I am not dead.

…And here is a blog to prove it.

It’s been a while.  I’m not happy that it has been a while.  I miss this – writing and blogging.  I haven’t blogged in about a month, and I haven’t written for almost that long.  It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say; on the contrary, I’ve had lots to say, but few words to say it with.  And since I’m not a fan of forcing myself to write stuff that hasn’t been fully formed within me, I held off.

I’m still holding off, but I wanted to make sure I hadn’t forgotten the password to get into my blog.  And while I’m here, I might as well write something, huh?  So I’ll tell you about my summer.

This summer has been a quiet one in many ways.  I’ve gotten to sleep in.  I’ve gotten to stay up ridiculously late.  There are more days that I haven’t put on makeup than days I have put on makeup.  I learned a rap.  It’s a rap from a musical, but it’s a rap nonetheless and I’m going to keep saying so because I feel a little bit hardcore about it.  I’ve become a belayer (belay person? belayist? rock wall rope holder?) and have succumbed to the joys of physics.  Because physics tells me I can be 100 pounds and still haul a 180-pound 11th-grade farm boy up a rock wall without anyone falling to their death.  And you know what?  PHYSICS IS TELLING THE TRUTH.  I’ve taught a camp staff about homesickness.  I made a Prezi and everything.  I visited camp and led an interest group about sign language and when I went home that afternoon, I wasn’t at all upset about not working at camp this summer.  Mostly, I was excited to sleep in air conditioning and not be directly responsible for the lives of 15 children.  I planned VBS for 20 preschoolers.  Then I taught those 20 preschoolers.  And my brain didn’t explode.  I’ve led a few Bible studies.  I’ve fallen in love with the youth group at my church.  I’ve had some of the best nights of my life, sitting around a campfire, listening to the workings of the Lord in their lives.

God is really, very good.

I’ve also watched a season of Once Upon a Time, a season and a half of Smash, and re-watched multiple episodes of Firefly and Castle and Grey’s Anatomy.  I got to level 34 in Candy Crush.  I’ve read some books.  So, I mean, there is a significant amount of laziness happening this summer as well.  Part of me wants to be bitter about it, but another part of me is really just happy to be lazy for a while.

I’m growing.  I’m learning about myself.  About the Lord.  About other people.  Sometimes, the growing is scary.  Growing close to people means you tell them all the ways they could hurt you and then trust that they won’t.  Growing close to God means you trust that He’s doing the right thing with you.  Learning about myself means both admitting to myself that I’m not as special as I thought I was, and also that I’m more incredible than I think I am.  I’m still working that one out.

But you know what?  A lot of the time, the growing is really awesome.  Growing close to people means having people in your corner, being trusted, being seen.  Growing close to God means finding this beautiful peace that everything could go wrong in your entire life, but that you would still be perfectly loved and perfectly saved.  And learning about myself means realizing that I am becoming something, even when I don’t feel like I am.  It’s quite the adventure.

I hope your summer is going well, too.  I hope you’re learning stuff and watching some TV and reading something good and investing in someone and allowing yourself to be invested in.  I hope you’re a little bit scared and a lot in awe.  And if you’re in Australia or Argentina or someplace where it is winter (because WordPress tells me some of you are down there), I hope your winter is going in a similar fashion.

I’ll write something with a tad more substance soon.  Poems and such.  The words are close – I can sense them coming :)

Which is a good sign.

 

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A Blog About the Blog.

I have never read a book about blogging.  I have never attended a seminar on how to boost your followers or how to make yourself marketable.  I’ve heard that blog posts should be short and to the point, or else no one will read them.

If that’s true, then I don’t see the point in blogging.  Unless, of course, you write for other people and not because you feel the need to write deep inside your bones.

It’s not like that for me.  Yes, I do love it when people read what I write – I always have.  It’s gratifying, to know that someone cares enough about what I have to say that they are willing to read it.  That says a lot about the person (i.e. you).  It makes me feel necessary and appreciated and valued.  It’s a lovely feeling.  And I admit – part of why I started this blog was because I wanted to tell people what I thought.  I wanted my thoughts to have an audience.  It’s rather narcissistic, believing that the stuff I think has any bearing on the rest of the world.

But I also think I must write.  I think God dumps disjointed words into my heart and tells me to make sense of them with the gifts He’s given me, and then to let other people in on the stories too.  If I don’t write, I can’t think.  And if I can’t think, I feel like I’m floating around.  So – this blog is so much bigger for me than a simple search for an audience.  At the end of the day, I wouldn’t care much if no one in the world read what I wrote.  I wouldn’t stop writing if that were the case.

