The wind is terrible here. It howls through the windows, and the tree branches scrape against the house’s roof. It’s dry too—we need rain. We needed it weeks ago. Every time I look out the window, I see dirt blowing across the gravel roads—and it feels like a bit of hope is carried away with it.
Everyone seems to be on edge. We’re throwing prayers up for rain, but so far, none has come.
Rhett lost another tooth last weekend. Losing teeth is by far my least favorite milestone as a mother. Although I realize it would be super creepy for babies to pop up adult-sized teeth instead of tiny tic tac-sized teeth. (Just picturing my kids with big ol’ teeth as babies is a frightening thought.) I just wish there was another way to get from baby teeth to permanent teeth without the tooth hanging by a thread, the blood, and the gaping hole in their gums.
Last week, I declared (to myself) that “I was never going to write again.” Every few months, I say this. I want to throw away my notebooks and pencils and never write again. And yet, here I am. I turned 38 last month and possibly am having an early midlife crisis.
I’ve heard it said about writing, “There’s room for everyone! It’s not like a pie, where everyone takes a slice, and then it’s gone.” A scarcity mentality comes along with creating and putting yourself out there. But I can’t help but feel like that’s not true—is there room for everyone? There are only so many writing jobs, so many essays accepted, so many books that get published—so yes, to me, it does feel like there’s only so much of the pie to go around.
In the last couple of years, I’ve been told, “You’re one of the hardest working writers I know.” And I can’t help but think, “And where has that gotten me?” And, “Is that even a compliment?” It feels like a polite way of saying, “I see you trying hard, and I want to acknowledge that, but you’re still not good.”
I keep wondering—what’s the point?
A couple of weeks ago, I set some rigid boundaries with my phone. Not just with social media but with my phone itself. I’ve been turning the phone off for hours at a time and leaving it in the kitchen overnight. My bookshelf is lined with books full of bookmarks—evidence of the number of times I’ve started and stopped a book. But this last week, I finished four paperback books and a couple of audiobooks. In the past, I blamed it on my kids for not having enough time to sit down and read an actual book, which is partly true. It is hard to read with a toddler jumping on me, pulling my hair, or trying to eat the book. But there are snippets of the day I can be holding a book instead of my phone.
The story I’ve been telling myself that I don’t have time to read isn’t true.
I don’t know what Rhett’s smile will look like when his permanent teeth finally come in. But I do know the gaping hole is part of the process.
I don’t know if it will rain or what our crops will look like this year.
I don’t know what my writing life will look like in the future—maybe I’m in the teeth hanging by a thread phase. Maybe my hard work will pay off eventually.
And maybe, it won’t.
Another farmer told Rich last week, “God can’t bless the seeds if you keep them in the bag.” I can’t stop thinking about this simple phrase—yet it feels profound to me.
So here I am, tossing my seeds out of the bag—waiting to see what fruit it will bear.