#TreasuryofSmallBlogs for July 2014

photoMy very favorite pastime is reading. I read voraciously--at least 2 books a week. But while I love reading books, I also love reading blogs. Writing-centric blogs, that is. Not lifestyle blogs. Not advice blogs. Not political ranting blogs. I want to see your heart. I want to feel something. I'm a sucker for tear-open-your-soul writing. And I'm convinced that kind of writing? That best true-life writing? Is happening today on blogs.  And sometimes, on blogs that rarely get read. I want to see those blogs. I want to read them.

So, yesterday, I put out the call on Twitter, asking for submissions from smallish bloggers ("small" being defined as less than 1,000 FB likes on blog fan page or less than 1,000 daily pageviews). I got a bazillion responses--ok, maybe it only FELT like a bazillion. There are SO MANY wonderful writers out there!

So. I spent ninety minutes reading as many posts as I could. (Confession: I couldn't read ALL of them--which means, try again next month! My call for submissions to #TreasuryofSmallBlogs will go out on the last Friday or Saturday of the month).

Then I picked out my top ten favorites and edited a small clip of the post to share with you today.

I so enjoyed curating this list of #TreasuryofSmallBlogs. I'll continue showcasing small blogs next month. In the meantime, keep writing! Be sure to leave an encouraging comment on these Top Ten posts and follow them on Twitter!

(If I didn't pick your piece, don't give up! And please, don't take it personally. Just keep writing! Use this next month to dig deep, write more, write more loosely and with wild abandon. I have lots of fun plans for #TreasuryofSmallBlogs. Look for my next call for submissions on the last Friday or Saturday of the month.)


 Most Emotionally Honest:

I need to be loved, not fixed. I need people around who won't shame me, won’t tell me to get over it. I need to know that I am not alone, that people will actually come to me, not just expect me to be capable enough to come to them. I need the presence of other people, helping me stay out of the endless night of my head and hurting heart.--Cultural Savage, "When It's Not Enough" Twitter: @CulturalSavage

Best Observation:

I have no doubt that God can redeem everything. But it's a little problematic to spend so much time making sex look evil, the damage so traumatizing and then squeeze the redemption message into the last two minutes of the show. --Sarabeth Capllin, "Undoing the Damage Cause by 'Purity Culture'"  Twitter: @SbethCaplin

Best Questions:

At the moment, it seems to me like there’s not much left of what used to be called ‘the emerging church.' And the thing that goes on under the second name ‘emergent’ doesn’t feel the same to me. It seems like the whole emergent scene (and sometimes whatever ‘progressive Christianity’ is supposed to be too) has just become some very American kind of theological liberalism 2.0. --Bram, "Why is there no occult-mergent?" Twitter: @Brambonius

Most Inspiring Dad:

From before you were born, I have dreamed of you, my precious daughters. The Lord has given me a dream, my girls, and in this dream, you – women, daughters not only of myself, but firstly of the King – are received in the Body of Christ in mutuality and equality. --Brandon Chase, "A Father's Dream for Daughters in His Church" Twitter: @ZoePerissos

Best Explanation of Why We Write:

It isn’t simply about letting go of fears or even conquering them. It’s not about caving into comparison or pretending to be the Holy Spirit, either. It’s about generating beauty in defiance of fear. It’s about telling stories. It’s about joining the human chorus of stories, regardless of how they are told. I just so happen to use a keyboard, most of the time. I write to live. For me, then, I write to be human. --Sabrina Peters "The Writing Life" Twitter: @SabrinadPeters

Best Description:

Yes, the day you gave your life to Jesus was the best day of your life. On the day you gave your life to Jesus, whether you were four or fourteen or twenty-four: here is what happened: you walked down the aisle of your life covered, like me, in the rags of brokenness and shame. Thousands upon thousands of angels looked on and celebrated–God Himself, in fact, celebrated your steps. You looked at the Man waiting for you there–the One who had been wooing you and had finally won your heart over months and years, the man who paid for your life not in diamonds but with his own blood. --Ann Swindell, "The Best Day of My Life was Not My Wedding Day" Twitter: @annswindell

Most Thoughtful:

We need to value each other more than our agendas. Do we know how much we need each other? I’m afraid we don’t. And the reason why I think we don’t know how much we need each other is because I hear more shouting than meaningful discourse. I see more protests than meetings of minds. And that is why my heart hurts. --Jennifer Clark Tinker, "The More Different We Are, the More We Need Each Other" Twitter: @deaconessjen

Best Solution For Broken Hearts:

What do we do when the world seems to be spinning lopsided and sends us all tumbling into hard places where everything seems to shatter around us? How do we respond? We clean up the messes we can. The ones that are near. We sweep up the shards of brokenness from our own home, our own community, our own hearts. We reach as far as we can to get as much of the mess as we can. We make it safe for those we love to walk in the hard places. --Colleen Mitchell, "On Shattered Glass and Broken Hearts" Twitter: @colleencmitch

Most Elegant Explanation of Why She Stayed in Church:
Sometimes I wonder if there are others like me in the church; people who have heard enough words and really just want to see Jesus. And that is what I love about communion: it is so clearly about Jesus. In spite of my cynicism, I couldn’t deny Him when faced plainly with the truth of His sacrifice: His body, broken, His blood, spilled.  It is Christ, and him crucified (I Corinthians 2:2). --Callie, "What Kept Me In Church was Communion" Twitter: @calliecannata
Most Heartfelt:
I don’t want grace with conditions. I don’t want to spend Easter listening to a proclamation of grace that’s watered down with subtle rules and behavior modifications. I want to know that Jesus lives for and loves the worst of us ~ the ones who can’t lift their heads because the weight of guilt is too great, the ones who bear the burdens of failure, the ones who suffer in silent shame, the ones whom the religious people stone and discard. --Rebekah Gilbert, "Easter: In Search of Grace" Twitter: @4gilbert