When I first started blogging I set out with the intention of encouraging other women and mothers to be faithful in the daily grind of motherhood and life and to also document these precious, crazy days of life with 5 kids. That is still my heart. I have never had any intention of blogging as a full time work at home job. God has provided more than enough for our family through my husband. Although I would love to be able to contribute to our family monetarily from home, I have never felt pressure to do so. My husband has made it clear that even though he supports me in my outlets he does not want it to take away from my responsibilities here at home.
I recently have become an advertising associate to see if through my blogging I could maybe earn a little something. So far the grand total of my earnings has been a whopping sum of 35 cents! Woo hoo! I hit the jackpot! I know that doesn't mean I can't make any profit from blogging I am just not going to invest all my time into marketing and promoting my blog on social media.
If I do end up earning a little extra mad money great, but if not I'm fine with that too because that is not why I write. I write because God has put a desire in me to share my heart, my struggles, to encourage and uplift and to have a creative outlet that I can do right from home. The only problem is that it can be a big temptation to be on the computer more than I should. I can't imagine how hard it is for those who are really pursuing making a living from blogging while still caring for their family.
I recently shared how blogging has helped me to be content at home and it truly has but I also wanted to share how it can also be a challenge to not let it take away from my home and family... if I am not careful.
The Elephant in the Room
It's very easy to look at mommy bloggers and wonder how they manage to care for their families and homes while blogging full time. I have always blogged when I have had "extra time" and only recently have I been trying to build up my content more, so I can't say that I know what it is like to be a full time blogger. I do know though that it is very different thing altogether to work away from home and work at home with constant interruptions. It is quite a feat. It can be a battle to set those boundaries of separating computer and family time. Even though I love blogging and it has been a huge encouragement and blessing to me, I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't admit that it can also be a big distraction.
Disconnecting and Connecting
Just as I limit my children's time in front of the t.v and the computer I have to limit and set boundaries for myself. If I want to continue blogging I have to show self discipline to say no to my flesh. Knowing when to disconnect. Setting specific times for myself to be on the computer. If I get on meaning to only check one thing I can find myself in the outer regions of the blogosphere not even realizing that I didn't even accomplish what I came on to do. I haven't mastered this yet but I am praying that God will help me in my weaknesses and grow me in self discipline and self control.
It wasn't too long ago that I didn't have a computer or smartphone. I had a landline phone that had an answering machine and I simply got back to people when I could. Though I appreciate having google at my fingertips and text messaging saves me so much time and hassle trying to talk over the screaming child in the background. I really do miss those simpler days sometimes.
When my husband comes home I try not to get on the computer. When he is home, I know he wants my attention, to engage in conversation and be present. I am so thankful that he desires my company. Once the kids go to bed or at least most of them; we covet our time to ourselves. We need that time to relax and just be together...in quiet. I stay up late some nights when he is working but I know that sleep is so important for my health and state of mind. I desperately need it. God gives me grace when I don't get enough but I try not to deprive myself if some little person isn't already depriving me.
The struggle and blessing of blogging and most things in life is that they are never done. There is always another post to write, tweaking, fixing and editing to do, blogs and information to read and connecting and sharing to do.
Avoiding All Extremes
Just as in anything, we can get so caught up and obsessed with something that we lose sight of what is really important. The name of my blog is faithful with the little. That means that before I even get on here to write I want to make sure that I am being faithful on the other side of this screen. Looking into the eyes of my children, listening when they are talking to me, saying no to my flesh and choosing to do what is right; what is needed. I don't always make the right choices but I desire and strive to.
I have gone back and forth in my mind many times wondering if I should stop blogging. It does take a lot of time but time that I feel right now is well spent as long as I am not becoming obsessed with it. I love including photos in my blog but it can be very time consuming just to edit and add text to them. Little things that shouldn't really take that long can sometimes end up taking way longer than I expected. It all adds up but I am learning to let go of perfection and be content to do what I can; what I am able.
I also was getting disillusioned blogging because I didn't have a lot of followers for a long time and didn't see the reason to keep blogging when no one was reading. I knew in my heart though that I loved to write and these posts by a mama's story, the life of this mother and legacy of beauty really encouraged me and gave me new perspective about sharing my life and my story through the written word; whether anyone was reading or not.
Seeking God First
I believe the beginning and ending of finding balance in life is seeking God first. The battle is often found in fighting against all that is seemingly good, that would seek to distract us and deter us from keeping our eyes on Christ. He has to be the center. When I write I often sense his presence. I find myself understanding him more and my eyes being opened to what he is speaking to me. At the same time I want to make sure that he is my all in all and that if he called me to stop blogging that I would be willing and obedient. In seeking him first, I know that everything in my life will fall into it's rightful place.
"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
God has given me the great privilege of loving and meeting the needs of my ever needy little family. I pray that by God's grace I will always be faithful to the calling of being a mother and a wife before desiring to being acknowledged or acclaimed by the voices of others. I am thankful and humbled that God has used me at home to speak into the lives of others beyond my home. My family/home is truly where my heart is and I pray that God will continue to give me the wisdom and discernment to find the balance of always keeping it that way; while still being used outside of it.
Do you find it a struggle to find balance in your life?
How do you prioritize and set boundaries?
Do you find blogging to be work or a pleasure and a blessing?
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