Blogger Reboot…..Please Hold **Cue elevator muzak **

It happened yesterday. I was writing a post for my blog and it just wasn’t coming. I also had an overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed. Like I was standing in the middle of a giant bowl of uncooked bread dough. And I was slowly sinking into the gooeyness (Anyone else feel the need for a cinnamon roll right about now? 😛 ). After a chat with a good friend of mine who has several books under her belt, I realized what I needed to do.

I need to take a blogging/writing break. Just for a few days to reboot my system.

In the meantime, here are a few blogging friends of mine that would love your visit:

1. https://hashtagsareforfootballfields.wordpress.com  (my cousin Emily is as hilarious as she is wise)

2. https://bhharned.wordpress.com/

3. https://bensbitterblog.com/

4. https://walkerkaty0.wordpress.com/

Ok kids, I guess that’s all for today. I’ll see you back here in a few days. While you are here visiting, if you could please clean up any mess that you make I’d really appreciate it.

Oh and if you don’t mind, can you make sure one of you waters my piranha plant at least once per day? His name is George and despite his outward appearance, he just wants to be your friend. I promise. 😉

this-weird-piranha-plant-sculpture-looks-horr-L-_Hk2_E

Cheers!

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Blogging Milestone: On Handling Your First Troll…

There comes a time in every writer’s life when you stumble upon your first troll. How you react can set the tone for the rest of your career.

Unlike the trolls of our childhood that hid under bridges and harassed unsuspecting billy goats, these types of trolls you are unable to see. They hide behind their computers and can spout nasty verbiage that lands on the comment section of your blog. Trolls just don’t disagree with your written opinion, but often express themselves using name-calling and bitterness. Today I share some tips on how to deal with your first one.

1. Celebrate!: Ok, this seems a tad wrong to celebrate someone who has said not so kind things to you, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: trolls usually strike when they see elements of the truth in your writing or the words you speak (Now, in an effort to cover my bum, I just want to point out that sometimes trolls come out in defense OF the truth. I call them benevolent trolls. These days you can find them hard at work in the comment section of any article or video from Donald Trump 😉 ). If you never had a troll, that actually means that your writing hasn’t had much of an impact. Celebrate when you find one in the comment section of your blog and make the comment visible (as long as it’s not using bad language or threatening anyone. Moderation tools were created for a reason. Use them).

Honestly, I’ve been doing this blogging thing for not quite a year (my 1-year blogaversary is coming up next month), and I didn’t think I’d get my first troll so soon. I don’t even have that many subscribers (but I appreciate you all! Please share links to my blog with your friends, family, pastor, dog, and that random guy who stands on the corner and shouts incoherent babble. My current goal is to get into triple digits by February. 😉 )

2. Add them to your prayer list: At this point you might think I’m totally bonkers, but hear me out. These types of negative trolls are negative because their lives are not very rich or full of joy. Pray for them that they will find joy in building people up instead of tearing them down. Pray that they somehow are able to get out of their pit of darkness.

3. Ignore them: There is a quote in the new book by Jen Hatmaker (she’s basically like the MotherShip for the Christian blogging/author community 😉 ) that states:

“Don’t try to win over the haters (trolls), you aren’t the jackass whisperer!”

Ignoring/blocking a nasty comment from a troll gives you back control of your blog that the troll attempted to usurp.

Getting your first troll is in some ways a rite of passage for your blog. I hope you find these tips useful. But if they all have failed, try to dance along to the video below. I promise if it doesn’t help you feel better, at least it helped you burn off some calories! 😉

Remember, you are not alone!

Cheers!

 

A Month of Blogs: Lessons Learned

I’ve been blogging now 5 days a week for one month, and as of this post, two days. While saving this document I realize this is lucky #20. If you think the number 20 is lucky, anyway. In that time I’ve pored over the contents of my writing, making sure it’d reach as many as possible. By this point I feel like I could teach a seminar on the art of tagging. It’d be short, but you’d learn a few things. I also spend time every day refreshing my stats page to see the number of views/likes/comments very slowly climb. Very slowly. To the point of having to reload the entire page because it’ll inevitably crash. 

As a person whose primary Love Language is words of affirmation, it can be a bummer to log into my WordPress account and not see the stats bar move very far. If at all. I also worry that by saying this you’ll get the impression that I’m shilling for more views. I’m not.

One month ago, I felt the Lord leading me to blog on my experiences with anxiety in an effort to help others. And that’s the key; others. It’s never been about me, even though I’m writing about things that happened to me. Whoa, that’s a pretty deep epiphany for 1:15am.

Last night my husband and I watched– or attempted to watch– the movie, “Heaven Is For Real”. I say attempted because it was a free rental, and neither of us remembered that sometimes rentals can be damaged and skip key parts of the film. Several times. While frustrating, we stuck it out. Especially since I have read the book several times, and narrated what was skipped to the delight of my husband. The book and the movie are quite different, and if I were to make a recommendation, I’d say read the book.  For those of you unfamiliar, here’s a brief synopsis: HIFR is based on a true story about an American child, Colton Burpo, who visits heaven while having surgery for a ruptured appendix. At the time of his visit he is 4 yrs old. His parents, a pastor and his wife, are left to slowly figure out the truth by talking to their son, and gently encouraging him to tell what happened in his own words. In the book, the church and small town are inspired by Colton’s story and embrace the family. On the other hand, the movie paints the town and some in the church as doubters, and a few even make fun of the situation.

Seeing this section in the movie made me realize something. You know the old saying, “What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular?” This is definitely true as a follower of Jesus. When the Lord speaks to you and tells you to do something, you do it. Despite what others might say. When Colton told his family he had visited heaven, they believed him, despite what others said. The family felt led by God to share Colton’s story, despite the negative attention some gave them. It was never about giving themselves glory, but focusing that glory on God.

I think this is the biggest lesson I’ve learned in this month-long blogging journey. I was led by Jesus to begin my blog, not knowing how long it’d last or how many I’d write. Not even knowing how many people would read it, if any. But the intended focus has always been to use my experience to help others. And if I only ever had one follower, they would be my mission field and focus. I was asked to follow a certain path, and let God handle the rest. Even to the point of trusting Him when I was hesitant to reveal my beliefs, for fear of alienating my audience–I understand that religion can be a source of anxiety for folks. And so I march on. 

One month in, I hope you’ve found encouragement and hope in my little space on the internet. I don’t know how long we’ll be together, but I know I’ve enjoyed the ride so far. So buckle up. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Remember you are not alone (Jesus loves you SO much!)  🙂 

Cheers!