I’ve been ambivalent about blogging lately. Very ambivalent.
Blogging feeds my anxious pride: Do they like me? Did they share me? Do they think I’m charming and witty and wise?
It distorts my children’s sense of worth: I think you should blog about this mom. Do you write more about Zach than me?
It reduces life to soundbites and trains my mind to do likewise: Can I say this in 500 words? Yes, that novel looks incredible, potentially transformative even, but I don’t have the mental stamina to finish such a dense work.
I can see the damage that blogging wreaks on my spiritual life and the lives of my children. The thing is that it has also become a powerful spiritual discipline for me, a discipline that I think my children benefit from.
I’ve never been able to journal. I have a hard time meditating. I have a hard time sitting still by myself, whatever the activity. So unless I am praying, fasting, or studying the bible in a group, it is easy for me to miss out on what God is doing in my life. Like many women, I understand my world by reflecting on it in the company of others. (For an example of a woman who does not have my problem, check out this excellent post about journaling by my friend Ann.)
After my marriage, my prayer group is the clearest conduit of God’s love and grace in my life. We’ve been meeting twice a month for nine years, and I can’t imagine my life without it. Sharing the hardest parts of our lives, celebrating the victories, holding each other accountable for growth, and praying for each other, works for me because we are doing it together. A good cloistered nun I would not make.
Writing – for an audience – shows me aspects of my children, my marriage, and my God that I would have otherwise missed. So when the Family Channel at Patheos asked me to make a video about our family, I said yes. I said yes because it was helpful for me to think about how I would describe us. I said yes because I’m overweight, and despite the fact that I usually brush my hair, it’s always a mess – and letting the world see that is both humbling and liberating. I said yes because I’m part of team here at Patheos, and someone on our team had an idea they wanted to try out. I like being part of teams.
I keep trying to develop my ability to be alone with God. And maybe some day I’ll decide that I need to let go of blogging in order to be more faithful to that effort. For today, though, I blog. And as of yesterday, I video blog.
P.S. I forgot to say what was in Nafisa’s hand. You may be surprised to learn that my sixteen year old girl is never more than three feet from her cell phone.