The last blog post that was published on this website before last Tuesday was on September 8th. That was over 2 months ago! 2 months!
I wish I could say that this is the first time that there has been a gap in content on our little alley of the web, but it is not. Far from it, actually. I’ve lost count of how many times life has gotten in the way of cleaning out that file cabinet in my brain that holds all my creative ideas for writing, crafting, sewing, and other things. I mean, how long has it taken me to finish the pregnancy series? YEARS! Having given birth 5 times, I should be able to write that in my sleep.
This time? It wasn’t really health issues, as much. I have had a few things slowing me down, but that didn’t keep me from blogging. It has actually been 3 things that have kept me from being able to just sit and sort out those brain files. 1: I’ve been busy relearning how to serve my family best after a few chaotic years. 2: I’ve been in a season of stretching and growth. It has been painful, y’all. For real. But I am thankful for what the outcome will be. 3: I went on a trip. Alone. Without my kids or husband. For TEN DAYS! I had never done that before! Leading up to my departure, I made myself a bunch of clothes since I have now lost over 90 lbs since April 2014. I was busy!
So now, I am easing back in to “normal”. I sit down to my laptop and remember all the rules of blogging and laugh. There is no way I have the ability or time for it. Not at all. Why? Well, since you asked…
I even procrastinate procrastinating. Well, that is what my husband tells me, but I will admit he is probably correct there. When I was younger I only procrastinated things that I was not interested in. These days, nothing is exempt. I worry about being too tired to get something just right. Though when the time comes, I’m not much of a perfectionist. I have no reason or rhyme for why I do this, I guess. I am trying REALLY hard to overcome it though! If you have any tips, please share!
I used to be a lot better in this area, but something happened as I got older. I’m not really sure when I lost all those rules I memorized. I was never great at putting commas and colons where they belonged, but now I just stare at a sentence and then finally say, “I really don’t care.” Awful, I know. When my son begins learning about these things it will probably come back to me and you will likely see a difference in how I put things. Until then, I deeply apologize. (I’m sorry, Emily, Tasha, and other grammar lovers. I’m sure you cringe when you read my posts!)
There was a time that I had BIG dreams for blogging. BIG. If I was going to do this, I was going to do everything just so and I was going to keep up with everything there was to know as it changed repeatedly… Then I hit a burn out. I was tired. With all of my reading and listening, I wasn’t really getting anywhere. What did I have to show for it? Days wasted that could have been spent with my family. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did learn a lot of things that actually did help! However, when I let go, asked God to have His way with this little ministry, and just went with the flow it was then that our blog seemed to begin thriving again. I should have known better. Sorry, Lord!
The same goes for schedules and being consistent… This used to be doable. Currently? No. Just no. Not just because I procrastinate, but because my life changes rapidly and constantly. I realized one day that with my family and the health issues I have, there is no way that I can guarantee anyone anything that I can not do right then at that moment. It was so hard to learn how to say no, but making that rule for myself has caused me to not feel overwhelmed. Now if I could just stop giving myself unnecessary deadlines and then beating myself up emotionally over not keeping it. (Okay, I may have actually punched myself a few times… I’m kidding… or am I?) If my husband doesn’t care that I didn’t cross off something on my to do list for the day, then why am I distraught? Silly, I know. I’m working on it.
If you read back through some of my older posts that have affiliate links, you will see I tried. I really tried. We had banner ads, links, affiliate discount codes, the works. But it just didn’t seem natural for me. I prayed about it, because along with the blogging rules, it was causing part of my burnout. Lo and behold, God put it in someone’s heart to cover our hosting costs for Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven every year. The pressure was gone! Thank you, Jesus! Now, don’t get me wrong… When I buy something online, I try to remember to use a blogger’s affiliate link. I enjoy seeing deals in my Facebook feed from other bloggers. I love to see what someone’s favorite cleaning products, books, fabric stores, sewing notions, and homeschool curricula are. I have nothing against anyone who monetizes! I don’t even have a problem with those who blog for ministry that are monetized. In fact, I believe God has blessed those families in allowing that to work out for them! As for me and my blog, it did not please the Lord. Maybe someday I will have a switch in my brain that flips and then I will be able to naturally fit in affiliate links, banners, and all that stuff and it work. Never if it isn’t more than 14-78 cents a month though… if that… (Really, that is about what I averaged. Ugh.) and never on Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven. God spoke loud and clear to me on this one. Not gonna do it!
