Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is this a Christian blog?

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that we've had a houseguest recently. Our pastors recently moved, and our church has invited a really great couple, Jerry and Wilma, to be our new pastors. We don't know yet if that's going to work out, but Jerry is here for three weeks, preaching on Sundays and getting to know church members.

I was nervous about welcoming him into our home since I didn't know him well before he came. However, as the visit got closer, I became more and more comfortable with the idea of him being here, with excitement crowding out my dwindling nerves. When The Engineer first asked if I'd be willing to invite him to stay with us, I was hesitant. But I felt like God was urging me, "Do it; it'll be a good thing." So we did.

And having Jerry here has been a very good thing. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I spend a lot of time with houseguests! Jerry offers so much encouragement and wisdom. We don't see eye-to-eye on every issue, but his heart is full of love and faith. It's been wonderful to get to soak up all of that as we have great conversations about faith and politics and church and all sorts of other things. Right now he's visiting an out-of-town friend for a few days, but I expect more of the same good stuff when he returns.

When I started this blog, I decided I didn't want it to be a "Christian blog," even though I'm a Christian who blogs. I reasoned that I didn't want to limit my audience in that way.

But the other motivation was that I care so much about what other people think of me, and when it comes to something as polarizing as spiritual beliefs, I often stay quiet, because I don't want others to look down on me. I don't want the awkwardness or rejection that can come with disagreement. It scares me.

But in the last couple of weeks (starting before Jerry came, but definitely accelerated by his visit), I've felt my connection with God being revitalized. I'd lost most of the passion in my spiritual life, and I was okay with that. I'm not okay with it now. I'm seeking God deeply again, and I want to keep that up. I'd forgotten the peace and joy I have when I'm really connected with my Father.

With all that happening, I've been considering what I blog about. If my walk of faith is important to me, I want to give myself the freedom to be honest about it. I want to write about what's on my heart, whether that's a recipe, or a parenting story, or something I'm experiencing with God.

But I also want to be clear about something: It's not my job to convince others to believe the way I do. I don't want to manipulate anyone. I don't want to bang anyone over the head with my beliefs. I don't want to judge anyone. An important part of my faith is believing that God is strong enough and loving enough to draw people close to him. That's not my responsibility.

I just want to let God lead me in every part of my life, and I want to be open about that. I want to stop telling myself that talking (or writing) about Him is too scary.

So is this a Christian blog? I'd prefer to say that it's a Beth blog. It's about the things that interest me--family and cooking and crocheting and running (or, these days, walking.) And my faith affects all of those things, so yes--it's about faith too. It's not about sermonizing. It's just about me being real...and me welcoming you here, wanting you to be real too.

Whether our realities are similar or different, I'm glad you're here. Even if you can never be a guest at my house, I'm always happy to welcome you as a guest here, at my blog. (And I don't even have to tidy up the house for you!)


Toni said...

I really appreciate this post. I've been having similar thoughts recently.

I try to leave off most of my personal/political/religious opinions mostly because of what I think people might think of or say about me.

While this is fine for personal and political stuff I feel awful that I'm afraid of man regarding speaking about my Savior. He's done an AWFUL lot for me for me to be afraid to talk about him because of fear of man.

And now that I've rambled on quite enough I think I'll stop. :)

Monica Manning said...

It shouldn't matter what colour you are, which god(s) you believe in (or don't) or who you love. Yet we let it matter. Just be yourself, Beth. We are all happier when we are true to ourselves. The key is to allow everyone else to also be true. And accept it.

coachstretch said...

Amen Beth! I totally agree! I think you have the "write" idea. Doesn't have to be a "Christian" blog, but if you are in Christ, He is in you and therefore all that you do will have a Christ-feel to it. The best "Christian" blog to have is one where you allow His spirit to guide your writing and that you write about anything that is on your heart. It will all come back to glorify Him in the end.

Call Me Cate said...

I like the idea that this is a "Beth" blog. Your posts about certain topics (knitting, running, etc) are going to be more or less depending on where you are with your interest in them. And something like your faith is going to play a role in many of those other aspects. And if you want to blog about that, you most certainly should do so!

I also like your approach of not preaching or feeling like it's your job to push for conversion. As someone who wanders all over in my beliefs, I find I'm often MOST influenced by those that just incorporate things into their lives as opposed to those that beat me over the head with it.

Tiffany said...

I struggled with this too when I started really getting into my blog more. I don't want my blog to be a "christian" blog either, and I feel no obligation to announce it to the world or have scripture in every post or portray things a certain way. Yet, if people read more than just a few of my posts then my faith should be very clear to them. But, that's how I want my life to be too. It's all a part of who I am.

And, it scares me too. And, I'm just starting to learn to get over it.

Thanks for sharing you heart!

Unknown said...

Be and write who it is you are. Those who read and care about you will only care more and admire you for writing it real. All of us are somewhat defined or shaped by our beliefs and faith. It is one of those beautiful things that make us all so very different and yet so much the same all at once.