It took years for it to feel normal for me to write on a blog. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it. I marvel at the blogless people, the women who don’t even know the word. I envy them sometimes. It might be because I am still learning how to be a blogger, an author, and a person.

water tower

Chatting at the Sky got a little makeover this weekend. If you read in a in a reader or by email, this could be a good day to click over and poke around. Erin from Design by Insight works magic and can read minds. I highly recommend her.

You who are new here might think I have a blog because I wrote books and authors are supposed to have blogs and junk. But that’s not why I have a blog.

I started a blog because I had toddlers giving up pacifiers and I needed someplace to work that out. I wrote the night before our son was born. I wrote about my brainless answers to four-year-old questions. I wrote after we totaled our car.

Writing my stories over time uncovered the writer inside me. I have only taken my writing seriously for about three years. I’ve been blogging for six. As I sifted through old posts to re-categorize things, my hand hovered over delete more times than I can count.

There is some straight up crazy in these archives. I’m not exaggerating. Some of the things I used to write I simply don’t enjoy writing anymore and I was tempted to take out anything that didn’t fit. But I didn’t.  I’m leaving it all in.

Blogging has profoundly changed me. I felt like a shadow before I started writing here. For years like many of you, I wrote in journals. But journal writing is different. It wasn’t until I began to write things to be read by a community of people that I began to see myself. I am a mess. I am a contradiction. I am brave and also not.

Working those things out in writing helps me to have peace with it rather than fight it so much. Thinking about my own contradictions in my head brings anxiety. But writing through them gives me courage. Yes, I am a mess. But that doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer.

Hope profoundly motivates me.

I see the world as a half-full glass.

I risk Pollyanna by writing that way but I don’t care.

Even when I feel hopeless, discouraged or small, writing here reminds me that small isn’t a bad thing. The critics and disappointments carry their own kind of gifts.

emily p freemanI desperately want to keep this a place for your soul to breathe. That means something different for everyone. For me, it means calming photos, thoughtful words, and lots of white space.

In an effort to stay true to writing what I love best but also make it easy for those who wish to poke around and find real information, we’ve re-worked the archives and added a few features that, hopefully, will smooth things out.

For years I wrote sporadically about family, motherhood, faith. I still write about those things, but I do it differently now. I am different now. My writing voice reads stronger. In real life, I can be a bit of a wimp. But I’m not as wimpy as I used to be, and I think that is because of this blog.

God has used writing to convict me of sin and selfishness. He has also used it to convict me of righteousness and giftedness. You can’t leave that part out.

Every time I publish something here, I want to have something in my hands to offer. If I have nothing in my hands, it doesn’t mean I won’t write. But I will wait until the emptiness has a bit of a shape before I give it to you.

I want you to be able to find your way around. I want to share myself with you as authentically as I am able. I want you to read and I want to make it easy.

If there is something that would make it easier, would you let me know?

My dad reminded me this weekend as we spent some time together, “We make the mistake of thinking people have arrived and we judge them there. But they are always changing, growing, learning. And so are we. We’re not done yet.”

This is not all we’ll ever be. We live, notice, hope, remember, and trip over the middle. We love in the middle. And the middle is where we write.

We’re not done yet. I’m thankful for that.