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The 9th Reason Why I Blog

This month marks a year since I started writing here.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the 8 Reasons Why I Blog.  Since then, it occurred to me that there is another reason that I failed to recognize then.  The 9th reason why I blog is....

9.  Because my kids read what I write. 

(Hi Joelle.  Hi Andre.)

On the front side of getting into the world of social media, it didn't occur to me that social media could become a means for mentoring my own kids.  But as I've  waded into the ocean of social media, its through those intitial steps that I've begun to see the potential for impact.  What we impart to our kids primarily comes through doing life together, as values are more caught than taught.  However, perhaps what they read here helps them to have words for the values we have tried to live out. In addition, I think its good for them to see my as their mom pushing myself to try new things, to learn and grow and develop passions and interests.  This also models something that I want them to also be about.

How about you?  You have a sphere of people in your life that you are impacting and influencing.  Have you found some new or unexpected ways to do that? I'd love to hear about it.

Glimpses of Dawn

I remember the first time that I ever saw a sunrise.  The memory of that moment is etched clearly in my mind.  My brother and I had stayed at my Grandma's house for a few days while my parents went on a little mini-vacation together.  One morning, very early, I heard someone stirring around.  Knowing it was my Grandma, who I adored, I decided to get up early with her and see what she was up to.  I found her in the kitchen dressed in her robe, with the lights still off, just as the dawn of a new day was beginning to peek above the horizon.  She asked me if I had ever seen the sun come up, which I had to admit that I had not.  We lived in town and the Eastern horizon was mostly obliterated by the houses next to us. She told me she often got up to stand in front of the kitchen sink, which was under a row of windows that spanned the Eastern skies, to watch the sun come up.  Nothing stood between those windows and the horizon but a wide open field dotted with a few sparse trees and a distant country church.  I thought, "That's just like Grandma to do something unexpected."  That was one of the reasons I loved her so much; life with her always seemed like an adventure waiting to happen.

A glimpse of the sunrise through the houses across the street
Together, we stood in front of that long row of windows and watched the light of the new day begin to dawn.  I felt as though I was in a holy space, experiencing a very sacred moment.  I began to see a little sliver of burnished orange appear just above  ground level.  She said to me, "That is the sun beginning to come up.  Just watch.  It will get bigger."  Of course. But I had never seen that happen and I stood there in utter amazement while that little sliver took on the shape of a fiery, lustrous orange ball in the Eastern sky.  Even as the light of the dawn began to emerge, a new awareness began to come alive in me.  For the first time I realized that I was witnessing an event that had been happening for thousands and thousands of years, an event that literally spanned the globe, and yet I had been largely unaware of it all of this time, and my little world began to open up and expand in a new way.  I remember feeling as though I had been missing out on one of the most amazing things happening every day.  I felt a bit cheated, a bit robbed.... how could I have not known about this?  I recall feeling so grateful to my Grandma for introducing me to this phenomenal masterpiece, and inviting me into this transcendent experience.

The sunrise today was just as spectacular as I remember it being on that morning with my Grandma.  Sunrises like the one today always take me back to that morning with my Grandma.  This many years later, I am still in awe over the wonder of creation and the masterpiece that awaits us every day.  Somehow these are the moments that invite us to experience life beyond the here and now, to taste of eternity.

"The grand show is eternal.  It's always sunrise somewhere."  John Muir

Yearning for Approval

I believe that within all of us there is a desire, a deep yearning for validation.  We want to know that others approve of us and affirm who we are and what we are about.   I know personally that at some critical points in my life, of weighing possible courses of direction, that the validation I have received from close friends has been the impetus to launch  into the new direction.  Their affirmation gave me that little extra push to cross the line to full engagement.   Validation says, “Yes, you can do this and this is a good fit for who you are and who God has made you to be!”  Validation is comforting.  It helps us to feel good about ourselves and enables us to more freely believe in our potential.  It’s can be deeply satisfying when we have the right validation from others.

