I do my best writing on airplanes. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe something about the people watching or the anonymity of the alphanumeric identity I assume. In this case, 14D.
Or it could be the act of flying. The supernatural, can’t-think-too-hard-about-how-high-up-we-are feeling of tearing through the sky above cornfields and specks of cities. There’s a perspective shift that happens up here similar to standing at the foot of the ocean. The engulfing smallness of me. The shrunken significance of my worries, woes, and wants. The physical act of racing off into the sky away from something, towards something else.
Most weeks I sit down to write these posts on my couch, surrounded by my things and the grime of my life. The dishes are in the sink unwashed and my work computer chimes emails to me and my phone flutters with red dots of nonsense and my bed swirls around in its black hole of escape.
I sit amongst the very things of me and try to write. Breathing, seeing, hearing the distractions of existing as a woman in this corner of the world.
And so my writing feels distracted. Because it is, I am. I long so deeply to write something good, something meaningful week after week but I do it in the midst of the mess of me and it falls short. Not always (right?), but often enough.
Then I get on a plane. And I lower my tray table when we’ve reached 10,000 feet and I open my computer to an internet-free screen and I’m surrounded by nothing. Just the white noise of strangers and seat-mates and then the expanse of the horizon.
And what I find in all that nothingness is me again (or still), but undistracted. Not pulled in every direction by notifications and to-do’s. But whole, present, pushed back together even by stale, pressurized air and the man taking up the armrest.
I started Stuff & Guff to celebrate the tiny graces of our lives. To find beauty in the every day. To seek holiness in my very ordinary life.
And then I put a schedule on it. Twice a week, every week. And I grew a little audience here (thank you!). And it started to add to the distraction a bit. I wanted so badly to write about grace and beauty and holiness that I almost forget that there is grace in being human and beauty in being real and holiness in celebrating the season God has called me to no matter what it may look like.
I caught myself writing for content instead of communion.
But up here, that pressure falls away. My calendar doesn’t ding with my self-imposed timelines andI’m free to just be me. 14D. A girl eager to use words as worship as nothing else.
So here is today’s attempt. A confession that the season I’m in is new and hard and exciting and incredibly sanctifying.
I’m lonely and prone to sadness so I take a lot of walks and read a lot of books. I am married and prone to overthink small moments so I pray for discernment and I’m sure Steven prays for patience. I am ambitious and have an incredible job but wonder if it’s still the right path and feel a little anxious to know what’s next. I am intense and excited about a lot of side-hustle-y things so I tend to overdo it and take myself too seriously.
Plus 75,000 other things. Like worried my friendships are changing in this stage of life and anxious about starting a family when we live in a pre-war building and convicted about pride while also feeling a little invisible and way too excited about Delta biscoff cookies.
I’m learning humility, that there is a LOT I don’t know even though my default is to act as if I know everything. I’m learning trust, as I wait expectantly for God to guide ours steps as we navigate decisions about where to live and when to start a family. I’m learning rest, and the discipline of slowing down despite my tendency to overwork and addiction to being productive. I’m learning hope, in the promise of Christ’s return, and how to place that hope above all others in each and every moment of my life.
Up here, these things feel simple. They feel important but approachable. I see the struggles for the gifts that they are. I see the blessings in and around each one.
And I’m grateful. To see this, to share this, to spread out letters on a page that tell of grace and beauty and holiness in what the Lord is leading me through today. A season of waiting, of longing, of wondering, of hoping at the foot of the ocean, 10,000 feet in the sky.