Where did the word "milestone" come from? I'm pretty sure I could come up with the answer in just a few minutes by going to wikipedia, but I don't wanna. I'd rather just take an educated guess because that's more fun. So if I were to take a nice educated guess, I'd say that perhaps people in ye olden times probably used stones to mark miles...and people in ye olden times probably referred to such stones as "milestones" because they were clever like that. And over the years, the meaning of the word "milestone" was changed to mean anything that marked a significant change or passage of time/events/etc. in the life of a person, place, or thing. In this case, "milestone" refers to a significant passage of time and events in the life of a blog. My blog. This blog. The blog that you're currently reading unless I bored you to tears with all the ridiculousness about my imagined etymology of milestones.
Last week, this blog had two big milestones. I posted my 100th post, and the blog turned a year old. And before I start spazzing about how this blog is less than a month older than my adorable and intelligent youngest niece, I'll continue.... But seriously. That kid is stinkin' adorable. And intelligent. Like her brother and sisters.
A year or so ago, I remember debating for a good month or more about whether or not I should even start a blog. I had blogs back in college and stuff, but they were filled with whiny posts about nothing. Eventually, I got very tired writing about my boring life. And I'm pretty sure everyone else was tired of reading it--if anyone was even reading it. The problem was, I wanted to be an author--a published author--still do. And a lot of aspiring authors write blogs. A lot of agents look for aspiring authors with blogs. I'm not one to just do what everyone else is doing just because they're doing it, but I'm learning that sometimes it's a good idea to emulate what other people are doing right. And part of me kinda sorta really wanted to start writing a blog again. But I didn't want it to be just another daily log of me whining about something stupid that didn't matter. I knew that if I wanted to start blogging again, I would have to blog with purpose.
As soon as I realized this, I knew what I wanted to do with this blog. I wanted a blog that was specifically geared towards my writing and my writing journey, but more than that, I wanted a blog that was meaningful. Only I knew at the time (as I still know now) that there's really nothing all that important about what I have to say. Unless you're Jon Acuff, then a blog probably means more to the blogger than to the readers. I blog so people will read it (THANK YOU TO MY READERS!!!), but that's not the only reason. I blog because I need to write it. And I can hope that people will read it, and I'm vain enough to think it's good enough for people to read. But when you get down to it, by writing this blog, I'm basically just looking at my own reflection. Other people might come to take a look at it, too, and hopefully they'll get something out of it. But all I have to offer in this blog are my poor reflections.
And so, "Poor Reflections" was born. To be honest, I've used the same idea in other blogs. One of my earlier whiny blogs had a paraphrased Bible verse from 1 Corinthians 13: 12--"Now we see but a poor reflection...then we shall see face to face." And I'm not trying to take Scripture out of context by my play on the words "poor reflections." I'm awaiting a time when all the things we strive for on earth will be pretty much meaningless. Right now, we think we have good stuff, but it's not what it should be. It's not perfect. And the thing is, when the perfect comes--then all the imperfect is going to disappear. I have a lot of things I want to say. I have a lot of poor reflections I want to reveal. The thing is, when that dark glass is shattered and I see Jesus face to face--when I know Him as fully as He knows me--all the things (like becoming a published author) I hope for here on earth aren't going to matter. At all.
But the glass hasn't been shattered. And I'm still striving for things that I want in this life. I've set goals for myself. I've succeeded and I've failed. In a lot of ways, this blog has been a reflection of some of my failings. There was a time around the start of this year that I realized my blogs were becoming little more than daily logs of whining--which was exactly what I didn't want. And I had to stop, take a deep breath, and refocus. Sometimes, life is like that, too. Sometimes we need to stop, take a deep breath, and refocus.
I am not where I want to be. And I'm learning that that's okay. I'm learning that there are beautiful things in even the low times of the journey. I'm learning that sometimes things just aren't going to work the way I had planned. Sometimes I have to be creative and find new ways and new plans and new goals. Sometimes I just have to wait for whatever it is God has for me--wait and trust. Wait and trust. Wait and trust.
One thing I'm very sure about is that I'm going somewhere. I don't exactly know where it is yet. Even if I did know, I don't know how to get there. I'm learning that, as far as this life is concerned, there's not just one way to get anywhere. And maybe the path I'm taking isn't the shortest path. And maybe there are shortcuts I don't know about yet, and I just have to wait for the right opportunities. I'm learning not to make judgments about things too quickly--what seems like a dead end might be right where I need to be in order to take me to the next place I need to go. I'm learning that sometimes I have to walk in darkness and just put one foot in front of the other--and that's all I can be expected to do until someone comes to turn on the lights. I'm learning to take risks. I'm learning to ask for help. I'm learning how to live. And I don't think I'm going to stop learning how to live until this life is over. Till the dark glass shatters.
So you're invited to keep journeying with me. We'll see what the next year of my poorly reflected life brings. You're invited to read any of my future posts--whether it be another 100 or just another dozen...or maybe 1000. I really can't say.
But, God willing, I don't think this will be the last milestone for this blog...
...or for me.