Monday, February 22, 2016

I Can't Blog From My Phone and Other Excuses

God has this funny way of calling bluffs.

Sitting alone in the woods on a gorgeous spring-like January morning, I was wrestling and talking some things out with the Lord.  This "quiet time" during our ladies' retreat was the thing I needed the most, but also the thing that I've been avoiding the most in my daily life.  The constant motion around here eventually became a good excuse to stop being still enough to really listen. 

Among other things, my extended blogging hiatus was really on my heart. I was sensing that He was calling me to start writing again.  I felt a little like Moses telling God all the reasons why I couldn't do that - including the fact that our laptop had crashed and, as we do almost everything on our phones anyway, replacing it just had not made sense.  And surely the Lord knows that trying to blog from a phone is insanity defined. As my excuses kept rolling out (and sounding increasingly ridiculous) I finally just flat out told God, 

"Okay, fine. If you want me to write, then I really do need a computer again.  So. If a free computer comes my way then I will take that as it's time to start writing again."

Because somewhere along the way, the truth is, I lost the courage to write.  And when our laptop displayed the blue screen of death, it was a convenient excuse to let writing fade away.

Besides, life is busy. I spend my days walking in circles trying to remember why I'm holding a stuffed lamb in one hand, scrubbing sidewalk chalk off the rug with the other and reminding a child to please stop barking so loudly when I think my original goal was to make dinner.  So putting together regular, coherent thoughts?  Right.

Also, it's a very different online culture now than when I first started blogging 10 (!) years ago.  We live in a culture of outrage, where one misinterpreted post goes viral and suddenly the newest public enemy number one is wondering what just happened.

For somebody who rrreeeeeally doesn't like conflict, this is a daunting prospect.

What if somebody doesn't like what I say?  What if I accidentally offend someone?

And also there's the whole "Do my words really matter?  Really?  There are like a bazillion blogs out there and if there's nothing new under the sun, what does my little blog really add?" thing.

I know.  Welcome to my head.

Well, you know what?  All that mess swirling around and around in my mind? That is playing to my fears and letting the enemy get a foothold.  And who wants to live like that?

Not. Me.

Not anymore.

(At least not this morning.  It's a daily battle)

So I guess it was a "putting out the fleece" moment for me.  Sure, we could theoretically buy a computer and I could start blogging again.  But I wanted to know that God was in it.  That this was something He was really speaking to me about.  Not as a test of Him - I know He can create a computer out of an ant if He wants to, for goodness sake.  But as a test of my hearing Him - was I really hearing Him nudge me that strongly toward writing again?

Fast forward a couple of weeks from that January morning declaration in woodsy solitude (which I told nobody about, by the way) and my precious dad is over at our house helping me out with something one morning.  When out of the blue he says,

"You know, I have a laptop that I'm not using anymore.
You're welcome to have it, if you want it."
I'm pretty sure God was getting a good kick out of this moment.  Suddenly, I didn't have an excuse anymore.  God heard my mustard-seed, "here's my fleece", like-a-computer-is-just-going-to-show-up-but-God-can-do-anything, oh-but-what-if-he-does prayer and took me up on it.

Grateful?  Absolutely

Fearful?  Totally.

Because now I had to keep my end of the bargain.  Don't get me wrong - writing is something I love.  I really do.  It's putting it out there for other people to read that's the problem lately.

But apparently God is doing something in me through this.

He is ruler over lame excuses, over fear and over what "makes sense".

So (deep breath and put down the stuffed lamb and scrubbing cloth)....

Here I go.

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