This is how my ideas come to fruition:
I have an idea. I think about that idea for a long time. I say the idea out loud, but only to myself.
One day, I say the idea out loud to a trusted friend. Then, I say it to more friends. I practice speaking the idea. Maybe it’s to gauge others’ responses. Maybe it’s to gauge my own. Am I really serious about this? Do I really want to do it? Or, do I just like thinking about it?
I go one of two ways:
1. I decide it’s just something I like saying out loud but will never actually do. I let the idea die.
2. I decide this is something I actually want to try. I take practical steps toward birthing the idea.
For example, before I moved back to Texas, I told a bunch of people at a friend’s wedding that I was thinking about moving back to Texas. I really wasn’t planning on doing it. I was just practicing saying it out loud. And voile! About a year and a half later, I was packing boxes and heading south.
Another example. Once, I told a bunch of people I was going to run a full marathon. The more I said it, the more I realized this was a great idea in theory, but not in practice. I didn’t have time to devote my life to that type of training. So, I settled for a half marathon and let the full marathon idea die.
The project I’m announcing today is something I’ve thought about for a long time. Then, in the form of a blog post, I said it out loud to a few of you. Then, I started taking practical steps. I wrote a piece. I talked to a graphic designer. I talked to my website designer about process. And today, I’m pleased to say the idea has come to fruition.
It’s exactly what it says. It’s a newsletter I’m going to send out on occasional Fridays, and my hope is that it will encourage you to stay unplugged over the weekend and rest. A few words to give you room to breathe.
The first issue is going out tomorrow morning to anyone who is currently subscribed to my blog or anyone who subscribes to the newsletter in the box below. If you subscribe to Breathing Room, you will also get a free chapter of my book English Lessons. (Current subscribers of my blog, check your inbox. I sent you something in regards to this yesterday.)
Why am I starting a newsletter about rest?
When I wrote that blog post a while back about why I get off social media on the weekends, I noticed it resonated with many of you. Your souls feel weary. You are craving balance in the real world and in your social media world. You are asking the same questions I am about the value of watching others’ lives unfold online versus watching yours, in real life.
What I’ve found in my social-media free weekends is that I rest better. My mind and heart slow down when I can’t scroll myself to sleep. I am able to focus better, pay attention to nature, sounds, smells, tastes. I feel more alive and I feel more at rest.
But the topic of rest runs much deeper than a 48-hour social-media fast. Rest has been a theme for me this past year, as I’ve mentioned before. What I’ve found in my explorations of rest—and I explain this more in the first issue of the newsletter—is that rest and identity are inextricably tethered. I can only rest when I am confident in my identity. And I cannot be confident in my identity apart from my knowledge of Christ. Christ’s sacrifice, who I am because of it, how this gives me confidence to rest. It is all braided together in this beautiful, and sometimes very difficult, way.
There is so much more to say here, hence, the newsletter.
Per usual, I’m not quite sure what I’m doing. I don’t know how often I will write these. I would like to feature others’ writing. Particularly those who are not like me and come at rest from a different perspective. (Please, send people like that my way!)
The newsletter will be slightly longer than my blog posts. But they won’t always be long form content. I may include links, poems, ideas—anything that I think will encourage you in your pursuit of rest and, in that, your pursuit of Christ. And if you come across anything you think I should include in the letters, send those my way as well. I only have two eyes and only so much time, but together, I bet we can dig up some pretty great stuff.
Again, if you’re subscribed to my blog, you will get the newsletter automatically (you can always unsubscribe!). If you’re not subscribed to my blog, sign up for the newsletter below. You will only receive the newsletter. (You can sign up for my blog in the column on the right. Also, let’s see how many parenthesis I can use in one post.)
Thank you, friends. Here’s to yet another journey, one that I hope will lead to deeper rest for us all.