Apparently a new writing prompt has been going around many writing circles and this week I’ve been slated to participate, almost as homework. It’s a joy to share these things about myself since I sometimes keep these thoughts close to my vest, so to speak, for fear of something. Of what? I don’t know but writing is a pretty vulnerable thing for me so to share deeper into my personal story and why writing is a place of processing and healing is a daunting thing.
1. Why do I write what I write?
I am beyond amazed at God’s gracious hand in growing this blog, and more specifically growing me as a writer. Previously, I confess, that I had long since abandoned the dream to write something of substance. Part of that was fear of letting the world in on what was happening within me – my thoughts, my feelings, and what makes me tick. The other part was that I would look around and see so many other people writing about the same things I would write about, except they were probably more eloquent and concise, or deeper, or with more feeling, etc than I could be. So, I didn’t write. For years I didn’t write.
Then, in the midst of my adventures around the globe (I was a missionary for 12 years in various capacities), I decided to start writing. This was mainly to communicate with family, friends and my support team about what was going on with me and where & what God had me doing. Then the itch for writing again began to grow and my dream came back. But I still struggled with finding my voice and a vision so I wrote about daily life stuff.
Last winter, I began to pray what God would me to do with this blog. I was either going to shut it down completely or God would give me a vision and I’d write consistently. He decided the latter was better so I’ve been writing ever since. It’s been growth in trusting God, being vulnerable & seeing His faithfulness shine as I’ve stepped out on this venture. It’s hard work.
1. What am I writing or working on?
Currently I am writing on my blog about whatever God brings to mind. I’m pleased to have the commitment to Missional Call where I write about all things missions-related once a month. I have also been featured at She Lives Free as well as at The Ruth Experience in their Storytellers feature.
My passion is to share with women how our daily lives intersect with the Gospel and how we can live out our faith in the daily grind of being a wife, parenting, through our struggles, etc. My desire is to see women living in freedom through their faith, growing in the knowledge and grace of God, because they understand the God of the Bible and why they are so important to Him, knowing their identity in Christ.
I’ve also submitted works to MOPS International, Baker Books & am a contributing writer in the book “101 Secrets to a Happy Marriage” being published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and released in January 2015. I’m currently trying to find time to continue working on my first book about honoring God and obeying Scripture with hard-to-handle people, specifically those who have mental illness. It’s been a long haul on that work but I’m hopeful that it will be complete within the next year.
This past week I’ve been praying about what’s next for this blog. God’s given me an idea, one that’s found elsewhere as well, but this would be for me and for you. I’ll be announcing it in the next couple weeks but I’m also still praying about another opportunity that has come up with virtually the same idea. I’m being cryptic on purpose, but I will spill the beans very soon!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Honestly? I really don’t know. There are so many wonderfully well-known women who are amazing at telling the truth of Scripture to the masses and have hundreds of thousands of followers. I am not that person, though my heart is truly there. I’m a down-to-earth girl who would rather laugh at myself and my failings and be in awe of God’s unrelenting mercy toward me than cover it all up and pretend I know what I’m talking about. Frankly, I’m figuring it all out and write about what I find.
4. How does my writing process work?
It differs day to day. I would like to have enough ideas that I’m writing ahead and scheduling things out. While this is starting to happen (I’m about a week ahead right now), sometimes I’m just plain lazy and don’t feel like writing – so I don’t. I have a ton of drafts with ideas that I’ve started but have yet to get back to. I’ve got things that we’ve done, photos are taken but I don’t feel like sifting through hundreds of photos to do a write-up – this is when you hear about our vacation 4 months ago or not at all because it’s a year later. I need a better system of organizing all my ideas and prioritizing them so they actually make it on the blog!
Usually I write about whatever’s on my mind. It may be Bible-based, a social justice issue (like my passion against human trafficking), daily cuteness in the family with two toddlers. That’s why my blog has a little of everything. Whatever it is that I write, the purpose for it is to encourage others and press them toward Jesus. Granted, when the post is about my daughter’s first day of preschool or my son’s 2nd birthday, it’s hard to write much else on the topic, but in everything else I ask myself if my readers develop a greater understanding of how every day things intersect with the Gospel so that they are encouraged to live in light of their faith. Sometimes this can be tricky, especially if I’m a little “down” that day, but I’ve learned to trust God to turn my perspective around the longer I’m sharing His Word in the circumstances I’m writing about.
I typically write during nap time, that is if the housework can wait and I can switch our meal plans to make something that doesn’t need as much prep. Or I write at night after the kids are in bed while my husband is doing his own “research” for things like …. I simply sit down and write a draft. Then I go find a great photo that fits well enough, sometimes from my own stash and sometimes for free online. I use PicMonkey or Canva to make a title image, upload it and viola! The blog post is then scheduled to publish at a later date. Then I edit it about 50 times before it does actually publish.
Finally, I promised that I would announce TWO WINNERS of the fabulous book bundles I’m giving away when this blog reached 1,000 readers. Guess what!? IT HAS!!! so without further adeui…
Congratulations go to Jill S. & Ashley P.!!! I will email you shortly with your book bundles!