Friday, February 13, 2015

On Blogs and Love

I remember the day I discovered blogs. It was September 2010 and I had picked up a Parents Magazine at the library. It so happened that particular issue contained a story titled "The Baby I never Expected" by Kelle Hampton. Kelle's writing style immediately grabbed me, and my mother heart ached with hers in the drama of discovering her long awaited baby had been born with downs syndrome. At the end of the article, a small footnote gave the link to her blog. I had never heard of a blog I don't think, but the story had sucked me in and, like reaching the end of a book and wishing the author had kept writing, I wanted badly to hear more!

Having internet access on my phone was new to me, and it's uses were limited, but I cautiously typed the link into google and....there it was! It was like opening the pages of a brand new book, only I started at the back instead of the front, and dug my way through the archives. To me, the comments were almost as interesting as the blog itself. I took note of the people who commented frequently and I soon discovered that clicking on some of their names opened the pages to more stories! It wasn't long before I had at least 4 blogs I was following closely.

One of the interesting things about my discovery of blogs was the fact that these writers were all non-mennonite. One of them didn't believe in God, another believed in a Sovereign Being but didn't have her beliefs all figured out, the other 2 were Christians who's writing often challenged me deeply. Over the years I've dropped some and picked up others. I just now checked and realized that gradually my blog roll has come to include more Mennonites then non but I'm still an avid reader of blogs!

Sometimes I've felt guilty for all the blogs on my reading list. I've wondered - am I wasting my time on this stuff? But then I hear about the long lists of books some other ladies read and I decide, no. These are my books! It's rare for me to read a book these days. For me it's much easier to grab a few "bites" here and there instead of trying to eat a "whole meal" in fits and starts. The blogs I read have broadened my horizens tremendously. They've widened my world view and opened my eyes to the realization that we all have a story - Mennonites and non-Mennonites, Christians and non-Christians alike! And there are things we can all learn from each other. Just because this one doesn't believe in God doesn't mean she doesn't have something to teach me about living off the land; just because this one doesn't have her beliefs all figured out doesn't mean she can't teach me something about looking for and enjoying the small things in life; just because this one doesn't dress like me doesn't mean she can't challenge me to the core in her love for the "unlovely" on the streets of her city.

I'm not really sure why I am saying all of this except maybe to say this: All of us, the wide world over, are humans with a soul. All of the ladies who's writing I read are real people and we share a lot of the same inward needs and longings. We all have children who cry in the grocery store, responsibilities that stretch us thin, losses that cause us to weep in pain. We all long for our children to make good choices, for friends who will stick by our side, for relationships that will encourage us along life's way.

We all need Jesus.

And, just maybe, if we all laid aside our differences a bit more, if we put away our judgements and held out our hands to help and encourage and say "Yes! Me too. I know how you feel. Let me walk by your side." Maybe we would all find Him a little sooner, a little more easily.


Anonymous said...

I nodded my head as I was reading :) I too prefer blogs over books these days. I enjoy reading yours :) Blessings!

Gina said...

I remember when I discovered blogs too. But it was about 2005 so I've had more time to to gain from bloggers. Like you, I have learned SO much through other's stories. The last couple years I have radically cut back my blog reading and am trying to read more books because I feel like I need a little more indepth study than a blurb here or there - but I think there is a place for both. I wouldn't want to give up blog reading.

Now I'd like you to share who has gained a place on your blog roll. Maybe I'll find a new favorite.


Shannon said...

Kelle's was one that drew me and made me stay too. I don't remember what year I found blogging, probably 2005 or so because that's about when I started my Xanga site. I have quite a list of blogs on my feedly and the Mennonites are definitely gaining ground. :)
Who are some of your favorites? Are you a stalker on any of them or a commenter? :)

Bethany Eicher said...

Thanks Jo! And I enjoy your comments! :)

Bethany Eicher said...

I just might do that, Gina....since you said Please and all ;)

Bethany Eicher said...

Hmmm.....I think Kelle's may be the only one that I've never actually commented on! I'll have to do a post with my favorites :)

Anonymous said...

Pretty please with sugar on top? -Karen R.