I’ve got a voice, now what?

I write from all the messy places with no real focus on any one thing.

One of the hardest parts about writing for me has been finding my audience. A friend recently told me that I have found one, and I agree… and also don’t.

I write from all the messy places with no real focus on any one thing. One of my ideas was to ask you guys what you want to read. Then I wondered if I was supposed to offer suggestions of what you might want and my list looked a little like this one:

  • Single momma stuff
  • Christian single woman stuff
  • Christian homeschooling working momma stuff
  • Momma to an addict stuff
  • Church hurts stuff
  • Surgeries gone all wrong stuff
  • I feed everyone stuff
  • I house everyone too stuff
  • Even stray cows would be safe with me stuff
  • I can’t find a date (let alone a husband) to save my life stuff
  • Abortion/Rape/Abuse survivor stuff
  • Chasing unicorns stuff
  • I’m a lil too hood for my own good stuff
  • Sometimes I cuss stuff

The reality is that I enjoy writing about all of these things. And I think you all have come to expect some of these really hard topics from me. The reality also is that means my readership might not grow. It might stay right where it is and we have to decide if we’re okay with that – like how I just roped you in on that one?! 😉

In the meantime, I have to do some things – like create an email list, launch a new website with a great lead magnet, and probably start adding some affiliates. This might take some time, but I’m ready to jump in with both of these tootsies and I hope you all are too!

I’m excited to head into this new journey, I’m grateful for the encouragement from my hope*writers group, and I’m ever grateful for each of you!

Share the song already…

None of us fully know what others are facing day to day or what’s happening in another person’s heart. Encouragement is never wasted.

Sometimes a friend will reach into your inbox to say words that affirm who we are and the path we’re walking. She’ll share a song that reminds her of you.

She told me that hearing this song that talks about desiring deep, connecting relationships reminds her of me. It’s how she sees me. And it’s what she likes about me. She called me courageous…

… little did she know that I sobbed into my hands last night calling myself stupid. Little did she know that just last night I was doubting all the ways my heart has loved and cared for others; with its deep desires, its longing for something real to grab onto, and the need to skip over all the nonsense and jump right into the deep, dark end with another soul.

Stupid for loving hard, for being so vulnerable, and for allowing the opportunity to be broken happen over and over again. Punishing myself for not learning lessons, for continuing to seek the things a person hides beneath, and to tear down walls to create healthier people even if it means pieces of me are lost in the process. Stupid for desiring the deep, connecting relationships that come with an overload of risk.

I asked a friend once why God would allow my heart to be so fragile that it stays in a continued place of brokenness – and this is why. Because God gave me the desire to love others so profoundly and with the sincerity to see the underbelly and not run away or be afraid. Because of these experiences, God uses my readiness to share words to bring hope to others. He’s created me so that in my willingness to be open and transparent, others can find their own opportunities to be brave. He’s made it so that other people can see something He’s placed inside of me and find their own ways to be vulnerable and courageous.

God will use each one of us to bring glory to the Kingdom. Our obedience to tread into the space He calls us is up to us. We get to make the decision to walk the walk He has for us, or not. Sometimes the enemy will have us questioning everything and everyone – doubting who we are and to Whom we belong. The enemy would rather have us imprisoning ourselves for the perceived weaknesses we have rather than stepping into those soft spaces of who we are created to be with bravery and courage.

Last night, the enemy tried his trickery… and it worked – a little bit. In true form, though, my Daddy God wasn’t going to let the voice of the enemy destroy His spirit in me and He directed His daughter to speak His words over me, to refresh my soul, and fill my tank. Obedience is critical when it comes to Kingdom work.

When you see something in someone, speak it out.

When you notice the bravery on that momma in the store, speak it out.

When you see that daddy doing his best at the park with his daughter, speak it out.

When you see your coworker accomplish something she didn’t think she could do, speak it out.

When you see that person you’re not even sure you like very much take a step in humility, speak it out.

When the Lord prompts you to speak into someone else, do it.

None of us fully know what others are facing day to day or what’s happening in another person’s heart. Encouragement is never wasted. Remind someone about how their gifting is making an impact in the Kingdom because the enemy is always on the prowl to take us down! Speak some meaningful truths to someone this week. Tell them the things you like about them and the things that you see God doing through them.

The song: https://youtu.be/1Wk8ZRgXQnY

I did a thing…

I have been back and forth between calling myself a writer or a person who sometimes writes some things that people might read. 

I have been back and forth between calling myself a writer or a person who sometimes writes some things that people might read.

Several times I’ve left my blog for long periods of time. Sometimes because I wasn’t writing and sometimes because it was easier to write on Facebook or Instagram and just skip the blog all together.

I’ve decided this writing thing isn’t the thing for me at least a dozen times. I’ve prayed about it and have been met with silence or a green light and sometimes just more silence. I felt God giving me confirmation about writing a book in the spring of 2018, but then things just got seriously messy and the idea of the book went up on a high, high shelf.

I’ve felt like there are lots of really gifted writers with the perfect audience for them, and I just couldn’t figure out how to do the same or if I even wanted to have an audience.

I really had to sort out my goal. My mission.

So, to help, I did a thing. I became a hope*writer! I know! Why would I become a hope*writer if I didn’t know whether or not I even wanted to write anymore?! I don’t knoooow! ha.

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No, really. I spent a lot of time in prayer about this one and felt complete peace to move forward with the hope*writers team. If you don’t know who hope*writers are “we are a community of working writers dedicated to the success and creativity of each member. Working alone is for hobbyists. If you’re ready to stop dabbling and become a writer who writes words people want to read, join us.”

