I really like to read blogs. Like REALLY. If there was some sort of profession where you sat around and read blogs that'd be for me. I think one reason I like it so much is that you can find people who are just like you but also not like you at all at the same time. Does that make sense?
For instance, one of my most favorite blogs is Conversion Diary by Jennifer Fulwiler. (She's hosting the seven posts in seven days this week.) Jen is a Catholic, like me, but she's also a convert from atheism, a little bit older, has six kids and is a stay-at-home mom. So, like me but not like me.
Another blog I love is Camp Patton by Grace Patton. Grace is a Catholic like me and also my age. But she also had three kids and one on the way and is a stay-at-home-mom. Like me, but not like me.
Jenny, Sarah, Dwija, Miranda -- all Christians who talk about their faith and all are moms. It probably goes without saying, but like me and not like me.
I have some really wonderful "in person" or possibly "real life" friends that are awesome people and always there for me to talk to and support me. So it's not like I need "blog friends" to fill some sort of void. But I think one reason I get so involved in the lives of people whose blogs I read is because I feel like they would be great people to have as in-person friends for so many reasons. Truly, there is no one who lives in my town who is my friend who is single and childless and likes to talk about God and pray who would also like to have kids and have a great community of peers who like to talk about God and grow a garden and take my kids on adventures. But the blog gals are those people and I'd love to know them in real life.
One person whose blog I just started reading (and subsequently read her entire archives... creeper) is Amy. I came across her blog on Facebook when a post she made about the Sochi Olympics was making the rounds. In brief, Amy is 30, has one biological child and two she adopted from Russia, lives in California, is a stay-at-home mom and grows her own food and always seems to be surrounded by a great group of peers and always involved in some sort of family activity or community service. She just totally seems to be joyful all the time, and I'm teetering on obsessed with her awesomeness because she is the person I'm so desperate to be. Like I want to move to SoCal and buy a house on her street. Yeah now I'm even creeping myself out.
Lots of things she says stand out - she writes a lot about adoption - but I read one of her posts recently where she and her husband were trying to decide whether or not to host an orphan for Christmas. She said there were so many reasons NOT to do it - lack of money, they have their own kids, it's hard to say goodbye. But she said one thing that has been rolling around in my mind ever since I read it. She concluded that God calls us to love your neighbor as yourself, and she said (here's where it gets good) "I didn't want myself to be sitting alone in an orphanage for Christmas."
Wow. Like on one hand, that should probably go without saying. But on the other hand, wow - THAT is what that commandment really means. Not treat people how you'd like to be treated blah blah but what would you actually want for yourself? Would you like to be alone in an orphanage for Christmas? Well, in fact, no I wouldn't. And it really made me think that if we all measured our lives by asking ourselves before every decision we make "is that what I'd want for myself" this world would be a much nicer place. So I'm honestly going to try to make a concerted effort to do that.
So look - blog reading is making me a better person. :)