What I Learned from Blogging in September

As I sip my coffee and listen to the morning rain I am inspired to sit down to type out a post to finish this month of blogging well. I have been keeping a blog for two years in December and it has been a journey of balancing and learning from the start. I knew going into September that this is an especially sweet season in my life, with the Influence Conference, Bermuda 2.0, and many other joyful occasions to savor and grow from. In that, I love to document experiences and mark them as they occur, which made this an important month for blogging and journaling. I didn’t plan content prior to September (and even delayed my ‘morning routine’ and ‘how I use my planner’ posts for later this fall), so I came into the month unsure of how often I would post, but I knew that I wanted to write as often as I felt inspired to.

In stepped the lovely Bailey whose blog and link-up series I stumbled upon on the tenth, something that both revived my blog creativity and started a new friendship. From there, about half of my content was inspired by her prompts, and half was marking the things that I was learning and experiencing through my travels and walk with the Lord. That gave me a nice balance of both planned and spur-the-moment posts that I can look back on as an accurate reflection of what this month looked like.

Things I Learned From Blogging in September
  1. I enjoy planning and creating content best in the early morning with a cup of coffee, or late at night when things are quiet.
  2. Blogging alongside others is much more fun than doing so in isolation. Leaving and receiving comments is fun and it makes the process more dynamic than static.
  3. Blog statistics can crush creativity, or make the process prideful. It’s best to limit checking stats to pre-planned days, such as monthly or quarterly.
  4. Build right where you are with what you have. You don’t need a fancy website that’s hyper-analyzed and planned out to every detail in order to reflect your heart well. I started my blog free through wordpress.com in 2013 and waited until late 2014 to upgrade to my own hosting and domain.
  5. Write and create content that is true to you, and check to see if there is a benefit to your readers by posting it. Reflect yourself and add goodness, not more noise.

If you have any questions about blogging, I encourage you to share them in the comments below and I am happy to answer them!

This post has been part of the 2015 Blog-tember Challenge

Work At It With All Your Heart

I shared this over on Instagram a little while ago but want to expand upon it here, too. Colossians 4:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving,” (NIV). I had a nice talk with a dear friend the other night as I was driving home from Maine, during which she expressed that it would be a lot easier to press on in her job if she knew that it’s exactly where God wants her to be. I’ve been there before too so I understood her thought process, but I wanted to stop her right there and challenge her with this: Work each day for the Lord exactly where He has you today. Work as though you are certain that the place where you are in this moment is where you can best be used for His purpose and glory. In the meantime, also pray hard for discernment and the eyes to see if there is somewhere else where He might be calling you to be. Call upon Him for strength, especially when you grow tired and begin to doubt your ability to do your job well. We are not meant to work from our own strength, and so much pressure is lifted from our shoulders when we acknowledge our need for Him and His Spirit. Be encouraged today, friends. We are not meant to do things alone. 

What Makes Your Heart Wild and Free?

During a session held last Friday by Nancy Ray and Gina Zeidler, conference attendees were instructed to write down five things that make our hearts wild and free. Serving as only a starting point, they also encouraged us to make a full list of what fires us up to refer back to in the day to day. I’ve done this in the past, particularly at the start of the past two years as I’ve work through my PowerSheets, but I want to sit down and do a refresh of my long list now too. In the meantime, these are the first things that came to mind during the exercise on Friday for me.
What Makes Your Heart Wild and Free

In the session, they reminded us that He is the One who guides us to our fullest versions of ourselves and that we could never produce joy on our own. Let’s hold our hands open to Him as we walk out this day, friends.