I recently read and watched as a fellow blogger went down. Someone I had become bloggy acquaintances with back when we both first put up residence on the www. Our hearts, at the time, rendered a similar tune. I had observed, over the last year or two, as her blog became her business and her life became guarded. I didn't understand at first. The tender personal touch which drew me to her in the beginning was replaced with the business of the blog. Her whole writing style changed. My heart ached for her and as she shared the final words of her last post before dis-assembling the virtual home she had built, the core of her message shook me: blogging for her had become superficial and the true pain and pleasures of life had become something to skirt around as the business of blogging had overcome.
I didn't want to become her.
So many blogs I visit, I see this same scenario in the works. The business of blogging and the facade of life. We get into a habit of only sharing the good or the desirable, carefully stepping around the messes or ignoring the elephant in the room! Don't get me wrong, not everyone is this way, but everyone has this potential, myself included. Not that we air all our dirty laundry (that just gets ugly!!) and the truth is, some things in our lives HAVE to be in our lives alone. But so much more can and should be shared.
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens,
that he might fill all things. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,
the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith
and of knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood [or womanhood!],
to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves
and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness
in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way
into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body,
joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped,
when each part is working properly,
makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
I could have bold-printed most of this passage, however, I think the point is made. Why blog? Some say to raise money, because they are bored, to keep an account, to communicate with family... all noble purposes.
Why do I blog? To glorify God and build up the body. That is just me. Our family was called into a missional lifestyle almost 5 years ago now. God put people and situations into our life which pulled us out of our comfort zone and transformed our way of thinking. No longer were the activities of day-to-day life that which gave us purpose or propelled us forward. Instead, daily life became an opportunity to declare the Lord and glorify Him. My blogging, too, underwent transformation. It was no longer just about keeping an account or communicating general information. Instead, it became my platform to share my heart and my life and how God is intertwined in every aspect of it.
Perhaps I'm not as deliberate as I would like to be. When I share recipes, my heart is called to encourage others to good eats and biblical hospitality... but I don't always communicate that well. When I share our school week it becomes an account of all we have done but the truth is, my heart hopes others will be encouraged and inspired through both the neat things we did and the challenges we faced.... so that they too will continue to answer God's call (for those who are called) to keep on keeping on with the trials and triumphs of teaching.
Everything I share here; good, bad, and in-between.... is intended to follow Ephesians 4, to build up the body. Every time I share I want to be authentic and transparent... not dumping the garbage of my heart for which I will have to clean up the mess later (I did that once-upon-a-time on this blog.... those articles are now deleted!!!), rather, pouring out the truth in brokenness and the beauty in healing and the process of repair.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each on of you speak the truth with his neighbor,
for we are members of one another.
I take Ephesians 4 seriously. As a matter of fact, we take it so seriously in our house, we built our ministry around verse 12! We are a support ministry seeking to equip all who desire it. While I would love the gift of evangelism, I am not an evangelist.... I am an encourager. And that is why God has given this blog longevity. Not for my glory or props or through anything I have done but for His glory and prompting and through all of His guidance.
My husband and I begin work this summer on a new look and new location for Faith and Home with a tailored domain. We covet your prayers to the completion of this process which has taken well over a year now to set in place. My desire, as this current location continues and once the new one is built, is to stay focused on God in my blogging.... to walk out Ephesians 4 in every corner of the site, to be transparent and inspiring and I want to re-commit, this day, to authenticity, open sharing and the continued philosophy of upside-down blogging.
Why am I airing this claim so publicly today? I don't know. Perhaps to seek prayer in the process. Perhaps to encourage someone today who will stumble here, doubting the purpose of a blog. Perhaps to encourage someone who is walking with a guarded heart and unspoken testimonies of day-to-day struggles and triumphs, that they too, YOU too, have a story to tell. One which can encourage and inspire women (and men!) globally to hang tight, have fun, live in joy and grace and peace, and most of all, to seek Him who is master of it all.
My heart and prayer for you today is that you would seek His grace and guidance to become (if you aren't already) an upside-down blogger. Even if you blog to raise money, share with family, or simply chronicle life... you can still take the challenge of upside-down blogging and bring God glory in every corner of your webby influence!