Were yesterday a scene from a 1940’s black and white movie, I would have been the character sitting at her typewriter wadding up page after page of doomed story attempt and tossing them over my shoulder—mostly unsuccessfully—into a nearby trashcan.
Everything I attempted to write for this week’s blog felt forced. Or pointless. Or over-opinionated. Like I was a walking example of that verse that I’m pretty sure King Solomon was directing at all the future bloggers and election-year Facebook posters:
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions” (Prov. 18: 2).
And then I went home and collapsed on the couch and cried to Josh that I can’t tell the difference between my real emotions and my hormones anymore and that I’m only 15 weeks pregnant but when people ask how far along I am they all get this googly-eyed and pained expression on their faces when I answer and then they say something like, “Oh, umm, well…hang in there.”
And then they walk away relieved that they’re not me—the one dragging the 18 month-old with the high-pitched shriek and the four-year-old bowling ball through the grocery store.
And then since I’m already moaning, it might be a good time to mention how dadgum tired I am. If I don’t take a nap in the morning, I require a solid two-hour rest period in the afternoon. And then I’m still ready for bed again by about 8:30pm.
At least, I think to myself, Josh will come to bed after me and see me sleeping and think how lovely and pregnant-glowy I am as I rest there. But I foolishly asked him the other day what time he came to bed because goodness me I must have been exhausted and did he notice how peaceful I looked? Yes, he did notice and his exact words were, “Yeah, you were out cold. You were like an old sea witch in drunken stupor.”
He’s so gentle and sensitive.
And so while I want to write inspiring, beautiful blog posts that you can’t help but share with the world because “that Hannah Hall is so terrific and amazing and how does she manage to do it all and look gorgeous while she sleeps?” I want you to know the truth.
- I do not look gorgeous while I sleep. Ask Josh.
- I cannot do it all. I quit a very good thing this week. I mean, it wasn’t good that I quit. It was something good and wonderful and meant for good things that I had to quit because something in my life had to go.
I’ve not been a been able to keep my house clean. I know that’s not that important in the grand scheme, but for a housewife, it is considered a pretty reasonable expectation. But ask me how long I’ve known that someone—presumably a dog—vomited on the corner of the rug in our bedroom and I still haven’t cleaned it up yet. (It blends in quite well and I’m already having difficulty bending over.) Then again, don’t ask me because I’m doing a science experiment to see which happens first. 1.) It evaporates 2.) Josh notices and cleans it up and/or 3.) Jesus returns.
I’m betting on 3.
The point is, I hate being a quitter, but I needed to be realistic with the time, energy, and other commitments I already have. Because someone—presumably me—should clean up the barf.
- Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 12:28).
And then on another occasion when some folks asked him what they needed to do to do the work God requires (In other words, “What more do I need to do to please God and win his love and secure my salvation because surely it can’t rest on Grace alone? Surely I need to add another good thing to my schedule to impress him…) Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28,29).
So in all of my scrambling to be better and moaning that I’m tired and can’t do it all and racing to try to add more in to see how much I can fit, Jesus has his own list for me:
- Stop all this scrambling to impress.
- Believe in Me.
- Rest in my unconditional, unchanging, unfailing love for you.
It’s so simple, isn’t it? Why do I try it make it so much harder than it is? Why would I want to make it harder?
Rest in His love, then repeat, repeat, and repeat some more.
Let’s do it together this week and what happens, eh?
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
*Oh, I almost forgot! Book giveaway time! God Bless My Friends is out and ready to be in the hands of your sweet toddler.
Leave a comment below to win. Just say hello or, better yet, tell me what you’re reading right now. I’m in the mood for a new book. Also, new subscribers and people who offer to come clean my house will be entered twice! Winner announced next post!
