Thursday, July 05, 2012

When not knowing what to say and where to say it leads to not saying anything at all

Oh goodness.  Why do I do this to myself? I'm having trouble these days shaking the feeling that I'm not doing a good job at so very many things... so many things that matter deeply to me... that it's hard to breathe sometimes.  Like being the kind of wife and mom and daughter and friend and Jesus-follower I want to be... oh, and the kind of missionary I want to be too!  The pressure can literally suffocate the joy of life right out of me.

Let's just look at the writing/communicating pressure I'm feeling at the moment. We have a total of (wait... I have to add them up...)

  • the blog for our family missions-related posts
  • our general newsletter that we used to send out every 6-8 weeks and hasn't gone out for over 3 months now (writer's block and procrastination anyone???)
  • our prayer update emails for people who want more info and are willing to pray for us (or at least want to know what we are asking for prayer for)
  • and this blog for my just plain "Melissa in a t-shirt, jeans and a pony tail with a baseball cap on" posts

OK, so that's 4 different places to update - not counting facebook and twitter (yes... I just started a twitter account or whatever you call it.  I don't know why.  My curiosity got the best of me finally) for photos and spur of the moment quick updates.

Is it any wonder that I have sort of gone into deer-in-the-headlights mode when it comes to communicating? The tagline on my blog here used to be something about being a girl who thinks way too much and this is one of those things that I'm probably making too hard.  I guess it comes from the oddness of going from being just another member of the church to a missionary. Sometimes I don't know which Melissa to be.  Melissa the Mom or Melissa the Missionary?  I know it's supposed to be the same, but in my head it feels like this:

At our ladies prayer groups back in Fresno I could show up in the t-shirt, jeans and baseball cap I mentioned earlier and spill my tears about how I was struggling with packing and moving or saying goodbye or whatever.  It was where I shared the more vulnerable parts of my heart with women who knew me very well and loved me - I think even more because they knew me so well.  Because they were so amazing like that.  I sort of feel like writing on this blog here is like sharing there.

At the beach recently...
But when we would go to visit churches for fundraising presentations?  Well... I think it would have been a bit odd to show up dressed that way and crying on stage.  It wasn't that I didn't tell the truth when I put on a dress and did my hair (a little nicer anyway!) and shared our joy about Peru. And I did cry a few times. But it was just a different side of the truth.  A bit more polished and planned (Lowell and I both had to know what we were doing after all) and power-point presentable.  And I think I feel like writing for our newsletter and other blog is more what I would share dressed up for a presentation.  And I've been having trouble lately figuring out what to say there.

Back in Kansas in Fall last year
 Am I crazy or do any of you know what I mean?  There is a difference between what we do for work and what we do at home, right?  Well, what about when what you do at home becomes your work?  I feel like sharing my heart, but much more often than not lately don't feel like doing it "dressed up."  I feel like I can't get out of the jeans and flip flops. (In more ways than one...)  I don't even know if I will bother to actually publish this - except it would help break the silence and get me past the thinking too much before I am willing to share by a step at least.  It still doesn't get me putting out the newsletter or writing on "the other blog" but I suppose it's better than nothing.  

Anyone out there will have some advice for me? Should I just post this over on the other blog and start showing up there in jeans and flip flops because that's where I am right now?  Thanks for listening anyway.


  1. Melissa,

    first of all, I feel ya. I just asked Jesus for grace for you... I guess mainly that u can give it to yourself! you're going thru A LOT!!!

    you didn't even mention TEACHER on top of everything else... I think that's where a lot of your energy and joy is going to right now!!

    I think sometimes in "church" as a whole, we're used to separating the "dressed up" and the "flip-flops." But remember truefaced? our unmasked faces revealing the glory of God? something like that? I think it would be a welcome thing to say in a more "dressed-up-expected to have it all pulled together" scenario to say... hey...this is hard. it aint easy, would you pray for us?/me? I think it would be refreshing for more people to do that. So I hope you can do a little dressed up flip flop writing... with no pressure.

    am thinking of you in the midst of all this... and how alike we are. may Jesus hold and comfort you.

    love, peace, grace


  2. Anonymous11:12 AM


    Wow! After reading that I feel like one of those women who just showed up to a prayer meeting and heard your heart. I have those women too in my life, but I am not brave like you to step out of my comfort zone, leave those women behind, let God uproot me to another country. But in truth is being uprooted even possible with the Lord? In a miraculous way the roots just go deeper in the same soil but the scenery of the tree changes. Sometimes it sees the desert or wilderness. The tree changes too with the seasons: beautifully colored and full in the fall, naked and exposed in the winter, new life blossoms in the beauty of spring and there is a boldness of green in the summer. Our seasons as women can change daily and that can be very discouraging. No matter what the season of the day, though, His strength in the roots keep us standing (or kneeling, or prostrate) in His presence. And the prayer meeting women are still there too, walking the same walk. The scenery is different but roots are the same, so we get it, or at least I get it. And I am praying for you and am blessed to be your sounding board just like many others I am sure. So whether your leaves are blown and tossed in the wind or perfectly still in the stale air as if hairsprayed you are covered in prayer and loved much!
    I am praying the Lord graces you with exactly what you need for today, just like He did yesterday and am trusting that He will do it again tomorrow. Blessings to you my friend

  3. I don't know if you ladies will see this or not, but thank you! : ) I'm feeling a bit free-er already and agree, Monica... there has to be a way to combine the two... I think it just makes me a bit nervous. yet I have also decided that it's okay to have different places for different styles of writing. I think both of my/our blogs have different audiences, so while I want to risk a bit more on the other, I'll still always give myself a lot more freedom to ramble over here than I do on that one. (Even in the comments! ha ha!) Thanks...

  4. I can relate to the part about not saying anything because one does not feel kike getting dressed up. Newsletters are a challenge that way-to communicate the struggles that need praying about along with wanting to somehow encourage or build up the church that you are writing to.

    No answers, though.

  5. Lol, I've actually been thinking in the opposite direction. I have one blog and always think I should compartmentalize more. I think my problem is more that I understand now what "living in a fishbowl" is like. I've even gone so far as to create other blogs and never write in them. I just don't know what the balance is. On the one hand I see public figures now who are so public that pretty much any mistake they make is widely publicized and I think those things wouldn't have happened 20 years ago because we didn't have social media. Anyway, I'm not even sure what my point was. I'm just rambling on your comment section. I think this is almost a blog in and of itself. Sorry for that. I should probably have just saved all this for Tuesday. ;)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart with me.