Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Discovering God's Purpose for Your Blog...


After writing multiple times in the past year about the changing world of blogging, taking a sabbatical (and living to tell about it), and then jumping right back in, I would like to add a couple more thoughts...

Actually, I'd like to let Charlotte add a couple more thoughts. She wrote a rather thought-provoking post this week as she announced a blog break. She's wiser than I in that she didn't set a timetable for her absence - she simply gave herself permission to go.

Her post affirmed the direction that I discerned for my blog during my sabbatical . I know what she's talking about. It bothers me. But I left, got my peace back, and returned with a firm sense of purpose. I have a blogging identity. It has nothing to do with any other bloggers out there... and everything to do with how the Spirit is working in my life.

Then there is Mary's post (which I saw just minutes before I intended to post this), which is further affirmation and confirmation for "mediocre" bloggers who are really the heart and soul of the Catholic internet community. She, like Charlotte, reminded me to look neither to the right or the left and just keep looking up.

I have my blogging blinders on. I have a firm purpose which I worked out with much thought and prayer while on sabbatical. I am committed to that purpose and to fighting the tendency to blog someone else's vision. I am also no longer in high school... and I refuse to allow likes, dislikes, accolades, links, awards, pettiness, or any one person to define my major actions or my purpose.

So... do you blog? Because if you do, I want you to read those posts when you have a moment. You may find that you know what these lovely gals are talking about.

And then I want you to repeat after me...

I am a uniquely gifted woman of God. My beauty lies not in how much my blog looks like anyone else's, but by how perfectly I am responding to His holy will for my life. 

Because my own blog sabbatical yielded so much fruit, I encourage all bloggers to take one of their own. Unless it provides a necessary portion of your income (and maybe even then), you should step away at times to remember what it is like to breathe and work and laugh without turning it into a blog post. God wants great and good things from you and perhaps you are having trouble listening over the noise of blogging.

In addition to the blessing of being available for God's plans, I promise that you will learn two things:

1) That you have (in some measure) an unhealthy attachment to the blogging world. 

2) That almost no one truly cares if you blog again or not.

I don't mean to sound harsh but it is the cold internet reality that "when you move your feet, you lose your seat." You will be missed by a few but it is unlikely anyone will even cry. People move on quickly. If number 2 causes you feel a lot of anxiety, then please recall number 1... and take steps toward a good spiritual cleaning.

If we're honest, then most of us can admit that we've been guilty of putting our blogging egos before our holy purpose. Yes? That would be me. But the appropriate response to that self-knowledge is to fight like heck to get things right. 

We can be savvy without being worldly.
We can be confident without being arrogant.
We can protect our intellectual property while still being generous.
We can earn some money without being covetous.
We can accept compliments with humility.
We can embrace criticism as a means to sanctity.

So what does God want from your blog? Not what do YOU want from your blog or what do you think God wants from your blog... but what is His actual dream for your keyboard. I discovered through my time away that it wasn't actually what I thought it was and I am grateful for the redirect.

If you need some silence to figure out your blog purpose (and you likely do), then take a break. Make sure it's long enough to sever unhealthy attachment. Return to blogging if He wills it. And if you've used your time well, you'll be humbler, happier, holier, more authentic, and more fruitful than before you left.

I am dreaming of a blog revival. We can never go back to the way it was in the beginning but we don't have to... the Spirit is here with us in the present. It's about ongoing conversion. Let's give everything and watch God light it up.

16 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I have been out of the blogging community for a while. I post here and there to update others on our adoption process, but, really, other than that, I have little that I share on my blog anymore. Mainly because, for so long, I did want to "fit in" to the blogging community. I wanted my blog to be whitty and cute. I was not seeking God in my blog. But, when I did, I realized that He really did not want me to invest my time in a significant way on my blog. And I love that. I am at peace with where I am at with my blog and the blogging community.

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    1. And now you are engaged in the holy work of giving a little girl a place to be loved! I am looking forward to seeing those blog updates from you... so I do hope that you find time to share your joy. :) I will pray for the final steps in the adoption to go smoothly. God bless!

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  2. Melody, I've read Mary's post, and now yours, and will head over to Charlotte's in a moment! These are wise words. I OFTEN think about your Number 2 - my blog is totally insignificant in the life of... anyone. It matters not if I press on with or without readers. It really does make you step back and ask "why" do it at all and to what purpose is God asking you to continue (or not?) Thanks for offering your thoughts on this. I really appreciated it!

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    1. That number 2 really stumped me when I was on break. I felt this pull as if there was something really important that I couldn't give up. And then I realized that it was just number 1 holding me trapped there. I had to get to a point where I could give it up and not care (much...lol).

