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Monday, January 4, 2016

Unfaithful Blogger

In 2015, I was an unfaithful blogger. 
There, I said it. Facing our flaws is half the battle, right?

Two things kept me from sharing. Limited time--I was determined to finish my book. And I felt I had nothing to offer.

It's not that I'm empty-headed--although, maybe I am--or that I don't have an opinion. Because I do! I just felt lacking. There are times as a mom I wished I were like June Cleaver or Dr. Quinn or Maria in the Sound of Music, women who had amazing gifts of wisdom to speak the exact words at the perfect moment. Oh, that's right, they had great writers! But, regardless, when I sit down to create a blog, I want to be like them. Or like one of those bloggers who spin amazing works three times a week and dazzle us with their introspection on life or faith or marriage.

Then, there's me. I sit down and stare at a blank screen and wonder what in the world I have to give.

I'm a dabbler in fiction. If you've read any of my stories, you've peeked into my heart. Without meaning to, I've revealed parts of me which under normal circumstances I would never share. By the way, if you've ever wondered which of my characters is most like me, it would be April Gray, before the editor got a hold of her.

Like most writers, I internalize way more than I should. I grew up with secrets. I like my privacy. Becoming open and vulnerable is foreign, unless I'm sitting across the table from someone drinking coffee and we just start sharing. I can actually say that now, because 21 days ago I started drinking coffee.

I'd like to say I have it all together. Surprise, I don't. I have dreams of having it all together. You know those moments when you see yourself as a perfectly put together wife, mom, writer, house cleaner, and servant of God? Yeah, about that . . .

In the real world, I work at and enjoy my marriage. Jason and I are good friends, and we're learning how to have fun in our post-raising-kids years. I still try to be a good mom, but the rules have changed. I have four adult kids and one daughter-in-law, now. When your kids are little, the world revolves around their needs and activities, and being a mom felt like my whole world. Then they grew up--as well, they should--and that process can leave moms and dads floundering. I'm a parent, and yet I'm not. It's a tiptoe act, but I'm getting better at it. Every day, I work at writing, whether it's at the keyboard or letting the characters come to life in my mind. I've never been a great housekeeper, but, oh well. I don't really aspire to that. Sorry, Jason. In 2015, I began learning more about God as my loving "Papa." In that capacity He is changing me, and that's a journey in itself.

My goal for 2016 is to become more vulnerable and open. I write the kinds of stories that I do for a reason, but I doubt I will ever be as tell-all as some writers. Most likely, my husband, kids, and brothers will thank me for that. But little by little, I hope to share more from my heart.

I may not have anything profound to say, but the truth is, we all live in a messy world. No one is perfect. We must all face our pasts and work through messy situations and relationships in the present. The beauty is that God can take all of that and transform us--day by day, sometimes, minute by minute--into who He wants. I'm on that journey. As are you.

A new year helps me reflect and look forward. I'm hoping to be more honest in my blogging and living in 2016.

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