You are AMAZING! -and don’t you ever let yourself believe anything different!❤️
Oh, Cindy. I need you to come live at my house and reassure me that I’m still amazing when I’m moaning on the couch and not cleaning up my messes. Then again, you might not think I was amazing anymore…so forget that. Let’s stick to the way things are. 😉
Hang in there Hannah! I’m sure you’ve been hearing that a lot, but you’re an amazing Godly woman and I know you secretly wear a cape under your clothes! How else can you do all that you do? I look forward to reading your blog every week! I know that my children are older than yours, but it’s amazing how you always put into words what’s happening or has happened in my life too! You’re not alone! You’re super mom/wife/author!
Ha! Thank you, Kendra. You are such sweetheart, but that cape you think I’m wearing under my clothes is actually the hunchback that’s developing from early-onset old lady crankiness… But I appreciate your optimistic take on it. 🙂
So glad to have sweet women like you in my life. 🙂
Does reading the back of a cereal box count? Luckily my children are excited when I reach into the top of the cabinet for their breakfast. This post spoke to me! I’ve been getting so bend out of shape lately and feeling so down that I can’t do all the necessary things (cleaning, cooking, schooling, potty training – yup it’s fun around here) AND find a moment or two for myself (nap, what’s that?). And I’m not pregnant! I keep getting reminded that God gives us a job to do and my job in this stage of life consists of being selfless, caring and giving all to the little rugrats running beneath my feet (literally running! They never stop!).
Yes! Cereal boxes do count. And the trouble with those darn naps is, if they’re too long or I get woken up too early, then I’m REALLY bent out of shape. So it’s a vicious cycle. Consider yourself lucky that you don’t get many naps. 😉
Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.
What an inspiring, beautiful blog post. I can’t help but share with the world because are so terrific and amazing. And I’m glad you can’t manage to do it all because you make Jesus look gorgeous while you struggle.
Your comments always kind of make me want to cry, but in a good way. 🙂 Then again, I cry very easily these days. 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement. What would I do without you?
Love love your books! We already purchased this one, but would love to win one and gift it to someone who would enjoy it also!! Keep your books coming, we can’t get enough of this series!!!
Thank you so much, Jen, for your incredible support. I’m so thankful for people like you!
I wish I could say I was reading something lol. I feel this way often and Indomt have as much on my plate as you. I often feel pulled in so many directions that I don’t feel like I can give everything my 100%. Which is hard for me. Praying sweet friend. I would be glad to come help you clean your house ?. Although between my three and your four they might just undo behind us all we had done haha!!
Thank you, Sarah. And I think you’re right. I decline your offer for help on my house. 😉 But you could just come hang out in my messy house instead, eh?
You are not alone in the struggle, my friend! ? I’m not going to say “you can do this!” because I know most days it feels like you can’t, but God certainly CAN, and that is something worth clinging to! Aren’t you so glad we serve a God who doesn’t expect us to do it all?? Much love, pretty lady!! And books – when I have time to read, I’m working on “It Starts with Food” (ugh, I know!) and “The Normal Christian Life” by Watchman Nee. ?
I’m grateful for friends like you with their own gaggles to wrangle. Watching you makes me feel a little less crazy. (Ha! That was supposed to be a compliment. I think it might have come out wrong. 😉
And go ahead and throw “It Starts with Food” away. Have you seen the crazy healthy person Josh has become because of that book? It’s very annoying.
I may not have four kids running around and one on the way, but my two are keeping me busy enough that 10 minutes to read the Bible is a blessing.
Yup. I don’t why I even asked people to say what the were reading. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And then I thought, “Wait a minute. I don’t have time to read.” So, yeah, my Bible is probably the only thing book I should focusing on right now.
And thank you, Beth Ann, for reading and for commenting!
You make me laugh every time! I totally get this. I had some blending-in cat vomit on my carpet for far too long a few weeks ago. My kids notified me of it every day. I” so glad I’m not alone!
Ha! Too bad your kids noticed. You could have continued to play ignorant about it like me. Or maybe that’s not a good thing…
Thanks for reading, Heather. You are such a dear friend.
You are blessed and highly favored!
I am not pregnant at the moment, but we just moved to attend Bible College and I empathize with the seemingly impossibility of keeping up with everything that needs doing. Unpacking, organizing, potty training, schooling, everyday housewifery, etc.
