Letters of Thanks

Back in October 2013, I decided to start a small blog to post ideas, thoughts, and advice on beauty, health, fitness, dating, cooking, fashion, marriage, sex, and parenting.  It was a supposed to be a very tiny venture, meant for mostly myself, to have one place where all my thoughts were collected.  And now has become a blog that has over 100,000 views since I started 2 years ago this month.  I don’t know what’s in store for it, I don’t think it will ever become super popular thankfully, but it’s been fun to write out my thoughts and ideas.  I’ve often felt like I’ve learned more from some of my commentators, and so I thank you readers who have spent the time to either comment or email me your thoughts or your own advice on topics or post ideas.

For a long time, I hesitated to add “Spiritual Growth” to my blog because I felt like I still had so much growth to do in that department, and didn’t want to come across as knowing much about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe one can know a lot about something like theology or religion, but that doesn’t mean they have a good grasp of how to apply it in their daily lives.  So anything I say on spiritual growth has usually come from after a long time (even a year or more) of thinking on it, trying to figure out the pieces and how they fall together, and so, I usually don’t write about the things I experience immediately, but occasionally do if I feel there is a good lesson there.

But over these two years, I’ve received quite a few comments thanking me for the posts or the blog in general… these things really humble me, that anyone reads my blog at all, when I just started it as something very modest and only for myself, blows my mind.  But thank you to my readers who take the time to leave comments or emails – they really are encouraging.  ❤

One of my favorite emails, from a police officer in Virginia:

“Hi there,

Thank you for writing encouraging things about your family.  I found your blog from a link on the advrider.com forums (it’s a motorcycle touring website) in an off-topic (for the forum) discussion about Red Pill Theory of male/female relationships.  They were complimentary of you.

I’m not quite sure what draws me to discussions about males and females, but I read about it a lot.  The evidence would show that it touches a nerve in me somewhere. I’m not a victim of bad relationships, my parents are still married, my wife’s parents are still married, and my wife and I are mostly traditional.  She’s glad I’m a man and I’m glad she’s a woman.  We’re certainly behind the curve on being trendy or progressive, and we’re not complaining.  We’ve been married over 17 years.  Still, I feel like somewhere deep in my mind is a narrative that “manly” is a synonym for “dumb, of little use,  irrelevant” or even “threatening, harmful”.  I perceive, rightly or wrongly, that the importance of men is diminished and derided.

I’ve worked as a police officer for over 16 years, and I end up getting snapshots of many bad relationships.  Though no professional has ever made it official, I believe staring at depravity and realizing that I have no authority to do anything about relational patterns that take decades to do their damage has led to struggling with depression at times, yet feeling no energy to get out of what I do for a living.  Faith has helped on that front, but I still get distracted while someone’s complaining to me about their ex-(fill in the blank) when I notice the blank-faced looking 5 year old 10 feet behind the complainer and can’t help thinking “This is burning into that little brain.  I wish I could explain that this is not an aspirational way of life, that needing the police to intervene in your personal relationships is a symptom of a bigger problem.”

So, when I read things such as you write, I’m relieved.  Not only do you appreciate men and women for being men and women, you love them, too.  I am impatient for Jesus to come back and fix everything that’s wrong, and staring at all of the problems causes me grief.  So, when I read your take and see your appreciation for your husband and kids, I feel great relief that somewhere out there is a family that loves each other.  By writing you this note, I hope to encourage you to know that you are helping people you don’t even know (who doesn’t love feedback?).  Thanks so much for your thoughts, and, truly, best wishes to you and your family.

Jim in Virginia

And more from Jim in another email,

“Yes, my favorite aspect of your thoughts is your “tone”.  So much of the discussion about gender seems generated out of anger or hurt towards the opposite gender.  So much of the learning stems from painful experiences and retaliatory strikes at the offenders.  It doesn’t even seem popular these days to say that you like being married; it seems much more prevalent to list the annoying things (complain) about your spouse. Therefore, it’s remarkable (noteworthy?) when there are voices who appreciate the strengths of both and who seek to edify both of them.  It’s unusual (wow, it shouldn’t be) and, bummer, you may not qualify for a Reality TV show because harmony doesn’t sell commercials or newspapers.  There is no profit in everyone getting along.

Yet,  the foundation you two are giving your kids, the “safety” of your relationship and their home… as they grow older, you will be amazed at the problems they DON’T have just because you two love each other well.  I believe it’s a big part of doing the Lord’s work. My opinion is that we don’t even realize how important, significant,and eternal it really is.  It’s really a great thing.  Thanks for being salt and light.

Okay, getting rambly here.  Go love the world by loving your husband and kids.  I pray you receive much joy in your work!

Jim

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