Back, with Balance

I haven’t blogged for 40 days.

The last such stretch of stillness was in January of 2005, right between “My first blog entry of all time… // I’m not sure if I have any profound thoughts today for the good of all mankind, but I am excited to have a new avenue for sharing thoughts on life, love, and faith. // Stay posted for future developments…” and a post about a slew of bicycle accidents that apparently plagued the beginning of my 2005.

This last such blogging hiatus was back in Amsterdam, before I was ordained as a pastor, before my son Cor was born, before I really started blogging at all. I started before the blogging boom in the middle of the first decade of the 21st Century, and I kept at it long after the blogging bust in the middle of the 2010s as the social media prism refracted further and further into the vast, colorful array of on-line platforms that exist today.

I’ve been a tenacious blogger for a good, long while — but for five and a half weeks, I’ve kept things shuttered at ericasp.com.

The hiatus wasn’t completely intentional, but I’ve appreciated the opportunity to reconsider the space this hobby takes in my life. A lot has changed over the last eleven years: a significant geographic shift closer to the audience for whom I’d often been writing, expanded ministry responsibilities, extra family obligations, a Facebook account, and a Twitter account, and an Instagram account… And when our family faced some unfamiliar rhythms through the Fall Semester (Marci taking graduate school classes in addition to teaching, a number of new ministry roles for me, two kids in middle school), it was easy for blogging to fall to the wayside. Especially through the holidays.

More than any of these circumstances, however, my blogging has decelerated because of other, bigger themes God has been developing in my life. Throughout 2015, God impressed upon me (1) a need to reject self-centeredness and embrace opportunities to serve others, (2) opportunities to step out from behind my computer and prioritize time with people, and (3) a renewed passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus’ redemptive work in the world around us. It’s been encouraging to look back through the year’s journal entries and see the way these themes came into consciousness again and again throughout the last year — especially over the course of my sabbatical in the first half of the year. What a privilege it is to remember that God spoke to me in 2015!

I have no new resolutions for 2016. This would be a highly-successful year if I could just remember and apply the things I’ve been learning from God, with a continual openness to new wisdom and direction.

As for blogging? I still believe this space can be a valuable companion and chronicle for life, love, and faith. If anything, I feel I could let some of the other social media platforms fall to the wayside — or merely serve as echo chambers for content that I post to this space. I almost never go back to find videos or articles or personal reflections I’ve posted to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (or, when I do, I find myself frustrated by their unwieldy archiving systems); whereas, the archive system of this blog is something that I use regularly. So I look forward to utilizing ericasp.com a little more frequently in 2016 — but hopefully only to the extent that it serves a life of selflessness, service, relationships, and the Gospel.

So: Stay posted for future developments…

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