What I Said at Blog Sugar

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be one of nine speakers at Blog Sugar.

I spoke alongside Julie of Joy’s Hope under the topic of  “Use Your Blog for Good”.

For all her nerves, Julie was brilliant and spoke of using your blog to possibly be the only bit of sunshine someone sees that day.

She’s even started a monthly challenge called Do Something Good.  It’s a great and simple way to get you out of your regular routine and help others.  I highly encourage you to check it out.

I could go on and on about why I chose to say what I said, but instead, I’ll just type:

* * * *

{print by Whimsy Studios}

One of the things that I think non-bloggers tend to forget or ignore…and that us as bloggers push out of our minds…maybe because its weird, or uncomfortable or what we wouldn’t consider humble but…

Bloggers have power and influence.

Now, I’m not talking power and influence like you’ll be the next President, or that you’ll be on the cover of Newsweek anytime soon…

And when I say that bloggers have power and influence, I don’t just mean the Big Bloggers.  ALL bloggers do.

Whether you have 5 readers or 5,000 readers.

The fact is that there are an estimated 156 MILLION blogs in existence right now.

Out of 156 MILLION blogs out there, those 5 people…or 5,000 people…are choosing to come to YOU.

They are choosing, for whatever reason, to visit YOUR little space.  YOUR little corner of the internet.  They want to know what YOU have to say…over that of 156 MILLION other places they could be reading….think about that.

That’s a big deal.  A really big deal.  These people can spend their time doing so many other things, and yet, they choose to spend it reading what YOU have to say.

It wasn’t very long ago that women didn’t have a voice.

It wasn’t very many years ago that no one cared to know, or even allowed, for a woman to broadcast her opinions, dreams, and goals.

I often picture what it would be like to be able to sit at a table with my great-great-great grandmother.

Assuming I could actually explain and get her to understand the concept of the computer and internet…once I was able to get past that whole part…and explain to her that Yes!  I have this space where I can say whatever I want and other people come and read it!  There is this community that is cultivated and we share ideas and thoughts and laughter and tears…all because I sit down at my computer and type some stuff out while I’m still in my pajamas!

Now I don’t know what my great-great-great grandmother would say to that, but based on her knowledge of the limited role of women in her own day, my guess would be something like:

“That’s incredible!!!!  So what did you do with all of that????!!!”

::crickets::

Because truly…what a shame.

What an absolute shame if we squander this thing.

This thing that our great grandmothers would never be able to even dream of.

What a waste of a resource if we have this incredible opportunity literally at our fingertips, and we don’t use it to Glorify Him, serve His people, and further His kingdom.

(source)

1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I don’t know about you, but my blog occupies a lot of my brain.

Not just the actual typing, but the thinking of posts, ways I’ll word something, snapping photos…it’s not a bad thing…just that the truth is, there’s quite a bit of brain space used for it.

Let’s imagine for a second that you’ll have the wherewithall to actually have a conversation with God Himself when you get to Heaven.

How would you feel if it went a little something like this:

“You know Jeannett, you were pretty good.  I really appreciate seeing you and your family in church most Sundays.  You gave me a few minutes before meals.  You read Bible stories to your kids.   You even hosted Bible Study on Wednesday nights and helped your kids with Awana verses.  But there was this blog thing…you know, if I wasn’t God and didn’t know better, I wouldn’t know you were a believer…I never really made the cut for any of your posts…”

Gulp.

I don’t have to tell you that that’s not right.  I don’t have to tell you that if you’re not already using your blog to Glorify Him, serve His people, and further His Kingdom in some way…you’re squandering your resource.

A very 21st century and kinda unorthodox resource, but a God given resource just the same.

Now, for those of you with “mommy blogs” or “lifestyle blogs”, it’s fairly easy to incorporate God into your blog space.  You just kinda have to do it and be more deliberate about it.

But there’s some of you thinking “You know Jeannett, I totally get it.  I agree with you.  But here’s the thing: I’m a niche blogger.  I don’t blog about my kids or trips to the park…I blog exclusively about crafts…or I’m a food blogger and I only blog about cupcakes…people don’t come to me to hear about God…they come to me specifically to find out how to get 700 rolls of toilet paper for 63 cents by tripling coupons…I don’t know how to work that in…and I might lose some readers because they’ll be offended or annoyed…I don’t want to lose my focus…that’s just not what my blog is about…”

I get it.

Look, good business says that you have a topic and you stick with it.  Any Business 101 class will teach that you stick to what you are good at and don’t stray from the path.  I get it.  And I agree with it.

But let’s go back to that conversation we were having with God.  Do you want to tell God that you were afraid of losing some readers???  You were concerned that your stats would take a hit?  The last time you quoted Scripture, your Facebook Likes went down by a couple dozen?  I mean, I don’t know what God would really do, but I have a feeling it might look a little like the raised eyebrow and crossed arms I give my four year old when he gives me an exceptionally lousy excuse…don’t you?

