For a while now, actually since Ray and I began this blog, we’ve caught wind here and there that some people felt as though we were making too much of our personal information available to the general public. The majority of the complaints have come from the Kenyan side, and we totally realize that it’s simply because Kenyan culture is very conservative in terms of privacy, so to help clarify things, we decided to post this blog to help people understand how things roll in our AmeriKenyan world.
We believe that confession is good for the soul and the body (of Christ)
A number of years ago I co-wrote a book with Shelley Hitz about Christian women and sexual addiction. The entire first chapter of the book was about confession and the importance of exposing those things we like to hide in the dark. Transparency in the church is a matter that is very dear to my heart. I’ve experienced and seen the freedom that comes when we confess our issues to one another, and sadly enough I’ve also seen the pain that results from people keeping their issues a secret until everything falls out into the open in a pretty scandalous way.
Though some people may complain about what I share in my blogs, three times as many people will comment or private message or email me and tell me that what I shared touched them in a personal way. And that, my friends, is what transparency in the church is supposed to be about. When we share tough times we’re going through with our brothers and sisters, we not only allow others into our life to support us in prayer, as we’re encouraged to do in scripture (James 5:16), but we encourage others to come forward and share their struggles too.
It’s important to note as well that I’m also a firm believer in sharing a testimony but not getting too raunchy with the details. We don’t mind sharing our struggles, but no one needs/wants to know the nitty gritty details, and we really don’t offer them in the blog.
I have given the hubsters veto power
No matter how “married” I am to an idea, it will never trump my husband’s right to say no. Everything I post is tempered by his wisdom. Before I post a blog, unless it’s a guest post for another site, Ray always reads and edits what I’ve written. There have been many times where he’s asked me to take entire paragraphs out because I’m sharing too much or my tone is a little too negative, and there have even been times when I shared an idea for a topic and he nixed it all together. Even this particular post had to undergo heavy editing before he let me publish it.
We’ve had this routine since day one, so I always know that if I put something out there it’s something that we both agreed on and neither one of us will be embarrassed by it. That’s very important to me. I may not be able to appease everyone else and their desires concerning this blog, but as long as there’s unity between my husband and me, I’m straight.
What you see is what you get
One of the main reasons I write this blog is to keep my friends back home updated on what’s happening here. It’s more in depth than a Facebook status and it’s easier than sending long emails or personal messages to all of them. I know to our Kenyan readers (about 30% of our followers) it seems like I’m saying a lot more than I should, but honestly the same transparency in my writing is what my relationships with friends back in the States look like. I don’t say anything here that I wouldn’t say amongst friends.
You said it, now do it
Part of what I love about writing about certain issues we struggle with is that putting it out there provides major accountability for us. Because we know that 200 people read a post where we said we struggled with such and such and we want to do such and such about it, we have a greater reason to stick to what we said we’d do. Neither of us like to be called hypocrites, let alone act like one, so we really try our best to follow through on our words.
My initial confession that led to me writing that book with Shelley also happened on the Internet, and the fact that I not only exposed my sin but that I did it in the view of 700 people at the time gave me the extra push I needed to commit to staying free from it. It may not work for everyone, but social media is great accountability for me.
These are but the fringes
Ray and I both want to write books. I want to write a book for single ladies about the uncomfortable truths of marriage, like the ones people never tell you until after the fact, and Ray and I both want to write a book about intercultural marriage because there were literally three good books on that topic when we scoured the web for resources at the onset of our relationship. These goals are hanging somewhere in the mid-distant future, but the same transparency that we portray in this blog is what we aim to pour into whatever books we write in the future.
All in all, we feel that the positives totally outweigh the negatives concerning our transparency, so though we appreciate those that are concerned, we feel that we’re in a good place. We have some great mentors in our lives that throughout the life of the blog have given us green lights. If these mentors ever caution us, you can believe that we’ll reconsider what we share.
Now that that’s over, let me get started on the blog post about our greatest difficulties during our first year of marriage …