Can I just say that in 9 years of writing on the internet this week marks the first time I have strongly considered pulling the plug on blogging?
It has been so frustrating because I love to write! I love to pair images with words and share them. I love hearing what is stirring in your hearts and I love all the wisdom and insight I glean online. Yet I hate the fast-paced technology of it all.
If you clicked around here the last few weeks, you know that 99% of posts from the last 9 years were missing in action. I’ll be honest. I panicked. But today, after being on the phone for 6 hours with technical support, (thank you Jesus for a week of 8:30-4:30 day camp for the kids) we are back!!
Seriously, 6 hours? Six hours of the only free time I’m guaranteed to have all summer? I really had better things to do than be on the phone with 1and1.com!!! (Nothing but love for you Cheryl.)
While I was locked out of my online home it gave me time to reconsider why, how and what God is calling me to on the internet.
I had written a “Summer Survival” type post that I was excited about and wanted to “go live” the week before most families started their summer breaks. I genuinely felt like it would bless readers because the thoughts had been helpful for me to process with a few friends and mentors. In the midst of trying to figure out all the error messages, I saw other writers (who I love!) posting similar essays that were more beautifully done and I heard the accusatory voice that every creator hears that says, “See? It’s all been said and it’s all been said by people who can say it much better.”
Somewhere between emailing my designer, installer (WHO LIVES IN FLIPPING ENGLAND!) and my web host and deciding I might just throw in the towel, I realized that while I was wanting to write this piece to serve my audience, I was also posting out of pride and ambition to be first and best. Like I was writing to prove something.
I needed to tune in to what God was saying to me about writing online because I’m certain He isn’t calling me to comparison and competition and He surely isn’t calling me to the robotic scrolling that paralyzes my mind oftentimes.
I’m seeing afresh that, especially during the summertime, I need a vision and a filter for my online life. I need a refresh on my parameters of how I scroll and consume media and the real motivation behind what I write. Is it to feel validated? To get likes and shares? Gag.
Is it to write from my heart in a shareable, resourceful format so that others can be blessed by the goodness of God in our family, ministry and home? Okay then. If that’s the case, then asking myself if I am seeking approval? If I’m boasting? If I’m discontent? Being kind? Or perhaps oversharing? Can be a great filter.
Shoot, asking myself if I’ve exercised, read my Bible and had a meaningful conversation with my family is another great one!
Is it to process life in the context of creativity? Woot!
Is it to make Jesus famous from my little corner of the world wide web? He doesn’t need a PR agent, but He does from time to time choose to use me and I want to be faithful to give what I’ve been given.
Emily Freeman, one of my favorite writers, says, “The soul fatigue of writers on the internet is real.” If we are trying to compete or compare we will try to keep up with the impossible hustle and pace. And it can’t be done! Not without paying the price of valuable relationships and priorities. She often says, “The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules and we must learn to sit down on the inside and take a deep breath with Jesus. ”
Surely God is calling me/us to glorify Him on the Internet and surely He will lead and guide us to steward our online influence from a pure heart because we don’t need the internet, the internet needs us! (Because the Internet needs Jesus in us.)