Henry is telling me to chill…

My regular readers will know this but for those just stopping by for the first time, let me set the stage; I’m leaving for Ireland today. A whole week. Just me and my computer. You can read about why I’m going, here. Then you’ll be all caught up!


July 8th, 2013


As I sit here awaiting my outbound flight, the beauty of what a gift this trip is does not escape me. I don’t have any idea what’s in store but I know that this kind of thing doesn’t come along very often. As a mother of four, the idea of a whole week where I’m responsible only for myself is…well…unbelievable. And as a writer, I have certainly never had a whole week at my disposal to write whenever the fancy strikes me.


Yet, I think about all the possibilities for the week and I have to force myself not to be stressed out. I know that sounds weird. I’m going, by myself, to a charming B&B with no schedule at all. How stressful can that be? The trip itself isn’t stressing me at all. It’s my expectations that are stressing me.


I think things like, “With a whole week you had better get a ton of writing done!” Or, “Make sure you get all the information you might need for your next book.” Or, “You have to get to all the places you want to see…don’t miss anything.” Or, “You should take this time to connect with God, reading your Bible every day.”


All of those things are good things. But it reminds me of when my kiddos were babies. I would put them down for a nap and you would think that would make me relaxed but it was the opposite. There were so many options of what I could do, I got paralyzed and didn’t get much of anything done. It’s a fear of wasting my time and opportunities. A week will go by so fast! What if I don’t make the most of it??


All that comes from the scattered side of my brain. But the other side is much more rational. I’m thankful I have that rational side…even if it’s only just a sliver of my brain. Because it’s telling me to chill out and enjoy the journey…literally. If I don’t write a single chapter…if I don’t see a single land-mark…nothing is wasted. Because I’m going to take it a day at a time and just let it be what it is. I’m going to breathe the Irish air (which my grandma assures me is just different than the air here in the U.S.). I’m going to chat with some fun people. And if that’s all I do, so be it!


My rational side…I’ll call that sliver of brain Henry, cuz Henry seems like a rational name. So, Henry tells me not to have any expectations at all. That way, everything will be a plus! All I’m going to do right now is say a prayer of thanks for the beautiful gift that this week is. Then I’m going to pull out a book and read for the fun of it.


I would tell you I’ll write every day and have pictures and blog posts up as a travelogue, but I can’t promise I’ll write at all. Cuz Henry has forbidden me to make any promises.


UPDATE: This post was brought to you by a long delay in my flight. I’ve now found out that I may not make my international connection. The adventure has begun. I have no idea when I’ll actually get to Ireland! But I’m not gonna stress, remember?

UPDATE 2: I ended up missing my international flight by five minutes, due to three delays getting out of Buffalo, on Delta. I had a lovely NYC adventure at midnight. I may write about that some day. But by the next evening I was finally on my way to Ireland!


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  1. yes! to all of the above comments. I could have written these words. Love you, Twin. 😉

  2. Henry and Lisa tell you to “relax and have fun”!!! I’m so thrilled for you and just remember that while “woman may plan her course, God determines her steps.” God already knows what this week holds for you, who you will meet, where you will go, what writing or non-writing will take place…rest in that knowledge that He knows exactly how this week will go and how the experiences will weave their way into the story of your life and that of your characters!

    For the record, I TOTALLY know that feeling of having short periods of time at naps or without kids and being stressed about how to use it! Scott always reminds me that it’s about opportunity cost…I can get something done, but not everything. Let the “something” come organically for you this week…

    p.s. If you need a reminder of the peace you are entering into, it’s taking 10 minutes for me to write this because my children are pressing my caps lock and asking me what I’m doing every 32 seconds!! LOL.

  3. I am so excited for you to go Rebekah have a great time 🙂

  4. “The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the road has gone and I must follow if I can.
    Let a journey, new begin, but at last with weary feet, will turn towards the lighted Inn,
    my evening rest and sleep to meet.” — J.R.R.Tolkein

    “I’m going on an adventure!” — Bilbo

    You are my amazing resourceful girl and being watched over by an amazing God. Love you Reb, Marmee

  5. have fun!!!!!!

  6. No matter what you do or don’t do in Ireland–enjoy your time! Savor the experience itself & do not put so much pressure on yourself.

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