Collecting stories

After Deep Cries Out released, Zach asked me, "What are you going to do now? You spent eight months on that thing!" Initially I wanted to say, "I'm starting my next book!", but that didn't feel right. And then I thought maybe I'd go back to the blog life and start updating this space a little more regularly, but that didn't feel right either. 

A few months ago, I was listening to a chat with Lysa Terkeurst and she said something that's stuck with me. She said as writers, our input needs to be greater than our output. If all we do is write and write and write and write, there is no space for stories to happen. We should spend time collecting stories and space out our telling of those stories. I think that's true for everyone, regardless of whether or not you write for a living. We spend so much time telling other people what happened to us or around us the minute that it happens and I think it's wise advice to tuck those stories away instead. There is no rush to share your story. Sit on it, let it grow, move, and take on life of its own. 

So in the spirit of spacing out my writing and collecting more stories, I deleted a few social media apps off my phone and am trying to seriously reduce my social media intake and output. I'm resolving to read more and scroll less and let my stories be my stories. Ever since I was a little girl, I've had this compulsive need to document my life in intricate details. Journal entries, photo taking, keepsake collecting, I've been a hoarder of story mementos because I've been so afraid of forgetting. Now I want to try my hand at just being in my stories and not collecting their mementos. If that makes sense. It's a life experiment, if nothing less, and I think it will be good for me. 

ALSO... I feel like I've been in this constant wish washy stage of life where I can't decide what I want to do or who I want to be. I feel outside pressure to put my kids in school and day care and start my career and give up the stay at home mom and homeschooler life. Internally, I feel like I'm getting older and like what I want to do and who I want to be is getting muddy and I'm just not sure my choices are so clear anymore. There's this weird tug of war happening inside of me and the outside voices are drowning me out and the pressure is on and it's just getting to be a little too much. I can't breathe. I need to breathe. 

All that to say, every time I put my writing on hold, I feel like I have to explain myself. Kind of a, "It's not you, it's me!" sort of thing. I need to pause, collect my stories, be fully present and committed to my life, and figure out what the next step is for me. I know I just turned 29, but for real... the 30 life crisis is no joke. This stage of life is so weird, right?? 

ANYhoo. 

If you need some new reads, here are some that I've been digging lately and I think you will too. 

Many Sparrows - Kayla has two little boys, is expecting a new little baby in the Spring, and just adopted sweet little Eliza. The Craigs are just the coolest family ever and Eliza's adoption story is an incredible testimony of God's grace, provision, and fierce love. (Anxiously waiting for part 2, Kayla!!)

Coffee + Crumbs - This is 100% my favorite blog right now. So many beautiful, real life essays on motherhood. 

Jess Connolly - Always. The girl just gets me. 

One last thing ... 

Next month, I'll be periscoping (@kristenlavalley) through Deep Cries Out every Monday morning at 10am. I'd love for you to jump in and chat about the book and your thoughts on the devotions. If you haven't bought it yet, the link is here and you can purchase the PDF version here

That is all. Happy Saturday, my friends!