88 Unfollows for too many emails. 112 New email subscribers. 1,000 new Facebook likes. 220 Facebook unlikes. 44 hateful emails. 207 delightful emails. 14 respectful correction emails. A nasty brawl on #faithit over a post from the collection. 13,722 shares off Word Press. 19,312 Shares off For Every Mom 2 posts in syndication. 9 apologies. 7 blocked trollers. 209,141 views of the 31 Day collection at the time I am writing this.
Days missed ZERO.
I made it 31 days. If I could do Weight Watcher for 31 consecutive days, I would be immensely happy. If nothing else, I am very inconsistent. But I did the 31-day challenge. And I am glad I did. And I am glad its over.
Our son Sam is really into confessing. I will wander into the kitchen and find him in the time out spot. I will inquire, “Sam what are you doing?” And Sam will say, “I in time out. You go wook at Chawlie. I stay here. It’s bad.” And although he is only three, Sam is pretty wise to “bad.” Charlie has usually been colored on, frosted, painted, tarred and feathered, or had a haircut. I can’t take my eyes off the #vandals for a second. This made the 31-day challenge even more challenging. But I confess, as bad as some of it was, the majority of it was great.
Sometimes I felt like Jo-Jo, the monkey, performing on command. Sometimes it felt like I was posting naked selfies on Instagram. It isn’t easy to put a piece of your brain into words and then let people read it and comment. On a scale of comfortable to miserable I can fully accept being called an idiot. This is an accurate description of someone whose toddlers were mauled by a crow in a parking lot. “You are an idiot”… I can live with.
But I don’t say that in the way you think. My point is more that I know me. I can expose myself online and search out meaningful scripture and feel hopeful that I am getting better. Better in the sense of, growing in my walk with Jesus, my marriage, my parenting, and general societal functioning.
When I started the 31-days I had a list of things I would touch on, and almost none of them happened. I never got to one of the most important points I wanted to touch on, and that was, “I will never…” It was suggested by several people, and I had so many thoughts on it. For whatever reason it never developed.
As I write this, I remember I said I would never blog. I said I would rather work on my fiction novels, finish my non-fiction, or write for a magazine. Never say never. I feel like I have a whole new community of friends who enjoy this because it is real. It is easy to be real. Its is exhausting to be fake.
A publisher asked me what I would pick in an audience, and I told her I would have to think about it. I am passionate about many things. Jesus, mommy life, education/learning, disabilities, adoption, foster care, respite care, chronic illness, parenting… I could go on and on. Although a publisher may not want to hear this, I want my audience just to be real. Even if it is just one person that can identify. I know the first person to click open my blog is my dad. If he laughs, or is intrigued, or has deep thought that we can discuss later then, I am happy with what I wrote.
I want to keep learning. And with the way things go on in my head, I learn best when I let those thoughts out. I learned when I flippantly say, “If my kids survive, I am doing ok..” it is an insult to parents who have lost a child. I learned that when I say “I had a mini-stroke,” people who are caring for suffers of strokes get hurt. And I learned that A LOT of non-believers read #Jesus blogs. A lot. This is monumental to me. I hope you take just a moment to digest this. How many believers take the time to see what non-believers are reading? If more believers would stop and analyze what we look like to non-believers, we’d spend a lot less time defending ourselves and a lot less time looking like pompous lunatics. As important as it is to steep ourselves in truth, I propose it is just as important to at least try and see where someone else is coming from. When we are willing to admit we are wrong, we are much more approachable. And if nothing else, the gospel should be approachable. I was fascinated to hear from so many non-believers that read some of the 31-days and LOVED the confessions that followed. One said, “I have never seen so many Christian women admitting to feeling less than adequate or laughing at themselves. I don’t believe in God, but I will be back for more.” (I had to ask her if I could share that with you.)
I think brokenness is beautiful too…
My family just lost a friend in an accident. He was a deep thinking seeker of truth. He questioned everyone and every belief. Not in an arrogant way – he truly wanted the meaning behind your beliefs. He would ask a million questions and the questions required answers. I find this fascinating. He was a genius, a brilliant mind – who craved more real knowledge. These minds are the blessed. (Matthew 5:6) To admit you aren’t convinced, aren’t sure, or are searching. Real.
And so that is my answer: I want my audience to be real. Real humans willing to admit when they are wrong, sorry, broken, tired, fat, lazy, run down, confused, scared, locked out of their car, arrogant, unbelieving, believing, happy, sad, horrible, overdrawn, jaded, and barely getting by. These are my people. If you have passed the baton on these emotions, your faith walk, your parenting, or any aspect of your life – you probably are not going to enjoy my writing. And that is fine. If there’s an exodus now… and I am all alone with my twisted thoughts, my dad, me, and Jesus, it is well with me.
So I will prayerfully continue to post 2-3 times a week. I will relinquish my audience to Jesus. I will stop saying some things. I will keep saying others. I will keep asking questions. And I am truly grateful if you enjoyed even one of the 31-day challenge blogs.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Now faith is the assurance of what is hoped for, the proof of what is unseen. Hebrews 11:1
Want to try the 31-day challenge next year??? Check it out at write31days.com