Public Journaling

Sometimes when you start something, you’re not really sure where it’s going to take you. I was thinking about this the other day while I was praying (on my front porch again—good spot lately). I often pray about my writing on this blog, that I would not continue if it just became a perfunctory task. I really try to stick close to my subtitle, The Gospel Interrupting the Ordinary. But as I was praying for God to help me stay true to his gospel in what I share, I began thinking about what a blessing this blog has become for me. You see, I started blogging when I finished my manuscript for a book I had been working on and off again for three years. When I began to research the whole publishing end of things, I realized that I needed a little more for my resume. First time authors are not the most appealing for marketing. So I thought I’d begin by submitting some articles to magazines and blogging. I submitted one essay and got to working on the blogging thing. I was scared to death to actually purchase a web host and start posting. It all seemed so narcissistic to me. I’ve always enjoyed reading blogs, but felt really weird as a self-proclaimed blogger. And many of my family and friends are not your typical blog readers, so it felt especially smarmy of me to tell them I started a blog. I began with much trepidation, telling myself that if I wanted to get my book out there one day, I would need to put myself out there today. But what if nobody reads it? Or, what if those who do read it don’t like my writing? What if I run out of things to write? How in the world am I going to keep this gig going? I just decided to pray. I pray for readers, I pray for God to give me good things to write about, and I tell myself, “If you don’t have something good enough to post, then don’t post. The world will keep going.” And it has. But as I was praying, I realized the many blessings God has provided me through blogging that I wanted to share: Open Eyes— There is such a great world of people out there beyond your regular circles of family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. The mystery of the blogosphere has helped me to see beyond my small world in a whole new way. A More Reflective Heart-- Since I am now disciplined in the art of writing articles, I have been able to slow down and process my thoughts better. I am always trying to take what I learn and the experiences I have and strain them through what I call the gospel colander. It has been such a blessing to my own soul. Humility—Putting yourself out there is just plain scary. I am learning so much about finding my significance in Christ—not readers, publishers, comments, or great articles. My hope is that others will know more of him through my writing. Which leads to… Boldness to Share—Every time I hit the “Publish” button, I cringe. Blog stands for “web log.” It is public journaling so to speak. While I certainly don’t share as personally as I would in a private journal, it is still a very vulnerable act for me. Along with this, my formal education (aside from some great elective courses) is not in writing. My degree is in elementary education and art. And when I graduated, I didn’t want to teach little kids. I wanted to open a coffee shop. So I did. As I had more kids, I have been a stay-at-home housewife. To call myself a writer is a bit of an overstatement. Growth—God has been molding me through this process in ways that I never could have imagined. I am so thankful for his work of sanctification in my life. While I know I have a long way to go, I am even more confident in his faithfulness to transform me for my future state of glory. Celebration of God’s Word—It is such a joy to write about God’s word and share it with others. It is also a joy to share how other people are teaching his word through their writings. My Readers--While I certainly don’t have a huge following, I am thankful to have readers. And like Nick Cage said on Family Man, “I have good ones.” It is a bit discouraging at times to see how small of a percentage of readers comment on the material. But the contributors I do have are such a blessing to me. They enhance my writing with their great comments. I am thankful to have an awareness of how my writing is being received and reflected upon by what they share. I have new people to pray for, and to look forward to meeting at least on that great day when we all shall worship our Lord together. And they have no idea how they are encouraging me in my walk. Dependence on God—Seriously, I didn’t even care to have a Facebook account before I started this blog. I am not technologically savvy, and I do not have the time that I should be putting into learning about how to get more blog exposure and how to make my site look awesome. But my goal isn’t to be the best blogger out there. I’ve been focusing the time I do have on the content of the writing. Arranging this genre of writing into my housewife schedule has been an adjustment. I have found that I really do want to write beyond my first manuscript. Through all of this, I am driven to pray more fervently and trust in God to point me in the right direction. This blogging thing is a bit of a mysterious beast. I was blessed to have that one essay I submitted published. But I’ve been busy feeding the beast the rest of my writing. Hopefully I can make more time for that. Anyway, as I was pondering all this in thanking God for these blessings, I realized that the whole idea of public journaling is such a positive exercise. I recommend it to anyone who has been considering it.