Buckle in folks, this may be a long one. Triple your latte or tea. I’ve got a lot to say on this one. Let’s start here: my blogging “name” is Sassy. That name was deemed unto me by colleagues during a period of ministry when I finally started to claim my voice. I think you get it: I became sassy. When I started this blog, I wanted to speak from that voice. The voice that was sassy: bold, creative, pushed me and boundaries. Let me say that another way: I did not want to be another preacher-posting-sermons blogger. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I read some of my colleagues’ blogs and appreciate this niche; it just isn’t mine. I NEEDED with every ounce of my being for Sassy to have a place to come out. I needed to write.
It’s like this. I was reading one of my own beloved bloggers, Glennon Doyle Melton, of momastery. Let us all take a moment and thank Jesus for the witty wisdom and fun and truth that is Glennon. I was reading G (she lets me call her that—she lets everybody call her that) one day, and she said to me—to us, just write. If you are feeling the pulling at your soul and you want to begin writing and you don’t know where to start, just write. I wish I could find that post to link, but my tech team is out of the office (ha!).
So, I started this blog. I began with the name. I used my twitter handle and I thought about what I wanted this blog’s content to be and what I wanted it to reflect. But before I tell you that, I need to take you back in time to the other 2 blogs I had. The first was a blog I started that was more like a devotional for my church members. It fed them, but it didn’t feed me. I struggled hard for content because it wasn’t my true voice talking. And looking back, I suspect the reason is two-fold. First, I was writing solely out of a professional context. So, I was trying not to “dry up the well.” You know, not use all the ideas up so that I would have some sermon illustrations to use on Sunday. As if God would stop supplying them. Second, there was this. The churches that I served were loving but there was this underlying thing. My anatomy. And my ability to carry and deliver babies. That’s the best way I know how to say that. “Who are you to say?” they subconsciously and sometimes out loud said to me. We allowed you to be a woman in our pulpit but a woman with a growing belly, a woman nursing a baby, a MOTHER AND A PREACHER? That we can’t allow. That began to close down the relationship. And my blogging voice still had not fully developed because of this.
The next blog I tried for healing. Well, I am NOT writing for CHURCH FOLK anymore! I am writing for me. “Sassyandfree” was born. I had one post. In a year. That was not my voice.
As I type this post, my almost five year old is literally clinging to me, despite my protests, but that is so fitting for this post, I think. When I was deciding on the new blog, I thought: yes there ARE lots of women bloggers out there. There ARE lots of CHRISTIAN women bloggers out there. Some I read. Like Rachel Held Evans and Sarah Bessey and UM Donna Claycomb Sokol. Some I don’t. Some I read for home design and find that they have an LDS button on their sidebar. You would be amazed at the number of Mormon women bloggers in the blogosphere!! What is unique about my voice I thought? I started with the name. Reverend Mommy. If nothing else, I would claim who I am. I am Pastor AND Mommy. And I would weave together both. I write about both parts of these.
What else do I bring to the table? Though my church friends read my blog, and I am grateful for that, it is no longer a “church” blog. It is my vision that this blog be for me to express whatever God needs me to express and that God use me to reach people through The Interwebs. So, I’ve had to be brave and broach some terrifying subjects: ghosts from my past, depression, imperfection. What is it like to be a woman writing in this niche? It is incredibly affirming. I have such an eclectic mix of readers, and I LOVE that. I love that people find a connection to what I have to say. Through it all, God continues to shape me and make more of me. That’s how I know it is God at work. Gail Godwin in the fantastic book Evensong says “Something is your vocation if it keeps making more of you.”
Rev. Robin Fitzgerald is the Pastor of a lively group of Jesus people at Pine Grove United Methodist Church in Winston Salem, NC. She has served with the “churchy friends” of Midway, Mocksville, and Lexington, NC. She is married to a darn cute Yankee and has two lovely little ladies. Visit her blog at reverendmommypgumc.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @reverendmommy.