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What Do You Do When You Just Can’t? (Part 1)

February 11, 2013


Is it really February already?

I’ve had a loooong hiatus from my blog. Sorry, friends!

Where has this year gone? 2013 is definitely not turning out to be what I envisioned. I had plans for 2013—personally and professionally. My motto this year was “No Excuses!” Then my grandfather passed away. It was somewhat anticipated, so I thought I’d handle it fine. I did. For a while.

Then I didn’t.

Getting back to everyday life was difficult. How do you go on when your heart hurts? But kids and work and bills and laundry don’t wait—life has to go on. So life went on.

But I found myself in a desert. Dried up. Empty. Lost. No energy. No creativity. No oomph. No nothing.

What do you do when you just can’t?

When you can’t seem to do … anything? When everyday life is a struggle because you feel like you’re sinking through mountains of sand in the middle of the desert alone?


I’m an introvert anyway. A thinker and a writer. Not too much of a talker. Even when there isn’t much for me to say, there are millions of thoughts pouring out my brain onto paper.

But not when I’m in a desert.

I usually have little notebooks everywhere—in my purse, in my car, by my bed, in the bathroom—to capture the thoughts and the creativity that strike me at so many times during the day wherever I am.

I’m not used to not being able to write. Not used to NOT having creativity. I don’t like it. Hate it, in fact. Writing is like breathing. If I can’t write, I can’t breathe. And right now I am suffocating.

What do you do when just can’t? When something seems so big or is just too much? When you feel so depleted that you can’t be who you are? When you know this feeling won’t last forever, but it’s lasting longer than you’ve ever hoped?

I haven’t made it through the desert. I don’t have all the answers, but I have learned a few things over the past month. Come back for Part 2 on Wednesday as I share the first two ways I’m surviving in the desert …. and if you’ve been through a “desert” experience, please share your thoughts and encouragement with us!

Join me for Part Two on Wednesday! 

©2011- 2013 Christi McGuire. All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of James Barker /

14 Comments leave one →
  1. kristy permalink
    February 11, 2013 8:05 am

    My dear sweet friend…you are so amazing and are loved so very much. Cling to the Lord with all you’ve got. He is ALWAYS faithful. Praying for you …

  2. February 11, 2013 11:42 am

    So sorry to hear about your Grandfather! I know personal tragedy can be a double edged sword. On one hand, it muffles the pen while at the same time creating a deep well for future creative expression to be drawn from. Be patient and don’t force it… it will come back. My writing laid dormant for over 2.5 years at one point. You’ll be drawing from the well in no time and we’ll all have our thirst quenched as a result. 🙂

    • February 14, 2013 4:09 pm

      You are so right–the deep well will be worth it … some day! Being patient and taking the time to take a break is hard! 🙂

  3. February 11, 2013 1:08 pm

    Hi Christi
    Prayers for you and your family’s grieving process
    What do you do when you can’t?
    You do exactly what you did – take a break
    Grieving is a process we all must go through – the good days and the bad
    At first, every day is a bad one – we look through a tunnel of tears
    Then, slowly, we start to remember the good times with our loved one
    We remember their stories and we keep their memory alive in our hearts and tell their life stories to your children and grandchildren (and others) – Through the telling of their story their memory is kept alive
    Rest in God’s peace and cry when you need to and laugh also and keep telling your Grand-dads story
    God Bless

    • February 14, 2013 4:08 pm

      Thanks, Susie. Taking a break is so needed but so hard because life keeps moving! But you are right–time helps and it’s a slow process!

  4. Nikki permalink
    February 11, 2013 1:09 pm

    Praying for you Christi! God will get you through this desert! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  5. February 13, 2013 3:15 pm

    Hello friend! I’ve missed you so much… not that I can talk at ALL about not blogging 😉

    You and I are such peas in a pod… When I read what you write, it’s as if I could have easily written it myself!

    When I’m in a desert (which I call a dark place), I turn to TV and food. My two huge danger zones. VERY difficult for me to break free of their comforting, mind-numbing grasp. I’m looking forward to hearing how you’re trying to navigate your desert time.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. Terry and I both still have all of our grandparents, parents, close family, etc, here with us, and I do not look forward to the day.

    • February 14, 2013 6:55 pm

      Friend, I’ve missed you! I always said you were my long-lost twin! 😉 TV and food is EXACTLY what I turn to. And sleep. Lots of sleep. I’m usually such a reader, but I can’t even enjoy reading right now, books, blogs, etc. Usually, I sit and stare, then start crying. Hmmm….not navigating the desert very well! But there is a season for everything, and I’m praying God uses this somehow. You are fortunate you have all your grandparents. Spend as much time as you can with them! Grandparents are so special, and I never realized how much I’d miss them.

      • February 18, 2013 11:42 pm

        Yes, sleep… I forgot about the sleep! That one is a go-to for me right now.

        And yes, sometimes we have to just loosen our grip and our control and accept that we are not going to navigate well for a time. But we can trust that God will.


  1. What Do You Do When You Just Can’t? (Part 2) « Witty Words
  2. What Do You Do When You Just Can’t? (Part 3) « Witty Words

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