My first blog began back in early summer of 2007. Seems like it was just yesterday. But “just yesterday” I was holding a newborn son while wrangling two active daughters at the ages of 2 and 4. The whole point of my blog back then was to stay in touch with the family and friends we had left behind when we moved for my husband to enter the Pastorate full-time. Then as scrapbooking became an impossibility in a small house filled with little hands, blogging became my new way of recording our journey in life and a way of sharing God’s work in my heart. Fast forward two years and God inserted a trial for my growth and during that time I had to step back from many people, places, and things. During this season of life God allowed blogging to be a source of encouragement and nourishment for my soul by being challenged and comforted by new friends.
My blog began to grow. I wasn’t a big blog by any stretch of the definition – whatever the definition is, anyhow! – but I had a regular following and was building a community. I felt like I had found a niche and was finding my place in this new world of online social circles. Just about the time I thought I was finally “gaining speed” God ordained for my real life to pick-up pace again. As much as I like to think of myself flying around with a cape on, I am not Superwoman and cannot do everything I think I can. Let alone do everything I want to do! I had choices to make. Blog or Real Life?
Long story short is that my real life won out. Real life ministry as the wife of a Pastor called my name, and so began the struggle to balance blogging with all the other hats I was wearing. My heart wrestled with question after question.
Where does blogging fit into my life? Do I need to give up blogging? What do I blog about since so much of my real life can’t be shared? What’s my voice? Should I be 100% open and honest…or not? How do I share what I am learning when it often is closely connected with people I am ministering to? Should I keep blogging? Does God want me to minister more in real life or in blogging life?
I struggled with those questions and meanwhile my blog dwindled. I let it go for weeks and sometimes months at a time; not knowing how to be real without sharing too much from my real life that involved people who didn’t want their life to be blogged about. I sat back and watched as fellow bloggers – some friends via blogging and some just people I followed – seemed to grow and grow and grow and grow…and I had moments of envy. I liked blogging! I had things I wanted to say! But I just couldn’t find the time to balance both real life and blogging life. And then I noticed some of the bloggers that were growing seemed to run into problems. Their voices seemed to be falling apart as I saw a disconnect between what they had been blogging about for months on end and what was really happening in their daily lives. Their real life and their blog life didn’t seem to match up. I still didn’t have clear cut, black & white answers, but I knew that no matter what happened with my blog I wanted to be real. Online and in real life.
Skip ahead a few years and now as the Allume conference inches closer with each day, I find myself swaying back and forth between determination and frustration. One minute I am determined to carve time out to blog because I want to attend having a blog people actually read. The next moment I am frustrated by blogging because I don’t seem to know how to blend it into my real, living, breathing, getting dirty life. And so here I sit typing this post…not having many answers to my questions. But I do know – without question! – that God is watching my real life first. Any blogging that I do needs to be an overflow of what I live in the daily moments of the touchable, tasteful, sound filled, and vivid life God’s grace has given me.
If you, too, are a blogger, I want to CHALLENGE you…
- …to stop striving to be something you want to be and be who God created you to be right now.
- …to put down the dictionary you use to define the words you type and let God define your motives of each post.
- …to let go of your drive to create community and let your actions of love draw in the community.
- …to be careful because the Father up above is looking down below and your real life needs to come before your blog.
Let your blog be the overflow of the daily cups of grace God gives you.
Taking it one cup at a time,