Well we made it! This is my last blog post for the Write 31 Dayschallenge in October 2015! If you are just joining us and would like to look back on some of the posts in the series Speak Praise, click here.
As I sit down to write this post I’m laughing at myself for falling asleep on my daughter’s bed only to wake up at 10:30 p.m. for a “second wind.” I am ready to finish strong. At the risk of overusing the cliché of running a marathon, this writing challenge has certainly been that. And while writing for some one hundred+ hours this month on my laptop may not be the most ergonomic solution for a writer, I’m thankful to say that I finished!
This post feels a bit anticlimactic at the end of this month of the series Speak Praise. Nevertheless, I thought it would be beneficial—and I hope you find something here to encourage you as well—to reflect on some things I have learned from this challenge.
My goal going into this month was to write more consistently in answer to God’s prompting to “just write.” I knew this challenge would offer me a free education in developing some writing, but more significantly, I knew God wanted to show me some things about himself and my faith through the process.
Recently I watched a Periscope where Sarah Mae talked about her eCourse called Longing for Life. She relates the importance of understanding your family’s rhythm and working within your rhythm. In other words, knowing your limits.
I learned I must work writing into my family’s lifestyle. After taking some advice from the pros, I see the value in this daily adventure in showing me what I am capable of, but understanding my limits so I can set a realistic schedule for publishing quality work.
Since this journey has been lead by the Lord, I need to make room for the spiritual process before the writing process. Before I can even think about putting pen to paper, I must spend time ministering to the Lord and receive his ministry for others. So having to write every day has proved not only physically and mentally exhausting but also a test of spiritual discipline.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor…Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. EPHESIANS 6:13
I cannot tell you the kind of spiritual opposition I encountered this month. The Lord used this experience to teach me about putting on the full armor God required when we do anything in Jesus’ name. He urged me to write to my Audience of One, to pray for my readers and fellow bloggers on this journey, and allow God to direct the work and the outcome.
Importance of Community
As I posted yesterday, being plugged into a group of other bloggers who support one another as a team is hugely important. In community we have accountability, resources, advice, wise counsel, and networking to grow in our purpose. With this comes the platform of social media, which can be a devil of a thing, but I see it’s value. Social media can be a tool for networking, not a dictator of my time, attention, or worth.
Can Blogging be a Calling?
I believe blogging can be a platform for something more. Honestly I used to believe that blogging was for people who wanted to brag about themselves or at least they had something to sell. Have you ever thought this? It surprised me to feel a deep urgency to step out in faith with my blog–and for a while I resisted it. So I prayed and looked for what God wanted to show me. Then at the right time, he opened the door to this opportunity to pursue writing with a godly perspective.
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
Could God use a little thing like a blog for his Kingdom? It wasn’t until I believed in God’s purpose and value in the process that I was able to see the worth in the words. With confidence in the Lord I can step forward as God allows and he takes my hand to walk me through it.
As a result, this challenge catapulted me into consistent blogging. I was writing so irregularly, and it took my dear friends, my husband, and my parents, to convince me this was important. When Crystal Stine’s invitation to Write 31 days came up on my computer it was like a divine appointment. I have learned so many valuable lessons this month. This last week was the HARDEST, finishing the uphill climb, but the Lord strengthened me and encouraged me greatly. So today I am wrapping up this series feeling victorious and celebrating it like a ribbon cutting into new possibilities.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14
The plan is simple: to keep putting one foot forward. Keep stepping out upon the water as God calls me to be brave in this small thing. My blog schedule will go back to a consistent once a week post for the next couple of months as I reevaluate some goals for my website and new topics going into the new year. I will put together a reader survey and would love to have YOUR input! From there I hope to share the work of others on my website as well as write some guest posts for other sites.
If you have been following this series Speak Praise in October, I hope you will continue with me in the story of grace as we wrap up this year and look forward to what God has next! I want to build community here as well as in real life with YOU my friends! Please connect with me here on my blog in the comments and subscribe to weekly posts via email 🙂 And as always we can catch up on things via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Thank you for your friendship! God bless you in his grace and peace.