Embracing My Name and Moving My Space

I began blogging at everydayawe.com in the fall of 2012. It was an experiment that I never anticipated would turn out the way it has.

As I have learned blogging, blogging taught me. It became my companion during life transitions. It taught me the importance of creating space to process. It introduced me to people I didn't know existed. It showed me the deeper wrestling with Scripture that occurred when I chose not only to think about it, but also to write about it.

It has been beautiful. And though some days, I want to throw it all out the window, blogging has become a friend I can't imagine leaving behind at this point of my life.

However, it is also ready for a transition.

As my blog came up for renewal, I decided to move it to a new domain: stephaniejspencer.com. On the one hand, it's not a big deal. On the other hand, it's frightening.

stephaniejspencer.com

When I began, there was safety in choosing something other than my name. After all, who am I? Who am I to write about God and life? Who am I to write and think there are people out there who would want to read it?

Yet, I have heard several messages lately about the importance of embracing our names. And I couldn't get around the idea that moving my website to my name needed to be part of that process for me.  I want a deeper connection between my online world and in-the-flesh world. I'm sure there will be more posts about that sometime in the future.

At the same time, I'm not ready to let go of Everyday Awe completely.  If for no other reason than the fact that Stephanie Spencer appears to be a common name and I cannot find a twitter handle without a weird abbreviation or number or underscore required. But also, because it has been my companion too. It describes a way I am trying to see the world around me, and have vision for God in the midst of it all.

So, the blog on my site will still be called Everyday Awe. This might change at some point in the future, because it adds a little extra to my post urls, but for now, it felt like the right way to make this move.

So, here's what this means for you if you are a reader:

  1. I am not tech savvy. I'm sure I am and will mess things up. Please be patient if something goes wrong with domain forwarding or rss or email. I'm trying to figure it out as I move along.
  2. You can find my blog at: http://www.stephaniejspencer.com/everydayawe/. While you're there, feel free to browse around the rest of the site. I'm still building it, but it's a start.
  3. My hosting here expires on November 18. I'm hoping a transferred everything correctly, but there's a chance I will loose things. You're prayers and crossed fingers would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure that going to everydayawe.com will forward you to the new space, but I'm not sure.
  4. {I think} you can subscribe to the feed here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/EverydayAwe (This was another place keeping Everyday Awe would be helpful so people don't lose subscriptions.)

So, with that, here we go! This is my last post at everydayawe.com and my first official post at stephjspencer.com.

You can expect more posts soon. I'm excited to write again. I've missed this space and missed you.

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On Not Doing It All (or, why I haven't been writing)

notdoingitall
notdoingitall

I sometimes get the impression that we humans are embarrassed that we are finite creatures.

We are constantly apologizing for things we have not gotten done, or trying to improve our weaknesses, or hiding the parts of ourselves we feel are inadequate. We feel like we should have infinite capacities to improve and accomplish and create.

But there is only one Being who is Infinite. It's not us. And friends, that's not something to feel bad about. That's something to receive as a gift.

We weren't made to do it all. {Thanks be to God.}

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I haven't written in this space for awhile.

I have wanted to write. I have felt like I should write. I have felt guilty that I wasn't writing. But none of those feelings led to actually writing.

Why?

Because I didn't have it in me.

Life in these months has been the way it is for most of us: full. Full of family and work and emotions and thoughts and friendships and tasks. Margin has been thin and something had to give.

Here's what I want to say out loud, though: I could have done it. I'm certain I would be embarrassed if I actually summed up the  time I spent playing Candy Crush and watching Netflix and scrolling Facebook. It's not like I was using all my spare moments to do things that improved my mind or supported my family or added goodness to the world.

I could have done more. And yet, I couldn't.  Because I am finite. I sometimes run out of brain power or emotional capacity or time management skills, and that is okay.

It is okay when we reach a limit.

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I once heard someone challenge us to rethink how we perceive the word balance when we talk about how to find it in our lives.

He pointed out that we often think about life balance like the scales in our elementary school science class. It feels like putting weights on one side and then the other until the sides are even and the teetering slows and the whole thing settles into a peaceful state of rest.

Often, we can't actually find that restful balance when we think this way. Life feels more like running back and forth figuring out where to place each weight so we can keep our precarious lives from tipping over.

It's exhausting and impossible.

But if we visualize instead a teeter-totter, there are actually two ways to achieve balance. One is to put equal weight on each side. The other is to move the fulcrum point towards whichever side is heavier.

The fulcrum point moves to different places in different seasons of our lives. We can neither control what life throws our way nor the weight those things carry. But we can move towards whatever requires more of us and find balance there.

We weren't made to do it all. {Thanks be to God.}

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I debated about whether to write about not writing. It's not something I'm supposed to do according to blogging rules.

And yet, it feels right. In a world where we've gotten so good at embracing authentic conversation about our hopes and emotions and dreams and fears, I also hope we can embrace authentic conversation about our humanity and limits and finite capacities.

Saying out loud that we can't do it all is a gift we can give to others and to ourselves.

Let's say it more often.

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A writer or not a writer?

Am I a writerAm I a writer?  

I have a tentative relationship with that question. I do write, I like to write, and I’ve committed to writing on this blog a few times a week. So, in a sense, the answer is yes.

 

But is this what I was destined to do? Has it been my dream since childhood? Do I have journals filled with secret longings of literary achievements? No.

 

Which means many times, I don’t know where I fit.

 

On my best days, I compare myself with other writers, and find inspiration. I see what is possible when words are knit together and I marvel. It does something deep within me to take in the tapestry of words and phrases woven together into something amazing. It makes me want to improve my own skills.

 

On my worst days, I compare myself with other writers, and find emptiness. I watch what others can do and see all the ways I fall short, and wonder if I should give this whole thing up.

 

I want to write. I try to write. I hope to write. I like to write.

 

So maybe I don’t have to answer the question. Maybe I just have to act on it.

 

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: WRITE.

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