One Year Ago Today

WE HAVE A ONE -YEAR – OLD IN THE HOUSE!

This blog, Notes and Commentary, was born one year ago today.  Looking back on that first post really enlightened my perspective on this anniversary. Because I started, I have something to look back on. Because I started, I have lessons to share. Because I started, I am closer to where I want to be. And because I started, I am not where I used to be. Celebrating the success of starting!!!

We started Notes and Commentary sharing about jotting down the ideas, experiences, and notes on our lives. That focused evolved within the year. We realized our strong love of faith, family, and community is our worldview. The emphasis on noting is still present in the content. The blog reminds us of what God is speaking to us. “Notes are birthplaces of ideas. Notes are content” (Written in that first post).

Within the past year, I started a notebook I labeled “Big Idea Binder” and I asked God to help me stay mindful that I cannot abandon the ideas just because they are not ready to be birthed. I wrote them in the binder and I asked God to teach me to trust Him that He will guide me to bring them to fruition in his timing. ACTION ITEM: Make Your Big Idea Binder. Insert every idea that comes to your mind. Pray over these ideas and ask God to lead you into the next step for each of them.

June is my birthday month and that is what led me to start the blog in June. I promised myself I would write every day for thirty days. Well, I couldn’t keep it up for thirty days. I only wrote eleven posts in June 2016. But 11 is still more than 0. I share that to encourage the writer reading this post. Leave Your Zero Today. (That will preach!)

Here are a few things I learned giving birth to a blog.

  • Just Keep At It. It doesn’t have to be long or brand new content. Use your notes from past experiences. Read and write about what you read. Help yourself by reading blogging insights.
  • Create messages that inspire readers to act. I try to add an action item in all my content.
  • We can research for too long. You will not know everything there is to know about blogging when you start. Most of your development comes from trial and error. So just get started!
  • Use your notes and ideas for yourself and stop giving them away. It is okay to be selfish.
  • Accept help and ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone. Several people offer free information online. Reach out to a fellow blogger. Join a blogging community. I joined a Facebook community of Christian Women Communicators led by Kia Stephens and I love it!
  • Pay for resources. Why do we starve our creativity by being stingy with helpful purchases?
  • Educate yourself. Take some courses on software. Pay for consultation time. Read the fine print.
  • WordPress is not that simple. (Mind you, if I had done the previous action well before I started my blog, I may think differently.) Theme searching is nerve racking. I think new bloggers just wants to load the software, get the theme and get creating. Why does it have to be so hard?
  • Market yourself. Tell people that you are writing (I need help in this area.) Shy doesn’t sell.
  • Support other writers. Publish helpful resources. I often share the resources of those people I follow because it is helpful to me. Michael Hyatt, Natasha Robinson, Jonathan Milligan or Jeff Goins do not pay me a dime to drop their names in my post. Their information is helpful to me and so I share it with other writers. I was never involved in competitive sports. I hate feeling like I am in competition. If God disliked voices being heard at the same time, we would never have heavenly choirs. Be in concert, rather than competition. The role for creatives to play is to find those with whom you can collaborate and advocate for your respective messages in unison.

Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”  I also think it takes consistency. I set a goal to write for thirty days last June. Well, that wasn’t a realistic goal. I had a two-year-old in the home and I just started a new job. So I failed in that 30 – day writing goal. By next June, I will have a better sense of my blog schedule and routine. My goal in this next year is to write more consistently in my worldview and establish myself as an authority on the topic of Family and Servant Leadership for communities and non-profit organizations. Notes and Commentary will become a resource hub and so the blog is going to share more applicable information with our audience. More action items! More how-to-teach content.

So there you have it. I have shared our journey from a reflective point of view.

Jeff Goins is right. One year later, I am so happy that I started.

Happy Birthday Blog!

 

 

It’s my birthday and these are my life’s lessons

I don’t shy away from telling my age.  I wouldn’t say I am proud of my age but I never want it said that I wasn’t thankful for the life God gave me.  I am thankful for my testistory (pronounced TEST-I-STORY).  I have had tests and it is all part of MY STORY hence the reason the “I” is in the middle. Nikki at the Beach

Today, I can truly say that I have been blessed.  I have learned a few things along the way.

MY LIFE LESSON #1: GOTTA LOVE YOURSELF to LOVE LIVING.

I am so thankful Momma taught me how to love myself.  She used to say that I was the most conceited young woman she knew.  But I tell you for sure, I know my love of Nikki has helped me to stand.  I truly believe that a strong love for who you are and who God made you to be, makes the difference in your attitude and pursuits in life.

MY LIFE LESSON#2: HEALTHY is HIDDEN.

I started gardening six years ago. While producing my own food has been substantially rewarding, it is what I have learned in the garden experience that has truly affected my perspective on life.  We walk around just like seeds that go into the ground.  On the outside, we look good, but what produces from the inside of that seed is really what we care about (or at least we should).  Our spirit is hidden to everyone except our Heavenly Father.  And if our spirit isn’t healthy, neither are we.  Many people today are unhealthy because they are spiritually anemic (a phrase Pastor Harold McPherson uses often).  Health is really a condition of your blood and spirit.  I have learned that even blood relationships can be viciously unhealthy because of years and years of hidden sickness in our families.  Just like those plants that grow from the seeds in my garden, the conditions that may cause them to yield plentiful, good fruit is what I have to work to maintain.   Good nutrition, good sunlight, and water.  A health coach once told me, “you have to watch what you put in you in order to stay fit”.  What is in you is hidden to the world but you need to tend to it.  When you do, you will be healthy.

MY LIFE LESSON#3: LOVE has a LOOK.

Some lessons grow on you and this one matured me this year.  Because the Bible says that love endures (1 Corinthians 13:7), we think that love bears even the unbearable.  Yes, broken hearts can be a part of God’s plan.  But intentional harm is never a part of His plan.   Mistreatment, malice, abuse, and deliberately inflicted wounds were bore on the cross of Calvary so that I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT.  When you accept harm as a condition of love, your picture of love is distorted.  The picture of love looks like an embrace, always, always, always.  And love consoles even the broken-hearted.  Embrace

MY LIFE LESSON#4: HISTORY and LIFE are two different things.

I learned to love history during summer school my junior year at the Naval Academy.  For the first time, in my life, I felt connected to the place in which I was born because Mrs. Knutson taught American History to me that summer.  For much of my life, I was thinking about my family’s history as a condition for which I based my decisions about living.  I realize now how flawed I was in that thinking.   History is past and life is present.  If I constantly live my life, looking on the past mistakes of my ancestors, I live in their shadows.  I will never carve out my own path because I am constantly trying to better theirs.  I think that is an unfair weight for anyone to bear.  History is good to know.  But it is just a reference.  It is not the road map.  If you put your history in front of you to direct you, you will never find your way.

These lessons have helped me navigate my journey.  They help me be a better wife, mother, and daughter.  They help me to live my life.  And ultimately in living my life, I pray my Heavenly Father is pleased.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Leave a note and share a life lesson with the birthday girl.