Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Why Am I Doing This?

I have been prompted to think about why I have begun this blog. I'm not sure that I have so much to teach anyone. Rather, I am learning myself. I think that's the point.

I think by writing. Maybe to the non-writerly types that doesn't make sense...but it's always been that way for me! From the time I knew how to hold a pencil, I have filled journals with thoughts and ideas. Writing things out always seems to bring a deeper clarity for me...whether it's about spiritual issues, cultural issues, or personal issues. Or perhaps I should say, it allows me to synthesize all the random thoughts in my head from things I have heard or read or believe to be true into something that flows and makes sense to me. While writing, I am obliged to support ideas with evidence. It's also a good way to weed out inconsistencies in my beliefs. When I see two different ideas that don't seem to mesh smack dab on the same page, I have to go back and re-examine the issue.

But I don't want my writing to be a me-centered venture. Writing is most valuable when done in the context of a community. If my writing were not informed by people, events and ideas outside of myself, I think it would be, at the best, quite dull. And if I do not offer my ideas back to the community hoping for additional perspectives and insights, there is a good chance that they could become stale and narrowly defined.

Writing, for me, is also a prayer. I'm not a very good "pray-er", and never have been. My mind drifts. I lose focus. I don't know what to say. Sometimes I resort to a litany of requests, and other times I find myself repeating cliched sentences in my head (probably lifted from a composite of all the public prayers I've ever heard in my life!). There is a prescribed "way to pray," and I'm no good at it. But when I write, I find that I can honestly pour out my heart to God. I am able to tell Him what I'm thinking without adopting formulaic "prayer patterns" that eventually become thoughtless. Writing takes more time and effort, and so forces me to reflect more as I'm doing it. I'm not saying that this type of praying is the best or only; just that it helps my little mind to focus. This is how how I'm wired.

I would be honored if my writing could someday help or teach someone else. I am also delighted whenever I hear that someone has been encouraged by something I have written, or simply feels the same way and is glad to discover a kindred spirit. But regardless, writing teaches me something new all the time: It forces me to think. And if my "community" (which is probably only a couple people and my dog, but that's OK;o) ever wants to assist me in this process, I would be indebted.

(By the husband often reads my blog! I like that, because I love for him to know what I'm thinking so I can get his input. I wish he had to write to think too, because this would cut down on the necessity of my learning to read the male mind. He's too smart for me and can do it all in his head! No, seriously...he's becoming more adept at (verbal) expression, and that works too:o)


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