When My Story Beckons

About once a year, I go through the blogging blues. Usually, it happens when my real life picks up pace for one reason or another, and blogging becomes a burden rather than a release.

I’m in that phase right now.

I think anyone who chronicles their daily lives for any length of time probably experiences these blues every now and then. I’ve been blogging now for almost EIGHT YEARS. That’s a lot of experiences. A lot of change. A lot of laughing. A lot of crying. And a whole heck of a lot of words.

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But here’s the part that always brings me back to my computer: It’s also a whole lot of memories. 

In the past four years, I have sat down at my computer and written 1,868 blog posts. So many, many nights, I have retreated to my little office to sort through whatever the day has brought me. Sitting at this keyboard is like sitting in a therapists office for me. I think with my hands when I write. And the act of writing through my life’s experiences keeps me focused and centered on what matters most in my life.

I come back to my computer every time for the readers, too. Over 676,000 unique people have visited my website over 7.8 million times. And 47,000 of these readers have left comments! And each of those comments come from readers who encourage me to keep my head up and push ahead. I have learned how to be a wife, a cook, a sister, a friend, a mother, a teacher, and a woman of faith from each of you. I’ve grown up here at this computer, and with each step I took, my readers have cheered for me, cried with me, prayed over me, and sometimes even gave me a good, swift kick in the pants when I needed it. We all need those real-life friends who walk with us through life, and I have a handful of those special women in my life. But having this network of imaginary friends is a gift that continues to shape and mold my life in the most unexpected ways.

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Blogging for this long has brought a lot of shared experiences from people from all over the world, too. This little blog has been read in over 210 countries to date, and through each international imaginary friend I have connected with, I have come to the realization that the need to feel normal and real and connected to others is a universal and lifelong journey. I think my favorite comments I receive are the ones from people walking extremely different paths than me, and yet we find common ground. I’ve received comments from mothers in Africa, wives in Thailand, sisters in India, teenage girls in Germany, and the list goes on. I get emails and Facebook messages from gay couples, atheists, single moms, widower dads, military families, and the list goes on. And through each wide-reaching message from the corners of the globe, there is a common thread: We all want to be heard. To be seen. To be touched. To be inspired. To know that we are enough.

Sometimes, my  real life takes over my computer – as it should – and blogging becomes a weight to carry. A job to do. And for a month or so a year, I drag my feet coming into my office. Or, I don’t do it at all. And I enjoy that time away. I sit on my couch and watch TV with Chris until midnight on weekdays! I take long walks after dinner! I read more! I let my kids stay up past their bedtimes!  And all of those things are good and bring happiness to my life.  Those are the experiences that life is made of.  But eventually, my keyboard beckons.

And when that happens, I finally open the door to my office again.  I dust off my desk, and I get back to telling my story. Because I live my life with my family, but I remember my life with my keyboard.

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Those first two throw-back-to-2010 pictures were taken by the ever-amazing Jenn Hopkins Photography.

 

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15 Thoughts to “When My Story Beckons”

  1. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now and I totally understand where you are coming from. It’s addicting and therapeutic at the same time, but when we hit that wall and everything is so hectic and overwhelming is good to regroup, refuel and find balance. We will be here and even though I don’t always leave comments, I’ve been part of those imaginary friends for almost 5 years and I love to always come back and see what you guys are up to.

    The other day I was thinking about those times when you first moved to Orlando, but you guys were living in that super small house and then how your life changed in a matter of years… Those words kept me looking ahead when things were not so good around here, financially and emotionally. I just let God take over and things are starting to look better. We don’t have a house yet, but we are getting closer.

    Thank you for sharing and for being my imaginary friend.

    Hugs,

    Maybelline

  2. Aileen

    I love your blog and have been reading for a few years now. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. 🙂

  3. Stephanie saliba

    I read this post so fast imagining you were going to say goodbye to us imaginary friends. My heart was beating so fast ahhaha thank goodness that was not the case. Now I can read the post without being freaked out.

  4. Candice

    I read this whole thing holding my breath, thinking you were giving up blogging… 🙂 Which, of course, you’re always free to do but I’m going to continue to enjoy your stories and writing while it’s here. 🙂

  5. Posts like these remind me the importance of making sure the interaction doesn’t become one sided. I read religiously but rarely comment. Thanks for telling your stories, I love reading!

