Kelly Ramke Lardin is the author of the children's books Josiah and Julia Go to Church, and Let's Count From 1 to 20 (bilingual counting books in French and Spanish). She holds degrees in French from The University of the South and Tulane University and studied translation at SUNY-Binghamton. She has always enjoyed writing and loves studying languages. She converted to Orthodoxy shortly after marrying her husband, who is also a convert to Orthodoxy. Her journey to the faith was fraught with struggle, but she wouldn't trade it for anything. Together she and her husband are raising their two daughters in the Orthodox faith. This continuing journey still has its moments of struggle but is also a joy. Visit her at kellylardin.com for more information on her books and to read short stories and other writings. She also blogs about her faith, family, and life in Chicago at A Day's Journey. She is available for speaking engagements through the Orthodox Speakers Bureau.
I have been in a slump! A long slump… it has engulfed nearly every aspect of my life. I have felt like I’m in the waiting place.
“The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.” -Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go!
I’ve been waiting for some of life’s pressures to give, for more time to pray, for things to get better so I can “focus.”
Just waiting, no doing.
Now is the time to begin the un-slumping processes.
I fear my title is a wee bit misleading because I don’t really know how to get out of a slump. I suppose the key is just doing something. It does help to feel like you have time available for it, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. In times like those (or these), it is probably good to grab the calendar or your iPhone and schedule in time for the things you need and really want to do. I certainly haven’t done that myself for a while. I did some fun things today and generally had a full day with my husband and kids, but I didn’t write and I didn’t pray. It’s time for me to look at my very full summer calendar and make time for the things I really need to attend to.
When I get into this state of mind, the two things that are first to go are are writing and prayer. It’s ironic because these are two of the most important things for me to be doing (not counting the daily tasks of taking care of a family, which I don’t neglect even in a slump).
I did pretty well maintaining some semblance of a prayer routine in the beginning of this slump. At the beginning, I managed to pray every morning with the kids before sending them off to school. It was the last step in getting ready for the day before waiting to catch the school bus. Since summer vacation began, I don’t think we have said a single daily prayer! If recognizing the problem is the first step to fixing it, then I am on my way!
Here is my commitment to say morning prayers tomorrow when my girls wake up. Please leave comments checking in on me. It may be the only way to hold me to it. And I guess this blog post is my writing wake-up call. I do need to write daily, too, even if I am not satisfied with the product.
The house is quiet as I sit here typing. It’s still fairly early, but everyone else is asleep. The last part of our day was spent cleaning and decluttering. We recycled a ton of paper, made piles of things to sell or donate to our church’s annual rummage sale, and reorganized messy desk drawers and storage boxes. The decluttering is not quite finished, but as I sit here, I think it, too, has helped me begin to climb out of the rut I’ve been in. I’ve heard it said that a clear environment helps to clear away brain fog. Right now, it seems that’s true. I think I’m on my way.
Dr. Seuss warns that “Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” He also gives hope that “Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.”
In some ways, being in a slump can remind us of God’s mystery and promise. We never know how He works, but just knowing He is there offers hope that things will work out, we can ultimately escape from slumps, and we can continue to build a relationship with Him.
Here’s to hoping, praying, and un-slumping.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.