Sunday, July 15, 2018

In Which I Tell You Exactly Why I'm Barely Online



We enjoyed a four mile hike early this afternoon.  I'm pretty picky when it comes to weather conditions and my willingness to kick my flip-flops to the side and tie on my sneakers.  It wasn't too hot, too cloudy, too humid ... and the sea breezes kept my spirits up even as my energy level waned as the miles ticked by.

'I miss writing,' I said, as I worked hard to keep up with his stride.

He heard me well.

Yes, there was the little #MyCozySummerHome series at the beginning of July.  You can find it right here.  It was fun sharing snapshots of home-sweet-home with you.  

But these days substantial words are a bit elusive and somehow hard to corral.  And I'm realizing, yet once again, that's just fine.  I'm enjoying being free from the tyranny that blogging can sometimes engender.  And as much as I miss tapping away on this ancient keyboard, it's all good and I can't say I'm heartbroken to be pretty much off-line.  The pressure is off and it does this soul good to be unplugged. 

I've noticed that a number of kindred spirit bloggers have vanished from sight, too.  So I feel like I'm in good company.  I do hope they'll return at some point.







It was three years ago this week that my dad died, the day after we moved here to do life with him and my mom.  I've been thinking of him alot ... and our little grandson, Tyler, who joined him in heaven two months later.  Several people I adore have been in and out of the hospital ... and like every other family, I struggle from the sidelines over a few situations I find sad and unsettling.

This has all weighed a bit heavy, obviously.

And then our eldest daughter celebrated her 40th.  And that gave me even more cause for pause.  40.  It seems like yesterday I was young and energetic, awestruck and completely clueless at motherhood's reality, gently pushing her on a backyard swing, entranced by her sweet spirit, her hair shining in the sunlight, the color of a newly minted penny. 

She's still a beauty, inside and out.  Her sister, too.  

I can't tell you how much I admire my girls.  Their compelling stories of devoted motherhood are theirs to tell and maybe someday they will.  But meanwhile?  Let me tell you they are absolutely incredible woman.  I'm in awe of who God's shaped them to be.  I can't help but hope that someday, maybe just maybe, I'll be just like them.

So yeah.  All that.




I meet with my counseling clients throughout the summer.  I just love what God is doing in the lives of these valiant women.  What can I say except yes, beautiful miracles still happen.  We serve a powerful Wounded Healer, don't we.

Praise Him.

I've been pulling together my CEUs for my counseling certification as well as learning the basics over at PicMonkey.  I can't say I'm enjoying the PicMonkey thing and I'll be relieved when what I need to absorb is accomplished.

Technology is the bane of my existence.

And I finished downloading and printing out all 45 transcripts of Emily Freeman's fabulously inspiring podcasts.  She's that splendid, that soul-provoking.  Reams of her spoken words now reside in a huge white binder and I love being able to page through her soothing, practical wisdom at evening's end. 

We've had company a few evenings.  Simple food on the grill, burnt marshmallows over the fire, lots of sun-brewed iced tea served up with laughter and hefty conversation.  I'm working on being more hospitable.  Really.  The spirit is willing but I am prone to laziness ... until we're gathered 'round the table with friends and my eyes rove from face to face and I wonder why we wait so long to invite these kind souls to break bread with us.  

My heart soars just a bit at the gift of relationships being cultivated, enjoyed, nurtured.  I'm grateful.




So that's what's happening.  Nothing profound or exciting.  I just didn't want you to think you've been forgotten.  Because, for sure, you haven't.

And I'm guessing it won't be long again 'til I have something that begs to be said.

Like, 'I thank God for you, dear reader.  And I appreciate that you're willing to do life with me.'

Bless you ~





Read more about what's on the table ...




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very quick hellos to

41 comments:

  1. Hi Linda! It is nice hearing from you. I wasn't much into the whole summer project thingy although I read some of them. But, hey, I'm a guy! I look forward to hearing from you when you do write. Always learn and always enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, it was a woman thing. For sure.

      Thanks for hanging in there anyway, Bill.

      Delete
  2. Linda, you certainly are missed when you're not here, but I truly understand how important and refreshing breaks can be. Depending on our circumstances at any given season, we can find ourselves juggling so many balls that we're doing nothing well. I've had my own struggles, especially with MIL living with us full time, to keep my blog up through the year, and have found myself giving me permission to let that ball drop here and there. Next week will be one of those times.
    Blessings, my friend, and enjoy your summer with family and friends!

