Honesty- With a Side of Update!

11 Apr

Ah, here we go again.  Beginning yet another blog with an apology for my completely busy life and the fact that I’ve failed to write enough on here.  Forgive me, sweet friends?

Just wanted to tell you all is well in the Barbour’s world and give you a random and quick update on life.

#1: I’m unemployed.

It’s fun and terrifying all at the same time.

I’m trying to be protective of my time, so that I can be productive- write, exercise, apply for new jobs- all of that. It only works about one or two days a week as there is always something to do, but I figure one or two days a week is progress in compared to the non-existent time I was having when working 60 hour weeks. We’re still trying to decide what the future is going to look like for me in this job thing, and it’s really difficult considering I’ve worked full time since I was 15 years old. The finances are a take it day by day, faith walk… which I hate.

I’m really good at living a faith-filled life when the path is clear and I know where the money is coming from and what’s going to happen. But that really isn’t faith at all, is it?  What’s that you say?  You struggle with it too?  Ok, good.  Thought I was a little crazy.  I might be.  But I’m ok with that and I’m doing this thing.  We’re learning and Justin is so supportive and I’m super thankful.  Prayers are appreciated as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters in our life.

Speaking of uncharted waters, #2: I’m writing.  Or not writing.  I’m learning how “I’m writing” can actually mean “I’m staring at a blank screen”.

Sheesh.  I’m home now and have more time to write, and life is good, so you think I’d be inspired, right?  Negative captain.  Apparently, my “Writing Self” is only inspired to write at 3 am, when I’m working 60 hours a week and need to lose a little sleep like I need a hole in my head.

She (I call her a she because someone so fickle could only be a woman) also only prefers to write when the absolute worst things are happening in my life.  I get it, I get it.  Broken places produce sweet fragrances, one of which is great writing.  It’s a deeply spiritual process.  But, I’m trying to live the dream here… and now “we”, meaning my “Writing Self” and I, decide to be un-inspired the majority of the time. Fantastic.

“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler

Perhaps it is because there is so much non-creative work that goes into organizing book proposals, redesigning author websites, scheduling photo shoots and researching this long process.  I’m an administrative bird, so I get lost in the tasks sometimes.  Intentional creativity is hard for us organizers.  I think what I need is a hammock and permission to drink café con leche in the middle of the day or at midnight.  I also desperately need permission from someone to put REAL sugar in it, regardless of the fact that I’m a diabetic.  I’m a little tired of the guilt that goes along with REAL sugar in my life.  So permission, pretty, pretty, please? In the name of inspiration?

#3: I also need books.  Anyone who knows me knows I adore new books. When hubby gives them to me, I love them like they’re roses or shoes.  I love them most when they go along with roses and shoes.  Yes, he has his hands full.

The whole unemployment thing isn’t doing a lot for my “roses, shoes, and book” budget to say the least. I don’t want to complain too much, because at the heart of it all, I’m really thankful we have enough to buy groceries for this large family.  I’ve been to the places in the world where that’s not an option for most, and so in spite of being unemployed- I’m thankful for the miraculous provision that is a car, a beautiful home, clean water and groceries.  However, I do have to admit that I miss new books.

I think the lack of new pages in my life, also adds to the lack of inspiration and creativity I’m experiencing.  I need to read all different kinds of writing in order to be inspired to write, and I need to smell some new pages like a fat kid needs cake.  That’s not nice.  My apologies to any fat kids.  I’m one at heart; note the REAL sugar frustration, so I understand.  But seriously, I have a list… some of which include (in case you have them and feel like generously lending them to me): Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll, Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, The Gift of Imperfections by Brene Brown, I Thought it Was Just Me by Brene Brown, The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, Still Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winners, The Jesus Driven Life by Michael Hardin, Empty Promises by Pete Wilson and The Pastor by Eugene Peterson.  I told you I had a list. Sadly, I could probably name more.

I’m currently devouring the first book in the Hunger Games (I know deep, right)- just because it’s new.  Sharayah lent it to Mandi, and she lent it to me.  I’m flipping through Steven Tyler’s biography and I’m also diving into a small prayer book on healing for our bodies that my sweet friend Annie gave me.  Someone else gave that to her. You see how this is the gift that keeps on giving folks?  Share books!  Seriously, when is the next holiday that you can give someone a gift… Mother’s day?  Gulp.

