Today marks one year of blogging at “Blowing on the Embers.” Thank you all so much for your interest and encouragement. After taking a bit of a sabbatical from blogging during August, I’m excited to continue on into a new year, with renewed focus and eager expectation.
But I’m also grateful for what this year has meant for me:
“The Embers” has become a public log of the profound transformation wrought within me by the Holy Spirit. From engaging Jonah with my Hebrew class, to profoundly living the Christian liturgical year in my personal devotions during Lent, this has been an incredible year of transparency and growth and transformation.
I have also worked to develop my voice, and have persevered in writing even when I was sure no one was reading (except my mom. Hi, Mom!). In fact, I have wrestled mightily with the role of blogging and social media in spiritual formation:
- Is this necessary to post? Or could I simply enjoy this for myself?
- Shouldn’t I be praying in secret?
- What does my need to share this say about my need to be “liked”?
- Am I developing my personal/internet image, or am I developing into the image of Christ?
Of course, these are abiding questions for all of us Christians who have Facebook or Twitter accounts. They won’t go away; if anything, they will demand answers from us sooner than later.
But perhaps the single greatest benefit of keeping a blog of my journey of spiritual (trans)formation is that I actually have a basic and building account of my spiritual formation journey! For someone who leans “introvert” on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, I have an atrocious track record with journaling, which means many of my most significant memories of God’s activity in my life are fuzzy and fading memories. “The Embers” is a record of my growth (and stumbles) that points to the Spirit’s activity in my heart through the Word of God, through friends and mentors, through my seminary classes. And even if I haven’t blogged an illuminated moment, I have paid better attention because I could have blogged about it. My improved attention to those moments where God shows up has even trained my memory to hold on to those moments better. Blessing upon blessing! Grace upon grace!
So, looking ahead to this next year, here are a few ideas I’m kicking around, considering upcoming projects and readings for work and class:
- a series of posts on the Heidelberg Catechism
- a further reflection on social media and spiritual formation
- a series of posts on the Sermon on the Mount
- more posts about how the Christian liturgical year intersects with and informs my personal spiritual growth.
- lots of quotes from good books
Stay tuned! Thanks again.