Intentional

Aside from this afternoon’s blog on a free $20 Starbucks card, I had missed almost a week of blogging – did you miss me? : ). The week was unusual in that we got new floors throughout our house and that threw me off a bit, but in all honesty, I sat down multiple times to write and every time I began I had to stop. There was a block of some sort, a void in my train of thought that kept me from completing any post. And since one of my primary goals of this blog is not to create unnecessary “noise” and to be intentional about what I publish, I just did not post anything.

Whenever I get a “block” of sorts and lose my perspective, I find it helpful to look back through old journals to remind me of where I have been and how far I have come. So, I read through some old posts that I had written earlier this year before I was brave or vunerable  enough to post anything publically and was reminded why I started this blog – because I felt a tug on my heart to share with those God would lead here that this journey we call life is oftentimes really really hard and everyone needs some comfy pants to put on sometimes and know that no matter what is going on right now, they are loved. That my blog may only speak to one person, that it’s not about the masses and that if I am faithfully obedient, God will provide the words He wants me to write.

Here is the post I wrote on April 11th of this year…

I’ve always dreamed of writing….for something. I have dozens if not hundreds of journals to which I have penned my most intimate thoughts – most addressed to my Saviour and Friend, because I always know that no matter what they may say, He can handle them. He can take my thoughts and my heart that longs to be molded to His and transform me from the inside out – yucky, critical thoughts and all. I write this not because I think everyone should journal – everyone has their own outlet…their own way of displaying and communicating what is going on in the inner parts of themselves, but only to mention it as a preface to what I think God has called me to on this blog.

I am ordinary – simple, plain and without Jesus, nothing special. I have opinions that are my own and have made it my life’s mission to bend those opinions only to what Scripture writes. I can be hasty and rude to those around me – I know this and am honest about the sinfulness in those attitudes towards others that God has chosen to create and put on this planet near me. But ultimately I always land on the fact that I have a Mighty God …and in His infinite and indescribable wisdom, created each of us with different qualities, abilities ….and purposes – even if they don’t “look” like what I think they should at times or look like mine at all.

Recently, God has led me into a valley. One that revealed most of my weaknesses and exposed my unholiness. The valley has left my heart raw and unable to protect myself, leaving me the ability to cling to only one promise – “I will never leave or forsake you, Sheila”. He’s called me into a plan that is not about me, but about His purposes. Because I declared in my heart and out loud that I would go anywhere, do anything for Him….He has shown me what that requires of me (which is so little) and what only His power is capable of doing through someone…..so ordinary.

I don’t have it figured out – not even part of it – and I don’t claim to know even what the next step is. I’m a planner, I love to plan, anticipate, analyze and execute – which has made this valley, full of twisted thorns, dark unlaid paths and uncertain daybreaks, very frustrating, exhausting and suffocating for me at times. It has removed all that I am comfortable with and replaced my motivation for doing things not that I “like it”, but that I like Him….and I like to make Him smile.

I don’t know if I’ll ever post any of this for anyone to see. This is the first one – but the tugging in my heart to write has become something I don’t think I’m supposed to conceal only in my personal journals anymore. What that means, I haven’t a clue – but as I take a look around to see where God is working, listen to His invitation to join Him and adjust my life to be molded to His likeness (see Experiencing God) I hear a faint whisper saying “Sheila, let them know it’s not all easy….but that it’s Glorious”.

Blogging

So, can I be really honest for a minute? …I thought that blogging would be easy. I mean I love to talk and I love to write – I have countless journals from years past in which I’ve penned my history as it has come to pass. And one of the things I’m most passionate about is encouraging people around me to do whatever it takes to make the most of life – the most of every moment.

So, if I love to write and encourage, why is blogging so hard? I don’t know…but blogging is much harder than I ever thought it would be.

I do know this – I never want to add unneeded noise to an already noisy and jam packed internet where you can read anything about anything (good and bad) at just the touch of a button. I know that it’s hard for me because I want every post I pen to have a purpose – an encouragement, a challenge, an inspiration – not just aimless ramblings. Whether it’s a pratical inspiration to get our finances in order so that we can live lives free from the burden of debt, a short and easy recipe that a mom might be able to use because she’s had a hard day and making dinner is just one more demand on her already weary spirit, a helpful parenting tip that may help in this oftentimes bittersweet adventure of raising kids of character or a challenge to live today intentionally – without fear and without regret.

Don’t hear me wrong – I love this new challenge before me in blogging. But, man, it’s definitely harder than I had anticipated.

Any of you veteran bloggers out there find your blogging beginnings harder than you thought they would be?

What’s your “theme”?

I love technology….I just don’t know much about it. But after looking at blogspot and wordpress have decided to make the switch. So, what I’ve spent the past hour doing is choosing my design – a whole hour! I looked at all the flowery, pink ones and thought how fun it would be to have something so pretty. I love color – my favorite being the brightest yellow you can think of. I don’t wear it and I don’t have it in my house, but who can look at a bright yellow and think anything dreary? Just not possible. But if I’m honest, I’m not even close to being one of those flowery, artsy-fartsy kind of people who float through life seeing the beauty in every hue and shade. Honestly, I see things in straight lines…and boxes. The boxes might be colored, but to me, their beauty comes from their flawlessness.

So, here’s my theme. When I chose it, it had a color wheel as the picture – I might go back to that because I love seeing all the colors. But for now the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean is where I have landed. Mornings before the sun rises are my favorite, but more on that later.

So, what’s your “theme”? Are you the flowing grassy fields, the bright pink flowers, the black and white boxes or something personal that requires a custom header?