Wednesday, December 28, 2011

See You Next Year: January 11, 2012

After writing 51 amazing posts this year,
Jamie Jo is taking a much deserved break.

You can look forward to her next post on January 11,2012.

See you then!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Losing My Moxie

This whole blogging thing is catching up to me. After years of writing for a limited audience, presuming that friends who don’t comment don’t actually read my blogs, I’m gradually realizing that my words are permanently out in cyberspace for all to see, today, tomorrow, and maybe years down the road.

I think I’m losing my moxie. Maybe this makes no sense unless you are a blogger, but suddenly I am self-conscious. Not only that, but family and friends are starting to cringe when something happens, wondering how long before some family affair or mutual embarrassment hits the Internet.

In its infancy my writing was a private affair in my own room with no audience but Jesus and my journal. Now my writing has hit puberty. Hopefully that means someday I will be a real grownup writer. For now, though, I’m going through an awkward stage.

Did you ever go through this in junior high? I distinctly remember waking up one morning in the seventh grade having no clue how to walk. Honest to Pete, I had been walking since toddlerhood, but all of a sudden I couldn’t do it without looking dorky. Before a full-length mirror, I tried different ways of holding my head, swinging my arms, and trying to look natural.

As far as I know, I got it figured out eventually. Walking, I mean. At this point I’m doing the same process with my writing, looking in the mirror, and trying to figure out how to continue without compromising my family and friends’ privacy or unnecessarily exposing my own goofiness.

According to, adolescents go through a phase of egocentrism that sounds strangely like what I am going through. Definition: The" imaginary audience" is a label for teens' and older tweens' belief that a group of followers exist who constantly watch and judge their every move. The belief arises from the larger concept of adolescent egocentrism. An egocentric adolescent believes that wherever he goes, everyone around him is as interested in him as he is in himself. He also believes his "audience" is continually commenting on his actions and appearance. It's like being a celebrity...except no one is actually watching.

Only I know for a fact that my e-maginary friends are watching and reading, though I usually suspect no one will be interested in what I write. I need to grow up and be bold in my writing when necessary while maintaining sensitivity to my readers and my loved ones.It’s a delicate balance for someone in the pimply stage of writing publicly.

For now I am taking a break for Christmas and New Year’s, enjoying some marriage and family time free of any writing goals or aspirations. Maybe I will hit a growth spurt during my break.We’ll see.

IRL* One thing I plan to do is spend more time reading your blogs that I have discovered on the WOTH Writer’s Blog. You inspire me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feeling a Bit Shy

Amid some speculation that I will not be able to put a coherent sentence together without mentioning my precious grandbaby, let me just reassure you that if anything I am feeling shy about the whole thing.

Yes, the trip was glorious, and yes I am totally and completely smitten with the new family member, and yes I cried more than a few tears saying goodbye. In fact I had a mini-meltdown in Stuff Mart as I bought her Christmas present – a Hallmark book I had to read and record several times until my voice stopped cracking with emotion.

With that said, I know that others would love to be parents or grandparents and simply aren’t. For one reason or another God has not chosen to bless them in the same way. The same goes with my big family. Most people think we are nuts to have had seven children, but others are envious that God did not bless them with a healthy child for as many pregnancies.

Back when I lost a baby in my second trimester of pregnancy, the hardest thing I had to do was assist a friend in labor and childbirth. It was a bittersweet time.

My instinct is always to downplay my blessings to avoid hurting others unnecessarily. Is that weird? Maybe it’s the old people-pleasing gene coming back to haunt me. I’m not sure. All I know is that everyone I meet is facing some battle, and I hate to be the one to inflict injury by boasting of my bliss.

Meanwhile dh and I are planning to leave on Friday for three amazing days on the beach to celebrate our anniversary. We never did take a honeymoon, always intending to do that “someday.” Seven children later, someday never came. Finally we are ignoring the pocketbook and just going to seize the moment.

This, too, makes me feel a bit shy. I shared with our supporters our plan to escape on this hopefully romantic getaway, but now I worry about how people perceive it. Finances are tight, and this seems like a foolishly extravagant expense right at the end of the year.

What will people think? Just when I think I am free from this worry, it plagues me once again. What about my single friends, and those who are not-so-happily married? What about those who don’t live anywhere near a lovely but cheap vacation spot?

The world says to pursue and embrace pleasure and forget what people think. I don’t want to do that, but nor do I want to pretend it is a virtue to care too much what others think. Most friends are thinking nothing whatsoever. Probably they are rejoicing with me in my various celebrations this month.

Keeping it real, this is my story right now. I’m going from joy to bliss and back again. I am truly blessed.

My prayer is that you are experiencing God’s grace and peace, whether you are enduring heavy trials or a lovely reprieve.

IRL* My new name is GJ for Grandma Jamie, a title I am proud but shy to bear.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


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