So, I don’t usually post on Saturdays, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing myself a happy little bloggy birthday song (I may even have a cupcake to celebrate) because exactly one year ago today, I embarked on this journey called blogging.
And boy, has it been fun.
And a pretty ridiculous amount of work at times.
I know that may sound silly considering that it’s just a little bitty speck of real estate on the internet where I show you my Goodwill finds and my children’s cuteness and rooms in my house that I’m proud of (after I’ve first moved all the debris that would normally be in the shot out of range so you won’t see it, of course).
But I rarely write a post in under 2 hours (and that usually doesn’t include photo-taking/editing, etc.), and there are plenty of other things that go along with blogging that have nothing to do with the “finished product” that you guys see (those of you with blogs of your own are nodding your heads right now).
I’m still learning more about all of those “other things” as I go…
But mostly, I’m learning to let go.
Blogging is hard for my personality.
I’m what I like to call a selective perfectionist. Which means I like things to be just so…in some areas.
And then I’m perfectly capable of letting others slide in ways that would horrify and mystify some of you.
I’m also competitive—used to be to a fault but now only to a sometimes annoying degree.
And above all with myself.
Sure, I compare myself with others just like everybody else does, and it never comes to any good since I either end up feeling woefully inadequate or full of ugly pride as a result.
But mostly, I compare myself to my own standards—what I think I could/should be accomplishing.
And I’m kind of hard on myself if I don’t measure up…to myself. (Confused yet?)
Blogging, with all its built-in horn-tooting and numbers-counting is a dangerous thing for a girl who likes to set/achieve personal goals and then break her own records.
And there have definitely been times that I’ve gotten sucked into the blogging vortex of “have-to-itis.”
You have to do Twitter, or you won’t succeed.
You have to do lots of giveaways, or no one will like you (in the blog-world or on Facebook…Oh, for the days when liking someone meant you wanted to go to a movie with them).
You have to have amazing photos, or no one will even look at your posts.
You have to have a big week-long, blogiversary celebration, or no one will be impressed by your achievements (don’t get me wrong; I would have LOVED to have done that, but it just wasn’t a good use of my time right now, and I accepted that…that’s progress, right there, folks).
There have been times when I have stayed up waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too late, ignored my children and husband, fretted over blog-traffic, counted links, done projects that I have no use for except to post them on the blog, and just generally worried way too much about this whole blogging business.
And that’s the bad.
The stuff I would love to pretend I’m above and way too mature for but totally am not when I let my perspective get skewed.
But it’s getting better.
In fact, I pretty much never check my blog stats anymore, (even though it’s very sound advice to know where your traffic is coming from so you can optimize those avenues and not expend effort on areas that don’t “grow your blog”).
And I genuinely don’t care too much if my “numbers” stall out (although I love getting new readers…not a single blogger in the world could say they don’t and tell the truth).
But it doesn’t rule me like it could (and has a times) if I’m not careful.
I know I’m not alone in these struggles because I’ve read a lot of posts in which the blogger bemoans his/her attachment to the instant gratification of increased numbers, social media interaction, and, perhaps most importantly of all, comments.
Apparently, it’s a human nature thing.
Which makes me even more grateful that I have a God who cares about me and my character enough that He sometimes reaches down and forces me to take a step back and reassess.
That’s what this pregnancy with twins has done for me.
Forced me to slow down, reevaluate where my limited energy can be best spent, and look ahead to an even busier time in my life when blogging will simply have to play second (or seventh) fiddle to the need for sleep, food, snuggles, and other aspects of real life (the twins are jumping around in my belly even as I write this, so apparently they agree).
And that, folks, is pretty much where I stand after a year of blogging.
And it feels like a good place to be.
Because there are so many incredible things about blogging too.
Like the opportunity I get each and every day to connect with people like you whom I wouldn’t ever get to “meet” otherwise.
Like the chance to use my blog for good to help out PCM orphans in Uganda.
Like the platform it gives me to share my faith when sometimes, I feel like the only people I ever share the gospel with are my own children (not that they don’t need to hear it).
Like the motivation to get dressed in decent clothes (my husband always notices when I do) and get projects finished.
Like the fact that I get to write—which I love and hadn’t done regularly in over a year before I started this blog.
Like the incredible response I receive when I share a personal struggle and so many of you say you get it and are encouraged by knowing that you’re not alone, and that, by the grace of God, there’s hope.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Blogging is good.
Mostly, it’s what you make of it.
It’s a constant struggle for balance (but isn’t that “real life” too?), and it’s a struggle that me and my competitive self are determined to continue…at least for now.
I don’t know the future that God has planned for me (outside of a 40% increase in the number of children entrusted to my care), but I do know that I want everything I do—and that definitely includes blogging—to glorify and honor the One who gives me the ability to make even one single keystroke.
Have I always been successful in carrying out this desire?
I’d be lying if I said that every post that I’ve ever written has glorified God.
So many of them have mostly glorified me.
Because it’s actually almost impossible to blog without being a little bit narcissistic.
And that’s yet another facet of balance that I am striving to get just right.
But I will say this: I have tried, to the best of my ability, to be as honest with you as possible without compromising the integrity of my family or turning this blog into a tale of woe and negativity.
I’ve (literally) shown you my dirty laundry, confessed my weaknesses, and shared my failings as well as my successes, and I will continue to do so as long as I feel led to blog.
I hope that’s okay with you guys.
Because I’d love it if you stuck around.
And that’s really why I got on here today
—To say thanks.
For sending encouraging notes.
For praying for me.
For helping me help others.
For caring about the mundane minutiae of my tiny little corner of the world.
You have blessed my life in ways that you will never fully comprehend, and I am grateful for each of you.
Here’s to another year of growing pains…and joys too.
You guys are the best!