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    1. Yes and amen to giving each other grace, space, and encouragement to do what we need to do to be healthy and sane.

      Enjoy that week off, Martha. It's waiting for you!

      Delete
  3. I totally understand - I've been barely online myself. But I do feel the stirrings of some ideas so hopefully thinks will pick up.

    Seems like you've been having a lovely time - enjoy! (Just don't forget us!)

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    1. I absolutely hear you about the stirrings, Jerralea. They come at the oddest of times and beg to be acknowledged. Maybe we do our best work while walking or laying awake at o'dark thirty or chopping veggies ...

      Go figure!

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  4. Oh, yes, I'm all the way with you. To the point that our oldest turns 40 later this year too! If I can help with the PicMonkey let me know. It's lost favor with me over the last couple of years as I've found a couple of others that are easier for me. Don't hesitate to email me if I can help.

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    1. Easier is better. Do tell!

      I'm pulling together a bunch of headers for those end of the month Loose Ends newsletter kind of posts. And then I'm done with it all ...

      I like my photos unadorned and free from words and logos and such.

      ;-}

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    2. If you haven't checked out Canva it can be good for that. It's free and has a lot of sizes to choose from or you can set a custom size. I'll be glad to help out if you need. I also use Get Stencil. Also free with more options than Canva but each has something the other doesn't that keeps me using both of them. - of course!

      Delete
    3. Gosh, you're such a sweetheart ... and a wealth of knowledge! I'll let you know how this decidedly tech-unsavvy blogger does. Thank you, thank you, friend!

      xo

      Delete
  5. Yes, I've noticed quite a few friends missing from the blogging world this summer. That's healthy. It encourages me to do likewise if I need to. It is nice catching up a bit though; glad to hear how your summer is going. Lots of reflection and living and loving. Good stuff. Blessings, Linda!

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    1. Lots of reflection. Yeah, I like how you put that, Lisa. It's my bread and butter, I guess ...

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a wonderful summer! One thing I have learned about writing is that some times we need time away from it to rejuvenate.

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    1. And once we say 'yes please' we begin to come alive again. Barbara, thanks for the reminder that we're in constant need of refreshment.

      I hope you're doing well ...

      Delete
  7. So good to see you here, Linda!

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    1. Hi, friend.

      Praying for you right this second. Bless your evening, your wife, your four-footed friends.

      And you.

      Delete
  8. Being filled up by summer days and feet able to wear flip flops is a necessary vitamin for the mind and body I say! I'm glad you are enjoying your summer days Linda. My eldest will be 30 in a year, and I've wondered where the time has gone too!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Gosh, 30 seems so very long ago, doesn't it?

      And yes, yes to more of these summer / flipflop days. I'm soaking it all in ... even when those days are busy.

      Thanks for being here, Lynn ...

      Delete
  9. Hi Linda,
    It sounds like you're having a thoughtful and relaxing summer and your nights of marshmallow toasting around the fire sound so blissful!

    You're right about blogging being a rhythm of production and the idea of taking a break feels worrisome to break the writing cycle but giving it up for awhile gives us a little more time to really live our lives instead of writing about our lives -- at least that's how it is for me! I'm glad you pop in from time to time with a lovely post like this one! Happy summer! xoxo

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    1. Yes, Valerie, you've showed us all how to live your life to the full with your traveling and observations, photography and spiritual insight. It makes me wonder how much we miss by being held hostage at our laptops.

      mmm ...

      Good to see you again!

      Delete
  10. It does my heart good to hear someone else being grumpy about technology. For me, it's been Canva this summer. Very reluctantly diving in to learn all I have to in order to function.
    And I love that you are leaning into ministry in real life with your counseling. Next week I am leading a team of teens and others who are teaching a 5-Day club here in our area. It's challenging to get back into the groove of flash cards and Bible lessons and memory verses, but somehow my soul just slides right into that role. And it will be fun to have my youngest son on the team.
    Blessings to you in these summer days of who knows what's on the agenda each day!

