This week marks one year since starting Faith Diaries Blog. I set out with no other ambition than to encourage others with my journey to motherhood, the disappointment and hope discovered along the way. It’s crazy to think that birthing the first post, which in retrospect was way too long and took me forever to write, seeded what you now see as this blog. A somewhat devotional style collection of thoughts written in short posts to bring inspiration, challenge and hope with the odd dose of humour. At least I laugh at my own jokes.
I’m an encourager, it’s part of who I am, it’s in my DNA, it’s one of the gifts I’ve been entrusted with and must steward well. I didn’t always know it but it’s something I’ve discovered as who I am in God has become clearer. I love to encourage, most of the time (let’s be honest). Motherhood is a gift that provides a daily opportunity to encourage and nurture a gorgeous tiny human (and mostly myself to keep going!), but there’s more. More within me to give, whether I like it or not. I’ve also grown into a better thinker since marrying Rich who has a brilliant brain. Apart from the trappings of overthinking, I like this in me. I would consider myself an ideas person who is fairly resourceful (apologies for this sounding like a CV – there is a point) and I require some form of creative outlet. Early motherhood presented me with reduced opportunity to be physically present at many things and so part of the reason for continuing to write this blog is so that I don’t spontaneously combust from ideas, thoughts and encouragements swirling around in my head!
I used to apologise for the things that I felt God had placed within me, not verbally, but often by shrinking back with false humility, I’d subconsciously step back, step to the side and push others forward. I don’t believe in self-appointed leadership which is a funny thing to navigate in the online world. Neither do I advocate overzealous self-promotion, but I have discovered the importance of us all bringing our voice and experience to the table in the name of making a positive difference, even if just to one person. In fact, always for the one person.
So to mark turning one, because it’s important to celebrate and evaluate, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learnt over the past year. I’m still a baby blogger and amateur writer so these are reflective points regarding my learning, life and blogging from the past 365 days. This is my journey, but I hope it inspires yours too. Notes to self:
- I must write shorter sentences. I’m still learning.
- Frustration is often related to passion, I need to run with it, allow it and explore it but ultimately transform it so that it makes me better and not bitter
- Love never fails – in all areas of life. This I’m still learning about, growing in and pondering. God is love.
- Ministry is life – Romans 12. Everything I do, everything I say, counts. It matters to someone, somewhere whether now or in the future, even if it’s just me and my family. Mundane, small, large and exciting activities all have significance.
- Discipline is key – Discipline makes the difference. There’s talent and there’s gift but without discipline and refinement, they lack purpose. Discipline in small things and everyday tasks breeds discipline in all aspects of life. Discipline brings freedom.
- It’s always about the one – connection to and love for people must be the start and end point to all meaningful endeavours and interactions.
- Curiosity and learning make us all better and are good for the soul. Expand, stretch, grow. Let’s not be ignorant or arrogant, but remain teachable.
- A bad day, a bad post, a bad circumstance aren’t the end. Failure and disappointment don’t have to be the final destination. Get up, keep going, move forward, try again.
- Stay true to who you are – Learn, follow, glean wisdom, seek counsel, but don’t get distracted by comparison and what you’re not. Do you.
- Practice makes you better – the aim isn’t perfect, perfection requires an end, better means continual growth. Practice makes me a better writer, friend, wife, mum, leader, learner, and so the list goes on.
As I sign off this post here are some fun facts and stats from my blogging year:
- Top 3 Most Read Posts:
- Favourite posts to write:
- Posts I felt were most important to write:
- My Mother-in-law once replied to the email version of a post with a typo correction and accidentally posted it as a comment 😉
- I make my husband read/listen to all posts before I publish, thanks Rich! It’s his pleasure of course 😉
- I use Google to find synonyms, thanks Google!
- I knew nothing about blogging when I started
- I owe a lot to CBeebies programme ‘Hey Duggee’, loved by Sienna, it allows me an uninterrupted tea and thought sorting time
So that’s it, I hope it’s been as interesting for you as it has for me! Here’s to another year!