Monday, May 9, 2011

Apologies, Quotations, and Etcetera

In case you haven't noticed, I have been pretty much hiding under a rock since January.

I'm not sure why, really. Much of it has been just busy-ness: teaching four Brave Writer classes over five months, plus teaching two co-op writing classes for high schoolers through our home school group; homeschooling the three boybarians; writing fiction (I know--so not my usual genre of writing!), finishing up details with the Book of Common Prayer, etc.

And I have neglected far more than this blog, unfortunately. I have almost completely disappeared from Facebook until this past weekend. I have neglected my real-life friendships as well as my cyber-friends with whom I participate in prayer circles, posting to others but sharing little of myself. And a huge change: I stopped composing poetry--I don't think I have written a poem at all in 2011. (Now that's scary!)

Some of the reasons for climbing under the proverbial rock and not emerging has been health-related; my pain levels are definitely affected by stress. (For more details, click on "Chronic Illness" here or under the blog header.) And some of my reasons have been friend-related: I have several very close friends who are going through hell in their marriages, several of them divorcing. And my heart just aches for them--for their emotional pain, for the brokenness of their lives and their families, the loss of their self-esteem, and in a few cases, even the loss of their faith. I somehow burden myself with their pain--not a healthy habit, I know, but one that I can't help but shoulder from time to time...although I know very well that I need to release them to God.

So, anyway, three friends--one a writing mentor and second "mom," one a dear, much-admired "older sister," and one a long-lost friend from elementary school, encouraged me greatly over the past few days, and as I prayed, God pointed out to me how very much I have distanced myself from people outside of my immediate family, including all of you who are kind enough to read this blog.

So I offer to you my heart-deep apologies for the distance I have created, and I hope and pray that I can remain more involved in all of my relationships as teaching winds down and summer approaches. I hope that you will indeed forgive me, and I hope also to return to a greater presence on Facebook and to reading the many blogs I subscribe to--something else I have been shamefully neglecting.

As I perused my beloved and rather tattered Quotation Journal this afternoon, I found a wonderful quotation from my dear friend and spiritual guide, Brother Lawrence, that Ann Voskamp quoted on her lovely and thought-provoking blog, A Holy Experience, a quotation I seek to live out daily rather than merely assent to:

"Our sanctification does not depend as much on changing our activities as it does on doing them for God rather than for ourselves." 
--Brother Lawrence (c. 1614-1691)

So I pray that I can indeed crawl out from under this rock and do all things, including writing this blog, for God rather than for myself. Sounds like a wonderful way to start this new chapter of life, doesn't it?

In His Grace, Always


sarah said...

I'm sorry its been a difficult month for you, I hope things improve soon, especially regarding your health.

Susanne Barrett said...

It's been a difficult 5 months, actually. Thanks for your kind words, Sarah. You possess a wonderful gift of encouragement. :)


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