Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why I Blog

I blog about my special kids. I blog about autism and FAS because I want to educate others. Educating others will make all the difference in how my kids and others are treated in this world. I blog for Tate and Sydney.

I blog to share my experiences with others. I blog because parents need to know that drinking alcohol while pregnant will do irreversible damage to their unborn baby. I blog because adoptive mothers need to know just how hard parenting a child with no impulse control is going to be. I blog because autism is now being diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 66 and many of my readers will be touched by someone with autism, if they are not already. Sometimes my blog posts are encouraging to others but sometimes they are not. I blog for others.

I blog because it is good therapy for me. I have blogged about the disappointments we have encountered, the challenges we have faced, the people who have helped us, and the few who have hurt us. I have blogged about victories and failures, the hard work and the rewards. Sometimes when I blog I am sad, but usually when I blog I am not. I blog for me.

Although much of my audience has never met me, they are getting an intimate look into my life. I wish I knew them better. I would love some feedback, some comments after the posts. With almost 100 posts up now I should be getting a feel for what gets read and shared and what does not, but I am still surprised sometimes which blogs get hundreds of views and which ones only get dozens. I know my kids, siblings, and even cousins are reading. As long as my large family is reading I can always count on at least two-dozen views. HA. I know some of my readers are teachers. A few tell me they are reading and learning. Two of my teacher friends have told me they have learned more from my blog than they have from any other source. That makes me happy on one hand, but sad on another. Of all the people in this world that need to be very well educated about autism, it is our kids’ teachers. They should get a lot better education about their “special” charges and their needs than one mom’s view. It is one in 66 now, folks! Everyone needs to know what autism is in this day and age.

Some of my most-read posts are the ones I write about personal tragedies, not the ones about autism or FAS. The post about my miscarriage, one about the things I regret, and the one I wrote recently when I was filled with angst over my inability to influence someone I love were some of my most popular posts.* Why is that? Why do we all love a train wreck? Why do we all want to read of someone else’s sorrow or regret? Maybe it is so we can exercise those empathy skills that we would not have if we had been born with autism! And, it may be that when we read of others’ trials we can count our own blessings.

If my purpose in writing each post is not to educate or edify, does that mean I should not have written it? Must a Christian ONLY write or speak of things that will encourage others? Must we leave out the heart-rending stories that do not have happy endings? Must we never talk of our past disappointments or our anger? Have I hurt my influence with my writings? I think I know the answers but recently these questions were planted in my mind by a reader.

I realize when I “bare my soul” and share my thoughts in a public way I am opening myself up to criticism. I realize that I have a huge responsibility as a Christian not to hurt my influence. I also realize that I need a thicker shell if I am going to continue to blog. It is a good thing that I have a whole lot more encouragers than I do critics. I have read (and I believe it is true) that for every put-down we hear, we need ten compliments to undo the hurt from the one criticism. “Be careful little mouths what you say” as I used to sing to my children.

One of my favorite gospel preachers once said we can judge people’s actions but we had better not judge their motives. We cannot see a man’s heart or know his motives. Only God can. Sometimes people judge me by the words I write. I cannot fault them. I wrote the words and invited those people to read them. But, when people try to see behind the words and imagine that my words are not sincere or that my heart is bitter, can it be that my heart is not the one that needs examined? For the record: I do believe that we can judge others. A favorite quote of non-Christians is that we should not judge others based on John 7:24 but they never want to finish the verse which says we must judge others with RIGHT judgment. You will find the same idea in Matthew 7:1-5 and it finishes with the idea that pulling splinters out of an eye is hard to do if your own eye contains them. I’ll step off the soapbox here.

I will continue to blog: for Tate and Sydney, for others, and for me. From time-to-time I may have someone question my motives or even my sanity. My motives are pure and my sanity…. Well, I have as much as I ever did. 

Next up: Why I don’t usually get excited about those autism feel-good stories I see in the news.

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