No More Sitting on the Sidelines

It’s a big day for me. Having taken a hiatus from my blog for over a year, it’s time to come back to it. And today is the day. 

Why today? I don’t know (but of course, God does). I do know that He has put some inspiration in my path lately. At first, it was possible to take notice, but sidestep it. Eventually, though, He dropped some boulders in the road that could simply not be ignored. And so I’m back. 
I’m starting fresh. The last time I attempted this, I think I set myself up for failure by putting a requirement on myself to do X, Y, and Z every day and write about it. It doesn’t work that way. The writing process must be actively fostered and honed like any craft, but writing something just for the sake of having written something on a given day is sort of like mass production of anything. The result may be an increase in quantity, but also a decrease in quality, a resentful workforce, and dissatisfied customers. 
As those of you who followed me the last time (I think there were four or so) can see, I kept the same title for the blog, Crumbs Under the Table. It has two meanings really. For one, I have a 9 year-old and a 6 year-old. Chances are, there are (literally) crumbs under my table on any given day. Such is life. 
But also, my Anglican friends out there will recognize the reference to the Book of Common Prayer. 
So, who’s to thank (or blame) for this? There are a few. 
1. Mark Thornton and Jim Cegielski. 
A few years back, when Bronson was nearly a year old, after staying at home with him (and his 3 year-old sister) since he was born, I found that it it was time for me to find a productive outlet of some sort outside of the home. (Read: I could not take one more day of wearing baby food in my hair.) I went looking for a part-time job, something that would be enjoyable and flexible (meaning it would let me come and go as I pleased) and would give me a daily dose of adult interaction. I found what was at the time called The ReView…
…in May of last year, I was at home nursing a newborn baby.  My husband would bring me all the reading material he could to keep me occupied and in touch with the outside world. One Thursday afternoon, I rifled through the stack of magazines and papers only to find a publication I had never seen before – the ReView of Jones County. In just a few weeks, I was hooked. I always look forward to my husband’s arrival in the evening, but on Thursdays, it took on new meaning…
…Fast forward to a few months ago. I had been contemplating finding myself a job. I love my kids and am glad I got to stay home with them, but I was ready for more. Thursday rolled around, and while we were reading the paper, my husband pointed out a small ad on the back that said that the ReView was looking for a clerk. “I could do that,” I said to my husband, and went immediately to my computer to send them my resume (and an explanation of my strange and wandering career path). 
Later that night, I told my husband I had responded to the ad. “What? I was just showing it to you. I didn’t think you’d really apply.” 
After emailing back and forth for a few weeks, I found myself at Signatures (the local coffee shop downtown at the time) one morning (again, a Thursday), meeting with Jim. “Can you write?” asked Jim. 
“Well, I did get through law school,” I replied, knowing that he would never know that didn’t actually mean anything.
(From my May 29, 2008 column)
They became my family (along with Kassie and others there). They are still family in my book, even though I don’t see them as often now. It also went from a part-time gig to full-time plus in just a few months. And I loved it (crazy though it was). 
My time there gave me my first real taste of what writing on a regular basis (and actually having people read it) could offer. Now, if I’m not writing SOMETHING, I feel like I can’t breathe. These days, I do a lot of legal writing in my work life. That does tend to keep the spelling and grammar skills sharp, but it’s not an emotional or spiritual exercise. Usually. 
2. Nicole Sisk. 
Nicole won’t see this coming.

Nicole has been a friend since she moved to Laurel when we were both pregnant with our boys at the same time, and also happened to share the same obstetrician in Jackson. Now, we are both involved in a local service organization. Recently, at a meeting, she presented me with a journal. (Actually, she was giving it away and asked someone to close their eyes put their finger down randomly somewhere on the membership list, and it landed on me. But still.)

Anyway, on the front was a quote by Benjamin Franklin: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” It’s a blank journal. It won’t mean much to anyone else, but it hit me in the face. 
3. Jen Hatmaker.
Jen Hatmaker does not know me and I have never met her personally (which may make this sound a little stalkerish, oh well.) A few weeks ago, however, I came across a blog post of hers on that resonated with me in a way that made me laugh, out loud, by myself, but also made me think, “now there’s someone I could relate to,”  meaning, “I, too, can’t bring myself to look at the homework folder once May rolls around.” 
I realized that a few other blog posts that had caught my attention when someone on Facebook had shared them were hers as well….like this one.
Then, a couple of days ago, this one. This one led to the discovery of this, which in turn led to research about these people who would attempt to bring together a generation of women in pursuit of service to others. It has also led to much reflection. About faith, about roles of women in today’s world, about not sitting on the sidelines. About feeling like I’m not alone and that there are others out there who feel much like I do. About a lot of things.  
So if Jen Hatmaker is reading this, from one Jen to another, thanks. And please send me more information about February 7 and 8. And don’t let anyone rain on your parade because they don’t understand your sarcasm. I love it. 
If anyone else is reading this, well, bless your heart. 
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

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