Cousins, Bicycles and Blogging Thoughts

Lately I’ve been struggling with my vision for the blog.

What do I want to say?
Who is my audience?
How much time and effort can I / should I spend writing?
Is blogging a ministry or more a photo-journal for the family?

I rode my bike to the library with some of the children this week. Actually we’ve been twice this week. There’s a nice, easy path that leads nearly all the way to the library. I rode alongside David (age 7) this evening. The sun was shining and the landscape green and lush.

“This is a beautiful ride, Mom,” he said to me as we pedaled together companionably. I was grateful for the moment away from the chores and duties of the house and the responsibilities of grown-up life. I was struck by how fleeting life is and how quickly those precious moments fly by.

sarah's new bike

Daniel helps Sarah with her New Bike.

At the library I did a strange thing, I checked out a book. Several books in fact. Works of fiction, for adults. Not a picture book or a movie. Not a school book novel or a cookbook. Later on in the evening, I continued with the strange behavior. I read the book. Many pages consecutively. It was a thrilling experience, but reading a book takes away from bloggy reading and writing.

Last night I was too tired to stay up and blog. The reason I was so overcome with fatigue? The night before I had stayed up until the wee hours reading a novel. This morning I had nearly two hours at Starbucks all by myself. I brought seven books with me (all non-fiction), my Bible, a journal and a thick notebook. I didn’t blog or even think about blogging the entire time.

You can see the trend developing, I’m sure. And I haven’t even mentioned the conviction upon my heart regarding the time I need to be spending schooling the children with focus and attention.

Cousins enjoy a game

Cousin Timothy is here from Norway! Just in time for a game of Power Grid with Joshua.

I love blogging. I love the energy and the connection with other bloggers. I enjoy crafting a meaningful or amusing post. I like pairing interesting blogs with beautiful pictures. I appreciate the opportunity to hone my writing or minister to readers.

But…what is my vision? How does the Lord want to use this blog? Do I care about numbers, stats and comments? Am I only energized and excited about the blog when readership is growing? Do I have the time and energy to make the blog excellent, to write with care and purpose?

Compelling thoughts. I’m not sure what answers will come forth but the process is certainly an adventure.

What about you? If you blog, do you have a mission statement or vision for your blog? How much time do you spend reading and writing? What are you looking for in a blog? What are you NOT looking for in a blog?

Thoughtful in WA,
Kathy – Day 170

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13 thoughts on “Cousins, Bicycles and Blogging Thoughts”

  1. Oh dear!! – Timothy is all grown up!!! Where has the time gone? I do enjoy your blog, Kathy as I can catch up on all the things going on with the family. However, I am glad that you took the time to read a book (that was non school related and cookbook related!). As you know us Edgrens love to read and it’s my time to just relax – ignore the dirty dishes, the never ending laundry, etc.. I carve out time before bed to read – whether it’s 5 mins. or 1 hour, I read! After all the busyness of the day, it’s so nice to escape into my book! I’m glad that you enjoyed your break from blogging – now back to it – post some more kid pics!!! :) ha!

  2. These are some really good questions, Kathy — thanks for raising them.

    I’ve been going through a dry period in my writing — I don’t seem to have anything to say.

    How’s this for a vision statement: “To live out our Christian walk in a genuine and transparent way for the encouragement of other believers.”

  3. I like it when you are just being you and allowing yourself and your life to spill out all over page taking whatever shape you will; which is all the time.:)
    I vote for allowing it to become whatever it is as you express the happenings in life.

  4. I have Acts 2:42 on my blog header and I try to keep that in mind when I am writing/posting for my blog. I want to be encouraging and uplifting, but I also want to share my life. I strongly believe that it is through relationships that people see Christ in us. I realize that no one may sink to their knees after reading my blog, but maybe what I share will spark thoughts that will lead to a conversation with a trusted Christian friend/mentor.

    I don’t post “spiritual” thoughts every day, because I’m human and don’t have spiritual thoughts every day. I share my life. In a positive way. So that others can be directed to the Lord.

  5. Good for you for reading for fun, Kathy! I’m trying to do some of that myself lately. Can I just send Landon up there for a week or so to play board games with Joshua? No one here will play Risk or Panzer Leader or anything really fun with him! LOL!

  6. great post! great questions! and i LOVE your blog. its one of the few i read daily. i guess cuz you include pics every day, cuz you live in WA and i love seeing the green, cuz you are transparent, cuz you and tim are funny and loving and you point me to being a better parent, wife, friend …

    i too struggle with my vision for my own blog. i jump around and post about alot of stuff that doesn’t seem connected, but its life here in idaho. i would like to be an encouragement to those who come and read my blog. but be fun and creative too. i get too tied up in stats and whatnot and love comments.

    thanks for saying outloud what i’ve been thinking for weeks.

