Monday, November 19, 2012

Hiding my learning...

I’ve been avoiding my blog for a while.

Far too long.

As I was sit across the booth from her, I suddenly realize why. We ping-pong our normal sister chat. Laugh at an inside joke. Meet each other’s eyes at just the right time when the waiter says something goofy.

The appetizer comes and we both smile, feeling surprisingly giddy that we are out just by ourselves. A feat when there are five kids between the two of us now and another on the way.

An impromptu dinner out just hours before she takes off again for her new hometown, over a thousand miles from our childhood farm sanctuary.

It’s impossible to hide the truth of your soul from someone who knows you that well.

 So much of what I have learned about the love of Christ has been through relationship; marriage, friendship, sisterhood. Those ties have changed me, molded me, humbled me and grew me. They pull out the best and worst in me. When I hide from them, I hide from knowing myself and growing more intimately with Christ. When I isolate, my faith stifles.

This type of “friend-sister intimacy” I share with my own blood is so sacred. To feel seen and truly “heard” is a glimpse of what heaven is going to be for us.

Authentic. Present. True Worship.

My heart is home in her presence.

 My blog has been that same sanctuary.

It’s impossible for me to log on to write, without pouring out the study of my soul.

My journal. My learning. A resting place for a tired and anxious heart.

Rambling and ticking away at the keys has also given me a look into eternity, a forever spent with my Heavenly King. I feel like here is where I can share my deepest wrangling with the Lord. Where I feel His presence as I record what HE is doing to mold and grow me. To refine and redefine me.

 I think I have stopped writing because I was afraid of what might come out. What I might leave marked on my blog, unable to take back.

Over the summer, my “followers” were growing. I found I was excited about my readership increasing. I felt the pressure starting to mount. I needed a new template, a more modern design, updated pictures. Thoughts of changing my blog name have been circulating in my head over the recent season. Of course, I told my husband, I also need a new camera in order to journal, to give meaning to my words.  

“A new camera?” He asked, scratching his head. “What does that have to do with writing?”

So without the beautiful imagery or new shots I sat down to share. But I quickly met disaster for an artistic soul; pausing to look around before authentically creating. I started to write and then reread and rewrite, considering how “she” may react instead of just authentically spilling my discovering. 

I forgot that when I started this blog it didn’t matter who read, if ANYONE read, it was an outlet designed on purpose, for a purpose. 

I was journaling for AN AUDIENCE OF ONE.


And then I stumble upon this and it takes my breath away.

Esther de Waal wasn’t a blogger but she wrote words that are blogger’s words and these words might echo the hidden, secret pulse of every blogger who’s ever hit publish.
She writes:
 “It is so easy to play the world’s game which is the power game, the game which depends on setting myself apart from others, distinguishing myself, seeking the limelight and looking for the applause.
 I find that it is only too easy to become compulsive in my continual need for affirmation, for more and more affirmation, as I anxiously ask Who am I? Am I the person who is liked? Admired? Praised? Seen as successful?
 My whole attitude towards myself becomes determined by the way in which others see me. I compare myself with others, and I try to emphasize what is different and distinctive about me. The three temptations which Christ faced in the wilderness are equally my temptations: to be pertinent. To be spectacular. To be powerful.
 Am I able, like Christ to put them down?
 Am I prepared to shed all these outer shells of false ambition, of pride?
 Am I ready to admit that the mask is a disguise put on to cover up the insecure self? And the armor a shield to protect the vulnerable self? Am I ready to receive a new self, based not on what I can achieve, but on what I am willing to receive?”
 ~Esther de Waal 
I am ready again.

 In fact, I face little choice if I desire a good night’s rest. Writing has become a healing that I cannot go another day without. I’m waking up at night, roaming around, restless with words and thoughts and grace that God is pouring into me.

 *The discipline of recording my learning leaves a permanent mark on my soul.*

Blogger Ann Voskamp describes it this way,

“The word “write”, it comes form Anglo Saxon word writan, which meant to score, scratch or cut. Writing was something you did with a knife. Carving the words out of wood. Like the way lovers carve their name into a tree. And this is what you do as a writer, you cut words out of your breast, and you sacrifice bits of yourself and like  the Word God who carved our names into the flesh of His hands to save the lost, you write-carve out of the tender places of your life to show the lost the way to Him. Pluck. Sacrifice. Carve. Write!”

And so I set to carve, scratching for an Audience of One.

Living in Him, Jodi
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