Why I Left and Why I am Back!
I left blogging over 2 years ago. Before I left I had become pretty sporadic. I started blogging just after I had my youngest son, almost 6 years ago. I was encouraged by a friend to start blogging. She had been blogging for a while at the time but had kept it from her real life friends. When she encouraged me, she had just come out of the “blogging” closet. I still remember her telling me about blogging at the kiddy pool in our small town during a lovely summer’s day. (As I look out the winter grey sky, I’m filled with nostalgia.
I loved blogging. I was excited to blog. I loved sharing what God was leading me to share. I loved being encouraged by friends that I hadn’t met, and they had indeed become friends. I loved taking part in different memes and linkies. Blogging taught me a lot about myself and my faith. But then as does with all good things, a shift happened. This shift started slowly. The more I blogged the more I saw. The more I saw, the more I became disenfranchised.
I started to see, what another blogging friend termed as the “lemming factor”. They (other bloggers) all seemed to follow the pack and if you didn’t follow that pack you didn’t belong. They all followed the big writers. They all went to the same conferences. They all seemed to jump when a new book or speaker came out, gushing about how it changed everything for them. I have enjoyed some of these speakers and many of the books, but I struggle with the over kill bloggers blogged about them. It is like hearing that song on the radio you like and then that same song that was really great gets over played. It becomes irrelevant and annoying. This was what I felt like was happening to me in the blogging world.
I find being a Canadian is different in the blogging world. Physically it is financially nonviable for me to jump on a plane and go to every conference out there. I would put our family into bankruptcy just doing it. I know flights in the states are a 1/4 of what we pay here for regional flights. I priced out the cost to one of the more “Relevant” conferences and found that it would cost me about $1000.00 just in flights, that’s not even the conference fees or hotel fees.
Being Canadian is also different in that we are a more secular society. We embrace multiculturalism. We embrace difference. We encourage it. I love that I have friends of different religions, cultures and beliefs. Some of my closest friends challenge my beliefs. This actually makes me look into my own faith and what I believe and it helps me to be closer to God. It also enables me to be a light in the world. To shine where He needs me to shine.
I also found that so many of the bloggers I knew were homeschooling and ***gasp** I am not. Nor do I want to be. While blogging there seemed to be some homeschoolers who felt that if you were a stay at home mom you should be homeschooling. I will admit that I toyed with the idea when my daughter was young, but we nearly killed each other while I was trying to teach her to read. I take great pride that both schools that she has attended were great schools and all her teachers have encouraged and pushed her to do her best and achieve Mastery where she is able to. With the boys’ autism, our school district matches the money the provincial government gives them. The school my boys attend is set up for therapies and is a fully inclusive school. My boys attend with their same aged peers and are accepted for who they are. I support everyone’s difference in whether to school or home school their children. I respect those decisions. I know I had discussions with some homeschoolers and felt pressured by them to homeschool. It was insinuated that I wasn’t really being a good mom if I didn’t homeschool. I didn’t feel the same respect for our family’s decision, that I gave to them and their decision.
Mainly, I felt like a failure blogging. I was never invited to be a speaker at conferences. I never wrote a book or wanted to write a book (who has the time). I see so many of the people that started blogging when I did, write books, studies and speak at conferences. I got jealous. I admit it. The green eyed monster of envy showed up. What was so great about them and what was wrong with me?
I took over Caffeinated Randomness from Andrea when she gave up blogging for a while, people dropped like flies. Some of that was my fault. I had a month where I was struggling with depression and life and didn’t post. Still many of the people left in droves. Why? Wasn’t I good enough? Why did they post with Andrea but not me? Was it my coffee?
Maybe I expect a lot. I paid too much attention to numbers and visits. I didn’t visit people who visited me. I got pulled into looking at others to value me where I should have been looking up. I think we all do when we blog. We as humans look for others to validate ourselves when we should be validated by the One who created us.
Now if you are still with me and haven’t been insulted yet, you may be wondering why I even came back to the blogging world. For the past year I have really felt the pull to get back into blogging. I know that the pull to blog is because God isn’t finished with me yet. I feel Him telling me I need to share with you all my struggles as a mom of special needs children; as a mom of a tween girl; as a wife; and as an imperfect, messy child who struggles with her walk and doesn’t have it all together. I know God wants me to show you all of this so that His glory and His strength and His grace is celebrated and revealed through it all. I know the enemy would love for me to give up so that this cannot happen. But I’ve always been one to push back when I’m told not to do something (another blog post at another time).
I hope you enjoy this journey with me. I want this blog to be authentic and open. I’m pretty opinionated and will be sharing things that you may not agree with. Saying that though I love discussion because I’m not always right as well. We are all learning and all walking our own walks that are different and we need to embrace the differences because we have a lot more in common that what divides. I’m not going to look at the numbers. I’m not going to expect calls to speak. I’m not going to write a book. Well as a friend says “Never Say Never” though again who has the time. I’m just going to post and see what God does with this blog because it is Him I want to share It is what He is doing in my life that I want you to see.