Thursday, November 19, 2009

get the party started.

(I had an entire post planned for my first entry, but then I started this conversation which follows, and realized it was long enough to keep you occupied for a while.  Don't worry, that post will come soon.  This one is about why I'm blogging, and how much I love you for reading it.)

Well, I guess it's about time that I've broken into this whole blogging thing.  I've been leaning in this direction for a while now--I guess I should've seen it coming.  Let me tell you about where I am right now, and how I got here.

A few years ago, I began journaling.  In the past I had journaled out a few thoughts and prayers, here or there--mostly the kind of things that were really meaningful or that I didn't want to ever forget.  You know those times you get back from summer camp, and fill out the journal they gave you to keep?  That's what I'm talking about. Although those recollections were only few and far between, I'm really sad to say that I've lost most of them over the years. 

There is one little notebook I still have in which I took the time to write a few entries (no more than five), spanning from the summer I graduated high school, through the summer after my freshman year.  These few lines of my life are really dear to me.  It reminds me of a specific mood, struggle, or joy which I would've otherwise forgotten.  Right now I'm not going to get into those specific entries, but maybe I'll post them one day.  Hah, I think that'd be pretty fun.

The journal, on the other hand--the real deal, the actual thing I was referring to--that's a different story.  For three years now, it has hardly seen a break.  Naturally, I lean on it more during some times of my life than during others, but I'm pretty sure that it's here for the long haul, regardless of the seasons of use it sees.  Let me tell you a little about it.

It was the middle of my sophomore year of college, and a lot of things were going on in my life.  I was beginning to take my faith a lot more seriously, and looking at the Bible and Jesus' words as something that really permeate into everything that I am.  Since I came to my faith in the tenth grade, it had never really been an extracurricular, but this just seemed like it was a lot more serious for some reason.  Jesus was really taking back a lot of the compartments of my life that I had tried to control for the longest time, and it was a really exciting, painful process of growth and maturity.  I felt like I had been missing out on so much truth, and was living the right way for the first time.  Not to mention, I had just started dating a this girl that was rocking my world.  I had more than enough to keep my mind busy when I fell asleep each night.

It was through conversations with a good friend of mine during this time that I saw the practicality of keeping a regular journal.  This guy was a huge role model and encouragement to me, and to see him relying on that time each day to pray and process life was such an curious thing. (On a side note, he still is a huge encouragement to me, probably more than he knows.  Another day I'll tell you about a conversation we had during our junior year, that has changed my life pretty significantly.)  He led me, whether by example or direct discussion, to try it out for myself.

So I started journaling.  And it worked!  Before, I couldn't have imagined the power of journaling--of taking the time to look at my life through such an honest, intimate lens, and on a pretty regular basis.  To be able to look back on those conversations, and to see how far I've come...what a blessing.  There are times that I get almost embarassed to look back at those journal entries, for the sake of my nineteen-year-old thoughts and prayers.  There are others when I read again and praise the Lord for the great, mighty thing He has been doing in my life.  Many of those times I was so unaware of His hand in my life, that when I re-read an entry and finally realize where He has brought me, I'll journal again about the incredible life I've found in Him.  Sometimes, I read back and want to cry for the struggles I've seen, and questions that remain unanswered.

With the advent of twitter, I've seen a little bit of what it's like to share life with you on a more public scale.  Sometimes I can get pretty serious on there, and sometimes it's just sharing something funny that happened.  Sometimes I'll tweet my favorite Avett Brother's line that I'm jamming to, and sometimes it's a passage of scripture or a worship lyric that the Lord is using to speak to my heart.  Either way, it's getting to where 140 characters just isn't cutting it anymore (as if you couldn't tell, for those of you that have read this far).

I stumbled upon the blog of a good friend of my a few weeks ago, and it was one of the most exciting things I had found in a long time.  I hadn't known her for very long, but it was really special to read the things she had posted.  For me it was like the half of a really good conversation where I got to do the listening.  The only difference is that I got to hear this whole conversation as it took place over the course of the past few months and years--long before I ever met her.  I let her know how much it meant to me, and I thought that would be the end of it, but I haven't been able to shake this feeling.  I even created this blog about two weeks ago, but it has been a weird process of self-evaluation that has brought me to this first post.  I really wanted to make sure that my motives weren't self-seeking or boastful, because lately I've been confronted with how often that is the case for me.  It happened just two days ago, that I had such a good afternoon of self-reflection and revelation, that I realized I really wanted to share it.

And now, I want to invite you into this.  Wherever you are right now, in whatever place our relationship is, I want to thank you simply for being here right now.  For me, this is the part of a conversation where I just get to lay it out there on the table, and you get to listen.  If you know me fairly well, you'll know that I'm a really big talker, and how much it helps me to be able to process things outwardly with those around me.  As good as this is for me to just put my life out there, it's also good to get a little bit of dialogue sometimes.  So, if you ever read this and it strikes you in a certain way--for better or worse--I'd love for you to tell me.  That would really make my day.

A lot of the things in here will be the joys of my life, and some will be those things that I'm having a hard time shouldering alone.  In both cases I'll probably spend some time praying to the Lord who's over everything in my life.  If you're in a place of prayer in your life, I'd love for you to take a second to pray with me as you read these things.  Anytime you want the same in your life, let me know, and I'd really love to know how I can pray for you or those close to you.

I think that's all for now--I'm really look forward to this.  Let's get the party started.