Friday, May 30, 2008

Mommy Blogging - Birds of a Feather

If you are just joining us, I am weaving my way through my journey over the last 15 months as a Mommy blogger. This is my third installment...

So two posts ago, I left you with serendipity making an appearance. Who the? What the? Trust me, you'll understand.

When I began blogging, I was looking to tell my story, in my words, and in my way without censorship, eyerolls, or judgment. You may still do that, but I can’t see you. So we can still be friends. And, maybe, just maybe, I could provide with a laugh or two. But what happened along the way was that I have become fascinated with your words and your lives. Over the last few months that I've started reading other blogs, I have been amazed and awed and inspired by all the talented, smart, creative women I have “met” in the blogosphere.

And this is what has gobsmacked me in the face, or more appropriately, in the heart:

I have grown to genuinely care and appreciate your uniqueness and your talents and who you are as people behind those words. Whoa. Kinda weird. Hello, you live in my laptop... not supposed to care.

But, I do.

I admire how so many of you have been transparent with struggles ranging from stress, marital problems, infertility, depression, illness, loss of a child, loss of a sibling, etc. You are the world at large. Only you are pouring out your hearts to strangers and blessing so many other women who may read your words while living with the same struggles and realize they. aren’t. alone. That's it in a nutshell. We aren’t alone. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve read something one of you has written and said, "Oh my gosh, I feel the same way.” Who knew. You are women that I have been praying for even though I have never ever heard you utter a word or wouldn’t know you if we cut each other off in traffic. I find myself thinking about you during the day just as I do my real life friends. As a matter of fact, this is how one such instance played out for me this week:

Me: Standing at the kitchen island cooking thinking, hmm, I still want to paint this island so that it looks like furniture. Gee, I wonder if Sissy has posted the pictures of her kitchen island fauz glaze project. Gee, I wonder if "Sissy" is her real name? I'll just let this simmer a minute while I go check, about the project that is. Run over to the study. Click on her blog. Voila there it is. Read, comment, and then resume cooking. C-RAZY.

Then I had a good chuckle because this is someone whose life and heart I probably know better than probably most of my closest friends right now and vice versa. Why? Because we are apt to be more forthcoming and transparent behind the screen of a computer than we are face to face. Even with strangers. Especially with strangers. How freakin weird is that.

I have also realized something else this week. Something so obvious:

Birds of a feather flock together even in the blogosphere.

Think about it. Don’t you consistently read the blogs of people you would be friends with in real life? Whether it is someone’s sense of humor, or beliefs/values, or interests, or stage in life, or other non-descript quirk that I can relate to, I can say unequivocally that I feel connected to the women behind the words that I make a point of reading during my “morning rounds.” I can tell you that each of you are like one or more of my real life friends. The only difference is that you read my blog! And after reading all your comments, I'm am not alone in that area...more about that in my next installment.

I've noticed something else. I don’t gravitate to the blogs with 5000 readers because to me it is like going to a big party. I hate big parties. I'm a let’s-have-a-couple-of-people-over-for- steaks, my-homemade-cheesy-scalloped- potatoes,-strawberry-spinach-salad-and-molten-lava-chocolate-cakes- with- a-nice-bottle-of- wine-out-on-the-deck-kind-of-gal. And yes, you are invited. But that’s just me. I do read the Nester because I have been reading her blog since she had something like 10 readers.

Just about every blog I click on has something to offer. Some aren’t my cup of tea, others leave me wanting more, and others are well, you know, they’re trying. I think all of us who blog enjoy the writing aspect of it as it satisfies a creative need and is a non-threatening way to make your voice heard. But at the end of the day, the blogosphere brings all of us mommies, mommies-to-be, and mommies in waiting, who sometimes feel like we have lost ourselves in the lives of kids, jobs, and laundry, together for a brief moment or two, (or hour or three or more) with people we wouldn’t otherwise meet because of proximity. Oh sure, I have friends here that do that for me, as well. But I love getting to “know” people around the country and Canada. And I love the community of Christian women I've gotten to know. I am more bold about my faith, and my walk with the Lord in this space than I am in real life. But, I have also learned so much about the Christian life from many of you. I cannot tell you how many times I have clicked on one of your blogs and have known immediately that the Lord was sending me there for a reason as he either wanted me to be convicted of or reveal something to me. That is so humbling and exciting. No matter how much traffic you get, rest assured, when you are "doing as unto the Lord," your words are being used as Divine instruments. That is something I truly wasn't expecting when I started this whole blogging thing. God is so good isn't HE? He even uses this vehicle to further HIS kingdom in a mighty, fun, and creative way.

Now that I have established relationships with so many of you across North America, I often wonder if we met in person, would it be the same or different? Would we enjoy each other's real words as much as we enjoy each other's written words? I would like to think so. I honestly believe that all of you are sincere and genuine people as I can usually sniff out the phonies, and I don't "hang" out with them in real life or here. I'd like to think that if I were ever in Georgia, Washington, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Texas, Pennysylvania, Canada, Idaho or wherever else you are, that I could look you up and hang out. And likewise, if you were to ever visit the Nation's Capital, I'd leave the light on. Just give me fair warning so I can tidy my house, prepare a fabulous meal, and get my hair restored to it's natural color if I am in between appointments ;).