But herein lies the ditch.  A problem can begin to emerge when we look to others as our primary source of validation.  What happens when we don’t receive the approval, affirmation, and confirmation we think we need from others around us?  Do we allow the lack of validation to disqualify us from stepping out into what  we know we should do?   Does that mean that our contribution isn’t as significant?  Does the lack of validation disable us in any way?  Does it cause us to doubt that we’re on track with God’s plan and purposes for our lives?  Certainly this could be the tendency. I have seen it within myself.  While we may want to look to others to receive what we feel is much needed and desired validation, we may or may not get that.  Validation for who we are, and what we are about, our sense of call, has to come from the one who created us.  Doesn’t it make sense that God alone, as the one who formed us and knows us is the one most capable of giving us the affirmation, approval and sanction to all that we are and do? 

Sometimes the thing that we sense God leading us to seems too big for us, or too risky, or too scarey.  We hope that others will rally around us and tell us we can do it and that we have what it takes. We may get the affirmation we're looking for, but we might not.  So what do you do when those you care about don’t say the things you want to hear?  Or maybe they did when you first stepped out  into a courageous new direction but you don’t hear it so much anymore?  Are you going to give up and count your losses, or are you going to remain true to who you are and what you are to do?  Now, of course, we do need to listen to the wise counsel of those around us who have our best interests at heart and know us well.  That is God’s design for our lives.   But God’s desire is that the ultimate stamp of approval comes from him first  and then those around you who confirm what they see God doing in your life.  If all you go by is what others have to say about you, then you will  fall short of your full potential and God-given destiny.

Ps 139 reminds us “You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;  You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.” Think of an artist who creates a masterpiece that inspires others.  Yet, to the observer the meaning of it may not be completely clear.  The beauty of art is that it  speaks to people in different ways.  However, if the true meaning and intent of the piece is to be known, we would need to go directly to the artist for that information.  So it is with God, the artist who formed you.  Those around you can know you to some degree but ultimately it is your creator who deeply knows who you are and ultimately is the one who says, “I see you, I know you,  I get the meaning and purpose of your life because I created you.”  

So when you begin to doubt who you are, or what God has called you to do, simply go back to the Source. The Artist wants to be the one to deeply affirm you and recognize you and validate you.  And then you can simply enjoy the bonus of having those that love you confirm those things you already know from God to be true.

“to give official sanction, confirmation, or approval to” (Webster)

8 Reasons Why I Blog

The Month of March  marks a year since I launched this blog!    I thought it would be fun to reflect on why I started writing here to begin with:
A favorite spot in the world.... the place where I write.

1)  I love to write.

2)  Writing here is one way of testing a growing sense of call to write.  That's how we get clarity on any call, right?  We launch into it and see if there is fruit, or what happens as we step into the new thing, as a way of testing the sense of call.

3)  I was at the point in life where I felt I needed something new to put energy into that taps into my desire to create and develop something.  My blog scratches that creative itch!

4)  Over time, the blog will become a sort of memoir.  The things I write about always come from my own life experiences and personal learnings.  Someday I'll have a collection of writings about stuff that's been important to me along the journey. Otherwise, knowing me, I'll forget. I guess you could also say then that this blog helps me to remember what's important, which is what memoirs do.

5)  To push myself to learn something new and to keep on learning.

6)  I saw the potential to connect with people all around the world, thus not being limited to the sphere of my particular geographic location.

7)  To encourage and inspire myself.  I know, sounds narcissistic but I'm learning to find encouragement and inspiration from within and learning to need it less from others or outside sources. And from someone who has historically needed quite a bit of encouragement from others, let me just say that learning to find encouragement from within is a step in the right direction.  But, feel free to send some encouragement my way anyways :)

8)  To experience God.  It's interesting, but I find that in the process of writing that I experience God in some pretty cool ways.  Writing helps me to stay connected and surrendered to the Source.

There you have it.  The reasons why I started this blog in the first place.  Later I'll write about the some of the things I've learned in the process that I didn't see coming when I first started this.  And maybe even later than that I'll write reasons why I think YOU should start a blog if you haven't already!

How about you?  What do you like to do?  What are some of the reasons why you do what you do?