The story of a blog

Over lettuce wraps and spring rolls, I posed December’s most pressing question to my guys: Do I renew my domain or not?

My question was met with the sort of indifference reserved for queries with ridiculously obvious answers. Why wouldn’t I renew? Why indeed?

Because I don’t blog, I don’t write, and even when I think maybe I want to I still don’t.

The bottom line: I have nothing to say.

Write about us, one of my boys suggested, write about how we don’t want anything for Christmas because we’re so content and stuff, you can write about that.

Which may or may not have been the topic of the conversation just prior.

It’s true, they are, so content it’s frustrating when you really want to buy them something not just for Christmas but for their birthdays too, both of which fall in December, and both of them unable to come up with anything resembling a wish list.

I’m not sure I want to revive my blog with an humble brag about the contentment of my children, but I didn’t tell them that. Instead, I stammered out some sort of excuse about how blogging used to be a big conversation and a bunch of friends hanging out and now I don’t know what it is anymore…but I’ve said all that and more a hundred times over and still I don’t write.

I recently read an article about the benefits of blogging. Ok, so I may have googled something like “why should I blog,” suggestions by my children notwithstanding, of course.

Anyway, the article highlights various benefits to blogging, some of which I found appealing and inspiring, some not so much. For instance, I seriously doubt I will ever make any money in this hobby though it’s certainly a nice idea and one I would not be opposed to. 🙂

I didn’t really need the article to tell me that blogging/writing makes me a better thinker or that it encourages interaction with new people; I’ve experienced both firsthand. In fact, nearly all of the article’s points have proven true in my past life as a regular and enthusiastic blogger. Except the making money part.

So what happened? I don’t know, really. I’d like to blame the explosion of Facebook and Twitter and the movement of online conversation from blogs to those platforms. But that doesn’t explain my personal reticence here in my space. Somewhere along the way I grew self-conscious and I decided to keep quiet.

Not too long ago my husband and I were having lunch with a couple who was visiting our church. We asked, as we generally do, how they came to find us. We’re always genuinely curious; we’re a small church without the bells and whistles that tend to draw anyone in who doesn’t already have a connection of some sort with or invitation from someone in our congregation.

They described, of all things, a Facebook post written by my pastor that someone in their timeline had shared. Challenged by his thoughts, they decided to check us out.

I love that. Behold the potential eternal ramifications of the Facebook status! What we write / post / tweet can carry kingdom influence! Not that they deciding to visit our church is some kind of notch in our belt, that’s not what I’m saying at all. But in their coming to see us on a Sunday morning, because of something someone wrote online, that encourages me as much as any list of blogging benefits.

So maybe I will renew. I have nine days to decide. Either way, I can certainly still blog! When and if I write anything here, I don’t aspire to the sort of inspired writing that will change your life. It’s good to know one’s limitations after all! But I would like what I offer here, however humble, however rare, to encourage and to challenge and maybe point us both, reader and writer, to Jesus as our only hope.

Advertisements

More thoughts on blogging in the middle years

Well. It seems I struck a chord with my post on blogging in the middle years and while I haven’t been able to keep up with all the conversations it spawned, I am grateful I do not lament alone.

Here are some of the follow up posts I do know about and if I have overlooked any, please let me know and I will be sure to include them here.

Aimee Byrd, Where are the Mature Women Writers? and Platform, Blogs, and Why We Write

Persis, What are the Expectations of Women’s Ministry?

Deb Welch, The Blogging Chronicles, My Take On Where the Mature Bloggers Went

I am thankful for the wise input of these women and the others of you who commented on Facebook and Twitter and here at the blog. You’ve all given me much to think about and, as I said, I am grateful that I am not alone in asking these questions.

Speaking of comments, my sweet friend Jessalyn posted my favorite. Actually my two favorite. You’ll have to click over to the post and read them to see why. 🙂

As I continue to think on the void of mature women’s voices in blogs and books and social media, I agree with what most of us have concluded: it’s complicated. There are, I think, certain mitigating factors of this stage of life that contribute to our reticence…

Our circumstances. As I attempted to highlight in my post, a lot of us are finding ourselves in situations and struggles for which we are totally unprepared and inadequate. Life is just hard, whether we are dealing with aging parents or rebellious teenagers. Along with these new challenges comes new uncertainty of what is appropriate to share in terms of the privacy both of our situation and those we love. And we are busy. We’ve transitioned out of the mommy years and our time is less our own. Many of us have returned to work full time and no longer have the freedom to write and comment.

