Callum asked me for a lift to town. As we drove along, we chatted.
“So what have you been doing since you gave up blogging for Lent?” he asked me.
“Well… actually… I’m still blogging,” I admitted. And then I told Callum the whole sad story about the recent adverse comment. “I’m considering deleting my blogs,” I said. I explained how I was worried about the online safety of my children. "A mother's first duty is to protect her children.”
Soon we were discussing all aspects of blogging and the safety issue, including the comments I received on this blog.
“How do you feel about having your stories and photos on the Internet?” I asked.
“I don’t mind,” Callum replied. “Even if you deleted your blogs, my photos are still on Facebook and they are only as secure as my friends’ privacy settings… which probably means they aren’t very safe at all.”
But Callum is an adult and my thoughts returned to my younger children whom I am still responsible for. “Why didn’t I give everyone false names?” I asked. And then the answer to that question dawned on me. I set up my blog primarily to promote my grief book and connect with bereaved parents. All my children are named in the book. It seemed silly to disguise them on my blog when their real names are so accessible.
Then something else occurred to me. “If I delete my blogs, all the girls will have to delete their blogs too. They are using their real names and post photos of themselves.”
“You should continue writing, Mum,” encouraged Callum. “It’s what you do.” But is it what God wants me to do?
Ever since I was a child I’ve wanted to write. Then when Thomas died, I did start writing in an organised manner. Writing seemed to make sense of his short life. Somehow I branched out and now I write about all kinds of things. I love writing and blogging. Yes, I don’t really want to delete my blogs. But, I know my children have to come first. I cannot ‘use’ them in any way that threatens their safety. My stories wouldn't be the same if I didn't have the freedom to be so personal, but that doesn't justify placing them at risk.
Callum and I chatted some more and as we neared town, I said, “Trust… that was brought up in one of the comments on my blog. If we feel we're doing God’s will, we have to trust He will look after us all.”
And then I arrived at a blogging decision...
For the last few days, I have been thinking and praying, and my heart has been aching a bit too. And finally... I have decided to trust all will be well.
So I am back to blogging. Oh yes, I know: I’m supposed to be on a blogging break. Funny how our best laid plans often fall apart. I did so well keeping away from the Internet, for... a whole 4 days. I was starting to feel very virtuous because of my self-control. And then I received ‘that’ comment, and suddenly I forgot about my blogging break. I felt compelled to write a response (or two) and there I was blogging again. All I can say is that sometimes God has different plans from those we make ourselves.
It might have been nice if I could have said, “I survived 6 weeks without the Internet.” I might have felt very self-satisfied too. I could try for 5 weeks away from blogging, I suppose. I could keep running towards Easter as planned. But no. I have decided to change my Lenten sacrifice. What am I going to do? I think I will keep that secret just in case God once again has different plans for me than the new plan I’m busily making.
When we reached town, I dropped Callum off at the car workshop. He was smiling. One of his beloved cars had been repaired and was ready to be put 'back on the road’. Callum headed into the office to pay for the work, and I set off for home. I was smiling too. I was thinking of writing and blogging and kind friends who stop by with encouraging words.
Now what shall I write about next? Lots of ideas are floating through my head... But first I must stop by and visit my blogging friends. It must be more than a week since I last caught up with you all. Anything could have happened in all that time. I will see you soon!
Thank you everyone for taking the time to help me make the right blogging decision. I really appreciated receiving all your helpful and encouraging comments. May God bless you all.
PS What has a raccoon got to do with Internet safety? I've no idea. I put the word 'safety' into the image search engine and this photo came up. I rather like it so I shall use it!