100th Post (and lessons learned)

28 04 2008

Well, it has been 100 small steps for the muddy feet at Out of the Miry Clay.  Time to do a little reflecting and see if I’ve learned anything in the walk thus far.  Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order.

1. I’m a flawed perfectionist
My wife laughs at me when she watches me proof read my posts over and over again.  I guess I’m a little obsessive.  But what I’ve learned is that, no matter how much I read and re-read my posts, I inevitably miss some silly little typo (or several little typos).  There is no joy like discovering all my hard work has been for naught and my attempt at a perfect post (well at least one without grammar and spelling errors) has crashed and burned yet again!

2. This takes work
Blogging is fun, but it is not easy (at least, not for me!).  When I began posting back in November, I came across an article by Tim Challies that described blogging as a discipline.  He is right, it is.  It takes work.  Some days the work is easy and the writing just flows.  Most days, however, it doesn’t.  I write, then erase.  I stare at the screen for awhile, then try writing in a new direction.  Some days this goes on until I scrap it (or file it in my wasteland of “drafts”).  However, the work is a real blessing. It is a mental exercise that forces me to think through topics in a more specific and systematic fashion, then come to a conclusion I can put out there for the world (all 12 of them who read my blog!) to weigh in on.

3. There are a lot of things to write about
Although writing is work, finding subjects I want to write about isn’t.  There are so many wonderful topics to explore, great quotes to work through, Bible passages to delve into, books to digest and comment upon, and other blogs to interact with.  Some days the work really begins with narrowing down the list of topics I want to write on.

4. A new baby can really put a cramp in the blog rhythm
Life changed (it got even better!) on March 5 with the arrival of our wonderful and beautiful Anna.  However, the rhythm I had going in February completely collapsed with her arrival and I really didn’t post anything much in the month of March.  I found it a real challenge to sit down at the computer and resume the discipline of regular writing.  (I mean who wants to write when you have a new baby to stare at or sleep to catch up on!) 

5. There are more important things than blogging
Over the first hundred posts, there were times when the blog really dominated my thinking- times when I just had to write.  My little Anna, though, reminded me very quickly that a blog is an extra, a fun peripheral that is not very high on the list of priorities.  Going to the Band of Bloggers lunch at T4G and listening to bloggers like Phil Johnson and Thabiti Anyabwile saying the same things about their blogs really reinforced Anna’s lesson.

6. I want to write more often about the hymns
Probably my favorite series of posts thus far was on the hymn It Is Well with My Soul. I’d like to do other series like that. There are so many wonderful hymns that have been written by our brothers and sisters through the history of the Church with so many rich stores behind them to be explored.  Over the next 100 (and beyond) I’d like to spend more time delving into my love and growing appreciation for the hymns of our faith. 

7. I could post thoughts from Thomas Watson all day long
There is good reason he is my homeboy!  His insight is so rich, so practical, so penetrating, and so wonderfully illustrated.  Every time I sit down to read through his works, I am awed and overwhelmed by the greatness of our God and the beauty of my Savior.  Watson is a model of what preaching should be (theology smashing into real life, producing vibrant change) and I praise God that he brought me to this truth-saturated mentor.  If my Watson books and their severely marked up pages are any indication, you’ll be reading a lot more wisdom from our godly older brother. 

8. My wife is much better at this than I am
It has taken me over 5 months to get to 100 posts; Amy usually does it in a week and a half!  She is so faithful in posting, so creative in what she writes about, and so balanced in the amount of time she devotes to her blog.  Every time I think I’m doing well at this “blogging thing,” I head over to God Made Playdough! and then see how far I have to go.

9. I’m greedy for thoughtful interaction
I like it when people comment, but I especially enjoy it when people really engage with what I’ve posted.  One of the things I appreciate about this medium is its conversational aspect.  You can put up a post about a topic and try to get people to talk with you about it.  I wish I would have more interaction like this, but hopefully as I improve my writing I’ll start the conversation better and more of you will be enticed into the discussion.

10. I love to write about our salvation
When I look back on what I’ve written over the last 100 posts, the theme that is most often repeated is my salvation… and why wouldn’t it be?  What is better than meditating on God’s glorious work of redemption; seeking to understand it, explore it, and delight in it?  I love to think about it and when I sit down and work through some facet of it as I write a post, often I find myself filled with joy and wonder.  What topic could ever trump it?  And no matter how much you write about our great salvation, you can never plumb its depths or come close to exhausting it as a subject!  Paul’s doxology says it well: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33) I can’t wait to write more about it!

And to all of you who have read some, most, or (dare I say it) all of these 100 posts: thank you, and I hope they stimulated your thinking and helped you see more of the glory of our Savior, who “brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and… set my feet upon a Rock.”  

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4 responses

28 04 2008
Amy

Yay! Congratulations on 100! I’m so proud of you! I love reading all of you wit and wisdom! You really have taught me so much and encouraged and inspired me. I can’t wait to read the next 100! I’m so glad our girls are being given such a Godly heritage! Love you!

28 04 2008
Bob Allen

I have in the past referred to a trait I call “Limited Perfectionism” meaning that there are some areas that people are very careful about and then others that they just don’t care about. I might use the illustration of someone who is very driven to produce a perfect spreadsheet in Excel and yet his desk has papers all over it, but that would be too personal. The interesting thing about this is usually within that limited area where perfectionism is demonstrated, a person is very concerned about that area. It might be more the public nature of the blog that are concerned about. Once posted, your opinion is out there for all to read.

28 04 2008
Dave Allen

I don’t know if you want to hear this, but in your paragraph about perfectionism, the word you’re looking for is “naught”, as in “efforts came to naught”. I’m looking out for you!

Dave

28 04 2008
Ryan

Thanks, Dave. I rest my case!

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