Friday, June 19, 2015

At The Heart Of It All

Summer is in full swing over here at the Baker home, as I'm sure it also is for each of you!  Can I just say....
Summer. Is. GLORIOUS.
I'm having a love affair with splash parks and lakeside picnics, bare feet and sticky popsicle fingers, iced coffee and family hikes, s'mores and sangria while we watch the sun go down.  It's all beautiful and magical and I'm sure as the heat reaches it's scorching 90 degree height I'll be losing some of my starry-eyed, honeymoon bliss.  But for now, I'm just going to bask in all of the gloriousness and pretend that the parallel universe of (ughh, winter) -- just doesn't even exist. Can I get an, "Amen" from anyone else out there?
It's been a little quiet on my blog lately.  This is in part to my tight grip on Summer's hand.  But I've also been doing a lot of thinking and praying and soul searching about my intentions for Little Mountain Momma and for where I see myself headed as a writer.
I feel as though as my heart has been in one constant tug-of-war.  One practical side of me knows that to become an established writer in today's day, I have to continue to put myself out there on social media, promoting my website and asking readers and subscribers to follow my work.  The other part of me just doesn't give a gosh, darn rip.    
As I've been doing research to discover how other writers "make it" successfully, I'm finding that it involves hours upon hours of intentional time spent promoting posts, hosting giveaways, manipulating Instagram and Facebook photos to bring in more "likes" and followers, engaging with other bloggers and blogging networks in a constant "You scratch my back, I'll scratch your back" dance.  It involves spending time adding "pins" to Pinterst and linking those pins back to blog posts as a way to bring in and engage readers.  And that's just barely touching the surface of it all.
I've spent the past several months really trying to determine if this is the road I want to take with Little Mountain Momma.  And I am so at peace with my decision.  
No.  Absolutely, positively no.  I do not want that.  I have zero desire to join the "big leagues" of blogging.  I don't need or want thousands of followers on my social media accounts and I don't plan to pursue writing on Little Mountain Momma as a form of income or a side job for my family. 
And all of the angels in heaven just began to sing!  I'm sure my poor husband is going rejoice upon reading this since he's been the sounding board for all of my back and forth and up and down opinions and emotions on this blog as of late.  God love that man.
In keeping with the theme of transparency I thought I should share why and how I came to this decision.  For any aspiring writers out there, my hope for sharing about my journey is that maybe it provide a moment of clarity for you as well.
 I've been in a season of growth and change in regards to how I see myself and in where I place my worth and value.  I've been desperately seeking God's deliverance from a deep-rooted place of people pleasing and low self worth.   
I was not created to please others.  I was not gifted the ability to write for the reason of building myself up through a human attempt to band-aid the emotional wounds I've been trying to heal.
God gave me the gift of writing for the purpose of walking alongside other women in transparency and community.  By spending my free time trying to promote my name through various avenues of social media I've found that I've been writing less and getting further caught up in the lies that tell me that in order to be someone,  I have to impress someone.  This is not why I began to write. 
My worth is defined in Christ and in Him alone.  No amount of blog statistics or followers on social media will change that.  So, as a way to continue on this path of growth, I'm choosing not to deliberately go searching for others to define my worth. 
I am going to rest in the truth that God gave me a gift and that He will continue to draw readers to my blog.  In the past this has been primarily through family and friends who read and then share what hits close to home.  And moving forward, I'm just fine with a slow, steady growth of readers if it means that my experiences and lessons as a momma are reaching the hearts of women that God has divinely placed in the path of my writing.
And then all glory goes to HIM.
Secondly, my decision has been based largely out of love for these two.  At the heart of it all, these two have to remain my focus.
These beautiful, amazing kids get less of me when I'm caught up in how to grow my blog audience.  And this is so ironic because my blog is primarily about being a momma to Levi and Mackenzie and about the lessons I'm learning as I engage their hearts.  So, it should come as no surprise that I've had more trouble writing over the past few months as I've found myself focusing on my inward self more than on the calling God has placed on my life as their momma. 
Now, don't get me wrong -- I was made to be more than just a wife and a momma. I believe God desires for me to write and to share my heart with other women. But when running a blog becomes more than the writing itself -- when it begins to take away from my children and my husband -- that becomes a problem for me. 

Moving forward, my desire is to continue to connect with other women through my writing.
One of my greatest joys in life is to walk alongside other women in community.  There's something so fantastic about making a new friend and sharing that, "You too!?" moment when you realize you are walking similar roads.  I hope and pray that I can continue to connect with old and new friends as I share my heart through Little Mountain Momma. 
But if I go several weeks between posts, I hope you'll continue to check back in.  I may not be posting 5+ times a week like some writers. Instead,  I'm just doing "the momma thing" whole heartedly and intentionally and I'm learning lots of lessons to share along the way!
As always, feel free to reach out to me if you've connected with anything I've written!  I would love to hear your heart!
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  1. Thanks for sharing this side of blogging with us. I can relate! In the end it doesn't matter about social media and it doesn't even matter if others read and love your work (although I'm sure lots of people do) because all that matters is that you enjoy writing and you are getting something out of it. That's how I feel with my writing too. I do dedicate time to the social media side of things but it can become very time consuming so I try to have a timetable of what I need to do to keep it as brief as possible. I can definitely understand what you are saying. Your writing is wonderful anyway and I'm glad that we made the connection online :)

    1. Thanks Bridget! That means so much to me! Coming to this place has been a real battle for me but It feels freeing to be able to move on and write for my heart and not for the purpose of drawing readers in. I'm so glad to have a new friend!