There’s a link over on the right side of the page with even more information about the community. They only open for new members a couple times every year, so I’m convinced that God lined their membership opening and my specific prayers about writing to happen at the same time for His purposes. He’s crafty that way. 😉

I don’t fully know what this looks like yet – whether I’ll be writing more here or on our Facebook page, but I’ll be working toward some specific goals and I’m excited to be able to share them with you!

Being alone, no more…

I’m not a fan of purposefully challenging the enemy, but I am a big fan of reminding him how big, loving, and amazing my God is and how he might try to pull me off track, but he won’t win. Not this time. 

Since I moved away from home a billion years ago, people have lived with me. Before my man child was born, there were other wanderers and friends that occupied empty spaces in my home. After he was born, it continued initially with my people/friends, and as he got older, with his people/friends. My home has always been a resting place for weary souls who longed for safety and security – and a good meal, who am I kidding. 😉

When the girls left (DIL and grandbabies) in August last year, without warning, I was shattered… and alone. I grieved hard and long for the loss of them in my home and in my everyday life. Of all the people who ever passed through my home, this loss was the most devastating. Not only was my home empty, but I truly felt like my soul was empty. I was angry. At me. At her. At man child. At God. A lot mad at God. I stopped going to church. I stopped believing that anything good would ever be for me. I stopped believing that He cared for me, truly. I mean, how could He? I remember asking a friend during that time why God thought it was a good idea to let me walk around feeling so brokenhearted all the time. I was hurt.

Then, in January, I had a surgery that left me immobile for a time. I realized later that I really needed a time of true rest, true reflection, and, ultimately, true surrender in order to come to peace with so many losses, including the girls – and it came by way of a seriously broken foot! I had a lot of time then to reflect and think about so many things; including my relationship with my Creator.

He brought me to a place where I was finally able to embrace my home and empty space there as a gift and no longer as something that would just hurt me day after day. Lots of good things have come from that space since then! I started to write more, read more, study more, exercise more, eat better, pray more, etc…

And then…

My empty home was needed. Some weary souls needed a resting spot. And, of course, my door opened.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to figure out why my spirit felt all out of whack… little reading, no exercising, eating has been meh, no writing or studying… ah-ha… my solitude and empty spaces, that I’ve learned to cherish over the last several months, have both been filled. I was able to finally come to terms with the emptiness, and it’s been difficult to readjust to the fullness. I was finally able to dedicate my whole self to chasing Him completely, and now have to switch up and redirect some of that dedication to something else again.fa0560f81d8aa15497248bb5808e465b

While I’m figuring out my new normal, the enemy would like me to lose some footing and to fall into a place of complacency and possibly set me up for another period of grieving when the getting emptied happens again. I’m not a fan of purposefully challenging the enemy, but I am a big fan of reminding him how big, loving, and amazing my God is and how he might try to pull me off track, but he won’t win. Not this time.

Galatians 5: 7-8 says: You were running [the race] well; who has interfered and prevented you from obeying the truth? This [deceptive] persuasion is not from Him who called you [to freedom in Christ]. 

This specific scripture is referring to false teachers and allowing them to pull us off the path God has set aside for us, but I believe the enemy falls into that camp as well. The devil can use anything in our lives to try and destroy us. We have to continually be alert and keep our eyes wide open, our hearts tuned into God, and our spirits filled up on the Word.

1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.”

Not today, satan… not today.

Removing Fences

As I was driving home from the grocery store today, I passed through one of the more affluent areas on the way to my apartment – far on the other side of the tracks. =]

I do appreciate beautiful homes with landscaping perfected for magazine covers. Some of these communities had brilliant water features with small ponds and lakes. When I was younger, my mom and I would wander through model homes just to marvel at how lovely they were; the floor plans, the kitchens, the bathrooms, etc…

But today, I saw something a little different. I saw barriers and fences. I saw restrictions and cages. I saw separation and exclusiveness.

The communities I drove by today were all gated. Access code needed. In other words, I wasn’t welcome there. Of course, I didn’t try, but even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to – unless, of course, I was given an invite from a specific person inside the community.

There was suddenly a separation. A me and them. A low people and a high people. A division in classes. It’s always been there, I know… but today I just saw it differently. It was eye-opening. Heart-opening.

I was suddenly aware about how we do this. How Christians do this. How we create a me and a them. A low people and a high people. The houses and the people who live in them didn’t make me sad, I was sad about us as people. As Christ lovers and followers. How many fences and barriers have we put up to keep out the riff raff? How many people feel like they can only approach us with a personal invite? How many people feel incapable to come to us because they fear judgement, harshness, and condemnation?

We are called to foster love, peace, kindness, forgiveness, on and on. And on and on. I wanna be a woman who envelopes the lost, who helps others find freedom, and who is always inclusive. I wanna be a woman who is approachable, unrestricted, and without fences of separation.

That’s what we’re called to do and be. It isn’t always easy. We find comfort in our safe places and in our comfort zones. Gosh, I feel like I know this so much more now after being recently uprooted from my own safe, comfort zone. It’s important to be and stay in community with one another. Yes! We are critical to each other’s growth and we nurture one another. But it can’t stop there.

Can we examine our fences? Can we double check our invites and make sure they aren’t exclusive, but rather inclusive. Let’s gather with people on both sides of the fences. The mes and the thems. Let’s have communities with less separation and more invitation.