for those of you who don’t comment on blogs

Dear Blog Reader Who Has Never Commented,

I have had this little letter in my drafts for a while now and I typically don’t talk about bloggy things around here. Lately, though, I’ve thought of you more because some of you I’ve met in person. And nearly every time, you mention a specific blog post that has meant something to you, followed by, “I know I never comment. I’m so sorry.”

Please forgive the weird look on my face. I’m not great on the spot, standing in front of you. It takes me some time to process what I think about things. But I think I’ve finally figured out why your apology makes me squirm and so I’m here to tell you something: Never apologize for not commenting on this blog.

I love comments. I love when you talk with me and one another in the comment box, let me know things that move you and things you can relate with. That is definitely one of the beautiful things about blogging is the community developed through conversation. It’s true, I would be a little sad if there were no comments at all. I read every single one. I comment back when I can, sometimes in the comment box, often in an email.

But only a very small percentage of people who read blogs actually comment. Around here, it’s less than 5 percent.

There is no right way to be a blog reader. There is no expectation that you will remain subscribed, active, engaged on a blog. You have a lot going on, laundry to tend, hearts to mend, papers to write, friends to see, busses to catch, meetings to run, sidewalks to mosey, fresh air to breathe in deep. Or perhaps you simply have a private, quiet heart and would prefer to keep your life off line.

I take great delight in creating space for your soul to breathe. I feel I’ve finally found my stride (that only took six years). This is my gift to you. This is me, opening my hands, offering some perspective, hope, and a small dose of courage. So after all of that, I always get a bit frowny inside when someone apologizes for not commenting because what that says to me is some part of you feels guilty or worse, you think I expect it.

If I meet you in real life and you tell me you read my blog, I do not think it’s creepy or stalkery if you never comment. I write things on the world wide web. There is not a super secret password required for you to read it. This is a public space and you reading it is normal to me.

I love hearing from you. And to you who comment regularly, I am so thankful. But please, for the love of all things important, don’t waste any time apologizing for your faithful silence. I appreciate that you are there, reading, coming back. Thank you. And perhaps one day we will meet face to face and you can not apologize to me in person.

With much gratitude,

emily

when your normal is someone else’s weird

If you start on I-40 in California and keep driving east, lots of days later you’ll end up in Wilmington, North Carolina. A few years ago, I traveled with my friend Alisa to Wilmington. We didn’t start in California, but that’s where she’s from. I remember her being excited about finally making it to the other end of I-40 and seeing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

When we arrived in Wilmington, we drove straight to the beach. As we got out of her car and reached the sand, Alisa said out loud but kind of to herself, Wow, you really do have grass on your beaches. It wasn’t a big deal of a thing and I’m not even sure she was talking to me. But her words come to mind every time I see tall grass on sand. To me, it’s normal. But I carry California Alisa’s comment in my pocket and remember that my normal is someone else’s weird.
Next week I’ll be traveling to California for the first time. I won’t be driving 1-40, but it will be my first legit trip there. When I traveled with Compassion to the Philippines last year, our team met up at LAX so I got to see California from the air. But that doesn’t seem to count.

While there, I’ll be speaking at a retreat for a group of women in Carlsbad I absolutely can’t wait to meet. We’ll talk about grace and Jesus – two of my most favorite things. And also? I would really like to find an In-N-Out Burger because that just seems like something that needs to happen.

Preparing to travel and speak and get the kids calendars in order so my mom and mother-in-law know what to do while The Man and I are away, I’ve realized my capacity for thoughtful writing is about as deep as Cookie Monster. And also me want a cookie. I leave you with a few bullet points because everyone likes a bullet point.

  • I really liked this post by Mary Carver: It’s All McDonald’s @ Giving Up on Perfect
  • My April e-letter will go out next week. I’ll share links to stuff, write a blog post just for subscribers and maybe something else I haven’t thought of yet. Who wants a cookie? Subscribe to the monthly newsletter here.
  • I changed my twitter name to @emilypfreeman because that’s my name.
  • Speaking of Compassion, their next trip is May 6-11. They’ll be traveling to Tanzania this time and my sister will be going with them. Check out the rest of the team and follow their trip.
  • I got the page proofs for my second book, Graceful {For Young Women} which gets me all over again excited.
  • So there is no grass on the beach in California? Really? What is something you have learned is normal to you but weird to everyone else?

where in the world are you?

3752316234_ffa46c12f0

I’d love to hear where some of you are reading from. But sometimes I forget that not everyone knows stuff about blogs. Maybe some of you fabulous people are new to reading blogs, or have come here for the first time. I want to take a minute to say welcome and I hope you will feel graciousness in this place.

Maybe you want to find some other fabulous blogs on a variety of topics but aren’t sure where to look. I’ve listed a portion of some of my favorite reads on the links page. You can get there by clicking ‘links’ at the top of this page.

If you would like to know more about Chatting at the Sky or the story behind the title, click on ‘about’ at the top of this page.

Every Tuesday we have a little party around here where we celebrate and unwrap the gifts we notice in the midst of our everyday; the messy, the lovely and the unexpected. I want to invite you to join us with your own Tuesdays Unwrapped post! The women who hang out here are authentic treasure seekers and I know you will be blessed by their wrting and hearts. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.

Finally, the best part of this blog is the comments. Don’t forget to browse through them and discover the voices of all the fabulous women and the 2 men who regularly come here to chat at the sky.

Speaking of comments, will you take a quick minute to click on the comments and tell me where you live? No street address necessary. State will suffice. And may I take a moment to tell you from the heart how much I enjoy writing in this space. Thank you for making it worth it.

dear Microsoft Word,

Dear Microsoft Word,

You were first introduced in 1983 so that makes you 26 years old now. At 26, I would expect you to be cutting edge. So don’t you think it’s time that your spell check recognizes the word blogging? Seriously.

When I type the word blogging, I do not in fact mean bogging or logging. I also don’t mean flogging, clogging or slogging. Though I do appreciate your generous suggestions. Also, when I write ‘blog’, I am not actually trying to say bog, bloc, blot, blob. Or blow. Although I do want to thank you for adding to the distaste I already have of the word blog as it is in such close relation to all those other equally unattractive words.

Also? Those red squiggly underlines bring out the ugly in this recovering white-out-user. They are little false alarms all over the page. Like skinny red boys crying wolf on my document, screaming for correction when they’re ALREADY CORRECT.

I admit I’m a Mac user, so this might not mean much coming from me. But I do appreciate all the work you’ve done for me over the years: the centering, the italicizing, and the print previewing. Not to mention all those other words you spell just right for me. But please, for the love of all things current, include blogging in your next spell check upgrade.

thank you and do have a lovely day,

Emily, a Blogger (not to be confused with a Bolger, Logger, Flogger, or Bolgier)