Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dear Bloggy! (Part Two)

This past Sunday was the one year blogoversary of Classical Quest! I've enjoyed looking back over some highlights of my journey thus far. In my previous post I reminisced about events from January to July 2012. In this post you'll find highlights from August 2012. Initially I intended to post a two part series, but it has now turned into three! Part Three will go up on Friday. A birth-week is really more appropriate anyway, since that's the way my kids like to celebrate!

Why do I bother baking cupcakes for my kids?
They would be happy with a bowl of icing and a jar of sprinkles!
August
Things were starting to go swimmingly. I finished a round of antibiotics after contracting a staph infection and I felt great. I began jogging again. I had learned quite a bit through trial and error about making the most of my days in order to fit my quest into my life. I was going to bed earlier and waking up at 5AM to read.

Kid's water shoes get frequent use around our place.

I did not post much here on Classical Quest during August. Instead I focused on opening the doors of my home to my community for the first time since my C-section. I had finally overcome what Fly Lady calls CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)!

My living room -- with extra chairs for company. I do most of my reading in the chair with the quilt on the back. 
praise and worship with friends


precious guests

I recall one pleasant day in early August when I was out hiking in the sunshine with all my children and I suddenly felt so grateful my heart literally hurt. (Does that sound crazy? Have you ever felt that way?) It occurred to me that it was quite possibly the happiest moment of my life.

What happened next was not an earth-shattering tragedy, but it was an event that wounded my heart and made me feel very sad.

For a while it cast a cloud over my days.



I got my first heckler.

As I sat watching my kids playing in the yard, someone tossed a stream of jabbing text messages right into my lap.

The worst blows were hurled privately, but looking back I realized that my heckler's critical spirit had been present online for a quite a while -- even dating back to at comment she made on the blog I had before Classical Quest. Her periodic terse questions and general shortness was really steam from her rising disapproval of me. She was bound to eventually boil over. With hindsight I could see this clearly.

Being heckled knocked the breath out of me. It struck me deeply because it came -- not from a stranger -- but from a person whom I had long held in high esteem, a person I had tried to confide my struggles to.

I went "dark" for a few days to pray and sift through the criticism I had received. This experience became a turning point for my blog.

There were tears.



I don't believe I should forgo telling you about this part of my journey, but I will be discreet out of respect for my heckler, whom I still love. Dear readers, you need to know that if you choose to embark on a quest -- to live your life with intention -- you are bound to face opposition. Most likely your most unfair critic will emerge from those who think they know you well.

Through blogging I've revealed some of my goals and dreams. I've made myself vulnerable. I've taken a risk. This person, my heckler, was disgusted with what she saw when I cracked open the door and allowed her to peer in. She took it upon herself to scold me, not lovingly, but as a bully.

And friends, it's likely that some of your acquaintances will be disgusted with what they discover about you if you choose to bare your soul. We all live in a delusion about each other. We're excessively fond of perceiving others through the filtered lens of our own ideals. My heckler is not alone in this. I am often guilty of doing this to others too.



I emerged from my time offline with sober determination and a renewed vision. I realized that one of the things that my heckler said was true -- Classical Quest should be an extension of my whole self! I had been writing a lot about the product of my labor and very little about the process of laboring. I was making things seem effortless, when in reality a good bit of tears and sleepless nights were going into getting this quest off the ground.




I don't think my heckler meant to inspire me with a great idea which would boost my following! I think she would have been content to see me shut down. But after some soul searching I understood that if I stopped pursuing my quest I would be pushing God's hand away. I wasn't doing a bad thing. I was doing something I was made to do, something my family is proud of.

In this way my heckler became my helper.


Now, I won't go so far to say that no one in my family has ever been frustrated with me! Nor will I pretend that I have never dropped any balls because of getting up extra early to read and write! But yes, my family is proud of me. They show me this daily. My quest enriches all our lives.


A drawing my daughter made for me.

Two great things happened at the end of August:

Anne Bogel, a.k.a. The Modern Mrs. Darcy, recommend I read Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, by Madeline L'Engle. ( I'm still reading it in small portions and soaking it up.)

