2 years & 2 days ago yesterday i started this blog. instead of just glossing by it, i wanted to take a moment and let you all know how thankful i am to you for taking time to read, for being a part of the carnival in my head. 2 christmas vacations ago i made a commitment to myself to risk it for one year, to say some things that i wanted to say about church & faith & life and see what happened. i honestly had no idea what i was getting into. i still don’t know what i’m doing & am completely lame when it comes to all the things that good-bloggers-are-supposed-to-do related to tags and links and regular posting and twitter and all kinds of other bells and whistles. but i do know this, i have been surprised by how fun the past 2 years have been.
i didn’t realize how many friends i’d make, how much i’d learn, how much more there was to learn. it has fanned some flames into fire, it has made me crazier than i already was, and it has opened my eyes to issues of justice, restoration, and hope-for-what-is-possible in more ways than i expected. i will admit, some days i wake up and say “it’s time to throw in the towel, it’s all meaningless and useless anyway!” and then other days i am up in the middle of the night writing a post in my head, believing that maybe someone will care about what it says.
i have a lot of ideas for 2010, some will probably happen and some are probably too ambitious–but hey, it’s the new year and it’s always fun to dream. there’s one thing i do know, though–i am thankful for you and that you have hung in there with me. i appreciate the comments, the emails, the connections, the ways i know i am not alone and that we are not crazy. they give me hope. and remind me that despite all the ways the system makes me nutty, there are so many people doing, trying, exploring new ways of living out their faith & life and the world is better for it.
here are a few things that i have been thinking about a lot when it comes to this blog:
i wish i could tell more stories of the beauty i get to see day after day up close and personal, but i purposefully do not share them out of respect. these are my friends. their journey, their life, their story is not mine to tell. and sometimes that’s hard. i have moments where i want to shout from the rooftops-this person just said out loud for the first time something that has been haunting them for their whole lives!…this person looked me in the eye for the first time after a year of keeping their eyes to the floor out of shame and self-contempt!…this person is trying to let love in even though it’s kicking their tail to allow themselves to feel….this person is done with religion but not with Jesus….this person told someone after they hurt themselves instead of staying stuck in shame…this person thought they were the only one who woke up feeling like an atheist and now know they’re not alone…this person has 30 days of sobriety! i could go on and on and on. pretty much every day i have a lovely story to tell, some spark of God-at-work-in-people. but i realize that for many, the daily stories i have don’t seem that exciting. they aren’t glitzy or glamorous or sexy. they are just real teeny-weeny humble shifts that brave friends of all shapes & sizes are making here and there along the way as they open their hearts up to the ever-tangled mix of God and people. so while i intentionally don’t exploit stories, in 2010 i am committed to try to find ways for others to tell their own stories, like the view from the margins and out of the darkness series. i am cooking up some ways to make that happen.
i thrive on feedback. comments help. emails help. telling me in person what a post stirred up helps. i am also trying to live in the reality that it’s important not to expect that. we’re all busy. some like to read and have the freedom to never comment. i totally respect that, i’m just acknowledging out loud that it always feels better to get a little feedback here and there and know what thoughts are resonating or not resonating with you.
i need to let go of some of the ways i do things on here to be more flexible. when i start something, i get a groove and keep on doing it, sometimes to my detriment. my rhythm here has been to post something long and intense once a week; i do my little facebook & twitter note every week like clockwork. there’s nothing wrong with that, but i think i need to break out of my self-imposed schedule that mainly comes from trying to juggle an awful lot of balls in the air & make room for it. but when i’m honest, i think i’m also scared to change. i kind of like the basic ethos and rhythm of the carnival and am scared to mess with it. at the same time, i think that’s connected to a bigger rut i can sometimes dig myself in, a metaphor for sometimes how i do things–i get in a groove and i don’t change. part of 2010, i hope, includes mixing it up, being more creative and spontaneous, and trusting myself and others will be able to hack it. my daughter’s “2009 quote of the year” applies here, from the ever-profound dr. suess–“be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
i’d love to know what you’d like more of. it is always helpful to know. i know i won’t be able to deliver all the goods, but it is always nice to know what seems to resonate most and what might be helpful to explore more.
thanks again for your love & stories & heart & support & courage-to-wrestle-with-hard-stuff and try new things. you inspire me on my journey. happy new year!
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ps: i’m almost done the liturgical year by joan chittister and some of her words really resonated with me as i reflect on the past few years, where i’ve been and where i hope to keep headed in the wild mix of blog-life-Jesus-refuge-church-spirituality-love stuff that i spend an awful lot of energy on. to me, she hits the power of the gospels on the head. she says:
“it is in the contemplation of the mysteries of the faith, the deep-down wrestling match of conflicting ideas, that resides the motivating power it takes to become what we see in Jesus. the world around us tells us that life is about money, security, power, and success. but the Gospels tell us that life is about something completely other. real life, the Gospels tell us, is about doing the will of God, speaking for the poor, changing the lives of widows and orphans, exalting the status of women, refusing to make war, laying down our lives for the other, the invisible, and the enemy. it is about taking everyone in instead of leaving everyone out.”