Guess I’ve been going through a rather introspective phase lately – has that ever happened to you? I’ve recently celebrated 8 years as a blogger. Combining that with beginning to plan child #3’s upcoming graduation from high school, I guess that’s got me a bit nostalgic.
At any rate, thinking about what the past eight years has wrought, I’ve come to realize that learning more about the craft of writing and all-that-blogging-entails has also taught me so many lessons about myself. And with my recent first-time experience at the 2:1 Bloggers’ Conference, well, let’s just say that “it’s all coming together!”
Who do you think you are to teach others after all the mistakes you’ve made?
Why would anyone want to listen to you?
You’ve gotta be kidding – dontcha think you’re a little too old to be starting something like this?
These are the voices that I’ve been fighting against for the past eight years. Voices that have had differing volumes and levels of intensity, but have been the soundtrack to almost every word I’ve ever written.
Blogging started out as a way to share with others some of the lessons I’ve learned from homeschooling all these years. Maybe it’s just me, but over the very many years of educating our littles at home, I felt something in me begin to change. Although I saw them grow into wonderful, creative, clever, brave and loving human beings, symbols of the word “success” no matter how you define it, I somehow felt myself wither. Well, maybe “wither” is a bit too strong a word, but I definitely wouldn’t say I was thriving. It felt like everything I did was for other people: my kids, my hubby, the families in our co-op or at church. And there was nothing I did for me. My energy and efforts were spread out all over the place!
I often felt like a puzzle box spilled out on the floor.
We’re all complex human beings, as any mother can tell you that about their children. And it remains the same as we grow into adulthood. As I became a better student of myself, I began to explore my interests a little more. As the kids needed me less and less with their schoolwork, my assignments morphed into self-study and reaching out…
What I learned from blogging
So the blogging gig was actually a way of processing those lessons. Not exactly what I’d expected or imagined, but I discovered to my delight that these lessons seemed to resonate with other homeschooling moms, too!
- Being “at home” did not diminish who I was inside.
- The concept of “professionalism” starts around the kitchen table.
- My worth is not measured in cultural, worldly or financial terms.
- When I spend time with the Lord, He makes a way. It’s not bribing Him to act, it’s changing me from the inside.
- While modern technology has its downside, as in everything else, it’s up to us to find, mine and use the good for His glory.
I discovered that these had been lessons I’d been teaching my kids all these years, and they were finally coming back to
haunt me sink in. As I realized, gratefully, that God truly did have me “in mind” all these years, I became more willing to apply these lessons to my own life.
How blogging began to bring the pieces back together
Christian, wife, mother, teacher, friend, encourager, writer, creator, crafter, cook, barista, sounding board…all these, and many more, I have been over the years. Many of those titles I still hold, and some of them I always will. It’s a good thing. And I’m happy to say that after those years of feeling spilled out and spread too thin, I’ve begun to see a bigger picture of how it all fits.
Blogging has introduced me to people and situations where I’ve been able to wrap many of these pieces together; to see how God can connect gifts and skills that I had once thought were so unrelated, and make connections. Through meeting and writing for other bloggers, I’ve been able to share what I know about parenting, homemaking, crafts, cooking, health, homeschooling, and the myriad of other interests I developed over time.
I have improved my communication skills, broadened my ability to research, write and present ideas, interacted with professionals as a professional, mastered (at least somewhat) some serious learning curves in modern technology, and (hopefully) served as an example in perseverance, hard work, creativity and sometimes true grit to my kids in the process.
Those stupid voices from earlier? Well, like anyone else, I still have my issues. But my recent experience at the 2:1 Conference has worked to hush them like never before.
I attended 2:1 anticipating learning nuts-and-bolts about the business of blogging. I was ready to tackle concepts such as monetization, content creation, being a successful affiliate, e-book publishing, list-building, and marketing. I was ready to network like I never had before. I was ready to come back on fire and full of info to use. And I did. But I wasn’t ready for the more-personal effects it would have on me, too
What I didn’t anticipate was learning that there were other people “my age” who were in similar situations as I: feeling a bit behind the 8-ball when it came to technology, perhaps. Or struggling with the business aspect of things. Or dealing with some of that “mommy guilt” that this writing stuff could be oh-so-fulfilling, and could provide such a boost to my self-esteem and self-confidence. I didn’t anticipate (even though I knew it was a “Christian” conference), that I would be able to pray with other bloggers, and we could talk to and share with each other on a spiritual level. I didn’t anticipate speakers who would encourage me as a mom and a Christian, in servanthood and cherishing my family, too. I really didn’t anticipate having my spiritual and personal “well” filled up as much as it was.
The 2:1 Conference Provided the Last Piece of the Puzzle
2:1 confirmed for me that these days I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing; that I’m firmly where He wants me to be. So I’ll continue growing and learning and sharing and doing whatever else He puts in my path, secure in that knowledge. Where He leads, He makes a way. He certainly has during these past eight years.
It’s encouraging to note that I’m not alone in my experience with 2:1. As a matter of fact, some of the wonderful ladies that I met have written about their experiences there, too. They’re all wonderful stories, as different as each one’s sweet personality.
- Lara, from Everyday Graces, wrote a detailed description of the Conference in Find Your Motherhood Tribe.
- On Susan’s Homeschool Blog, she wrote about her experiences as a fellow Conference “newbie” in 2:1 Conference 2016.
- And Latonya shared 7 Lessons From the 2:1 Conference, at Joy In The Ordinary.
God may not have blogging in His plan for you. But whatever He does have, let me assure you that you can trust Him. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. (And you can be assured that I was terrified to by away from my family in a professional conference environment after being at home for over 20 years!)
Welcome with open arms whatever He calls you to…wherever He calls you.