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The gift of attention

Yesterday, I logged into Instagram and read some of my old posts. It’s been almost a year since I signed off and truly, I don’t regret that. It’s been better for my mental health, my motivations, my ability to be present in my actual life. I do miss that style of writing. Substack lets me practice longer-form writing, but occasionally I only have the time or the thought process for something small. Here’s to making a space for that mini practice as well. (And probably moving from old IG posts over here.)

Right now, I’m in a seminary intensive. It’s appropriately named because it is intense. When class is finished my brain feels empty and full at the same time. It’s swimming in so much new information and connections that I can’t squeeze anything else out of it. Right now is a time of input. I’m reading. I’m learning. I’m discussing. I’m observing. I’m finding very little time to write and even less time to untangle the knot of thoughts and interpretations within me. 

The output is different at the moment. What I’m learning and considering is coming out, just not in Substack posts or complicated theological essays. It’s coming out in conversations with friends and colleagues. It’s leaking out over dinner with a friend, while I make dinner with my husband. It’s coming out in how I pray. It’s showing itself in how I’m shifting reading Scripture with my boys. It’s pouring out in my work and how I approach it. As writer, it’s hard to name that output and not think that there’s still a deficiency. But the living is part of the writing. The slow marinade will develop better flavor when I have the space to write. Part of paying attention is learning to observe my own rhythms and name where I am without the pressure that things should always be the same. 

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