Lions and Tigers and Blog Awards, Oh My….

Yesterday was the start of the “finals” of the Homeschool Social Media Awards hosted by Alpha Omega Publications.  For the last several weeks, bloggers and social media types from within the Christian homeschool community nominated their favorite bloggers.  Yesterday, the nominees were announced and the finalists were revealed.  The voting phase has begun.

I’ve been blogging for 4 years.  I’ve had 3 different blogs.  And probably a total of about 55 readers.  Well, that may be a slight under-exaggeration, but you get the point.  I don’t have a big following.  But that’s okay.  At least it is now.

But there have been times over the last four years that I allowed my blogging to define who I was.  I lived for the comments.  I lived for the stats.  And trust me, when you don’t have a big blog, that can be a bit of an ego slam.

How many people read that post?

Why didn’t they comment?

Didn’t they like it?

Maybe I should just quit.  

Here’s the thing.  I love to write.  I love homeschooling and I love to talk about it.  And when I started blogging, that was enough.  But I didn’t realize at the time what I was getting myself into.  I didn’t realize that I was joining a community of sorts.  I didn’t realize that, in a way, this community could be a bit like junior high with its ability to make me feel invisible just because I didn’t have Gloria Vanderbilt jeans or a Dorothy Hamill haircut.   Suddenly the need to feel noticed trumped the simple joy of just doing what I loved.

Visiting other blogs became a struggle.  I would see AMAZING blogs with gorgeous photography, TONS of comments and hundreds of followers.  And I’d feel inadequate.

And, oh dear, blog awards were a struggle.  A blogger with 55 followers typically doesn’t get nominated for many awards.  But I would graciously visit all those nominated blogs trying to choose someone to vote for.  But rather then learn from them or be encouraged by what the nominated bloggers had to say, all I could see was my own blog…with all its perceived inadequacies.

During that time, blogging became a burden.  I wasn’t writing because I loved it. I was writing because I wanted other people to love it.  And when they didn’t, I felt crushed.  I lost my joy.  And my purpose.

There’s a little bit of wisdom that someone once shared with me that I had completely lost sight of.  I’ve shared it over and over with my daughters and other folks over the years.  Now I had to listen to my own words.

“If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”

My identity is not found in my blogging.  Or anything earthly or worldly.  Because no matter how big a tower I build in my own strength or wisdom, it will never be enough.  And it’s that way by design.  If my purpose and my joy are not wrapped up in doing all things for HIS glory, joy and contentment will be illusive.  And that’s a good thing.  When joy and contentment are illusive, we are more inclined to cry out to our REAL source of joy.  There will never be feelings of inadequacy over even the smallest of towers that we allow Him to build in our lives.

I don’t know what towers you’re trying to build.  I’ve had to learn this lesson over and over again through the years.  And I know I haven’t learned it for the last time.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago when the blog awards were announced, I found myself having to revisit this lesson!  We are human.  And prone to tower building.

Now, mind you, blog awards are not bad things.  They provide an opportunity to tell a blogger that has touched your heart in some way that you appreciate them. They provide an opportunity to expand the circle of people that you can learn from.  It’s not the awards themselves that are flawed.  It’s our hearts.  If the Lord has used these awards to reveal something to you about your heart, don’t ignore it.  It won’t go away.  He won’t let it.

And for that I am very grateful.

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22 responses

  1. just because I don’t comment doesn’t mean i am not ‘amening’ in my heart!!!! guess i should comment to you more often. I do read what you write. And smile a lot when I read!!! thanks Linda

  2. Heh. Of course, I was just standing here getting ready to write the exact same thing, only not half as well. :0) I felt a little bad about not getting nominated by enough people to make the cut to finals, especially considering that there is one person in there who isn’t even a homeschooler. LOL.You’d think I could have at least beat her, no?

