May 22, 2012

Behind the Scenes

I'm raising the curtain on the blog today, inviting you to see what goes on behind the scenes. Now, don't get too excited. I'm afraid it's a little like raising the curtain on the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy and her friends experienced a huge letdown. The Wizard, all wise and powerful sounding, appeared just as frightened, if not more, than the scarecrow or the cowardly lion.

I'm raising the curtain, first, because I want to say thank you. For as long as I can remember, I've had a nagging urge in my heart to write. I muted that urge for many years with my own fear and insecurities until, finally, I listened. Like a colt getting her legs, I wrote. The fear and insecurities didn't go away (still haven't), but I discovered fairly quickly that I loved writing. When I wrote, I realized, I felt like I was worshipping God, like He implanted this in me. I decided that, fear or no fear, readers or no readers, I would forge ahead.

And then (slowly), there were readers. That's you. Some of you are fairly new, having come over from the Desiring God blog. To you I say: Welcome! To all of you I say: Thank you for reading and responding to what I write. Each time one of you connects with something that I'm thinking, wrestling with, or writing out, I glimpse a little of God's grace in my life. As a reader, you are a blessing to me. Thank you. I simply cannot say it enough.

At times, however, I have wrestled with this pursuit. I have debated with myself whether this is a self-indulgent endeavor, probably because I enjoy it so much. In response, the Lord has shown me the fine line between using my gifts for my own purposes and using them for His purposes. He has reminded me of the weight of words and how I must be at His disposal. I must never present myself as having all the answers, and I must never write something that I myself am not living. I must receive grace, and I must speak it. And I must always be willing to lay it aside, if that's what He asks.

In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis speaks to the pursuit of knowledge and beauty, which I equated with writing:
An appetite for these things exists in the human mind, and God makes no appetite in vain. We can therefore pursue knowledge as such, and beauty as such, in the sure confidence that by so doing we are either advancing to the vision of God ourselves or indirectly helping others to do so.
I know what you're thinking: how does all this rambling on about writing take me behind the scenes of the blog? Because this is what I want my heart to be about and what I want this blog to reflect. I write because it helps me process and analyze what God is doing in my own life. If it indirectly encourages others--you--then God's grace is at work.

I'm raising the curtain, too, because this is a transition point. Yesterday, I submitted my manuscript, tentatively entitled, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Heart. I'm thrilled and a bit relieved to have reached this point in the publishing process. I can't wait to share more about the book in the next few months! My hope is that it will bless church planting wives as they pour out their lives for others. If that's you, please stay tuned.

This is also a transition point because summer is coming quickly, which means my children will be out of school, and I will have limited writing time. Ideally, this is where I would tell you what to expect from the blog, maybe even give you a bullet pointed list of upcoming blog posts. I don't have that to offer because, frankly, I'm a bit tired from crossing yesterday's marathon finish line. However, I'd love to hear from you: what are topics, questions, or ideas you'd like to see on the blog this summer? 

While I have you here, behind the scenes, I want to reiterate how thankful I am that you're here and also how thankful I am that you are doing what you're doing, where you're doing it. I'm so grateful for like-minded women like you, who are living and leading from grace all over the world.