So for those of you with niche blogs…I have a secret for you: you are not one dimensional, so then why should your blog be?

Remember how there are 156 million blogs to choose from?  There is a reason people come to YOU over that of another craft blogger.  The truth is, and I hate to hurt your feelings, but with some creative googling, people can find at least 12 other blogs who did a similar tutorial as you just last week.

There is a reason we all want to have coffee with Ree and be her new best friend.

Is it because she makes the world’s best cinnamon rolls?  (Quite possibly.)  But more likely, it’s because she makes some pretty killer cinnamon rolls, and there’s just something about her…something charming and welcoming and…just so…real that makes you feel like you know her…and want to have a slumber party at the Ranch.

Don’t underestimate your readers.  They like YOU.  Even if you blog nothing but recipes, a little bit of you shines through.

I would venture to say that not only would your readers be tolerant of knowing a little more about you…a little more of what makes you tick…a little more of what is important to you…I think they would actually welcome it.

And honestly, if someone is so appalled by the fact that you shared your heart….if someone is so personally offended that you gave some space to an issue, topic, idea that makes your soul breathe…well…

Peace out. 

I don’t need that kind of reader in my space.  I want a space that is safe and warm and inviting.  If a reader wants to go through all the trouble of unsubscribing and never coming back because I strayed from the tutorials of painting chevron stripes on burlap…because I shared with them something that makes my heart ache…well, I’m sure they’ll find one of the other 156 million blogs out there.

I don’t say that to be mean.   Not at all.

But I won’t apologize for my faith or my passions.  Nor will I pretend they don’t exist.

“My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honor to Christ in my own person by fearless courage.” -Phillipians 1:20

Now, I’m no theologian.  I’ve never been to Seminary.  I’m just an average mom with a blog and a Bible.  But you know what I hear when I read those words?

Bring it.

Read that verse again.  Go on.  Really.

God wants us to bring it.  For His glory.  For His kingdom.  For His people.

“Let’s see what you can do.”

Do not be afraid.  Do not shirk away.  And do it your way.

“…I may do honor to Christ in my own person…”

I’m not suggesting we all become the next Ann Voskamp (although we can all agree she’s amazing)…you have to do it YOUR way.  In a way that is distinctly and uniquely YOU.  Not how you think it should be.  Not how you see everyone else doing it.  Not according to some formula.

I’m not asking you to end every post with a Scripture reference.  Or to post a glittery cross in your sidebar.  Or to do a God Post once a month.  There is no right answer.

But bring it.

You kinda have to, right?

We are commanded to do it.

We are called to it.

Philipians 1:20 says it loud and clear.

Using your blog for good isn’t just about the warm fuzzies…it is important to God and therefore it should be important to us.

We gotta find a way to use this technological tool…this new form of communication…and make it truly worth our time.

* * * *

Tomorrow I’ll share some practical tips on what that means…what using your blog for good can look like…but for now, I’ll end this already crazy long post.

You gonna bring it?

I can’t wait to see how you do it.

 

 

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jeannett
I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.
jeannett
jeannett

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Comments

  1. 1

    still marinating in this since blog sugar. god used your words, friend! you’re the jam!
    love you and so appreciate your fire!! xo

  2. 2

    What a phenomenal post. I am seriously at a loss for words. But you are right. This technology? This social media driven society we live in? It’s all a resource. Can’t wait to read more about this.

  3. 3

    like hannah, these words are still marinating in my soul. so good!

    you ladies rocked it!

  4. 4

    Bring it! :) Looking forward to what you do for God through your blog.

  5. 5

    I really <3 you today!!! At the point where I am getting ready to begin my blog and have been trying to figure out WHAT do I have to say, WHAT is "my niche"…. the experts say "pick a niche", and "narrow it down"… at the same time I am trying to get in touch with God and what path does GOD want me to take, I read your blog post today and it really puts me more at ease with where I want to go and what I want to do with my own blog (when I get it live). Thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. 6

    For those of us who are believers, our niche is God. Everything we do is a reflection of Him. How do people see Jesus in me? Do they see Jesus in me? I certainly hope so!

    Thanks for the reminder, for the challenge, for the encouragement!

  7. 7

    Oh Jeannett, I feel like God’s been speaking a lot to my heart about this. How convicting is this post! But SOOOO true. Thank you for sharing your heart, and helping all of us. I never thought of my blog as a resource… but it is. It really really is.

    XOXOXO

  8. 8

    Thank you for writing this. It’s just what I needed to read. I first read this post last night, and have been thinking about it often, ever since. I definitely want to use my blog to bring glory to God,. I’m too quiet about that part of my life sometimes.

