Just Life

Hello July.

I’ve been counting our SAH days in my journal and today is Day 113. whoa. As a point of reference, I noted these “new prayers” in my prayer journal nearly 120 days ago  “COVID-19. early March. starting to get serious. 19 dead in US” … and right below “March 12 … shut downs/cancellations becoming widespread. feels like the country shifted dramatically in a 12-hour period…”

And in the intervening days, weeks, and months, we’ve seen so many more shifts. For much of this time, I’ve felt like I was just reacting … to the (never good) news, the ever-evolving expert advice, and then the social changes … and I was always playing catchup. Especially beginning mid-May, when I’d unplug for two days each week to be a (mostly) full-time Marmie. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t regret a second of that time, but I’m so not a reacting/catch-up kind of person.

On Wednesday – Hello July! – I restarted Three Things (if you followed my Instagram stories in May, you saw this EVERY day – here’s the link to Elise’s highlight about it) and journaled a list of things I want to (need to – yeah, taxes is on the list. ugh) do this month.

and then – playing catch-up! – I re-read a devotion written by one of our pastors* in early June. talking about stories. She wrote about how the disciples initially didn’t believe Mary Magdalene when she told them about Jesus’ resurrection because “The story she told didn’t fit into their framework and their grief, the narrative they understood about life and death.” She closed with this:

“What story are you telling? How are you making sense of all that is going on in the world right now and your role in it? Does your narrative leave space to encounter the experiences of those who don’t look like you or think like you? May we all strive to make room in our narratives for those stories that disrupt and complicate our frameworks, allowing us to grasp more of the complexity of what it means to be human and compelling us to work for a more just world.”

Stories. that last sentence about making room in my own narrative, grasping the complexity, and then being compelled to work. She challenged me.

and then I read – happily not in catch up mode – Elise‘s July 1 newsletter. She talked about stories, too. about re-writing our own stories. about how that’s a way we can make real change happen in our lives. She suggested reading someone else’s story, finding a partner to share/write a new story with, and “fake it until you make it” (basically JUST DO IT until it it becomes the story).

and so, with all of that, July, I want you to help me tell a new story. about myself. about these SAH days. I want the story to be full of intention. thoughtful response. connection. growth. committed finishes and planful starts with my me-makes. learning. and sometimes, simply showing up. on time!

Let’s do it!!

p.s. I also want to experience Hamilton.

*and y’all that pastor isn’t even 30 years old. yes, she’s a blessing, and yes, I LOVE my church!

12 Comments

  • Sarah

    It sounds like your pastor is a wise young woman! We just finished watching Hamilton (we had to do it in two settings because it’s a little long for a wiggly 10-year-old) and as I was reading your post, one lyric kept going through my mind: “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” I think we all like to think that we have control of our own story, but this pandemic has shown us that that’s not always the case. But in some ways I think we can regain some control of narrative by shifting the framework. I know my daily journaling practice (which you inspired!) has helped me shift my frame of reference for what I’m getting done each day and for what is bringing me joy; not everything has to be big or earth-shattering, and there is so much to our day-to-day story that we often don’t stop to notice. This pandemic is giving us that time.

  • Juliann

    Story is defiantly a theme here too. And I just finished a book this afternoon, Such a Fun Age, where one character gets lost in letting others tell her story. I have some storytelling plans too.

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    Isn’t it wild how much has changed since early March? I love seeing peeks into your journals – thanks for sharing them!

    It looks like you’ve had quite a confluence of themes this week. It’s wonderful when that happens. Thanks for sharing that with us, too!

  • Carolyn

    Your pastor’s eloquent words, like yours, are ones I would like to internalize so as to more effectively express the feeling. Thank you for including them in your thoughtful post, Mary. I’m going to follow up your words with Elise’s newsletter–because you’ve got me thinking! I’m looking forward to hearing how this goes in July. (And, boy, Hamilton was something! Now I get it! Thanks, Kym 🙂 I can’t wait to see it again…on the stage, I’m hoping…)

  • kym

    Yep. We’re in charge of our stories. (And if we don’t tell them, who will?) Wise words, Mary. There are some silver linings even in a pandemic. XO

  • karen

    I’ve watched Hamilton twice and planned to watch again and again. I think we are on day 114 today, isn’t it surreal? We finally saw our daughter and son in law this past weekend for a day visit. We both agreed that if we don’t do it now, who knows when we will since the numbers keep climbing. Crazy crazy days.

  • Kat

    Wise words from your pastor! Thank you for sharing (and we have watched Hamilton twice and I am about to go sit and watch it again and get some knitting progress done!)

  • Patty

    Your Pastor is a wise one indeed. Thank-you for sharing those words and as always giving me something to think about. Though I have not watched Hamilton (I did see the show) I listened to the entire soundtrack yesterday so I could be there in spirit!

  • Karen

    I’ve copied your pastor’s words into a note so I’ll remember them! We watched Hamilton at Sarah’s and I just loved it.

  • lydia

    There will definitely be some interesting stories based on the last few months. Back to work on alternating weeks starting Monday-something new to add to my journaling for sure!