The medium. Those of us who began blogging ten years ago or more fondly recall when blogs were places of conversation and community. As Twitter and Facebook have taken over the community aspect, blogs have become less dialogue and more monologue. Blogging itself has become more professionalized both in terms of monetization and publication and thus increasingly intimidating and isolating.

The industry. Some of you mentioned other possible reasons; for instance, how the publishing market seems to be geared toward younger women. Youth does sell, that is true. Maybe I’m naïve but I’m not certain publishers are actively discriminating against the older woman in favor of the younger. I just think there are a greater number of younger women writing.

“Women’s ministry.” I do agree that another possible factor may be how women’s ministry has been modeled in the local church over the past couple of decades, particularly in churches that hold to a complementarian position in terms of women’s roles in the church. As I’ve observed before, in a small complementarian church often the only places open for a woman to serve is in the nursery and children’s ministry. It’s not discrimination against the woman teacher; it’s the need and size of the church defining her opportunities. In that scenario it is difficult for a woman’s active pursuit of theological training to be modeled. Not impossible, but difficult. Added to this is the prevalence of video based studies forming the sum of theological dialogue among women. I’ve talked to many women who think they have nothing to offer the conversation because they don’t fit the mold of the dynamic, skilled orator.

Pushback against the egalitarian position has also resulted in a lack of investment in a strong theological foundation for women which in turn leads to less women writing and talking of theological matters. I once read an article, years ago, that advocated all Biblical instruction for women be taught through Titus 2. As if that were the only passage of Scripture relevant and necessary for the woman of God!

As I said, it’s complicated. We could offer up reason after reason and personal story after personal story—and I would seriously love to hear your story if you’d share it!—but my hope is not that we would merely have forum to complain and commiserate but that as we reason through our silence, we would find our voice. How I hope more women will be thinking and talking–and yes, writing–about theology and real life! Young or old, I pray that we will all use whatever sphere of influence the Lord grants us to joyfully assert the hope we have in Christ.

So many of use are eager for more mature voices! I love that. Maybe more of us will blog; maybe some of us will write a book; maybe there will be more honest, deep conversations between friends and across generations. You have a voice. You have a story. Go. Tell. Speak. We want to hear from you!

Writing from the middle years. Or, not.

The summer before this last, I attended The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference in Orlando. It was reported then that half the conference attendees were under the age of 40. In my own group of real life friends who made the trip together, of the four of us I was the only one above that age marker. Not only that but of the authors and bloggers I had the privilege to meet in real life there at the conference, all appeared to me younger than their profile pics might indicate. In fact I finally admitted as much to my friend and fellow blogger Staci, exclaiming “Everyone is so young! They all look so much younger than they do online! Wait, it’s the same for me too, right!??!?”

She said so but then again she is my friend and she loves me and thus she may be somewhat prejudiced or at the very least unwilling to hurt my vanity.

My vanity and youthful (or, not) appearance aside, I’ve observed that much that is currently being written to and for and by women seems to be written by the younger generation, those under that 40 year marker. My experience at the conference bore that out as I sought to get a book signed as a gift. “She’s adorable, isn’t she?” my friends and I remarked as the author walked away. And she is. And young. Young and adorable she may be but she is also serious about her craft and using it for kingdom work.

I am excited. I love that there is a generation of young women the Lord is using to reach the world with their words. I applaud their efforts, I seek their wisdom, I buy their books. I have such respect for these young thinkers and theologians, young women earnest about their faith, hungry for the Word, passionate about reaching the world for Christ.

My desire is for women to know and love the Word of God, that knowledge and affection fueling a knowledge and affection for the Lord God Himself. I see that in these young women, in their words, in their blogs, in their determination to spend a weekend in Florida to attend a conference about the gospel.

That being said, I feel keenly the void of the older voices among them. Where are those of us writing from the middle and late years or from grandmotherhood? Be it books, blogs, or tweets, it seems to me we are underrepresented in the world of words and ideas.

Awhile back blogger Tim Challies observed there are more and more women neglecting and even abandoning their blogs (present company included, ahem). I think of his comment often and I wonder if the real question may be where are the older, more “mature” women bloggers?

Tim published a follow up post in which three women offered their explanations for the falling number of women bloggers. Interestingly, all were of the younger set.

