Painting Grace Graffiti or How I Almost Quit Blogging


A Little Piece of 80s
Photo by Twig_Is_The_Future

“Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.” Psalm 17 (The Message)

Recently, I questioned my place here in the Blogosphere. This test, is seems, is common to bloggers who remain. It is our Wilderness of sorts. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to be tempted of the Devil. His temptations were, at the core, focused on keeping Him from doing what He was called to do.

And so it is the same with us. Our enemies, whether real, or in our own mind, are sent to keep us from doing what we were meant to do…and part of this test must be done alone. But I’m not writing about that part today. I’m writing about the part when strong hands pick me up when I am weak. I’m writing about community.

You see, as I went through my blogging valley, I received encouragement from the unexpected. I expected encouragement from my readers,…and I did get some. But the encouragement that blew my mind was from my blogging mentors. This wouldn’t be so surprising had they known that I considered them my mentors. However, I had admired them from afar, both in proximity and in anonymity. Sure, I left glowing comments on their blogs, but I never asked them for advice or let them know that I was watching their every move in order to copy their behavior in hopes that maybe, just maybe, I’d experience some of their success.

Within moments of posting my blogging woes, I received this comment from Jen:
I saw this on FB and came by to read and was I so surprised to see my name here. And then, my heart broke a little when I read the next few lines. And I know that you know, but I’m just confirming that the world would be a little less caring, a little less bright, and a whole lot less beautiful without YOUR words in it. You are a true original and I am so glad I know you.

This was so humbling and healing. Jen is possibly the kindest blogger I know. She was the first to invite me to join her blogging community, teaching me how to linkup with her weekly community Soli Deo Gloria. (Yes, I was that green at the moment.)

Then there was the Twitter mission started by Renee at Lessons from Twits and Teachers…she and the iconic Ironic Mom Leanne Shirtliffe decided that they were going to beat up the voice in my head that was telling me to quit.

A few days later, I read this Scripture in Psalm 17 from the Message Bible,

“Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.”

It was then that I realized that this is just what my friends and mentors had done. They had painted grace-graffiti on my fences, telling my bullies to “KEEP OUT!”

Epiphany! What if I am ever ready to build a fence around those who need protection, even if it’s from themselves? And what if I, with pen or keyboard in hand, determine to ward off those bullies with grace-graffiti? What better place to write grace-graffiti than a real-life virtual wall on Facebook, or as a Tweet? Can I challenge you as well? Find someone who is needing a grace word, and paint some grace-graffiti on their fence. It might be just what they need to continue on!

Jen and Michelle thank you for your kind and encouraging words….and Renee and Leanne? Wow! You really went the extra mile. Keep painting that graffiti! Come to think of it, after Jesus finished with his temptation, two angels were sent to Him in order to minister to His needs…that’s who the two of you were, my angels. Thank you.

What grace-graffiti has been written on your fence lately?

Giving Thanks today with Ann:
and with Laura: and with Michelle:

56. for a husband who shampoos my carpets.
57. for the pattern the stark dormant trees make on the powder blue sky
58. for sunny skies despite cloudy news.
59. for the smell of banana bread in the house even if it’s not for me.
60. that I have enough groceries in the house that I can put off shopping. one. more. day.

and a brand new community at: GettingDownWithJesus

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53 thoughts on “Painting Grace Graffiti or How I Almost Quit Blogging

  1. Embarrassing: I guess I haven’t watched closely enough to know you were even considering quitting.

    So thankful for your angels and for their grace graffiti in your life. I think some of the overspray got on me…that’s what grace does…overflows in abundance.

    I am so thankful for you, your words, your vulnerability, and the Truth you share with us all on a regular basis.

    Just like your groceries, I am thankful there’s enough grace for you to stay just one. more. day.

    –Steve

  2. ooo…you don’t want to leave. Your comments and your posts add another dimension to the conversation. Like you I am forever grateful to all the mentors who took me under their wing, stayed with me and encouraged me on this path. So I seek out others, who I sense need to be nurtured or lifted up. Love Steve’s last line.

