A Blogger’s Dilemma

Sorry for being a blog no-show for the past few days.  Life is good, great actually, in that, “SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE!” sort of way.  I’m  looking for excuses to go outside, rather than to hibernate indoors:)

THIS DOG is progressing miraculously.  This weekend, I took her up to see my parents.  Because she sheds, I keep her in their kitchen when we’re there.  At one point, I had to go down to the basement to get something.  I told Bergie, “Stay,” in the firm voice (along with a random palm gesture I picked up somewhere along the way that looks like I’m giving her a high-five).  I turned around, went downstairs, and waited to hear the pitter-patter of giant paws following me.  Nothing. Then I came back upstairs and there was Bergie, standing at the edge of the kitchen, right where I’d left her!  “Good girl!” I exclaimed with glee, rubbing the scruff on her neck.  “You look surprised,” my Mom said. “Didn’t you train her to do that?”  “Well, yes,” I said,  “but I never dreamed it would work!”

Miracles happen :)

Other than that, life is not all that noteworthy. I have a bunch of GREAT summer reads to tell you about, along with thoughts on the two things that I’ve been researching for the past few weeks: Dog training, and prayer (as you can imagine, the two are interrelated ;) ) I hope to share all that with you here on the blog in the next day or so.

But to be completely honest, I’ve been feeling logy about blogging lately.  I miss what it used to be, before everyone was trying to build a platform and counting page hits like currency.  I miss going around and “saying hello” to my blog friends, and how having 16 comments on a post you wrote was a big deal–not because it meant you were popular, but because it meant that your internet friends were having a conversation prompted by something you wrote. It was like getting together with unique, interesting people over coffee every day, trading ideas quickly and wishing each other well in the midst of our everyday work. In all those days of reading each other’s blogs and offering our two-cents, we built relationships. In other words, it was community, rather than commerce.  It was pretty cool.

Blogging is not really like that anymore. We socialize on Facebook & Twitter. Blogging a business, now, a way of pitching yourself to the world as THIS, THAT, or SOMETHING ELSE. It’s a bit like running your own magazine.

Given this shift, I’m not always sure what to write here. I’ve been encouraged to “Offer the Christian position” on various issues that come up. Other people have suggested I put more focus on memoir: books you might read, how to write your own. Or I could take a stance, posting daily about an issue I care about passionately to try and stir up other people to care and act. I’ve done all of these things. But I’ve resisted each of these as a defining raison d’être for my blog.  I don’t want to be a Christian position writer, or an all-the-time writing coach, or a lobbyist.  I like the flexibility of writing about whatever is going on at the moment.

Sure, I have big thoughts about faith and relationships and what is possible with God, but I also adore small things like dog antics and finding really comfortable slippers at a good price. It’s the little stuff that connects us. I think the combination, when I pull it off, shows the truth: that I’m a lot like you, only different.

Keep Calm and Blog OnI think this might have been the genesis of blogging, why it took off. If you wrote a banner across most social media, it might read, “A Lot Like You, Only Different.” The first part connects us, the second part keeps things interesting. Maybe that’s the theme I’m looking for here.  I’ll try to keep it in mind the next time I’m at a loss for what to post.  Maybe there’s a way for blogging to be more than a diary , less than an enterprise.

That’s my hope :)