Why I Write, or What I Learned on my Blogging Break

When I took the month of June off from the blog, it wasn’t intentional. Life got really busy, and I was exhausted in the evenings when I usually would write. I was also feeling uninspired and rather unmotivated. So during that month away, I started thinking about why I started this blog and why I even take the time to write in the first place. Here is what I learned by asking myself those questions:

1. Organizing my thoughts…

When I write, I can sort out my thoughts, ideas and feelings better. Writing gives me a chance to order my ideas in a more logical way. As an INFP on the Myers-Briggs and a Type 4 on the enneagram, I constantly have an ENORMOUS amount of thoughts and feelings swirling around inside that need a constructive outlet. Writing about things I am thinking about or feeling is therapeutic for me because I can get some of those pent up ideas out of my head and in black and white.

2. Learning and growing…

Blogging also encourages me to learn more about the topics in which I am interested so that I can better share about it with you. I write to learn, because when I process what I am reading about through the written word, it helps me retain and synthesize that knowledge. And when I share ideas or lessons I am learning with you, I have a certain level of accountability to take action and move forward.

3. Encouraging others…

I write to share my story and let people know they are not the only ones with doubts, fears, heartaches and tears. Maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there who feels and thinks and wonders some of the same things I do. My hope is that what I write will help or encourage someone in similar circumstances or wrestling with similar challenges. I want my blog to be uplifting and beneficial to you, my friends and readers, whoever and wherever you may be.

4. Building community…

Along those same lines, one of my goals for this website has always been to build community. In this online, social-media driven world, it is increasingly hard to find local friends who are willing to take the time to spend doing life with each other. Because our family is more apt to move frequently due to changes in ministry callings, the mobility of the online world makes it easier to get in touch and stay connected with people across the miles. And I know that it is hard to find like-minded people when moving to a new place. Although I have been blessed to find a lot of women in my area who share similar interests and values, I know that is not the case for everyone. So sharing a bit of our lives online allows us to make contact and find our tribe, no matter the physical distance.

5. Made to create…

I am made in the image of the Creator, and therefore, I am creative. As Jonathan Rogers so aptly put it in his most recent newsletter:

Exercising your creativity makes you more fully human. If that sounds too touchy-feely, let me put it this way: Creativity is one of the most important ways that you engage reality. We make things more beautiful than they have to be because the world is more beautiful than it has to be.

I love the written and spoken word, so this is a type of creativity that naturally flows from me. I am painfully aware, however, that my skills as a writer are weak. So I write to flex that creative muscle, to hone my skill, so become better at creating so that I bring more glory to my own Creator.

I DON’T write because…

Perhaps the biggest takeaway I had from my blogging break was actually the one thing that is not and cannot and will be my motivation for writing. It is this: I DON’T write to make money. I am not aiming to have posts go viral on Facebook or be the most popular pins on Pinterest or anything like that.
Yes, I would love for my readers to support the cost of running this blog by using my affiliate links. But I am not going to write on topics that I don’t honestly care about just because I think that will make my blog more popular. I’m not going to focus on monetizing this site.
Know that if I do post links to other blogger’s products it is because I really, truly think they are helpful resources that I want my friends to know about. It’s not because I am out to get your money. My friend Crystal has said it time and time again that if you are in the blogging business just to make money, you will burn out hard and fast. I believe it!

From the heart…

So, I am letting you know from here on out, I am going to write from the heart. I will write about things that pique my interest, things that are hard for me, things that I think will be helpful to you….whatever topics align with my vision and goals for this space and my writing life. I hope you will connect with me here in the comments and on Facebook or Instagram so we can build community around these ideas of uplifting and coming alongside one another through the written word!

Turn, turn, turn- Five Minute Fridays

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)…

This old song by “The Byrds” popped into my head immediately with this week’s prompt. I started thinking about the concept of seasons, both in the weather and in life. Right now here in Middle Tennessee we are experiencing a cooler than usual spring, as I’m sure many others are, as well. But the seasons definitely are changing. The leaves are opening on the trees. The wildflowers are blooming in the fields and woods. The birds are nesting and singing sweetly each morning. It is a hopeful time.

