I recently started writing a book. This book is my heart on paper, my grieving process in words. I spent countless hours writing with inspiration, writing like my life depended on it. I wrote close to 10,000 words in a matter of about a week and a half, probably. That’s three chapters of intentional words, which might not seem like a lot, but ask anyone trying to write something sensical and inspired. It’s not not a lot.
Then, I entered another hard season of grief. The grief that I was so inspired to write about overcoming and my hope to encourage others how to survive and thrive, overcame me yet again. So I stopped writing.
Before I stopped writing, I was considering starting a blog, for the sole purpose of advertising my book. Not a great reason to start a blog, so I didn’t pull the trigger. Until this past week when inspiration struck. I wrote what I knew, what I felt, and what was revelation to me. It felt natural and wasn’t the least bit forced. I titled it Here and Gone. Maybe you’ve read it.
Can I take a quick detour and say thank you? My first ever blog post was received really well. It reached a decent amount of people for me being an ordinary stay-at-home mother and housewife. I received positive feedback and was thanked for my words. I should be the one thanking you, though. All I’m doing here is sharing my life and the things I’m learning while living it. Thank you for finding value and encouragement from the words I’m sharing.
Getting back on track, I suddenly felt a pressure. Am I a blogger now? I would hardly call myself a blogger after one mildly successful blog post. But is this something God wants me to be doing? Sharing more?
Suddenly the questions became mildly all-consuming. Is that even a thing? Something being both mild and all-consuming? Probably not. Hah. Whoops. That’s kind of how it felt though! My concern is, there is so much pressure on social media to be themed. Filtered. You can have a lifestyle blog. A fitness blog. A travel blog. A fashion blog. A food blog. A DIY blog. A faith blog.
The questions continued. What’s my blog? Am I doing this regularly now? Do I need an instagram account associated with this blog? What filter do I use for the photos so there is a consistent aesthetic them? Do I want natural, neutral tones or bright, vibrant colors for this nonexistent instagram account?
Suddenly, my mind turned my natural, unforced blog post from a peaceful, lunchtime revelation into a full-time job. This after a couple of facebook shares and some encouraging comments.
Rachael. Slow your roll.
Have you ever been there, though? You do something one time and suddenly you feel kind of obligated to do it responsibly, regularly, and with excellence? Maybe obligated isn’t quite the right word. Excited? I kind of feel obligated and excited.
Being a stay-at-home mom with a three and one year old while continually grieving and processing significant loss can be… a lot… sometimes. And sometimes it’s a little empty too. I don’t have a job that I can go to and turn my mom-mode off or distract myself from my emotions, even if only for a little. So when I get the chance to share with others, it becomes kind of exciting. And that excitement becomes thrilling. And that thrill turns into adrenaline that makes me nose dive into something new. Then that something new turns into an exhausting pursuit, an obligation. An obligation to give people what I think they want rather than what I have to offer.
So, instagram filters, consistent aesthetics, and themed blog posts aside…
Hi. I’m Rachael. I like to talk about how much Jesus loves me even when and especially when I’m overly emotional and throw 27-year-old temper tantrums. I like to share healthy and yummy recipes with my friends. I like to talk about exercise, because exercise is fun. I like to grieve openly and honestly with those who will listen with a gentle and kind heart, and find hope in the process.
I’m a little scatterbrained. I have two kids, which could be an excuse. But honestly, that’s just the person I’ve always been soooo… there’s really no true excuse. Just being real.
With all of that personal info in mind, I had to ask myself, what exactly am I doing here? The answer? Just being real.
You won’t find filters here. That might make this “blog” crash and burn rather quickly. It won’t catch eyes by how shiny and consistent it is, and it won’t catch the attention of any one specific people group. It probably won’t be brought up during a google search. Just being real.
How about you? Do you feel pressure to be a “filtered” person? An obligation to be consistently put together to attract a certain crowd? Do you feel the need to avoid certain conversations because they don’t flow with the vibe you’re creating, or the persona you are trying to put into the world?
Or maybe you just give up something you are excited about because you feel like you aren’t up for the challenge of pursuing whatever you are doing with the world’s definition of “excellence”. In my case, I’m no good at instagram filters, wisely planned hashtags, and themes.
Friends, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Uniquely made. Intentionally made. Purposefully made. And we all have different ideas of what’s valuable and important. For me, putting time and effort into capturing the perfect picture to stick with an aesthetic theme is not important. Deciding against sharing the recipe for the Zucchini Pumpkin Oat bars I made this week that I’m super excited about because it doesn’t fit with a faith and grief blog theme is not important.
I enjoy soaking in others’ perfect aesthetics and themes, so if you’re one of those people, I admire your abilities and the beauty you share inspires me! But that is simply not something I feel like I can put emotional energy into. Not to mention that kind of eye and organization is not in my natural skillset. It wouldn’t be authentic for me.
What is authentic is me showing up here to tell you one day that I’m broken and the next day that I’m eating an organic zucchini pumpkin oat bar for breakfast. If you want the recipe, I got you.
All of these words to say, do you. But do you if you are kind. Do you if you are authentic. Do you if you are trying to build others up. Do you if you are broken in need of mending.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You are unique and made with purpose. You have a purpose here on Earth. I’m still figuring out what my purpose is, but I’d like to share what gives me life along the way.
Won’t you join me? What gives you life? What gives you purpose?