Six years into blogging, I took some time to "ponder the purpose" of this blog. The entry below was posted on January 15, 2011:
Believe it or not, this past December 14 marked the six-year "anniversary" (or bloggiversary??) of our little corner of the so-called World Wide Web. According to some sources, we are even considered "long time bloggers" (just check out this page on Missionary-Blogs.com!)
So being that I am in a contemplative mood tonight, I've taken to pondering the current purpose of our family/ministry blog.
I began writing when we were
busyblissful parents to two children: Eva, then age 3 (going on 4) and Isabel, then age 2 1/2 years old. In that entire first year, from December 2004 - December 2005 I wrote a grand total of eleven posts. Most of these were short and sweet, due in part to our crazy schedule of working part-time and traveling nearly full-time. Another factor was the blessed addition of our third child, Owen, just four months into my blogging career - as well as an utter lack of pictures since we had not yet moved into the digital generation.
The number of posts skyrocketed to 165 during my second full year of blogging (January - December 2006.) This was the year I began posting our prayer letters online. It was also the year we moved to Texas for language study; the year we started the process to adopt again (though this would not be fulfilled for four long years) and the year we lost a child to early miscarriage. Also, Eva started Kindergarten; Owen at age 19 months had surgery to remove his adenoids and correct his sleep apnea; and we enjoyed special times with the Garcia grandparents while Pedro toiled through his first semester of language school.
Apparently I had too much time on my hands during year three! From January - December 2007 I wrote 481 posts which detailed our final farewells to Texas and family; the unexpected visit we paid to Canada en route to our long-awaited destination of Chile to formally begin our missionary career; and those first months of adjustment and transition to a new country, culture, and its customs for all of us. Many joyful memories were recorded of moments spent with the Rubin cousins, an extra-special blessing of our time in Santiago. On the adoption front doors closed both stateside and in Chile, but the longing to add to our family remained.
With 566 posts, year four (January - December 2008) was a record year. It was the year of beginning our Haiti adoption, compiling dossier paperwork, and fundraising through the sale of our adoption t-shirts and my poetry books. It was the year we first visited the countries of Colombia and Haiti. It was the year we first met our two new sons, and also the year our oldest son gave us plenty of gray hairs with no less than three overnight hospitalizations! We closed the year with the craziness of directing a Christmas program, squeezing in another family vacation with the cousins, and the chaos of packing up our house for yet another move 24 hours away.
Year five (January - December 2009) began with a major cross-country move to the northern city of Iquique. Over the course of 414 posts I recorded our family's adjustment to life in the city that never sleeps; to Chilean schools and the consequent process of intense language acquisition for our kiddos. It was the year of two car accidents; two robberies; and two solo trips to Haiti. It was also the year we learned that living in a beach city in northern Chile results in lots of visitors, which was for the most part great fun! More importantly, it was the year God truly began to prick out hearts for the needs of Iquique and reveal to us our part in the ministry here.
And finally ... year six (January - December 2010.) With the long-awaited arrival of Ian and Alec from Haiti, posts dropped dramatically to only 183 but the time away from the computer was well spent in getting to know these two unique personalities and integrating them into our family unit. Without argument highlights from year six were visits from both sets of grandparents, as well as visits with the Rubin cousins both in Iquique and Santiago. Finding our place in ministry and growing in our new relationships, especially those we prayed would become "redemptive" relationships with the opportunity to share Christ, was also very important. This year was intense and challenging, yet rewarding and miraculous!
As I find myself on the brink of my 7th year of blogging, there have been moments of questioning whether taking the time to continue is really worth it or not. Some days I am discouraged by the lack of feedback or comments on the blog. I wonder if I am fulfilling the original purpose of this blog - which I would characterize as keeping friends and family informed of our personal and ministry happenings across the oceans and miles - if no one is actually reading it. With the advent of Facebook, so many more of our pictures and snippets of activities are easily read and recorded there. On days when I am tired, it is much quicker to write a status update and upload pictures to an album than to write and edit an entire blog post.
Yet as I've taken the time (over many days and several weeks) to write this particular post summarizing our blogging years, I've come to realize something. More than a record of the Garcias' goings-on for others to read, this is a journal of and for us. It is all the little stories of our family: from lost teeth to adoption conversations to frustrating parenting moments to tearful times of transition to joyful family vacations. It is a treasure of memories that would have been lost if I had not taken the time to remember, type and publish them in an otherwise possibly insignificant little blog. :)
And so I will keep blogging. Perhaps I'll never match my record year with number of posts, but what I do write I hope to write even more intentionally. I want to capture moments that will hold significance one, two, even thirty years down the road - defining moments in our family and in our ministry as well.
If you come along for the ride, welcome! And if not, that's okay too. We'll still be here ... living "la vida loca," and trying our best to do it all for the glory of God. :)