On Blogging: Why, ‘self,’ are you still living as a half committed blogger?

Change is not merely necessary to life–it is life. ~Alvin Toffler

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Well, life for me lately has been all about blogging. If I am not working to pay the bills, doing general housework to live in a tidy and decent space and caring for the spoiled household pets around here, you know I am doing something related to blogging. Yesterday was no exception. I spent half the morning doing what most bloggers do, that is, reading, commenting, gather ideas to put together the next post and occasionally do some blog page renovations. While practicing the art of blogging, my thoughts lingered over what I could share that would have some meaning (and not just fluff) to anyone who may happen to come over to this blog.

The one thought that stood out was how blogging uncovers the person living inside you. For example, I discovered how much fun writing can be. It has been so enjoyable that I am now reading with delight, Julia Cameron‘s, The Right to Write book. I have also found that I think like a bird. You know, a free bird, no major commitments, ready to fly out of any situation with just a few flap of the wings. However, I have come to see that sometimes it is good to have your wings clipped to make a, *gasp,* commitment; especially if blogging brings stability and opportunities to practice many ways to become a better communicator.

Perhaps change is not merely necessary to life, but change may also be necessary to a blog.  Commitment, for those with a flighty heart, may be necessary to a blog as well.

Since my one-year blog anniversary is coming up in September, I thought I would share with you some good changes that have happened around here and a commitment I am proud to have made since my first shaky post on, of all things, snakes!  Now how charming and elegant of a start is that?

Beginnings

After a long “shopping trip” over at the Word Press Theme store, I originally thought the Chateau theme was an elegant way to make my mark on the blogosphere. After a few posts, however, it occurred to me that the Bueno theme was really the one that showed the sunny and fluffy blogger (yikes!) I was turning out to be. Only I knew about the slowly emerging writing style coming out of me and it took my 12th post–can you believe it–before someone noticed my existence. Suddenly, after laying out a dozen eggs posts, I got my first like!  (Thank you, Ng Tom!)

I stayed happily in love with my Bueno theme, experimenting and playing around with most of its options and had the time of my life blogging almost everyday. It took me several months to figure out how to activate the Featured Post widget to show a thumbnail image next to the widget feature. Whenever I saw another blogger using the same Bueno theme and using the thumbnail image with their featured posts, I would ask how they did it. I did not hear back from any of them, (maybe I forgot to say the magic word, please) but somehow, I managed to figure it out on my own.

Permanency

In May of 2012, the tag line (is it called a tag line?) that shows up when you first open your dashboard finally got my attention.

Upgrade your own domain!

I would press to read about upgrading my domain, but never dreamed of committing to it.  It sounded so complicated and please, do not ask how many times I went over there to read about it. (Okay, I went over many times! Sheesh.) Then, my half way mark as an almost daily blogger went by and I was still, totally ‘in love’ with writing and blogging so my ‘serious self’ suddenly asked this bold question:

Why, ‘self,’ are you still living as a half committed blogger?

“Uh, well,” I said, “because it is free? There are no strings or money involved and I can leave and walk fly away anytime. Nothing lost. ”

Then, to make sure I removed any thoughts of committing to an upgrade, my thoughts whispered, “oh, upgrading is much too expensive.” Alas, after calculating all the cost, I knew I could afford $2.75 per month and what is that, about nine cents a day, on something I felt was one of the best change that has come my way in a long time. Therefore, in May of 2012, I finally said YES, and my blogging life has never been happier. Oh, gosh, I felt like I had just said YES to be married or something!

Domain

I simply want to say that the domain upgrade makes me feel this is not just a ‘drive-by’ love affair, rather, an affair that has an unspoken promise of sharing no matter how I feel or how busy my life becomes.

“A full commitment is a promise to stay active regardless of the endless changes and challenges life brings to us.” ~Sunshine

Forever

However, with the domain upgrade, I found another thing about myself. Self control. I need to practice not going overboard when I find a good thing. For example, with the new domain change came the customized fonts and soon after, another theme change: the Forever theme. It seemed only logical to go all out and celebrate like that of a festive wedding ceremony. Okay, so now my love affair is costing me a mere, $5.25 per month minus internet service fees but that is cheaper than going to the movie theater these days.

