Alright, dear three readers of mine, this is the moment I feared.
I am only two days into this blog adventure, and I am facing all those ideas I’ve had over the last few months and don’t know where to start and feel So Darned Scared I Already Want To Stop Blogging.
I know this is an unsightly confession for a new blogger to make, let alone on Day 2, and it must sound like an incredibly premature pronouncement. Shouldn’t I still be enjoying the honeymoon in my sassy sundress and new bikini? Isn’t this when I bring all my pizazz and hutspa and impressive vocabulary to dazzle the blogosphere?
But I have to be honest. Honesty is my true friend and the one I know who protects me from her, from them.
You see, in the past, Perfectionism has been my nasty playmate. Actually, Perfectionism and her nasty twin Procrastination. Some days I think they’re the same person. Kind of like those old split screen twin shows I watched as a kid, where I never saw the twins touch and the closest I got to seeing them at the same time was the bizarre view of watching one over the other’s shoulder, and it made me not trust either of them.
Perfectionism and Procrastination are like those same, but different twins.
I know this, too: the twins, they’re icky, and I don’t want them around anymore. But here’s where it gets weird. I don’t like them, they make me feel bad about myself, I don’t trust them. And they make me feel safe.
Safe because I know them, and they know me well enough. They don’t threaten or force me. They say I don’t need to do much at all because if I do get around to it, the product will be pretty sorry anyway, so, sweetie, don’t bother. They’re easy to please. They just like to be listened to, and so I listen, while I play with their hair at our slumber parties — those icky twins.
But this is when I invite Truth to enter the scene because she’s a good friend. She really knows me, and she reminds me that perfect is not what I’m seeking here on the pages of this blog. Perspective is.
The shift in my perspective begins when I tell the truth and move forward. Here’s the truth that I know today, and I’ve got to move forward by typing it for myself and you: I am scared of my blog in particular and failure in general, but I also have one, or maybe even a small sack full of faith grain. I believe there is and will be good in this blog space, and I believe I’ve got to step out with my little handful of grain.
This week, I’ve been studying the beginning of Joshua’s ministry. Joshua, trying to fill the big sandals of Moses before him. Joshua, given the privilege of leading God’s chosen people out of the desert and into the promised land. Yes, the people longed for this land of milk and honey. Yes, they wanted the land hand-picked for them by God.
Yet, in the desert their flaky “what-is-it” food fell from the sky. They knew it would come each day. They lived in their tents for forty years. They knew how to live there, in the desert.
But from the desert, God called his people to cross the Jordan River to take possession of their land. To do this, they were told to follow the priests who carried the ark of the covenant. The ark contained reminders of God’s provision, his miracles and his commands. The ark in fact signified the very presence of God himself.
And so it was that Joshua ordered the people to follow the priests who carried the massive ark into the overflowing Jordan River. Before Joshua or the Israelites knew the bursting river would stop flowing so they could cross, they chose to listen to the truth and step out.
Through his officers, Joshua told the people to follow the ark, follow their God, for only then would they know which way to go (and this is the part that gets me) since you have never been this way before (Joshua 3:4). Simple as it is, this bears repeating. God promised to show them where to go since they had never traveled this way.
Small though it may seem, I am traveling into my own Jordan. I have never been this way before. I am afraid of the water rushing over me. I am afraid of letting go to give (and receive) something new. I am comfortable receiving my daily portion of manna and cleaning the desert sand from between my toes each night. I am even comfortable with the voices of the nasty twins ringing in my ears.
In days past, I might have gotten lost in the imaginings of creating while going about doing “real work.” I might have started and then stopped — so fearful of not doing it right. Or I might not have started at all. Thank you, God, that I no longer live in that dry land. I know you will show me the way to go.
So today, I choose truth. I choose small steps of courage. I choose to believe that the One who leads the way will not leave me in the desert or allow the rushing waters to overtake me. Today, I choose yes, though I have not been this way before.
And those twins? They can play with each other’s hair. I’m leaving the party.
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Ashley, there is such tenderness, humor, and wisdom in your words. Your writing illuminates. I too used to have icky twin “friends.” I don’t know what I ever saw in them, but like you say, they were familiar and I just kind of got used to them. I’m still constantly having to avoid their calls. These girls do NOT take a hint – maybe I should be more direct? i LOVE this blog!
I love this truth you speak. Your words are insightful and so relatable. I’m so proud of you!!
Pretty sure I was friends with the icky twins as well, my friend. Keep inviting Truth to the party! This reader is hooked. :)
Thanks for your honesty…”the twins”…what a picture. Love the reminder of “since you’ve never been this way before”. That is the journey, isn’t it.
beat it, twins!
I say we all join for a last party in the twins’ honor – a Bon Voyage. Good riddance, you meanies!
Thanks for joining me here, dear ones. xoxo
One of the many reasons I’m so thankful for my children. They have helped me lay down my sextuplets: fear, perfectionism, worry, control, anger & selfishness. Sometimes the sextuplets try and show up for a family reunion though and I have to shoo them off again! Keep writing Ashley!! It’s the best scrapbook you could ever give your family!!
So true, Holly! Yes, if I’m truthful I’ve known multiples larger than twins in my life, as well. Sextuplets, septuplets, octuplets! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your words of encouragement, too.
Ashley, you are so brave to speak your heart. I love your truth and determination to kick those ugly twins out the door! I would like to do the same. They have been haunting me for many years! Love you and love your blog. Keep up the great, inspirational posts.