Tuesday, March 6

The Do What You Can Plan

It seems I revisit this question at least once a year...

Why am I blogging? Should I keep blogging? Does God want me to be blogging?

I suppose the last question is the only one that really matters...though answers come slowly, and through the noise of life sometimes. They are hard to hear and to decipher.

And so I keep blogging.

When I started blogging in November 2010, I was ecstatic. It was the writing outlet I had been longing for. I wrote haphazardly about odd movies I had seen, hair pulling moments at the grocery store with my children, the giving up of pacifiers and anything else that came to mind in a given day. 

While I feel enormously blessed to be home with my girls, there has always been an itch to find a way to manage both motherhood and some component of my former professional life, no matter how small that piece might be. I've strived to find that balance in part because I enjoy the work; editorial projects, researching topics, creating streams of words. In part, because I wanted to keep that part of my life relevant and engaged so that once the girls are in school I can more easily slip back into these things when the time is right. 

Blogging scratched the itch. For a while anyway. 

And then I started to read about blogging. I started to check out other blogs. Lots of them (there's lots to be checked out, if you haven't already noticed!)  And I thought, Oh my, I'm doing this all wrong. My design needs work. What is my focus? My niche? Who am I trying to reach? Who is my audience? How do I grow my audience? 

Statistics. Suggestions. Marketing. Twitter. Social Media Presence. 

I wasn't ready for all of that

I started thinking, a lot, about what I should be writing about, who I should be trying to reach, what my blog should look like. I've attempted to put editorial calendars together, filled with interesting topics and ideas. 

And then the rubber meets the road, so to speak. 

It's kind of like saying I'd love to go on a long journey, meet some interesting people, and explore some amazing places along the way. I start to write lists of what I would take, where I would go, how the trip might actually come to fruition...and then I go to hop in the car and realize...

Whoa...wait a minute...I've got two little ones here. Either they come along for the ride with me or there isn't a ride! 

I stick the kids in the car and look at my list and realize it is WAY too ambitious of a plan with preschoolers...so I look at their smiling faces and we drive to the zoo and grab some chicken nuggets for lunch. 

It's a great day. We have fun. We even meet some interesting people and see some very cool animals along the way. It's just not the "big" epic thing I thought I wanted to persue. And that's o.k. Because I LOVE these little faces...and the big journey can wait. 

But then the kiddos go to bed and I log onto my computer and enter into the Neverland of the internet...blog upon, blog, upon blog...by Moms! With big impact, and great design and far reaching messages and a widespread audience. 

Oh my. Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my....I won't tell you what goes on in my insecure, comparison trapping, non-focused on God mind at those moments. 

I'll just say that's when I have to take a BIG deep breath. And refocus on the master of the universe who has plans for my life, and my children, and our family, and how it will all work out...in the palm of his hand. All. Figured. Out. 



That is why I really appreciated what Holley Gerth had to say in her book, You're Already Amazing. (The one that arrived unexpectedly in the mail several weeks ago when I was having a really disorganized kind of day!). 

She starts to think about her "goals" to get to the gym more and says,
"One day I was driving to work and telling myself once again "When things slow down, I will go tto the gym and work out all the time. I'll get in shape. It will be great." Then I thought, "I've been telling myself this for five years. Things are never going to slow down. I've got to do what I can." That was the beginning of a revolution." 
She then proposes the "Do What You Can Plan".

I like the do what you can plan. Why? Because in my life, in this season, right now, I can't go on some big epic journey in my writing "career". 

But I am doing what I can. 

I'm blogging when I can, which keeps my mind moving and engaged. I've been creating our MOPS newsletter for the past two years. I'm trying to figure out ways to engage women in our church to express their own stories...through words. I'm writing a freelance article here and there (mostly for a local 50+ magazine, which is funny to me, but it's good and keeps me researching and writing).

More importantly than all of that...I'm reading to my girls as much as I can. We're spending time together. We memorize Bible verses (when we remember!). We go to the zoo. And to the grocery store. And for walks. We plant vegetables together and bake muffins. 

