Tuesday, March 9, 2010

{ Why }

During last weekend's adventure {entire posts on that coming soon!}, a question was posed: Why do you blog? Honestly, it's not a question I've directly answered--either internally or publicly. Several intertwined roots have blossomed forth in this public, online portal of my life. "Why" is inexorably connected to "how," so I'll begin there.

Years and years ago--four? five?--my dear chum-since-childhood Chelle told me about her blog. Chelle and I grew up together, and in God's good providence, when I moved out-of-state after high school, I landed in the area where all the extended family of Chelle's future husband reside. A couple years after I moved, Chelle and David married and moved over here. I was beyond shocked and delighted. Even though they lived about an hour away and we still didn't see each other often, a one-hour drive is much better than eight hours. Which it had been before. Long story short, Chelle's blog was a sweet little peek into her sweet little life. I think she was pregnant with Annabelle, her firstborn, when I started reading. Eventually I began to explore Chelle's links to other blogs that she read. Many of them were, like her, stay-at-home wives or mothers, around our age. For a single college student whose dream was to be a stay-at-home wife and mom, these blogs were glimpses into a future I hoped and prayed and dreamed would be mine someday: a loving husband, chubby babies, a home of my own filled with beauty and blossoming creativity.

On numerous occasions, Chelle would mention that I should start a blog. She never pestered; she'd just say that I would be good at it, she'd love to read it, that my posts would make people laugh and that I'd enjoy it. In my senior year of college, I took her advice and started one, the name of which I cannot even remember. Petrified of being stalked by online lunatics, I created a pseudonym and was as vague as possible about all details of myself and my life. This puts significant strain on one's writing, to be sure. Had I set out to blog a novel, this would have presented no roadblocks. However, if you try to write about your life whilst changing all details that might possibly give readers an inkling of who you really are, where you really live, and what you really do, you will see that it is no easy task. How can you connect with readers and develop relationships when everything you are presenting is a facade designed to mask the real you from the internet public? You can't. At least, I couldn't. I wrote maybe three posts before deleting the blog.

Fast-forward several years to 2008/2009. Mike and I were dating, and we had a discussion about God's giftings to us and how we utilize them. Writing is one of my gifts, and I shared how I have not used this gift well...in fact, I have pretty much silenced it because I don't know how to implement it. {I don't want to boast or sound prideful by saying that I'm gifted in the area of writing. I state it as a simple fact; much as I would say I have curly hair or green eyes. None of these attributes are things I asked for or sought, but curly hair and green eyes and a forte for putting together words are all gifts that God has bestowed upon me. There are innumerable people, both alive and in ages past, who are incalculably better writers than I. All I'm saying is that I have some talent, however small, in this area.} But...I didn't feel that I had anything worth writing; I had nothing to write that was worth other people reading. We talked about blogging. Working in the information technology industry, and always concerned for my safety, I expected Mike to react negatively to the idea of having a blog. After all, he knows firsthand the crazy things people can do online to hurt others.

In one of those twists that shows God is clearly the author of humor, Mike encouraged me to start a blog. I hesitated. I hemmed. I hawed. I was too busy. I was too afraid of crazy internet people. I prayed, too. I was convicted about neglecting my writing skills. I was reminded of the parable of the servants who were given the talents, knowing that I was the servant who buried his one talent.

And in October of 2009, this newly minted Mrs. set up this blog.

That's how. Now why, in no particular order:

  • To better keep in touch with family and friends who don't live in the area. All my family, and many of my friends, live in another state. I want them to have a feel for the rhythms of my life; to be part of the ongoing story God is writing in Mike's and my life. A blog, I think, forges a stronger connection than Facebook or the occasional mass e-mail. It is the perfect way to keep faraway loved ones in the loop of our lives. And I love that I can make it pretty. :-) The number of photos I've shared via this blog just since October probably exceeds the total number I've shown my peeps in the previous year!
  • In my increasingly busy life, it is harder and harder to find time to record the days. I was a prolific journaler up to the point when Mike entered my life. Now that there is much more living going on, my life is much more interesting but there is also much less time for reflecting. I don't want to forget the richness of God's daily graces and mercies to us. I want to glorify Him by sharing His work in our lives. My hope and prayer is that this blog will stand as an Ebenezer, a memorial of God's grace and goodness. The word Ebenezer comes from 1 Samuel 7, where God routes the Philistine army before the Israelites. Samuel set up a stone in memory of God's work on behalf of His people, and named the stone Ebenezer, which means "stone of help."
  • In a similar vein, I simply want to record this season of my life. I love scrapbooking. I started scrapping in college and love love love it. It is one of the few crafty areas I'm good at, and I enjoy it so much! But it's expensive, and time-consuming, and when you're approximately three years behind, it's overwhelming. Blogging by no means replaces scrapbooking, but it provides a similarly verbal-and-pictoral record of my adventures.
  • Blogging is a creative outlet. Writing is one of the ways I process things, and it is incredibly cathartic. I often struggle with the idea that what I write needs to be perfect and polished before it is shared. One of the reasons I have been so hesitant to write in any public form is because I'm afraid it won't be "good enough." {Good enough for what, I don't know--I never said this would make sense, I'm just being honest!} Which is why writing consistently is challenging, humbling, and also rewarding. It's me exercising long-unused muscles. It's me stretching my wings--maybe only a centimeter at a time, but eventually I will be limber enough to attain the full wingspan given me by my Creator. It's me being brave enough to be vulnerable by sharing what I write. Vulnerability is a very great struggle for me. Coupled with my insecurities regarding writing itself, the transparency inherent in blogging honestly is huge. Even though this exposure is through the filter of a computer screen.

At the root, it all comes back to obedience, doesn't it? My main incentive for blogging has always been to use the skills God has given me--the fact that it enhances communication with others is a nice bonus. Why is it that I feel that the daily use/cultivation/growth of other skills {echocardiography, being a homemaker, being a good wife, etc.} is good and profitable, while with the skill of writing I feel that daily use ought to be leading up to a grand finale? That I ought to have some sort of magnum opus in view, with every jot and tittle drawing me closer to that final crescendo? Perhaps God calls me simply to write. Not for the purpose of someday penning The Next Great American Novel, or sharing some phenomenal spiritual truth, or becoming famous, or anything else. Perhaps He simply wants me to write.

Regardless of where God may lead me in the future, I know this is where He wants me today. It is so beautiful how God weaves together the many {seemingly separate} cords of our lives into one perfect whole. "Obedience in blogging" sounds funny and rather oxymoronic, but that's really why I'm here. I don't know where this path may lead, but I'm confident that I'm following One Who does.


  1. Beautiful post, Nikki. As selfish as it is for me to admit, I'm glad you blog just so I can get to know you better and get a glimpse into your life (yep, I'm a stalker as well as a volcano-licker). I had so much fun with you last weekend. You are precious, sweet friend, and I am thankful for you and your blog. :-)

  2. ...and laughing...God gifted you with a gorgeous, infectious laugh. i love you nikki...and i, for one, am so thankful your mike encouraged you to blog...oh so thankful!

  3. this post your reasons for blogging and your heart I think are both just completely and totally beauitful...and I think of the joy your writing not only brings to me ( ever since our obssesive pen-paling days ) and to others but of the the joy it must bring Him.