Stace and I just got home from what at Mars Hill is called a Community Group gathering. For those of you who are got the church stuff down, this is like a small group, but a little different. For those of you who don't know about the church stuff, just consider it like something where you get together with friends weekly for a specific thing, like watching a show or playing games. The gathering tonight was the regular rhythm we keep of grubbing, talking about the sermon, praying, and grubbing some more. However, we also function as a community outside of that night, getting together to grab drinks or help one another out in babysitting or serving the community or just whatever.
|That's me in The Hobbit. I was Kili. This might be|
the best part of this entire blog post.
It's a pretty fantastic thing to walk 6 minutes to a friend's house where 8-10 of us gather from all different places in life. In our group there is a widow, some young married couples, some folk with young kids, and some singles. We all take turns providing a main dish. Tonight was delicious chicken pot pie. We talked through Pastor Mark's sermon from this past Sunday, which was on adultery. We prayed, and then had ice cream cake for dessert, talking a bit more.
Why am I writing all of this out? Truth is for the three of you that will read this specific post, sometimes you just gotta write. This is the one big idea I'm learning through the challenge Stacy put before me about 10 days ago (though I've only been writing for 8). She said, "I challenge you to blog every day until Asher is born." That is a commitment I want to live up to, but today I am straight up struggling on a number of levels. So here are five quick lessons I've learned in fighting through that:
- Fight through with perseverance: The most important lesson is perseverance. As with anything you are committed to, some days are going to be better than others. My post yesterday received double the traffic of any of my other posts. This one I know what get as much. In basketball, it's like going 12-18 from the field for 30 points to 2-15 from the field with 8. Some games are like that, but you don't stop playing. You fight.
- See the long, long, long term: Writing every day is helping me see the beginnings of the long, long, long term. The archive on this blog shows I have been writing for a while, but I've never considered myself a writer. I have many friends and acquaintances who write a ton more than I do and do so much more effectively, which has always hindered me (that could be a post right there). How I'm turning away from that is to write now and to write often. The long, long, long, term helps me see the current situation as a start and not the end. The long, long, long term has much to do with development over time, to look back and see the progress, to learn from mistakes, to grow, to improve.
- Know the purpose of why you're writing: What I am prepping for is what I've talked about for years - to be a writer. I'm doing this because I know God has gifted me to communicate, to teach, to write, to preach in order for people to know His grace through Jesus and glorify Him. I can't squander it any longer. Even if no one or just a few listen, the point is to keep writing. I write because I'm a writer.
- Be super honest with words & emotions: I didn't want to write tonight. I don't want to be writing now. I'm judging all I've just written. I hate it. I am lazy and want to quit all the time and I've only been doing this for 8 days consistently. I want to say, "well, what's missing one day going to do?" I convince myself that the great writers have their blogs of ineffable wisdom shot out in 30 seconds as if they have some kind of mind incubator.
- Plan better: I hate planning writing. I don't know how I made it through seminary. I would never outline a paper; I would write and see what happened. It was a horrible approach and I regretted it every time, but I kept doing it (sound familiar to anything in your life?). If you have any suggestions, I'm very open to them, but I'm also disgustingly stubborn so I probably won't listen. For me to say "I'm open" is to say I have control right now and I seem willing to learn. But, even with the nasty rejection that may await you, I encourage you to help me.
I've also learned a lot about "catchy headlines" like this one. And hyperlinks - I think there are too many hyperlinks people put in one blog post to lead to a ton of other ancillary things.
It's now 10:25. Good night.
By His Grace.