Did you know that this blog has really only felt like it’s had a focused message in the last year? I guess you might if you’ve been hanging out in this little corner of the internet for awhile. You might have seen those first clumsy posts on Blogger as I tried to figure out what to do with this blog that was suddenly out there for people to find.
Or you might have suffered through my season where I thought I might be a DIY blogger. And then I realized my options were limited to glue gun crafts that other people had already blogged about.
For quite awhile this space was a mishmash of family updates and life lessons, stories about what was going on in my day-to-day and the place I processed some big events.
I’ve been blogging since 2009 but it hasn’t been perfect. I’ve broken all the rules. I’ve posted too often, not enough, and never about the “in” topics. I don’t write poetically or deeply. Finding my “thing” has taken years, not weeks, and I never want you to think it’s come easily for me somehow. I’ve watched as other women, some who have been blogging as long as me and some who have been in it a much shorter time, have had their platforms explode. They’ve written books, spoken to thousands, started non-profits and attracted hundreds of thousands of women with their messages.
And as long as it’s taken me to figure out my “thing,” it’s taken me longer to be ok with the voice God has given me and where He has me. I write like I think, and I think of the woman on the other side of the screen when I do. Readers aren’t numbers in the kingdom of God – they’re hearts and souls and friends. And the more I’ve considered who I want my words to reach, the easier it’s been to focus in on my “thing.”
Because no matter what you read here, I want you to leave encouraged, inspired, or equipped to go and do something. I want you to know that it’s never perfect around here, but there’s always hope. Not hope that it can be perfect, but hope in the One who is.
If I could tell you how I’ve gotten to this place, how I’ve discovered my passions and the message I think God is calling me to share in this season (with every expectation that it will change eventually), it would be this:
1. Write It Down – Grab a journal, a pen and a cup of coffee. Flip to an empty page and start writing down all the things you absolutely love to do. What have you always done well? What did you want to be when you were little that still makes you excited? What would you do if money and time were no object? If tomorrow was your last blog post, what would you want to write about? Write until you run out of room and then flip to a new page and keep writing. Look for themes, and cross out anything you wrote down because you thought you should, not because it’s really YOU.
2. Pray About It – Take a sip of that coffee and push the notebook away. Spend time in prayer, thanking God for the gifts and talents He has given you. Ask Him to bring to light anything you might have forgotten. Be willing to cross off anything God doesn’t intend for you to pursue in this season, and above all choose His will over your comfort. Sometimes to find our “thing” we have to stop doing what we’ve always done and be willing to do what we’ve never done before.
3. Ask Others – There’s a reason this one is last. Once you’ve spent time thinking through this on your own, and after you’ve prayed over your list, as a few trusted, close friends for their opinion. This isn’t the time to do a blog survey or ask your dear acquaintances on Twitter what they think you do well. Seek out a handful of friends or family who are FOR you, who know you and who know your heart and ask them what they think your “thing” is. What is it that they see you as an expert in? What can you do that seems so easy to you, but so hard for them? How do their thoughts line up with your list?
Three steps that seem so easy, but I know how hard they can be. This is the time to silence the negative self-talk and really think as highly of yourself and you think of others. It’s ok to do that, you know. And this week, know that I’m praying for you. Because you’re never a number to me, and I’m so grateful you’re here.