(post by brandee shafer)

Sometimes I feel a little like a mailbox: chock-full, and mostly with junk. I feel crammed with sales pitches, useless information, fluff. I feel depressed by the news. And I wonder: if it’s true that what goes in must come out, is anyone extracting anything of value from me?

I take a good, hard look at what I’ve been offering, lately, and recognize as much garbage in my outgoing as in my incoming: sales pitches (not so much related to products as to theories), useless information, fluff, depressing news.

I fall into despair, of course. (That’s pretty much always my first reaction to the hard truth: especially when I’m the one telling it.)

I have no idea what to do, initially, but I study my problem, and I pick and poke at it until my better self starts to speak…or until God in me starts to speak; I can’t always tell the difference right away, or ever. I think about Eustace Conway and how–while he’s not God, certainly–he’s onto something, when it comes to boxes. (Google it.)

And I’m not a box. I’m neither a mailbox nor any other sort of box. I’m a real, live woman (although I’m still more comfortable saying “girl,” and, at 38, am I really mature enough to be people’s mother? But I digress.), and I have a God-given brain. I get to choose what I watch on tv, and I get to choose what I read, which is where it gets tricky…

because–if you’re at all immersed in the blogosphere, you know–as surely as blogging involves writing, it involves reading. If you want someone to read what you’re writing, you need to read what (s)he’s writing. In theory. But–while I’ve formed some amazing friendships in the past 1.5 years of blogging–the fact of the matter is: many of the bloggers I enjoy most haven’t added my blog to their rolls…or even visited my blog (so far as I know), at all.

And you know what? That’s ok. They’re still my favorite bloggers.

So it comes to me: I’m free. If I’m in a box, I’ve put myself in it. I can choose to spend more time outside; to spend more quality time with my children; to make the Bible (as opposed to what everyone’s saying about it) my primary source of information; to borrow and purchase actual books, and gasp! read them; and to pray diligently over the words I write, also for each and every person who chooses my words over so many others.

And I think I will. Starting today, I will. There’s a whole, un-boxed circular world out there, and I’m going to choose to walk into its sunset a little more often.

*photos by becky strahle

*joann of ostriches look funny is taking a break from the Internet for awhile, and subsequently, from the imperfect prose team (read more about imperfect prose on thursdays here)… so we’ve asked cara of whimsy smitten to take joann’s place for awhile… welcome, cara!*

~we love that you’re here. the goal of this online space is to create a broken church of sorts, a kind of community that celebrates each other’s stories. with this in mind, would you consider commenting on at least ONE OTHER PERSON’S post after linking up today? thank you so much. e.~

1. link up a post (old or new) that you feel is ‘broken’ or ‘imperfect’ or somehow redemptive
2. put the ‘imperfect prose’ button at the bottom of your post so others can find their way back here (see button code in right-hand column of my blog)
3. read other’s prose, and encourage them!

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