Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On blogging

Several months ago, back when it was still the fall soccer season, we were sitting in the rain (imagine that) at my son's soccer game and my friend expressed to me how much she enjoys reading the blog. Yeah, mine. I am always surprised and humbled, not to mention thankful, that someone reads my thoughts. For them to read and enjoy them? Pretty amazing. To read, enjoy, and tell me so? Icing on the cake.

Anyway, my friend is a mom of three kids, all a little older than mine. As we chatted about regrets and the quick passage of time, she told me how much she wished she'd had the kind of encouragement my blog offers when she was a younger mom in the trenches. We are still in the trenches, she and I, just of a different kind as we seek to raise our teenagers and live to tell about it. Being a mom--of toddlers or teenagers--is an overwhelming task, no two ways about it, but here lately I'm inclined to think the teenaged end of the spectrum is a little more so. You moms of toddlers don't believe me but give it time. You will.

I've spent a lot of seat hours here in front of the laptop these past several days, moving the blog, importing posts and comments, tweaking the layout, in addition to making a valiant attempt to catch up on all the unread posts stuck in perpetuity in my reader. More than once I've wondered if this--the blog, the time spent worrying over color schemes and fonts, the words posted, all of it--if it's all a colossal waste of time or, perhaps worse, nothing but an empty exercise in self preoccupation.

To some degree perhaps yes. None of us bloggers can deny the self-serving element to what we do, that pleasure we get from a post well written, a comment of encouragement, a link inviting others to visit. Maybe it's just me but I don't think so.

Of course, that selfsame, self-serving element can loom large and, like anything else, become self-consuming. I've had stages in my blogging journey where I agonized over comment count (or the lack thereof), where I analyzed my stats and their upward/downward (generally downward) trend, where I envied another bloggers' skill, popularity and wit.

The Lord has graciously granted me a weariness in much of that blog related anxiety and I am grateful to be free from that pressure and preoccupation. I do sometimes wonder why I blog if I have no interest in marketing my message (or, God forbid, market myself). At the risk of proving my point about the self-serving nature of blogging by blogging a self-serving post, I once again ponder my place in the great big blogging world, particularly as I consider there are so many gifted, godly women who blog with far more wisdom than I.

As I type, the thought occurs to me that I'm taking myself far too seriously. No doubt that's true. I do. Perhaps it follows I'm taking my blogging too seriously; I mean, really, it's a fun medium, a social outlet of sorts, a place to connect with friends, why make it more than that? Because I want everything--every thing--in my life to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. From the serious to the not-so, from the fun to the mundane. That includes blogging.

So I think part of the reason I blog goes back to my conversation with my friend. My influence here on the web is small by anyone's standards but it's my earnest desire that the Lord may use my simple, ordinary, very humble words to encourage other ordinary women like me to pursue Christ in all things.

Maybe I do take myself too seriously; maybe this post is indeed entirely self-indulgent but today I wanted to remind myself that this is part of my mission, in my blog and I think too in my real life: to encourage women, moms or not, to find contentment in the ordinariness of life and to see that the Christ is the true Treasure who reveals Himself glorious in simple clay pots.

Mine is a small life, as is true for most of us, and this, my ordinary life, has been granted to me for one purpose: to show God as glorious and to make much of Christ. I want that to be true on the blog as in all things.

9 comments:

  1. I've often wondered the same thing -- is this all just for ME? Too often I'm afraid my blog is, but yours clearly isn't. I am always encouraged by your candor and your calls to place Christ first. Please keep it up!

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  2. Extraordinary words from an extraordinary heart, Lisa. Amen and amen to everything said here! God has taken me through my paces in regards to blogging. I'm mostly over myself and have thought on several occasions of throwing in the towel. Only thing?

    I love to write. I've written my entire life, and because no publishers are knocking down my doors, I think blogging has provided me with a small canvas on which to paint my words. Occasionally, somebody "gets its", and when they do, it blesses my heart. When someone tells me they "thought about God" because of something I wrote, then every ounce of energy it takes to write a post becomes worth it. I'm not sure I'd be so consistent with my writing if I didn't have the blog. I think I'd become lazy about it all... never moving forward with what I believe is a sacred trust I've been given.

    I'll never be a great cook, a great interior designer, a great many great things. But every now and again, I get the feeling that I don't make a half-bad writer. Thus, I keep to it until the pen dries up. I pray that it doesn't, but should that moment come, I'll know it, and I'll move onto something else.

    In addition, I've made some incredible connections via blogging. Some in person, some on the phone. I live a pretty small life in my neck of the woods. As part of a clergy family, I don't have many "home girls" to call as close friends. It can be a lonely life at times; thus, my love for so many of you!

    I know I've rambled on, but wanted to take some time to tell you how I feel about the whole thing. Blog because you love it... because you have something to say, because you want to be part of the community. Otherwise, it does become burdensome... bothersome.

    You know I think you're great. I'll always be around, sooner or later, to check in. Are you doing another study this Spring? We're getting ready for "Me, Myself, and Lies." I'm facilitating again, but talk about wanting a break from something! This will be my last one for a long while. Keep me to that, ok?

    peace~elaine

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  3. PS: Have you read any of Margaret Feinberg's books? Just finished "the sacred echo" and "the organic God." LOVE them both so very much. I think you'd like them as well.

    ~elaine

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  4. When it comes to blogging, it's helpful (and humbling) to remember that God sees my heart. Blogging is so much more than self-preoccupation, for me. It is a connection. It is a community. It is an encouragement. It is my voice. It is God's gift.

    Almost everything I do is tinged with bad motives. But I trust God to sort it out in the end. He knows.

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  5. God gives gifts and talents. Some people cultivate and multiply their gifts while other people bury their gifts in the ground. Look at blogging as cultivating and multiplying your gift to write with an aim to glorify God. Don't bury it -- blog it.

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  6. To live an ordinary life committed to glorifying God through blogging or whatever means He gives you is no small calling! I'm glad you take yours seriously, Lisa!

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  7. I. Am. An. IDIOT. I have noticed that I haven't seen any posts of yours come through my reader, and as I was just updating my bloglist, I see your title from 2 weeks ago that says "I'm moving!"

    I suppose it would be helpful to update my reader and my blog with your new URL!!

    Sigh.

    Been missing you!!

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  8. Love this post. Love your blog, friend! And as you know, I've struggled with the same questions... Still struggling at times, but much more relaxed about the process than I once was.

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  9. Love this post. Love your blog, friend! And as you know, I've struggled with the same questions... Still struggling at times, but much more relaxed about the process than I once was.

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