I have one friend who recently had her mother to move in with her and her husband and daughter. She purchased a hospital bed as well as renovated a bathroom in order to be able to care for her mom. I have another friend enduring the heartache of a rebellious son, another who hasn’t spoken to her daughter in months. One friend suffers ongoing health problems, nothing life threatening, but the kind of difficulty that is both annoying and debilitating in its own way. Another friend is looking for a job for the first time in many years in order to help with college expenses for her child. Just last week I met a woman whose family has sold everything they own to pay for their son’s drug rehabilitation program.

I offer their examples to say this: a lot of us aren’t writing not because we don’t have anything to say but because we can’t say what we have to say. Not on a public forum. It’s one thing for a mommy blogger to write a post about a two year old’s tantrum at the grocery store; it’s another thing entirely when it’s the rebellion of your twenty something year old, not to mention the heartache and confusion therein.

So to my young writer friends: please, keep writing! Use your words and your platform for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, yes and amen. As you do so, do not forget the wisdom or experience of the older woman in your life. Maybe she isn’t on Twitter but she may be in your church or your Bible study. Seek her out and be her friend. She needs you and you need her.

To my sisters in the middle and late stages of life: let’s support our younger sisters! And as the Lord may grant us freedom and grace, yes and words, let’s use our voices to fill this void with encouragement and edification. We are not alone in this journey, no matter how heavy our burden or unique our circumstance. Whether our conversation happens online or in real life, we can speak up and speak out in friendship and fellowship.

Thoughts

I once thought thoughts. You know, deep and meaningful thoughts, thoughts I pondered and wrestled with and deliberated over and contemplated and, well, thought and sometimes wrote about, sometimes not.

“I don’t think stuff anymore,” I told my husband awhile back. He assured me that I did, in fact, think, and think loads of stuff, just maybe it’s the stuff and the kind of thinking that’s changed. Not necessarily less than, just different.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe it’s life here in the middle years with nearly grown children. Maybe my boys finally did rob me of all coherent thought. I suspected they might, from way back when they first entered my life and heart and I was so overwhelmed with love and responsibility that my thoughts merely stammered even then.

Of course sometimes I think perhaps it’s social media–Twitter and Facebook et al–making me dumber. All those people thinking stuff, amazing stuff, and filling my feed with their amazing thoughts expressed in beautiful prose and engaging commentary and, well, it occurs to me maybe they’ve already thought all the thoughts I might think and thus there’s no need for me to ponder or wrestle or contemplate. Where I once foraged for truth and understanding, here it is as easily accessed as the swipe of my thumb on my smart phone. I can just think their thoughts after them. Or not think at all.

Which is a real temptation, to piggyback on or merely observe another’s force of conviction. I remember my early days of blogging, you know, back when I thought thoughts, and part of the joy of the medium then was the sheer freedom of thoughtful expression. We all thought and wrote and commented and engaged. I miss those days of blogging but I think I miss the thinking the most. Like many of the young mommy bloggers of today, I had pat answers and firm convictions about almost anything and I liked to tell you about it.

Not anymore.

My husband is correct; it’s not that I don’t think. It’s that the thinking is different, now weighted with the extra baggage of doubt. Not that I doubt what I believe so much, I do not. Rather, it’s the sort of doubt that wonders over the journey and questions the objective. This is who I am? Where do we go from here? Who will I be?

These are the questions of the middle years, I think, questions of identity and regret and vocation and transition, and, if truth be told, they do not lend themselves to a blog post full of cheery certainty.

I once thought thoughts of fierce and confident opinion and sometimes I miss that. I miss writing them out as part of our ongoing faith conversation here in this space. Though I find myself in a different stage of life with different struggles–and there are joys too, let’s not forget that–I do know this: my hope is secure in Christ. As murky as life may seem today, I need not despair. I know whom I have believed and, glory to God, He is able.

Let’s be real

The blog posts and the Twitter feed and the Facebook timeline, while I strive to be as authentic as possible, they are not the sum of who I am. Neither are yours. The virtual life is the virtual life, important, perhaps, edifying, to be sure, fun, of course.

But it is not real life.

My real life has real people in it…

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary.