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  3. I think there is something in the "blog air'' ... If you have a chance check out my mediocre post on just what you ladies are saying but in a more simple terms. But its so true how fast we can lose focus but how soon we can get back on track, that is the life of a catholic. We fall, we look the wrong way but we hope and with God's grace move towards HIS Will. God Bless you..

    http://catholicmomfitforlife.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/blank/

    I am going to use the "prize'' from Catholic doula.. I am going to start the program. Sorry to give you the prize and take it back. I hope you can forgive me. :)

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    1. Ceci- I read your post when you first put it out there and was very touched by the beautiful and meaningful words. I'm glad you posted it again here because I don't always get to read everything... but this time I just get to read again. :) I am blessed by your blog presence and always have been.

      Hooray! I'm so glad to be in the company of another doula student. I had to drop the fast track and chose the self-paced modules instead because I'm also getting certified to do bereavement. It was too much all together. But I'm still in the classroom and will be contributing as I can. And I GLADLY forgive you and thank you for undertaking such a good work. You will make a wonderful doula. :)

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  4. #2… that one is a doozy, right? I mean, I do think there are friends that I have made who would miss me if I completely shut down all online presence. Those who did though would probably call me on the phone. More than likely, I've given them my number because I consider them close friends. The rest… yeah… I can't imagine that it would take them too long to move on. I know I've moved on after friends I used to know stopped blogging.

    Thank you, Melody for all of your kind words. I can't tell you how nice it is to know that I am not alone in this. Part of my "sabbatical" is taking the time to review my Feedly list and get rid of those blogs that don't share this philosophy and add those that do. I'm kind of excited about it because I think it means finding a lot of new friends!

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    1. Yes, that #2... got me good when I came face to face with it. I bounced between those two points until my head hurt and I just had to lay it all before the grace of God. And you are right about the friendships. If there was anyone who would miss me that badly, I probably already have her email or phone number!

      Pruning my blog feed was one of the first things I did and it gave me so much peace! In fact, I don't think I read any blogs for the first month. I just needed silence. But then I began rebuilding and I love where I am. God has put so many beautiful things in motion that would absolutely not have happened if I had not let go. I'm happy for you, Charlotte, and I know that God will bless you richly through this time!

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  5. This is so so astute. Really. I love how you broke it down. I've been realizing that #2 over and over again the past few months, not even just in the internet and blog world but in the real world, too. People go on without me. It's so very humbling, isn't it? But it drives me place this whole silly (?) thing in His hands and leave it there. It's up to Him where He wants to take me and only in truly living that out will peace come. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. My comment is certainly not as articulate as I was hoping but I literally just got back from a whirlwind birth an hour ago and the brain is a little fried. I thought you might appreciate that :)

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    2. You are right, Mary! I definitely appreciate the back story (although I thought your first comment was lovely). I have been immersed in everything doula lately and was just thinking that I wish you had been my doula for my births!

      Did you read Linda's comment below? I found it surprising and beautiful. It is true that we are replaceable. But I think it is also true that we are loved well for who we are.

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  6. I'm not sure if I should even comment since I qualify as being "almost no one." I don't have a blog--maybe if I was 10-20 years younger I would. I'm not computer smart--not even sure if this will post. I started reading blogs when someone from church told me she had one. It's easy to expand from there. I don't usually comment because I don't have that much time and maybe I'm afraid I'd scare people since I sometimes feel so "connected" and close to them---a "lurker" I guess some would say, but that sounds evil to me and I don't mean to be evil. I often feel edified and greatly consoled by what I read and I have cried often as the blogs disappear. I used to write letters to a very holy priest who was sent out of the country for an assignment. He told me once my letters "did him a lot of good" and I couldn't even imagine what he was talking about. How could anything I said do that?? But I believed him, and he didn't say it to flatter me. So my friends, I believe your blogs do a lot of people a lot of good. I really can't believe I am the only one who feels this way or is a silent reader and admirer. But don't write to impress me! Write because you believe God desires it of you, and by His grace many will be blessed.

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    1. Linda - Thank you for taking the time to write this down. I understand what you mean. I have made lifelong connections through blogging. If I had no way to continue the relationships, I would certainly mourn the loss. I am also a huge "lurker." There are certain bloggers who have participated in the work of the Holy Spirit to profoundly impact my life. Without them, the Spirit would still work... but I am grateful for their particular cooperation! God bless you, Linda.

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  7. Awesome. I just did a reset on my own blog a week ago. I deleted everything, changed everything and settled back where I cam from...a few pictures, a few words. Blogging for me and my family...Legacy Blogging I named it.

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  8. I'm on a bit of a blogging break as well (travelling for the summer) ....and I feel the need to get back to basics- thanks for the inspiration

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