#4: So, yeah, about Mother’s Day.  The thought of it stopped me in my book rambling tracks- which I bet you’re grateful for.  My throat got a little tight and my eyes a little hot when I typed it.  Since this blog is mainly about my sweet Kingston and his story, I’d be amiss (amiss- take that, uninspired Writer Self) if I wasn’t a little transparent about my feelings as this holiday approaches.  Holidays are super hard in general.  I spent most of Easter thankful for the cross, but not like most Christians are.  To be honest, the driving motivation behind the thankfulness this year was a little selfish.  To me now, the cross means I get to see Kingston again one day.  It means Heaven is real and my sweet baby is whole with Jesus.  It’s amazing the way broken places and painful trials can move you closer to the reality of Christ, to the reality of what He did, Who He is.

The rest of the day on Easter, I looked at people’s cute outfits and also thought about what it would be like to carry around a 16 month old from place to place.  Every place I walked into, I imagined him snuggled on on my hip, diaper bag on the other arm.  I pictured us keeping a close eye on him, taking pictures at the Egg Hunt and taking family Easter photos.  Life sure is different now.

Last Mother’s Day, it was my first without Kingston and Justin tried so bravely to take us all to church- he’s a good dude, I tell you.  I managed to get all dressed, and drive half way there in the car before I began utterly sobbing- not the cute kind of crying- but hysterics.  The rest of the family’s tears followed as Justin made a u-turn and we went home for pancakes instead.

Since Kingston passed, his story has opened up a lot of doors in our lives- one of which has been becoming a resource to families going through similar situations as ours.  Truly an honor.  In the past few weeks, we’ve had the privilege of encouraging a few families who have lost little ones.  And, every time I think of Mother’s Day approaching, I think of them.  And I think of me.  And of all the ways that life is more precious, and just so utterly different now.

There’s a beautiful Easter Lily (more writing on that to come) on my dining room table.  It’s in memory of my sweet little man, but more than that, it’s a reminder of my Lord’s gift, and how even though life is different now:  He was.  He is. He is to come.  So, even in all the “different” that makes up our beautifully broken story these days, we have Him and so much to be thankful for in the gift of His love, yes? Indeed.

“In this world, you’ll have trouble.  But, take heart!  I have overcome the world!” – John 16:33

So there you have it: an honest update on our crazy, lovely life.  A little more honesty, than update, I’ll admit- but cheers!  I love you all and really cherish the fact that you stop by here occasionally.  Tell me, please- how are you?  Do you relate at all to my struggle with inspiration?  What about my need for real sugar and/or my love of books?  What books are on your want list?  Any I should add to mine?




9 Responses to “Honesty- With a Side of Update!”

  1. Janet April 11, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    You are amazing, my sweet sweet daughter in love!

  2. Carol Pier April 12, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    You are amazing and your struggles are the norm I do believe at least the one for sugar…diabetics crave sugar my doctor told me…I will pray for you and Justin and mother’s day…but you do have an awesome mother to celebrate…mine is in heaven and I can not celebrate with her..thanks for sharing…I enjoy them…Blessings Carol Pier

  3. Ashley Schantz April 12, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Suzie…i just want you to know how I admire the woman youve become. I read your blogs and updates on your darling angel and my heart breaks for a loss i couldnt imagine and soars at the same time for the strength and grace with which you have handled it all every day. Im so honored to have counted you as a friend in my life!

    • suziebarbour April 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

      Aw, Ashley- thank you so much for sharing that with me! I’m truly blown away that people choose to jump in a join me in this mess by reading my stuff. It means a lot and I count it an honor to be his mommy and share his story. I’m loving all the beautiful pics of Oliver! He’s darling! It makes me feel a little old that we both have men in our lives and babies! Wow. 🙂 Thank you, again!

  4. Michele April 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Suzie — I have “The Gifts of Imperfection” – message me on fb with your address and I’ll send it to you.

    • suziebarbour April 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

      Hey Michelle, That would be AMAZING! You’re so sweet! I’ll message you. 🙂

  5. Linda June Otero April 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Hello lovely Lady. I’m so blessed to call you friend. You’re an Awesome writer. Taking a few moments out of my day to read what you write, takes me away like a mini vacation would! Your world, AND EVERYTHING IN IT, sounds wonderful. Love always. Linda

  6. apartmentbaby April 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Fantastic fluid writing and great blog topics all around. I can totally feel your honesty in your written word. I too crave sugar… In the form of chocolate and not the dark version either. Sometimes being diabetic (type 1 for me) is no fun at all. Luckily an Americano Misto with a dash of cocoa powder does the trick… On most days 😉

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