Thursday, April 5, 2007

Ever Mindful

On Tuesday, Eric referred us to this article by Deb Thompson over at Write Lighting.

I went.

I read. Sometimes you read, and your heart simply resounds, "Yes."

I am convicted.

I am alone…a lot. I am with people…too much. Deb is right. I am sometimes with people so much I am unable to collect my thoughts to tell stories about people at all. But when I do have time to collect my thoughts, I smile. When I am around people, every day, it is fun for me. And these people, I love. I may have just met them, or I’ve known them for years. People are delightful – in their happiness, in their stress, in their sorrow, in their anger.

If I told you the ins and outs of my life just yesterday in Tulsa, you might not believe it. And this is a normal day for me.

My day ran the gamut from fun to intensity:

Meeting co-workers at the airport…to

Maneuvering through a hundred people going through only one line in security…to

An Avis moment when my co-worker couldn’t rent a SUV because he wasn’t 25…to

Facing huge seemingly insurmountable anger in a friend and client with whom I share the bond of Christ…to

Sharing thoughts with two men I greatly admire…to

Seeing a slightly inebriated friend at the airport and grieving with her…to

Running into my first babysitter from another town, who also had a crush on my big brother…to

Meeting a beautiful couple from New Orleans and sharing the love of Christ…

Do you see what I mean? Stories happen to me every day…I can write about them, but I don’t. Most of them are probably worthy. All of them would be entertaining. But I’m new at this and I’m not yet sure where the line is on telling the tales.

So. I. Wait.

Deb wrote about the importance of reading to a writer – and I know she’s right. I mean, I’m faithful to read all your blogs. And I try to stay up, somewhat, on the news. And I read a funny article on Second Life in the Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine yesterday on the plane en route to Tulsa…and I laughed until I cried. In my heart, I thought, “Dude, this guy can write. And he is funny!” I want to write like that. As to reading meaningful content, stuff that goes deep and grows, I am sorely lacking. I will be more cognizant of that.

But I digress. Back to the matter at hand.

The most important thing Deb said was, “We have to constantly keep in mind that what we do is really important, but it's not more important than who we are. If we forget that, we cheat ourselves, our readers and even our Creator, who first called us to be who we are.”


I want to be ever mindful of who He has called me to be.


Karen said...

Great post, Janie. Enjoyed the link.

Bob said...

A nice succinct summary of yesterday that conveys the flavors of the day well. I spent my youth consuming books and that helps me express myself on paper much better. One of the saddest results of my brain injury is I am unable to read for the next day I must start the book over because I can't remember what I had read.

Gwynne said...

Very nice, Janie. I couldn't agree more. I want to be ever mindful of who He has called me to be, too. :-)

Foo said...


Where to draw the line on personal tales? I base that decision on a number of factors:

- Would the person be able to recognize him-/herself even after I changed his/her name?

- Would the person find the anecdote hurtful? Funny? Would he/she be flattered?

- Can the anecdote be abstracted sufficiently to protect the subject's identity but still retain the core elements that inspired you to write about it?

If I know people would enjoy reading my take on a common adventure (MS 150 training rides, for instance), I substitute nicknames for real names and let 'er rip.

If an anecdote is embarrassing or unflattering to anyone but me, I try to get the point across but with so few potentially identifiable details that if the person stumbled on my blog, even he/she would have to wonder, "Is he talking about me?" I've done that quite often in my rants about my workplace.

Of course, I have the advantage of plausible deniability. My style of writing tends to be so disjointed and embellished that, if pressed on the issue, I can always claim that my postings are works of fiction.

Trace said...

Very nice Janie. Remember, the blogging experience is a wonderful way to reach out to others and share; but it is also just as necessary that you enjoy it for yourself.

I have journaled in one way or another for most of my life. My writing has sustained me during the worst times of my life. I have only been blogging since June of 2006; but I have been writing forever it seems.

I am so grateful God saw fit to give me the gift of being able to write my thoughts, ideas, and feelings. It is not that I think of myself as a great writer or anything. It is simply that I find writing my best way of expressing what's "in there". It is a wonderful outlet for me.

I think you are doing a fine job with your blogging. Enjoy it. I have found that often it can become a task, using lots of energy. When I see this happening, I back off a little. Your blog belongs to you; that's the cool part! It is also one wonderful way to give of yourself in the way "He" has called you to do so.

Janie said...

Thanks, Karen and Bob!

Amen, Gwynne.

Foo - I love it when you comment- you always give me great advice. And I loved the "plausible deniability"!

Trace - thanks for the encouragement, girl. I am enjoying this blogging stuff. (Probably way too much!)