Self consciously, she blogs

This whole blog thing was really three years and some months in the making. I took a writing class the last semester of seminary and a whole new world opened up to me. A scary, intimidating, exhilarating, challenging, frustrating, fun- you get the point. A complicated world opened up to me. I remembered writing was something I had done for a short time as a kid. Even started a novel once. About a girl and her horse. The problem was I didn’t have a horse and the only thing I knew about them was how to ride my imaginary one. Maybe that’s why I stopped writing. Somewhere along the line I stopped imagining I could. And then, there was this writing class. I graduated seminary and had one of my writing entries published in the local paper and some other publication call to say that they were interested in publishing it also. And that was that. End of story. End of writing.

I went on to more urgent matters at hand. Such as helping my daughter plan her wedding. Finding a call, aka job, so that I could finally be ordained as a Presbyterian pastor. Resuming life with my husband, who is my definitely better half, after three years of living the lifestyle of weekly commuting. It’s been three years and I am now in my second call. (Maybe I’ll talk about that publicly one day but still too much for me to chew on personally at this point.) My daughter not only got married but just gave birth to her second child, the little burst of wonder I told you about last week. All wonderful life enriching and engrossing family experiences! But now the itch to write has surfaced once again. So here I am.

A blog seemed like the natural choice because, well I have no idea, but it seemed like the best way to force myself to write. If I do it publicly then maybe I will give myself the opportunity to learn something. And perhaps someone else will enjoy the fruits of my labor. However, this whole blogging thing is way more complicated than I thought. What website to go through. What theme. What header. What username. What tag line. How to expose one’s site to other sites to be sure to get as many views as possible. Yikes, it’s enough to make me run for cover. But here we are and, finally, I have settled in for the long haul. Or as long of a haul as anything is in this ever changing chaos known as life.

So, I am excited and hopeful to be finally on my way in this new strange world. But then, as I read the blogs of other much more talented writers, that old familiar self-consciousness creeps up into the keyboard. Why is it, when we finally let ourselves step out onto the proverbial limb, where we’ll find the view and the breeze, the age old serpent of negativity rises like a cobra to cut off the breath of air. I wonder sometimes if there is something tied to what has been taught as original sin that has to do with believing the negative voices in our heads. I know you have them too. Lord help us!

And oh how those voices can coax one into giving up the art of being oneself. I thought about this the other night when my husband and I went to our local pizza bistro. It was raining or I might not have noticed this overtly self-conscious guy. He came in shaking his umbrella and sort of adjusting his hair, which was the worst looking toupee I’d ever seen. Seriously, not trying to be mean but it looked like a mass of brown strings sitting on top of an aging melon. Because I sometimes make up a story for what I see I will tell you that he was there to meet a blind date. I surmised this from the look on the woman’s face I’d seen come in two minutes earlier. They had matching expressions of anticipated dread/hope. I bemoaned to my husband that I didn’t understand why in the world the man would wear such an ugly rug on his head when he would look so much better if he would simply let his bare head show. My husband, accustomed to my rants and totally uninterested in this one (hang in there with me, please!), said simply that the guy obviously thought he looked better in the toupee than with his bald head.

I wasn’t satisfied, still not. I wish I could tell the guy to be himself. To be brave on his blind dates. Stop overthinking it. Let her see your baldness. If this relationship were to get very far she would see it anyway. Sooner or later all the things we try to hide come out. And sometimes, it turns out that those are the most enduring things of all. I wonder what I am hiding. You? Something to chew on…Jesus came to free the captives.

About isplainasjane

Minister of Word and Sacrament, PC(USA). M. Div. writes. preaches. teaches. speaks. encourages, God is love.
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13 Responses to Self consciously, she blogs

  1. great, provocative observations and thoughts, new grass to chew on! Your blog is now on my toolbar 😀

  2. Hollee Clawater says:

    Hi Jane! I enjoyed chewing the cud with you and think you are a great writer! If you want to finish your novel about the girl and her horse, I could help you. I know pretty much about horses. And CONGRATULATIONS are your darling baby granddaughter! I can’t think of anything more wonderful!! Love, Hollee Clawater

  3. Janet Merrill Boswell says:

    Oh dear Jane,
    How I hear your words…first and foremost my prayers are with your daughter and her precious new little one. My daughter’s 1st born was in NICU for 9 weeks due to a birth defect (omphalocele) which was life threatening. Now 3 yrs. Harper is a precious ray of joy, I don’t know what I’d do without her! Those weeks in the NICU were full of fear and prayers, but looking back God’s fingerprints are covering this precious child who is so much wiser than her 3 years.
    This blog entry…oh how I hear your heart. I too have felt compelled to write since Steve was 1st diagnosed with brain cancer. I wrote for almost 4 years on Caring Bridge. It was definitely a gift from God as I have never felt the urge to write before this time.
    Since Steve’s death in July, I have continued to feel the urge to write. My daughter, Brooke, a blogger, encouraged me to begin a blog and thus my journey into blogging also began. You explained so explicitly the vulnerability that goes into writing your innermost feelings, thank you for your eloquence.
    I look forward to reading more.
    You and your precious family continue to be in my prayers, I look forward to hearing of God’s amazing grace in your lives.
    Much love dear friend,

    • isplainasjane says:

      Thank you, Janet for your warm encouragement in both areas! You have walked this scary path of NICU so you know the grip it can have, and the miracles to be seen. And I have read and been inspired by your writing on Caring Bridge. How you could articulate so beautifully in the midst of what you were going through is really quite amazing. I look forward to reading your continued journey! Let’s hold each other accountable to this strange but life-giving calling! Love and prayers for you, Jane

      • Thank you Jane, it is a strange but life-giving calling…I’m thankful to have a co-partner in my learning process.
        Also just sent you a little something on FB that made me think of you when I read it, enjoy!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Hey Jane it’s Elizabeth from Grace. You already know I’m a fan of yours. If you’re writing is as good as your preaching I’ll buy the first copy. Love you and am praying for you and the new baby. Miss you tons. Congrats on your start. You inspire me in so many ways! Love you, Elizabeth

  5. Claire Benckenstein says:

    You’re such an inspiration, Jane! Thank you for sharing your gift.

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