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notable quotable

The years teach much which the days never knew.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


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A blogger’s loss & gain

teapotcup

H
ardly a week goes by that I don’t think (or mutter aloud) that this or that blog or twitter account will have a crash.  In just a matter of time there will be an incident or an avalanche of incidents that will take a blogger to an intersection in her life where she’ll be broadsided some Thursday afternoon and she’ll sit on the floor, head in her hands, crying out to God for His mercy.  But for now, she doesn’t  ask for help because she doesn’t know she needs it.  Yet.

Such was the case for me… going to bed most every night regretting all the stuff that didn’t get done that day… only to wake the next morning, hurrying to get enough stuff done to be able to log on, retrieve the messages, hurriedly scan blogs of interest, personally regretting lacking the coolest format and relevant blog topics, hurriedly editing the latest photos for a new layout and then opening the blog “new post” page to start another blog entry.

With new eyes, I see the new styles and formats year after year.  Emails flood my  inbox regarding new programs, site design software, search engine optimization, methods for attracting and increasing traffic, comments, customers, digital image editing, suggestions for link sharing and more.  As I see these things for the few seconds they remain on the screen before they’re deleted, I think of all my years of temptation to be and do more — and now the young mothers who desperately long to have a successful marriage and pinterested motherhood, well educated home-schooled children, pinteresting organized homes and pinterest-perfect meals served on lovely tables in beautiful homes just like the pictures in the best blogs.  I see the ideas, tutorials, instructional and encouragement blogs and I sincerely think it’s amazing how they’ve exploded exponentially over the last few years.  The pictures almost have smell-o-vision and the images seem to be increasingly bigger, better, more than homemaking’s ever been.  All, seemingly effortlessly accomplished.  While blogging.

And for a while the mothers will be able to pull it off…. blogging and living.  Living and blogging. Checking the other blogs.  Sharing links and ideas.  Guest posting. Guest hosting.  I wish I could convey that a mama on the computer doesn’t realize — really does not realize — how much time is passing and what’s being missed and what’s NOT being done in the passage of time.  I wish I could explain that the number of times a mama says Justa sec… Justa sec… only increases.  I wish I could convey just what happens with each “Justa sec” that’s uttered.  

What’s really happening is not what it seems like at the time to the mama.
  What it seems like at the time to the mama is that she really will hop up and play, or hop up and read that book, that she really will push that swing, see that funny face, play that game.   But what’s really happening, more often than not, is that mindless commands are given, mindless affirmations are made, and in Justa sec, Justa sec… a child (or two or seven) is walking away.  A child (or two or five) is ignored or put off or forgotten.  Then time is too short for that story, that game, that swing, that funny face, that trip to the library.  The hours pass into days, the days pass into months and the months pass into years.  And all those Justa sec’s net nothing — nothing but a little more precious time online.  And then the weary mama sinks down defeated… because at the end of that “Justa sec” is dinner, a spilled cup of milk, laundry, the phone or the door or the diaper or the dentist – fifteen minutes late.  The tensions build, the frustrations increase and troubles start to flow like a river.

And then one day the crash happens.  It may be a literal computer hard-drive crash or a website crash. It may be a failed or broken or damaged relationship.  But a crash happens and the mama gets a wake-up call.  She probably won’t realize in the moment, but then, the dawning of reality crashes over her like a tsunami that precious moments were missed and forever lost.

And the impact of the reality hits her as she crumbles on the kitchen floor.  She gasps to breathe as she begins to catch a glimpse of what’s happened in the space of fifty thousand Justa sec’s.   She’s leveled as she begins to realize the utter waste that consumed her days… that time to push the swing is past. Forever. In the theatre of her mind she recounts all the things forever gone, the pictures she never coloured with the littles,  the funny things she didn’t even realize she missed… that the children stopped asking her to come and see, come and read, come and play… they knew that Justa sec never came.  Justa sec never comes.  Apologies would not make up for all that was lost.  Sorrow wouldn’t restore the days and months that turned into years.  Regret would not rewind the clock.

And in a puddle of tears and a heap of sorrow, she’s pretty sure she’ll never outlive these hard days — these very hard days of reckoning.  But she will.  God in His mercy will answer her cries.  And He will tenderly cover her sorrows.  He can restore what the locusts have eaten.  A blogger’s loss may be another’s gain.

This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long.

 

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3 comments to A blogger’s loss & gain

  • You ladies are sharing words of extreme wisdom and such truth. I don’t how they do it. The blogs of young moms flourish and grow, but at what cost?

  • Thank you for writing, Lori; and you’re so right about the mental and emotional energy poured into a blog. I think the pressures on young mothers are staggering compared to “pressures” on previous generations—the pressure to do, be, have, display, and know more and all the while: keeping track of everyone else’s pings, rings and dings.

    I wish I could convey my story to others for the purpose of by whatever means, redeeming someone else’s. I wish I could convey to the young mothers (and agreeing with your comments) that the span of childbearing and their children’s childhood is extremely brief in the long run and so very much is missed by a distracted mother… time and events that can never ever be retrieved. I thought I had a handle on it all. And did not.

    My first wake-up call to this was over ten years ago and then, very dramatically, five years ago. In the meantime, I’ve had to continually revisit my resolutions regarding blogging/website maintenance/online time. Thus, my AChristianHome website is sort of an antiquated albatross and this blogsite is only occasionally in need of updating. I love to write—and there’s always a strong pull for me to do so—but I have to continually remind myself where I’ve been, what’s happened in the past and guard against repeating and reaping the unintended negative consequences.

    Thanks for writing. —ps

  • I’ve wondered about young wives and mothers having blogs. I’m an older an women and all my children are gone but writing for a blog takes a lot of mental and emotional energy which I think young mothers need to be giving to their families since the children grow up so fast.

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.