A couple of weeks before Jake's arrival in 2010, my husband and I had a conversation about how we would handle posting pictures and information about our upcoming arrival on the Internet. I was a bit nervous, having heard horror stories about the dangers of posting things on the Internet and then of course blowing them out of proportion in my brain. We never really settled on anything and when Jake made his debut, he was everywhere. And still is... we just couldn't help ourselves or bear to keep his precious face to ourselves. And then Lilly came along and without a second thought we did it all over again, posting endless amounts of pictures and videos. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
As I look back on that first (and only) discussion, I realize that as a mother my fears were certainly justified. Bad things happen to good people, and as a mom, it's our job to worry about our kids. It's natural. But I also now understand that with just as much bad that can come from sharing your life with others, there is ten times more good. When you have a baby, people come out of the woodwork to congratulate you and share the joy. So many friends wish my children happy birthday or comment about how much they've grown, even if they've never actually met them. And even though we've moved away from Small Town, Illinois, I love that we still have "family" there that know our sweet Lilly even though they've never actually seen her in person. As much as I love peeking in on the lives of total strangers (particularly other moms in this season of life) and seeing their cute kiddos, I hope that my kids bring joy to the faces of total strangers, too.
So what about the danger? Well, while I will always be mildly concerned, I do not let that stop me from sharing. Particularly because I know that if something terrible were to happen to my family, whether that be to me, my husband, my kids, etc., that we would have more support and love poured out than we would know what to do with it. Granted, I don't want to have to experience that, but I know that it's true. By putting myself out there, I think we get so much more in return. Plus, I have seen it with my own eyes.
Remember how I posted last fall about my friend Meg needing prayers? Well, she and her husband put themselves way out there and rather than updating their blog, they created a Facebook page to keep people informed about their baby's fight with heart problems. Today this tiny little guy has over 3,000 fans. Little Tyson has flatlined on more than one occasion, but since my last post he has undergone his second surgery, was home just in time for Christmas, and has been home ever since aside from a couple of nights for different procedures. But by putting themselves out there, "exposing" themselves if you will, they have been covered up with love, flooded with prayer, and complete and total strangers have supported them to the point that they have yet to pay a single hospital bill! Can you believe that? Not to mention that tough little Tyson has stolen the hearts of many, including mine. Prayer works... and I think Meg's beautiful family can attest to that. His journey is far from over and they have a rough road ahead, so if you've followed their story at all, please continue to send love and prayer their way.
I don't really know where this post is coming from today, but it's been on my heart as of late. I feel like every time we we turn on the news we are inundated with the bad. It seems like that's all that ever gets reported and is probably why I hardly ever watch it. But if we look elsewhere we are reminded that people in this world are oh-so-good and oh-so-loving. I think deep down we all want to see others have it all, find love, success, and happiness. In my case I want to take the blessings that God has given me and pour them out to others in whatever way that we can. Three years ago my blog started out as just a way to keep our friends and family up-to-date on our lives since we moved far away from everyone. Over the years it has evolved a bit, included snippets of our journey as church planters, and recently started getting a bit deeper into faith-based issues. I think it's my way of trying to contribute to the good. I think it's my way of trying to show love and happiness to those who read this, whether they know me or not. Because the world can use as much good as we can find, and to me, good is from God. If I can introduce Him to someone who reads this, even if it's just one person, than that is the biggest way to show love that I can think of. At one point I wanted followers for the sake of seeing that number jump up. But now? I want more than that. I just want to encourage, lift up, and spread a little sunshine to anyone who stops by. I hope that's what I've done for you today. I hope that's what I can continue to do for those of you who allow me to "expose" my life and share it here. I think that's why I love blogging... bloggers are really some of the nicest people I've never met. Isn't that so true?
Besides, how could I ever keep these two adorable faces to myself? That just wouldn't be fair.