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    1. Ah ... I knew I wasn't the only one. You and I've chatted about this before, haven't we, Michele. I think it's good that we pay attention to what breathes creativity and what saps it away. It helps us make decisions that are wise for us.

      Bless you as you lead little ones to Jesus next week. Your stamina inspires.

      Delete
  11. I love doing life with you. It's always a pleasure when you pop into my inbox unexpectedly. Taking walks is just as essential to our well-being, if not even more so than writing. That is part of my God time and I wouldn't trade it.

    I smiled real big when you said you had printed out all the transcripts for Emily Freeman's podcasts. I actually did that for several of them and imagine I will do it for more. Listening to her voice is lovely but being able to read and soak in her words again is a treat.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We do our best writing while striding along, don't we ...

      It's being out and about where creativity flows. Simply sitting staring at a screen does nothing to inspire our best work.

      It made me smile when you said that you've done a bit of transcript printing. I hold onto every bit of inspiration I can find.

      Every good gift is from above.

      Bless you, Mary ...

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  12. It sounds like you're engaging in life right where you should be, friend. I love reading your posts, even the ones like this one. There's something peaceful and soothing in your words. I'm glad you've worked on being hospitable. I love having people over, but we don't do it very often. Right now, a lot of our energy is expended in caring for the wellbeing of our boys and our family relationships. And I'm okay with that. :)

    I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Jeanne, I'm glad you find something peaceful and soothing here! Enjoy every bit of time with your boys. Believe me, before you know it, they'll be 40.

      And you'll wonder where the years went.

      Bless you as you continue to mother well.

      Delete
  13. Linda, when you write posts like this, it helps me mentally process and categorize what's going on in my own life a little better. I don't know if that makes sense ... maybe the observations you make about what's going on with you help me notice more around here? Whatever the case, I'm with you on your approach to blogging this summer (and also when it comes to "photos unadorned and free from words.") :-)

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    1. Oh, I love that this is working for you on a personal level. Yes, putting pen to paper often helps us sort things, gain insight, makes the odds and ends come to some kind of cohesion.

      I'm thinking our overuse of technology makes things scattered in our heads. And that I don't like.

      And it made me smile that you, too prefer photos unadorned and free from words. Yes. Layers leave me unable to focus on the beauty of the image shared, the presented words. I realized one day that my eyes skim right over these kind of configurations.

      Please give me one or the other or both one right after the other.

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. Linda, I'm right there with you on several things you listed: I moved here to be with my father and mother shortly before my father's death; my oldest turns 40 next year; and kicking off my sandals and lacing up my sneakers is especially difficult in our hot and humid Florida summer days. I, too, have not been writing as regularly, and I, too, have missed it. Holley Gerth issued a challenge a few years back to write one blog post per week to share on her Coffee For The Heart link-up...and I did that for a couple of years--I managed to write 52 posts each year. When those old posts pop up now on my Facebook memories, I'm always delighted to see them again, like old friends you haven't seen in a while. Just want to thank you again for all the encouraging messages you have sent my way over the years. Many blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, Beth ... sounds like our stories are resonating! And I think a great many of us are trying to figure out what blogging looks like for us in this next season ... of life, or the calendar year. I'm sensing that some of us have gotten bored or a bit crispy around the edges.

      Let's hear it for listening to what God is whispering and acting on whatever His invitation is with joy and focus.

      I'm glad you're here ...

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    2. Thank you, Linda. I like that term, "crispy around the edges." I'm so glad you mentioned downloading and printing out all 45 transcripts of Emily Freeman's wonderful podcasts. I did the same yesterday! What a great multisensory experience--to be able to listen to the podcasts and spend a little more time pondering the written transcript for all of us visual learners, as well. Many blessings to you!

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    3. We talk 'crispy' 'round here alot, Beth. It's all too familiar to too many of us.

      ;-}

      We must be kindred spirits spending all that energy printing out all 45 transcripts! I so prefer paper over screens ... and re-reading what's already touched my heart via my ears is a second joy.

      How fun to be connecting with you these past few weeks!