That’ll blog

So I actually set the timer yesterday and wrote for five minutes from the prompt given at the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes link up….but never published. It wasn’t fear keeping me from pulling the trigger, I confessed to Leslie, who is doing her own 31 day series on geocaching (Did you even know there’s such a thing?). I think it’s more the question of thirty one days of free writes? Sounds easy enough but would it get tedious for you the reader and me the author?

Maybe I need a better topic, one I am more confident of my ability to write about. This was the subject of mine and Leslie’s email conversation a few weeks ago. We both want to write and write more consistently; here is a great opportunity; now what do we write about? Leslie finally settled on geocaching, a fantastic and fascinating topic. Me, I’m (obviously) floundering.

Thirty one days of favorite lipsticks? Thirty one days of favorite novels? Thirty one days of boring? It’s a small and ordinary life I lead, as I’ve confessed many a time, sometimes in joy, sometimes in humility, sometimes in the realization that ordinary can also mean boring.

Silliness and topic suggestions aside, I think, really, deep down, it’s the idea of announcing and thus committing myself that gives me pause. I know myself. Even more so, I know myself as a blogger. Have I ever blogged for 31 days in a row?

I suppose it’s the legalist in me that tends to despise inconsistency both in myself and others. I hate it when I can’t live up to the standard, whatever that standard may be. This is why I rarely read parenting books; they subject my inconsistencies and insufficiencies to the glare of a parenting standard I could never live up to and then I hate myself.

In all my despising, of course, I am forgetting grace. There is grace for the inadequate mom, yes and amen, and there is grace too for the inconsistent 31-day blogger. Legalists, even recovering ones, overlook grace in their exaltation of the ideal. I’ve told you before about me reading a book about grace years ago and when I got to the end of the book, I closed the final page and said to myself “That can’t be right.”

Grace isn’t right. Grace is, above all things, unfair. It is the ultimate inconsistency! In grace I do not get what I do deserve and get instead what I do not. Grace in salvation is more than forgiveness of sin, though, praise God, it is that. It is also the favor of God bestowed upon the sinner. The Lord doesn’t only graciously forgive; He also graciously grants love, affection, good will, and, can you even believe it, His righteousness. This is grace: God’s free, unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. Grace that saves. Grace that sustains. Grace that grants life eternal. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

How is this grace found? Repent of sin. Believe Jesus.

What does this have to do with blogging? Not much, really, except for this: in blogging as in all things I am a pauper to the grace of the Lord Jesus. I blog–just as I parent, teach, love and serve my husband, clean house–out of grace and because of grace and to testify of grace. This is my testimony: because of the great love with which He loved me, the Lord saved me and this not of myself, it is a gift of grace. Yes and amen.

That’ll blog.

For 31 days? Maybe.

 

You’ve got to know when to fold ’em

Y’all know that commercial with the punchline about playing cards with Kenny Rogers and he’s singing “The Gambler”? I was thinking about that today when I was pondering the blog and its future: you’ve just got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run…

“I just don’t have anything to say,” I confessed to my husband the other day. We were discussing the blog, this one, and whether or not I should just shut ‘er down, fold ’em, walk away as it were. It’s really not *that* momentous of a decision, I realize, except for the fact that the renewal payment on my domain will come due before too long so, yeah, there is something of a financial obligation at stake, albeit a small one.

“All writer’s have writer’s block,” he said and I suppose he’s right though I have my doubts if what I do here could rightly constitute writing per se. But blogger’s block? I got that in spades. What has it been, two months of silence? More? Not even a humble status report to maintain some semblance of life?

I listened to a podcast about blogging thinking maybe I’d rediscover some inspiration and inclination toward writing or blogging or whatever you want to call this. It was encouraging and informational and no doubt a great help for someone who already wants to blog. But where’s the podcast for the uncertain blogger, she who can’t find anything to say nor the desire to say it? Is there a litmus test, a flow chart, a quiz to determine definitively, finally, once and for all, yes, go forth and blog, or, no, sister, it’s time to fold ’em?

In the podcast the blogger being interviewed confessed to never, not once, feeling the sort of block I am muddling through. This did not encourage. Of course, in my defense, I’ve been at it a lot longer so maybe I’m just old. In blog years I mean.

In real life it’s been a strange couple of months, months marked by transition and some degree of sadness and, well, the sort of nebulous strangeness that tends toward private introspection over the kind of public confessional that constitutes blogging, at least the kind of blogging engaged by this blogger. So maybe it is a stage of life deal.

