Oh, how do I love blogging? Let me count the ways:
I love creating art with words.
I love sharing my family’s crazy antics.
I love encouraging women along in their family-life journey.
But what I love most of all about blogging, is sharing the hope that Jesus Christ offers every woman for her family.
Even so, the Lord is teaching me that while this type of medium certainly has its place in building-up Christian women, many aspects of blogging can be shallow, and even hazardous to a believer’s spiritual health and family well-being.
I recently wrote a post about why I’ve chosen to “drip” as a Christian blogger. And I have to say, dripping is serving me well, as it helps me to continue to enjoy my family and meet their needs in a meaningful way.
But I haven’t always chosen to drip. In fact, in times past I’ve revved up my writing engine to full capacity and proceeded to charge full
steam speed ahead.
So the lessons I’ve learned over the past 10 years of blogging took a while to sink into my thick skull – and my heart. And by far, the biggest (and hardest to apply) lesson I’ve learned thus far is:
As good and God honoring as Christian blogging can be, there are pitfalls to beware of, and boundaries that should be set in place.
With that said, here are a few things that I keep in mind to help me maintain my mental health and testimony before my family as I blog:
Stewardship of Time
Social media, no matter how “holy” and God glorifying it may be, can lead us as Christians down a slippery slope of being poor stewards of our time.
For instance, to help me grow my blogging platform, I choose to publicize it around the web using various social media outlets.
I use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to accomplish this goal, which is bloody time consuming! But I do it because I often feel compelled to see the numbers of my likes, followers, and subscribers grow.
Who is compelling me? (Probably not Jesus.)
Why do I need to see more growth? (I’ll get back to you on that one.)
Just how much of a following is enough? (Cricket. Cricket.)
I don’t have the answers to these questions.
If I’m not careful (and prayerful), my quest to acquire “more” will consume me. (As it has in the past.) It’s something I have to constantly put before the Lord.
Preoccupation with Technology
I have this personal conviction that I will NOT become a person whose phone has become an extension of her hand.
I am adamantly against that.
In fact, I wrote this post to help remind moms to choose their children over their phones, because everywhere I look I observe women peering into their phone instead of into the eyes of their child.
This wasn’t an issue when I was raising my (older) kids, but I fear that my Millennial daughters will be seduced by the lure of the forbidden fruit (aka their apple iPhones) and regularly breastfeed with one hand, while texting with the other.
I’m almost mortified when I see that a blogger has a Facebook response time of “answers immediately.”
It makes me wonder – how do they know if someone has messaged them, if they are not checking their phone constantly to respond to notifications?
While that response time might be desirable for Facebook, what does that look like behind the scenes for the family of that blogger?
I only ponder this because it’s something I’ve struggled with personally.
I’ve tried to respond immediately so that I could earn the “answers immediately” badge of honor. That was until one of my girls said, “Mom, you’re always on your phone.”
That certainly touched a nerve. Then I was done.
Why doesn’t Facebook have a response time that says: Doesn’t answer immediately – too busy baking with the kids/making memories/enjoying the family/dating her husband?
Do we ever unplug or disconnect?
If I want my children to NOT be preoccupied with technology, then I must be a good example for them.
And even with this knowledge, there have been times when I’ve trespassed my own conviction in an attempt to grow my blog. (The struggle is real!)
An Off-Balance Life Leads to Family Disintegration
It’s scaring me…what I see happening to Christian women of influence in the blogging world.
They have climbed so high and have super large platforms (Bible studies, books, etc.), yet behind the scenes their homes are falling apart.
I have prayed and cried my eyes out for these women of God. Seriously, I am so hurt for them; especially because I’ve become so connected to them through their ministry, and I know they love their families.
And while I am in NO WAY insinuating that they are responsible for the sin of others (because they certainly are not), I do ask my self what went wrong; and while I may have a hunch or two on the matter, it remains just that – a hunch.
Only the Lord knows the heart of man, so I’ll stick to praying for the restoration of their home and mind my own business.
Yet, because I do not want to experience those outcomes by over extending myself with Welcome Home Ministry, I’ll have to be vigilant in finding a healthy balance between blogging and my primary ministry: my family.
Creating More White Space in My Day
To help guard against loosing my family while I blog my heart out for “God’s glory” (as if such a thing even existed), I have to put healthy parameters in place.
I did a summer Bible study on sabbath rest and learned the importance of having “white space” in my sabbath day.
White space is a time when you have nothing to do. It helps you to slow down, reorient your thoughts, and focus on God. Now that I have learned this principle I embrace it.
I have also come to realize that the principle of “white space” should apply to my daily home-life as well.
I need to have ample white space and down time in my day to interact with God, my husband, and my children in a non-rushed and meaningful way.
Most of us who value and cherish family-life know that quality time is born out of inordinate amounts of quantity time so, it can’t necessarily be scheduled.
This is why I’ve chosen to “drip” on this blog – to create more white space in my day. It’s a small step I’m taking to NOT allow ministry to derail my home-life.
One small step as a blogger. One giant leap for my family.
Shared with love where I party!