In recent months I have pulled back considerably from all forms of social media. My blog has sat quiet since 2017. This has been somewhat intentional and somewhat a byproduct of who I am and, perhaps most importantly, who I am becoming.
The older I get – I turn forty in December (!!!) – the greater the pull to put my personal needs first. Like so many of you, I imagine, I strive to meet each day’s goals. My ever-growing task list is at the ready. The bed is made each morning. The trash is taken out. The dogs are fed. The laundry is washed, dried, put away. And on. And on. And on.
At work and in my various community commitments and passions, those lists are just as long (if not more so). Emails, text messages, and phone calls are returned. Meetings are scheduled. (Sometimes they’re rescheduled.) Meetings take place. And then comes follow up. And follow up. And even more follow up.
Precious time with my husband, our dogs, our families brings me tremendous joy and peace. It is a balm that I find increasingly necessary in a world of my own choosing – a world of important work and human interaction on a daily basis.
Which is why my need to share Every Waking Moment and Every Fleeting Thought on social media and even this very blog has dramatically declined. Radical self care, personal creativity, knitting, gardening, reading, journaling, time alone each morning in prayer. Those hours populating my social media accounts have been replaced with daily habits that have proven far more satisfying and far more beneficial to my own wellbeing.
That’s not to say I still don’t find laughter and comfort and solace and hope in what all of you are sharing on social media. I am. These days I’m just far more selective about what I am sharing.
I have my dear friend Angel to thank for helping me find a morning prayer routine. She introduced me to the Prayerful Planner late last year. When 2017 became 2018, and I dove into the Bible each morning, I was called to reconsider my day’s priorities. And since then, my life has changed dramatically.
The Illustrated Faith community has brought me equal amounts of joy. The 100 Days of Bible Promises book was a creative exercise I gingerly joined back in April, and quickly found the melding of color and words to be inspirational. The book itself was a soft landing for so many emotions – emotions that I imagine you experience on a regular basis. Those one-hundred days changed me for the better, and I’m eager to continue on this journey.
And just yesterday I spent six hours blissfully alone in silence at the Rainforth Retreat Center. My morning hours were spent sprawled out on the most comfortable, oversized couch with coffee and in prayer. As a few passing thunderstorms moved through after lunch, I put the finishing touches on the manuscript for my next book. (More details on that coming soon. Promise. And fingers crossed.) At 2 p.m., I clicked send on an email to the publisher of my first book, Nerdy Thirty. It has been eight years since Nerdy Thirty was published, and it has taken as many years – if not more – to determine what my next foray into the book world would look like. Hammering out another collection of breezy essays could have easily come sooner, but it would not have been the book I wanted to write.
I needed to live life more, figure out the stories I wanted to share. Selfishly, I wanted my next book to be just for me. And it took me a while to determine what that looked like. But yesterday afternoon I landed on a collection of essays that I hope gives you a sense of where I have been and who I am becoming.
Hearing that you’re in tune with your inner spiritual self is so gratifying, old friend. Looking forward to reading your next collection of essays!
Wendy Townley Reply:
September 2nd, 2018 at 10:01 am
Thanks so much, Christine! It’s wonderful hearing from you :-)
What an inspiration! I too have been trying to bring more positivity into my life. It isn’t always easy but baby steps are better than no steps at all. I’ll have to check out the books you mentioned. God bless!
Wendy Townley Reply:
September 5th, 2018 at 7:48 am
Baby steps is right, Teresa. Thanks for your kind words!
Wendy, Life is an amazing journey that takes us down paths we could never anticipate. As we grow in wisdom our perspectives change and our personalities and passions along with it. I am happy to see you have made a conscious effort to find inner peace and happiness in your life. We often struggle to find it when in reality, it can be right in front of us if we just pause to pray and look.
Wendy Townley Reply:
September 5th, 2018 at 7:51 am
Agreed and amen to all of that, Scott. Thanks so much for sharing :-)