Thankfully, the seasons seem to be changing a bit in our family life as well. After a long, difficult transition period over the last couple of years, we are coming into a spring of sorts. My children are older and more able to help me and help themselves around the house. We are in a good rhythm in our homeschool days. My husband and I have been exercising and keeping each other accountable to get back to taking care of our health. Our finances have stabilized thanks to more part time work and generous gifts from friends and family. And our house is under contract again, and there is hope that we will actually get to close the sale this time around! I am reading some excellent books and doing some deep thinking, forming newer and healthier thinking habits. We are putting down roots here in TN, and it feels like growth is happening. Change is coming, and it feels good!

This post is part of the Five Minute Fridays link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Join the FMF community and get your free-write on! Find my other Five Minute Fridays posts here.

Tired, but Trusting #fiveminutefriday

Earlier this week, I was so tired of the way things have been going in life that I just wanted to give up. I was tired of the financial strain, tired of plans not working out the way we’d hoped, tired of having to wonder what to do next, just tired of always feeling like the underdog. But I knew I had to just get up and keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God through it all. I realized as I sought Him that even though I’m tired, I still have work to do. Even if our situation never changes, I have to be faithful in the little things, day to day. He has given me tasks, mundane though they may seem, that do not change regardless of where we live or what our situation is. I can never grow weary of loving my children, of supporting my husband, of serving my church or of taking care of my own health. Yes, I may be physically tired, even emotionally and mentally exhausted at times, but I cannot let myself become so worn down by worldly cares that I stop being faithful to the Lord. More than any other time, I need to go to Him with my burdens and let Him renew my strength. I need to be refreshed by His Word and walk on, doing the good work He has given me to do in this season. I can rest in Him and know the harvest is coming!

“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9

“Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall.”
Psalm 55:22

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:31

This post is part of the Five Minute Fridays link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Join the FMF community and get your free-write on! Find my other Five Minute Fridays posts here

Beauty in the Small Things #fiveminutefriday

This time of year it is sometimes hard to notice beauty in our surroundings. Much of the United States is still seeing snow. Much more of it sees only brown mud and brown grass. The trees are bare and gray. The sky is often gray as well. I am often tempted to feel depressed by the length of winter in February. I long for the sun and the freshness of spring.

However, I found this year that there is beauty to be found in the small things in nature, even in the dead of winter. My children and I discovered a wealth of detailed wonder in the lichen growing abundantly on the trees in our front yard. Even on the chilliest of days, there were little green and yellow signs of life clinging to the tree bark that otherwise looked so barren. Under the brown leaves on the muddy ground we could find patches of lush, green moss, soft and velvety like nature’s carpet in the woods. When we stopped to look closely, we found several different varieties of moss in place! On snowy days, a bright flash of blue darted across the yard–a brilliant blue jay, his suit never dulled by winter’s gray days. Then in another moment, we saw another flash, this time ruby red, telling us our friend the cardinal was nearby.

In all these small things, we found beauty and cause for rejoicing and praising our Creator.

What blessings can you find today, no matter how small, to give you a cause for rejoicing and praise? Look for beauty in the unexpected. Notice the details. Give God the praise!


This post is part of the Five Minute Fridays link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Join the FMF community and get your free-write on! Find my other Five Minute Fridays posts here

Agree with God #fiveminutefriday

Agree with God, and be at peace;

thereby good will come to you.

Receive instruction from his mouth,

and lay up his words in your heart.

Job 22:21-22 (ESV)

When I read today’s prompt I immediately thought of the phrase “agree with God,” but I didn’t know if there was an actual Bible verse that used those words. So when I went to look it up, I was pleasantly surprised that the verse I found goes right along with the ideas I have been thinking and writing about lately.

When we agree with God, we will be at peace. How good is that promise?! Peace is sought after but seldom found in our busy, pressured lives today. When we agree with God, when we let Him be in control and speak His truth into our lives, that is when we find peace.

Good will come to us when we believe God’s words and take them to heart. When we believe lies and ignore God’s direction, bad things are bound to happen to us. But God promises blessing when we obey and follow Him.

Just like I wrote earlier this week, we need to lay up God’s truth in our hearts. We need to replace lies with the truth, receiving His instruction in the truth. When we do this, we agree with God about our identity, about His character, about the world and about what our role is in His kingdom. When we stop agreeing with the world and start agreeing with God, we are in for abundant blessing. Let’s get in the Word and start believing God!

More resources on this topic:

Lies Women Believe by Nancy Lee DeMoss (Wolgemuth)

Believing God by Beth Moore

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This post is part of the Five Minute Fridays link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Join the FMF community and get your free-write on! Find my other Five Minute Fridays posts here