Learning to blog is a spiritual journey for Christian bloggers. This article describes 5 shocking things you will learn about yourself as you start down the road of Christian blogging.
For people like me who are not naturally technological, the whole experience of learning to blog on WordPress.org will stretch you. Whenever you feel stressed or under pressure, you know that things are going to come to the surface about your character that will shock you. I thought I was a pretty spiritually mature person before I started learning to blog two months ago. Not so, I learned a have a lot of areas I need to grow in! Very humbling.
So, if you are on this learning-to-blog-journey with me, the following are some things the process will reveal to you about your spiritual life.
1. Do You Really Trust God?
When you do something wrong in coding and your webpage reveals the “white screen of death”, what do you do?
I am sad to say, my first instinct when this happened was not to pray nor to remind myself God is with me and He is helping me. I felt all those uncomfortable panic feelings and then desperately tried to fix it myself. When I could not fix it, I got all worked up and started to cry out of frustration.
I am learning slowly when stuff like that happens to step away from the computer, pray, repeat some encouraging scriptures about God’s love and help for me, and then come back in faith. I have a note on my computer now quoting Psalm 37:5 “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you”. I put another sticky on my computer that says “Problem? Step away and pray!”.
Blogging showed me my trust and dependence on God was not as strong as I once believed and has prompted me to put reminders right on the computer to deal with this.
2. How Easy is it for You to Pull Yourself Out of Discouragement?
I desperately hate the feeling of failure. When things took longer than I expected or did not go the way I had planned, those feelings hit me.
However, to learn new things, most human beings will need to make a few mistakes learning those new skills. I had to learn to be merciful to myself. It helped to be part of a group of people doing a blogging course with me. Many in the group shared similar experiences and it comforted me to know I was not alone.
The way I am dealing with this is to remember that God loves me and He never forsakes me. Even if learning new things is hard, I take heart that He will help me. I also gratefully receive encouragement and support from other bloggers in the same boat as me.
3. Are You Grateful for What God Has Given You?
So, in two months, God allowed me to learn enough to go from nothing in WordPress.org, to having two websites up that worked well. You would think I would be happy eh? Especially because I only put about 16 hours into each. Then, I did a “soft launch” in May to be able to see what the reactions were on the sites to improve it before an official launch, and I had a really amazing amount of very helpful feedback.
Two of my posts also got a lot of comments. You would think I would be happy and grateful. No, after a few weeks of getting back to writing and improving the site for the official launch, I was not focused on all I had to be grateful for.
Now, before I sit down to work on my blog, I start by thanking God for everything I am grateful for on this journey.
4. What is Your Focus-Money or God?
So, I feel God gave me the desire to blog to help other Christian women. This week, I had some confirmation I was on the right track as I have been approached by 3 people who all told me they find me an excellent coach and teacher.
However, I noticed the temptation to become focussed on the money making side of blogging. Many blogging teachers are telling us that the blogs that do the biggest numbers are all about making money. I felt the subtle draw.
I had to remind myself as a believer, my focus is never to be on the money first. My focus is on God and the people I feel God has called me to help and/or serve through this blogging adventure. I believe He will bring the money if I am doing this in obedience to Him, guided by Him and truly “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”.
5. Do You Compare Yourself to Others Often and Feel Overwhelmed by Inadequacy?
So, this one surprised me. This is a holdover from my medical school days. I have a competitive streak which medical school totally fostered.
When I saw some newbie bloggers like me power through and set up blogs that looked near perfect-in less than two weeks, I am ashamed to say I did not feel good about it. I felt inadequate.
However, I eventually repented of that and remembered every one of us is different with different giftings, and my gifts are just as good and useful for the people God made me to help. There is no need for comparison and I can celebrate the differences.
6. Do You Manage Your Priorities Correctly?
So, based on my reading of the bible my priorities go like this: God (prayer/worship/time seeking Him); my hubby; my self-care; my family; my friends; the people I serve through my calling; my church; and my community.
How easily I let this new endeavor of blogging take centre place in my life revealed to me my priorities were out of whack. Many bloggers speak about not showering or sleeping for days in startup mode.
I think believers can do things differently if they put God first. He will supply what is needed to excel, without needing to let the priorities and people God gave you drop to the floor.
Every morning, I now remind myself of the most important things in life. I have my Life Purpose Statement up in my prayer room on a huge piece of Bristol Board to remind me.
Life is a gift and we are not promised a tomorrow, so I don’t want to drop, even for one day, properly loving and serving the people God has placed in my life.
Question for You:
What have you learned about yourself or your spiritual life through blogging?
This has been a pretty open discussion of how learning to blog has challenged me in my spiritual life and how it may challenge you. The wonderful thing is learning to blog because it stretches you, is an opportunity to grow spiritually. Just watch what surfaces for you and be ready to grow.
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