Beginning again

It's been something like a year and a half since I last posted on this blog. Every now and then I'd think about returning and picking up where I left off,'s been so long. Too long, maybe. My first thought was always something along the lines of, "But we're not living in Europe anymore. I'm not going to write about going to BiLo" --though let me interject here and say there are probably some interesting things to write about that happen in any given shopping experience at that particular chain store-- "so I won't write at all."

In other words, my "normal," average, American life is, well, kind of boring, so I won't write about any of it. Period.

But that thought always bothered me, because even though something simple like going to the grocery store is much more obvious blogging material abroad, that doesn't qualify my life as unworthy of reflection and careful thought put down in words. I knew this, and I know it still, and it brings to mind the fact that my sense of the beautiful in the mundane and ordinary isn't exactly something I've been practicing.

Oh, but I want to practice it. Writing helps me to remember to notice the lovely and simple and beautiful in my day-to-day, and the noticing helps me to remember to write. It's this beautiful cycle that I vaguely remember but haven't touched in a long time. There's something gentle and soothing about it that helps me to connect the dots of my faith and my life, but I'm out of practice.

There's another issue that always popped up in my mind when thinking about returning to blogging, too: audience.

There are a lot of words in the world, and we are bombarded with information from so many different sources every day. Who am I to think that anyone wants to read my words, or even has time to? Words and images are screaming for our attention every time we open our inboxes, our phones/iPads/tablets, etc. Don't even get me started on how overwhelming Facebook is these days, with information constantly updating ("someone is typing a comment") and constant notifications (yes, I know I can manage my settings) and "your friend commented on so-and-so's photos" (but why? why do I see this when I'm not friends with so-and-so?!?). My words are pixels in the seemly endless abyss of words, words, words on the Internet.

I used to think that blogging wasn't really worth it if it didn't result in lots of comments, follows, and an audience that would tell me I was a good writer, or affirm the choices I was making, or applaud the places I had been. Now I see things differently. I know that it's ok to grow small, and that it's ok to be small. My sphere of influence may be small now, or it may always be that way. I just need a place to write about the books I'm reading, the art I'm making, and how I am growing to understand who God is and what He is doing in my life better. Maybe in the future my children and my children's children will look back and see something of a legacy in the words that point out time and time again (oh, how I hope they do!) that God has been faithful and He will be again. I need a place to declare my anthem, to find my voice, and to embrace my small-ness in a bigger-is-better world. I could do this in a journal (and sometimes I do, especially for very personal things), but I find this is a fun way to connect with other writer-friends and to align words and images in one place.

Here's to practicing gratefulness and celebrating the beautiful in the mundane, to thinking and writing, even when it's hard, and even when life doesn't seem exciting. My guess is, somewhere beneath the surface or right in front of my face, there's something worth pondering instead of dismissing. Here's to smallness and obscurity, all the while being known by a great God. Here's to fall.

Here's to beginning again.