  3. I never consider quitting b/c this has replaced my Journal, and after twenty-five years, Journaling is as much a part of me as breathing. But I often wander the desert of “am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Why don’t I get more hits? I mean, I need readers to really make a difference!” I think it is something we all go through cyclicly, and yes–we must support each other through it!

    • I’ve never bee a real journal writer, so I don’t have that motivation to keep me going. We do enjoy being heard….I think I’ve come to the point where I believe this is something I should be doing, and so I’ll let God take it from there… 😀

  4. Aw, sweet KD!

    You know I have been there. As you know! I am so glad that you have been able to see this within a larger context. And yes, we all feel this way. Even Leanne (can you imagine?) wonders and frets sometimes.

    There are always bigger fish with super interesting voices who get hundreds of comments.

    Wow, that is a terribly mixed metaphor — and I don’t have time to deconstruct it in all it’s awfulness. Instead, I will leave it there. In all its imperfection. Because you know what I am saying.

    And that is a really cool psalm by the way. I like the idea of painting grace-graffiti. 😉

    • Fish are getting comments…and they talk? Wow! I like the metaphor, it stirred some very surreal images…You should like the idea of painting grace-graffiti, you practically originated the thought. 😉

  5. Grace graffiti. How I love that concept! I must remember that. And I could google it, but I’ll ask: what is a *message* Bible?

    And Renee is right. I fret too. My latest big fret was in October, a week-long hole of sorts. I’ve had bigger – before I had a blogging community (but while I was still blogging). Did you read my God-on-the-Edge guest post? Sometimes I wander to the edge; sometimes I get led there. It’s usually a good thing, though not at the time.

    Grace graffiti. I heart that. And you. 🙂

    • Leanne,

      The Message Bible is an idiomatic translation of the Bible. It’s not the best translation for specifics, but if you want a laugh-out-loud, oh-me! that hurt, wow! I never thought about it that way before, translation of the Bible, this is the one for you. I think you’d love it. Can I send you one for Christmas? Send me an address, and I’ll drop one off in the mail for you. I think you’d really enjoy it. Very real language. About God-on-the-Edge, I’m not sure if I read that particular post…I’m headed there now…

      Thanks for loving grace graffiti…and me.

  6. Something I hear repeatedly at our writers group is if what we write makes a difference in only one person’s life, it has been worth the effort. We need your voice.

  7. I think it’s good to question, to wrestle with God over these things. This is how we step into our destiny, just as Jacob did. Remember how He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip? And he forever walked with a limp? But Jacob did not let go. The wound is a blessing. We remember these times and they give us strength and courage to carry on on the path God puts before us. I too am glad you wrestled this through and have come to this conclusion to stay. You sure are a blessing to me.

  8. you sent me grace graffiti last week. i made a simple comment that i was taking the week off and enjoying the words of others. you replied, “ok, but don’t stay away too long!” that ministered to my heart at a time when i needed it, and you didn’t even know it. your words here are important. don’t doubt it. i love your space, your voice. and your new blog has a passion about it that has to be heard. hang in there, friend!
    steph

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I have to admit that lately I have been wondering the purpose of my blog and wondering whether I was just writing for me. I enjoyed reading your honest portrayal of what you went through and the encouragement you received. Maybe I will go back and look at my grace grafitti

  10. First of all, thanks for the kind words, friend. And secondly, I am so glad you didn’t quit — your voice is beautiful, it’s unique, and it’s important! I’ve had so many “I’m quitting right this second” moments, and more often than not, it’s my community (like my encouraging husband and this wonderful online world) that pulls me off the edge and back into the center again. In the end, though, I think wilderness experiences are good — they’re hard, but they often lead to greater clarification when all is said and done. And I always try to remember that the Holy Spirit LED Jesus into the wilderness intentionally — there was a God-driven reason for it, even for the Son of God to wander in the wilderness.

