April 28, 2015

The Why …

pink dogwood

Last weekend we had a Family History Date Night at church. The Hubby and I were in charge of a little booth about hosting a family reunion with a family history focus – something we’ll be doing later this Summer. I brought several of our ancestral photographs from the gallery wall in our upstairs hallway, a few biographies of ancestors, and one of my blog books to display on the table.

As people came by our booth, they looked at our information and pictures, thumbed through the books and asked questions. The biggest draw to the table, however, was my blog book. Inevitably the questions about my blog, blogging and how I got it printed into a book would arise. And they all made me feel tremendous guilt.

Finally our Bishop’s wife asked me, “Do you still write on your blog?” When I told her no, that I’d decided to take a little break, she replied, “What a shame. I can’t think of a better way to record a family’s story. Your kids are going to fight over these books some day.”

Gulp.

For the longest time, writing on this blog was a pressure for me. It was about writing to this imaginary collective mass of readers (small mass, mind you) who I tried to visualize and meet the needs of. It was draining. I felt like I was constantly battling myself to come up with interesting things to write about that would please other people. In doing so, I ended up disappointing myself most of the time, feeling like I was no good at it, and that I couldn’t live up to the self inflicted hype.

Today I am back writing on this blog for one express purpose: to record the beauty and mess of the daily workings of my family that equals our history. I hope you don’t feel let down in any way to know that this blog just isn’t about you – who ever you are. It’s about me. It’s about us. The Travis and Samantha Lee Family.

I wouldn’t be back here writing if I didn’t believe this is where God wants me to be. As I have increased my understanding of those who came before me recently, I have realized if I don’t keep writing here, there will be no record of us for our future generations to have. I want to be a help to them in the same way that my ancestors have been to me – helping me through my trials by inspiring me with their actions in hard times. I want them to know things about us, like that we had a tradition of eating pizza every Friday or going to the beach in Delaware for Memorial Day. I want my children to remember little things that I have forgotten from my own childhood.

So this little blog is going to stay true to its rediscovered purpose. And I am shedding myself of the pressure to please others. My family has got to come first.

And that is why I am back to blogging.

[branches cut from the dogwood tree in my back yard]

10 comments:

Apis Melliflora said...

I applaud your purpose.

And I continue to be inspired by your honesty, your discipline (writing even when you don't feel like it) and your devotion to your family.

I am always excited to read your posts because I get a glimpse into your family's life and the way you see the world--both of which bring me great joy, reminding me of what a gift you and your family are to me!

Jennie and Adam said...

I love this post! I too have felt compelled to write for my family's benefit as i realized recently that the stories they remember and retell are the ones they have read from the blog (which hasn't been updated for too long). Thank you for following through on inspiration to bless your family--it inspires me, and others, to do the same!

Susan Barbini said...

The reason I love reading your blog is the subjects you write most about, your wonderful family! I always look forward to reading the different stories about the kiddos and I especially love to read your perspective on things that are happening in your life.

Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

And this is why you should blog. Not necessary to please us. Being honest about who you are and what you are going through is why we read this blog!!

PS I am glad you are back!!! :)

Ronalin said...

Please write about your family, it is one way I get more of you in my daily life!!!!! Just be you in every way, that is how you brig joy!

Sue said...

All I have ever wanted from your blog was to read about the Travis and Samantha Lee Family. You are my friend and I love you. I couldn't care less about how witty you are or crafty you are or insightful you are. I just love being a part of your life via the blog.

I think this statement perfectly describes a great number of bloggers: "I felt like I was constantly battling myself to come up with interesting things to write about that would please other people." I believe the deepest and most important value of a blog is what you write about that pleases you and your immediate family, not some nameless audience.

Forward, ho!

The Queen Vee said...

Stupid me, I always thought your blog was about recording your family history. I think Soren looked at the latest blog book Travis gifted you and thought wow there's not much about me in this book. You are a wonderful writer, use it or lose it....both your writing skills and your family history. Grateful you've decided not to lose either one.

Maclaine said...

I missed you.

Hil said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! I'm happy you're back!

Maybe I will start blogging again too...

AllisonK said...

Hooray!!! I love reading your blog. It's a treasure.