Encouragement for Digital Wordsmiths

a letter to my (blogger) self

Dear Self,

I’m writing this to you—me, myself, and I—so no one will be confused about the direction of my thoughts.  You need the reminder, Gretchen.  This is one of your many “notes to self” to keep in mind as you go through life.  Take heed.

You’ve been reading through my old blog entries.  Honest, real, authentic blogging?  That was it.  You were practically live-blogging your days as a farmer’s wife and new mom.  Your blog was more of a group letter to your mom, sister, and grandmas than anything else.

You even aired your dirty laundry at times.  But only the photos of that which had been carefully sorted into piles and laundry baskets!

A friend messaged you on FaceBook:

Thank you for being so honest on your blog. I have to say that I’ve always looked to you as one who “has it all together”. It’s so encouraging to hear I’m not the only one who never can seem to get all the laundry done or keep up on the dishes! Whew!

You were glad you’d humbled yourself enough to admit you didn’t have it all together.

But you came to believe that honesty does not always mean telling all of the truth.

Your cousin Jennifer wrote from Africa:

I love your blog! I love the fact that I feel like I’m watching through the window of your cute little house, getting in on all the fun things that you are doing. Thank you for keeping it updated!

And you were thankful that whether in Africa or just a state away, your relatives could keep up with you and your little girls.

But like Jennifer said, they are just watching through the window.  No one will ever know authentic life in the Little Pink House unless they really live there.

Even then, they would not know the thoughts of your heart.  And well you know that it would be neither edifying nor encouraging for you to post every thought that passes through your mind.

It might be an encouragement to some to know that you honestly don’t always get the laundry folded right away and that you truthfully don’t have perfectly trained children.  But it would be in no way edifying to anyone to air the dirty laundry of your marriage, family, or your church.

You’ve always worn your heart on your sleeve.  But you don’t want to be the blogger with a chip on your shoulder.

Iron that sharpens iron does not tear down—it builds up, it points up: to the Savior!

You’ve read blog posts written in the valley that turned hearts to the Comfort that carried them through.

You’ve read blog posts that talked about anything but the elephant in the room of their life, in order to refrain from any hint of gossip or malice.

You’ve read blog posts that humbly admitted wrong while thanking God for His grace.

You’ve read blog posts written in the midst of relational ugliness and unthinkable situations that showed Jesus to be the only Hope and Answer.

You’ve read blog posts that exposed error by pointing to the Truth.

And as you read, you’ve prayed for grace and wisdom to do the same.

Because even though you will be held accountable for every word—spoken or thought, handwritten or typed—the words you blog have more power to harm than those you stop before they come out of your mouth (or your blog feed).

What if the top of your WordPress dashboard had Ecclesiastes 10:12-14 permanently embedded upon it?  “The fool multiplies words…

What if you began each blogging session with a refresher in the wisdom of Proverbs?  “She who restrains her words has knowledge…

What if you applied the James’s words about the tongue to the keyboard?

Perhaps you would remember that “when words are many, sin is not absent…

Perhaps you would learn to pray for such a transparency that you would disappear, leaving only Jesus and His Father’s glory evident in your blog posts.

Perhaps you would learn a new version of Ecclesiastes 3:

Ecclesiastes 3 for Bloggers

‘There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity’ online.

A time to blog and a time to write an email to your mentor.

A time to post a prayer request on Facebook and a time to hide alone in your prayer closet.

A time to tap out witty Tweets and a time to text your best friend.

A time to comment in detail and a time to just click “Like.”

A time to chronicle a child’s cuteness and a time to cuddle that child.

A time to write and a time to read The Living Word.

A time to post and a time to post privately.

‘A time to be silent…’

Don’t forget, Gretchen, that she who guards her tongue and her typing will keep her soul from troubles.  Never fail to ask for help from the only One Who can a blogger wisdom.  He has promised to give it—if only you ask.

Now re-read this blog post of yours every once in a while.  I’m sure you will need the reminder.

Most Sincerely,
Your Self

Get a free printable of Ecclesiastes 3 for Bloggers!

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One Comment

  1. I’m wondering if I’m guilty of the sin of reading a letter not intended for me … 馃檪

    This is so, so, so good – thank you for sharing. Partly (I think) because of being a PK, I’m so good at being honest to such-and-such a point – because it’s okay for my father’s congregation to know that I’ve had a bad cold all week, but not that I’ve been fighting a grumpy mood as well as a high fever all week. That sort of thing! 馃檪 Now, with blogging … ? What with my writing (which makes me feel soooooo high profile – although that, I know, is laughable considering how FEW people know of my little existence! 馃檪 ) and everything, I’m wondering a lot how honest is HONEST – and where the line between positive honesty and negative honestly is and … well … a lot of the things you mention in this post – including when it’s a time for blogging and a time for living in other ways.

    I can’t tell you how encouaging it is to know that there are other young women out there who are blogging and committed to honesty and positivity (is that a word?!?) as they seek to share what God has laid on their hearts.

    Thank you lots …