Wild and Beautiful

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wow. That was an extended leave of absence. Unintended, I assure you. But sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging — at least, it does for me. I’m sorry I’ve left you hanging for so long, especially since I hosted a giveaway nearly a month ago! Nothing like delayed gratification, eh? Anyway, I’m popping in to announce the winners, and to catch you up on where I’ve been and where I’m heading… I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

First, the winners. My random number generator picked #3 and #25, so that means Beryl Singleton Bissel and Elizabeth MacKinney are the proud new owners of Far From Here! Since it’s taken me forever and a day to announce winners, I’ve decided to choose two from my blog and one from my Facebook page. Didn’t win here? Check out my Facebook page to see if you won over there. As for Beryl and Elizabeth, please shoot me an email with your snail mail addy and I’ll dropped a signed copy of Far From Here in the mail for you.

Now, I feel like I owe you an explanation for why I’ve been gone for so long. Well, it’s complicated and personal, and I kind of don’t know where to begin. And yet I’d love to share at least some of my journey with you, so forgive me while I fumblingly try…

A couple months ago, I woke up one morning, looked at myself in the mirror, and was convinced that I was staring at a stranger. I won’t lie to you: it was beyond unnerving. I’m a rather outgoing, confident person, or at least I try to portray that persona. But the truth is, I’m going through a season of self-doubt the likes of which I have never before experienced.

I don’t know who I am. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be. And in the midst of it all I feel tugged in a dozen different directions. I’m a wife, mother, author, friend, blogger, gardener, athlete in training, activist, mentor, and CEO of the Baart Household. The hats that I wear are so diverse and often so demanding that I sometimes feel like each role is grabbing a tiny piece of me and pulling toward the four corners of the earth. In the scant “free” hours I have in a day (Ha! Every mother knows “free time” is a myth perpetuated by people who haven’t got a clue what it really takes to parent children and keep a house running.) I’m constantly making tough choices. Should I run for an hour? (I’ve got a triathalon coming up, I’d better get my butt in gear!) Edit? (My deadline is next week and I’m still not happy with the verbage in paragraph 3 on page 237!) Play with my kids? (They begged me to play hockey with them yesterday and I said “not now.” I can’t say that again!) Make a fabulous supper? (We had frozen pizza twice already this week. I’m a terrible mom!) Blog? (It’s been weeks… Does anybody even bother to read it anymore?) Call a friend who could really use a shoulder to cry on? (I’ve been such a negligent friend lately!)

Am I speaking anyone’s language? Does any of this resonate with you? I don’t know about you, but I go through seasons like this every once in a while. Seasons where I wonder why in the world I’m doing the things that I’m doing. Seasons where I question if all this hustle and bustle is really worth it. I’m contemplative. I’m searching. And I’m trying to spend a lot of time focusing on the things that really matter to me.

Ann Voskamp says in her book One Thousand GiftsYou’ve got to figure out a way to stay awake to your one wild and beautiful life. (Emphasis mine.)

I think that’s what I’ve been trying to do: figure out how to stay awake. How to open my eyes to the world all around me and to the gifts that have been lavished upon me. The gifts I often don’t have the eyes to see.

So there you have it: a reason for my absence. Kind of. I could tell you that I’ve been traveling, editing, planting seeds, and training. And I have been doing all of those things. But mostly I’ve been trying to live my life with my eyes wide open. For some reason I was so busy looking and living and trying to figure out who I am and who I want to be that I just didn’t have time to blog. I was too busy picking dandelions with my one-year-old. I’m okay with that.

But I think it’s about time to begin again. I have lots of questions and some amazing experiences that I’d love to share with you. I like to process things in a community, and I’ve found this community to be a good place to share. I hope you’ll stick around. And I hope you’ll take a moment to tell me what you’ve been up to this spring…

Grace and peace,



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