Okay, enough sap... my next installment is about "Comments and Lurkers." Speaking of which, you won't believe what happened to me this week as a result of a comment....

Meanwhile, do you think we would ruin a good thing if we actually met in person?

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Sissy said...

I was just thinking about that the other day...what it would be like if we all met up somewhere. Would we just fall into conversation, or stare at each other? I'd like to think we'd pick up like old friends.

Oh, Sissy isn't the name on my birth certificate, but it is the name I go by with just about everyone.

Tisha said...

What you have just said sums up the "blog thing" so well. People often ask me how I find the time to blog, and you've hit on it! It is an outlet, a way to process, and it has given me "friends" that I really care about and know better than I know my real-life friends.
I have been inspired and encouraged by the ups and downs of the quality women who take the time to share their stories and their journey.
The blog world is an amazing place and I absolutely agree with your words. Well said.

Kat said...

Blogging is such an outlet. Especially when you are home with your kids all day. And blogging becomes my adult conversation.

I think we should have a blog stalkers convention. Or a cruise. Or something. Sometimes I think I have more in common with my bloggy friends than my "real" friends.

Lula! said...

This is brilliant, Debbie! It's like you're in my head, although you express it far better than I ever could.

Not only would we not ruin it, meeting in person would just further my love for you, my dear.

I was going to do a post about how my blogging buds have replaced my real life friends here. But then I realized that I have very few "real life" friends where I live. That's no pity party, it's just the truth. Reckon I'm living too out loud for country folk here? Hmmmmmmm.

Anyway...I loved reading this. Good job, my BFF!

Piggy said...

AMEN!!!! :)

Gina said...

Debbie, You put it so well. I actually found it a little hard to read through the blur behind my glasses.
The truth? You remind me SO MUCH of a GREAT friend of mine who has moved to Iowa- and whom I need to e-mail- and who doesn't read my blog, and whom I miss dearly. Still. After more than 3 years.
And I would totally have you over for iced tea on my porch with all my children buzzing around like flies on a cow pie!
I'll keep that invite in mind for when we ever actually do make it to DC for our family civics lesson.

Summerplace said...

I hope your summer is starting peacefully if there is such a thing and that you've found some fun things to do with your little guys. I wish Heather and her tribe were closer so we could do moe things together. It is so nice to hear from Christian moms!

Elena Manwaring said...

That was such a GREAT read!! And so very true. People often give me a hard time for my "online friends", but I really do love them all. So strange. If I ever refer to any of them, you for instance, I always say, "My friend Debbie...." I admire all you women who are so open with your feelings in the blog world. I'm not quite so brave. Mostly because my inlaws read and I don't want them to know all that about me. But I definitly consider you a friend. And I'm with Kat, a blogging cruise would be a riot! Maybe someday, eh? Oh, and if I ever come to the Nation's Capital, I'm calling you cause that dinner sounds DIVINE! :)

Trish said...

Perfectly said friend! You are so eloquent.
In a strange way I have come to love my blog friends. I often catch myself saying "oh my friend Debbie posted the greatest thing on her blog....." and my non blog friends just look at me like I'm a little wack. They just don't get it.
And by all means, if you were to ever make it to the beautiful state of Washington, you would have a freshly laundered pillow upon which to lay your head, a meal upon which to feast, and a friend with whom you felt as comfortable as your favorite slippers with!
I feel blessed to have discovered this world, and to be quite honest with you, it has opened up new doors in my relationship with my little sister too!

Thank you for your e-mail, I hope to have time this weekend to check those out.

You rock sista, and I look forward to our meeting some day, whether it be here on earth or in the presence of our KING!

Evi said...

Couldn't agree more! I actually never comment on blogs with more than 20 some comments because I figure no one would really notice anyhow. I love the closeness of a smaller group of friends. I too am one of those backyard BBQ and kitchen table coffee chats (with bedhead if need be after dropping the kidlets at school)
I am still so thankful that I found you all and that you guys pop in for a visit once in a blue moon too!
I need ya all!

Jennifer P. said...

I have sensed your genuine care and concern right from the start. Sometimes a person comments just once on my blog, and BAM! I link them because i'm drawn to them. I love reading your words, and love to hear what you say about my words.

Like I told Sissy, I think that if we all met up one day, it would be in a big meadow with wildflowers and we would all have those cool retro-silver trailers. There would be talking and hugging and laughing, but we would all still have our laptops checking in on one another's blogs :)!

Love these posts!

Mrs. Romero said...

You've so got this one sister! I was following Heather's bog, never commenting. One day I just decided to start blogging. She was gracious enough to let me right in to her bloggy circle.

I can't believe it was only 2 months ago, as I look forward to connecting with my blog buddies everyday.

The great thing about blogging is it's just you.. out there. The people who get you, comment and the relationships begin.

As women, we let so many things out side of who WE are dictate our friendships: who our kids like, who our husbands work with, who lives nearby. Blogging allows us to have friendships based on who we like.

And, I, my dear, like you!