But life is good too. I don’t mean to sound all melodramatic and melancholy (though admittedly sometimes I can’t help it!). We’re right in the middle of some of our favorite times of the year and of life, enjoying football games and celebrating September birthdays and anticipating all things autumnal. I’m back to teaching Bible study after our summer hiatus and I love it more than ever. The kids are great, church is awesome, and, like I said, life is good. There is much to enjoy, much to anticipate, much to be grateful for.

So will I write more? Will I write at all? Should I cut my losses and close shop? I am undecided. Do I love blogging enough to push through writer’s / blogger’s block? Does it matter? I have no ambition beyond just the blog so, really, why fret so over what is really, in the end, a hobby? Will I know when, if, to fold ’em? I guess we shall see!

Can any of my blogger friends relate? How do you rediscover the joy of writing and of blogging?

True spirituality

In her plenary session at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference, Kathy Keller made an observation regarding Nehemiah (whose book by the same name comprised the key text for the weekend) and his contemporary Ezra. Comparing Nehemiah’s journey to Jerusalem in Neh. 1:9 with Ezra’s journey in Ezra 8:22, Kathy highlighted the two men’s differing approach concerning the use of soldiers as an escort. Nehemiah employed them; Ezra claimed to do so would be a lack of faith.

Kathy warned her listeners that we must not rigidly stereotype believers into identical patterns of spirituality. Rather we must ask what are merely personal preferences. A word to the wise: we must be careful how we definite true maturity in the life of the believer.

Though I think perhaps I extrapolated her application beyond what she intended, I thought of her warning late that Saturday night of the conference as I listened to a panel of bloggers and writers discuss their craft and their goals and their platforms. Though the blogger event was, as it was intended, very encouraging and a whole lot of fun, I couldn’t help but feel a little, well, less than compared to the writing excellence before me.

I’m not sure, still, of my writing goals or even of my writing life period. My blogging is, at this point, somewhat unconcerned with branding or querying or getting a book contract. Hardly anyone reads what I write, relatively speaking, and I’m usually okay with that. My spirituality, as measured–or not–by my writing, is very different from that of the panel.

It might be easy to get discouraged should I compare my offering, meager as it is, with theirs.

But it wasn’t just the size of my blog audience or writing goals that prompted my comparison and corresponding unease. If truth be told at various times throughout the conference I found myself feeling, well, a little ridiculous. Dumb even. So many of the women I met over the course of the weekend were talking about big things, important things, deep things, smart things, things I had no idea about.

A few days after I texted my friend. “Realizing all over again I am not nearly the thinkers some of these women that I admire so much are. Which is cool, the Body needs depth and fluff, yes and amen, but it’s a blow to the pride when you like to think yourself one way only to realize you’re not in that league! Ha!”

My friend commiserated, as all good friends do, but finally reminded me that “in the end don’t we really just want to be known for loving God?” In other words, those so-called spiritual markers and evidences of maturity may really just be differences.

We’re just different.

Maybe it seems a little silly to write so seriously about a hobby. But we do this all the time, do we not, measure our spirituality or someone else’s by some arbitrary standard that is, in the end, an extrabiblical one, a matter of personal preferences and little else? Nehemiah took a band of soldiers and Ezra didn’t. Some bloggers work hard to see their work published in many different venues and some are content with a small readership barely beyond their own families. Some can wax philosophical all day long and some of us are better able to discuss lipstick shades and the latest fiction releases. Or some of us wear jeans to church and some wear a dress and heels. And then there’s education choices and dietary differences and on and on it goes.

Truly there is no end to the lengths we will go to measure and define the truly spiritual and the truly not.

Kathy’s warning is a timely one. Let’s take care, sisters. Let’s not stereotype each other into rigorous sameness. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt.

What then marks true spiritual maturity? Love for the Lord. A hunger for His Word. A passion for His glory. Love for the church. Humility. The fruit of the Spirit. By the grace of God, may He grow these attributes in us as He grows us into greater maturity. And may He cause us to encourage and appreciate these attributes in others!

Status Report, post #TGCW14 edition

Sitting…on my back porch. It is a gorgeous morning, a slightly unusual one for July in that the temperature and humidity are a little lower thus making it actually quite pleasant out here. For now. I plan to enjoy it for as long as possible, rare as it is!

Drinking…coffee, black.

