{balance}

There is a certain tight rope quality to being involved in social media. You want to be genuine, transparent, and real without falling into the TMI category. Those people who present a highly edited version of themselves are what gives online interactions a bad name, but so do the ones who provide the intimate details of their bowel movements.

Before I began blogging consistently, I journaled. In my daughter’s room sits a large leather trunk. Jumbled together inside are empty picture frames, rocks collected on our honeymoon and my journals. I have been journaling since I was in elementary school. Beginning with those first diaries covered in kittens, sealed with a lock and key, I realized that writing down my thoughts helped me to focus and to release the tension within me.

There were times where I felt like I would burst if I didn’t put pen to paper, pouring my heart out to God. Praying out loud or in my mind never worked as well for me as this process of journaling did. Additionally, it was so interesting to be able to look back and see how far God had brought me and the prayers He had answered.

Fast forward to January 2010. I had started blogging about a year before, solely to update family and friends in Washington to keep them connected to us. I had also written a few things for Ungrind and discovered that writing could be more than journaling and school papers for me. I began jotting down my thoughts and feelings, things God was showing me, on the computer screen instead of in my journal. At first it felt very much the same, because no one was really reading.

Then, people started commenting, online and in-person. People were paying attention. Once I realized there was an audience, things changed a little. I still enjoyed it, but I felt a check about what to share. I began walking a fine line between being genuine and over-sharing. There have been posts where I was terrified after pushing “publish” because I felt like maybe I’d stepped onto the wrong side of the line. And I discovered that instead of just writing from my heart, with abandon, I began to worry about grammar, style, and content. This is not a bad thing. I want to improve as a writer. I hope to someday make a career out of writing and speaking.

The only problem was that I spent so much time blogging and reading other’s blogs that I neglected my journaling. I was reading the Bible, Christian non-fiction and listening to sermons, but my motives weren’t always right. It was more about having something to share than about growing my relationship with God. I was teetering up there, all eyes on me, and about to fall.

Then, one night last week, I sat down with my journal and my Bible and just wrote. I didn’t worry about what words I used, or proper punctuation, or if people would think I’m smart. I didn’t hold back from fear of sharing other’s stories or what people would think of me. This was just me and God.

It felt so good. The thoughts, worries, fears, hopes and dreams that I had been bottling up inside came pouring out. I felt closer to God than I had in a long time. I wasn’t turning to Him for anything, I just turned to Him.

I realized in that moment that I had gotten off track. Blogging is good for me, it helps me feel connected to others and it makes me a better writer. But journaling, for me, is necessary because it connects me to God like nothing else does and that connection makes me a better person. In journaling there is no wire to walk, I can over-share because God already knows all.

There are numerous ways people connect to God. For you it might be music, art, nature, or service. Whatever it is, God showed me that it’s our heart that is most important. If you’re doing it as a means to an end, a pathway to personal gain, you’re going to run dry. There needs to be activities in your life that are solely done to connect with God; things that allow you to bask in His presence. You don’t need to walk away with a profound vision or word at the end, just a sense of communion with Him.

The high-wire act is not just about knowing how much to share in social media, it’s how you relate to God. Reading the latest books should not replace time in the Word. Listening to the popular sermon podcasts cannot be an excuse to neglect sitting quietly in His presence, waiting for that still small voice. Fellowship with the church body, whether online or in-person, is no substitute for fellowship with God in the privacy of our own devotions.

What things do you do to connect with God?

How do you find balance in these areas?

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Some little known facts

For all of us non-BlogHer‘s Pensieve Robin is hosting a BlogHop! What a great opportunity to meet new people while wearing our pajamas!! If I could wear pajamas all day, I would. But I digress…

I always hate having to describe myself because I usually just list my roles in life and my accomplishments. I sometimes think I haven’t represented myself correctly on the Internet because, really, it all goes through the filter of ME.

So, here’s my About Me where you can read the roles.

But here’s some fun stuff because people who already know me are reading this too and I want to make it interesting for all

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I live at my church. We call it the compound. It’s crazy because the church sanctuary is right. below. my living room. Right below…as in the walls shake during youth group. The fun part is that some of our best friends also live here so we get this college dorm feeling, without the homework.

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courtesy of photobucket.com

My husband says I’m funniest on Fridays. I think it’s true too. This is most likely due to the fact that I know it’s the weekend and I tend to be less responsible. I get giddy with the idea of two whole days to be free. As a SAHM you’d think the weekends wouldn’t be that big of a deal for me. However the weekends mean that my husband’s home (and I love him!).

