I’ve always written stuff down.
I’m not sure why. I guess because I love words. I guess because I am a nerd; a geek. I guess because it is how I process things. I guess because I am a reader, and writing seems to correspond to that.
I guess I write because I like to get stuff out of my head.
There is much that goes on inside of this brain that God has given me. It gets awfully muddled in there at times. Like potato soup. I like potato soup, a lot. It’s the only soup I really enjoy. But, if you were to watch me eat it, you would think that I hate it. I fish around for the potatoes, slurping them out of the soup with my spoon. I do this for two reasons: 1. I don’t like hot liquids (I can’t drink coffee or hot chocolate or hot tea) and 2. I don’t like carrots or peas. So, I dig out what makes sense to me–the potatoes themselves.
That’s kind of how my brain works. There is a lot of stuff muddled up in my brain. Not all of it is right thinking. In fact, I would dare say that much of it is not right thinking. So, like fishing potatoes out of potato soup, I write things down that are in my brain. Sometimes I write down the wrong thinking–not just the right thinking–so in that way it’s not like eating potato soup. Sometimes writing down the wrong thinking helps me to see the right thinking, much like straining the liquid and the carrots and peas out of soup would help me to find the potatoes better.
See–my mind can be an incredibly odd duck kind of place. Who else could liken their brain to potato soup? Sheesh.
I write, much. And always have.
In my childhood home in Iowa, my bedroom was in an unfinished basement. It was dark, dank and musty, the tiles of the floor were broken. It was quite cold–which was awesome in the summer, not so awesome in the winter. Winter, in Iowa, can be brutal. I imagine my affinity for fuzzy blankets, socks and sweatshirts has its roots in that basement. I liked it down there. I had the whole basement to myself. I found it to be a refuge—my own space. It was quiet, private. There was even this makeshift kind of bathroom, which for the most part I was scared of, but actually was useful on more than one occasion.
And, there were lots of good hiding spots for my writings. This was way, way, way before the advent of personal computers. Before the advent of creating documents in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. There was paper, and there were pencils and ball point pens. And I used much, of both.
I wonder if any of my old writings are in that basement still? Goodness, I hope not.
Today, the vast majority of what I write is tucked away into folders that contain 100s of files in them on my computer, some pass-word protected and some not, or on a hard drive that I keep hidden away, much like those old spiral bound notebooks in that musty basement. Some of my writings are what I refer to as “Scripture Work” and many of those are tied to scripture in my Bible Study software. But, some of my writings find their way to this website.
Out of curiosity a few days ago, I went searching for my old “blog” site on Blogger. I used to blog at Blogger before I moved over to WordPress. I couldn’t even remember the web URL for it. After some digging, I found it, and discovered that I posted my first blog entry on April 17th, 2009. And, that’s as far as I got, because I couldn’t bring myself to read any of my old entries. Whew.
So, I’ve been at this sort of “Fish-bowl” writing for a while. It’s a strange thing–to put your thoughts out there for the public to read. A bit disconcerting and disturbing, actually. And, honestly, I’m always, always surprised that anyone takes the time to read my words. Obviously, what I write here on this site is meant to be read. And, I’m always so incredibly humbled and grateful when these words are read. Oh, so much so. You have no idea. But, it still comes as a shock to me.
For being such an introvert, there is this scary vulnerability that comes in putting your words out there for the public to read. A rawness. In fact, there have been several times that I’ve started to write certain blog posts and have just not been able to do it. And, that’s ok. That’s the way writing is sometimes. Some of those writings have found their way into password-protected files, exactly where they are meant to be. Because they belong before my God, who sees all that I write. He is the God that sees.
What does end up here, though, is what I hope will be helpful and not harmful. What I hope will be interesting, encouraging, thought-provoking. What I hope will be God-honoring, even in the tougher subjects.
Writing is life-giving to me, much like scripture work is. I write, because writing is a struggle against both silence and loudness. And, both silence and loudness reside in my soul.
I love that God used words to reveal Himself to mankind. I can empathize deeply with the writers of scripture. Paul, through his letters, certainly. The authors of the Psalms even more so. Even the writing down of the law. I get it–the drive to record, the drive to put into words what one sees or believes, the drive to pour one’s soul out to God. I get it, because I live that out every single day.
And, so I write.
And, I suppose I always will.
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19: 23-27