In which I criticise my list, offer my spiritual guidance to bloggers, and other matters

My daily kitchen bouquet

I had such fun putting together that list of 50 Church & Faith Lady-Bloggers during hockey playoffs on Sunday night (sidenote: Go Bruins!). And I’m overwhelmed by how well it was received. Thank you so much for your comments, for covering Twitter and Facebook with a message around women’s voices in the Church, for encouraging each one of those writers in the comments, for reading. I hardly know what to say – and, for me, to be at a loss for words….

My heart wasn’t to rank or exclude, but to bring attention to just a handful of women whose voices are speaking to us all.  And that’s not all….there were a few criticisms I had with myself over the list.

For example, I didn’t like that only a handful of women there were over 50, and so a friend of mine who falls into that category will be posting her Top Faith and Church Lady-Bloggers Over 50 here later this week. And I also feel that there was a gap in one or two more areas so I’ll be keeping an eye out to fix that later this week or next.

I’d like to highlight more women out of the USA, more women on the fringes of creative and new expressions of Church and faith, more women that are not married with children, more women that are visible minorities. So stay tuned, and if any of those areas are speaking to you, or if there is another area you’d like to see highlighted, drop me an email and we’ll see what we can figure out. I”m not into being a list-factory, but I do think it’s important somehow.

I wrote a short post for Lisa Colon Delay’s blog series on Spiritual Guidance for Bloggers. I admit that I struggled with writing it – I suck at advice and I’m very “hey, whatever works, man” in my sensitivities (you know me….).  But the series has been fantastic (particularly loved Ray’s contribution) and here is mine:

Dear Blogger: 

There are so many ways to be a better blogger, to increase your traffic, to maximize your SEO, to make money. 

I practice almost none of them. 

After nearly 8 years of writing my life out online, I’ve made almost every mistake one can make. I’ve learned the hard way to write angry, but publish when I’ve calmed down. I’ve received my fair share of angry criticism and lavish praise. I’ve been convinced that I’m God’s gift to the blogosphere and, usually within a few moments, pretty sure that my blog is an abomination upon the earth. And I discovered that what is good for the Google analytics isn’t always good for my soul. 

In which Sarah Bessey writes a letter to bloggers

And then picked up and featured my contribution to Adam Walker Cleveland’s (Re)Imagining Christianity series. No provocative title this time, thank heavens, but I loved that piece and I’m glad to see it still out in the world.

Somehow, when I find myself in someone else’s stories, I find God there, too. It’s hard to fight with someone about their own experience so sometimes, even if it jumps my fence, I have to slow my quick judgement, slow my I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong, to give space to the truth that God works and moves in mysterious and unique ways. Even if I disagree with the premise behind it, I can look a soul in the eyes and say, I heard you, I hear you, I honour God at work in you. 

I love when faith communities make space for the stories of the people of God. I hope we always make space for the testimony. Not the sanitized three-steps-to-success stories, no, the real ones. Not the properly vetted, people as mascots for evangelicalism. The unpolished, unedited people of God should be heard, we should be listening, we should be speaking, preaching the Gospel of our lives back and forth, not to one-up each other, but to encourage, to testify to the goodness of our God. 

He’s saved me.
He’s healed me.
He’s loved me.
Oh, I can testify to this: God is love and love is God and grace covers us all. 

Has Your Church Lost the Power of Testimony?

And in a trifecta of coolness (or a trifecta of “I’m sick of myself by now”), the vast blogging network, BlogHer, picked up and featured my contribution to the Mother Letters project as a snippet on their front page yesterday. (The full article is here.)

There is no perfect mother.
If there is one thing that has tripped me up most as a mum, especially in the early years of this, it’s the belief that somewhere, out there, was The Perfect Mother. Sometimes she was my own mother. Sometimes she was someone online. Sometimes she was someone at church or at the playground. I’d see one brief moment of her life, or hear her speak, or see her kids, and think, I bet she never resents wiping bums or feels bored, I bet she never feels so tired that even her eyebrows are aching, I bet she loves every single minute of this mothering thing and I bet her kids listen to classical music and never bicker. I bet she’s a better mother than me.
That just isn’t true, The Perfect Mother only exists in the land of unicorns.
Of unicorns and perfect mothers

It worked out nicely because the ebook celebrating both the mess and the glory of motherhood releases TODAY and I’m glad it’s getting more attention. I love that book and want to give it to every mother I know.

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blogging, faith, Guest Post, Top Lady Bloggers, writing

One Response to In which I criticise my list, offer my spiritual guidance to bloggers, and other matters

  1. Mickey James October 21, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    I was searching the blogs for a long time and that is good to know that I have found such blogs here. Great working! Keep it up!

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