Blogging can be tough & challenging work at times. You can work a little or you can work a lot. It all depends on what your goals are & what your main purpose is for hosting an online public platform.
My “WHY” has always been to use this social media platform to help encourage others to explore more simple, natural, and mindful living by sharing our own family’s natural health discoveries, homesteading journey, and relevant tips and resources from my integrative nutrition & holistic health training.
There are thousands of other bloggers out in Cyberland all trying to make a positive impact on those who choose to follow along. Whether that is actively promoting their online business, trying to stay a step ahead with fresh and new content, or simply sharing what they already love to do, with others.
Having a successful blog that inspires and encourages others can have its hurdles along the way. It takes time and patience to gain faithful readers and cultivate relationships. Sometimes, it seems like you’re the only one listening, but then there are those times when you have the opportunity to contribute to something bigger and that my dear friends, makes the time and effort we put into our creative blogs, so worth it.
Recently, I had the honor of joining a group of fellow bloggers and influencers as one of the contributing writers for the Spring Issue of the new Christian lifestyle digital subscription magazine, called Meadow Magazine. It is based out of Canada and was created by the talented Alison Taylor-Harder (editor and designer). It is a collection of beautiful stories, photography, Bible verse art, wellness, entrepreneurship, travel, healthy recipes, favorite books, songs, and more from many different contributors from around the globe.
With the current state of the world and the “Stay At Home” campaign to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, people may find themselves feeling a bit anxious and disconnected. Social distancing may be a new concept for many. There are so many variables and things to consider to help protect our families and others in our community without losing hope or losing our sanity while being stuck at home.
Folks are more cautious about receiving and sending mail. Digital versions of books and magazines are a great way to stay encouraged and connected without the added stress of exchanging money or germs in person. Use this link here to get a sneak peek or to purchase your digital copy for only $8 CAD. I would be delighted for you to share with your loved ones and help spread the word about this lovely new faith-based resource.
UPDATE: Here is the full article for those of you who missed it.
CHOOSING WHAT IS BETTER
Our family lives on a 53-acre homestead in what those who know us lovingly refer to as “the hollow.”
Living out in the country has allowed us the opportunity to develop our homesteading skills, like cooking from scratch, fermenting/culturing our own food and beverages, raising and caring for our farm animals, growing our vegetable/herb garden, and canning/preserving our harvest. Country life has its benefits and has allowed us a way to pursue our natural health and holistic living interests that help support God’s amazing design for our family and our bodies.
All these things have served our family well-especially during my cancer battle and recovery.
As time went on and we continued to grow in our walk, our passion for simple and natural living grew as well. We prayed early on that the Lord would help use what we discovered over the years to help bless others along the way.
Living out in the country can make sharing in person challenging, so I naturally turned to blogging and online social media platforms to share how to return to the basics of holistic living.
At first, it was fun and rewarding. I enjoy keeping busy, trying new things, learning new skills, and being creative. Being online, allowed me a chance to reconnect with old friends and cultivate new friendships with my readers.
I was able to balance my blogging schedule with our homeschooling and homesteading schedule – or so I convinced myself.
But as my online business began to grow, and more collaborations and partnerships were being made, I found myself “hustling” to keep it all straight. Plus, I found it so easy to get sucked into the comparison game of thinking, “If I just do more, buy more, share more, help more, I will reach the success that other bloggers have achieved.”
This was no longer a hobby or ministry – it was now an unexpected side business that required a lot of my time and effort creating new content and making deadlines. I was a wife, a mother, and a homeschooling teacher, first and this was supposed to be a positive outreach to help encourage others, but I was running myself ragged.
Initially, after my husband retired from the army after 20 years on active duty service, we were able to plant some roots and enjoy getting back to the basics of simple country living.
We knew that “simple living” did not mean “easy” living, but it meant honest hard-work and the freedom to enjoy God’s wonderful creation without many of the distractions and restrictions that often accompany life in the big city.
But here I was blogging about the blessings of simple living, while behind the scenes, my schedule and my camera were always full and I was constantly feeling like I was behind. It got to a point where I felt like I was not only letting my family down, but I was letting my followers down too. Even worse, I felt like I was letting God down. He blessed me with a second chance after a scary cancer battle and I was blowing it and missing the mark, yet again.
Recently, I found myself in one of those familiar situations leading up to my cancer battle, where I had overextended and pushed my limits and landed myself on a week’s bed rest with debilitating pain and a stubborn infection. Through my unplanned hiatus, I was forced to be still – long enough to hear God’s gentle voice reminding me about a woman in the Bible who shared similar traits as myself.
She was always busy and distracted, trying to do it all…but totally missing what was right in front of her – what was truly important.
“While Jesus and His followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.
Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teach. But Martha was busy with all the work to be done.
She went in and said, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell here to help me.’
But Jesus answered her, ‘Martha, Martha you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.”
How many times have we, as women, felt the overwhelming pressure of trying to get everything just right?
How many times have we been so focused on all the details, only to miss what was right in front of us?
Martha was feeling the pressure and probably wanted everything to be perfect. After all, how often does the Lord of lords come for a visit?
She was so focused on her busyness and the fact that she was doing it all alone, that she thought her sister was choosing to be lazy and unhelpful.
The world tells us that ‘more’ is better. Having the perfect home, the perfect menu, the perfect table scape, and the perfect color pallet to match the season to welcome our guests. But unfortunately, we sometimes fall for the lies and seek more of the things that will not fulfill us or will not last.
But Jesus lovingly reminds us time and time again, that He is all we need.
“Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
So, next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious, remember to take a step back, take a deep breathe, and be resolved to choose what is better:
- Instead of trying to do everything yourself, remember to stay connected to Him. (John 15:4)
- When the comparison game starts to rear its ugly head into your day, remember to let God’s Word fill your heart and light your path. (Psalm 119:105)
- Before your day even begins, let His mercy and grace fill your cup so that you are more equipped and ready to go about your day. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
- Don’t let negative talk get a foothold. Instead, choose to walk in spirit and in truth. Being confident of who you are in Christ. (John 4:23)
- When you feel distractions creeping in again, don’t allow your heart to be divided. (Matthew 6:24)
- When doubt and fear start to come over you, remember how far you have come in your walk; be confident in knowing that the Lord is not finished with you yet. (Philippians 1:6)
- No matter what season in life you find yourself, choosing an eternal perspective will help keep you on track and bear fruit that will last. (2 Corinthians 4:18, John 15:5,16)
- And last, but not least ‘Be Still’ and enjoy each character-building phase of your journey; with each step you take, there is a lesson to be learned and shared. (1 Peter 1:7)
Take comfort in a slower pace, while you choose what is better…giving thanks and praise for all God’s wonderful blessings in your life. And as you sit at Jesus’ feet, listen well as He reminds you of what truly matters most.