  9. 9

    Such a great post!! A lot to think about. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  10. 10

    Thank you for this post! I didn’t get to meet you face to fact at Blog Sugar, but I have lurked around your blog lots of times :) I agree whole-heartedly with not squandering this gift to communicate and to share those parts of myself that sometimes even those who meet me in person may not even see. I’ve been amazed by the encouragement I’ve received by others who choose to bare their souls, their faith, and their trials. Because they’ve inspired and encouraged me, it makes me wonder who my sharing could touch. I want to glorify God and inspire others even though I may just be a small potatoes kind of blog. Thank you for putting this challenge out there and for your insight :)

  11. 11

    Thank you for sharing.. :) love this

  12. 12

    Thank you Jeannett for taking the time to write your blog sugar talk down. I had the hardest time choosing only 3 sessions and was sad to miss the other 8 (including you). I am so thankful you shared it here. I definitely agree with you without a question, in fact to counter the readers leaving fear – I have noticed quite the opposite. Yes, I have lost maybe a handful of readers who were clearly uncomfortable with me mentioning their Creator. However, I immediately noticed a larger following who are more sincere, genuine, kind, honest, and loving. I have enjoyed this little community of readers on my blog, our discussions via comments/emails are so uplifting. I was scared at first before ever mentioning my faith on my blog, but I am so glad I did. My blog isn’t preachy, just aware that all this beauty, all these gifts, and all this inspiration comes from Him.

  13. 13

    Awesome.

  14. 14

    Love love LOVE this post!!!!!! Beautifully worded

  15. 15

    Thank you so much for the encouragement and inspiration. LOVE this. In fact, I’m pinning it and I’m your newest follower. =)

  16. 16

    thank you for being a part of that special evening.
    you are wonderful!

  17. 17

    This post flippin ROCKS…and so do you!

    PS – When you tweeted “are you ready to bring it?” I was hoping you were referring to a cheerleading competition. But this was pretty good, too. ; )

  18. 18

    Hey, Jeannett. BRAVO!!!! I decided when I re-started blogging, again, (and I only get 1 – 2 posts in a week) that my goal would be to bring glory to God through it. It’s not all about spirituality, etc., but my GOAL is that others wold see God through my life and my blog. THANKS so much for the nudge. I don’t post more because I have trouble thinking of something worthwhile to post about. But shame on me! Every day is worthwhile! It’s a gift!!

  19. 19

    Oh, I love this!

    I’ve not been afraid to share God on my blog, but rather I’ve been careless.

    And I’ve tried harder this year to be more intentional in my “real” life, and I don’t think it spilled over as much into my writing.

    THANK YOU for this encouragement – so timely!

    And I totally would have battled my shyness to see you at Blog Sugar! :)

  20. 20

    True. Beautiful. Encouraging. Amen.

  21. 21

    This is a great post. I’m not Christian and the focus of my “doing good” is therefore a little bit different, but not really, right? It’s about helping others. I didn’t see my blog becoming that in the beginning because I didn’t know it could, but it can and it does and I’m running with it. You don’t have to tell me twice to use the platform I’ve been given! :)

    Visiting via Courtney’s Spotlight Saturday.

  22. 22

    Love this… :)

  23. 23

    thank you for sharing your spirit and your words at Blog Sugar. i wanted to be so many places at one time that night. I tried to stretch myself that night and go outside of my comfort zone, and I did, but I missed hearing a few of you that I knew would touch my heart too. That night was amazing and you were a part of it. Thank you! love you and your ♥

  24. 24

    Amen! I think, too, though, that God can be found even where His name isn’t mentioned. I’d like to think that my readers can see God in the way I carefully craft my blog posts, in how I try to visit, at least once, the blogs of those who comment or become new followers, how I find a way to respond to each comment whether that’s by email, on one of their posts, or in my own comment space. I am vocal about my faith on my blog, but I want my audience to see it in everything I do in the blog world, whether I actually mention God in the process or not.

  25. 25

    Food for thought. God has been putting this on my heart, but I am having problems balancing between how much I should reveal about my faith, and my walk, and how much needs to be private. My family is super private, so posting anything about them is usually a no-go. Thanks for making me think this over :)

  26. 26

    you rock my socks, jeanette. speaking the truth in love. this is just what i needed to hear. and i love this scripture. how have i missed this? love it. thank you.

  27. 27

    This is good stuff! I want to use my words for good spurring others on to good words. I love the ripple effect blogging seems to have!! Wish I could have heard you in person!

  28. 28

    I needed to read this today. I am starting to write more about God and my spirituality on my blog. I think I’m being authentic but I also think I’m losing some readers in the process. But something in my heart tells me to keep writing about it. It’s become a huge part of my life now. How can I ignore it?
    molly´s last blog post ..I still don’t have to say mid-thirties

Trackbacks

  1. […] What I Said at Blog Sugar by Jeannett @ Life Rearranged: This post is one of those posts. You know, the ones that smack you in the face and give you a big, fat giant gut check? Yeah. That kind. Jeannett reminds us all in this post that these blogs we write, these social media accounts we are addicted to…they are a resource. They have a purpose and can be used as great tools. If you don’t read anything else today, read this one. […]