Monday, August 8, 2011

A Few Notes About Blogging. . .

Oh, sweet! Thank you for your notes in comments below. It didn’t occur to me when I posted my thoughts about blogging that I might be inviting comments of encouragement. I was just rattling on about what was on my mind. . . But you are sensitive and sweet.

Let me share a few things that I thought about today. First, I need to say that I would never turn my blog into a one-feature blog (like writing only about gentle mothering). The only way I can do this is to write about the wide range of things that are part of my everyday life and thoughts. How could I ever keep a blog without talking about food and the kitchen or books or what I’m thinking about as a middle-aged woman? Or what I’m learning, or what is on my mind? Or what I’ve run across in a box, or what I did with my family? This is the only way I know how to do this—the only way that feels natural. So, writing about the same things I have written about all along is the only way I can possibly proceed. It’s just that I was losing focus.

I think the crux of my “problem” is that I’ve been so sloppy. I haven’t consistently been whole-hearted about blogging. I always taught my kids that we should do everything we do wholeheartedly in order to use our gifts well and to honor God, and sometimes, recently, I haven’t done that very well. To me, this is no small matter. We are instructed in the Bible to do everything we do with all of our might as unto the Lord, and I take that seriously. (I don't mean perfectly; I just mean we should really apply effort and not slop over anything we do.)

I started blogging this summer sort to save my life after a soul-numbing year of college. I must say that school isn’t hard for me—I get good grades and wonderful affirmation from professors—but it is dispiriting. I don’t know how to explain this except to say that, with college as with school in my younger years, I still feel like a square peg trying to squish myself into a round hole, and it makes my spirit tired. I can do it, but by after finishing five straight terms of classes when school ended this June, I was burned out and had become sort of apathetic about the things I love the most.

My son, Aaron, told me to start writing about what mattered to me. I told him I didn’t have it in me. There was no spark. He said to write anyway and it would come back. Then my friend Laura agreed with that and encouraged me to do the same. And then I got a note, out of the blue, from one of my best blog-friends teasingly “begging” me to start blogging again. It was sweet, and it was timely, and I decided to do it. I thought if I would write about the things that I love that maybe my domestic spirit would be refreshed (because I whole-heartedly believe that domesticity is one of the most powerful forces for relationship and sharing God’s love there is).

And here I am. It didn’t take long to start feeling that energy return, but then I got waylaid unexpectedly by some things I have had to work through, and it became hard to focus on other things (like writing blog posts). But that is precisely why I need to focus on other things. When life presents challenges, you can’t marinate in them or they will consume you. You have to go on, do your work, do the next thing. For me this summer, blogging is part of that. It is good for me in many ways, and I really enjoy it.

It’s not that I’m forcing myself to put up these posts out of duty, but I am trying to discipline myself to do this regularly (it would be too easy to fade away) because I need the routine and the focus (the focus on both doing the next thing and the focus on house, home, family, the Lord, God’s blessings, and the things I am learning and doing). I do enjoy sharing how God has blessed me and how He has led and is leading me. I love talking about home and family and spiritual life.

And, on the days it is hard, the discipline of regular blogging reminds me that I need to keep pressing forward, keeping doing what I’ve been given to do, keep focusing on things other than my trials, keep doing the next thing. Mostly, it is to fix my eyes on Jesus and have a grateful, surrendered heart. I hope that comes across in my posts.

(In case you read this post before--though I doubt anyone would read it twice!--I am removing the little story I told here because, on reflection, it didn't seem okay to post it.)

Thank you for your thoughtfulness and encouragement. I will keep doing what I’ve been doing all along. And tomorrow (Tuesday) morning I will put up a regular old post I wrote two days ago and then set aside.


  1. Love the statement "When life presents challenges, we can't marinate in them , or they will consume us!" Well said. I needed that reminder!

  2. Thank you Susan for sharing your summer...planning on checking out your favorite coffee ( Stumptown?) will be living in Salem, Oregon part time and part time Florida as in two weeks from now.


  3. When life presents challenges, you can’t marinate in them or they will consume you. You have to go on, do your work, do the next thing.

    This thought will stay with me for a long time.

    I did read the post earlier that included the story. I won't make too much of it, but I wanted you to know that I have been through the very same thing. The details were a bit different but the main points were the same. It's something I've *never* forgotten....It was a *hard* thing.

  4. I love you, friend. I do! I know the "routine and focus" are some simple things that God uses to heal and restore our hearts. May blogging be restorative for you...and as always, you bless.

  5. Thanks you guys! My battery signal is sending off warnings--it's about to die, so I have to sign off and move the computer back to it's power source in the kitchen (where there is not internet connection), but if I have time, I'll say something tomorrow. I very much appreciate all that you had to say!


  6. It's so true. Blogging keeps me centered as well...when life becomes too challenging, I come to my own space that I can make beautiful. I remember my goals, my blessings, what I love about life. I free my soul by putting words on "paper". It is my favorite. So I totally understand!! Glad you're finding a mental break from the tiresomeness of traditional learning!!

  7. I find your blog to be totally inspiring. You are a woman full of wisdom and serenity. I found High Desert Home (from Elspeth's blog - I miss her and her lovely comments on my blog) and I loved every word you wrote. Can't tell you how happy I was to discover your new blog. Please keep doing what you are doing, Susan, because your exquisite inner beauty shines forth.

  8. Cathleen, you are so kind. I am encouraged by what you said here. Oh, I miss Elspeth, too. Terribly. And here we are talking to one another, thanks to her! I think that's nice. :-)