Anyone who is subscribed to get my sporadic blog updates (not my newsletter – that’s super consistent, but my blog updates…) knows that I haven’t written much since Stephen was born almost 6 months ago now, except for a couple “major event” type updates (trips to London and Fiji). And if you’ve been subscribed to my blog for a long time, you know that it has never been consistent and that it’s been what I’ve always called a “mixed use” blog – sharing insights and resources related to my personal journey in sustainable living, topics related to my consulting work in natural health and ethical marketing, and stories of my family’s happenings… all somewhat randomly as I’m able to find time to write (not often) around life with my saint of a husband, 5 amazing crazy kids, and business and volunteer priorities.
I have always said, “I’m not a blogger, I’m a consultant with a blog.” And a big part of why my blog so often gets neglected is because I’m busy enough each day answering email inquiries that come in to my inbox for my consulting business that I just don’t get time to write on my blog. As much as I sometimes think, “Oh, yeah, I should really start writing weekly (let alone daily?! maybe at least bi-monthly) blog posts with valuable content related to my business in order to drive traffic to my website” etc etc, I already have strong “traffic” to my inbox and just have to be gracious with myself in this season of life to know that I just can’t crank out that much blog content right now with my young family and the consulting work and educational events I do for people, both offline locally and online across the globe.
But that’s just the time and priorities, or logistical piece, of my challenge. There’s also the inner-me, deeper aspects of all this.
Part of my hang up is that I have a love-hate relationship with writing – I love it, therefore I am crazy picky about what I write, and thus it sometimes takes me ‘forever’ to write and revise to find the best way to communicate what I want to say, and the time suck makes me ‘hate’ it… not because I don’t enjoy the process (I could get lost in writing for days and enjoy every minute of it), but because time with my family is so important to me (one day, I’ll write a post about my thoughts on the relationship between work and family priorities).
The other, huge piece of my somewhat schizo approach to blogging has been that, as I have gained greater clarity over the past couple years on my life’s message and mission, and my specific giftings and callings, I realize more and more that, while yes, I’m deeply passionate about natural health and sustainable living, and love consulting with people on these topics, and cherish the relationships formed in doing so, and am incredibly grateful for the financial provision through this meaningful work… I don’t so much enjoy writing about these topics…
a) I prefer the two-way communication and relationship of consulting work, and have lots of that already, so the one-way communication of writing falls to the side.
b) There are SO many people writing about these topics today – from both the surface-level “how-to” perspectives, and also from the research/science-based “why-do” perspectives. But my passion for this realm of work is engaging people on the deeper thought patterns and physical/emotional/spiritual reasons (the ‘why-be’ reasons I’d like to call them) behind these topics and life choices.
Here’s an example… I have a dear offline friend who writes amazing real-food recipes (among other things). She is passionate about it, gifted in it… Check out her blog Real Food Outlaws. I have such mad respect for and appreciation of Sarah – she provides an incredible service to people around the globe, and I love her for it.
But me? I would go nuts and be bored out of my mind if I had to write recipe posts all the time. While I appreciate these ‘how-tos’, it’s just not my passion, my niche, or my life’s message, or my voice (besides the fact that I rarely use recipes – we just eat most of our foods raw, or lightly steamed/baked/boiled and seasoned, very simply… just using ‘recipes’ as an example for this context of a ‘how-to’ type of resource out there). I’d rather refer you all to Sarah for the how-to’s, but have deep conversations on or offline with you about the many reasons why eating real food is so important, physically, emotionally, spiritually…
When I first developed my site, I chose the tagline, “seeking restoration of sustainable life… personally, professionally, and spiritually.” It’s neat now to look back and see how it still applies so aptly. And as we draw toward the end of 2013, I find myself gaining even greater clarity on my life and business and how interconnected it all is.
People so often want to compartmentalize personal and business and keep them separate – or maybe reveal just enough personal in business to be viewed as a real person, in this day and age of social media.
I can’t do that.
My business and personal sides are so intimately connected at my core that I can’t separate the two. They go hand in hand. It’s critical to me that any work – paid or volunteer – that I do in life align with my core values… how I think, who I am, and most importantly who God is shaping me to be as I continue each day in my journey of following the real Jesus (not who pop-culture and/or some misguided church cultures make Him out to be). And in turn, my business plays a critical role in financially supporting our family desire to serve the world in big volunteer-type ways. I have no interest in achieving a luxury life. I am pursuing a life of impact, where our resources are spent only on our basic needs – which can include an occasional ‘luxury’ since I think the human heart needs those touches of extraordinary beauty now and then, but also to find deep joy and contentment in the every day “little” beauties (oiy – another future blog post… someday when I have time) – and any financial gain above and beyond our basic needs is invested into equipping and empowering others…
Ack! I get so jazzed about all that God is doing sometimes, that it’s hard to communicate in writing…
So, what does all this mean for my blog going forward?
At this point in my journey, I’m giving myself permission to let go of feeling like I “need” to be writing more surface level ‘how-to’ articles on natural health and sustainable living. I’m giving myself permission to use my blog to share my thought patterns and deeper whys behind the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of my choices in life, and thereby to hopefully inspire others to tap deeply and mindfully into the incredible connection between our human hearts and the Creator of all the universe. I’m giving myself permission to fully use my blog as the space where I keep people posted on our family’s journey into a life of service and sacrifice. And I’m giving myself permission to just write as often as I can around life with my family, business, and volunteerism – which may actually prove now to be more often since the role of my blog is now more fully aligned with my heart, rather than also feeling like I need to use that space for topics related to my consulting work. Or maybe it won’t be more often – because man, my kids are a joy and I love spending time with them, learning from them perhaps even more so than they learn from me. And that’s OK, too. Will post when I can, and in the meantime keep adding to my “to write” list of topics… Which could maybe even turn into a book someday… We shall see. 🙂
My free newsletter – which comes out consistently the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month – will still be a place for great ‘how-to’ resources on natural health and sustainable living. And if you want to keep posted on the broader journey of my life, my reasons for doing things, and our family as we pursue a crazy vision (oh yeah, if you’re new to my blog – my husband quit his job in June and we’re aiming to move to the UK this coming summer), then look for the “subscribe for blog updates” box on the right.
To all who are reading this, whoever you are, thank YOU for “hearing” my heart in what I write – whether in newsletters or blog posts – and for all your love, prayers, and support. xoxo 🙂