I have always had a passion to write. As a young girl I spent countless hours finding joy in creating poetry, journaling my thoughts, pouring time into school essays and sharing letters with friends and family.
I love to write.
Writing helps me process all that I am experiencing and it helps me capture moments I desire to remember. My husband knows this about me. And when we started to feel reconciled in our marriage after years of struggle, he encouraged me to start a blog.
I thought he was crazy.
He encouraged me to consider how blogging is like an online journal and that perhaps by blogging about what we were going through in our marriage it would help me process what I was learning about God and about my role as a wife. He also mentioned that an added benefit would be that anyone else who reads my blog would hopefully find encouragement in whatever season of marriage they are in to hang in there and continue to rely on God.
A few months after my dear husband suggested I start a blog and after many prayers, I decided to go for it! I felt that God was leading me to be honest about marriage for myself and for anyone else willing to read it.
In March 2011, my husband helped me set up my blog at UnveiledWife.com.
I didn’t know what I was doing, but I embraced the space that blogging provided to write. Each week I would share a post about what my husband and I were going through or what I had learned from our first few years of marriage. I knew a major goal I had was to share about our story of how we almost ended our relationship with divorce and the journey to the amazing reconciliation we encountered because of God.
To say that fear struck me every time I went to publish an article is an understatement. Yet, I didn’t let the fear stop me! And looking back over the last few years, I am extremely grateful for my husband and God leading me down this road because I can see every area of growth I have experienced as a blogger.
Blogging has been a huge learning curve for me. With every step of the way, meaning every minute I have committed to blogging, it has impacted me and refined me. I want to share with you a few of those ways, especially to encourage those of you who are embracing a blogging journey. I can’t exclaim enough that it has been incredibly worth it!
1. I am a better writer. You know the saying “practice makes perfect?” Well I believe the more time I invest writing, the better I get. My voice has become clearer, my punctuation has improved and I have learned specific techniques that help people read my writing better, such as keeping paragraphs short. I must mention that the feedback I receive from my readers also plays a role in my refinement as a writer when they comment how I have misspelled a word or are using bad grammar. Thank you to those who speak up! I want to continue to grow in this area, for my sake and yours!
2. I am a better wife. Writing about marriage and encouraging wives on a daily basis is like sticking a neon post-it to my forehead every day. It is there, I see it, I know I need to follow through and do what I challenge others to do. This kind of accountability has been priceless in teaching me to be a better wife.
3. I am a cautious influencer. I know there are many wives who read my words. I know I have influence based on the comments readers leave on my social media accounts or on the blog. People are reading what I share and lives are being impacted. There is a huge responsibility that comes with this kind of influence. I would never want to lead anyone astray. My goal is always to point my readers to Christ. This weight of responsibility keeps me cautious of what I share and whether my real life reflects what is online.
4. I am closer to God. Knowing that I write devotions and share scriptures forces me to be in the Word of God and know it. On this journey I have grown closer to God than ever before, relying on Him to inspire me to share with my community of readers what He desires, not what I desire. I have submitted my blog to God from day one and I give Him all the glory.
5. I know more about technology. Before blogging my extent of knowledge on the computer was wrapped up in how to use Google search and how to manage Myspace. Now I know how to utilize multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I know my way around the backend of WordPress. I understand the importance of SEO and I know how to read Google Analytics. My knowledge has grown exponentially.
6. I know how to make money. Although I never started blogging to make money, I now make money because of blogging. In fact, I wanted to keep my blog ad-free so that readers are not distracted and receive the resources I aimed to provide. But blogging costs money, especially as the subscriber list increases, so I had to get creative in how to make money to continue to do what I fell in love with. I started out designing shirts and now I have my own store! Check it out HERE!
7. I am an author. Being a constant blogger over the last four years has led me to pursue a life-long dream of being traditionally published. As of this year my book The Unveiled Wife was released with Tyndale Momentum Publisher. I feel so blessed and honored that blogging is the reason I was able to share my story in a book, which you can grab a copy HERE!
8. I am more protective of my family. Due to the exposure I have online because of what I share through my blog, I have had to be careful what and when I post to social media. I know there are unhealthy people in this world who could take advantage of the information I share online. One of my rules is I don’t post live updates showing or telling where we are at a given time. I wait until later to upload a picture of my family at the park.
9. I am more open. Starting my blog on the foundation of being transparent was important to me. Yet, as I have shared my heart through my writing, I have learned how to open up even more! For example, when I first started to blog I never would have had the courage to post this article which went live just two months ago, read it HERE:
10. I know Photoshop. This one makes me smile. When I was first starting to blog and I needed to make graphics I asked my husband to teach me how to use Photoshop. He was working full time and thought it would be better to encourage me to take a college class for a thorough teaching of the program. So I did! If you can invest in learning programs that will help you blog, I say do it! I use Photoshop daily and I am so glad I took that class.
11. I read more. In general, I read way more than I ever did. I want to know what other authors and bloggers are writing about. I want to be relevant in my writing. I want to know how I can better my skills. This all requires more reading.
12. I pay more attention to things that happen to me. Being a blogger is being a storyteller. In some fashion I share stories through each article. People love stories because they are relatable and can reveal insight into a situation that becomes helpful. I pay more attention to things that happen to me and how I can use certain situations to share about in a blog article in order to help others.
13. I am intentional with my time. I have fallen in love with blogging and I consider what I do a major priority in my life. However, I am also a wife, mother, friend, etc. In order to maintain my blog and my writing, I need to schedule time to do that. Every day I pray I am diligent at all the things I desire to get done, whether thats writing, going to the park, grocery shopping or laundry. I have to make it all work, which means I don’t waste any of my time.
14. I know my purpose. Being confident in my purpose in life use to be tough to wrap my head around. Blogging has changed my life. I know without a doubt that I was made to blog, I was created to write, I have found my purpose…and it feels so good! Knowing what my purpose is clarifies my priorities and defines the lifestyle I live. I am fulfilled and satisfied knowing that blogging is my purpose.
These are just a few of the ways blogging has refined me and made me a better person. AND as an after thought I just realized another one to bring the list to 15 would be I am less fearful! I have gained the courage to do more than I ever thought possible, including building friends with some amazing authors and bloggers and doing speaking engagements!
I love blogging and I will continue to do it as long as I can because I know the value it has in my life. I know I will keep growing from here.
If you are blogging or are considering to blog, I hope reading this encourages you. If you commit to being a consistent writer through your blog, incredible things happen. It will mature you and it will stretch you in ways you didn’t know possible!
I like to think that even if I don’t blog the rest of my life, this season of blogging was just one more tool God stuck in my tool belt to equip me to do His will. He did the same thing when my husband and I traveled as missionaries, when we started a photography business and when we stepped up as facilitators in our marriage community group at church. There is always benefit to fulfilling the things God calls us to.
No matter what you do, consider how it has refined you! Leave a comment about it…I know it will encourage others!
And if you feel called, start blogging and be aware of how it changes you for the better!