Courtney said...

thankfully, i'm one of those blessed to know you in person! and i love you and adore you AND your blog! keep em coming! and see you soon ;-)

Feathering My Nest said...

Debbie, Thank you for saying exactly what I was feeling, but couldn't put into words like you have. What a beautiful post. I had thought about the idea of meeting my blogging buddies. I really do think it would be awesome. My sister Sharon is so fun to hang out with and she is just the same in real life as she is on her blog.

Thank you for the kind words you wrote about my dad. I am truly sad that you don't have that same relationship with your own dad. I will pray that he changes. It's so good that your own children do have a loving godly dad.

I love everything you wrote about blogging. My biggest problem with blogging is time. I want to read everything and I want to write everything, but I am not in the position to do that right now. When ladies write a comment I WANT to ALWAYS comment back. I never want such a large audience that I can't do that. Some women could never write each one back if they get over 1,000 comments daily.

I decided that I want to do mine as a journal (mines more picture than written for time's sake), a loving tribute of our family, to encourage young mothers and old, to be encouraged by anyone, to council (maybe), and to glorify God (hopefully).

I'm so glad God answered that little prayer inside your heart. We have such a loving and caring God.

Now you've got me on the edge of my seat, sweetie, waiting to hear what happened to you.

Happy Saturday. You bless my life, Debbie. Hugs, Kathi

Heather said...

I had this beautiful, looooong comment declaring my love for you and how if we all met in real life I would jump up and down screaming and hug your neck, but it erased it and didn't post.

So, I don't think it would ruin a thing if we met in real life. I like to think one day we will...maybe next spring. Who knows.

Lee Ann said...

Oh so well said! That's what I love about blogging.

Let's meet! C'mon! Somone plan a blog the middle of the country. Can you just imagine who would come? where would the invitation stop? Fun to think about :-)

christa jean said...

Hi there! Just popped on over from Jen P.'s site and noticed you've been designed by Darcy too! Your blog is one of my fave colors!

I've only been in the blogosphere for a couple months but am already feeling the same sentiments. I live for a comment sometimes (which is lame, like I need to feel important or noticed) and at first had grand ideas of fame. Changed me mind on that one! I would rather not be the recipient of hateful comments and lurkers!

As of now only a handful of friends and family check me out and that is fine. Because so far, I'm only feeling the love!

Keep on keepin' on!

Simply Stork said...

I would be all over meeting some of my bloggin' buds in person...actually I would love to just get a bunch of us together and see if we could figure each other out by our cool would that be?


Sniz said...

Oh Debbie,
I know we would be BFF's in person. How I wish you lived down the street! You just put into words EXACTLY how I feel about blogging!!!! God bless you, Debbie. I am so thankful He introduced us into each other's lives through our blogs!

Love ya, Sniz

Kimberley said...

Well said, Debbie!!!! No, I don't think we would ruin a good thing...I'm up for Crusin'! And, I want some of those cheesy scalloped potatoes!

Robot friends, or people who live in our laptops, are the best! They are always positive, always encouraging, always uplifting. Okay, so maybe it is not always with the purest motives, but I'll take it nonetheless!

All I know is that I'm glad I found your blog, I know if we knew each other in reality, we'd have many prayers, tears, and an overbundance of good belly laughs...sloshing our wine between the boards on the deck!


Anonymous said...

Hi Deb, Since I emailed this is the first time I was able to leave a comment. Strange.....
Your blog life reminds me of when we first started ebayin. It was just after my dad past and we were liquidating his estate for mom. In my listings we had stated it was an estate and we knew nothing of his collection. After we sold a few of the lots responses flooded my inbox with messages of condolences some wanting to know about the man behind all the model collection(especially since many of the items where so dated). Within a few months I made many DEAR friends. And although we have never meet YET we are still very close. We have been invited to weddings and we have cried online over the losses. One sweet man even called us on 9/11 to make sure we where ok. They are my extended family, we know so many deep details of eachothers lives.Like your blog I dont think my face to face friends even know.
As for the kids not wanting to be included in my emails. I guess they are ok with it. They really havent made any comments. However I really only send out pictures of special events .. I think if I let more info out about MB he would

Melissa Lester said...

Wow, Debbie, I want to be in your circle of friends too! I share your sentiments exactly. I feel like blogging has further opened my heart to the joys and struggles of other people. And meeting the friends who live in our laptops in real life would be great fun. Because even though we haven't met face to face, we know each other by heart!

EEEEMommy said...

This was a lovely post! You beautifully articulated everything I love about blogging and why I can't quit, even when I don't really have time for it!
As to the meeting in real life; I think we'd be even better friends if we met again since blogging! If we'd have had just a little more time in VA, I would have been on your doorstep unannounced not caring what color your hair was! ;)

The coolest thing that I have found about meeting blog friends IRL is that you just skip past all the trivialities to the good stuff. When I met one friend a couple of months ago our conversation jumped to the deep things that you're not at liberty to discuss on the blog and we enjoyed a fabulous spiritual conversation. As I drove away, I realized that I'd never asked what her husband does for a living. There was no time for small talk.

Amy said...

You think so much like me, it's scary! I wanna be like you when I grow up :P Seriously!