I set up a Facebook page yesterday. Honestly, I’m not sure why it took me a year of “Huh, I should get on that”s and noncommittal throat noises to actually click the button… though honestlyhonestly, it might have something to do with this fun personal fact: I’m afraid of attention.

We’re talking woodland creature skittishness here, jumping beans in my stomach, thoughts sprouting gray hairs. I don’t think even Dan knows this yet (hi, honey!), but I had to fight back stage fright at our wedding. I still agonize trying to guess which day of the year Italian women will switch from ballet flats to boots because yes, the world will in fact end if I leave the house in unseasonable footwear. From the time I was a girl attracting double-takes with my homeschool uniform (picture an eleven-year-old Michelle Duggar), I’ve always had a wild desire to go unnoticed in public, and that self-protective instinct gets twitchier than ever when it focuses on my writing.

The simple truth is that this is my heart, strung out in black typeface and compulsive backspaces. When you read my blog, you read my heart, and my posting here is something like the CIA declaring Open House Day. My insecurities are here, my doubts, my hopes, the issues I struggle with and mull over, the insights that bring me peace… and by drawing attention to them, I am well aware I’m opening them up to criticism. It feels like standing on a busy intersection in my puffy denim jumper and even puffier bangs, waving.

There are the other fears too—the vulnerability of starting something new, the fragile alliance of “like” buttons, the safety net of personal privacy settings sidestepped. Always, always, statistics and purpose compete for precedence in my mind, and perspective can be as difficult to nail down as a live squid. I’ve moaned to Dan on an occasion or two [slight understatement] about how unfair it is that I was wired to write. As long as I’m following these heart-nudges, my goals and my personality will be at odds, and I wish I could be fulfilled in life by something simpler, less emotionally risky. Deep sea welding, for instance.

However, I can’t turn off the light in my core that says this, here is what I’m meant to be doing. It’s as clear a sense of vocation as I’ve ever experienced, and as much as I might like to dismiss this blog as a mere hobby (a monthly ritual of despair, which I’m sure has no correlation whatsoever to other monthly occurrences) or hide it under a bushel or amputate every stubborn neuron compelling me to write, a force stronger than fear keeps me here… and not just here, but honestly delighted to be here.

I know that sharing this with you is not exactly the act of withdrawal my inner stage-fright was hoping for. It’s the opposite in fact—a declaration of purpose and vulnerability waved from a busy intersection, eyes staring deliberately into the headlights. However, I wanted you to understand how much it means to me to be here with you, in typeface and photos, insecurities and Tweets, and a heart that wants to connect with yours far more than it wants to hide.


Is there anything your sanity compels you to do that simultaneously terrifies you? I’d love to hear about it; after all, commiseration and encouragement are two of the very best things about this great internet of ours.

Oh, and don’t forget to head over and “like” my Facebook page (why yes, I am making ironic quote marks with my fingers right now) if you’d like to connect, get blog updates, or otherwise make my day.

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  1. “Is there anything your sanity compels you to do that simultaneously terrifies you?”

    Ab-so-lutely! My current struggle is with understanding and living the difference between teaching my children about who God is and feeling like they need to figure it out for themselves so it can be their own faith and not my own. Yes, they are 3 and 5. Yes, I have been rightly accused of being a drama queen more than once before. <3

  2. From my heart to yours, thank you for heeding those heart nudges and writing. I am blessed because you do.

  3. Q – So. much. yes. That’s a hard one to figure out, and if you’re a drama queen for struggling to find the “right” balance in that, then I’m one right along with you. (Now, if we were agonizing over them not doing enough hours of Latin grammar a week… 🙂 )

    Tiffany – <3

  4. “an eleven-year-old Michelle Duggar” – that is the funniest word picture I’ve read in ages. 🙂 Going to be laughing about that thought for days. 🙂 So proud of you for facing your fears and getting on FB and being all public and such. It IS terrifying!!! But it is necessary because we, your readers, NEED your words, and if you can share them where we see them so easily and can share them with others, how much better is that?? 🙂 But it is terrifying. Just tonight I received an email from a cluster of family members saying that I only post to get attention. Sigh. That is the very LAST reason I do it. I too am terrified of being noticed. When I write, especially personal things, I do it because I must, because I hope that in the doing of it someone might be emboldened in some way to be more truly themselves. So I had my little weep and thought, “those meanies!!!!” and then let it go. And I will write again and not worry about the naysayers. Not too much, anyway. 😉

  5. Krista – I’m so glad you understand, though oof… getting an email like that is heavy. Your bravery in sharing despite everything plucks up my courage though, and I’m so glad you’ll continue forging ahead. We’re in this together, non?

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