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Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker and the . . .Blogger?


The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker and the...Blogger?

Wanting to be a writer?  What does that mean?  Writing all the time?  I do it anyway.  Am I a writer if no one reads the words?  Does that count?  You know, I drink Diet Coke all the time, too.  I drink it in the can and in the bottle and in the gigantic size from Wendy’s where I have to use both hands.  Lots of times no one sees me drinking Diet Coke.  Sometimes they do.  I’m an expert Diet Coke drinker actually.  I can confidently call myself a Diet Coke Drinker.  But, a writer?  A blogger?  Yeah, right.

Saying I want to be a writer reminds me of how I used to say I was going to marry Scott Baio and sing with him on the Joanie Loves Chachi show.  Or how I stood in front of the mirror with my “Gee your Hair Smells Terrific” shampoo bottle thanking the Academy for the Oscar for my riveting performance in Skatetown USA.    Or how I daydreamed about being a back up dancer for Janet Jackson in that Rhythm Nation video with the cool black military outfits.  I haven’t quite given that one up yet.  Yep, I’m still noodling on that, actually.

So over the past few years, I’ve just kept on writing and pressing save and sometimes sending my words to my mom and dad who think I’m brilliant(naturally) and wondering what God has in store for me.  I’m entering a new season in my life when my kids are in school most of the day.  And I’m not bored.  I’m not lonely.  I’m just writing and wondering and writing some more.  So one day my friend suggested a blog.  And I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it and kept asking myself the same big question.  It’s actually the big question I should probably ask before doing anything, I guess.  What would be my purpose in writing a blog?  Is there a purpose in writing that does not appear as a self-congratulatory “Look at me!  Look at me!” attempt at fishing for a compliment?  Isn’t it like putting a photo on Facebook and checking incessantly for a comment about how absolutely precious your child is or how you look exactly the same as you did in high school?  I don’t want to do it for that reason, because I have done that already.  On Facebook.  Oh, yes, I have.  And my kids are really cute.  I mean it.  You should have “liked” at least one of those 156 baseball photos of them and you know it. 

This “purpose” question has caused me grief and I’m not sure why.  That I haven’t been able to answer it is evidenced by the fact that there are countless “posts” stuck in my computer from as far back as three years ago.  Just sitting there.   Certainly, there is worry of being judged or of inadvertently offending or of embarrassing myself or my family.  And that is pretty stupid because I don’t think there will be a landslide of readership on this particular corner of cyberspace.  I write mostly about faith, about my children, about our rush of activities (baseball, basketball, any kind of ball...) and daily life and ultimately I try to find the meaning in the seemingly meaningless and the extraordinary in the ordinary.  My friend suggested the title because I just write about what I observe from my home and if you know my family at all, you know that we spend almost as much time near home plate on any number of baseball fields as we do in our own house.  In the interest of full disclosure, the great majority of what I write comes to me when I’m drying my hair and/or while I’m running, which means that my stuff must be brilliant because everyone knows that Shakespeare was holding a Conair 2000 in one hand and a Goody brush in the other when he wrote To Be or Not to Be and Jane Austen was in Nike shorts and a pair of New Balance when she conjured up that Darcy guy.

Perhaps I’m nervous because I know two things for sure:  1) that I am to strive to do everything to the glory of God and 2) that I fall enormously short of that goal every single, solitary day, or more honestly, every single, solitary hour.  My main job is to be His child, a Christian seeking always to know what He wants for me rather than what I want from Him.  And I find that I, shamefully, want a lot from Him.  I ask Him for a lot.  And He has given me too much.  So, I write about this life that He has given me.  I am a wife and a mother and I hope that as I walk the road He has given me, I will make Him proud.  I would hope that if I was dancing with Janet Jackson He would be proud as well, but due to the clock ticking on that particular dream, it appears that writing about being a wife and a mother is a better option at this point.   

If I write something about my boys that makes me proud, I, in the same moment know that they will make mistakes like leaving their shoes everywhere except for in that very convenient “over the door” shoe holder from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I honestly thought would change my life.  I know that as soon as I brag, one or both or all three will get on my last nerve in the very next moment.  If I write of my husband and how blessed I am to be married to him, I know that in the next moment, he will say something that hurts my (too sensitive) feelings or he’ll leave the medicine cabinet open again and I will want to take everything out of that cabinet and throw it all in his sink. (that is purely hypothetical by the way)

In the end, I have come to decide that if the reason I do this is simply to have a place where I can record my life - the humor in it, the heartbreak in it, the wonder in it, the frustration in it, the enormous amount of God’s grace that fills it – then maybe that is reason enough.  I tried that scrapbooking thing and it didn't work out.  All those craft scissors and stickers gave me hives.  I use all those colorful fine point markers to make grocery lists.  I'm better with a keyboard.  Maybe the purpose will be only for the fact that I will show this blog to my children to teach them something of their mother that maybe they didn’t know and maybe that is enough.  I think they will find that she loved to write and that sometimes she had to write.  And even if they find this place full of run-on sentences and sappy, mushy words and embarrassing admissions and (hopefully no) curse words, I hope they will ultimately know that she loved the Lord with all her heart and all her soul and all her might and that despite the occasional eye-roll she absolutely, positively adored their daddy.  I know that they will find that she was wholly and completely imperfect.   But the biggest hope is that they will understand deep in their hearts that the immense joy and the head-splitting irritation that her three little boys brought to her, she would not trade for anything in the world, even to have those killer abs and that killer outfit and those killer moves as a dancer in that Janet Jackson video.


11 comments:

Nathan Forrest said...

Cool! Good for you! I'll read it. I think you're a good writer!

JaymeN said...

Way to go Jen! So excited that you are blogging! I enjoy your writings, love your witt and most importantly, admire your faith!!

Holly said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing! Maybe you'll inspire some of the rest of us. :)

missy said...

awesome jenn! write on girl!,

Becky's Blog said...

This is FANTASTIC JENN! Congrats on a major step -- I will love reading your stuff.

Leslie Roberts Norman said...

This, at first, put a big smile on my face. Then as I read, I got a tear. Yes, then another tear. It is so true all of it, the fun dreams, the great realities, the fulfillment, and the greatness of having God in our lives. I agree, write On, Jenn!

Shae said...

It's great Jenn! I truly enjoyed it and your words are very inspiring! I hope that you continue and find great fulfillment in it.

sheri said...

Wonderful!! I, too, have struggled with the idea of a blog. I have thought long and hard about starting one to assist others in their home school journey. You may have just given me a shot of courage. I loved every word! Thank you and keep writing. I will happily keep reading!

Alice said...

Jennifer, love getting to know the stories that make you YOU. Your stories are a gift!

beth m said...

wow! I actually laughed and cried. I cannot wait to read more. Thanks for sharing your God given gift with the rest of us!!

Christine R said...

Ok, I think we may be bloggy twins separated at birth! 'Cause this pretty much sums it up for me, except for the Diet Coke part. Love you!