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courtesy of photobucket.com

I {love} stationary! When I was younger I would write letters to my cousin and never send them. I always dreamed about having a writing desk that opened up and had stacks of clean, crisp writing paper, fun pens, and sealing wax with a seal. A couple of years ago my husband partially made this dream come true by purchasing me the paper, sealing wax and seal for a present. But, unfortunately, no one writes real letters anymore. It’s all texts, email, Facebook, and Twitter — which I also love. So, if you have an unhealthy obsession with receiving letters in the mail (like me) let me know and I’ll be your pen pal.

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This blog is mainly full of myself, my family, and my God. I try to have more of my God than myself but I somehow find a way of slipping in to each post. Thankfully, so does He.

If you find any of this interesting, you can

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Why You Read

I’ve seen several writers put up posts on why they write. It’s usually really interesting and, funnily enough, the same reasons are frequently given: personal fulfillment, creative outlet, calling from God, etc.

What I’m wondering is: Why do you read?

What keeps you coming back here?

I offer up snapshots of my life as a SAHM, a wife, and a Christian woman. Frequently I think of you as I’m writing my posts: questioning if it’s too heavy, too personal or too boring. Occasionally I throw doubt to the wind and just post something because I want to and don’t care if anyone ever reads it or comments on it; I just need to get it out.

But really, I keep coming back and writing here because I want to be known and I want to know. I have trouble with connecting with others. It’s easy for me to let you in and share myself, but I want to engage you and get to know more about your life. Right now it feels the same to me as when I write in my journal. It always surprises me when someone tells me they’ve read my blog, and maybe that’s something you never get over.

The reason I started this blog was because as a SAHM I get lonely and I long for adult interaction. I want to connect. I want to spur conversation and even debate. Fear, insecurity and lack of experience seem to hold me back.

To get a better idea of who comes here and what you’re interested in finding once you are here I’ve created a survey!

I’d appreciate your feedback on this and, just so you know, I’m not fishing for compliments. My intention is to make this a place of community, a place where I can come to share a piece of myself and get to know you better. Blogging takes away time in my day: from my kids, from my spouse, from my home. I want to ensure that I’m making the most of that time by producing content that will end in a greater development of community here.

And, can I just say a big Thank You to those of you who do come here and view my latest ramblings. Your comments and interaction are what keep me going. I have had moments in the last month where I’ve thought about shutting down my blog; lack of sleep, brain cells and energy have taken their toll. But the thing that kept me from hitting that delete button was the relationships I’ve found here. Through blogging and Twitter I’ve discovered this whole group of people I’ve never met who all get together daily to chat. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been inspired, encouraged and supported. So thank you for that and I wish I could send you all a present…

Instead I’ll give you a super-cute picture of my baby…because I’m a mom and I think everyone wants to look at him always! :)

Click here to take the survey…it’s quick, I promise!

Thanks!

I Need a Nap

Silas @ 1 week

Two weeks ago today Silas was born.

I haven’t slept much since then.

I’m not complaining…I wasn’t sleeping much in the weeks leading up to his birth either. It’s infinitely better to be able to cuddle, kiss and hold the source of my insomnia.

Life seems like it’s on hold right now. My days consist of nursing, changing diapers, taking care of the other three kids, preparing meals, cleaning up after meals and trying to fit in sleep when I can.

To add to the craziness, my little brother is getting married soon. In a little less than 2 weeks Josh will be heading north on I-5 with Eli & Ezra while I take to the skies with Cora & Silas. We will then spend the next two weeks visiting with friends and family in the great NW and doing wedding-type stuff.

All of this is good. All of this is exciting. All of this is distracting.

Nothin' says 30 like Cajun food!

I haven’t had the brain-cells to write, even though so much has occurred I want to share. Josh turned 30 last Friday and we had a big ol’ Cajun seafood boil to celebrate.

Eli turns 6 this Friday and it’s 4th of July weekend – always an eventful time.

But I just can’t do it.

So, I just wanted to send out a message that I’m still alive. I’m doing well. We’re adjusting to life as a family of 6. And I miss my blog.

I miss interacting with everyone. I miss mulling over what God’s showing me through my day-to-day experiences as a SAHM. I miss the creativity.

I’ll be back soon. I just need a nap first.

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