If You Could Only Choose One Blog...

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one blog with you.... which would it be? I jokingly asked myself that question this morning. Obviously, if I had the internet on a desert island, I'd be in good shape. But still, it was an interesting exercise. If I could only choose one blog to pop up in my feed every day to help me become the person I desire to be, to strengthen, to weaken, to discover joy, to prepare my heart for His glory...

This was not a difficult question for me. I knew immediately but I was a little hesitant to say it out loud. You see, it's not a Catholic blog. The author is not a Catholic writer. And yet, there have been times when I have laughed at the computer monitor and told the author through the screen that she's more Catholic than many who name themselves as Catholic.

There are so many blogs that I enjoy and value and 99% of them are Catholic. But when it comes down to it, I don't need the wonderful reflections, the crafts, the encouragements, and the humor half as badly as I need the soul stripping challenge of A Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp.

Gratitude. Joy. Eucharisteo. If I could only read one blog a day, that is what I would invite into my life.

Of course, it goes without saying that I would still have my books! And the Sacramental life. The liturgical year. My faith-filled family and friends. And all the riches of the holy faith. This exercise was undertaken to help me examine my heart, who I am and what I desire. It's akin to saying "If you could only have one kind of cookie...." because blog reading is a sweet treat on the journey, but not essential.

I don't read Anne's blog every time she posts, primarily because it is not easy. Her writing often strips my soul so bare that I weep. I don't want that everyday. But if I had it everyday, perhaps I would make quicker progress on the path of love and sanctity. And if hers was the only blog I read, maybe I would learn not to be so startled by my own weakness and be more willing to trust God more.

It's a little bit like graphic images of aborted children. Here we go, you say, it's always something about abortion for her. Yes, it kind of is. Because we go on with our lives and our little dramas and our feastings without recalling the American death camps and the victims. This need to be stripped down in my spiritual life is like the need to see those images. They are horrific and I don't seek them out, but when I do see them... I look with open eyes and heart. If I do it right, I will not be desensitized but will grow increasingly sensitive as I see. Because I never want to stop feeling the pain that drives my heart to greater love and service. If I do it right and look with purpose, I will not be desensitized but will grow increasingly moved by the horror and injustice.

It's the same with Ann's little blog. When she nails it and I really read, I am touched at all the raw areas and it burns... and purifies. I walk away, not inspired to come back to the computer, but to give everything for love of Him in the work of my vocation. However slow and clumsy and sinful and weak that I am.

"God doesn't ask me to be perfect; He asks me to praise" ~ Ann Voskamp

Once upon a time, I came across A Blogger's Prayer that she had written and posted. I shared it here long ago but I share it again now. For those of us who come to the keyboard regularly to pour out our hearts... to remember that if we do not write and read enveloped in His purpose and grace, then we are probably doing it wrong. Some of us write about crafts and babies, some about world events and activism, some about marriage and home, some about art and theology, and some write to record a life of blessing. Wherever we are,  remembering who we are and purposefully offering it all to Him every day is the key to our joy.

When Ann came out with her book, One Thousand Gifts, I immediately bought it. That little work, written by a non-denominational Protestant, sits on my bookshelf amongst the many Catholic treasures. But you know what? When she talks about Eucharisteo, she speaks with such devotion and joy that it makes me ashamed. With the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ accessible to me in the Holy Eucharist, I am still only a shadow of a Christ-lover that this women reveals to be in her writing. 

In the meantime, I'm not on a desert island. Cookie is frying potatoes and sausages in the kitchen while Peaches sleeps in her bouncy chair. I'll take a few minutes to enjoy my favorite Catholic blogs and breathe a deep prayer before the business of the day begins. In a little while, my house will be full of life and sound and I will come face to face with my weakness as I struggle to love and manage.

Thanks be to God for every moment. Thanks be to God! I will pray that until it pierces and then I will step out in faith. Thanks be to God. Eucharisteo!


Here are some of my favorite Catholic blogs (oh, there are sooo many) and why I love them. In no particular order (except perhaps for the first one)...

Creative Minority Report (politics, faith, humor, family, Catholic culture. If I was allowed to bring two blogs with me to my desert island, this would probably be #2)
Moxie Wife (vocation, romance, and marriage... Hallie really hits it home)
Fr. Z's Blog (nailing the truth)
Sole Searching Mama (Homeschooling mama blog with a flair for  beauty, fun, and fitness)
Like Mother, Like Daughter (Beauty and joy and home *sigh*)
Joyfilled Family (Family life steeped in the depths of Catholic joy)
Amongst Lovely Things (The name says it all. Lovely family with gorgeous babies and a very talented mama.)
Wellness Mama (Catholic mama pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Recipes for everything from food to toothpaste.)
A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall (because she's one of the funniest ladies ever, dead pigs and all)
Shower of Roses (beautiful homeschooling mama. So much joy.)

This is not a complete list by any stretch. It is simply a list of feeds I always click on even when I probably don't have time.

Posted on October 22, 2013 and filed under "Ann Voskamp", "Eucharist", "blogging", "spiritual life".