Drum-roll please!

Hand on keyboard
The picture shows a laptop keyboard, with a hand resting on it as though someone is typing

Today’s ‘Daily Prompt’ Question is one of the best; simple, yet profound:

Why do you blog?

For me, the answer is straight forward. I blog for several reasons.

1. A creative outlet

Firstly, because my parents encouraged me to find an outlet which used my gifts and also engaged my brain. As a person with significant impairments, it is very difficult to find enough to keep me occupied without exhausting myself at the same time. I have discovered, that this is a common problem. To know I am not the only one who faces this precarious balancing act on a daily, perhaps hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute basis is a massive relief. It is also useful to share coping strategies and tips, and simply to talk about the frustration this particular battle can cause. There are days where I am simply too exhausted to type. Additionally, if another part of my disability is out of kilter, say I am in excessive pain, or the bag is being particularly difficult I may well have no energy or head-space left to blog, as has been the case of late. That said, to have found an outlet which I enjoy, uses my gifts, engages my brain, and connects me with people who have similar interests is a joy. I have to admit, I needed encouragement, or a ‘boot up the backside’ to actually start writing. Bryony had been telling me for weeks that i should start a blog. When I joined twitter, she introduced me to Bex as the friend she had told her about who was going to start writing for BigBible, which Bex now works for, as they had been on the lookout for someone like me. Introductions made, I had no choice but to start. This was the boost I needed. It was a thrill to be one of the #digidisciples whose work featured in the top ten of most shared posts of 2012. The reaction to my first post was something which has stayed with me ever since, and I often bring to mind when I am in need of encouragement with my writing.

2. God is using me, and my writing

This reason for blogging is also connected with the first point. It is God who has given me the brain and the gifts necessary to make a good go of my blog, and my hope is to use it for His Glory, as should be my aim with everything I do. Many of my non-Christian friends or family like to read my posts, so this is a motivation for me to show how my faith makes a difference to the difficult times in my life, of which there are plenty. I hope and pray this will be a witness to those who read it. I decided early on that as much as possible I would keep my blog ‘real’, by writing honestly, including the good, the bad, and the ugly, without dramatising things but also without glossing over the tough stuff. I wanted mine to stand out. Not just a single-issue blog but something that reflected the variety of my life, and also so that as many people as possible could find something in my writing which speaks to them or with which they identify. Occasional feedback from readers is proving this to be true.

3. Semi housebound, but reaching the masses without leaving my front door!

For my first #digidisciple post for the Big Bible Project,. I wrote about the benefits of social media in general and twitter in particular when it is impossible to interact with the world in other ways. To go out, I have to book care, of which there are limited hours in a week, and/or a wheelchair taxi. Many of you reading this will understand just how expensive this can be. This all also depends on me having the finances to cover the cost of transport and having a good day energy wise to be able to go out. For both those reasons,. the places i go to are often limited to a specific list of places, or if in Leeds, a specific area meaning I frequently meet the same people. Online, however, it is a different story, and I can reach a much broader audience. My father recently referred to me as “a master blogger”, and commented on,the variety of people who read my work. I aim to be different from disability activists, as I do not feel this is my gifting, there are others much more adept at lobbying the policy makers, council leaders, whoever needs to be told. Having said that, I aim to inform as many people as i can about the complexities of life with significant needs, and deep Christian faith and to live as full as life as I can. I am aware of other disabled people I know who live fuller lives than I, even with a more significant physical impairment. Though I would sometimes wish my life was more varied, in general blogging is my way of being ‘out and about’; reaching people I would not otherwise meet and finding a creative outlet, while having a lot of fun at the same time!

A Word of Encouragement (2)

Kickstart Sunday… and the week, with the right perspective!

Most Sunday, at the church I go to, we have a Bible study and discussion group called ‘Kickstart Sunday’. This is an informal look at a given bible passage, aided by coffee and cake! Yesterday, we looked at Psalm 103, and the person leading encouraged up to Praise the Lord Jesus, no matter how we were feeling, because praising and worshiping God is a requirement for those of us who consider ourselves believers, no matter what our circumstances. It is an active decision to do this, and is not just for Sundays, but,t well, for life! If you are reading this, I want to encourage you to Praise Him today, and every day, no matter what! This particular version of the psalm is from the Common English Bible (CEB), and I rather like the wording.

PSALM 103

Of David.
103 Let my whole being[a] bless the Lord!
Let everything inside me bless his holy name!
2 Let my whole being bless the Lord
and never forget all his good deeds:
3 how God forgives all your sins,
heals all your sickness,
4 saves your life from the pit,
crowns you with faithful love and compassion,
5 and satisfies you with plenty of good things
so that your youth is made fresh like an eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness;
does justice for all who are oppressed.
7 God made his ways known to Moses;
made his deeds known to the Israelites.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
9 God won’t always play the judge;
he won’t be angry forever.
10 He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing,
11 because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.
12 As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.
13 Like a parent feels compassion for their children—
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.
14 Because God knows how we’re made,
God remembers we’re just dust.

15 The days of a human life are like grass:
they bloom like a wildflower;
16 but when the wind blows through it, it’s gone;
even the ground where it stood doesn’t remember it.
17 But the Lord’s faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now
for those who honor him.
And God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren
18 of those who keep his covenant
and remember to keep his commands.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 You divine messengers,
bless the Lord!
You who are mighty in power and keep his word,
who obey everything he says,
bless him!
21 All you heavenly forces,
bless the Lord!
All you who serve him and do his will,
bless him!
22 All God’s creatures,
bless the Lord!
Everywhere, throughout his kingdom,
let my whole being
bless the Lord!

—————

Dear Father God, may we truly worship you today, no matter what! In Jesus name, Amen.