Happily, though, people are reading this.  I’ve had this blog for just over a month, and I have 15 beautiful subscribers, 200-something views, and one click from a search engine.  Isn’t that insane!?  Someone googled “infj” and then THEY CLICKED ON MY BLOG.  And, get this – someone in Australia and someone else in Malaysia have viewed these silly words!  When I saw that, I almost flipped my lid a little bit, until I realized I have like four good friends who live in Australia, and it became less of an insanity.  But I have NO friends in Malaysia UNTIL NOW.

As for those 15 subscribers – yeah, a fair few are related t0 me in some way, and my mom did subscribe with both of her email addresses, so I guess to be fair I only have 14 subscribers.  But many of the email addresses I don’t recognize, and there are bloggers I’ve never met who follow me, and then of course there is everyone who follows me on Twitter, which makes me loathe Twitter a little less.

I feel so blessed and humbled and a little in awe of the fact that you people care about the stuff that is in my head.  And now, I think I have this really important obligation to keep writing.  Perhaps it is narcissistic to write because you want people to pay attention to you, but what if it’s also a little selfish to write only for yourself?  Maybe that’s what the Lord is trying to teach me through this: He gave me the ability to write about His glory and the crazycool things He does in my life, and I have to keep writing about it.  Hide it under a bushel, no.

In light of all this, I’ve developed a little schedule.  Like I said, I’ve never read the blogging books but I’ve heard tell that bloggers, like, plan the stuff they’re gonna write about.  That’s such a foreign concept to me – I’m a very stern believer in “writing from the heart” and “drafting and revision kills creativity” or whatever.  But now I’m totally beginning to realize why it’s important to plan.

1. If I don’t plan, I will keep putting off writing.
2. If I don’t plan, I will write about stupid stuff, and I will waste everyone’s time.
3. If I don’t plan, I will never develop as a writer because I will always write the same kind of stuff.

Hence – The Plan.  I’m still not convinced that I need to make a long-term-blog-schedule.  But I have been thinking about the stuff I want to do short-term, and I want to tell you about it.  Because if I tell you about it, I’ll be more likely to do it.

February is going to be A Month of Poetry.  It’s the most un-catchy name ever, and also, it’s borderline presumptuous (I tend to groan at series-type stuff, unless it’s a book series.  I don’t know why.   I think “doing a series” is too much like a cliche for me and I basically want to kick cliches out of a helicopter and into the Pacific Ocean).  But I have a rationale: I stinking love writing poetry, and I have like four journals full of it, and I don’t write much romancey poetry but people tend to associate poetry with romancey-type stuff, and February is the month of love, so I’m going to post a piece of poetry every Wednesday, starting tomorrow.

Additionally, I’m gonna start Flashback Friday, a name with which I am infinitely more pleased with than “A Month of Poetry.”  Flashback Friday is going to happen for an undetermined length of time, on whatever Fridays I choose (because this is my blog, duh).  The rationale behind Flashback Friday is that I have like forty thousand pieces of non-poetry that I’ve written in the past six-ish years, hidden in all sorts of places (Facebook, notebooks, saved as text drafts, on Microsoft Word, on folded up pieces of paper stuffed into books) and I want to start collecting them all here.  I know that someday the Internet will crash and explode into trillions of broken pixels and then the world will probably melt away into chaos and destruction, but I still want to save all my musings here.  They’re my stories, stories I still want to share.

Finally, I have two new posts cooking up in my brain as we speak.  The first is going to be about the story of Joseph from the Bible.  I’m involved in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (hair and makeup crew), so I’ve been studying the story of Joseph in Genesis, and God has just been blowing my mind.  I want to tell you all about it soon.  I’m thinking within the week.  Second post: a Valentine’s Day musing.  I’m not sure what the actual content is going to be, but based on my 20 years of experience in being me, I’m sure it will have a lot to do with being single and going to a Christian school where everyone gets married all the time and whether or not God wants me to be a nun or something.  It’ll be grand.  I’m shooting for having that up on the 14th, but who knows.  I could get discovered by then, on a plane to Hollywood to star in the next blockbuster franchise.  Crazy things happen.

This post, incidentally, was much longer than I anticipated (because I didn’t have a PLAN), and I was definitely planning on starting a paper tonight, but as we can all tell, that is not going to happen.

Thought of the day: We sang The Doxology in chapel today.  Did you know that song has more verses than that “praise God from whom all blessings flow” verse?  It does.  It was incredible – that is a song I have literally been exposed to since I was an infant.  I’ve sung the words since I could make words (mostly I made up the words until my church got a screen when I was like twelve).  But not until today did I really listen to what I was saying and realize that this song is a worship song.  Just as much as any other song – this is a song of praise, not a song of ritual.  This is a song I can lift my hands to.  How amazing is He?