Back from my Blogging Break
If you regularly follow Joyful Family Life, you would have noticed I’ve been a bit absent. Two reasons explain my blogging break and scarce posts over the past few months. First, life just got really busy, and when a blogger gets busy, the time to type gets pushed aside. Secondly, I realized the impact that my words can have on the people around me, and I have pondered on what I should write next.
What was happening in my busy world lately? Well, I’m pregnant again! (And probably for the last time. We think baby #5 will finish our family.) Towards the end of summer I was super sick, and any down time turned into nap time for this preggo momma. Luckily my kids were happy to play together while I took extra snoozes every day. Then, school started, dance class started, home remodeling projects resumed, and chasing after my three girls at home kept me busy. With errands and play dates and work and family commitments, my time was spent everywhere but on my blog. Sorry readers!
The second part, about realizing how my words impact other people, also came this summer. A friend of mine opened up about her abusive marriage after I posted an article about teaching your teenagers the signs of an abusive dating relationship. Reading my post eventually gave her the determination to separate from her husband. I have known this family for years, yet I didn’t know the stress and pain happening at home. I wish I could have been a helpful resource for her years ago. Needless to say, after her interaction with my blog post, I realized that my words can be powerful – and I hope that my words always help my readers find fulfillment and joy in life.
Another weight I have carried is worry that my words will not be used “for good,” but will be misinterpreted to reinforce negative patterns. So many self-help books become unhelpful in the wrong hands. Seeking to prove ourselves right or emphasize what we want to hear can conveniently mean we see other people as the source of unhappiness in our lives. If you find yourself thinking, “I wish Jane Doe was reading this article. She needs to work on her issues,” then pause – and look inward. Apply the words to yourself; after all, you clicked on the link. Deep down you know you have changes to make. Oftentimes I write about overcoming personal weaknesses or personal negative traits – but if readers use my words to blame someone else for their unhappiness, my words have missed the mark. It’s always easier to see the weaknesses of another person. It’s harder to acknowledge (and then change) our own weaknesses.
Most of us are acutely aware of our own struggles and we are preoccupied with our own problems. We sympathize with ourselves because we see our own difficulties so clearly. But Ian MacLaren noted wisely, “Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.” -An article in the 1965 Chicago Tribune (1)
So, being busy in my personal life, and uber-reflective in my professional writing attempts, I haven’t written much lately. But, I think I’m ready to come back from my blogging break. I haven’t decided yet what my next topic on the blog will be, but I hope that I can write words that inspire joy. Joy is more powerful than happiness. Joy is an overcoming of the temporary; a seeking after of the eternal. Lots of things can make us feel a happy, but happiness can fade. Joy is lasting, because it is a choice and a pattern of being.
I always love to hear from my readers! If you have questions or topic requests, please let me know. Leave a comment below! Even better, leave me a comment detailing an experience when you learned that your words were powerful. Tell me how you have impacted others, for better or worse. At the end of the month, one lucky commenter will receive a prize – a gift card emailed to you.
Source: (1) 1965 September 17, Chicago Tribune, Living Faith by Harold Blake Walker, Page B10, Chicago, Illinois. (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)