Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, my "sad little pen-and-ink" journal is again up and running, because it didn't take long to figure out that a personal journal is very different from a personal Blog, however much one is certain that no one else will ever read the latter. When one writes a Blog, one is composing for an audience - even if the audience is anonymous or imaginary. When one writes a journal (or at least when I do), the audience is either one's self or (again, when I do it) the Lord. There I find first person dialogue with the Almighty, with all its honesty and unguardedness. It is indispensable and necessary, and is as important - for me - as reading the Word, or praying, or memorizing Scripture, or gathering together with other believers for encouragement and worship and exhortation and fellowship.

Blogging, however, is not at all necessary. It is not a connection point in one's relationship with the Lord. And it is probably neither fully revelatory nor unguarded. It is simply - for me - one of the expressions of the craft of the written word. Like reading and then wrestling with the ideas that arise thereby, it is a part of the processing of the musing of life. It is true composition at its best. It is an art. And although I'm not necessarily very good at it, it is a noble exercise in its own right. It stretches my brain. It uses my intellect. It forces me to process and organize and make tangible the stream-of-conscious thoughts and random flow of emotions that move through me... to attempt to turn them into something at least remotely intelligible. No matter if no one ever reads them. They are written for you, the hazy and undefined one whom I imagine cares to read my thoughts. (Yeah, right!)

Today, my thoughts are raw and my emotions a little fragile. Today I turned 41. This would not normally bother me in the least, I don't think, but this birthday comes at the end of a year during which I experienced several miscarriages. Four little lives have been created, and yet for one reason or another didn't survive. Why? Who knows. The party line at the OB/GYN office is "old eggs." As we get older (my husband is 40, and I, 41) our chances of a "blighted ovum" increase, and things "just don't come together quite right, genetically" and this is "Mother Nature's way (don't you hate her?) of taking care of a baby that wasn't growing right." All fine and good unless you long for another baby. All a little strange four times in a row. All a little sad, even in light of an (at least limping) understanding of the goodness and sovereignty of God, and even in the midst of (limping) trust and hope and joy in His plans for my life and for our family.

So, today is my birthday, and all it means this time around is that I'm "too old to have another baby." Too old. Old. I don't want to be old. I don't feel old.

And so, alas, today's thoughts are far less noble and aspiring than they could be. I think of an Isaac Watts quote I remember, from Improvements of the Mind: "Once a day... call yourselves to an account what new proposition or truth you have gained, what further confirmation of known truths, and what advances you have made in any part of knowledge." A worthy aspiration, but today is not that day. At least not here on this Blog.

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