I almost threw up the first time I clicked the publish button on my blog. The thought of putting my writing out into the world for anyone to read and to criticize or worse, to ignore, was utterly terrifying. But all the blogging gurus assured me that if I did all the right things, I would have a sizable tribe in no time.
All I had to do was call myself a writer, write and post insightful and entertaining content every day, make sure my grammar was correct and my formatting pleasing, reach out to like-minded writers, watch my stats and trends to determine the very best time each day to post, etc. etc.
Piece of cake, right? Hah!
Immediately it was apparent that with my already full schedule of momming, homeschooling, and playing chauffeur for a multitude of family activities, the rule of posting every day was not going to happen. Instead, I settled into a sort of routine of writing and posting every week or so and found a small tribe of folks who seemed to enjoy my missives. For a few years, I stumbled along in this way, enjoying my people, yet feeling as though I should be doing more with this desire to write.
In a flash of inspiration, I conceived of a new blog, one that would minister to mamas with wit and wisdom. My vision centered around a Q&A segment where readers could ask parenting questions and have a team of writers who could respond. I invited a handful of amazing writers to join me. They all said yes. I took this as a sign from God and ran with it. I got a domain and got to work setting up Groovy Mama’s Couch. It was exciting, filled with possibilities. The site was to be whimsical, yet methodically planned out. Mom Challenge of the week on Monday, Snuggle Talk conversation starters on Wednesdays, Q&A on Fridays, with the occasional wisdom piece thrown in on the weekends. Nothing too difficult, I thought, and since it was obviously a God thing, it was destined to succeed. Groovy Mama’s Couch launched in February of 2016.
Nine months later, I pulled the plug.
I won’t bore you with all the why’s, wherefores, and angsty details of why Groovy Mama failed. Suffice it to say, my Father is good and He knew some heavy stuff was coming up around the bend. (You can read about that here.). He also knew I simply wasn’t ready for success in this area of my life. Nevertheless, I was left deflated and confused. I limped along here at Standing Stones for awhile, posting sporadically and then finally, not at all.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and while I can’t claim that all is clear regarding the many failings of my blogging journey, I agree that in pondering the past, a great many things can be learned. Here’s a few things my failure has taught me.
Sometimes a great idea isn’t a NOW idea. It’s easy to assume that a great idea and open doors always indicate an immediate need for action. Did I jump the gun and get ahead of God when I started the Couch? I don’t know. I still believe the concept of Groovy Mama’s Couch is a great idea. When people who love Jesus get together and share their collective wisdom with love and laughter, it is a beautiful thing. Perhaps someday the Couch will find a new incarnation, or maybe not. Either way is fine by me because I’m confident that if He wants it to be, He will bring it to fruition.
Sometimes God-things aren’t intended to succeed. My guilt in not writing stemmed from this faulty idea that if God leads us into something, it is a guarantee of success. I’ve carried the burden of subconsciously believing I was doing something morally wrong every time I failed to do this blogging gig right. This quote by Bob Goff came across my radar recently and it’s a total game changer for me.
The thing I love about God is He intentionally guides people into failure. He made us be born as little kids who can’t walk or talk or even use a bathroom correctly. We have to be taught everything. All that learning takes time, and He made us so we are dependent on Him, our parents, and each other. The whole thing is designed so we try again and again until we finally get it right. And the whole time He is endlessly patient. -Bob Goff
Wow. What a beautiful reminder, yes? Why is it that we readily accept the concept of failure as a valuable way to learn for children, yet somehow think that as adults, we no longer need to fall down sometimes?
My Father is more interested in growing me up, in making me complete and holy, than He is with seeing me succeed in everything I undertake. In fact, sometimes it’s only through failure or trials that my rough and prickly edges will get rubbed off so I can look a little more like Jesus.
Sometimes we use the wrong definition of success. The blogging experts, parenting professionals, and homeschooling sages will tell you many ways to ‘succeed’, but I’ve learned that their definitions of success may not be the same as mine. For me, success is the same whether I’m writing, momming, or schooling; it is to simply choose the next good thing my God puts in front of me to do, and to do it all in a manner that reflects His love and grace. It’s pretty simple, and a lot less soul-heavy!
So, my friends, thank you for the encouraging comments, messages, and emails. I love it here at Standing Stones and am grateful for everyone who is still willing to journey here with me.
Grace and peace,
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17, CSB
Photo from Needpix.com.