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Focusing: A Transient Homestead

23 Feb

This is what I’m renaming the blog, for now: “A Transient Homestead” (however I don’t have Photoshop right now, so a new banner could take awhile–if anyone wants to help me out, let me know!) Everything I’ve read about writing a successful blog says to narrow down the topics you’ll cover; be specific and focused and be clear about why your story is worth reading. Several of the blogs that I follow are pretty broad in the topics that they cover—i.e. no one ONLY writes about sewing or poetry, because no one’s life is about just any one thing and most of the bloggers I enjoy reading are writing about their unique daily lives, how they spend their time and find ways to use what they’ve got in terms of both resources and talent. But most have managed to maintain a certain specificity in the overarching spirit of their regular writing. So I have been thinking about what I want this blog to be about, besides the broad topic of “me.”

There are a few women whose blogs I read—correction, whose blogs I drool over—who make me feel completely and totally inadequate as a mother, crafter, cook, housekeeper, etc. and yet I keep going back for more. How on earth do they do all that they do AND write about it on a daily basis? My feelings range from awe and inferiority to disgust and writing them off as impossibly perfect, thinking things like, “who would even WANT to be like that.” (um, me, that’s right). Recognizing this has, thankfully, led me to more productive thinking along the lines of, “ok, so I can’t be JUST like this woman or that one” because they have very different lives from me and they have different personalities, and they’re all beautiful and there is, in fact, value in learning from and appreciating them without putting pressure on myself to BE them. Which brings me back round to these questions: What is special about this space where I find myself? And what of my life do I think others might find value in reading? Can blogging actually become an act of love for my readers as well as a means through which I explore my love for my family and community?

The fact of the matter is I confront this annoying struggle with comparing myself to and seeking the approval of just about everyone, not just bloggers.  But pondering this, among lots of other things, led to a really amazing conversation with my husband last Friday night about identity, the Holy Spirit, humility and self-worth, callings, and the beautiful role language and writing play in helping us humans sort things out. Along with that came the acknowledgment that one of the wonderful aspects of blogging and this internet age is that it has given people the opportunity to explore the discipline of writing as well as the freedom it can bring without the pressure of the market or current literary trends.

So considering what this blog should be about has actually led me to consider the greater question of what I am about and seek to define myself through the right means—rather than comparing and sizing myself up in relation to others, presumed expectations, or current trends, how am I going to respond to the Holy Spirit, to what I believe is my calling from my very heavenly father, to live in this fallen world and to love it well with the gifts he has given me and the circumstances I am in right now?

All this to say, the phrase, indeed title, I have given to this period in my life (our lives) is A Transient Homestead. The aspects of our life right now that are most unique are that we’re sort of on the move, we’re not living in the house that we own but a borrowed flat, we’re figuring out how to live in community on a temporary basis while maintaining the connection with our community back in St. Louis, and I’m seeking to find a good balance between feathering this temporary nest and responding to the tourist’s urge to explore and enjoy this amazing city, all while physically and emotionally nurturing my husband and son. Transient homestead feels like a good phrase to sum this up and to keep before my eyes, to label my myriad imperatives and desires, and to give focus to my rambling.

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4 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2011 in At Home, Et Cetera, Writings

 

4 responses to “Focusing: A Transient Homestead

  1. Hannah B

    February 24, 2011 at 5:01 am

    your writing skills are upsetting- mostly because mine are not like that. this is beautiful. i miss you sweet sister. can’t wait to hug you and hold my baby nephew.

     
    • alltherestofit

      February 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

      ok, so that is exactly what I’m talking about! Your writing skills are YOURS and yours only and that’s awesome, stop thinking about them in terms of mine!

       
  2. cgreeson3

    October 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Emily I found this today while searching for your blog online, you are going to laugh at this, but I truly mean it when I say that YOUR blog is one that makes me drool and think “how does she do it!?” Truth. Your’e writing is beautiful, your ideas are unique and wonderful and I think what is unique about them is that you are continually trying to reach out, to bring others in the conversation, the journey, and I cannot tell you how encouraging it is for me to read your blog, often. I would have loved to sit in on your and Eric’s conversation about identity, I have such a similar struggle, and this is a common topic in our home as well. Here’s to the journey my friend! I love you!

     

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