Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Defense of the Blog


You know how there are times you feel the need to put the proverbial stake in the ground?  Maybe you've gone round about a thing for quite awhile, not sure where all the puzzle pieces will land, and then a dawning of understanding breaks through your thickness?

Where social media is concerned, I've done my fair share of digging in the heels.  Like most folks, I'm ever evolving in the way I think, the way my opinions line up with the greater values that shape who I really am.  For me, it all evolves from who I am in Christ, and so much more importantly, who He is in the world.  So, yes, my thoughts and opinions do change over time.   As the years come, hopefully, I gain better understanding of who He is and why that matters.

Still now, for what I think is good reason, I choose to stand on the anti-social side of the lines of social media.  I do not Facebook.  I do not Tweet.  I do not Pin.  I have a hard time checking my email and voice messages, and my phone is, decidedly, not smart.  But this is not about the moral wrongness of any of those things (indeed a case can be made, and has, that checking email and responding in a timely fashion is good and moral etiquette!).  This is not about how these social outlets curtail real relationship, either.  I do have my suspicions, but I don't really know if they are right.  I simply haven't mastered, well enough, the art of face-to-face, hand-in-hand, or head-on-shoulder communication.  I think I'd better not add any other variables until I become more astute and skilled in the old tradition of conversation.

A blog is different.  I've heard them (blogs) labeled ego-centric and agenda driven.  Indeed, some are.  I imagine as many blogs fall into that category as do the humans that might write them.  Interestingly, joining the blogging world has resulted in the opposite for me.  My ego-centricity has been greatly challenged as my world has broadened beyond the tight circle of like-minded thinkers I tend to associate with.  In reading blogs (especially getting acquainted over time with their authors), I do not get a quick snippet of one self-centered opinion.  Blog posts are not text messages.


The blogs I read are well thought out and written articles, written by one, yes, but meant for the edification of many.  Certainly there is plenty of twaddle in the blogging world, just as there is in paper publishing.  All blogs are not created equal.  As with anything, it is something to approach with discernment.

I know some who 'don't read blogs'.  These abstainers group them in the same category as all other social media, thereby declaring them a waste of time.  Being largely absent from the social-media crowd, I , too, struggled with what place reading and writing blogs should have in my life.  As one who expresses best in black and white, I was drawn to the opportunity to write in a way that was not previously available to me.  As one who is fascinated by people and their thoughts, perceptions, and life experiences, I reveled in the easy access to such things.  Yet, as one who has been reluctantly dragged into post-modernism, all electronic communication seemed suspicious to me.  It was easier to paint it all with a broad brush as wasteful and indulgent.  Perhaps too easy.

Up to this point, some form of the word 'I' has been used at least 27 times in this post.  Ego-centric?  A one-sided conversation?  Is there an obvious agenda?  I'm going to deny the egocentrism.  :)  As far as the one-sided conversation, it doesn't have to be that way.  That's why most blogs have a comment section.  As far as the agenda, well, yes, I admit I had an agenda or purpose of matter that I wished to write about here.  I suppose, in that way, all of our communication is agenda driven, is it not?  There are choices we make daily about which agendas we pursue and which ones we entertain from others.

My agenda here, in this post, was to describe my own personal journey regarding the reading and writing of blogs.  Yes, I hope to make a case for good blogging.  It is only my opinion here, and it does not tell the full story, but perhaps it will result in dialogue and better understanding nonetheless.

And yet, perhaps it will fall numbly on the mind for you, dear reader, but fear not.... there are worse things you could've wasted your time on than my writing.  :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm moving...

along.... out.... and on.

I'm moving.  No, I'm not changing my address.  Not that.  Not yet.  Nonetheless, my character is entering into the next act.  She's moving on.

She got used to the holding pattern that sometimes happens in one's life.  There were times she fought against it, tired of the waiting and wanting the certain.  And there were times of surrender, when she gave up her own vision.... the right to write her own story, and she trusted a better Writer.  There were times of great freedom when her trusting made any shackles of worldly fashion weak and useless.  She danced in this rain of grace, following, as she learned to read it, the Writer's story.

And then she doubted.  Were His leadings no more than her own fleshly whims?  There were some who would say, 'yes', and there were many others who didn't care enough to weigh in at all.  She had fully expected harmony.  She didn't want conflict and doubt, she wasn't writing that into her story.... but then she remembered how she had decided to trust the better Writer.

And so, the shackles fail once again to bind her, failing under the tension of truth and grace.  In the safety of His story, that is sometimes dangerous... she moves on.

How the Writer has blessed:

a good report for a woman loved:  the margins are clear!

waking early to daylight
feeling ready to get up
sleep having done its job

the way a chicken cooks in a pot
eating artichokes with our fingers
unwrapping them like presents

the voice of my god-daughter on the line

being inspired, over and over, by the faithfulness of a friend

a good report for another beloved:  no cancer!

hearing my boy and girl sing solos
his deep, growing up voice
hers sweet and lilting and in tune

a place for resting, reading, teaching, thinking, praying
made with sun and well- watered trees
just outside my back door

this Sarah Bessey post
being inspired to make more of the days rhythms
the sacred echo of this

finding my way

and more, where words aren't necessary:

Monday, May 7, 2012


Garage Sale Weekend is now behind us.  MUCH has left this household for good.  Windows have been washed, floors mopped, furniture polished.  Order restored and then some.  It's a good feeling.  No, it's a GREAT feeling.
I am not one to function at optimal capacity in the midst of disorder.  Even if the disorder is relegated to the closets and drawers, it mocks me from those pent up places.  I hear it call my name and it becomes the itch I can't quite reach.  I don't like this about myself.  It's a weakness, really.  Life is messy, and we need to learn to not be distracted by that fact.

In my frenzy to declutter, simplify, and restore order I learned some things:

1.  We have too much stuff.

2.  Garage sales don't make you money.

3.  They do make you crazy.

4.  They are a great reminder of how awful it is to have too much stuff.

5.  Simplicity (which in my mind includes organization) is a lifestyle, not a once a year or so event.

6.  I don't want to waste one fleeting moment with my children (this reminder came as I wept over little, tiny clothes they used to wear and the remembering that goes with the sorting and weeding and the realization of number 7......).

7.  Time flies.

8.  I love that we still play with toys in our house.

9.  I need a system to stay balanced.... I'm a system-needer.

10.  It needs to be simple (read:  NOT flylady)

11.  Less is more.... in a BIG way.

So, there it is.  I totally recommend this kind of deep cleaning/purging.  There is a lot more I learned from it, but some of it's personal and I won't bore you.  Suffice it to say... it's worth it and makes for some cheap, but highly effective therapy!  :)

And now getting on with giving thanks:

~the canopy of green surrounding the back of the house filling with bird and other creatures
~the ultra muzzle for a pup too anxious to protect his peeps
~having what I need and knowing where it's at
~God stoking a fire
~free musicals
~my precious and words-can't-describe-how-awesome husband
~how the Lord leads us and makes us of one mind
~how he submits and I submit and we submit to Him and to each other, and...
~how nobody but the Lord taught us how to do that, and
~how that is a gift I do not take for granted
~being called into something bigger than we can figure out
~knowing we can trust Him