I’ve been posting – just not on this particular blog.
Every week in September, I guest posted at the Arkansas Women Bloggers site (I was Blogger of the Month, and here’s one of my posts, called “The Power of Community.”) I’ve posted a few times at my “big sister blog,” Suzy & Spice (the one I’ve been publishing since 2007). That included an ambassador post for Project STIR, something my friend Sarah launched last month to highlight family recipes around the globe. My family recipe was Nanny’s pickles, and my cousins and I had a grand time with our memories and some old photos. Sarah also is spotlighting each of her ambassadors on her own blog. (Check out my spotlight here.)
And I’ve been doing a lot more than blogging, but I won’t bore you with the mundaneness of that.
To be honest, the real reason I haven’t posted here in two months is that I’ve been all up in my head, trying to figure out a few things.
I’m a little clearer on some things now, and I want to share what’s been going on in there (in my head).
I had been focusing too much on figuring out the best ways to make money with my writing and editing, with wellness coaching, with whatever.
Someday I want to have the freedom to work for myself, but in the meantime I want to be able to pay off mortgages (ours and my mom’s house, which Bruce and I bought from her), medical bills and credit card balances (partly as a result of medical bills). I have a full-time job, and all the extra stuff in my life has to happen before or after 8-5.
I hate having debt. I teach people how to get free from debt and live financially free, and I feel like a huge hypocrite for having monthly payments.
Also, Bruce and I like to be generous as much as we can, and we’d like to be able to help more people and causes with our income.
So my focus has been on 1) figuring out how to make more money, 2) spending time with Mom and Bruce and 3) surviving.
I had a crisis of confidence. I was trying to learn how to “monetize my blog” while remaining true to my stated purpose: helping people recognize and fulfill their God-given purpose in the world.
Somewhere along the way I started listening to the voices (some inside my head, some from other “advisers”) that said I couldn’t tell it like it is. That I couldn’t let you see me sweat. I should be an expert, no chinks in the armor.
While being “authentic.”
For me, authentic means I have to let you see behind the curtain. Just like the great and powerful Oz, I’ve been back there pulling levers, pushing buttons, spinning wheels … trying to make it all work.
But, unlike the Wizard of Oz, I want to draw back the curtain and let you see.
TELL ME THE TRUTH
If you’ve known me for more than 30 seconds, you know I like to cut to the chase. Euphemisms and flowery talk give me a headache. I want you to tell me the truth – straight up, no chaser.
That’s how I’m most comfortable communicating, and it’s how I like for people to speak to me. Tell me the truth … in a loving and respectful way, of course … but just tell me the truth.
Until a few days ago, I had been tied up in knots about how to move forward.
But, as Providence would have it, I’ve been enjoying some really good input lately, in the form of great books and a phenomenal online summit. I listened to some good truth-tellers – people who are successful despite (because of?) their habit of being open, authentic and vulnerable. (I like that a lot better.)
My friends, the entire reason I started this blog, the reason I got a wellness-coaching certification, the reason I’m brave enough to write this, is that I think I have a few relevant things to say to you.
Because I’m a mess. A work in progress.
Because God’s not finished with me yet.
Because this diamond-in-the-rough has figured out a few things that I think might help others. Some of my rough edges are starting to become smoother, stroke by stroke of the Master’s hand.
I’M WEIRD FOR A REASON
I used to ask God why He made me this way. I now believe it’s 1) because I’m unique, and that’s by design, and 2) so that I can help others. So that I can say, See, I overcame this, and I don’t think you’re so weird, but if you need to work on some things I’m here to walk beside you – to talk you down off the ledge, if you’re on one.
God took an excruciatingly shy little girl – one with hang-ups, fears, doubts and small thinking – and spoke His words of truth into her heart, gave her the will to change, and told her that her ability to overcome her hang-ups and fears and be a confident, bold woman could help others by example.
Every day, He still whispers His truths to me (on the days he’s not having to smack me upside the head and SHOUT them).
So, whether I make a dime with my coaching or freelance writing/editing or whether this remains a part-time gig just for evenings and weekends, I’m here to let it all hang out and hope that my policy of speaking truth in love gives you a safe place to be yourself, to work through your stuff, no matter whether your “stuff” is big or small.
I leave you with one of my favorite Point of Grace songs, “Heal the Wound.” Listen to the words.
If any of these words – mine or the songwriters’ – strike a chord with you, please share this post and ask a friend to subscribe. Share online, email someone … just share. It’s free. 🙂
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8 Tips for Saying No Graciously