The Spectacularly Unspectacular.

It’s at times like these I wish I could transmit the aroma from my kitchen through your computer screen to wherever you find yourself reading this. Freshly baked banana muffins – hot out of the oven. For the first time in nearly a week, I’m staring at a clean kitchen. It’s easy to neglect amidst the busyness of life. Laundry, vacuuming, dusting, dishes, oh how easily these duties fall to the wayside.

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Our first Mississippi snow, December 2017

So much life has happened between my last post and now. Our merry, little Christmas has come and gone as we celebrated in our new home. We traded in snow for sand, ringing in the New Year with family in Florida. I flew back to my home state of Virginia, accompanied by a dear friend, Dawn, in order to bring back  a new vehicle to our new home in Laurel. Our home renovation by our friends Erin and Ben Napier aired on HGTV’s Home Town, premiering this past January. I plan on writing a blog post of our overwhelmingly positive experience with the Home Town team and our entire renovation process, but have yet to pen those words. Amidst all these exciting events, I can’t seem to sit down and write, recording our adventures. Perhaps it’s because it was all so wonderful, and it seemed to happen all at once. Or perhaps it’s because January came directly after these events, and January hits hard. I typically struggle through this month mentally, emotionally, spiritually – the days feel long, heavy, and dark. A sea of emotions in a short period of time.

Throughout our home renovation to when we moved in to the finished product, we were unable to post photographs in order to keep the reveal a surprise. Documenting all of life’s moments – the good, the bad, and the blah – was one of the ways I processed these happenings. I still documented, but I was unable to share. It caused me to pause, to take a break from something that had become a part of my every day routine. It forced me to be still. I didn’t realize how much I needed this break, but it only came through cutting off something that had become my normal. Without realizing it, I had been seeking other’s approval through these mediums, choosing to share what was beautiful instead of what mattered. Why not both? In a desperate cry to detach from the comparison game and spend more time off the screen, away from mindless scrolling, I’ve placed limitations on my social media time and turned off the option to receive pop-up notifications whenever someone “likes” or “comments” on one of my posts. I know there’s a balance with screen time and my own well-being. I haven’t discovered that secret yet, have you? It may very well be something I wrestle with for the rest of my life.

Creatively speaking, I’m in a rut. Writing feels like a chore, photography feels forced, and inspiration sparse. When I’m looking for something spectacular – an idea, an image, an answer – I’ve learned I have to drown out the white noise before I can hear clearly. So here I am, returning to the basics, the ordinary, the unspectacular. And in the quiet, albeit painful at times, that’s where I can hear myself, and where I hear my Maker. Choosing to not turn on the music on my short commute to work, but rather spend that time talking to God. Making the conscious decision to not share what I’ve photographed, realizing there is merit in what I’ve captured simply because God made me to create, and I created. I don’t need other’s approval for my creativity to have value and worth. Baking banana muffins on a Sunday evening with nothing but the fresh air drifting through the kitchen windows, accompanied by an episode of The Greatest British Baking Show and the hum of my dryer in the laundry room next door as it completes it’s third load of the day. I find that in these moments, the unspectacular, every day, ordinary experiences can give perspective. And maybe, just maybe, they can inspire us, sending us well on our way to discover something spectacular.

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