What I’ve learned from three years as a Live Action blogger
I honestly don’t even remember how I started blogging for Live Action. I think someone sent me an e-mail saying they were looking for writers, and I sent samples of my work. That sounds right. Anyway, it happened without a lot of fanfare. I had no idea it was going to change my life.
My first blog post was published on January 25, 2010. Over the past three years I’ve gone through phases where I wrote a lot, and phases where I didn’t write much. Now that I’m a lowly housewife, I am so prolific that I’m probably beginning to annoy you.
So what have I learned? What great wisdom can I impart, besides Reagan’s famous advice to “trust but verify” all your sources?
Be cool for just a second while I get cosmic on you:
I think about God a lot. Sometimes I imagine Him like sort of an omniscient Carl Sagan, gleefully cataloguing the billions and billions of stars and galaxies and planets. Sometimes I imagine Him like a thoughtful judge, balancing the scales of justice from the most miniscule to the most ginormous. Sometimes I imagine Him kind of like the Jesus on “South Park”: in human form, very loving and reasonable and amused and saddened by all of us, like a proud Father watching his children do awesome stuff and make mistakes.
I promise I’m not trying to be sacrilegious. I’m just telling you what’s inside my brain. And bear with me, because I have a point. I think.
Anyway, I also think of God as a close-up magician. Like, I had some magician friends for a while back in Dallas, and they were incredible. There was this one cat: he could do a card trick in front of you, and you’re watching the whole time, trying really hard to see how he does it, and somehow he just owns you. Every time. And it would blow my mind. It was the best feeling. I would just laugh and laugh. It felt so good to be tricked that hard.
God makes magic all the time. He takes something really terrible, like an abortion, and he makes something beautiful out of it, like a repentant soul. That’s just one example. He can do that with anything, even the worst things.
My friend Jeni, who rules, explained it to me the best way ever: she said the world is like the underside of a tapestry. It’s all knotty and ugly and chaotic and pointless. But when you turn it over, there’s the picture. The order. The beauty. We get to see only the underneath. God sees the right side, the tapestry, the picture. When the world seems to be a bunch of random horrible nonsense, I remember that.
Just as God can bring order out of chaos and goodness out of tragedy, He also gives us challenges even within our greatest blessings. The most miraculous, perfect babies sometimes explode their diapers. The awesomest husbands snore. (Trust me.) The dream job demands all our talent and guts and time.
Blogging for Live Action has been a joy. It has also been difficult. I have learned more than I ever thought possible and made more friends than I can count. I have also made a name for myself in the pro-life community. This is a large part of the blessing, and 99% of the curse. With exposure comes, well, exposure.
Hate mail is not really the problem. I get surprisingly little. But there is an endless stream of e-mails and Facebook messages. Depending on what I’ve just written, it could be one a day or it could be a dozen. People want advice, or they want to give me advice. They want me to see things or read things or write about things. They want to tell me why I’m wrong, or just say very nice stuff. All of this is welcome and lovely, but it’s also a challenge. I am deeply appreciative of the fact that people read my writing, care about what I say, and want to converse with me. But I only have so much time, and every few days, I need to shower. (Joke.)
See, here is the scary truth: I am not a 100% abortion person. Some people are. And, you know what, God bless those people. I know those people. They live and breathe it. It’s their sole reason for being. It consumes them, and they’re happy that way. But I am not one of those people.
I have a passion for this issue like no other, and I want to be a part of abolition. I consider it a calling, and I feel blessed and humbled that I get to lend my voice, be it ever so small, to the great voice of pro-life Americans calling in the wilderness.
However, I do not live and breathe pro-lifeyness. I just don’t. I am only recently getting over feeling guilt and shame and remorse about this. I have begun to accept that I am about 17 people in one. Some of those people are all “END ABORTION NOW!,” and some of those people are all “I have an idea! Backwards Shakespeare!”
But it’s okay, and here’s why: maybe this is my imagination, but I believe people’s lives tend to have major themes, like movies used to in the pre-Paul Blart: Mall Cop era of cinema. It’s like there are these lessons you’re supposed to learn, and you keep getting taught them over and over until you finally get it.
Writing for Live Action has helped me learn one of my big lessons. In the past three wonderful years, between all the obsessing about what I’m writing and striving to learn as much as possible and feeling bad that I don’t do enough, I have finally started to get that, to paraphrase General Patton, a good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow. In other words, sometimes good enough is good enough. Striving for perfection is awesome, but not if it paralyzes you and stops you from doing anything at all.
I’m no Lila Rose, but I can make a difference, which means so can you. You don’t have to spend 100% or even 50% of your time as an activist. If you do, God bless ya. But at least do what you can, and then do maybe a little more. Remember that God will use you for good if you want Him to and that inevitably, blessings will be accompanied by challenges.
I am a messy, complicated, ridiculous human being. I make no sense and I contradict myself and I fail all the time. (You should have seen my attempt at cooking brunch this morning.)
But God saw fit to give me a few gifts – not because I deserve them, but because He wants me to use them. One of these gifts is that I make words my beeotch. And so I use some of my time to tell people that life is a sacred right and abortion is a horror that must be stopped. That’s all. It’s quite simple when you think about it.
Take your gift. (You have at least one. I promise.) Use it to help save innocent lives. There are so, so many ways. If you can’t think of one, e-mail me and I’ll help you.
It is not just okay to be you; it is awesome. You are you for a reason, and you can be a part of this great crusade. That is the inestimable, beautiful gift I have gotten from Live Action. They have helped me become a part of one of the most essential battles for human life in all of history. For that I am grateful. Overwhelmed, inadequate, distracted. But grateful.
So thank you, Live Action. Thank you, Lila, David, Kate, and the whole team. Thank you, writers, for teaching me things and encouraging me. Thank you all for doing God’s work. Thank you for letting li’l old me be a small part of it, for being so good to me, for connecting me with some of the world’s greatest people, and for letting me make fun of Ashley Judd.