Not too long ago I was let in on a little secret. My husband told me he reads my blog. This was such a sweet surprise, and his readership means more to me than any other. I love readers, and I love comments. That is the one of the major reasons I began blogging – to meet new people and make new friends. However, this process is slow, and should be. I am not interested in mass communication, I just like the idea of a little corner of the internet being mine – a place where I talk with friends, share ideas, laugh a little, a place to be inspired and challenged. When my husband told me that he read my blog I was taken aback, I am not used to him being privy to my private world of writing and women stuff. It really surprised me how it made me feel.
We women keep some things to ourselves, especially the private world of woman conversation. Our talks with girlfriends…and our mothers…the exact kind of conversations we have here in the mommy blog world; these are hidden away. We women have an amazing private life of the mind and heart also. Like my journals… no one reads my journal but me! Thank goodness! (This blog is a VERY tame version of my paper journal.) I think when I die, my family will find half written in, doodled up spiral notebooks all over my house. My journaling is spastic and sporadic. My notebooks are littered with poems, horrible artistic sketches of random things, scriptures, letters I never intend to send, rantings, quotes, philosophical debates I have with myself, love letters, weird lists of all kinds, baby names, books I want to read, comments on books I’ve read, to do lists, home school ideas, gift ideas…on and on it goes. Its fascinating really… to stumble upon a notebook in a drawer that has entries from ten years ago scattered in with a to do list from last year, and a few more random entries that are undated and obviously not chronological. I have never been a very linear person.
The private lives of women have always been fascinating to me, I think that is why I like reading your blogs! My daily private life is so varried, I am never really bored. And it is no different for you. It’s the little details that make the essence of a woman’s life so interesting, this private world of thoughtfulness. It’s an intuitive world, full wisdom and attention. A woman’s world is also full of an energy, and I can feel this energy the moment I step into a woman’s space… whether it be her personal space, her home, her car, and yes, even her blog. Have you ever wondered what was in another woman’s purse or pantry? Have you scanned a grocery cart to wonder what she will cook tonight, or if she drinks coffee or not… what does she feed her family? Have you ever secretly wished you could peruse a friend’s closet or makeup drawer? What kind of perfume does she wear, what kind of cookware does she use? What detergent? What shampoo? What diapers? All of this speaks of essence..I really like getting to know women.
If only we trusted each other that much…
In a world that is so desperately broken I have noticed a growing atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust among women. And let’s face it, women can be very hard on each other, even cruel. But, I ask… at what cost? We are losing contact with the private, yet very essential knowing that only women are capable of. I have been burned by judgmentalism and snobbery just like you, and I hide, just like you. But, what I find myself doing more than anything is presenting a version of myself that is calculated and sculpted to ensure my safety. Some of this is necessary, and I understand that. But, don’t you long to be in a circle of friends, in relationships, that are real…not for the sake of sharing how dirty our houses REALLY are, or how we ALL fight with our husbands, or that we fed our kids beanie weenies three times last week…all that is fine and good. But, that is not the only kind of knowing that we women are capable of. We are capable of real communion, and when we fail at this I think the whole world suffers.
And those of us who share our world with one another…well, we take a risk, but I like the risk. Some days I wonder if I am brave enough to write here in this space…not because you demand it or that I have some mandate from God. I write here because I want to, that’s a simple enough answer. But, am I brave enough? And here is the shocker. I am not scared to show you how much laundry I have piled up in my laundry room. I’ll take a picture right now of the inside of my car or my weedy flowerbeds and post it for the world to see. Guess what, I don’t have one pumpkin in my house yet, and I have not brushed my teeth today…how’s that for honesty? No the shocker is this, I am afraid to show you how great I am, how wonderful of a friend I am, how warm I can be, and how I shine. That’s what I am afraid of, and rightly so…we’ve all been burned.
I admire those who take that risk, the risk of being burned and greatly misunderstood. That to me is what makes a great writer, a great woman, a wonderful friend. I want to be that kind of woman, that kind of friend. I dream of a world that is made better, more beautiful, because I am here. I understand my greatness is not generated by my abilities or accomplishments, but by a daily gift of grace. My heart is warmed by the beauty and grace I see in others…I am not envious or covetous or jealous…and if I am I repent and try and struggle and pray. I abhor gossip, and when I repeat it I feel badly because I understand what it means to uncover someone. I want to be kind, kind enough to attract true friendship, kind enough to allow communion, kind enough to let you shine.
Here in this little corner of the internet, this place where I share a portion of my private world, this place where one heart chimes, well, I like this place. My husband told me he liked my blog…I asked him why. Do you know what he said? He said, “I like seeing what is going on with you.” Well, that is the same reason I like your blog, even if we have never met. I like seeing you, in fact I like seeing all people. Oh, for the eyes to really see.
I was struggling with a title for this post, and just as I was about to save it to draft and try again tomorrow I heard a movie come on in the living room. I love Netflix! My husband started the movie Safe Haven, a Nicolas Sparks. (Remember The Notebook?) As I am watching the beginning of this chick flick I have decided to swipe the title for my post…we are all a little scared, some of us are terrified. But, if we are brave and truly humble and radically kind…just maybe we are creating a wonderful safe haven for each other. A wonderful private woman’s world of friendship, communion, and beauty.
8 thoughts on “A Safe Haven”
The more I read of your blog, the more I like it! If we knew each other in real life I'm sure we would be great friends. I have been toying with the idea of blogging lately and reading this has me wondering if maybe I should take the plunge. I wonder if so many women blog because we want so desperately to share our inner lives with others. Like you said, we were made to live in communion with others. Lots to think about…
Take the plunge, and I will be your first reader! You've made me curious about who you are!
Lisa, I think you are right about that desire to share our inner lives with others – a certain class of “others,” people who don't mind taking the time, who are willing to read what we write. The people who read my blog know a side of me, or a depth of me, that non-readers can't know — because I am not the full person in person!
I read this today: http://kolbefoundation.org/gbookswebsite/studentlibrary/gbooks/stein/prineduc/wwwframeprincedac.htm and parts of it made me think back to this post. Especially this:
4 Woman's nature is determined by her original vocation of spouse and mother. One depends on the other. The body of woman is fashioned “to be one flesh” with another and to nurse new human life in itself. A well-disciplined body is an accommodating instrument for the mind which animates it; at the same time, it is a source of power and a habitat for the mind. Just so, woman's soul is designed to be subordinate to man in obedience and support; it is also fashioned to be a shelter in which other souls may unfold. Both spiritual companionship and spiritual motherliness are not limited to the physical spouse and mother relationships, but they extend to all people with whom woman comes into contact.
5 The soul of woman must therefore be expansive and open to all human beings; it must be quiet so that no small weak flame will be extinguished by stormy winds; warm so as not to benumb fragile buds; clear, so that no vermin will settle in dark corners and recesses; self-contained, so that no invasions from without can peril the inner life; empty of itself, in order that extraneous life may have room in it; finally, mistress of itself and also of its body, so that the entire person is readily at the disposal of every call.
I did it: here is my blog: http://orthodoxmindandheart.blogspot.com/
We'll see how it goes…
This was beautiful and really resonated with me as to why I blog and read blogs. Lisa (above) is my sister-in-law and she told me about your blog. 🙂 oh, and I love the pictures you selected… an example of a true and beautiful friendship.
I'm being pulled into your blog.
You just made my day..a day that I would like to write off the books. I know that sounds ungrateful, but it is the truth. I stopped in and found your little sentence, and it made me laugh. Thank you.