While visiting a friend’s house the other morning, she offered make two cups of coffee. (Of course I said yes.) In between sips and checking in our our many children, we talked about writing (how is it going?) and getting up early to read (what are you studying?). And then she asked me why I wasn’t writing more, listing off a few possible options for perhaps why I’ve slowed. And as I thought about my reason, the point of why I write in the first place, I realized I didn’t have a good answer. All I had were excuses.
And so, with a single “why” question, a spark has been dropped on the flame.
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My day could be going extremely well (thank you, Lord!), or it could feel extremely challenging (help me, Lord!); it really doesn’t matter, I ask myself the same question multiple times a day.
Why do I do what I do?
I could tally how many times I’ve asked myself this just this year, but I think the visual would be too much to bear. (Snort.)
No one wants to see how much I’m struggling, we’re struggling, with a few specific things.
Or, do they?
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It doesn’t bother me to share my struggles. Perhaps it’s because I’m really bad at hiding my feelings? Anytime a friend asks me how I’m doing, I can’t help but answer honestly. Sometimes it catches us off guard, other times we both knew it was coming.
Quiet possibly, the best thing I have done for myself since 2013 is admit I have postpartum depression and seek help. Why didn’t I do that sooner, instead of waiting until last summer? Well, I’m not sure, but I do know that because I sought help I can snap out of my low moments so much faster.
Quality, sister-like friendships have been essential for me since becoming a mother. Especially since becoming a mother of three children in three years! I need women in my life who can pour into me — and I need to pour into them, too! I want friends who can teach me how to cook, and I want friends who will let me teach them my favorite cooking tips. I want friends who will listen to me lament over the same story, different verse, and never grow weary of helping me carry my burdens. And I want to help them carry theirs. I want friendships where we can ask challenging questions, adventure together, and celebrate our milestones.
Why do we do what we do?
Why do we come back to our habits, the recipes, our personal style, our interest in house plants, that quirky decoration we deem perfect for a plant? What is the point of making time for our hobbies, the work we choose to do, the way we mother, the fact that we enjoy being mothers?
A few weeks ago my small group was asked to fast. And while fasting implies food, I knew in my heart it would mean the most if I fasted from social media. And instead of doing this for just 6 hours or 12 hours or an entire day, I fasted for three whole days. And it was lovely! I learned so much about my habits and my emotions and what I truly feel is important.
Remember to ask, what is the point?
For me: to learn, to love, to be hospitable, to encourage, to remember, to laugh deeply and hug dearly, to disciple.
How about for you?
(Related: if you don’t know the point, maybe you should stop doing it?)