The recovery has begun. From anything I hear, this process is normal. It doesn’t make it any easier, though, knowing that every one of the four hundred plus women who were at the Allume Conference last week is dealing with the same emotions and workload.
We have to process everything. We have to weed through our pages and pages of notes, reliving each and every keynote and session. (I took eight pages of notes from Ann Voskamp’s keynote alone. Eight pages, y’all.) We have to remind ourselves of conversations enjoyed over meals. People with whom connections were made. Changes to our personal blogspace that we realized we needed to make and ideas that are beginning to sprout into something more. We have so, so many things to work through and think through and do; even if we never again open our notebooks to review our notes, our hearts and minds are reeling from the spiritual and mental strain of the weekend.
There is a lot to think about. There is a lot to do.
If I’m honest, it’s overwhelming. I have some pretty big stuff that I need to get working on here, and while I know what I need to do, I don’t know quite how to go about doing it. It’s big. It’s complicated. It’s blogging for a cause, partnering with nonprofits, domain changes, affiliate links….. And it’s change, which we all know is not one of my favorite things.
Yesterday morning I sat in my car in the parking lot of Starbucks, thinking over all of this and nothing at all. I knew I needed to go in but I didn’t know what I would do once I got to my seat. It was a classic case of having so much to do that knowing where to start is impossible. It was the feeling of staring at a mountain and knowing it was my job to whittle it away using a plastic spoon. It was overwhelming, and it was easier, honestly, to not do anything than to get started on something.
I got out of my car and took a little walk around the parking lot. The leaves here are changing, and while they aren’t at their peak yet, this in-between stage of mixed and varied colors is one of my favorites. I love how within one tree – and even within one leaf – there can be the entire spectrum of life and transformation and death. Green intermingled with yellow and red and then, somewhere amongst them all, the darker ridges of brown.
I walked and looked at the leaves and tried to get my head in a better place. As my mind reeled and my blood pressure rose and I wished again that I could just go back to bed, God spoke a powerful word to me.
“Change doesn’t have to happen all at once.”
And I looked at the leaf in my hand and knew….I knew, without a doubt….that these changes that are being asked of me and my blog? These new things I’ll be starting and the new opportunities I want to pursue? They don’t all have to happen at the same time. Change in life, like the changes in the leaves, can be gradual, and that in no way negates the power or the beauty of it.
God never asks me to undertake it all at once. All I have to do is bring my green-ness – my inexperience and newness – and let Him transform it bit by bit. Green to red and yellow and then on to brown.
So to you, friend…whatever it is that God is leading you through today? Take heart that it doesn’t all have to be done at one time. Even big changes have small steps encased within. Even monumental shifts begin with an inching. Even the most out-of-the-blue demands of life allow for small victories before the larger battle is won.
Life is a series of changes…transformations…adjustments. They never end, but they don’t have to happen all at the same time.