The very next section in Holly's book is titled, "Small Can Be Really Big"...
"We often get caught up in thinking we have to do something really big to achieve our goals, but sometimes the little things really can make a difference. someone once told me that coming to the point where change happens is like adding one drop of water to a bucket every day."  
So why do I keep blogging? 

Well, here are a few reasons: 

1. I find joy in it. When I lay down the comparisons and just do it to do it...I enjoy it. 

2. As Scott says, you're keeping things "warm"

3. I've met some awesome women. Truly. There are people I've met and connected with way more deeply simply because we're bloggers. Bethi. Mindy. Amelia. Cindy B. (my newest bloggy friend), just to name a few! 

4. In the words of Ann Voskamp, who I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with at a conference back in October, "Blogging is like a net that catches all the moments of our lives. Things we might otherwise forget." 

That has been SO incredibly true for me! 

So, if you're a mom, or a woman, with a blog or thinking about starting a blog and you find yourself asking "Why bother? There are so many out there? Why add one more?"

If it is something that brings you joy, a way to connect with other women, and an opportunity for you to capture the starts and stops and moments of this crazy, busy life you are in...

Then it's worth it and you should do what you can. 


  1. Oh yes.

    I'm in your boat, sister.

    I've had my Jottinmama blog for, ohhh, almost 3 years now? And I thought that surely by now I would have many more people leaving comments and I thought my template would be much cuter and I thought I would write like everyday...nope, nope, and nope.

    These little ones....they keep us busy, don't they? I too have stopped comparing. I had to. I enjoy this....and I enjoy your blog! And I'm glad you're still here writing! Keep it up...(whenever you can, anyway!)

    Kate :)

  2. I agree completely! I like the writing, the journaling of our life, but the design and marketing and statistics and all those other buzz words that I don't even know, make me feel tired and that's the last thing I need in this season as a mom! So I do the part I love and try not to worry about that other stuff!

  3. This is just awesome Lisa. I love that we're processing this at the same time, and that we've been able to encourage each other! :)

  4. I love the "do what you can plan." I often have grand plans and the end up stressed out when it's all I can do to keep my head above water. When you're stepping out and doing something that has risk, it's hard to pull back, but you're right -- you just HAVE to sometimes. And that's OK.

    I've tried out so many of the different blogging tips etc., and some of them are helpful, but others just don't work for me. I thought scheduling posts and writing ahead of time would be awesome, and then I thought my posts lost their passion. It helped me figure out that I need to challenge myself to come up with ideas regularly, but not on a schedule. For me, it just doesn't work. So, like everything else, it's good to take the good and leave the rest.

    Ultimately, if we're faithfully following God's lead for our lives, whether that's in blogging, momming, working or anything else, we're moving in the right direction. And that's all He asks.

  5. Oh my. The Do What You Can plan is exactly the plan I am on as well. My dreams are big, but my children are still home with me, and I sure don't want to miss that treasure. We mamas will keep writing, and some day we'll be writing a whole lot more and looking back on these days with nostalgia. :-)

    I also started my current blog simply because I was called to write, but soon headed down bunny trails of being a "proper" blogger. Now I think of myself as a writer who blogs sometimes. It helps me keep my focus. God did not call me to be a blogger, He called me to write. So write I must.

    The funny thing is that we have no idea how what we write impacts other people. We think successful bloggers are those who have huge followings. But what is success? If I correlate writing to a one on one conversation, if something I said to someone brought them hope or turned their eyes off their suffering to Jesus for a moment, wouldn't I think that a "successful" conversation? I have been stunned by comments from people who I had no idea were reading. We feel invisible, but people really are reading.

    Seems to me, God wants to use the weak and struggling, and mamas are weak and struggling! When we just walk in obedience to His calling on us as individuals, He does amazing things. Walk on strong in Him sister! What a blessing that you understand what a high calling motherhood is!


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