    But the truth is, I can’t expect much from these things, no matter how much I might daydream about them. I’ve always known that my appeal would probably be small, and never expect my blog to go over 54 readers (that would be your 55 minus one, because you’re obviously my better). Those daydreams of popularity (and I do have them about once a week when I check my stats) might just get in the way of my writing exactly what I think, so it’s best to steer clear of them altogether. I’m not defined by my blogging, true, but my blogging does help define me–not in the sense that what other people think of it matters, but in the sense that everything I write represents me and changes me at least a little. Blogging should be done for its own sake, not for the sake of getting into the in-crowd (whoever that is). Unless you’re blogging for money. Then, I guess, you should do whatever you have to, right? ;0)

    • Oh, I love you, Cindy!!! And you should have at the very least beat the person who isn’t even a homeschooler!! 😉

      “I’m not defined by my blogging, true, but my blogging does help define me–not in the sense that what other people think of it matters, but in the sense that everything I write represents me and changes me at least a little.”

      That is SOO true! Thanks!

  3. AMEN! I feel so sad for the long list of FANTASTIC bloggers who are so great to share their homeschool life with us and for them to feel the slightest bit “not big enough” or whatever ! I can’t stand that ! And that’s one reason why I hate awards and never nominate myself and/or vote for myself !! I know I’m a GREAT homeschooler because my son and husband and GOD have all affirmed that is my “job”. And I know I am funny – regardless what other folks will do for a vote – it’s who I am … award or no award !!

    • Thanks, Stef…I totally expected you to just stop by and say “Great post!” LOL!

      I think what might be even sadder than us little blogs feeling “small’ is that there might be some big blogs struggling with that. Size doesn’t matter. (oh dear, I can’t believe I just typed that!) It is all about keeping everything in the right perspective..whether you’re a big blog or a small blog! And honestly, I think that might actually be harder for the big people than the small people!!

      And yes, you ARE funny. It IS who you are. Whether you win or not.

  4. You love to write and do it swimmingly. And you are married to a man with a degree in journalism, yet who is loth to write anything that isn’t absolutely necessary (such as, “If you’re passing by Dairy Queen on your way home from the store, could you pick up….”)

  5. I’ve been there and back. I’ve passed the point of checking stats. I honestly don’t how many people subscribe to my blog. There’s a freedom in not knowing! I write what I want to write. I try to respond to as many comments as I can. I LOVE IT when the comments lead to back and forth conversation. And I don’t have to worry about how low the comment response is compared to how many subscribers there are because I really don’t know. Blogging was such a drain when I was trying to keep up with the Joneses. That wasn’t what I was in it for. So I let it go and now I am back to enjoying it again. It’s amazing how that works. =)

    • Blogging was such a drain when I was trying to keep up with the Joneses. That wasn’t what I was in it for. So I let it go and now I am back to enjoying it again. It’s amazing how that works.

      It is amazing how that works! Such wisdom (and experience) in your words!! Thanks so much for sharing them!!

  6. You’ve said so well what I haven’t been able to properly put into words. I especially love this: “During that time, blogging became a burden. I wasn’t writing because I loved it. I was writing because I wanted other people to love it. And when they didn’t, I felt crushed. I lost my joy. And my purpose.” EXACTLY why I haven’t been blogging much lately. I finally picked it back up this week but only because my husband told me he missed it. Since he is often gone, my blog is really a way to keep him totally in the loop. I thought about starting a new blog so I wouldn’t have all of the history with followers/the pressure of the other, but then I knew my mother-in-law would NEVER be able to figure out a new address, and she would be positively CRUSHED! 🙂

    • Well, for the sake of your MIL…please keep the same blog!! And just don’t give in to the pressure. Blog when you WANT to! There’s such freedom in that! I LOVE your blog….so glad you’re back! Looking forward to more snow pictures. 😉 Sorry…couldn’t resist.

  7. You’ve expressed very well what, for me, is “the dark side” of blogging. I’m constantly questioning my motive. I truly love sharing books with people, but really is it necessary? Especially when there is an ABUNDANCE of book blogs. (And my own family doesn’t read my blog.)
    And I do feel that junior high/highschool thing going on.

    • I love your book blog…I really need to get there more often! If you enjoy doing it…it’s worth doing! But there is a dark side, isn’t there?!?!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting…sorry it took me so long to comment back! I didn’t see my email notification until tonight for some reason! 😦

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