Anais Nin said, “We write to taste life twice.” I’d have to agree. Words are powerful, an art form. The Lord gave us the ability to express ourselves in various forms, and to consider the depth and breadth we have in verbal expression – alongside the privilege to live in a part of the world with the freedom to share our thoughts – is humbling. Words are a gift, and the written word is especially powerful, because it captures our stories in a form we, and others, can revisit over and over again.
I started this blog at the beginning of October to fulfill a goal I’ve held for several years to participate in an annual 31-day writing challenge. I have read and authored (a little) educational blog content over the past ten or so years, and have more recently discovered the world of mom bloggers and drawn great encouragement, empathy, and inspiration from hearing from others on the motherhood journey. In this more personal blogging arena, I have experienced conflicting feelings on whether to write at all (What do I have to contribute? How does this fit with my professional writing? Should I be making time for this?) and have been somewhat hesitant to share my work in a more public way. But after a series of events over the following two days – including following the harrowing reports of the Paris terrorist attacks, reading Rory & Joey’s heart-wrenching story, and discussing ideas for supporting talented girls across their lives (many of whom become working moms) at a recent conference – I have decided that my story is worth sharing, for the following reasons.
- Writing helps us to see where we’ve been and where we’re going. Writing is such a great form of reflection, both in the process and finished product. Reflection is so important to our learning and growth, and I often get so caught up in the whirlwind of life that I forget to stop and make time to journal or even think about what I’m doing and why. As both a teacher and a wife/mom, I want to always be moving forward, changing to become better and wiser over time.
- Our words are part of our unique legacy. Words hold great power – to lift and encourage, to teach, to inspire, to offer empathy and forge connections. Throughout time and across cultures, storytelling has been an integral part of the human experience. While spoken words may be remembered for a moment, written words stand the test of time. None of us are promised tomorrow, but what we say today holds the power to make an impact beyond our presence on this earth. I want my daughters, and perhaps others, to be able to look back and catch a glimpse of who I was – and who I wanted to become – in this busy season of my life as a working mom. I also hope others might be inspired and provoked to thought or even action as a result of my words.
- The Lord often calls us beyond our comfort zones. As Christians, we are are obligated to our God-given gifts and dreams for His glory and purposes. Many wonderful teachers and kind friends have generously encouraged me in my writing over the years, and while professional writing is something I can do all day long, sharing my more personal thoughts in a public way is way outside my comfort zone. My biggest fear in sharing my thoughts on motherhood is to be perceived as someone proclaiming to “have it all together,” because I most certainly don’t (as anyone knows who’s spent 5 minutes with me and my strong-willed oldest child)! But I do believe there is great power in sharing our journey as women and to encourage and support one another along the way. Throughout the Bible, the Lord continually used those who felt – and were – inadequate to accomplish His purposes, and I cling to the promise that He will use me as well. My story is powerful only to the extent that His voice is illuminated through it.
At the end of the day, the world needs our words. Women have a unique perspective, and we need to both hear and be heard by one another. And our children will one day want to hear our stories… and it all starts with us taking the time to write them down.
How are you sharing your story?