on being a blogger.

When I started this blog several years ago, I think I may have missed the trendy era of having a blog.  That's the way with me, really, always a step behind the latest rage.  It goes against my non-conformist nature to do something just because everyone else does.  It's why I refuse to read the latest fads in books, or buy "this seasons" colors, or why any other number of things are unattractive to me...the more you push me to do it, the less likely I am to go in that direction.  Call me stubborn if you would like, it's gotten me pretty far in life, but I'd rather dictate what I consume with my eyes, ears, mouth and money based on more than trends set by people I don't know.  Trends come and go and I don't want to waste that energy...I'd rather be using it to figure out who I really am, all trends aside. 

I started this blog as a way to keep my in-laws up to date on little 2 1/2 year old Moses.  Then Aaron.  Then our adventures as a family.  Little did I know how it would grow and become what it has: a means to support my family. 

Along side it, my business took off.  I've grown as a person before the eyes of strangers.  It's quite an interesting way to go about life.  Growing up and growing a family before the eyes of social media is new to my generation.  Never before could we so easily peek into the lives of others and see what they were up to.  Just average people doing average things.  As with all things there is good and bad.  Some say that blogs and pinterest and facebook "make them feel bad" as a person because they can't keep up with what others are doing.  {Well DUH, you aren't supposed to run someone else's race so OF COURSE it makes you feel bad if you go that route!!}.  I have long thought that social media has been a great way to grow my community, make my village smaller and bigger all at the same time.  I know women all over the country and the world.  My creations are in thousands of homes.  Pretty amazing.  Social media is only a negative if you allow it to be.

I've used this platform as a means to grow.  In all ways possible.  I share what's on my heart, what God is speaking to me, my victories, failures and fears.  If you've read since the beginning (and there are a few of you out there!!), you've seen me at my worst and at my best.  I'm always real.  I don't pretend that life is always good and dandy because it isn't.  I take full advantage of the fact that I WILL be held accountable for every word I type.  Not just because God knows what I am writing but my friends read this, my family, my church, my husband.  People I see every day.  I don't get to push "publish" and pretend that I don't have to stand behind what I write.  If I say something stupid, I have to pay up. 

I've always tried to be attentive to what God wants from me, what He would have me share and do and say. Even when it has been hard.  It's no coincidence that I usually get ugly emails after a heart wrenching post.  The enemy loves to step in and sprinkle some doubt in our lives just when we've stepped out in obedience, right?  A downside to blogging, it seems, is that you eventually reach a level where you are no longer deemed "an average person doing average things".  You are stripped of your feelings and right to be just another person.  You somehow, someway, at some point open a door to be criticized and judged. 

The key to surviving it, I've learned, is to use it as a means to sharpen yourself.  What they mean as your demise (or hurt, or pain, or correction), God can (and will!) use as good.  I've seen it again and again.

I've also learned that generally, behind every ugly, writhing email is a lot of hurt.  I talk freely about the alcoholics in my past.  People don't like that.  I talk about abuse and pain caused by others.  People don't like that.  I talk about abuses from my past brought about by people who were supposed to love and protect me.  People don't like that.  I bring dark things into the light.  People don't like that.

You know why?  It's easier to ignore things that are hidden away.  Our society has trained us to only present a perfect image of current self, to only present idyllic childhoods and pasts lacking scars and mistakes.  Admitting you aren't perfect is a sign of weakness.   Even some Christians do it, in fact they tend to be some of the worst offenders because somehow they believe that loving Jesus means your life should be peachy and admitting to hurt and pain somehow presents a weak Savior, one incapable of making your life presentable to the public.  

To that I'd say the opposite.  Admitting to our lack of perfection reveals a perfect need.  A need that can only be filled by a perfect Savior.  Hurt and pain, mistakes and trials, shady pasts and common faults are the biggest proof of a need for Jesus that I can think of.  If we were perfect where would Jesus fit into our lives?   If we needed no saving, what good is a Rescuer?

So I will go on sharing.  And growing.  No amount of ugly emails, or mail or anonymous comments will stop the flow that God has sparked in me.

He speaks to encourage me when I need it.  Intermingled with the ugly, He sends beauty.  The happy emails, the encouraging emails, the "I needed to hear that" emails keep me going.  He has used this blog and other forms of social media to make my village smaller and bigger at the same time.

He's used this average person doing average things to reach people all over the world.  I have a humble and amazing opportunity to tell hundreds of thousands (millions really) of people that God loves them through my words and through my life.  He loves you.  He loves your imperfect nature, your quirks, you with your history and your past.  I'm grateful for the opportunity I've been given and the only thing that will stop me is Him.  I'm grateful for you and the role you play in my village.

I'm grateful for the way God has used this humble blog.

I can't wait to see what comes next...          
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