In the two plus years I've been blogging I've seen bloggers come and go, with some taking short breaks and others deciding to quit altogether. Just recently there's been another spate of leaving and it's caused me to evaluate why I blog. What's the purpose? What does it add to my life?
[This isn't going to be a philosophical treatise because that's just not me but I do have my pensive moments.]
The first time I heard about blogging was when my daughter set up an account for me on xanga so we'd have another way to stay in touch while she was six states away at Bible school. She told me that lots of people were doing this "online journaling thing". I posted maybe six times in eight months. Since we talked on the phone every day, I just didn't see the value nor did I find xanga very user friendly. I kept running into walls when I'd try to do more than post straight text.
Later that year I had some forced downtown when a bad case of bronchitis went on and on and on... During that time I discovered some Christian mommy bloggers (although I had no clue there was even such a term as "mommy blogger" at that point) and was motivated to start my own blog on blogger. But my posting was still sporadic. Like any kind of writing, blogging takes a certain amount of discipline.
Then I began to see the value of having a medium for easily communicating with not only our kids, but other relatives, friends, and people in our supporting churches...
Rather than depending solely on e-mail, I could journal about our life on the mission field and anyone who was interested could access it. The year we were in Uganda I sent long, descriptive e-mails of our experiences to friends and family every ten days or so and received a lot of positive feedback about those letters. But then, as now, whenever I'd send out a mass mailing, a bunch would come back as "unable to deliver". With blogging, those who are truly interested have no problem keeping up-to-date and I'm not bothering those who couldn't care less.
But again, there was the whole discipline thing. While I've always liked the IDEA of journaling, the reality was that I've never been good with consistently following through. Initially I set myself the goal of posting once a week. Then twice a week. I'm now up to 4-5 times per week and generally hit that goal unless we're traveling and without internet.
Bottom line: Primarily I blog in order to COMMUNICATE with the folks "back home".
But blogging has become more than that...
Along the way I've made some good online friends that I may or may not ever meet. I'm counting on being able to meet some of you when we come on furlough late next year, those who live really close to where we'll be traveling.
I've also gotten to know friends and family even better than I did when we lived in the same country, by reading their blogs and them reading mine; we've shared life experiences, memories, our thoughts and dreams -- constantly drawing us closer together in a way not possible outside this funny medium we call blogging.
The discipline of writing almost daily has made me a better writer. While I harbor no illusions that I'll ever be a great writer, I do a better job of communicating now than I did two years ago. [I also find myself viewing almost everything that happens through the lens of how I can write/blog about it!]
It's taken time but I've finally found my "voice". Which is to say I don't HAVE a consistent voice and am all over the board with topics and tone. While I greatly enjoy topical blogs (like quilting or cooking) I decided early on that I didn't want to limit myself in that way. And although I really enjoy blogs with a certain tone (purposely funny, devotional in nature, contemplative) it just isn't in me to do that. I write how I think and feel, and that means you never know what you're going to get.
One thing I don't do is share much about what's happening in our ministry. My blog, which is open to anyone who wants to read it, is not the place to get into specifics. Those who are in the pastorate or on the mission field know how careful we need to be, always balancing how much we say publicly.
Nor do I share Every.Single.Thing going on in my life. Again, my blog is not the place to get into specifics. (Nor do I have the time to share all that's happening.)
That said, I do enjoy sharing as much as I can.
This is my life.
Welcome to my blog :-)