My first post on this website was from September 21, 2012. I've written regularly since then, but the site still only gets about thirteen hits a day. As far as "platform" and growth and blah blah blah, that's a tad pathetic.
Each article takes me at least 2-3+ hours to write and edit, and it requires a lot more time than that to ponder, research, and develop my ideas. I try to write the most thoughtful, articulate, and honest pieces I can muster without ignoring my other responsibilities too much. Various articles on the internet make it sound like generating traffic to your blog and growing your platform is easy, and a couple times I even entertained hope that I could monetize this site enough to justify hiring a cleaning lady. However, I haven't made a penny, and Recovering Womanhood is still a completely unknown entity as far as the blogosphere is concerned. As a result, I often wonder if all this work is even worth it if only a couple people who agree with me anyway are the only eyes that will really see it.
But lately something surprising has happened in my heart.
I've been filled with so much gratefulness for how unsuccessful this blog is.
I'm really not being sarcastic.
Here's the reason: I'm believing more and more in God's sovereignty.
I believe that He is in control of my skills, my ideas, and my schedule. Every single well-crafted sentence (if there are any) is a result of His sovereign orchestration. Every time I can't put my words together (which happens far more often than I can) He is sovereign over that too. Every time I write a post, He is completely sovereign over who will see it, who will read it, who will share it, and who will be impacted by it. If my articles haven't been picked up by any influential bloggers, God has good reason for that...even if He's choosing not to prosper my blog simply because I'm not yet creating content that is good enough to reach a wider audience.
Yes, God grants good writing through the means of hard work (in particular, reading and writing!), but it's all from Him. Yes, readers come to websites through the means of SEO or clever titles or whatnot, but it's from Him. So I trust Him with what He's given me (and what He hasn't.)
Even though I dream of it, the reality is I'm not being asked to travel around giving talks on femininity or theology. God knows that wouldn't be good for me (at least right now.) My first ministry is to my family, my church, and my neighbors, and at this point if I was given an opportunity with a broader audience, my other priorities would suffer. I really believe I'm at the peak of my career right now with this motherhood thing, and I'm really grateful I get to devote my 20's and 30's to teaching four young people about Jesus, day and night. That's not to say He won't give me different opportunities at different times, but for now I'm seeing that I can try the hardest I can with what He has given me, and I can trust Him with the fruitfulness in that.
I recently heard Francis Chan share that after spending some time living in Asia, his biggest takeaway was this: the most important Christian leaders were the most hidden. For security reasons, those who had the biggest shaping influence in the church had to conceal their identities. This is so opposite of how we view the church and platform today. But it also seems consistent with all Jesus said about being "last of all and servant of all" and what John 3:29 says about rejoicing in people following Jesus instead of people following me.
So, well, here we go. I've poured hours and hours and hours into this website over the past five years, and I don't have anything tangible to show for it, but I'm totally fine with that. Writing helps me process all that God is showing me, and if others benefit from what I'm learning, praise God! But if I write for the rest of my life and there's never any tangible reward for my writing, that's fine too. I think humility is the best attribute for which I could strive, and having a mostly-unread blog makes it a lot easier to meet that goal.
I think this is the same reason God didn't give me blue eyes or the ability to sing...I would be totally prideful if I had either! But I know people with both of those attributes who manage to be quite humble indeed. Different people have different needs, and the Great Physician writes the perfect prescriptions every time!
So, for now, I'll keep writing on this website. I want to keep finding my voice as a writer and I hope to always be learning how to create better content using words more beautifully. So feel free to stick around and let me know what you want to hear about and how I can improve as a writer...or just as a person. I'm obviously in the midst of trying to figure out how to be a woman, a wife, a mom, a daughter, a church member, a neighbor, and, well, a human being. This "quest" is why I started this website in the first place.
And as for those who do read here regularly and give me feedback---I'm looking at you Mom, Joyce, April, Rachel, Lauren, Sarah, Mrs. Viana, Jessi, Mrs. Wallace, and others---thank you so much for your faithful love and encouragement. And Becca, my sister from the opposite side of the country who found my blog somehow and occasionally sends me sweet emails, thanks for telling me to keep writing, and I hope we get to be friends in real life someday (we've got all of eternity!)
Love you all!
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My name is Hope.
I'm 25, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 5, 3, 1, and not-yet-born. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
Quick links to some of my posts:
Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today