Monday, August 12, 2013

Reflections on 7 Years of Blogging




It has been a little over seven years since, with trembling hands, I wrote my first blog post. It began with a dream to use writing as ministry. A rather lofty dream for one with limited ability, but I pursued it with an open heart - trying always to be honest and transparent (with a dollop of self -editing thrown in for good measure).

I had no idea of stats and comments and building platforms, but it wasn't long before they edged their way into my consciousness. Suddenly the dream became less straight-forward as the people-pleasing part of my personality elbowed her way in. The battle was on - the one where open and honest kept one eye on the numbers while trying desperately to focus on balance. It's been an on-going war swinging wildly from one extreme to the other. One day deciding to delete the whole blog, the next trying desperately to be part of the "group" I so admired and wanted to emulate and still others finding a semblance of balance. It is rather tiring.

I came to end of myself and stood with open hands - willing to let go of those things I was struggling so hard to control. It was during this time that life delivered one of those gut wrenching blows - the ones we somehow know are inevitable but never see coming. They have a way of shaking things up, dumping them out and rearranging the whole mess.

There is no self-editing in this post I'm afraid - just my heart sticking her head bravely out there. I thought, at first, I would quietly slip away. But I have heard the Father whisper over and over again - write. My dear friend once told me (when I sat across from her and told her I couldn't for the life of me figure out what my gift was) I had the gift of encouragement. Over time it resonated. It is humbling to be given a gift - any gift at all - but one from the Father - ah that is something to be treasured .....and given away.

During this difficult time, I have looked carefully at the blessing of blogging and the disappointments it can bring. Somehow there is no sting in it any more- not even for this overly sensitive "good girl." (Emily Freeman has me pegged.).  

 On this belated bloggiversary, I want to put away the temporal longings and reach for the eternal. I want to look back seven years and find the heart that longed only for His approval. I want to use the gift. 

Blessings,
Linda




22 comments:

SimplyDarlene said...

Miss Linda - I'm a better person for your friendship. How else would we have met if not for your patchwork blog?

Hey, that's just it - we're all patchworks and sometimes it's neato mosquito to discover we fit together with another.

Blessings.

Happy Anniversary.

Linda said...

I love you and am so thankful God put us together. You are the real deal !

lil red hen said...

I too am glad we met! And you are an encouragement to many. I check the stats and comments too many times during the day, wondering if anyone cares about farm life and simple sewing projects. It becomes addictive and time consuming; I've also considered deleting my blog. I guess it happens to most of us at one time or another.

Ro Elliott said...

Oh...oh...I know this one....Linda congrats on 7 years of following His heart through all the ups and downs of blogging....but you have kept your eyes fixed on the the prize...Jesus...going where He leads....continuing to hold your dear family in prayer.

S. Etole said...

So glad you are here to offer the gift that only you can. Prayers for all of you.

Stephanie said...

Hello, dear Linda! Wow, 7 years! You have been very faithful with blogging for which I am thankful because I was able to "meet" you through your beautiful site. Congratulations on 7 years - a big accomplishment! Your posts are always wonderful and I love how you share your heart with us and how God is working in your life. I appreciate the fact that you have stuck it out even when times are difficult. Thank you for being such a blessing and gift.

Much love!

JoAnn Hallum said...

going on four years, and somehow blogging has become more private for me. Sometimes I get frustrated with my style and my complete lack of strategy when it comes to social media, but those days are getting fewer and farther between.
I related to this post, blogging is such a tight rope walk sometimes. The longer I do it, the less I seem to worry about it, it will be interesting to see what year seven holds, if I make it that long :)

Laura Boggess said...

Blessings on seven years, beautiful friend! I think YOU are a gift. I'm glad you share the gift of yourself here.

Sandy said...

It has been four years for me and I think of closing the blog probably every week as it takes a chunk of time. But, like you, I feel the Lord leading me to share so I continue.
You always write from your tender loving heart, Linda and I am always blessed. You are gifted.
I want you to know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your dear daughter is feeling less pain these days.
Hugs~

Linda said...

Thank you Sandy. Your words are always a blessing and an encouragement to me. And thank you for your prayers. They are carrying us through this. We feel His deep comfort and peace - always.

Linda said...

It's easy to get frustrated with all of this "bloggy" stuff JoAnn. I'm learning to just leave it in God's hands. Sounds like you are too. I think another few years will find you contentedly blogging in your own special way and blessing others in the process.

Linda said...

I'm thankful for the gift of you too Stephanie. You are an absolute delight.

Linda said...

I would have missed so much had I never met you Laura. You are a sweet blessing in my life. I'm hoping there will be more opportunities to see each other. I miss you.

Linda said...

Thank you so much Ro - for traveling this path with me and for being such a faithful friend.

Linda said...

It's so true Charlotte. I think we all fight these same little battles. Be assured your posts are a blessing to so many. Your creativity and sweet spirit add so much to this blogging community.

Linda said...

Thank you so much Susie. Praying for you as well dear friend.

Christie Krull said...

You will never know the extent of what your writing has meant. I always find it uplifting and insightful. I have readers from 10 countries and I wonder what effect it has on those lives. I hope they hear about Jesus and are encouraged with the scripture that I start with. I know some day in Heaven we will find out, but remember the pen is mighty. Keep sharpening your sword and swatting away at the gloom of life and bringing up the hope and love that we can tune into instead. Hugs sister blogger! Thanks for getting me started!

diana said...

Linda - you do indeed have the gift of encouragement and you spread that gift so generously and sweetly all around the web. That in and of itself is ministry. And when you do post here, your words are always good, always honest. Thank you for 7 years of encouragement and honesty. And forget about stats. I stopped looking - it was killing me and squelching God's call, which was not for stats or influence, but to write my stories down for my grandkids. That's it. If others want to read along, that's just great. And Linda? Others do want to read along when you write. Hang in. And thank you.

marygems said...

Happy Blogaversary. May you know a mighty sense of God's pleasure in you as you use the gifts of writing and encouraging others. He adores you. Many blessings be to you as you consistently bless others. You are appreciated! by us your readers, and by your Heavenly Papa.

Susanne said...

Happy Bloggiversary, Linda! I am one who has been blessed by your gift and received much encouragement. Thanks for the 7 years of meaningful, lovely posts.

Rebecca said...

Ah, yes! "With eternity's values in view, Lord....May I do each day's work for Jesus with eternity's values in view"! (Old chorus we used to sing in Youth Group back in the day.)

Sheila said...

I'm so glad you're here, Linda, because you're the only Linda Chontos I know! And I need you. The world needs you. Your faithfulness here (SEVEN years?!?!?) is so inspiring.

I love you. Hugely.

And you and your beautiful girl are in my prayers . . .