Learning How To Be Here

Learning How To Be Here | Inkwells & Images

In my latest reading roundup, I mentioned that I had recently read How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell. I picked this one up at Ashley Brooks’s suggestion and really enjoyed it.

I read this book while we were still in transition while building the house, a process that took far longer and far more money than we had anticipated. The last year was an exciting and frustrating time. We were waiting on a house to be done, but also very, very ready to get out of the apartment that we were in that had no washer and dryer and no dishwasher – and was a total of 650 square feet! It was very much a “sacrifice now to gain later” sort of situation, and we knew it was short-term. Even knowing that an end was in sight still left me wishing time away so that we could move and settle into the new place… and then we found out we were expecting. Which made me even more anxious to get the house finished (and as close to budget as possible) so we could start getting ready for a baby.

And now that’s the stage we are in: preparing for a baby. We weren’t planning on adding to the family quite yet this year, and while we’ve settled into the idea and are starting to get excited as our due date approaches, it’s still been hard to wrap our brains around how different life is going to be in three months compared to what we thought it would look like. I had grand visions of setting up a guest room and finally using all the brain power I had been spending on the house to work on building my business and writing a novel. Instead, that guest room is now a nursery (sorry, in-laws! It’s still an air mattress when you come to visit for now), and come April I will be spending all my energy – physical and mental – on a baby for awhile. And then a toddler. And then a child. Which is still 100% weird to think about.

Being the Type-A, planner-extraordinaire that I am, I know that having a baby is going to be tough. They need a lot of attention, don’t always operate on a convenient schedule, and ruin your sleep schedule for months on into years. (As you can see, I am going into this with my eyes WIDE open.) Obviously, there will be a lot of joy, too, and we’re going to love the little guy or gal, but it’s going to be a serious mental adjustment compared to what we were planning for our first year in our new home.

Why I’ll Be Reading How to Be Here Again & Again

Getting back to Rob Bell and his book. Ahem.

Throughout How to Be Here, Bell consistently reminds the reader that he or she is where they are for a reason. That every piece of life has a season and place. That rhythms exist and change and change again as you go through the years and respond to different callings on your life and time.

I think that’s a message I am going to need to hear every once in a while over the next year as we struggle through midnight feedings and days that don’t go as planned and goal lists that remain stagnant for months at a time.

I’m planning to buy a copy of How to Be Here and read it again this year as I need reminded that “here” is exactly where I am supposed to be.

My Favorite Quotes from How to Be Here

“What [that person] needs is a job that doesn’t drain them, so that they’ll have the energy they need for the thing they know they are here to do.” – p. 63

“Interests, art forms, talents, hobbies, missions, passions… all have their place in our lives.” – p. 92

“Better to have a stomach full of butterflies than to feel like your life is passing you by.” – p. 106

“[On Friday Afternoons] I turn my computer off. When I do this, I always have the same physiological reaction: it’s like my entire being takes a deep breath.” – p. 165

“When you begin to practice a rhythm to your week, you begin to see the need for rhythm all the time.” – p .171

And my favorite, favorite: 

If a good portion of your energies are given to the well-being of another person, that’s okay. It’s not just okay, it’s honorable, it’s beautiful… That’s your ikigai for now. It may change over time. It probably will.” ~ p. 100 (I didn’t write this page number down for some reason)

In this next season of life, when most of my energy is devoted to taking care of a little one, I want to remember those words and recognize that this season is a gift – just like all the others – and that it will disappear before I’m ready for it to, as it always does.

Have you read How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell? If so, what did you think? 


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Abbigail Kriebs

Inkwells & Images, LLC is the result of years of writing in secret, more than a decade of obsessively photographing everyone and everything around me, two college degrees, and the ultimate realization that working in corporate America is not as glamorous as they make it out to be in all the late-90s movies. This website will be a space where I showcase my photography and writing. This blog will a space where I explore life. Being a small business owner. What it means to be a writer. What I learn as I become a better photographer.

4 thoughts on “Learning How To Be Here”

  1. I had to laugh a little on how we are on opposite ends of the child spectrum. I have just changed my daughter’s bedroom into my office. I still feel a little bad about it–although it was done with her full support and encouragement as a mostly-out-of-the-house college senior. I am so excited for you as you start your parenting journey. Your baby doesn’t have any idea yet on how lucky he or she will be to have the coolest mom around! (And, yes, back to your blog . . . I think I need to pick up a copy of this book!)

    1. We are on EXACT opposite ends, aren’t we? And still both trying to find time to write in the every day. That is a little funny.

      And I don’t know about “coolest” mom around… I’m sure I’ll some eye rolls in a dozen years or so. :)

      If you read the book, let me know what you think!

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