On Comments

“For me writing has always felt like praying… You feel that you are with someone. I feel I am with you now, whatever that can mean…”
~Marilynne Robinson


“And now I live and I breathe for an audience of One…”
~Sara Groves


One of the first blogs I ever read was Autismville by Judith, and I had a “Killing Me Softly” experience. I felt like she had ‘found my letters and read each one out loud’ (only she said it better than I ever could).

But I thought, I’ll try my hand at this — keep account of Rhema’s growth and development, write about the highs and lows and God’s fingerprint in the midst of it all.

Somewhere along the way I started noticing stats, linking the quality of my writing and my value to a hit counter. The affirmation and applause, the cyber pats on the back became a little too important. There were times when I went a few days without blogging and literally felt unsettled until I published a post. I began to wonder how much of my endeavoring was for a comment-worthy post rather than a worthy post. Not that I have some ginormous readership or something, but I missed the early days when I didn’t compare or care about measuring up or keeping up (- shoot, my first post ever was about Rhema on the toilet.)

Earlier this year I found myself in a horrible pit.

I realized I needed to pause and take stock of my life, search my heart. I stepped down from a number of things, including blogging. Why do I say what I say, do what I do. Why do I write? Why do I blog? Life is precious and time is short, and if I’m going to spend any of it on this blog, I want to make sure that it comes from a pure, honest place.

When I returned to this space I disabled comments and hid the stats meter, and it has helped me remember what and who I’m writing for. But one of the best things about blogging for me has been the community, the conversation. And I dearly love the community in this corner of the blogosphere! (I read a blog the other day and went to add my two cents only to discover that the writer had disabled comments. I felt muted, shut off from the discourse. I don’t want anyone to feel that way here).

All that to say, I’ve turned comments back on. (Yes, I’m psychotic.) I may very well turn comments back off when I feel that self-imposed bloggy pressure coming on or I find the old competitive, prideful self creeping back in.

I so enjoy words. I love reading them, writing them into stories. Rhema’s every little word whispered or approximated is priceless. Hope’s words amaze and amuse.

Words in cyberspace are superfluous. Every time I log in, the WordPress tool boasts ‘52,539,835 words today.’ Countless words are recorded in chats, emails, blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages. My friend Stefan wrote once, “With the sheer volume and pace of words and words and words, it is unnatural and counter cultural to slow down enough to read or write words that matter. And here is this blog adding more to the lightly edited, rough draft VOLUME, like more teardrops in the rain…”

I want what I do and say to matter. What I say about my days with autism. What I say about my days as a wife and mother, as a friend and sister. As one who fell, and falls, and was saved, as is saved by grace alone.

If I write something that matters or resonates with you or frustrates you, or if you have advice to share or just want to encourage me, please do comment. I thank you. In the meantime, I’m trying to learn that God’s comment on my life is the only one I need, it’s only His ‘Well done’ that counts.


*Rhema and I are off on a reconnaissance mission to the DC area this week. We’ll be scoping out schools in Maryland and Virginia, looking for a place to live. (Thank you to all who sent recommendations and referrals.) I’m a little anxious about Rhema handling all of the travel, but the Electric Slide is cued up on the iTouch so we should be good. The director of Rhema’s current school is going with us to tour potential schools and help me make a decision about which is best. Yeah, we got it like that. We’re so blessed, and I’m grateful.

29 thoughts on “On Comments

  1. Interestingly, there have been times I’ve wanted to respond to you and couldn’t. However, having experienced the same as you in the blogospher(ic) pressures, I completely understand. It’s not psychotic. It’s self-preservation and the preservation of what’s important. Psychotic…is having a blog. Deleting most of it. Starting another. Writing in it and then beginning another to write in simultaneously. *That’s* psychotic. .

  2. I, for one, am glad the comments are back. There have been so many times that I’ve sat here and said, “But I want to TELL you something!” But I understand the self-imposed pressure (I feel it too…) and understand if they need to come and go.

    Hey, we’re flexible around here. We being… me. And that being… a joke. But really, I try!

  3. I’m so glad you’re letting the love in again. At least for now.

    And not enough can possibly be made of Rhema’s school director coming along to DC. Please thank her for me. 😉

  4. I’ve missed being able to give you that cyber high five when Rhema does something amazing or send a big hug when you need one. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It takes a village, remember???

    And for the Director of the school who is coming with you to DC – Wow. Just wow.

  5. I’ve so missed being able to cheer and hug within the comments. Thank you for turning them back on! And the director coming with you – what an amazing person! Lots of hope that you find just the right place for your family. Love, love, love and many hugs from me.

  6. Happy to see you back in the banter. 🙂 (Though I understand and admire your decision to keep your motives in check). We’ll be praying for you this week. Still holding out hope for PA. Love, C.

  7. I find your writing inspirational. I get so busy and concerned there are some moments I forget to trust GOD. Your writing puts everything back in order. My autistic son is actually doing well right now and I am thankful. He has 4 other brothers and a sister.

  8. So glad that comments are back on. I’ve wanted you to know that someone (lil old me) was out here reading and encouraging you. Yours is the blog I read when I don’t have time to read other blogs.

  9. Yay! I love how blackknightsbrood put it – “back in the banter”! And I always enjoy reading the other comments too.

    I’ll be thinking of you and praying for a successful trip to DC. So awesome about the director! Can’t wait to hear about how it went. xo

  10. Thanks for sharing your sweet heart with us. I’m so glad the comments are back, too! (Especially since you’re leaving us!) I’m going to miss my Rhema time so much, and I look forward to keeping up with you all here. 😉 Love you.

  11. What jess said.

    “killing me softly” heh. I would not have guessed you to know that old one – first popular in MY teen years.

    Sorry I’m late in to find out the dialogue is open again but I am just as happy as everyone else!

  12. i completely understand your reasoning for disabling your comments(and i wish i could be as strong as you were in shutting the comments off). but i am happy you turned them on. happy bc i would come here and feel so emotional and connected to your life and then there was no way to interact (even if it’s through cyberspace) with you.

    I wanted a chance to tell you how much your blog means to me, how powerful your writing is, how gifted you are, how i could totally relate, how your faith inspires me (as someone of little faith)… and there was no way to do it. I understand that you want to keep your writing pure and not have it tainted with pride and other desires but trust me — your writing is, always was, and always will be, pure and from the heart. It connects with people so deeply that they want to just reach out and connect with you.

    Blogging, unlike writing for magazines etc, is unique in that it IS a dialogue, a relation-building tool too at times. It’s hard to not get totally absorbed with that – i struggle with it too. we probably all do as “bloggers”.

    from thousands of miles away, you have touched my life and made me a better mother to MY little girl 🙂 Your writing is a true GIFT from God. Please dont ever stop 🙂

  13. I missed you when you were “gone” for awhile and then I missed reading about the love that poured out to you when the comments were turned off. Now, for now, both are here again.

    Wishing you the best of good fortune as you make this journey to find a home and a school.

  14. I know there were several times I wanted to comment, but I respected your decision to turn them off. Sometimes you just to be able to share your heart and let it go.

    I hope that you have a great trip and find the right place for the future.

  15. God takes us through our paces with blogging, does he not? How glad I am to be able to leave a few words to you, either way…

    I love your heart and your willingness to expose it to us, even when it includes potty stories in the airport! I assume you’re making a move in the near future. I wish it were to NC, but it seems you’ll be a bit closer at least.

    Prayers and love to you this night.


  16. Pingback: Let your words be few « Autism In a Word

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