I learned that my three day getaway to a christian women’s blogging conference was going to be a little heavier then I expected. I knew that several of my favorite authors would be there and that we would be talking about Jesus and Blogging.. But I didn’t know that I would once again , just be off the cuff of having a sick child emerge from the hospital to hospice. I didn’t know I’d be so sleep deprived that I debated a coffee IV and just staying in bed the entire time to catch up on sleep, that i would actually learn more about how to deal with losing my ideals then on blogging.
Sitting in a room with publishers, bloggers, published authors, non profit owners and entrepreneurs… I started to think that maybe I should just go back to bed.. That I didn’t belong there…What I learned was that underneath all these titles , were women just like me. Women that who had come undone and were just trying to please God, raise children, use their creative gifts and fit into their skinny jeans without spilling out the top too. They were ready to cry and pray and laugh and praise. We were all the same but gifted in different ways, looking for a way to unite together our creative dreams of sharing the word of God.
I signed up to go to this conference earlier in the year, when Walker was appearing to get better and I was trying to find something that was uniquely mine. I almost didn’t go since he has had such a crazy past month and was carrying the world..but I did.. and I am pretty sure it saved my life. I was at the point of exhaustion and feeling depressed once again.
I was lost and confused on the role that God had asked me to play. How could I have any purpose now but to keep Walker alive? How would I fit anything else in? If I had a nurse caring for him, what was I supposed to be doing? Do I need a job? I know I need to get out of here but what does that mean? I literally, yes I know, Literally… Didn’t know my up from down. I was a hot mess.. My name is jonas.. I was going crazy.. wait..
I had quit my job teaching 5 years ago, to be a mom.
I had stopped my photography business 4 years ago to be a mom for the second time.
I had started a moms group 3 years ago to share my love for all thing mommy and to help other moms not feel alone.
I had attended a homeschool conference 2 years ago because that is what I was going to do with my two boys and next 13 years of our life. ..
But all that stopped 1 year ago when Walker got sick.. and now what do I do? It’s been 15 months of just surviving and not feeling like I could make any personal moves.
The past few days, I was faced with all these questions.. You ask questions when you meet new people.. Then I ask myself questions.. Here is what I processed, in the garage..
Melanie Dale, she wrote Women are Scary and has a small part of my heart for mashing things up.. Any of my former students will understand my obsession with taking first and last names and creating new names.. We are kindred spirits..
What do you want to do with what God has gifted you? My first thought… Do I have that choice? Because I have felt trapped.. I have felt like I don’t get to choose. I do get to choose? Wait, did God tell you that included me? At first it felt like this information was for everyone else and I was just eating a salad with them. Then, something happened and the holy spirit started to move within me.. This was for me too.. My life still had a purpose.. My life still had choices. This might seem dumb to you or dramatic… but when something life altering like this happens…it has the ability to erase all that has happened before… I had somehow forgotten or suppressed my life before this. I wasn’t sure how I fit in..
But it was my bondage breaker, buddy holly or mary tyler moore.. or someone with glasses like me.. I do have a life to live apart from Walker’s illness. It will be apart of it but it exists. I have come to this conclusion before but not known a direction for me to go..I still don’t know specifically but I know that God and Art and Writing and humor will be apart of the journey. I have a lot of praying and reading to do.
They gave out free books every time the elevator made it to the top floor, so I have a bookshelf of inspiration to start on. I have so many thoughts and ideas swirling around in my mind that I have spent the past 24 hours in a download phase.. I am trying to process it all and savor every word that was spoken. Every relationship and greeting that took place.. I don’t want it to end. How can I carry this over into my actual life? So, I wrote down quotes or phrases that I heard that I need to remember and be inspired by. If you have stuck with me this far, then please have a cookie and here they are in case they can inspire any of you.
“If you want to change the world, you have to change your world first.” -Logan Wolfram
“Don’t become so consumed, that you neglect to see the importance of others around you.” -Logan Wolfram
“Our sphere of influence grows when our capacity to spread truth of Christ increases” -Logan Wolfram
“Sacrifice is embedded in following Jesus “-Austin Channing Brown
“Resist the fear, you are allowed to be afraid.” -Austin Channing Brown
“You have to use what God has given you.”-Austin Channing Brown
“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” -Myquillyn Smith, The Nester
“God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him” John Piper
“Our creative drive reflects the creativity of God” Ruth Simons, Gracelaced
“Preach to yourself about who you are in Christ” Ruth Simons, Gracelaced
“Mind your own business , live a quiet life”- Ruth Simons, Gracelaced
“REST is WORSHIP”- Ruth Simons, Gracelaced
“and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,” 2 Thess 4:11
“Lord, cleanse me if you find anything wrong” Chrystal Evans Hurst
“Learn to live well when nothing is working”. -Chrystal Evans Hurst
“Don’t be so distracted by the disappointment of the dream that you can’t enjoy the details.” Chrystal Evans Hurst
“Success looks like, faithfully obeying what God has called me to do regardless of the outcome”- Sarah Mae
“We are not responsible for the outcome or in control of the end”- Sarah Mae
Psalms 46:10 “Be still and Know that I am God.”
“What we sow in the stillness will reap good.”Sarah Mae
“Listen to your people. Don’t lose your kids hearts to minister to the many. “-Sarah Mae
“Embrace your season-“Sarah Mae
“In the stillness, what wakes you up and what do you really want?” -Sarah Mae
“Live an interesting life. Get up , get out and go live your life-“Melanie Dale
“Dump everything in and trust that God will find a space for it.” -Melanie Dale
“Don’t call it ministry, call it Tuesday .” -Bob Goff
“Dream big, work small. ” Melanie Dale
There will be more to come on what I do with all this inspiration.I am still trying to mull over all I learned and dig into my books to start carving a new path out of this current one. So grateful for my sweet friend who towed me up and back to Greenville and for our Weezer jam session on the way home.. I’ve come undone and yes those were all Weezer references for my music loving friends.