Sometimes you begin something and you aren’t sure why. Sometimes you begin something and you aren’t sure where it will take you. About a year ago, I began blogging. Even though the “why” was elusive, two things prompted me to take the leap. First, I was readying to take a class in the Fall entitled “Journaling as a Spiritual Practice”. I felt prompted to write on a more regular basis to ready for the class. My journaling life, up to that point, had been a sporadic dumping of words at devastating or elated times. The challenge for me was to practice picking up the pen regularly, through ordinary, every day life. Blogging, even though different than journaling, seemed it would be an additional aide to hold me accountable to the practice of writing.
Second, taking Spiritual Formation classes have been a life changing move for me. These classes have grown and stretched me, helping me to expand my notion of God. They’ve also opened me to a life of practices, rhythms and rituals to help my engagement with God and the living out of faith. I had come to a tipping point. The place where I was filled to the brim with transformative information and I needed to spill it out somewhere. Spread it around. Share it with others. I couldn’t hold back these secret treasures of the sacred.
My hope was to write for a year, weekly. Because I have a disciplined disposition, I believed I could do this. And, I did! Today is my 52nd post. The dance of rigidity and fluidity have been an interesting learning tool for me. My regimented ways have brought me to my computer once a week to write. However, there have been times when my structured personality has not allowed for fluid, organic form. For example, the rules in my head told me I needed to post on Mondays, all year long. The rules in my head informed me I couldn’t send out more than one post a week (too much to ask of readers). The rules in my head told me I couldn’t skip a week. Where did these rules come from? A shadowy finger-pointing authoritarian who hangs out in my head. The problem with these type of rote rules is the fun, fluid, organic form of sitting down to write has a dark cloud hanging around stripping the enjoyment away. This, of course, is not of God.
All this to say, I’m at a point where I need to take stock of my blog. I plan to sit with it, comb over past blog posts, and reflect upon it. I will look for common themes. This will help me to uncover some clues about where to take my writing in the future. I have new ideas around updates to the website too. I plan to (somehow) befriend the finger pointer in my head. I will speak to her with love, soothing her sourpuss face and say, “It’s okay if I don’t post on Monday, all will be well.” She may put her hand on her hip if I don’t post for several weeks or walk away when I tell her I’m posting twice in one week, but ultimately, I think this will help her relax. As I take some time to discern, I’m hopeful the practice of writing and art will unfold in surprising and delightful ways of which I can share with you.
Taking stock of how we spend our days is important. When we reflect and ask ourselves questions around how we spend our minutes, we hear a still small voice within. This voice may guide us to look at the structure and routine of our lives. This whisper may urge us to loosen up or to get back on track. This voice may challenge us to make a difficult change. For me, I hear the call to rest, to play and to reengage centering prayer. You may not need to “take stock” right now, but at some point, you may. And, when the still small voice encourages you to listen, my prayer is you receive God’s prompting. Afterall, it can only lead to your flourishing.
Thank you for your faithful commitment to reading my posts for the last year. Blessings to each of you. Stay tuned for more posts… you have no idea how hard it will be to take a break from posting on a Monday. Much love, Ally