  6. Diane

    I can breathe now knowing that you’re not telling us all goodbye! I would have cried if you were but understood at the same time. 🙂

  7. Leanne

    Long time reader, first time leaving a comment. When I first discovered your blog, I spent HOURS reading your past posts. Thank you for your honesty, your faith and your sense of humor. Your blog is what I check at night, once my little one is asleep at night. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and I am thankful for you taking the time to write it.

  8. Vedhanandini

    I am from India and each day I wake up to take some time to read ur blog or just to take a look at bean and Gracie, i get to learn sooo much from u.i would always imagine the life of Americans like it is shown in the Hollywood movies but I realize it is different.i have started to like target ,I have started to meal plan just like u. I have a girl child who is 8 years old and our dream destination has been Disneyland for quiet some time.wish our dream comes true.we would love to meet u ,if we ever come to Florida.
    Don’t ever stop writing…….

  9. Bean, Gracie & Tillman's Nana

    As any proud mama would do I have read your blog faithfully ever since you began Marriage Confessions. In the beginning my focus was always on your writing, seldom on the comments. But through the years I began to read through the feedback and consider it as vital to MC as your column. I’ve learned so much from your “imaginary friends” as well as from you. The greatest lesson has been just how good hearted and kind people from all walks of life truly are.

  10. Hilda

    I read your blog in Germany (but I am not one of those teenage girls. 😉 Every morning I start my day with a cup of coffee and reading blogs. Yours is the one, I am mostly looking forward to. You are such a talented writer and have wisdom and inside in so many areas beyond your age (I can say that as I am more than double your age). Most of your blogs leave something with me for the rest of the day, a thought, a word, a point of view. I don’t always agree but they make me think and see things that I didn’t see and think about before. When the blogging blues is hitting just remember how many lives you touch and in return how many people are rooting and hoping for you around the world. Live your life, hug the real world and then come back to us to tell your story.

  11. Halston

    Halston from Texas 🙂 Ive been reading here for almost 5 years…right before you moved to Florida. Im always on the search for good blogs to read but after 5 years the only 2 blogs I check every morning is yours (always first) and then PW. I think that says enough!

  12. Kelsey

    I’ve been reading your blog since before Bean was born! I have even gone back through the beginning and spent many hours catching up. I’m a teacher as well and since I most closely relate to that part of your life at the moment I love hearing about it. I am excitedly anticipating the day I can relate to all your posts about marriage and children! I thoroughly appreciate your honesty about your faith. It is what keeps me coming back!

  13. Michelle

    I can’t believe that I’ve been following your blog for the past 4 1/2 years already- it feels like it was just yesterday that I followed a link from the Pioneer Woman’s page, recommending some of her favorite sites. I was hooked almost instantly; I thought “here is someone who reminds me so much of myself!” and I was drawn to reading about how you overcame obstacles and setbacks in life and rejoyced in life’s blessings with you and Chris. I watched as you started off as a small family of three in a small house and journeyed with you as you relocated back to Florida, blossomed admidst some unforseen setbacks, and have become a beautiful and amazing family of four. Your journey from newlywed to parents helped make me less nervous about my own transition into the same. Watching you stumble and recover let me know it was okay for me to do the same and I gathered strength from you and your family. I’ve cried with you, I’ve laughed with you, and I’d like to think I’ve grown with you. Now I have an almost two year old son of my own and while raising a child with special needs has thrown me down a somewhat different and unnerving path than yours, I still look to your blog for a source of strength, a bit of wisdom, and a whole lot of entertainment.
    Thank you for giving so much of yourself and for sharing your family and your life with us for so many years!

  14. Jenna

    I’m so glad you do!

  15. Katie,

    We will be here for when you get back to your keyboard. I have followed you for some time now. I take tons of ideas from your blog to teach my son that is close to Gracie’s age. I love to see your family grow and I am thankful that I found you and your blog.

    Take care and enjoy your life. It is great that you are having so much fun that you don’t have time to journal about it! 🙂

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