  7. You probably already know my thoughts on this because I’ve posted them in the last few days on SHS in regard to the HOM magazine and other things. I simply don’t have time to read a zillion blogs and do everything else I need to do.. not now while my kids are so young and still need so much time which is why you saw such a decrease in my blog comments and my own blog posting from Jan-until just recently. I simply couldn’t afford even the 30-45 minutes to upload a few pictures and post a “quick” entry (LOL)! And, I was never doing it for a readership… My goal for my blog is to have a record of our family’s day to day happenings so when I get around to scrapbooking I’ll have the blog to refer back to… while also allowing other people to see some of the things we do… I still hope to blog a little more (maybe even something short every day again) because I view it as a ministry to family like you’ve heard DeEtta mention… with a dd out of the home it is a nice way to keep her up-to-date on happenings around here so I do need to make more of a priority to post things more often.

    I sent you a long email the other day and I think I even included some thoughts in that email about how I’ve had to cut back on blog reading/writing…

  8. Kathy, the blogs I enjoy most are those that seem real, pictures of the family and their happenings and posts about everyday stuff. I went through a time where I wondered if anyone read my blog and then I realized that it didn’t really matter too much. I liked writing it and I knew that out of town family and friends read it regularly and was a good way of staying in touch.

  9. Why do I read your blog? Because it is real and because you encourage me through it to find the joy and God’s purposes in the every day happenings. You are very intentional about your life, it seems, and I am caused to pause and consider how I am being intentional in my finances, homeschooling, marriage, parenting…. I do hope you keep writing as you have. God is using you.

    I, personally, do not have a “mission statement” for my blog. I pray that it does proclaim God’s goodness and encourage others to embrace the family and situations that God brings their way as a blessing.

  10. {{Kathy}}

    Great questions…and always a challenge to keep things balanced.

    You know me and you know I have a mission statement….I have a mission statement for life (in my blog profile by the way) and then I have goals, and goals, and goals. ::snort::

    You know this story…but my blog began when our now 23 and 21 year old had the audacity to think it was time to leave home 3 years ago. We all knew it was time….but we were grieving. Having a large family seemed like such a wonderful thing…and is and has been…but for the first time we were faced with the awful fact that the older ones would MOVE OUT while the younger ones were still at home….that the older ones would miss that closeness with the younger ones that they so enjoyed growing up….that the younger ones’ lives would be marked by saying goodbye so many times over and over to loved ones…The girls left 1 1/2 weeks after Stacia was born. The blog was born. I committed to the family that while I hav breath I will blog for them. I will post the silly and mundane things that happen because the older kids love that. I will post zillions of not very good photos….because they get to know Stacia’s expressions that way, they see how their 11 yo brother became a hulking 14 yo etc.

    Other friends and family like to read. More people read now….and for a time I struggled with maybe making more of the audience….that I should be doing something MORE with the opportunity….and then I realized as different ones began to comment and Mike and his endorser commented that I have a mentoring thing going on through the blog….folks simply like to see HOW I raise a large family, HOW I walk out my relationship with Christ, HOW I eat healthy (sometimes) and such….and so I’m back to being mundane…and when time is short I simply don’t do any of the “extras” on the blog….I blog for the family. It’s a ministry to them. Josiah is getting ready to move out. I know he already reads the blog each night when he gets home…but it’s a comfort to me to know that my older babies still check in to see what we are doing, they still love to hear what little insights or musings I’ve been having…they could care less about WFMW, or appliance updates etc…..but they scroll through.

    I love you and Tim simply sharing yourself on your blog. I love the fun and funny….but most of all I love the candid glimpses into your family’s life.

    I realize that my reason for blogging is going to be different than those who are so blessed to have their children live nearby…but God saw fit to call us into the chaplaincy and though we struggle with the season we are in ::sniff:: Leaving one or two children at each assignment…we still KNOW that He led us to this lifestyle and ministry for THIS time in history…so blogging allows me to fill that void for the kids….and I suspect I’ll still be blogging when I’m 83….”today great great grammie went to the hall and taught the old ladies how to make bread.” ::snort::

  11. Kathy,

    It’s good to do these periodic inventories about the way we use our time. It’s good stewardship. It seems to me that blogging can be many things such as,

    1. A record of our lives for future generations
    2. A record of our lives for distant/absent relatives and friends
    3. A place to enjoy practicing writing
    4. A means of mentoring others
    5. A way to preserve friendships
    6. A place for reflection which leads to increased self-knowledge
    7. A fun hobby
    8. A place to preserve memories for our own benefit
    9. A way to make money

    and so on, which are all legitimate reasons, aren’t they? My reasons are probably a mix of all of the above except number 9.

    Perhaps when numbers of comments or readers become important to you, it is time to step back and read a few more books for a time? LOL! But don’t worry too much about why you blog, if you enjoy it!

  12. MY GOODNESS. My blogging responses are so mundane!!

    You willl figure it out, dear Katherine. Meanwhile- I love the pictures and the truth of who you are. I am drawn closer to the Lord and challenged in reading your blogs! I smile, too!!

    I love you. Aunt Kate

  13. This is something that I’ve been wanting to explore. In fact, it is something that I will make myself think through by writing a couple of posts on it.

    My biggest problem with blogs (one that I’ve never found here) is when the writer goes ranting and raving against someone. It’s almost always a spouse or a parent or someone else they are close to. I do NOT want to hear how your husband mistreated you. He may have wronged you, but you are wronging him by posting his faults on the Internet rather than addressing the problem with him before God.

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