Monday, July 16, 2012

The Down Side to Blogging

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I blog for my kids. I do not blog for Jesus, although He's here, certainly (and there and everywhere). You might be wondering: if I'm writing for my kids, why do I blog? Why don't I just type my thoughts into a Word document?

Great question. I think I've answered it, before, but I'll answer it, again. I started blogging when I saw a coupon code for Blog2Print, which is a site through which a blogger can have his or her words printed and bound into a book. So, far I've printed my blogged words four times. Here's a photo of my books:

Among these four books, there are a total of 486 pages, and I haven't printed since Valentine's Day. I started blogging less than two years ago, on November 10, 2010. I guess I've had a lot to say to my kids. I'm well aware that my lack of niche has hurt me in terms of a following, but, again, I'm blogging for my kids. So I blog what I'm thinking and what we're doing, and I'm pretty much all over the place.

I know I wouldn't have written so much for my kids if I hadn't blogged my words. I'm an extreme extrovert, see, and the interactive nature of blogging make writing fun for me. Usually. And here's where the downside comes in.

If I'm writing for my kids, I'm going to be as wide open as possible. If I'm not honest about my feelings, what's the point in writing them down? I want my kids, especially as parents, to be able to pick up my blog books and experience their childhoods through my eyes. I want them to really feel my feelings. And I certainly--and please hear me on this--do not want my kids reading about their childhoods and thinking I was something I wasn't. Because it will be hard enough for them to parent without trying to live up to some Julie Andrews standard.

I do leave out certain things that I think might be hurtful for my children to read. For example, if I want to wring one of their cotton-pickin' necks (and sometimes I do), I probably won't blog that. Additionally, there are certain things I can't blog freely because the stories (while they impact me tremendously) belong primarily to other adults in my life. Unfortunately, because I have to omit certain stories from my blog, I come across as crazier than I actually am, I think, to people who don't know "the rest of the story."

I think carefully about every word I publish, and I haven't published a single word that I regret. If you've read words, here, that you regret, please--and I mean this as lovingly as possible--get the hound dog out of my business. You're free. You don't have to read my blog. Please do not advise me regarding what I should or shouldn't blog. I'm not asking you to agree with everything I have to say; you're free to disagree, and you're free to say so. But, please, don't advise me not to share my feelings, and please don't bring my Christian witness or testimony into the conversation. Because that just makes me tired.

It also makes me sad because part of the problem with Christians, in my opinion, is that so many of us value how we're perceived (especially by non-Christians) over authenticity. Within the last week, I've heard how--if Christians don't approach challenges with a positive attitude--it reflects poorly not on them, but on God. I'm not sure if I felt shamed, convicted, or both. Regardless, I have to shut those particular voices down for awhile because I don't know how to turn my frown upside-down right now, and I don't need to be worrying about how I'm making God look on top of everything else.

I've also heard, within the last week, more about how the devil steals Christians' joy. I felt even less joyful after hearing those words. I suspect they were channeled directly from God, but it makes no nevermind. I still didn't want to hear them.

And here's a question for my fellow bloggers: when you know people are reading your very personal thoughts, how do you keep from assuming that the words they speak in your general direction aren't related to what you've blogged?

Am I being paranoid? Am I on the brink of a mental breakdown? It's possible, People. I have a lot going on. I'm pregnant (although if you outright blame my issues on hormones, get ready to duck). I'm doing life without meds, even though--trust me--I've asked for them.

So I don't know what to do, really. I feel like quitting everything: teaching Sunday school, church in general, blogging, reading other people's blogs, sharing my feelings with everyone. (How to know whom to trust?) And I feel like that's what the forces want me to do. I've been putting one foot in front of the other for awhile, now, and--looking back--I've been walking like a drunk. So maybe I'd do better to just plop down on my hiney butt for awhile and keep my thoughts to myself.

I'm tempted to switch my blog to private, but I'm concerned about the impact on the friendships I've formed through blogging, also on my motivation to blog once the interactive nature has been choked to death like a chicken.

Can anyone advise? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

My heart is so burdened right now, and so many of the reasons can't be blogged. What I can share is that the due date for our miscarried baby was July 24th, and--had we not experienced the loss--I'd probably be getting ready to go to the hospital in the morning. (My labor was induced a week early with each of the girls.) I've been feeling so sad. Everything looks great for Baby Chip's arrival in November, but he doesn't replace the one who was lost. It just doesn't work that way. I know there are people who don't get it, so let me put it like this: if one of your closest friends died, would it be ok because you have another friend? Right. Separate (beloved) people. Each one matters.

Look, I want to say, too: next week will be a huge, life-changing one for our family. I wish I could blog more about it; I can't. But please pray. I can't help but wonder if God in His wisdom knew it would be a terrible time for a new baby, and that's why the miscarriage.

I can't help but wonder a lot of things.

1 comment:

  1. I love you Brandee Shafer! YOU encourage me! Always have always will.....