Recovering…from my trip to Orlando. Yes, still. I got home Monday and today is Thursday and yes indeed it’s taking me three days plus to get over a four day trip. A mark of a good trip in my opinion.

Pondering…the takeaway from the conference. What did I learn? I mean, I learned lots (!) but what is the main takeaway I want to concentrate on in terms of meditation and application? I think maybe I know but I am still pondering and praying through it all. Hopefully I will blog through some of my thoughts soon.

Loving…that I got to meet so many of my blogging and Twitter friends. Staci (of Writing and Living and my fellow writer at Out of the Ordinary) and I were instant BFF’s. We had fun hanging out through the course of the weekend. Chatting with other friends that I’d previously only known online was both surreal and incredibly encouraging. Not to sound like a fan girl, though I may or may not have totally embarrassed myself in the worst fan girl way in front of an author and blogger I greatly admire, but meeting women I respect so much was humbling in the best sort of way.

Laughing…with my girlfriends who made the trip with me over the fun we enjoyed last weekend. We had a blast. From shopping until we dropped at the outlets to the early morning fire alarm to other incidents I won’t mention in a public forum such as this, it was quite an adventure. I am so thankful for their friendship and for our shared experience at the conference.

Beginning…to plan toward Bible study this fall. I just started reading Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin (one of the many–many!–books I brought home from the conference). As I read I am reminded again of the holy privilege and sacred calling that is mine to encourage women to know the Word and that knowledge to fuel a love for the Lord. Yes and amen.

Thinking…of the precious reader who approached me at the conference to thank me for my blog. Yeah, this blog. Her sweet comments brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. You have no idea how much your words mean to me and how you encouraged me!

Pouring…another cup of coffee.

Happy July, friends!

Murphy’s law of blogging

I suppose it is an indication of my blog’s lack of a defining niche that whenever I return to the keyboard after several weeks’ hiatus, planned or unplanned, instead of just picking up with some wise and profound post (you know it) I always feel the need to catch you up on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, as if we had been chatting on the phone or something and I had stepped away for a minute or two or a week or three. The problem, of course, is when one’s blog begins to consist entirely of those little conversational snippets and not much else. What sort of conversation is that? Anyway, here I am.

June has been a crazy month. I think had I actually blogged like for real I would have had to rename my blog “Notes from the Chaos” or something equally descriptive. My son’s graduation, his college orientation, a trip to North Carolina, and later this week The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference (yay!!).

Okay, so, when I type it out like that, my June doesn’t sound so very chaotic. It sounds, well, normal.

Maybe the chaos is me.

No comment.

Whether is chaos is within or without, I am excited about hopping on a jet plane on Thursday bound for sunny Orlando. I’m traveling with three of my real life friends and look forward to meeting up with several of my virtual friends there. Fun, friends, as well as good teaching and books galore–I can’t wait! I’d like to tell you I’ve spent the last several days in prayerful preparation but, true confessions, what I’ve worried over the most? My hair.

I blame it on that post I wrote a few weeks ago for Out of the Ordinary. Y’all know the Murphy’s Law of Blogging, right? That whatever you assert in confidence in your blog post, that you will deal with in spades shortly thereafter. I wrote then about some of the good things about the middle years, one being that I was comfortable in my own skin. I specifically mentioned vocation but the application is obviously broader. And, now, I’m going to this conference with thousands of women, all with cute hair, and I have this new cut and let’s just say comfortable isn’t quite the word I would choose for how I feel.

Silly, isn’t it? Vain too. And self preoccupied, among other things. Why do I care? So I have a cut I have trouble styling. Poor, pitiful me.

People who love me tell me my hair really doesn’t look so bad, that in fact it looks great. I love them for that. In reality, though, my haircut obsession reveals some less than flattering truths about my heart, namely that I compare myself to others and that I derive my sense of worth based on that comparison.

Ouch.

Comparison always leads to despair and discontent. In contrast, the gospel compels me to look to Jesus. When I do so, I see my complete unworthiness yet, instead of despair, I hope. I am sinful, wicked, I’m having a bad hair day, but Jesus loves me, saves me, forgives me, redeems me, gives me life in Him. He is my worth.

So this weekend when I am hanging out with a few thousand of my sisters in Christ, all with adorable hairdo’s, and I am tempted to worry over how I look and what they think, I will remember the gospel. I will remind myself that my worth is in Christ. And that hair, it always grows.