I never kept a journal or a diary. I had this envy for girls that had the 5×5 inch lockable diaries. One of my sisters got one every year for Christmas. She kept it hidden. Now, I have STARTED countless diaries. Occasionally, I will come across some binder with 6-8 pages of writing that I started but rapidly abandoned. I re-read these entries and think that narrative voice sounds odd. I am impressed by the mother who has diligently written things down about their children from the point of birth. If they continue past the last Tetanus booster, I am truly amazed.

I started this blog as an attempt to be uplifting. I felt there was so much rant and vent surrounding all of us, that positivity, optimism and praise were getting smothered. How can anything positive thrive when the fertile ground it needs is getting strip mined by fear, anxiety, pessimism, hatred, skepticism and cynicism. Several years ago I heard piece on NPR about thankfulness. The idea was to be thankful for EVERYTHING. How radical is that! I started the exercise of saying “thank you” for silly things like Saran Wrap, toilet paper, erasers, seat belts, socks. It sounds ridiculous but it shifted my perspective. The shift was profound. Optimism is rare for most, especially in this Age of Anxiety. I remind myself (and at least one patient every week) that there is a reason Christ encouraged us to “Be not afraid”. More than love your neighbor, more than be fair, more than honor the father, Christ says….”Do not fear.” It is our nature. It is certainly my nature. This blog is a spiritual exercise.

I wanted to find my voice. I wanted to sing praise. I wanted to show my wonder and amazement. I wanted to pay tribute. I wanted to acknowledge the people who amaze me. Ultimately, I wanted to be heard. It is false modesty to say I blog for myself. Everyone writes to be read. They sing to be heard. The canvas is the window to the painter’s soul.  I can’t sing. I can’t draw. I love music and sound but I am not musically inclined. But, I am keenly observant. I am intuitive. Soemtimes I feel precognitive. I see things far in the distant and can play out the “if this then”. I have a particular type of brain and I am more and more comfortable with how it works. When I was younger, I felt weird, because I would process 3 and 4 options long before most people waded through one. This is not intelligence. In fact, I think it interferes with the ability to narrow focus. I still struggle with taming my impulsive, barbed tongue. I can blurt observations before I think about how they sound. I am sure my parents cringed ALOT through my teen years (maybe they still do). Tact was never my forte. But I have learned this skill. My patients appreciate my communication skills.

So, I started writing many months ago and have squirmed each time I have intentionally directed someone to my website. The feeling is reminescent of waiting to be picked for kickball, hoping someone will slip a note in your locker, getting asked to the prom or hoping you  win a contest. Will I get validated? Will people like what I do? In adulthood, we lose most of our opportunites for affirmation. We don’t get grades. No ribbons or trophies. Paychecks are a poor substitute for validation. I know plenty of people who make mucho dinero and are empty shells, hollowed by fear and loneliness. So…I wanted to dole out my own praise. I wanted to tell people what impressed and inspired me. I want my husband to know my love and respect for him.  I want my kids to know they are the true light of my existence. I want my parents to know I am eternally grateful for their committment and love. I want my sisters to know I still look up to them. I wanted my best friend to know she is an absolute kick in the pants and I hope we are old ladies together. I want my other friends to know I feel honored to be connected to them, my life is enriched my them. I want my patients to know I am humbled by their trust. I want the Lord to know I trust him with my soul and I am so profoundly thankful for this life.

There is no anonymity in praise. Love demands a reckoning.