Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Taking it Back to Ordinary

I started blogging approximately twelve years ago. It was a fantastic adventure when I started. I met so many new friends, several who are
still friends today, and I enjoyed the daily interaction with other moms struggling to keep their lives in order, just like I was.

We started our own link parties and blog hops without any fancy online help sites. We had rough looking blogs sometimes,
without the slick magazine style that is so popular now.




We loved to leave comments for each other and would often carry on long conversations in the comments! Back then, if you visited a blog and did not comment you were called a lurker. We even had "DeLurker Weeks" where we gave suggestions on how to break the silence. Haha!

Things have come a long way. Everything is slicker, easier, smoother and prettier....but...
everything seems less personal too.

During the last twelve years...along came Facebook, along came Pinterest and Twitter and Instagram...and the personal, friend finding realness of blogging began to fade away like invisible ink.

Most people seem to be blogging for different reasons now. Money seems to be one of the main reasons people blog. There is nothing wrong with that ...but...I don't think it should take priority over relationships.

Nowadays blog readership seems to want more freebies, and they want the blogger to help them make their homes prettier, their schedule smoother, their finances manageable. Those are all really nice things. I like them too. But I miss the friendships, the conversations, the realness.

I've been through some crazy life experiences and through all the years and all the challenges, I have learned some valuable things that I want to share here, that might go against the grain of current trends:

Number one:  Simple does not equal DIY most of the time. I prefer simplicity, which means I may do without things rather than waste my time trying to make my own. Sometimes making my own things is helpful, but I choose my projects carefully. I mourn the loss of the original definition of simple. It has been taken to mean homemade...however,  homemade is rarely more simple. It's just more work.

Number two: DIY does not usually equal inexpensive...unless you are comparing it to a high end, name brand something. When I do shop, I prefer to shop within my means, which often means dollar stores and thrift shops instead of Pottery Barn. Therefore the expense of a project should be weighed against the possibility of finding something in a less expensive store.

Number three: Homeschooling does not have to be expensive or complicated. Look at the 1800's model. That era produced some of the finest minds our nation has known, with nothing more than books, slates and pencils. I once had a conversation with a new homeschool mom who was wrought with concern over which Bible curriculum to purchase for her six year old daughter. I was silent while she talked and then I quietly suggested that she do like women have for hundreds of years...and simply read the Bible to her daughter and discuss it. She was surprised and then relieved. She said she had never thought of that before.

Number four:  Cooking fresh eggs with salt and pepper is just as delicious as a gourmet meal. Delicious food can be simple. Just use the most wholesome and freshest ingredients you can, and learn to enjoy the simple flavors God created.

Number five: Homesteading is not easy or even fun a lot of times. If this is the direction you feel called to go, then be aware that you will be working sun up to way after sun down. There will be little leisure time and you won't look like those pretty pictures you see. You will have dirt around ...a lot.

Number six: Having a clean house, organized home, or well decorated home does not bring happiness to a broken spirit, love to a broken marriage, or security to struggling children. Time invested in relationships will bring more results worth having than any pretty home or organized home. Remember the story of Mary and Martha? What did Jesus say?

Ladies, you are doing a great job by keeping your children bathed, by washing the clothes and cooking the food. NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that your house has to be more beautiful or on trend, it doesn't say you need cuter birthday decor or more clever homeschool projects. Those are the OUTWARD things that distract us. The inward person is the one that matters for eternity. Don't let the trends and the glitz and glamour of someone else's photoshopped life make you forget your worth or lose your sanity or focus on the wrong things. If you are spending hours each day on crafts and seconds on prayer...well..you should reconsider your priorities.

Your children do not care if their birthday party looks adorable. You do. Your children will not be one step closer to heaven if they live in a trendy home. They need to hear you pray, listen to you read the Bible and talk with you about the things of eternity. Don't neglect the eternal for the temporary. It's so easy to do.

Some of the prettiest blogs, written by the most well meaning people, can lead us away from the eternal, to focus on the temporal. I remember feeling condemned because my home wasn't as organized or pretty as a blogger who boldly proclaimed that Godly women have beautiful homes for their family to enjoy. That's not what the Bible says. But it's easy to confuse caring for the family with adorning for the family. Two different things...

Remember to weigh everything you see, and everything you read, and make careful choices. You only answer to God. Those other bloggers probably won't be coming into your home to analyze your cooking, decorating or cleaning. Even your husband cares less about those things than you probably think. Make sure that each choice you make lines up with your eternal goals. Make sure you aren't doing things simply because you feel guilty for not doing them.

My challenge to you today is this: Find one thing that you can do more simply today. Strip away the fluff and find the core of that thing. It could be decorating, cooking, homeschooling...whatever. But find some way to get to the center of it without the modern, pretty, techy attachments. Maybe you could even write an ordinary blog post without any hype.

Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you.



Shared with Hope In Every Season {Not Just} Homemaking Party


8 comments:

  1. Oh my word. What a refreshing post! Thank you. I've been blogging seriously for a few months now. I feel like it's something I should do, and I like it. It's so hard, though, looking around at all the people being featured wondering if I'm writing what I should. Blah, blah, blah. I've known that I should write spirit-based posts as the majority of my work. I think I need blinders when I go online. :) Am I making any sense? Anyway, I'm below you on Wise Woman and so glad I clicked on your link! You've given me a breath of fresh air. Have a wonderful day.

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! That's what we're always hoping for, isn't it? To be a breath of fresh air to someone else? I'll be coming over to check out your blog, too. Thank you for the comment!

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  3. Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great bog!
    Have a nice day!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate your comment!

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  4. Your post was so refreshing! Thanks for the reminder that we don't need to do some things just because everyone else does!

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    1. Thank you, Amanda. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by and for the encouraging comment!

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  5. Oh wow! I absolutely LOVE this. Yes, simplicity often trumps all doesn't it.

    I've been wanting to monetize my blog but relationships are critical to me... perhaps this is why monetization is going so slow. I refuse to compromise what I have, the people I know, and my voice.

    Your story about the homeschooling Bible curriculum was bang on... YES - read the Bible! Discuss! That's all we need.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. I too, am interested in monetizing...eventually. But it seems like a fine line to walk. If I can find a way to do it without compromise I will.
      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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