Through the magic of Facebook I reconnected with my darling friend, Krista Bjorn, whom I haven't seen since I was in Moscow, Russia in 1994! Krista is a writer who lives on a beautiful farm in Australia. She has a lovely blog called Rambling Tart. She reentered my life like a beacon  at just the perfect time.

Krista's advice for me (which I took to heart):
" ...just be a beacon. It will draw some and repel others and both are OK.  Those who leave free us up to THRIVE with the kindred spirits who come along."

At the Kremlin in 1994 with friends I'm still in contact with today. I'm in the middle. Krista Bjorn is on the right near the grass.

Thank you for taking the time to read my reminiscences today. I would offer you a cyber cupcake but since it's already been licked, I'm sure you'd politely decline. Take care, friends. Please join me tomorrow for the final post of "Happy Birthday, Dear Bloggy!"

14 comments:

  1. Adrianna,
    I love your blog! I noticed the changes, and it thought it was a wonderful change. Wow! Your heckler could have been a burden, but instead you used it to grow in your journey, while sharing your changes via your picturesque, encouraging, and discerning blog. Thank you! You are truly blessed!
    Ruth

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    1. Thank you dear Ruth! I am indeed abundantly blessed. :D
      What happened turned out to be a HUGE blessing, though it took me a while to see it that way!

      Remember the C&P wrap up? Everything was raw then. Sonia was such a sweet reminder of the love of Christ. I soaked up that beautiful redemptive ending! It was just what my soul needed at that time.

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  2. Happy blogoversary, dear :D

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  3. Bearing our soul can be quite difficult and often can have pain involved. Thanks for praying through the dark days and coming out the other side with renewed perspective. ~ Your Friend

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    1. Christine, Your heart is so beautiful and pure! In all the years I've known you, I've never heard you spread gossip or express meanness or envy. I treasure your friendship. Thank you for lifting me up with love and prayers. :)

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  4. I loved reading this reflection. When people don't understand what you're trying to do or why, that can really hurt -- especially when you've made yourself vulnerable. It's amazing that you allowed this to be a growing experience & make your vision even stronger and clearer!

    Thanks too for introducing me to the CHAOS acronym. I have this illness periodically -- OK, frequently -- but didn't know the official medical term for it. I don't know if my home is chaotic because I spend too much time reading and writing, or if I escape into reading or writing because my home is chaotic! :-)

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    1. Thank you Jeannie. It is so wonderfully freeing to reach a point where I can say I'm really glad this happened!

      And yes, sometimes we have to embrace the chaos in order to get things done! :D

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  5. "My heckler became my helper" - great testimony to God's grace, Adriana! It makes me think of Psalm 56:11 and Romans 14:4.

    And as for eating cupcakes, it's going to take more than licked frosting to turn me away!

    Tim

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    1. Tim, You always have just the right verses for the right time. I read the entire chapter of Romans 14 tonight and it could not have fit more perfectly with what I've learned through this! "Each of us will give an account to God."

      Oh, and I would have make apple cake if Anne had not convinced me to go on a refined sugar fast! :D

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  6. Thanks be to God. : ) It reminded me of some verses, too -- Romans 8:28, and Genesis 50:20, where Joseph says, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good...."

    Your readers love you, and we're so glad you didn't quit!

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    1. Bless you for that, Sandy. I love my readers too! :)

      These verses are so comforting. I can certainly testify to the fact that God works ALL things for good to those who love Him. I've seen this played out many times! It brings me such peace to meditate on the fact that, in spite of my many faults, He is patiently working His good in my life.

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  7. Luv, I am SO glad we could connect after all these years. It makes me smile so big to think that something that meant so much to me was also able to comfort and cheer you. :-) XO Wishing you continued courage, continued you-ness as you blog your heart out. :-) XO

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    1. A big hug to you darling. Your friendship is a gift that I treasure. Thank you for cheering me on. ♥

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Blessings,

Adriana