The Girl with a Dog and a Blog

Inspiration for blog posts is entirely unpredictable.  Sometimes I find myself making lists of ideas.  Some times I find myself scrolling those lists with the same feeling as when I’m eyeing the numerous items hanging in my closet and thinking, I don’t have anything to wear!

And even when I have an idea, it’s kind of like riding a bull.  You can lead it anywhere it wants to go.  You never know exactly where it will take you or even if it will buck you off before the end.  It looks easy, but it’s just not.  The fact that you did it before doesn’t mean you can do it again.

So for these and lots of other reasons, I don’t consider myself an official “blogger” although a few people have surprised me–not long ago I was introduced to a group as the girl with a dog and a blog.  Ha!

Blogging has taught me some about what people think about me; usually in the form of tiny bits of feedback.  One friend I’ve known for years even read my blog and said, “Danielle, I didn’t know you were that…deep.”  Hopefully, they were not referring to the taco meat incident.

But my goal here is actually not about me, but wanting to give credit to the three people who inspired me most to start blogging (again).  My dad, who has always wanted me to write; Matt Walsh, whose creativity can make truth that you’ve heard a thousand times still fun to read; and my friend Colleen, whose blog often spoke to me in ways that were exactly what I needed–convicting my hard heart or gluing together broken pieces of my soul.

My dad probably deserves the most credit; I’ve already blogged about him.

Matt Walsh, I’m told, has the best read blog on WordPress, so he doesn’t need my introduction.  While I don’t always agree with him, he has a gift for getting his point across.  Like this one.  And regardless, I’m glad that there are young conservative bloggers out willing to speak out with unapologetic common sense.

That leaves Colleen–we both grew up in the same homeschool circles in Southern California.  She was five years older than me, so I wouldn’t say we were close friends, but I always had a lot of respect for her and knew 1) that she loved the Lord with all her heart; and 2) that she was a lot of fun.

Colleen was gifted in a lot of ways–singing, drama, working with kids, speaking, and writing to name a few.  Everyone wanted to be her friend and so she was forever being stretched in numerous directions, perhaps at the expense of basic necessities like sleep.

Colleen & Eddie Chao
Colleen & Eddie Chao

But despite her gifts, her beauty, and her attractive personality, when God wove her story, He didn’t choose to write marriage into the picture until she was 34–a number that used to seem very old to me.  I had long since moved from California by then, but I was able to catch glimpses of her life through things like Facebook and I read her blog with interest.  (Not dreaming then that I would identify so strongly with some of the challenges that she had faced.)

Her long-awaited dream of motherhood came at age 35 but it has been followed by a severe string of health problems, again altering her story from what she would perhaps have written with her own pen.

But anyone who knows Colleen would not make the mistake of thinking that she is not deep.  Colleen is deep.  And so is her faith.  For as long as I’ve known her, she has shared honestly about the insights that she received from Scripture.  Insights that have come from hours of reading, studying, meditating, and then singing, praying, or composing back to God.

The faith she has clung to in the midst of her numerous health challenges is evident in posts such as  We know Him Best.  And her eloquence is apparent, when, as a new mom she penned posts such as The Weak and the Warrior.  Colleen’s depth is accentuated by the time she will take to condense and organize her thoughts into a short, powerful prose that gives us a window into a quiet but fruitful life.

Although I was often encouraged by her blog, I didn’t write much myself for years–partly because of time constraints, but often because of my fears.  I hate putting personal information on the internet for the world to read.  I fear the combination of evil men and modern technology–call me crazy–but when I look down the road, I see a lot of potential for us to regret we are so free with personal information.

But in the end, I decided it was better to be fruitful than to be safe.  I would rather be a threat to evil and to myself than a threat to nothing at all.  I would rather get to an untimely end with nothing left to give, than live a long life and have buried any little talent entrusted to me.  If there is a chance I can write and encourage someone–anyone–to love God more, I’m going to try.

And if you’ve been even a bit challenged or encouraged, you can say thanks to my dad, Colleen, and maybe even a little bit to the courage of Matt Walsh and the day he wrote the controversial piece, Monogamy is Unnatural.