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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

When blogging (and tweeting) isn't true (and why there's still grace)

Sometimes I wonder if the chiding voice belongs to God. Am I choosing wrong things? Is my time better spent elsewhere? Can I really do this thing called writing?

Is the clutching anxiety in my chest when I think about these responsibilities and desires to write the tell-tale sign that my spiritual life has derailed somewhere in land-locked Alberta, where I've extracted writing from the oil sands of life and have sent up mushroom clouds of pollution in the process?

Every day, I drag myself through this bitumen of ambivalence, doubting my ability to do this, doubting that truth could emerge here. Doubt, fear, uncertainty, resistance.

It’s hard not to see how this whole exercise deconstructs. Isn’t there something inherently troubled about me narrating my life to you? Who says that I’m the one with the capacity for seeing what’s true deep inside this labyrinth of me? Who’s to say that I’m not serving up my grand fairytales of self?

Who’s to say that I can be judge of anything that happens inside these four walls of my heart?

Which is why I resist Twitter although they (THEY) tell you as a writer that you should tweet. There’s the advice that 140 characters is great practice for saying something pithy – and being succinct. There’s the advice that you can increase your platform. But I can’t help but feel that my Twitter feed would continually blur these lines between reality and construct: reality as the gritty truth of my life, construct as the cobbling together of my version (which of course, casts me in the most favourable light).

I’d like my children and my husband to tweet on my behalf. Don’t let me post pictures and pretend that I can be witty. Don't let me chirp about how insanely happy (and perfectly obedient) my children are. Oh yes, and isn’t my husband a doll? He’s brought home flowers AGAIN. No, let my family tweet my life, posting things like, “Mom’s tight-lipped at the sink again. #shesabouttoblow.” Or, “We drove an hour in traffic to get to the music store. #tonguelashingagain.” Or how about, “Mom’s threatened to take four trash bags to our room when we’re at school today. #hopeformercy.” Or here would be my husband’s tweet from last night, “Excuse ME for sitting at the desk. #can’tgetoverthelittlethings.” I think it’s only fair they are offered up the chance to tweet my life, to say the stubborn truth that there are days I’m incredibly irritable. There are days when mess and clutter make my head spin like the demon-possessed girl on the Exorcist. There are just many days I’m impossible to live with.

And that's the wild invitation of Christ: that truths as ugly as these (I'm a wreck, I tell you) sidle up alongside GRACE.

There is NO undoing His love.

Our Father. (I trust your generosity toward me.)

Your kingdom come. (Reorient my heart towards the things that matter.)

Give us this day. (I have needs and insufficient provision. Help, Lord.)

Forgive us. (The truth is, Lord, I'm failing Your holy standards.)

As we forgive. (Make me willing to expend this grace I receive on others.)

Lead us not into testing. (You know I could pass no test. Mercy, Lord.)

Deliver us. (Your protection, God. I hide myself under Your wings and in Your shadow.)

Yours is everything. (If just for today I could learn to worship.)