On July 03, 2008, I posted my first weblog, not knowing if I would write another one. On July 04th, I wrote another article and thought, “That wasn’t too bad. I think I’ll write one tomorrow.”
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And that is what I did.
For two years, I wrote one article every day.
After two years, I cut back to five articles, Monday through Friday. Today, I write as God illuminates while spending the bulk of my time running the ministry the Lord created from all the work during those early years.
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We have a ministry team that shares the writing load. I also podcast several times a week, run our online school, field questions from our public and private forums, engage donors, equip churches, write books, public speaking, and serve ministry leaders worldwide.
There are other things, like ongoing administration, keeping up with technological changes, social media, and marketing, but you get the idea: it’s not a blog anymore.
In the Beginning
My blogging career began long before blogging was anything like it is today.
During the pre-blogging days, it was called journaling. If you were a girl, it was a diary. If you were a Christian, it was doing devotions.
I had no idea, the day I entered my first journal article, that it would become something I would do for the rest of my life.
My first journal entry was 1994.
I was at our biennial family reunion in North Carolina. Every two years one of the patriarchs (or matriarchs) of the family would share a portion of history about the previous generations in their family line.
That year, one of the patriarchs told the story about his great-great-grandfather who was a soldier for the Confederacy. He shared about his life, which included reading an excerpt from the soldier’s journal.
I was intrigued and mesmerized by what I heard.
As I sat and listened to the short story, I began to muse about how cool it would have been to have a journal from my father. My dad died when I was nineteen years old. Our relationship was hostile, to say the least, and I knew little about him, except for the bad stuff.
I thought it would have been great to be able to sit and read about my dad, things I never knew, things I could pass on to my children.
Then it hit me.
Though I would never be able to read about the life and times of my father, I could write about my life. I could keep a written history for my children. Perchance they ever wanted to know the story God wrote that was my life.
Shortly after the family reunion, I started a personal journal. Each day I wrote one page about my day, life, family, friends, and God.
That was June 1994.
In my attic, there are stacks of journals. Before technology, I wrote in a Franklin Day Planner. It was bulky, but an acceptable precursor to technology.
In 2006, I did the unthinkable. I wrote my last handwritten journal. From that point forward, I have been blogging on various forms of technology. There was a “season of withdrawal” after I gave up the pen and paper. To stop writing in longhand was much harder than I imagined.
From 1994 until this day you would rarely see me without an archival device, whether a Franklin Day Planner, a nice leather-bound journal from Barnes & Noble, computer, laptop, or mobile device. To write a page-a-day for a quarter century, you need time. Typically, I would write during my lunch breaks, nightly devotions, or while waiting for a meeting.
With multiplied thousands of entries, it does not take that much time anymore. Though I write quickly, the process is not quick. I will muse on an idea for days. By the time I sit to write, it takes minutes, but most of the cooking happens in my “muse chamber.”
A Little Anecdote
In 2009, I was reorganizing our attic. I saw the crate that my journals were in and thought it would be good to bring a few down to show my children. They had no idea I was recording my life with God for them.
They were at the dinner table, and I sat a stack of about 14 leather bound journals on the table. They asked me what they were. I told them they were my journals. They then asked, “What is a journal?”
I opened one to March 09, 2006 and read that day’s entry. It was the day Ansa was born. It was a home birth.
My kids were “all in,” as they say. It was the coolest thing ever to recollect a piece of history that meant something to all of us. That is what I thought in 1994 when I heard the story about our family member who was a Civil War veteran.
Writing, Relating, Redeeming
And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. – Mark 14:9
My prayer is that my life will be a sweet offering to God and when my children read the stories, they will see the gospel in me.
Our Heavenly Father inspired and moved particular writers to write about His relationship with humanity. He did this so we could have a better understanding and relationship with Him. Our faith comes through the hearing of God’s Word to us (Romans 10:17).
It never occurred to me in 1994 that I would be writing my thoughts on such a large scale—a global website. For the past few years, you have been looking over my shoulder and have read some of my thoughts about God, life, and others. Many of you have written to express your gratitude and encouragement. Thank you!
I trust you will continue this “journal journey” with me. If you have thoughts or ideas that you would like to see written about, please let me know. It would be a joy to serve you as you look over my shoulder.
Call to Action
My primary reason for this website is to provide my children a massive archive about how I think about God, life, and others. My secondary goal is to serve others. Not everybody is wired to write. It’s just one way to love God and others; it’s not the only way.
If you have a desire to write, I’d love to help you get started. Let me know how I can serve you.
Also published on Medium.