  11. Been there, too….(in fact, my post for today is all about this!) The enemy knows if he can convince us we are ineffective, we will quit….and….then……most certainly…..we WILL be ineffective. We have no idea or no way of knowing (this side of heaven) just how God is taking our willingness, blessing it, and then using it to touch others with His love and saving grace. I’m so proud of you for turning a deaf ear to the lies of the enemy and TUNING in to the voice of truth spoken through God’s Word and his servants. Keep writing HIS words, lifting up hearts to gaze upon HIS face, and introducing others to HIS marvelous grace-

    Write on, sister! Write on!

  12. I haven’t even committed (all the way) yet. I say, “I am sticking my toe in to check out the water.”
    I think maybe you wrote some “graffiti on my wall.” Really struggled with a post I put up earlier but got some encouragement from my man to go for it.

  13. Glad for the support you received to keep you in the world ‘o blog! I’m out of the loop because I never knew you were considering leaving.

    You are not alone. I think every person who has a blog considers calling it quits from time to time. The biggest struggle I find is that of TIME. My life is el crazo and it is either feast or famine on my blog. So, I decided to fly with it. I found what helps me is to write when I can and not to compare myself with other bloggers because “He who compares himself with another is not wise…”

    Blessings!

    • It is Time! Absolutely! …and I wonder if that TIME, would be better spent at a nursing home, or a women’s shelter. But, at the moment, I feel that this is where he wants me to be spending my time. I must obey…and I’m glad too. I love it here!

  14. The word of God.
    Even in different versions and languages pierce to ones heart, like a straight arrow.

    “Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
    take in your frightened children who
    Are running from the neighborhood bullies
    straight to you.”

    Thank God for “The Message” version

    grace and peace

  15. I love…paint grace-graffitie on the fences…first I want to do that around the fence of my home…husband…children…than let God show me where to paint on other fences…this hits me deep…
    Glad you have found encouragement to keep blogging…this blog thing is very challenging for me…way out of my comfort zone…
    Blessings as we paint together….

  16. Grace graffiti. I love this. I love the thought of all of us putting up grace-graffiti for others in need of a hedge of protection. Oh, how full I feel with this — it puts in tangible words another purpose that I feel Soli Deo Gloria has. Can I pretty-please use “grace graffiti” for the SDG community builder next week. I’ll link back here, of course. And to think, if you had quit blogging, we would have no grace graffiti this day. So glad you stayed in for the long haul. Oh, how we all love you!

    And, my last note. Tears in my eyes by the sweet words you wrote about me and our little community. Tears, friend, of blessing.

  17. Oh girl … This is so touching. It shows the power of Christian community, when we “get real” and tell people how we’re hurting. I’m so glad (and not the least bit surprised!) that Jen wrote you such a thoughtful note. She’s a gem.

    And … so are you… A sparkling gem in the Kingdom. I’m so glad that you didn’t quit. I’m so glad that your voice will continue to be heard in this place. (And I’m so humbled and happy that you would link your story up to my new little writing community! You’ve blessed me today.)

    Love, Jennifer

  18. Really glad that you are sticking around! I suppose Satan is making the rounds to make us all feel inadequate and small these days. But together we will graffiti each others fences so that he can’t even see between the cracks!

  19. Clearly, there is a ‘virus’ making the rounds – because I posted something similar earlier this week about a 2 week dry spell where I almost decided to fold up my tents and go home. I got my ‘grace graffiti’ in a distinctly different way than you did – but then, that’s how God works, isn’t it? Uniquely designed for each of us. So glad you’re hanging in over here. Think I’ll do the same over at my place, at least for a little while. :>)

    • I think there is something going around as well. I can’t believe how many people have confessed the same thing to me. I will continue as long as I feel that this is where I should be…

  20. Pingback: Dear Mr Reichert by KD Sullivan « Lessons From Teachers and Twits

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