spirit in this part of my life. What other nudges have I missed or been too distracted by the noise of the world to notice?
1 John 4:13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
I am Susan. This space holds my own ponderings and observations.