Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hey! Are You Talkin' to Me?

(2:1 Conference Recap)  

Courtesy D. Scott
Here at home base of fraidy cat universe, I say prayers with my boys even tho' they are now young men ready to launch. I ask the Lord to mold us into encouragers. My desire is that we first encourage one another inside the four walls of our home. (Don't ask for my scorecard on that one!) I tell them that strength to encourage others will grow as we encourage each other.  

Being the fraidy cat that I am, I recognize it is far easier to encourage than it is to receive encouragement. So, I wrap up the prayer for an encouraging spirit with the request that we develop the ability to recognize encouragement and receive it. 

Lucky for me, God in his gracious kindness granted my request in the form of those 2 new friends who called me by name at breakfast on Saturday. I had walked into the dining room acutely aware of the dynamic I had seen at the shuttle stop. They all knew each other. They didn't know me. Hello, 5th wheel. Roll. My. Eyes. Never leaving home again. I mean it. Then, they called me by name. Who me? You talking to me? 

In an instant, the circle of friendship opened, and my fear began to melt. The melt continued as the day wore on. Every person with whom I shared a table was warm, welcoming, and eager to encourage, inform, and, most of all, include me. I was ready to rock the world when I got home. I couldn't write fast enough to get down the bits of actionable information newbie, tehcno-phobes like me could embrace without hesitation. 

Courtesy B. Creasy
Then, she had to go and ruin it. Heidi St. John uttered the words that turned me to ice. What was she thinking picking on a fraidy cat like sweet little ole me? Numbers don't matter. Quit looking at your stats!” she said as she shared her own times of reloading pages, asking friends to share links, and rejoicing over Facebook 'likes'. 

You know, if she was gonna pull out a nail gun and hit me between the eyes (metaphorically speaking, of course), doncha think she could have issued a warning first? I'm thinking one of those big flashing road work signs would do it! I'd have plenty of time to escape before she called me out. As it was, I was a deer in headlights. Sigh.  

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
She hit me where I had begun to live. I knew it wasn't pretty before she unmasked me. But, you see, over these brutal years of surviving, I have forgotten who I was and am. I lost myself in my roles of: mom to kids with LD's, wife to a husband struggling with unemployment and chronic illness, former homeless person, rejected cheerleader for God's squad, and woman wondering if this is all there was ever going to be in life.  

In the year of my blog's existence, my stats had begun to reassure me that I was still, under all that mess, my old me. As my stats climbed, I was the person I used to be before life decimated all that I was and had. For the first time in longer than I can remember, I felt like I was someone more than the roles I fulfilled for others. It was sweet.  
My stats said I was the writer I had always dreamed of being as long as they kept climbing. I lived and died by the numbers. Now here I was at a conference by and for bloggers, and I had to sit and listen to that....that....sigh...that inconvenient truth. The numbers don't matter.   

Do you hear the silence? It echoes into my ears and throbs down into my heart. Oh, God. I'm your good girl. The one always, always trying to climb up in your lap. The one waiting for my turn. I've broken my own heart. I don't even want to think how I've broken yours.  

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I wanna tell you that the numbers didn't matter today. I wanna tell you that I wasn't curious to see how my foray into the scary place called Twitter impacted my stats. If I did, I'd be lying. They mattered, but the bloom is off the rose. My idol on the altar of stats is broken. I am broken and spilled out.  

Saturday, I remembered why I wrote in the first place. I wrote because in this world of economic crisis, I have already been where others are now walking. I know what they fear. I wrote because I understand how that kind of pain erases the life you used to know and believed would always be yours. The stats tell me someone is looking. They do not tell me if anyone is listening or if anyone remembers once they listen.  

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Do you still 'like' me now? I told you...this is a safe place for fraidy cats to come in from the cold, pull off our masks, and know we will be accepted. Do you struggle to remember who you were under all the mess that has become your life? Oh, fraidy cat, you are not alone. Have you forgotten, or never knew, that the Creator God of the universe promised that he knows you by name and has a unique purpose for you to fulfill in this world? Me too.  

See you tomorrow? I that you know the truth and all? Love you long and strong. Even when I'm not looking at the numbers.
Psalm 51: 16-17 (The Message)
Going through the motions doesn't please you, a flawless performance
is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape 
God's notice. 


  1. Beautiful! I had to tweet what you said about stats means someone is looking but not necessarily listening or remembering. Amen!

  2. Thank you kindly. For the retweet and for all you are doing via 2:1!

  3. It was nice to see you at the conference. I was a bit of a fraidy cat this weekend too. I learned so much and am thankful for the opportunity to have gone!

  4. Nancy, I'm wondering if my adrenaline will ever ebb! Take care and many blessing on you and your family!

  5. Carol, I hope you're planning on attending next year, because I hope to get to know you better. God spoke so clearly to me last weekend, the numbers are "just a thing", He is EVERYthing.

  6. You just made me tear up. (Don't worry, that means it was well-written and I needed it.) I was so glad to see those ladies make you feel welcome, and then I saw myself in the rest of your post. I know I'm behind you on the road of autism and life, but it made me think of the many times I miss my old self.

    I wrote about it a little bit last year:

    Thanks for your refreshing writing.

  7. What a blessing last weekend was! I know the overwhelming feeling of "they all know each other" too well, and I was so glad that this conference broke down all those barriers. Everyone was so warm and welcoming!

    1. Ashley, I'm so sorry for the late reply. You girls put me in a tizzy, and I think I'll never catch up. Thank you for sharing so graciously during our short conversation. I am so thankful I met you. I hope it was the beginning of lots of mutual encouragement as iron sharpening iron!