In response to a query that is becoming increasingly common: yes, I do intend to continue to write after leaving New Zealand. But I don't know what form that will take. I've been back and forth about this multiple times - thinking, praying, discussing ad nauseum with Richard (sorry, love!)..... I love to blog because I love to write. I hate to blog because I feel very "exposed" in blogging, paranoid about how others will judge me for what I reveal about my spiritual life, my parenting, my marriage, my housekeeping, my cheesy insights into the mundane and everything else about which I write. Confession: I worry others will judge me because I find myself often judging what I read in blogs. I think that Jesus told us so often not to judge because well, we all judge. Too much. And the people who are most horrified at the "judgmental-ness" of others are usually exceedingly judgmental individuals. Really, Jesus didn't waste a whole lot of time preaching about rare sins; he focused on the areas that are common to man. I think I've met only three people in my entire life who were not sometimes severely judgmental. Two of them were younger than five years old. So despite the fact that I too often judge, I hypocritically and pridefully have a paranoid fear of being judged. The Lord has told me that this is not an acceptable reason for stopping the blog. He seems to think that it would be far better for me to work hard on stopping the judging.
A while back I started playing with the idea of a new blog. I wasn't intending to start keeping two blogs simultaneously, I was just experimenting with the design and possible focus of a post-New Zealand blogging project. I had settled on the idea of writing about applying what I had learned over these two years, but in the mission of everyday life. If you check out the first post, you will understand the Lord's sense of humor. Days after I finalized the direction of this new blog and published an experimental first post, we learned that actually the Lord might not be sending us back to the life we already knew. So much for most of what I had written. Nevertheless, I may still pursue the theme, but I'm not certain yet.
What I am certain of is this: on this current site I will chronicle the wrap-up of the mission, which includes all the closing activities in New Zealand, the return journey, the settling-in process Stateside, the details of our new life (or our old life, as the case may be). I will (at least) occasionally update the blog with bits of news about our family life (for all our friends in New Zealand, as I have been doing for these past two years for our friends in the US). Since I am not only "non-Facebook" but ardently "anti-Facebook", I've already been informed by multiple individuals that this is the only fair compromise. I may start work on that new blog, unified by the tiny heroic moments theme. Or I may scrap that and try blogging from a different angle (if so, I will publish the new address here). Or I may discern that the Lord is calling me to steward my writing elsewhere. I've been working here and there on other writing projects. At the urging of my parents and in-laws, I've worked extensively on a book about our mission trip which includes details I didn't or couldn't include on the blog. I've also put some time into a children's book about our mission years written from Maria's perspective (because other than Little House books and Charlotte's Web, I'm having a hard time finding "not-stupid" chapter books written for a child at her comprehension level.) In time, when things settle down, I'll figure out what kind of writing is most feasible and appropriate. For now, there are many pressing matters to deal with and they alone constitute the material of my thoughts and written words. I'm grateful and humbled by how many people in the States and in New Zealand have encouraged me to keep writing. I assume most of those individuals are not judging me - at least not too harshly. (Do any of you happen to keep a blog about the mission of being nonjudgmental?)