Love God. Love others.
That’s what it’s all about, right?
On Saturday I had it all figured out.
I did enjoy a couple of lovely days of rest. Calming the impending anxiety by telling myself that I was loved by God and it was ok not to be productive.
Remembering that loving others doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s being kind, serving, speaking life to, and just enjoying my “neighbor”.
Reading an especially poignant blog post about who my “neighbor” really is was the icing on the joy cake that I was gobbling up over the weekend.
And, as so often happens, something shiny caught my attention and led me down a rabbit trail.
I was still loving. Still resting for a while. Just thinking about this shiny enticement. Well, maybe doing a little “research” so I would know the right move to make when the time came.
Then “working up a few ideas”.
You know, “just for fun”.
“Just in case.”
The shiny thing was someone’s perspective on the blog traffic I’m currently getting. How it could potentially be fairly profitable. How I could really take the bull by the horns and make it something special.
I guess the good thing is that I already think it’s something special. All the Pinterest traffic notwithstanding.
This blog is special to me because I love it. It brings me joy. It’s a creative outlet. It has connected me to gobs of amazing women.
It’s a place for me. I can tinker around with how it looks. I can pour my heart and soul onto its pages.
I can ignore it for a week.
The seemingly elusive idea that this blog could become something BIG is an idea that I love and fear.
I love it because cooking is a passion of mine and I get so happy when people make my recipes and feel more confident cooking for themselves and their families. I also love it because the journey I’m on in my walk with God has been so life-giving to me and if any of my own experiences and stories could help or encourage anyone else, I’d consider that the greatest reward of all.
I fear it because I feel so ignorant about the business side of blogging. It’s like all the other bloggers know what to do with ads and search engine optimization and everything and, try as I might, I just can’t seem to get a handle on all of it.
I’m a smart girl! I have a college degree and there are some aspects of blogging that just confuse the HECK out of me.
Maybe there’s a secret internet where they get all their questions answered.
This idea led me on a rabbit trail that included the thought that I should re-design my blog. I started believing that no one would take my recipes seriously if they visited my site and saw birds on a branch instead of pots and pans.
There are 23,677+ pins of my most popular recipes that tell me I’m wrong.
There’s also my gut that tells me to take things one step at a time. Keep posting recipes I love because it brings me joy. Keep writing the things God is showing me because it’s good for me to see them in black and white and maybe they could help one other person.
Forget the re-design for now. I can do it in a month or six months or a year or never.
I don’t think my blog looking like this:
or something professionally designed and WAY BETTER those mock-ups of mine will make that much difference right now.
So I’m stepping away from my obsessive clipart searches and graphic designer wannabe sessions and taking a deep breath.
I’m walking back to the main road from the deep rabbit trail and soaking up all the things around me.
The little ordinary sights around here that are NOT glowing from a computer screen.
Rabbit trails aren’t the worst thing that could happen, but they are a distraction from our present lives. From the things God is saying to us and from the people around us.
At least they are for me. I tend to take off running and don’t even think about where I’m going until I’m figuratively doubled over and out of breath. Wondering why I’m exhausted and irritable.
Yeah, no thanks. I’ll stay right where I am and follow the blog growth as I feel led to instead of hunting it down like prey.
For now I’m going to notice the things in my actual life. The little things like these…
I love that bringing the camera out to practice has resulted in documentation of our everyday life.
More highly random photos comin’ at ya, I’m sure :)
I love you girl! And, I’m so proud of you for putting your real, authentic self all over this blog. I know several people (including myself) that would rather look at your random photos and read your eloquent and raw words more than any other big blogger out there. Plus, there’s a lot to be said for your God-given talent as a writer… any Joe Schmo can throw them self out there and turn a profit from a blog, but few can capture their heart and thoughts into words like you can. Keep your focus on being your real true self and you won’t be able to stop the followers from coming :)
I truly enjoy that your blog is so real and authentic. All of your posts really feel like they are from the heart. Not that people who make a living off their blogs are not genuine in their posts, but somehow it just feels different knowing that they, either directly or subliminally, are trying to sell me something. Your blog has definitely helped me to learn to cook (I’m actually making your broccoli chicken supreme tonight) and helped me start thinking about how I want to do parenting when the times comes. Also, your girls are adorable and I love to hear about their antics, haha.
Megan thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to leave a comment :) It looks like you are from TX, but I wish you lived in MI so we could chat face to face. I’d love to cook a few dinners together and talk about whatever is on our hearts :) Your kind words were such an encouragement to me as I work through my ideas about the future of my blog. One thing is for sure…I’m gonna keep it real and authentic first and foremost. No posts just for revenue around here. Let me know if there’s anything you’d love to learn how to cook and I can do a dedicated post! Have a wonderful week :)
Love this. Glad you got back on your track and I have to say because you know me.. I loved the new and revised second idea and I think you should just DO IT!!! I know you hate me :) Just saying.. Since you already poured your energy into what would be with the harm of changing it :) SORRY!! xoxox
Thank you for being a faithful reader and friend! I may still do a redesign, but not until I get my heart back in the right place. I’m glad you liked the second idea…I really do too!
Kristin @ In Between the Piles says
Thank you for this post. :-) I’m new to the world of blogging (like, a little over a month under my belt as a blogger new), but it’s hard to not be pulled into the “What if one day my blog became a blog like the one that caused me to fall in love with blogging?” I know that so few do out of ALL of the many blogs out there. It’s hard not to get caught up in the “How many times was my post liked on Facebook or comments did I receive or page views were generated?” Like you, my main goal is to hopefully help (even if only one other person) someone feel less alone and more connected in this busy world. Like other blogs have helped me to feel. More in community. By the way, I like your birds and branches and would still enjoy your blog with a different header. It’s about the contents (the ingredients and love poured in) that makes the best blogs.
Kristin, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! You better believe I’m adding your blog to my reader :) If you ever have any questions as you work on your blog, feel free to reach out to me! I honestly love to help people with their blogs in any way I can. My #1 favorite thing about blogging is the connection with other women, and that’s really my ultimate measure of success. I’m experimenting with the ads since I figure they shouldn’t bother anyone too much and may help me fund the conferences I like to attend each year. OR at least a grande Starbucks on rough days :)
Kristin at In Between the Piles says
Just so you know, you made my day!! I’m hoping maybe this year to attend the Influence Network Conference. :-) We’ll see. :-)