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some thoughts on blogging

August 17, 2011

I recently read an article by children’s author, Melissa Wiley, that resonated so deeply with me and the way I think about blogging that I wanted to share it here and make a few comments.

First, I want to recommend this article to you if you are steeped in any form of social media (which includes you if you are reading this blog and me because I am writing this post).

In this article, the author addresses the differences between our real life, day-to-day conversations with friends and the person we portray on our blogs, Facebook statuses, or Twitter updates.  We all know how easy it is to create a certain image of ourselves and then post it on our social media platform of choice.  But rarely does this image ever tell the whole story, right?  Surely we’re not always baking homemade apple pies, going on romantic dates with our perfect husbands, and singing hymns in beautiful harmony with our exceptionally well-behaved children are we?  No.  Not always.  But aren’t we sometimes?

Yes!  (….although I’ve never sung in harmony a day in my life and my husband would be the first to tell you that he’s not perfect!)  And that is why I so appreciate Wiley’s honest words about how she chooses the content of her blog:

“Every day is complicated, messy, and full of friction. And every day has glorious or cozy moments worth celebrating. I seldom bother to chronicle the friction and the mess because writing time is fleeting and precious—and childhood even more so. I’d rather capture the small joys that I might forget—or take for granted—if I don’t take time to set them down in words (and I would like to add, photograph!).

I don’t want anyone to be under the impression that things are always perfect around here! Heaven knows we are anything but. Perfect, frictionless, orderly? Nope. Happy? Most of the time!”

I share a conviction with my husband that our family blog is meant to be a place of chronicling the moments in our lives that are precious, memorable, significant, and oftentimes comical. Does that mean that every day in our lives is beautiful and glorious, void of struggle and sin and pain?  Of course not!  But those kinds of days and moments and struggles are best shared (for us, anyways) in real life conversations with our friends and family, not the worldwide web.  In other words, this is not the place where we choose to bear our souls.

I tend to be wary of blogs that share far too much personal information about their lives or the intimate details surrounding their marriage or parenting struggles.  I want to keep the sacred things in life sacred, especially because I never know who is reading my blog on any given day.  My responsibility as the wife and mom of our home (and blog!) is to see to it that I am loving, honoring, protecting, and praising the ones whom God has entrusted to me.  One very practical way I can do this is by showing discernment when I choose the content for this blog.

I think Wiley says it best…

“Life is messy, and complicated, and full of friction. That stable in Bethlehem must have smelled like manure. Was the manger clean? I had to scrub so much grime off the infant carseat yesterday, and it had only been sitting in a closed garage for a year. Not even a real garage—it’s just a storage room, really. But the parts of the Nativity story we celebrate are the shining star, and the awestruck shepherds, and the singing of angels. The image of the baby swaddled snugly, sleeping in the hay, with His mother smiling down at Him in wonder, oblivious to the muck and the grime and the prickling straw and the snorts of the livestock: that’s the image we’ve carried in our hearts for two thousand years.  That doesn’t mean the muck wasn’t there. It’s just not the important part of the story, the thing worth holding on to. The muck is always there, always here. But so is the radiant star, the heavenly choir, the sleeping Child so full of promise and hope.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    July 1, 2012 5:09 pm

    I have just revived my blog after a few years of collecting internet dust (if there is such a thing). I am going back to grad school in the fall and I want to use the blog as a means for people to stay in touch with me and also have another outlet to share what God is doing in my life besides my own journals. I also kind of hope that it will help with all the writing that lies ahead.

    Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for bloggers? How do you plan the content and the frequency of your posts?

    It can be overwhelming and I think to myself, should I really venture into this again? We’ll see what the Lord will make of it.

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