Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why do we Blog?

Why do we Blog? And who is "we." I supposed it depends on the "group" of Blogger's you would classify yourself in. Let's see - I don't have paid advertising. I don't have giveaways. I don't cook or write fantastic, romantic stories about how Bart and I met. I have a lot of pictures but they're just OK - in technical respects. Definitely not the SwissFrau version of Pioneer Woman.

I started the Blog with the intention of just keeping our family and friends up-to-date on our new life in Switzerland. You know - pictures, some travel stories, how the girls have grown and so on and so forth. What I found was that I had a venue to really share what life was and is like for us. Giving me an opportunity for funny stories, experiences, prayer requests, thoughtful moments and connecting with people across the Internet that I didn't even know.

I think it's also been a small mission ground for me. The sermon today was titled "Practical Atheism" - the idea that one can say one believes in God but in practice shows no sign of belief at all. I found that blogging was one way to keep the "live what you believe" in practice. I don't know that I've changed anyone's world through blogging but I know it's changed me.

I would say I fall into the group of bloggers who are: mothers, christians - or not, travelers, and photo-takers/sharers. Nothing earth-shattering on most days but we enjoy sharing ourselves and reading what others are willing to share. There is a lot we don't share - thank goodness! But for the most part, the trials and joys are all there even when subtly stated. I can't tell you how much a small group of blogging (and in real life!) friends from IA have meant over the years of being in Switzerland. When you take giant leaps, it is so encouraging and meaningful to maintain contact with normalcy. Thank you J, M and S for being normalcy for me on so many days that felt anything but!

Where was I?

A blogging friend, Linds , in England had linked this post from another blogger, Ann, this week. It is not a quick read but it is so worthwhile. It really says so much of what I would express had I the words to do so on why I blog. Why I read other Blogs. Why I will keep it up even when we return to the States.

Ann, the author, puts together so well the idea of women and faith and sharing and using Blog format to do so.

A Facebook status from my friend, S, also resonated along this theme this week. "I don't want to be the one the battles always choose, cause inside I realize that I'm the one confused. I don't know what's worth fighting for or why I have to scream" (Linkin' Park - Breakin the Habit) I think we all have our battles. Some more obvious than others. Some more painful than others.

I'm a bit in love with Switchfoot's Hello Hurricane CD. It wasn't what I expected but the more I listen, the more I listen, the more I...... Well, you get the picture. Their "Mess of Me" reads like a good poem:

"I am my own affliction.
I am my own disease.
There ain't no drug that they can sell.
There ain't no drug to make me well.
There ain't no drug, it's not enough
The sickness is myself.
I've made a mess of me, I want to get back the rest of me.
I've made a mess of me, I want to spend the rest of my life alive.
We lock our souls in cages.
Inside these prison cells.
It's hard to free the ones you love.
When you can't forgive yourself.
I've made a mess of me, I want to reverse this tragedy.
I've made a mess of me, I want to spend the rest of my live alive." (Switchfoot)

Lighthearted lyrics anyone? Where am I going with this? I love the way the lyrics pull out the dark places/feelings/emotions and lay them on the table. But I see a difference between the two: one hasn't found the reason to fight (in defense of Linkin Park - the lyrics do go on to talk about Breakin the Habit - but, still don't get a sense of hope? If I'm wrong, correct me here) while the other wants to live. Not all of us are going through or sharing periods of emotional or physical pain. Some of us are - and sharing it. And before sharing it on a Blog, phone call or FB status - are we sharing it with Jesus? The only one who can really carry our burden for us - even when we don't seem to see it.

Blogging gives us a chance to recognize that we aren't alone. We can share experiences and find out that - yes! someone else has had the same. If they haven't? There are often the best words of encouragement out there.

Romans 12:3 - 8: "3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. "

So - that's why I blog? Why do you?

Final Funny - 3 of us moms are together and the one says "Oh, it's a good thing my husband comes home today because I always stay up way too late when he's gone." "Me Too!" respond myself and the other mom. And here I thought it was my own bad habit. Sharing is good. Not that it gets me anymore sleep - Bart will be in the US this week!


Linds said...

Exactly. It is almost as if Ann has triggered a massive "step back and really think" move, isn't it.Blogging has been a revelation in so many ways, and in a sense, is a way to peel some layers off our own hearts too.

Susan, you have said so perfectly what is on your heart, and I am so glad you are writing, and will continue doing so. I will certainly be reading! We are women, mothers, unremarkable in so many ways, yet all unique. Our lives are a mixture of battles and triumphs and a whole lot of normal old days too. And that is good.

PS I will be back in Ch mid December till about 6 Jan, by the way. This time we WILL find time to get together again!

Olson Family said...

Thank you Linds - for your post and your encouraging words. Yes - we must find the time!

Susan said...

It's funny - I read your blog and I'm just a short train ride away! It's because you are a great writer, and you give me food for thought.

I am blessed to be a consistent reader of "Holy Experience" - it is always time well spent, I agree.

Have a good week :-)

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

Hello Susan! You left a comment over at my place yesterday, and I was so thrilled. Sorry I had not put you in my reader, but I will do so now. I think we got acquainted after my family went to Switzerland in 2008. Anyway, glad to see you again!

Oh, and I'm with you--I don't have advertising on my blog, I don't have a huge following, but I do it for fun. And I DO have fun! :)

Olson Family said...

Thanks Shelley - my blogging time (writing AND reading) has been on and off since beginning of Summer but I'm catching up again. You're right - it IS fun!