ten years

Exactly ten years ago this month, I started a blog.

I told exactly no one. Not even my husband.

My first baby was six months old. I was working part-time, overwhelmed and tired. I craved connection and community. I wanted breadth of thought and depth of prayer.

I couldn’t find anything like what I wanted to read. So I decided to write it.

I started writing quietly, typing one-handed in the dark, plodding out post after post that no one read. I didn’t care; I loved it. My brain started spinning again.

After a few weeks I did tell my beloved. After a few months I got brave and shared the blog with a handful of friends and family.

I never expected it to amount to anything. Just a place for me to practice writing, to ponder spirituality and parenting, part of my transition from theological studies to new motherhood.

Then a funny thing happened along the way. Writing turned into a calling that changed my life.

. . .

Readers will ask me now how to get started. How to turn their passion into pages in a book. How to transform pain into words for others. How to get noticed, get paid, get published.

Never does my imposter syndrome flare higher than when someone asks this question. I have no idea, truthfully. I had no plan.

I kept going only because I’m curious and stubborn and happiest when I’m curled up in a corner with words and God.

But after 10 years, I do know this much. You don’t need to be an English major or get a MFA. You don’t need to sound like everyone else or earn anyone’s permission. You don’t need connections or clout, a platform or a plan for marketing.

You just need a deep sense of calling that drives you, even into the darkness.
That blaze will keep you burning even when others fizzle out. That flame will fuel you through frustration and rejection, weary weeks and fallow seasons.

A stubborn streak helps, too. So does the sheer pleasure of playing with words.

Because you don’t do creative work for anyone else. You don’t do it to get rich or noticed or successful. You do it because you were created for it. You are a happier, healthier human when you carve out even the smallest time and space to pursue whatever quirky creative passion you love.

Blogging led me where I never expected. The chance to write books, yes. But I discovered God in ways I never imagined. I made connections who became dear friends. I found readers who wanted the exact words I needed to share.

All because I was lost and lonely and let the quiet calling voice inside me lead me out of the wilderness, over and over.

. . .

Happy anniversary, little blog. Happy birthday, writing life.

You brought me more than I ever expected: a calling that changed where I was headed.

So here’s to all the hours spent in this space. Here’s to Saturdays at coffee shops, early mornings and late nights while everyone else was sleeping. Here’s to learning how to write in the chaos of life with kids. Here’s to every good “yes” and good “no” that made space for this vocation to grow.

And here’s to my deepest, wildest hope that the last ten years were only the beginning.

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6 Comments

  1. Erin on 17 February 2020 at 10:00 am

    I’m so glad you created this blog! Your words are always beautiful and I find God in what you share.
    (I quoted you on my website too, btw).❤️

  2. Susan Balling on 18 February 2020 at 5:57 am

    OMG- I remember St John’s In class, maybe 15 years ago, in the Dr “Deacon”.. I’m Susan, remember? You are very young and smiling a lot!! Lol take care Laura, Chaplain Susan ❤️

  3. Jennifer on 22 February 2020 at 9:01 am

    Laura, I’ve read your blog for many of the past 10 years (when I started reading, I had no idea how long you’d been posting, but I’m SO glad I found it). As a fellow Domer, and a woman struggling with aspects of fertility and parenthood, your posts have delved where I needed them (and where no place else could touch). That blog you started 10 years ago, the one you wrote because you couldn’t find anything else like what you needed to read, has been SO MUCH of what I have needed. Thank you for filling the gap! Thank you for giving voice to tender emotions and for wrapping faith into these deeply felt topics!

  4. steph on 23 February 2020 at 1:17 am

    It takes a lot of courage to pen down your thoughts and share them with the world without caring about how people are going to judge you. Ten years is a very long time to keep doing it, more power to you and Happy 10th Anniversary to your blog.

  5. Anna on 28 February 2020 at 9:54 am

    Thank you. That was very beautiful. I needed to here that.

  6. MARGARET GROSSMAN on 9 May 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Your drift into writing books made me smile because I had practically the opposite experience in more than one way. When I was a bout 30 I felt compelled to write a beautiful children’s book about the Eucharist because I struggled with my 9 small children’s questions like, “In God’s house where is God”? “Jesus is behind those tiny doors?” Etc. I never felt I was convincing and needed some “show and tell”. I never found what I needed but was determined at least to help other parents!! It took me many years but “God’s Greatest Miracle” finally happened. I have so many great testimonials including one from the bishop. If you are interested you can see a sample video at http://www.godsgreatestmiracle.com . We dearly miss these days that holy Host, that physical Jesus. 🙁
    PS . My family knows St. John’s well!

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