Do you know the worst and best part about blogging?
To reveal yourself to who knows who is reading? Friends, yes–I don’t mind THAT. But acquaintances? Those who may read and form opinions about me without the rosy-colored “I know she’s odd but sheesh, I already love her” glasses I so appreciate in my friends? Yikes. I may never make a new friend, if they get to see the mess up close, first!
Family is reading this too, and that’s fine–because they are stuck with me: but strangers? Strangers I may never meet, who are forming opinions on Christianity and homeschooling and raising boys and stay at home Moms by my ramblings?
(Let me state it clearly: I mess up regularly but still heartily recommend all of the above.)
Early on, I planned to blog privately-an online diary-but John sent it to everyone we know. Then I decided it would just be about the kids–but then I’d get all excited about something God was teaching me and my fingers would fly across the keyboard, needing to testify. Years ago, John was patiently listening to me ramble through an experience when he cocked his head and looked at me with revelation and stated “Stuff isn’t real for you, until you’ve talked about it, huh?” and wow, he nailed it. Hadn’t realized it before that!
So this blog is often just me. talking about stuff. to make it real.
and I learned not to go back and read old posts. I did once, and couldn’t write again for weeks. It made me cringe to see the run-on sentences, the half formed thoughts, chatter and lame jokes. It’s like this–Don’t ever let someone videotape you, dancing. If you see all your awkward moves, your two left feet and goofy facial expressions? You’ll be so mortified, you’ll never dance again. And that would be a terrible shame because dancing is fun (both for you, and the bystanders watching) I want my life to be an uninhibited dance of joy, so I don’t look too closely…
Finally, just lately, I have started seeing this blog as one of the ways God is both humbling me and giving me confidence. You know what makes us humble? Honesty. Honesty with yourself, and others, makes you realize you don’t have it all together and therefore you are completely unqualified to judge anyone. God humbles me by asking me to show parts of my heart to the world, here on the Internet and also, in my daily interactions with others. To give glimpses of His faithful work in my life, despite being terribly self conscious and quite a bit more shy than I let on.
Writing on this blog means I am constantly pulling down the idol of Mans Approval that wants to be Lord, instead of Christ. This idol is the like cobwebs in my living room “Now, how did THAT get up there again? Didn’t I just pull all that DOWN?!”
And He is giving me confidence, too. Realizing how much God loves me is making me someone who, at 37 years old, is finally comfortable in her own skin. I’m not changing the world but I am not insignificant because oh! look how a grain of wheat flourishes, once it dies!
Since I was a young girl, I have desired a fruitful life. I don’t want to leave this earth with nothing eternal to show for all my years on this rock, but the cold facts are that ALL my hard work and high aspirations will not produce one single, sad little grape. I know this, by experience!
Life gets real simple when you learn: that you can hack back everything on your list and simplify it down to ONE thing-ONE word-ONE truth:
That’s what God wants from His followers. Remain in Him.
So simple, we can let everything else go.
So hard, we’ll need to depend on His grace to keep us there.
“Brenda-just remain in me, abide, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. I am the vine, the life source–you are the branch, reaching out, but attached. If a woman remains in Me, and I in her, she will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. Seriously, nothing, so don’t even try to do it in your own strength, it’s futile! Spend that energy snuggling up to Me and then just see what I will do!”
(John 15:4-5, my paraphrase)