While their is no time to be bored (or read… Much to my regret I’ve even been neglecting my Bible these past weeks which is when I can use it the most), life still sometimes feels like, to quote Mansfield Park, “a quick succession of busy nothings.” I fail to understand how accomplishing so much still feels like you got nothing done!
While I do not have the time to read, as I clean and organize, I decided to listen to worship music and have been blessed to download or stream many free teachings reminding me of how keeping the house is ministering to and blessing my family and that has made a world of difference.
Bless you for still taking the time in your hectic day-to-day to share with us and remind us that even when we feel and seem to lack grace, God’s love and blessing are always present as He will never leave us nor forsake us.
P.S.As far as the dog vomit goes, I ended up rolling my rug up for a week and a half and only just shampooed all of our rugs yesterday haha.
But you did shampoo your rugs! I consider that very impressive, especially in the middle of moving and potty training and unpacking and life in general. Well done. 🙂
And thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I don’t have time read either, which makes my question seem quite silly now that I look at it. But I absolutely appreciate that you will take the time to read my ramblings and then leave a response. God is kind to use our tiny offerings, isn’t He. Blessings to you too!
Love your books, and your blog.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Elizabeth!
Oh Hannah! Bless your heart! You make me laugh and remember. No one can do everything. Do the most important stuff first and forgive ( and forget) the rest. If it’s truly Important, it will get done. The rest… Oh well, it just wasn’t that important.
You’re right, Susie. I can’t do it all but, for some reason, I need to say that out loud every so often. And, no, I’m not beautiful. “Old sea witch in a drunken stupor” remember?! 😉
PS- I bet you are beautiful when you sleep!!!!
Loved your blog! You’re so real. First time I’ve read you and therefore first time commenting. I’m sure your lovely when you sleep, your husband must not be seeing the right angle! You’ll think me crazy when I tellyou you will look back and actually miss this exhausting, bleary eyed chaos but you will. Hang on lean on Christ and nap at every opportunity.
Welcome, Nancy! And thank you so much for taking the time to comment and encourage. I like people like you. 🙂
I love everything about this. And I give you permission to say no to the message I just sent. Also, I can’t blog anymore. I have NO TIME and my publisher would like me to work on the book that’s under contract and I would like to work on another one and the kids would like to eat and LEARN something for goodness sake and oh, yeah, Joshua likes dinner. Whatever. I’m in the corner with a glass of wine and a novel. Last month I read Nightingale. Read it now. The barf can wait.
You’re the best. And you have a publisher and kids and a husband and are homeschooling AND you still find time to read. I’m in awe. Truly. I’m glad I know you.
And I’ll check out Nightingale and read it sometime in the next three years maybe. Thanks for the recommendation.
Oh what a blessing you are!! Love your posts and the ‘God Bless…’ series. Praying for strength and joy!!
Thank you so much, Sarah, for reading, commenting, and, especially, the prayers!
Continue to create and write lovely books for children.
Continue to rest and take care of yourself and your wee one to be.
I am currently reading a tall stack of picture books that includes, GOD BLESS OUR FALL.
Thank you for the sweet encouragement, Suzy! And thank you so much for reading and commenting. Blessings!
Ha ha, this really made me smile. I’m 17 weeks pregnant and I run an in home daycare and my two smallest kids are 16 months and almost 1 year and it’s VERY challenging at times, the pregnancy hormones not helping one bit! The part about the dog vomit cracks me up bc I can totally relate to being so tired that you just don’t even care about it sometimes! I’ve seen you in the grocery store a couple of times and almost said hello but thought we’ll she doesn’t even know me but I saw your comment about how we should probably avoid you if we see you in the store so maybe that was the right decision! I’m kidding, I’m sure you would’ve been as friendly as can be. I love your books and your blog and you are an inspiration to many!:)
Oh, Emilee, please do say hello next time! I promise I will do my best not to bite. 😉
Thank you so much for reading and encouraging when you have such a full plate of your own! Seriously, stop me next time and say hi. We can bemoan our pregnancy hormones together!
