During the month of May, I challenged myself to journey through Elaine’s #JesusBlogger series: 31 day of Blogging Like Jesus Would over at Radical Christian Woman. Originally, I thought it’d be a good series to help me dig a little deeper into who I am as a blogger. It was that and SO much more…
First Few Days
Right away, her series encourages you to go back to your roots so you can identify where you came from, Christian upbringing or not. It sounds very straightforward, but it also an exercise in peeling the onion. Based on what I saw as a child, I’m almost laughing that I’ve ended up here, as a Christian Blogger.
Day 2 dives right into our calling as Christian bloggers. There’s no question in my mind if I was called––you can read all about that on my About Me page. But, even as recently as 3 months ago, I was asking my husband if he thought I was done with this little endeavor. He emphatically assured me that I should keep going. Blogging may be a season for me, but I guess I haven’t received the sign that it’s past quite yet.
In my opinion, she started easy. Asking questions I knew the answers to, or at least ones that I could figure out without much effort. Her homework wasn’t difficult. But then, she got real. She began challenging everything I had been doing to make my blog “successful”. As May went on, I found myself struggling with the very topics she was talking about in a series she wrote 4 years ago! Part of me wanted to be defiant — “I’m not going to do it your way”. While another part of me was saying “Yes! If I let go of this/stop thinking this way, I think I’ll enjoy blogging again!”
Even reading Elaine’s words, I thought, “I’ll never be this good, this spiritual. She’s helping me so much, how could I ever dream of helping another person like this.” Wow. Eventually her message got through to me. We are all called to blog for different reasons, in different seasons, and we need to be where we are. There is a reason we are there and we just need to speak from the heart, using the words God puts there rather than our own.
Ready to Quit
Three months ago, I was asking myself and my husband if I should even bother with continuing this blog. This blog that, God put on my heart and told me to do. That’s where I’d gotten to with this whole thing. Largely because I was trying to do it the way the world tells us to blog.
Not to mention, life had changed drastically since I started this. It’s not easy to learn to be a stay-at-home mom, have a new baby (on oxygen), feel like you need to contribute financially, keep the house clean, all while running on much less sleep than in years passed. I’m the type of person who thinks, “If I can’t do it all, I’ll just do nothing.” Dramatic? Yeah, I am. So I was ready to kick something off my list. Existing for More seemed like the easiest item.
God has funny timing, because then I started this series.Not only did it help me in my blogging journey, but I was able to apply so many of the topics to situations outside of my blog. Motherhood, side hustle, friendships, the list goes on. I found myself just wanting to hug this woman, sit down for coffee and talk for hours on end. And I’ll be we could do it without a second of awkward silence 🙂
Where to Go From Here
If you are a blogger finding yourself in a similar situation, I’d encourage you to read this series and seriously challenge yourself. I won’t give away too much here, but I do want to include some takeaways. And I hope the non-bloggers who can apply these to other areas too.
Stop playing the numbers game
On Day 10, Elaine suggests that we stop counting our following. SAY WHAT?! How will I know how important I am?? I laughed out loud when I read that and thought to myself, “Yeah, I’m not doing that.” But didn’t I say I needed some guidance? Wasn’t I letting God speak to me through her? Honestly, those followers/likes (non-blogger translation: what other people think) were RULING me for the past 2 years.
Guess what. I stopped keeping track. It feels weird and freeing all at the same time! The content is what matters and now I’m much more driven to post/share whatever He puts on my heart, whenever it happens. (This has especially eased anxiety after the Instagram algorithm change really screwed things up for me!)
Support the Christian Blogger community
I’m naturally competitive. To a fault. So, of course I see other Christian Bloggers or #JesusBloggers as competition. And now that I’ve admitted that, I am shaking my head at how silly that sounds. Aren’t we all working together to share His message of grace?
By no longer counting my numbers, it has made it a little easier to change my thinking and to see us all working together for His glory! In the past, I’d support fellow bloggers as I had time, but now I realize, it needs to happen daily! Sharing their posts, commenting, lifting each other up on social, and in prayer. We are all doing hard work that evil continually is attacking us for. Every cheerleader helps!
(Non-bloggers, I hope this one is clear. Cheerlead and love on everyone!!)
Focus on serving God and sharing the story He’s given me
Since I started this, I’ve been focused on the outcome I wanted for myself: going viral. But, thank Elaine for calling me out: Could I have handled it? Ouch. No, probably not. Instead of being so concerned with my desired outcome, I need to be where He has me, sharing my story and shining His light through it.
What if the story someone needs to hear is yours, but you are too scared to share it? Oddly enough, the day I read this post was 2 days after a women’s conference where the same question was posed. Fear can rule me and it’s mostly the fear of what others might think! If there’s a chance to help even one person with my story, then it needs to be shared. The fear is really just a lie anyway. It really doesn’t matter if we are blogging about it, or sharing over coffee. Let’s use our experiences to glorify Him and help others going through similar things.
Don’t sell out
If you’re counting the numbers and not seeing what you hope for, it’s super easy to want to “sell out”. I’ve even gone to other, more popular blogs, to see how I can improve. Thanks, Elaine, for calling me out here! 🙂
I mean, really, did I think being a blogger would be easy? Honestly, I hoped it would be! But the longer I do this, the more challenging it becomes, and the more it allows me to grow! And now I’m ready to call myself a #JesusBlogger? Might as well pin a bullseye on my back!
That pressure to perform is real. When I don’t have a mind-blowing blog post idea, I find myself wanting to manifest one. Again, my friend here reminds us to blog where we are, not where we want to be. From day one, I said I was authentic. I must hold true to that claim. (My non-blogging followers, be you. Hold tight to Him’s promises and don’t sell out to the ways of this world.)
Make blogging a priority, and don’t feel bad about
All too often, I feel guilty for spending my time blogging. In the beginning, that made sense because it was ALL I did. Then the pendulum swung the other way and I barely touched my blog. I appreciate the guidance in this series where she says not to feel guilty, especially when we are doing this work for the Lord. I have to remind myself, He called me to this!
A big take away here that I’ll be implementing is scheduling time to blog. If I try to “fit it in”, it won’t happen. I need to be intentional. When I’m intentional in other areas of my life, I don’t feel guilty. Why would this be any different? Whatever your call is, take the necessary actions so you won’t find yourself feeling guilty about it!
Allow God to own this blog –– Be a #JesusBlogger
My purpose for starting this blog was to create community that would allow me to spread the gospel. I forget that so often. It’s time to get back to the basics! After making my way through this series, it’s become clear that being a #JesusBlogger is what He’s intended for me. All my excuses of not being knowledgable enough about the Bible or not using enough Christianese aren’t going to cut it. He gave me this idea, but it’s time to let Him own it.
As I approach my 2 year anniversary of God calling me to blog, EFM will be undergoing a facelift. I’m not sure what it will look like on July 1, but I assure you there will be a change. I hope you’ll stop back by and check it out!
Until then, if you are a fellow Christian Blogger, please check out Elaine’s #JesusBlogger series. It will be well worth your time. We have a job to do, so let’s do it to the best of our abilities!
And for all my loyal followers, I thank you. You are why I do this. Your love and support mean more than you’ll ever know! See you in a month 🙂