Man alive, I miss writing. And I know I'm a writer--despite my deep rooted reticence to just go ahead and admit it--because in my head things constantly flow in a stream of how I long to write about it. I used to struggle a lot with that balance of ,"Should my blog be professional? Should I research and post all intentionally, something every single day and concerned with pageviews and hits and Klout scores, to make it an at-home revenue stream to help pay off debt and get us to a better place financially for home buying? Or should I just be me and if people like it they like it?" Lately, I have a lot more peace.
[As an FYI, I rocked out like five posts almost in their entirety one day, plus I have four guest posts waiting in the wings, but the time since then to actually get them all up and rolled out has been lacking. We were starting to get a bit more of a life rhythm but then combined Rog and Jules into the same room which did a bit of reset. But just after a week we're getting back to a rhythm, praise Jesus, so maybe that chance to write and exercise and sleep and have a healthy life balance is somewhere on the horizon?]
Here's the thing: there are some great blogs out there if you're into beautiful photography and people with a creative eye that I quite simply don't have. There are women who write all...inpsirational? I'm not quite sure how to put it. But there are blogs that leave you all warm and fuzzy feeling, ready to go out and love Jesus and change the world. There are blogs that combine these things. And those are great blogs! I'm not going to get all judgy toward those blogs just to feel better about my own.
But that's not me. Every time I've tried to be something I'm not I've grown to resent my blog and stay away. Or, interestingly enough, though I don't pay super close attention, my readership drops. What seems to attract the people who regularly read my blog is just me being me. Me with two young kids, post-partum depression, lots of struggles with beauty and my body, an imperfect house, a whole lot of sin revealed and redemption realized, me just writing about me and my life and how I'm experiencing Jesus in the here and now.
My husband met with someone recently who is trying out a church and trying to decide if it's the right place for him. It's a small church, really trying to gain a footing and grow. There's not a single thing wrong with that if you really love the Gospel and want to share it with people. The problem, though, is that this church is tending toward focusing on growth and not so much fostering community groups (basically small groups that meet mid-week to do life together) with a focus on repentance of sin, pursuing Christ together and centering lives based on the truth of the Gospel. They want to get a lot of people and then hope Gospel-centered living grows out of that.
This is completely backwards. In my experience, you start with the Gospel. Maybe you grow quickly, maybe you grow really slowly. But if you want Jesus you start with Jesus and that's what attracts people.
That has become my attitude toward my blog--just be me. I do want to share a bit more about the things that work for us, or decisions we're making toward certain things and why, mainly because in my experience I tend to articulate thought patterns and processes in a way that helps people think through their opinion on the matter. It's not about being right or better or any of that. It's just sharing what we're doing in hopes that it helps others who are making similar decisions.
I also am inspired to find some inexpensive ways to make our living room cuter and more colorful, and so why not share? I tend not to because I'm not all talented and creative but you know what I did realize? Neither are most average people. I'm not saying that I'll be a go-to source for all things beautiful, but why not help inspire average people like me? I know I appreciate it when a friend does something realistic, that I feel like I can actually do because, as much as I adore Young House Love and the like I find it overwhelming. I like the idea but the reality of execution never happens. I think that's part of what I love about Pinterest is that I can pick and choose the things that actually work for me, whereas I see YHL and feel like such a loser because my home will NEVER look like theirs, not even in that first day, blog-ready, picture-perfect mode. I have neither the eye nor the time...nor the will! And that's ok! Anyway, that's why I did my little yarn letters post, with non-perfect pictures. Just a little, simple helpful thing.
For example, we got a great deal (I think a Living Social?) on a canvas print. It's normally $80 for a 16x20 and we paid $19. Lovely! I'm starting a gallery wall with pictures of our family. Instead of waiting 92 years (give or take 90 years) until I have everything perfectly ready to look blog-ready (which has been my standard though I never actually blog about it because I always think my taste and abilities aren't good enough) I decided to just get the canvas print up and then add slowly as I'm able.
[sorry that there is not a photo here. The internet ate it and I can't figure out what picture it was or if I even have it anywhere anymore.]
Guess what? I'm so glad I did! Having the first picture up inspires me to remember to look into what else I want to add, maybe stop at a thrift store next time I'm running errands to try and grab a few frames to paint and make colorful, or maybe a few next time I'm at Costco if it's in the budget, etc. So that's happy. And I probably won't get thousands of readers wanting to use my ideas and made a big fat revenue stream to be our down payment on a house, but I'm ok with that! I couldn't fulfill my calling to be a wife and mom the way Jesus has impressed on my heart, anyway, if I had to satisfy a big ol' fat business of a blog.
Honestly, I'm so grateful to finally have peace about this. Maybe I'll write some post that goes viral and lots of people will care what I have to say. Maybe Jesus has bigger plans for my blog than my current vision. That's ok. But for today I want to be faithful with as much as he's given me to steward. Hopefully, as we settle into more and more of a routine that will include writing 2-3 times a week with some semblance of regularity, because it really is such a source of joy for me, but if not, that's ok, too! More than anything I just want posting here to be the overflow of a writer's heart, from a woman finding identity in Jesus through her callings, and to let Jesus do what he intends with that.
By the way, we're researching the best blogging platform for me to utilize my iPad more frequently since we have a nifty keyboard that almost makes it like a much more portable, and quickly utilized throughout the day even with my darling littles running amok, little laptop so if you have a program you just love feel free to share!