Last year on August 7, I hit “Publish” on what would be my first official post of my blog. While I had been adding content for a few weeks, it was the first day that my blog would actually “go live,” the day that I would share it on Facebook and other social media, and the day that I officially became a blogger.
I remember my hands were actually shaking for a while after I hit that button and shared the post. My boys and I watched the “Real Time” stats on my WordPress Dashboard, so we could see how many people were clicking on the link and checking out my site. It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.
As I shared in my initial post, I never wanted to write a blog. Be an author, sure. Blogger, not so much. But as I look back over the past year, I’m glad that I stepped out and followed God’s leading. If nothing else, it’s been a test of faith and obedience.
But of course, God’s plans are always bigger than ours, so this blog has proven to be a blessing in many more ways than I expected.
First of all, it has given this stay-at-home mom a creative outlet, and a confirmation that God’s purpose never lets any of our talents or gifts go to waste when we trust Him with them. As someone who grew up scribbling stories and ideas into notebook after notebook, followed by high school classes in journalism and Honors English, and then having my first job be a position at the local newspaper, writing was just a part of who I was. Even once I moved into different jobs outside of newspaper, I still wrote often for work and at home, up until I got married and became a mommy. Children tend to require a good bit of time and attention, and writing fell by the wayside until God asked me to pick it up again.
But this type of writing is different and much more personal. I’m not reporting on events or typing emails and memos to other employees or company contacts. I’m sharing my heart with the world (Although, let’s be honest, it’s mostly a handful of people at a time.).
One of the biggest blessings, though, in writing this blog has been seeing how my vulnerability and sharing my life’s little moments and revelations have encouraged, challenged, and helped others. I suddenly have a reach far beyond my little staying-at-home-most-every-day cocoon. I can minister to people I will never meet in person, whether it’s sharing comfort that God has given me (For Such a Time as This), telling my stories of everyday life (Going “Naked” at the Water Park) or my experiences growing up (Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid), finding profound lessons in what my boys say and do (Out of the Mouth of Babes), or even trying out recipes and simple household solutions and letting you know what works (Grease stains? I know how to treat them!).
While there have been many frustrating and/or tiring days and nights as I found (and am still finding) fringe moments to write, set up, and share my posts, I’m looking back over this year with a deep sense of accomplishment and gratitude for God planning this for me and staying with me every step of the way.
Also along for the ride have been my two biggest helpers and fans – my husband and my mother. They have both believed in me from my first hesitant suggestions that this was something God might possibly, maybe, want me to do. Not only has Brad been my technical support (he built the server my blog is on), but he’s definitely my biggest cheerleader. He has stayed up with me countless nights to help me proof those last minute posts, simply because he didn’t want me to be alone, and he proudly shares every one of them on social media.
My mom is always quick to help me out, proofing and reading any post drafts that I email her and helping me with titles and providing a good sounding board so I know that I’m saying what I want to be saying. 🙂
I’m also overwhelmingly thankful for the support I’ve had on this journey so far from all of my readers, especially those of you who have followed me from the beginning, as well as the many blogging friends I have made along the way. Hopefully I have been able to bless or encourage you all in some way over the last 12 months.
When I started this adventure last August, I couldn’t’ have imagined how much I’d learn and how I’d grow in so many areas of my life just by sharing bits and pieces of it with others. (There’s a lesson there…)
Looking ahead to the next year, it’s hard to imagine what God will do through my writing on this blog, but He’s already proven Himself more than faithful to help me accomplish what He’s called me to do and to bless me abundantly in the process.