I have friends that can type out several posts an hour. Obviously, these friends don’t have ADHD and anxiety. I will be typing right along and WHOOP! there was a flash of color on the other side of the room and an hour later I will remember that I was writing a blog post. Really. Sometimes I will over proofread what I have written to the point that it makes little sense because I worry that I will be taken the wrong way or that I put a comma where there should be a colon. (Which is why I now just don’t care… Too much time wasted! This occurred to me when I noticed the wrong punctuation on another blog and thought, “Hey! I know where her heart was in writing this. This silly mark on the screen made no difference in what I took from this!” And freedom was born…) Add in there that I usually have at least 1 child awake while I am, and if all children are asleep then I actually have a chance to sit in silence with my husband if he is not traveling for work… Yeah, my kids seem to have something wrong with me keeping my thought process on track. I’m sure your kids never interrupt you. HA! Just kidding. 😉
This kind of has to do with the above mentioned lack of monetization. You’re probably like me and don’t have an abundance of money floating around. Since this blog does not bring in an income, I cannot justify spending much money on it. Everything on this blog is done by someone who contributes to it. We don’t spend money on graphics or stock photos. We don’t spend money on design (and it shows! 😉 ) or schedulers. Sometimes I wish we could, because many of those things would make it all easier and prettier… But I just can’t.
This shocks you, right? Not. I can’t stick to one topic. Sure, this is a Christian Mommy blog, for the most part. But we talk about everything on here. In fact, I would say it leans more towards “Christian Mommies that write a lot about Christian Womanhood.” I would probably like to write more often about sewing, crafting, cooking, baking, etc. as well. Hmm, maybe I will… You know, someday. Not now. I’m not setting a deadline either. Should that period of have been a comma? Oh well…
Now, not everyone who has a blog is sacrificing their family to keep up their post count. That is obviously not true! However, our family has more than a few unique situations that cause me to have to come and go from the blogging world. This used to really stress me out. I used to feel like a loser if I didn’t publish a post on schedule… you know, the schedule that I developed myself. Isn’t that silly? But then, I FINALLY handed it all over to God and my priorities became clear. My first ministry is my family. If I can do more outside of that and God is willing to allow it, that is wonderful! However, during this season of my life, my focus is at home. Everything else is icing. Not long after the Holy Spirit helped me realize that my guilt was a lie put in my mind by the enemy to make me feel as though I was letting God and everyone else down by not getting a post up (I know, that had to be ridiculous to read… It was humiliating and painful to type!) I was checking my email one night and read this post from Preschoolers and Peace. I remember I sent it to Emily as her and I had been having a similar discussion. She sent a nice reply saying she liked it and agreed, but she probably wanted to say, “Duh, Angie. Duh.” Being Emily is very Southern though, she’d be more likely to just say, “Bless your heart.” Anyways, with that, the guilt was gone. I still have times where I miss writing all.the.time. But years from now, I would rather the memories of my family than the memories of my laptop screen and blogging binder… Which brings us to…
I have a HUGE blogging binder. It is gorgeous from an organization perspective. You would not believe how detailed it is! Why so detailed? I don’t know! But I remember that I had a reason for every bit of it in there at the time. It is about 5 inches thick and includes every type of blogging related document that I would ever need… Except I have a hard time remembering to use it. As of this moment it has been inside a cubby of my coffee table for… um, not sure, but a long time… and really needs to be moved to a better place if not re-purposed. Now, when we attempted monetizing the blog, it was so handy and kept me sane. I had quite a few of my ideas and deadlines for reviews written out, many of the sites that we were affiliates with listed, the list goes on. But when I don’t keep up with it, it just becomes a mess and an anchor. An anchor that holds me down and makes me not like blogging. I will admit that I have been thinking of bringing a smaller version of it back in to play here soon, but it will probably be more like a notebook and less like an encyclopedia.
So after all that, why do I do it all? The first reason is that I genuinely feel like the Lord wants this website up. In 2011 when it began, I had already had several blogs that were similar and felt like they had run their course. My 2 followers disagreed, but I was done. Then God began to lead me back to it little by little and I followed. He seems to have a purpose here, and if that purpose is for the sake of just 1 person, then it is worth it. So until He tells me to stop, I will continue. I do enjoy writing. I love to encourage others. I am blessed greatly when readers encourage me in one way or another. But what it really all comes down to is Jesus… and that is why no matter how terrible I am at blogging this site stays up.