Happy blogoversary to me! Hang On, Baby, We’re Almost… Somewhere is officially a year old! My first post was on March 17th last year, but I didn’t start telling people I’d written anything until after I had a couple of posts up. So tomorrow will be the anniversary of having told people that I’d put some of my own words out there on the Internet for all (okay, some) to see.
This blog started out as the product of a Lent spent learning how to do the technical aspects of blogging, 15 minutes a day. The computer part of writing a blog worried me; I wasn’t worried about whether the words would come. I hail from a long line of storytellers, and I love spinning a good tale, too. Most of the stories I tell in real life are light, funny, and about my children. As my dearest friend
pressured encouraged me to start blogging, I think we both assumed that this, too, would become a lighthearted, kid-story-centric mom blog.
And while there are posts telling the funny stories of life chez LeBow, more often than not, I’ve tended toward the faith-filled (or doubt-facing) aspects of Christian life and ways we can do more, listen more, and learn from one another.
Early on in the blogging, I wanted results. I wanted lots and lots of people to see what I had written, and to engage with me about it in 100% positive comments, and suddenly see my life change as every post went viral.
Quickly, I amended my expectations. First of all, it dawned on me that my words would not enchant everyone else as much as they did me. (Though that fact does still makes me wonder, “What is wrong with you people!?!”) Then the scope of available blogs began to dawn on me. As I sampled blog after blog, the ones that kept catching my eye had three things in common: good writing, kind humor, and generosity of spirit. Topics varied. Adherence (or non-adherence) to religious beliefs varied. Location of the author varied. But all the ones I like approach life with optimism, even if it’s veiled with a good dose of sarcasm. Maybe especially when it’s so veiled.
With sudden blogosphere stardom off the list, I settled in to a pattern of writing on any topic that comes to mind. Our life is hard to pin down as focusing on one thing, or being lived in one place, or having a certain set of interests. I love Jesus and my family and dear friends and books and tea and time by myself. I’m interested in parenting and comedy and fighting injustice and theology and sports and current events and foreign languages. I could spend hours every day online or in a classroom or reading quietly in my room, but more frequently, I find myself tending to household duties, building memories with the kiddos, and wondering how in blazes so many of the tasks I just did can be so easily undone.
So that’s what I write about. Everything I like. Which does not lend itself to a good niche nor to virality, but did change the way I thought about my life. By writing for you, and for myself, I started to examine my views more closely, to feel as if my opinions could make a difference. I began to see myself as a person again, not “just a mom.”
Over the past few months, as language school took up the bulk of my waking hours, I lost the consistency of the early months of blogging. And as we prepare to move, I’m starting to feel the usual urge to let go of some things in order to focus more on what we will keep as we move. Sorting belongings and strengthening friendships before our upcoming move will take priority.
All this to say, the unevenness of the past few months may continue for awhile. I’ll be around a couple of times a week, and I’ll keep writing on everything that comes to mind. As our move gets closer, I’ll be taking a few weeks off to pack, move, spend some time with family and friends in Texas, maybe have a little foot surgery, arrive in Cuba, and unpack. I’ll keep you posted on that.
But one thing more has shifted for me as I approach writing. The desire to be heard is receding, and the desire to listen keeps nudging its way forward. Perhaps I’m entering a season of narrowing my focus as a blogger; maybe this season will be one of intake rather than output. I can’t predict what’s next for us as a family, either; we move frequently, but our upcoming move to Cuba promises change on an as-yet unprecedented scale. I can’t even imagine the stories I’ll have to tell about living in a culture so unlike my own.
In the meantime, in honor of one year of blogging, you may wonder just what kind of present you should give me. Well, I’ll tell you: I’d love a comment on this post with a link to your blog and/or another favorite blog you read. If you weren’t wondering, that’s okay. I’ll never know. You can comment, too!
My present to you is a celebration of some of my favorite bloggers. Some are big-time biggies: speakers, authors, and heavily-followed bloggers. Others have a medium-sized following but have become personal favorites of mine. And a couple are big fish in as-yet-small ponds, and as such have endeared themselves to me both through their writing and through our online contact. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Thorns and Gold – Tanya Marlow
My Obama Year
Notice the Dirt – Sarah Pardieck
Accidental Devotional – Abby Norman
Paul Soupiset’s Projeqt
Momastery – Glennon Melton
Love Is What You Do – J.R. Goudeau
Mercy Not Sacrifice – Morgan Guyton
Chookooloonks – Karen Walrond
Rage Against the Minivan – Kristen Howerton
Jenny Rae Armstrong