As the words I wrote last Saturday afternoon made their journey across the illustrious internets, I was traveling with my husband to the state of Arkansas for his beloved Grandpa’s funeral.
I have much more to share on that in the days (or weeks) to come.
Thus, for two days of my sure-to-be short-lived blog “fame”, I had very limited internet access, and so, when we finally returned home late last night, I was most eager to spend a little time trying to soak in the explosion that had become my blog stats and comments (Ohhhhh, those comments), while the opportunity was still mine.
But we have these kids, you see.
And I make it a point to sit and watch nearly every minute of their growth and theatrics (that is, when I’m not escaping to the master bedroom to take deep breaths and beg God for patience).
And I had been away from them for two whole days…
In other words, my body was aching for them and my eyes were thirsty to drink in the sight of their ornery little faces. Even though I was positively dyin’ to get in here and watch my computer screen.
With the help of Mr. Gore, I was able to appease all of us, publishing the post I had written on our long drive home, occasionally checking stats and comments, and still somehow managing to play with the kids and read to them before tucking them into bed late that evening. It was something of a miracle, probably having much to do with the fact that my Mom had mopped all of my floors and tidied up the house while I was gone.
But today, I planned to indulge a bit and spend more time than usual on the computer, for, really…things like this (meaning, blog explosions) don’t happen everyday, especially here at Mrs. Gore’s Diary.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity…” I told myself, as I ignored the dishes during my kids nap time so I could sit here and refresh and refresh and refresh and refresh and refresh and refresh my page, continuing to shake my head in disbelief as the numbers continued to rise to nearly 100,000 visits today, to blink away tears at the hundreds of precious and humbling comments from my brothers and sisters in the faith, and, admittedly, to scratch my head at the criticisms and anger of those who could so grossly misread my heart and the words that I shared here about Biblical manliness (or who thought I was saying John Wayne is the epitome of a godly man. Believe me, if I had known the entire world was going to read this, I would have made that point a bit clearer!).
Nevertheless, it was a glorious afternoon, entertaining and eye-opening and exciting and so. much. FUN.
And it just didn’t last long enough…
Because we have these kids, you see.
Naptime can only last so long.
So I walked away once more from the computer for awhile, my eyes readjusting to reality and the family life that I am immersed in every day.
We were grouchy with each other.
And then finally, while Mr. Gore was helping some friends move in down the street, and I just couldn’t stay away from the computer any longer, I made a swift decision and called it an early night, taking the portable DVD player upstairs for the “big kids”, loading a Baby Einstein movie into the downstairs DVD player, and I was just bending over to sit Betsie down to watch it so I could have some uninterrupted blog time…
when she reached up and grabbed my shoulder with one hand and my right arm with the other.
You should know that, although she was my cuddliest baby ever, this rarely happens anymore.
I sank down beside her on the floor, afraid to breath…
and she nestled her soft little head down on my shoulder.
Still standing, she remained flush against me as I sat Indian-style on the hard floor, enjoying her warmth even as I planned how I would slip away from her once the DVD started, hopefully sneaking back into the office to once more bask in the unprecedented fun and drama that waited for me on my computer.
But the words that I had repeated to myself all day – “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity” – fell across my heart with the undeniable conviction of the Spirit, and I realized that yes, THIS, too, doesn’t happen everyday…
I took a deep and decisive breath, hefted both of us into my favorite leather chair and pulled her into my lap where she remained cuddled up on my shoulder during her entire 30-minute movie. We just breathed together, my baby and me, on our unusually quiet 1st floor, and my heart proclaimed it again and again to the God who hears me…
“Thank you…thank you…thank you…thank you…thank you…
for all of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I have experienced this week….this day…this very hour. But especially for this one.”
Life and life abundant.
It was a good 30 minutes for me.
It gave me time to step away for a minute and dwell on the wise advice my husband gave me (back on Monday when we were shocked that I had had 5,000 visitors) about “where to go from here”, and with confidence and joy in my heart, I’ve settled upon a wonderful decision…
These moments are what life is about.
These are the moments that I have been writing about since I started journaling in high school and blogging in January 2011.
And these are the kind of moments that inspired “Magic Mike Who?”
Real moments. Family moments. God-ordained moments.
And so, ridiculously fun as this has been, I’m not going to put pressure on myself to write another viral post.
I’m not going to look for the next controversial topic so that I might weigh in and keep the ear of Facebook.
I’m not going to try to work the system while the time is right for that long-coveted book deal or for sponsors or for “a following”.
I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, drinking in this beautiful life, and sharing it with anyone who wants to listen, whether that is 200,000 people, or 140 people or…my Mom and Aunt Bea (who always call each other after I’ve published a post to discuss it. So long as they keep doing that, I most certainly will keep writing!).
“Magic Mike Who?” has literally been the surprise of my life…quite possibly the most bizarre thing that has EVER happened to me…and an unexpected blessing that I will cherish forever…
but the star of that post and of every post I write is not John Wayne or the men of the church or my family.
It is the God who makes our broken lives lovely and our sinful hearts holy…
The God who makes babies reach out for their Mamas at just the right time…
The God who uses our talents in sometimes very surprising ways…
The God who, through joy OR pain, makes life breathtakingly and heart wrenchingly beautiful.
One last time, before I move onto other things, and other posts that I have been working on well before “Magic Mike” came along, I want to thank each of you who shared my post on Facebook, who took the time to share your thoughts in the comments section (even knowing they would remain unseen), and who have found Mrs. Gore’s Diary on Facebook. (Oh! And I can’t forget Pinterest! We’re even pinning together now, you and I!)
I feel so blessed to have helped any of my brothers or sisters who were struggling with this movie or who felt alone in their journey, I am broken for those who revile against God and His children, and I am hopeful, that the gospel of Christ has planted itself into the hearts of some who needed to hear it at this particular time.
I could, of course, go on forever, but…
I’ve got these kids, you see.
I would also like to add that I will be allowing comments* on non-Magic Mike posts from now on (including this one), although I can’t promise to always respond to them. (I’ve got these kids, you see…). I do LOVE hearing from you all, and can’t wait to get to know you better. God bless you.
*As ever, I reserve the right to allow only edifying comments for those who visit my site.