Endless changes are all part of life and part of blogging. I hope this has encouraged you to welcome changes despite the disruptions changes often bring. Oh, and if you happen to suffer from commitorum metus or commitment phobia, I totally understand where you are coming from.

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 Do you find yourself  reflecting on  how blogging is uncovering and defining the person inside you?

Are you the type who welcome blog changes and accept commitment well?

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I Run to YOU

If you want to raise children and have them grow up to keep in the right path, then God must be the one you run to.

56/365 morning run

You see, when my first, and the next and the next child appeared in my life, followed by two more adopted teenagers, in the beginning of this new adventure, I had no clue what parenting standards to use or what child rearing books to read.  Decisions such as, was it better to use cloth diapers or disposable, breast or bottle feed, pacifier or no pacifier, baby sling or stroller, let them cry for a while before you pick them up or pick them up as soon as they begin to cry, flooded my once peaceful world.  I imagine most parents start out in this fashion and with every new child, parenting skills improve unless of course, you are a professional child raiser executive, then taking a babe from cradle to college is a breeze as you plan your mission statement, goals and expectations for every child and creatively post your achievements in your wonderful, well-organized blog page and have each year fully outlined and planned in spreadsheets and your daily organizer. (Yeah,  I’m green with jealousy!)

Children are a blessing and I believe the work God expects from parents is found in the Bible book called Luke in chapter ten, verse 27.

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.”

Oh, so, how does one love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind when the only thing on your mind is how to change a dirty diaper, how to keep waking up (and stay awake) every time the baby wakes up and cries, and as the children get older, how to encourage them to keep their rooms clean, how to be polite and most important, how to ignite their love for God.

A wise writer, Lawrence Lovasik,  wrote in his book, The Hidden Power of Kindness,  how to “love the Lord.” He said,

  “The standard for the love of God is giving all. It reaches into the very depths of the powers of your soul.”

Following the advice of Mr. Lovasik, having been blessed with these children only meant I had to show my love of God by giving all to raise up these children. With that said, and speaking only from my experience,  having successfully raised two children from cradle to college, giving all did NOT mean spoiling the children. For example, meeting the needs of an infant seemed to make sense to me so I discarded the “let them cry to sleep” theory and practiced meeting the infant needs no matter how tiring. Using the baby sling, breastfeeding and cloth diapers during the infant years was my way of giving my all, naturally at least.

As they got older, giving my all no longer were so much meeting their physical needs but more as a guidance counselor. My parents taught me the value of honest, productive work and I passed it on to the children who eagerly anticipated going out to earn a few $’s starting with my oldest at 15. Now having turned 22, my oldest son has joined the Army Reserves and attends college as well. My second oldest daughter, started her work at 16, to play piano for the Sunday worship at a church in our small town. Today, she still works for this church and plans to become a piano teacher. All those years of piano lessons turned into something God could use.

Other parenting tips I learned from observing other families. One family decided when the children no longer could keep their room clean and organized that indicated a cut back in purchases because usually the problem was having way too much clothing and way too much toys, gadgets and ahem, gaming stuff. It takes hard work to curb spending when it comes to your children. You want to make sure they have everything and not want for anything. However, I think it is good to want sometimes.

Some people will not agree with me on this one but I have stuck to this policy and it works. Cell phones are a privilege in our household. Life use to exist before cell phones. How did we take care of emergencies  before cell phones? All my children buy and keep up their own cell phones. And this policy also extends to their first car. If they want to drive their own car, they must learn to save and buy their car with cash. (I’m such a mean Mommy.) But you know what? The money they earn from their after school/weekend jobs are not frivolously spent but they are learning to save money to buy something in cash instead of learning to borrow on credit and live in debt.

Well, this was a long story on my reflections from a parent who has committed to love God the best way possible. And yes, I run to HIM often…

Sunshine

How are ways you show your love for God? 

Photo Credits: Flickr and Wikipedia

Inspiration: Book by Lawrence Lovasik– The Hidden Power of Kindness