When I first started this blog it was only because I had a story I needed to tell. Our poor friends and family had little idea about what was going on with us. As a fundamentally social creature who walks the fine line between introvert and extrovert, I wanted a designated place to share this new adventure with the people we know. If anyone else was interested in our escapades, that was fine with me. Perhaps we could offer some inspiration to others. Maybe we could let people know about this gem of a place that is so often overlooked. Maybe in doing the Lord's work to make our lives better, we could make another person's life better, too.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
An enormous part of this adventure, the adventure of our entire marriage in fact, is the faith that my husband and I share. The one we share with our children. The one we attempt to cultivate and to live. It is what brought us into our lifelong union with each other and what has brought us through our bevy of ups and downs. It is an inextricable part of this very journey and so it easily became, or really always was, a natural part of this blog. Reflecting on this new phase of our life helped me to appreciate my faith more deeply.
to be understood as to understand;
But then something happened. Instead of just telling our story, I got caught up in blogging. Being a blogger. Until February, I didn't even know there was any such thing as a "blogging community". Until March, I had never heard of a "blog hop" or a "link-up". But because I am a rule lover and a people pleaser, the minute I discovered them, I decided I had to start following the rules and pleasing the people. What if I had been alienating people? What if someone was getting offended? What if people stopped liking me because I wasn't doing it right?
to be loved as to love;
Well, it's been a few months since I started doing it right and now everything feels very wrong. On the one hand, I have 'met' a truly amazing group of people. I've discovered wonderful writing and incredible faith. I've learned new things and looked at things in a different light. I've come to appreciate my considerate husband and helpful children even more. On the other hand, I feel paralyzed. The whole idea of rules and guidelines and statistics and having a blog with broad appeal has turned what was an exciting, cathartic activity into something that feels forced and inauthentic. As a sweet friend has so astutely observed, it's as if I've begun to blog out of fear instead of hope and trust, which goes against my very philosophy of life.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
At the same time as I was mulling these myriad elements, I was also meditating on yesterday's Gospel reading from Matthew:
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
I sure have been feeling labored and burdened, and a little rest seems exactly what I need. But how? How did it really apply to me practically in this exact circumstance? I prayed all day. And then in the evening I read this post by my friend Allison and it all became clear. She and I had been meditating on the exact same passage and although we had come to totally different realizations based on our different needs in life, her post helped me to solidify what I already knew. I had been carrying the yoke of a thousand different people. I had been trying to learn from them. And that yoke was not easy. That burden was not light.
I am ready to take back that easy yoke. His light burden. It is our birthright as children of God to travel through life without paralyzing confusion. We should not feel pulled in a hundred directions. There is only one direction: toward Him. There is just one yoke and one burden and it is neither heavy nor hard. I just have to keep my eye on the prize.
And it is in dying that we are born to
For the full text of the prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, click here