Sometimes what I write is just Dunderheaded by Robynn. You can follow Robynn on Twitter
As many of our readers know, this has been a difficult season for me. And now I find myself in that horrid spot of endless transition. We are moving but we’re not entirely sure when. The closing date on our new place hasn’t yet been established. Once we do close we’ll need to rustle us up some electricians, plumbers, wall paper strippers, painters, kitchen tweakers. Once that work is done we can set a date to move in. Thankfully we have willing friends and family that will descend on us from all corners to generously lend a hand. This move will happen. Eventually we will be settled again in that new house.
In this dark no man’s land of transition and waiting I’m experiencing all manner of angst. I have sadness at the prospects of leaving our little blue house. I’m excited to move into a new space. I have virtually had to step back from everything in order to cope with all the changes. Most of those things will not be re-engaged. This next chapter includes becoming my mother-in-law’s primary care-giver. I will need to be at home more. I will need to move at a slower pace. My capacities have shrunk significantly as I’ve struggled to manage the place our extended family is at after the sudden death of my father in law two months ago. I can’t do as much. I’m distracted. I’m managing emotions and stability and decisions and details. I’ve dropped all manner of the balls I was juggling. Some of those balls I’ve kicked under couches; some I’ve shoved under piles of papers; some I can’t even remember ever having had!
One of my friends is about to publish a book. I was highly honoured to be asked to write up an endorsement for the book. I dedicated time to it. It was one thing, outside of my things, that I was determined to preserve. I refused to drop this one. Somehow in all of the shuffle I wasn’t given a specific deadline. Imagine my shock and profound sadness to realize I hadn’t made it in time. The book is coming out and I will not be endorsing it. I cried. I was so upset. I sobbed. I felt so sad that I had missed out on this way to bless my friend. I felt angry at the miscommunication. I felt devastated that I had disappointed my friend.
Mostly I felt, what I’ve suspected is true, that I’m slowly disappearing.
This morning I woke early and was working on some writing. The house is yet quiet. The cool night air breezes by as I sit near an open window. Distracted, I started poking around in a file I have on this computer labeled, “Robynn’s Writing Blog”. I started reading some of my old pieces.
I read in one piece I published in March 2013, Boxes, that I found it particularly comforting to know that the boxes that I’m not currently rummaging through haven’t disappeared. They’re not gone forever. My dreams and plans, my longings to travel, the things I want to try my hand at—those are kept for another day, another season. Robynn hasn’t been shelved…just some of my boxes are pushed to the back for now.
That’s dumb! I’m surrounded by literal boxes just now. I’m not even sure that metaphor works.
In a different article entitled The Gifts of Loneliness I wrote, Loneliness highlights my need. She gives me my emptiness. This is a good thing.
Seriously, Robynn? A “good thing”?? What a heartlessly stupid thing to say!
But somehow it helped that I had already given God permission to embarrass me. I had let him off the hook. I said it’s ok for You to do things Your way. You are God. You can be in charge. I felt more relaxed. I felt my faith increase. Prayer is a vulnerable thing. Asking for prayer is risky. Letting God do His thing meant I could stand back. I didn’t feel the need to explain Him away, or defend Him in anyway. God is God. He can be Weird and Wild; Awesome and at times, Awkward (from Giving God Permission).
That’s just crazy talk!
Some of the stuff I’ve written is ridiculous.
Or it reads that way, when I’m knee deep in change and chaos. When I stop the sentences mid-paragraph and say them out loud they sound overly simplified and trite. I shake my head, embarrassed. Some of the stuff I’ve written is dumb!
However, when I let the paragraphs have their way, when I let the thoughts come to a close, when I remember the realizations, the end of the story, the resolutions, there’s some good stuff hidden in the blogs. It’s helpful to remember lessons I’ve learned. It gives me hope to see other difficult spots I’ve stopped in and then to see the ways I was gently led through. It’s heartening to see the greater context. Read the sentences within the paragraphs. Read the paragraphs within the blog posts. Read blog pieces within the greater context of Communicating Across Boundaries. There are bigger things at work. There is a higher source for hope and help.
And my friend forgave me for not getting my endorsement in on time. She entered my pain and penned me a precious message which included this, “You are not disappearing – I won’t let you disappear.”
I’m sorry if what we write here ever comes off as dumb, insignificant, overly simplified, dunderheaded. Keep reading. Read to the end of the piece. Read to the end of your paragraph, your chapter, your current story. See if any of it makes sense in the Broader Context. I think sometimes hope hides in the bigger picture. Hunt for it. But maybe wait for the end of the moment; the break in the story.
What about you? Have you ever said or penned thoughts that you think back on and say – now that was just dunderheaded? But is it still dumb at the end of the story?
8 thoughts on “Sometimes What I Write is Just Dunderheaded”
Thank you for this! I can really relate as I am going through a move too! And you are not disappearing! (But I know what you mean) You have a lot of followers who see you right here through your words! Thanks again for this great post!!!
Just read quote from Priscilla Shirer- the boxes lady- Give back to The Lord the desires and gifts He has given you and then trust Him to use them when and how He chooses. (Really?Seriously?yep!) love you friend. Know The Lord is with you in transition and so are many who walk beside you. You are an amazing writer whose gifts touch so many who read here.
Thank you Jill. Your friendship means so much to me.
Oh, Robynn, having moved twice in the past year, I found comfort in every word you wrote here. Not that misery loves company because I truly don’t but that I feel heard and understood! There were times in the past year when I couldn’t hear my own small voice…it seemed to have faded into the ether along with the saved treasures of our homes and the nonexistent hours of quiet replenishment that I couldn’t carve out and the uncertainty about the future. Moving — really moving ‘on’ — to me is a holy hell … Hell because of the overwhelming feelings of loss and uncertainty, and Holy because of the healing Grace and comfort that steal in unexpectedly in voice and form like yours when I most need them. And Holy because letting go and trusting and hoping with eyes gazing onward toward the next phase of life feels truly holy to me. Thank you, Robynn, for the gift of this post!
Cathy – I just read this comment and I am overwhelmed by your gift with words. This is truth. Holy Hell. Thank you for this more than you know – I am copying these words in my journal, because when I move again, knowing what life is I know it is a when not an if, I will read them along with this remarkable post by Robynn. Thank you both.
Cathy! We are in this together. I’m so glad this piece connected so deeply with you. Your words in response meant a lot to me. We have entered this holy hell hesitantly trying to search for hope as we go. Thank you for en-Couraging me.
Oh Robynn, I would love to come and take you out for a coffee or a good long walk and give you a hug. May you find a new you, a you that is both familiar and different but totally YOU in this next season where you are serving and where you may feel like your time is not your own. May you find new rhythms that surprise you and new joys when the dust settles from your move and may you not be so hard on yourself. I don’t think I’ve ever read any of your work and thought it was dunderheaded. Perhaps it’s just that as our life experiences change our perceptions and opinions change and deepen? Lots of love to you Big Sister. xx
Thank you Sophie! You bless me.