It’s ok to realize you can’t do it all. But it can be so hard to accept. Hang in there! Cute book!
Thank you, Heidi! And thank you for reading!
I love this blog post!!!
I have three boys that are each 2 years apart and they are so wild and fabulous but yes, in order to have them 2 years apart you have to be pregnant while the older one is just a year old and THAT is very exciting…especially when the older ones want to be carried places and rescued from trees that they have climbed into! I am reading a series that starts with “Theft of Swords” a beautiful and funny epic fantasy with two thieves who are framed for the murder of a king. Enjoy! Preferably with chocolate.
Thank you, Kristen! And I know the feeling. I have not experienced the toddler-hood of any of many children so far without the accompaniment of a growing gut! It does tend to make things extra exciting (and exhausting). Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
I’m pretty sure that no matter how big your bump is at any given week that you look fabulous. I remember your last baby bump and you rocked it! I’m also sure that any pregnant mama needs all the naps. However long and at whatever times they happen. You likely haven’t slept through pickup time for your kiddos, so I consider that winning. I mean, I may have slept through pickup time to the point that the school called me with almost every pregnancy. Usually the 1st and 3rd trimesters. ? I’ve also been known to be the pregnant mama equivalent to waking a sleeping bear when I need that nap. Lol. We won’t even get into what my house mess looks like right now-I’ve been painting more than cleaning…seasons, right? If you want to feel better about your house, just show up at mine. I’m also living in paint clothes, so I look, well, and smell, amazing. Lol. I think somewhere between week 12-16 I’ve been that incredibly shallow, hormonal pregnant lady crying in the closet because nothing fits right. Like, sobbing ugly tears. Too small for maternity stuff, and too “squishy belly” for what I usually wore. Anyway-just some solidarity.
Haha. You make me laugh, Ms. Pregnant-and-gorgeous-in-heels, and, I admit, it does make me feel a little better that you’ve slept through pick-up. But really, lucky you for getting to miss the pick-up line, right?!
Josh and I had a date last night. My “squishy belly” prevented me from wearing anything that fit just right. Maternity too saggy, regular clothes too tight. Bleh. Thanks for the solidarity. 🙂
I agree, Hannah you’re amazing! And your sweet little blessings with thank you some day for just being their sweet momma. Keep loving them and cherish that sweet husband of yours!! Love you, Ms Helen
Thank you so much, Ms. Helen! 🙂
My daughter and I absolutely LOVE your books! This would make a good Christmas present for her.
Thank you, Brittany! And thank you for reading!
The Will of God as a way of life, Simply Christian, and He walks among us.
Keep up the good work, Hannah!
THREE books at a time?!? YOU are amazing, Merrilee! Love you too!
Tee hee. I actually saw you coming out of the grocery store yesterday. And although you didn’t look happy, you didn’t look mad. I thought it odd you didn’t have groceries in tow with those toddlers but I have had a toddler in the store and left empty handed too. But what I did think was dang. She’s married and has kiddos and another one on the way and she has pants on and her hair straightened and makeup on. I can be motivated to look my best too surely. Hmmmm. I just listened to a Joyce Meyer sermon tonight about saying no to things so we can take care of our bodies so we don’t miss something for a higher calling. And because we are told to treat our bodies as temples. And other things. Anyways. You got this. It’s in HIS hands. And I’ll take a giveaway entry while I’m here rambling 😉
Funny, I have no recollection of leaving a store this week with kids but no groceries! Perhaps I was sleep-walking?!? 😉
Thanks for the encouragement and for reading, Amber. 🙂
I was looking on your site for a brief description of your God Bless series and noticed the give away. Would love to add this title to the library collection! I just currently read Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio. It is a great picture book if you want something new to read.
Hi Michelle! Thanks for playing along! I’m not familiar with Gaston, but my girls LOVE the Crafty Chloe books. We’ll have to check that one out too. I’m so glad you found me. Stop by again!