      ;-}

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    4. Linda, I have enjoyed connecting with you also. You remind me of a precious Christian counselor, Louise Henry, who helped me through a difficult time several years ago. She is now retired now. This is a blog post I wrote, “Milk Drop Coronet,” which describes some of what she helped me process...

      https://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/2009/10/milk-drop-coronet.html

      Quicker Than a Wink

      I was the new kid in third grade at Woodlawn Elementary in Sebring, Florida, 1962. As an only child, I always felt alone, now even more so. The teacher said I was identified as “special” and would be “pulled-out” of my regular class once a week to go to a “special” class under the stage in the cafetorium to research anything that was interesting to me. “Special,” it fit, it felt good, I had been chosen, selected for something special, just like when I had been adopted, chosen, wanted, loved. Walking down the steps into the slightly darker, musky-smelling room under the stage, I picked up a book on photography. Turning the pages slowly, in awe at the wonder of this new world, suddenly there it was, the “Milk Drop Coronet” photograph by Harold Edgerton, an unseen world of objects in motion, capturing that which is ordinarily invisible to the human eye...yet it was real.
      “Pretend you are “little Beth” and describe what it’s like to be you.” It was November 23, 2007, the counselor was helping me learn that “feelings are neutral” and how to let my feelings come to the surface, writing in my journal about how special “little Beth” felt in that room under the stage. Just a few weeks later, December 21, 2007, my family and I are visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We walk through the central aisle, looking ahead, then suddenly, I turn my head to the right and from the corner of my eye, catch a glimpse of a photograph displayed in a darkened alcove. At first, I keep moving straight ahead, but something stopped me in my tracks and turned me around to go back and take a closer look. Back to the darkened alcove, back to the darkened room below the stage, back to my childhood. It was the memory which had just come to the surface in my counseling, the “Milk Drop Coronet” photograph by Harold Edgerton, framed and lighted, and on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was the same photograph I had only seen once before, and yet I had drawn a sketch of it in my journal just a month before this.
      I took out my cell phone and snapped a picture of this “Milk Drop Coronet,” and even now it is what I see every time I pick up my cell phone, saved as the background on my phone. The symbolism was unmistakable to me, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been with me all along—when I was knit together in my birthmother’s womb, when I was chosen, adopted, by loving Christian parents, when I walked down those steps and first saw the “Milk Drop Coronet” in 1962, when I turned to look at the darkened alcove to snap a picture of the “Milk Drop Coronet” in 2007, today and everyday into the future. He is with me, He is intimately involved in the tiniest details of my past, my present, and my future. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees. A wider view, a broader perspective, a new day, a new way of looking at things, of allowing all the feelings to surface.
      Because of Christ, I am not alone, He is with me, invisible to the human eye, yet “quicker than a wink,” in the blink of an eye, what was unseen is seen, in that other realm, that other dimension, just beyond the veil, visible in the heavenlies. He sees me, He knows me, He knew me, before He knit me together in my birthmother’s womb, I was planned, I am eternally significant. He knew that before I saw the photograph of the "Milk Drop Coronet" for the first time in 1962 that it would come to the surface with feeling in November 2007 and I would turn aside to take a closer look in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2007…I am known, I was planned, I am significant, I have hope for the future.

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    5. Oh yes, yes, Beth ... this especially -->'I am known, I was planned, I am significant, I have hope for the future.'

      You are a blessing.

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    6. Thank you, Linda. You are a wonderful encourager to me and so many others. Many blessings to you!

      Delete
  15. Understand, I have been missing in action quite a bit! And IF you have to have perfect weather to tie on those sneakers--you would never get off the couch in Louisiana! It's been over a hundred all week and yesterday at 4:00 was 105. WHEW! It's HOT DOWN HERE!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. I do love a comfy sofa!

      ;-}

      Stay cool in every way that counts, friend! I'm thinking of you at 105.

      ;-}

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  16. The break is very needful! Blessings to you, Linda

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    1. And it's not over yet, is it!

      Wishing you a continued sweet summer, Boma ...

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  17. I've also been offline a lot this summer, Linda, and it's been freeing. I took a month blogging break during our international move, and although I'm blogging again, I haven't spent as much time at the computer. It's been good. Too much living to do while my family adapts to life in the US again. :) And I also adore The Next Right Thing Podcast. So good! I enjoyed reading about your summer. Blessings.

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    1. Well, welcome home, Betsy. May you give yourself plenty of heaping portions of grace during all the transition and change. I'll be praying for you as you all adjust ...

      xo

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