Blog Hopping? What?
At this age I fall into a “cyber-world gap”—somewhere between writing out all of my thoughts by hand in my journal of years gone by, to entering into this invisible world with millions of others who I have never met and likely never will, to put my deepest thoughts out there for the world to see. I’m still navigating it, getting frustrated with it and many times just giving up on learning the terms, the language, and the mind-numbing brain-drain that it takes to keep up with all of the latest technology.
My online-blogger buddy, Kit Hinkle, has forced me to stretch myself in this arena more than once. This time she emailed me to ask if I would join something called Blog Hopping with her. Kit is an absolute fireball of energy. She has a deep walk with the Lord and after the death of her husband, she channeled the abyss of overwhelming grief into a website for widows called A Widow’s Might (www.awidowsmight.org), where grieving widows could congregate. Within a short time, widows were checking in with each other, helping each other, crying with each other, praying for each other and it became a place of healing and refuge for the unique kind of pain a widow suffers. Recently, Kit also realized that there were widows who had begun to peek out from their widow’s mourning garments to a new world that God seemed to be opening up to them and that that there is life after loss and its ok to move on. So, this past year, she started the website www.anewseason.net for those who are testing the waters of New Seasons in their lives. I have written with an amazing team of widows on both of these websites and believe me, these women are cyber-huggers!
Blog Hopping Thoughts and Questions
In this blog hop, I am asked to answer four questions on my blog and then invite three more bloggers to do the same on their page. Because my life is crazy complicated most of the time, I have not been keeping up with my own website as I should, but my readers are very forgiving.
So, here are my questions:
1. What am I writing or working on?
Well, good question. I should bow out gracefully right now because at the moment I am definitely not writing like I know I should be (this is what all book publishers and agents will say). I have written one book, Into the Mist: Journey Into Dementia, and all the “experts” tell me I should already have the second one in the works. Well… I don’t. I do have many online contacts with other widows or with those experiencing dementia in a loved one and our online correspondence certainly qualifies as writing I think. I tend to fall into insecurity when it feels like I’m not “doing” enough blogging or writing or working on another book, but Jesus always reassures me that I am exactly where He has put me for this season and He is ok with where I am. I do have a book in mind and will hopefully get motivated to put it out there. I’m also writing a Bible study for the book of Ruth for this coming fall session. So, I am writing—I’m just not “working on…” a big project.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My “work” has always risen out of some kind of ash heap of what is happening in my life at the time. I have been journaling since 1992, long before cyber-space, and my journaling was a private place where I could talk about all of my “stuff.” When my husband began showing symptoms of some kind of dementia in 2004, my journaling became really raw—really intense. Everything I believed was challenged, put into a food processor and pummeled into fine powder, then sifted through a fine mesh strainer. Seems God had a whole lot of refining and sifting to do and He chose that very time to do it. My book rose out of those ashes of scratchy, prickly, years and so did my online blogging world. I don’t think I have a genre—my passion is to see women of all stripes, sizes, colors discover the reality of abiding in Jesus Christ, learning to let Him live His promised abundant life out from us, and setting us free from the lies and baggage we have believed. His “genre” is to speak His living water into us so that He can pour it into the life of another beleaguered pilgrim in this temporary world system. So, my genre I suppose could be called “Freedom in Jesus Christ” or “Our Identity in Jesus Christ” or something like that, and this can go in many directions, and often does.
3. Why do I write what I write?
I write as God leads me to write. Often in the middle of some painful event I might be facing and then learning something new about God, or about me, or both and then realizing that He changed something in me that He wants me to pass along. It can’t be just academic for me—it has to be Real. Authentic. Personal. I can be a mess, but God uses my messes to redeem something of value—precious stones—cut out of the hard earth of my heart. I love His word, the Bible, because there are lots of messed up people in there and I love how He truly brings beauty from their ashes as He writes their stories. He is writing my story, and I try to get it down on paper. Maybe someone a thousand years from now will pick up that parchment and read it and cry because it brought hope that even our messes can be redeemed, and that He values every single thing He created—even me. He is in the business of redemption.
4. How does my writing process work?
This makes me chuckle. Writing “process?” I have been to several writing seminars and listened to some really great writers. One author talked about the different styles of writers and I found out what my “process” was! He said that some people are “dumpers.” They just dump all their thoughts on a page and then go back to shape it into a style. That is me—I’m a dumper! I literally spew it all onto the keyboard, walk away from it, feeling pretty good about getting it out of this “washing machine on the spin cycle” called my “mind” and onto a page. Beth Moore in a weekend conference I attended, pointed to her head and shouted in frustration, “Do you know what its like to live in here!” That’s pretty much me. Then I go back and fine-tune it—trying hard to not sound as crazy as I actually feel. That might turn into a blog, or a letter to someone who is feeling like a mess. Sometimes it just remains as is to be filed away somewhere, only for me. And Jesus is the only One who gets to read it.
Thanks for walking along with me as Jesus works out all of my “processes.” And hey, while you’re at it, go and take a look at www.awidowsmight.org and www.anewseason.net and read some of my blogs right here on www.intothemistbook.com. You might even want to try writing some things yourself!