Monday, September 2, 2013

In which I begin the great unwinding

I suppose it has been a bit obvious, has it not?

The fewer blog posts.
Not as many comments at the end of others' pieces, if they manage to get read at all.
A diminishing Klout score.

Less of a presence.

On line, that is.

But, really, it has just been the beginning of a great unwinding. And as these days melt, one into another, and as I approach the day when life turns upside down, once again, I find my heart and mind being drawn elsewhere.

I am very much at home these days.


Ann Voskamp wrote once about how mother ducks "pick feathers from their chests to line their nests" and now I understand.

How else did you think nests were lined?”
With leftovers.
That’s what I thought.
With feathers discarded, the molted, the not-so-necessary feathers.
I thought mother ducks picked feathers up from what was laying about, scraps, lining nests with what simply could be mustered after the fact.
But no. No, a mother duck plucks each feather out from the heart of her bosom.
She lines the nest with bits of herself — the best of herself.  
A mother cups her brood not with leftovers — but with her own sacrifice.

As I have begun preparing for a new baby to enter into my, and my family's, life I am having to let go of some things that I have been holding close.

I need to begin the sacrifice of my online presence.

Saying that out loud is like sounding the death knell to a modern writer. Stop blogging? No more tweets? No more platform building?

But at the end of that line of questioning and after a small but monumental silence, I stand resolute.

When I wash clothes and then hang them on the line to dry, it is a process that takes time. Each piece must be snapped free of wrinkles, clipped on with clothespins and arranged just so. When the task is completed it makes for an impressive sight, colors flapping in the wind, displayed for all to see. Work has been done and now the sun works her magic.
But if I don't hang my clothes on the line and, instead, choose to place them in the dryer, inside of my house, the work is still being done.
It just isn't seen by the whole neighborhood.

That is how things are needing to shift around these parts.

I am slowly bringing the work inside.

My sweet baby has been leading the way already. With each passing day he has been growing and stretching into the space within which he finds himself. And he has been doing it most beautifully.

But soon, his space will spill over into our space and we want to be ready.

So we are moving things from here to there. We are relieving ourselves of things no longer needed. We are welcoming, with open arms, the generosity of family and friends.

We are making room.


This slow unwinding has made me aware in ways that I haven't been, for quite some time...

Aware of the way the sun light moves across the floor and walls of my living room, highlighting corners and gilding rough edges and generally making all things beautiful.

Aware of the ticking that comes from the small desk clock upon the shelf, reminding me of every.single.moment.

Aware of how conversations, connected throughout a day, can build bridges of thought and understanding and revelation to everyone involved.

Aware of the power of touch and eye contact and how melting into both provides a balm for heart space that you didn't even realize was rough and hardened.

And, most importantly, aware that every day is full of gifts to unwrap and in order to fully receive that multitude, one must not be looking askance.

So, friends, I am beginning the great unwinding.  I am letting the yarn unravel as it will. It will probably look quite untidy for a bit. Perhaps there will be tangles. But, together, my family and I are letting the colored strands fall into our open hands and, together, we will knit together new garments.

I believe I already like the fit of them.


Photo credit: Ben Hosking via Flickr


  1. You are choosing the better thing....Can I say that I have tears brimming to the edge as I read your words and went back in time some thirty-plus years...the unwinding in preparation to receive God's most preciius gift. Turning away to look this gift squarely in the eyes of life is the better thing.. Are you a knitter too?
    Hugs sweet momma,

  2. I had a comment that disappeared. It was to say that this is beautiful worship here -- the stepping back and giving of yourself to cup the rich blessings He has for you in this place, in this season. He has had me in this similar sounding place of a behind the scenes focused kind of life for awhile, though for very different reasons. Lifting you up, continually. Let Him be your peace that surpasses all understanding. He will lead you -- He already has!

  3. Oh my dear, you are indeed choosing the better thing here. There is always time, a gift from the hand of God, for your writing. He truly orders our days and seasons and I feel His heartbeat here in your words. Blessings of the most extravagant kind to you today as you begin this sacred journey of welcoming new life. What joy!

  4. Kelly Hausknecht ChripczukSeptember 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Your grace for youself, Holly, helps me find grace for myself as I find myself otherwise occupied during these recent weeks with plucking feather after feather for this nest of birds. Your words, the "best of yourself" that you're sharing here, help me remember that when we share the best of ourselves, wherever we share them, they are multiplied. Blessings to you and yours for the days ahead.

  5. Ashley Tolins LarkinSeptember 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    This is so good and right, friend. Bless you, bless you and your family as you begin this unwinding and the knitting of new things. God will make places for your words to fall because they bring life, and as you say, if they are given where only your closest few see them -- well then, all is well, and your gift still blesses.

  6. I love your prose as much as your poetry. What a beautiful way to both release the old season and embrace the new. Knowing that what's perhaps truest about you is GIFT - no matter what your hand finds to do.
    You shine.

  7. Beautifully said, Holly. Just praying there will still be an occasional word of loveliness from your unraveling for the rest of us to share. Love to you as you settle in and nest.

  8. Yes. Treasuring this as we prepare for baby girl arriving in Dec. Making room for new life. Babies make us slow down and it is certainly God's design. Slow, sit, nurse, pat, rock. No flurry of activity, nothing to show but the wiggly bundle of soul we hold. Love the joy emanating through this post.

  9. So so beautiful, my friend. I love how you open your hands to this new season--not just your hands but your arms and heart too. Praying for your whole family as you all stretch out a bit this season, making room for this new life. ((Hugs))

  10. It's amazing how the role of mother never fails to prick the heart (and the eyes!). Thank you for sharing, Kelly.
    And about knitting....I've dappled in it in the past but I'm only good for knit/purl/knit/purl from now until the end of time... :)

  11. Thank you, Amy. I know you understand where I am coming from based on our previous exchanges. I feel your prayers, friend. Truly.

  12. Shelly,
    Thank you for affirming me in my decision. It will definitely be a shift but I know it is the right one. Thank you so much for your beautiful words of blessing and encouragement. They mean the world, friend.

  13. Oh sweet Kelly, please, yes, find that grace for yourself...we need it oh, so much. Together, may we continue to offer our best to those who mean the most.

  14. Ashley, friend, thank you. I am confident that this is the good and right thing to do but it means so much to have your support and encouragement. Some how I just know, you won't be far away.

  15. So thankful to have you along for the journey, friend. May we be the gift to each other as we walk this road together.

  16. Oh Diana, I hope to write when I can as I'm sure there will be things that are bursting to be shared. Thank you for always being one of my most faithful supporters. I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me.

  17. How exciting that you, too, will be welcoming a new one into your family soon! Babies certainly make us slow down...goodness, how true that is. I am encouraged to know that there will be another mama, somewhere in the world, who is rocking and nursing and knowing.

  18. Kris,
    Thank you so very much for your prayers and your support.