Outside

I've read this book twice.

Once when things were pretty normal, & happy in my life.
And once when my whole world was totally upside down & I felt like I was literally drowning for months on end.

It was very good both times.  The latter time was just significantly more meaningful.

No matter if you are up or down, I encourage you to pick it up.  You'll be inspired,  you'll laugh, you'll cry, & you'll plan a trip. I can guarantee it.  I could try to explain it to you what the book is about, but she writes much more compelling than I do- so just go buy it.  You'll thank me later.

In the chapter Alameda she talks about her time as a new mom.  She shares about how it can be an incredibly isolating time- which almost every mom can agree with.  You had this bustling life before & then all of a sudden you have this newborn that needs you for absolutely everything.

Life becomes slow, and chaotic, and you live in a constant state of yoga pants & spit up.  Getting to Target feels like a major, major accomplishment.

So she planned a trip.  She headed out west to see her other girlfriends that were all new moms too.  They had no plans other than to just be together with their new babies.

This seems crazy to me.  I get anxious just taking El out to the suburbs with me.  But I was intrigued by this travel when your life couldn't be possibly any more crazy notion.

Her point wasn't that you need to get on a plane or go on a fancy trip- but that you need to get outside of your home & into each other's chaos too.  You all are going through the same things- do some of that together.  Sure it's a little crazy to mix that many nap times, and feedings, and diapers all into one place- but it's worth it.  It's so, so valuable.  

It's ironic to me that the season of your life where you have the least amount of time for community is when you probably need it the most.

I'm almost 8 months into being Eliana's mom & staying at home with her can be very isolating.  We have no family around us except for Taylor's younger brother who is busy with his undergraduate studies at Moody, and even though we have an amazing community with our church family & friends it can just be hard to get out of the house with a little one. Especially in the winter months.  My husband is a seminary student & working full-time to support us.  He's got homework, and deadlines, and church responsibilities.  It's a crazy season for him, and for us.  So yes, it can be totally lonely.

I have such dear friends spread all across the states.  We went to college together, fell in love with one another, and then inevitably they all moved away from the city.  The cruelty.

These friends I talk to daily through text, email, phone calls.  Friends I think about on a daily basis.

I wish I could grab coffee with so & so today.  
I wish I could run to Target with her.  
Wish we could go on a walk together.  
Wish I could just sit on her couch with her today. 

So instead of just wishing, I took a queue from Shauna & I booked a trip to see a dear friend down in St. Louis. Ellie & I are boarding a train tomorrow to see this friend & her sweet little girl.  (Who is also Ellie).

My friend has been a mom longer than I have and she's about to become a mom again to a little boy in just a few weeks(she's 35 weeks & still letting us visit- God bless her!).  We're both seminary wives living without family nearby & she was the first person that popped into my mind when I read that chapter.  I just thought, "I want to do that with Whit."

I have more trips planned to get outside of our own personal chaos & into the lives of those I love- and I am so excited.  I am not a traveler by nature.  I get anxious & do much better in my own home or with T alongside me.  But that's just not working out for me any longer.  It's time to get outside.  To see those faces of my loved ones whether in the suburbs, in another state or just around the corner.  Life is way too short to be locked up inside.