Just Because You’re Good at Something Doesn’t Mean You Should Do It

Sometimes I think the busier I am the happier I am. Until I start running on empty. I run on empty because I can’t keep up with all the busy.

But then I tell myself that the busy is good. I’m pretty good at convincing myself that all the busy is meaningful because I’m helping someone else out or being a blessing when someone needs it. Or it makes me just plain happy. Those seem to be pretty good reasons to keep all the busy going. I help others. I help myself. Win win.

And then the early morning comes and my feet haven’t even hit the ground. Dread wiggles his way into my heart. I dread the commitments I made. Wishing that I hadn’t said yes. What’s that verse say…something about let your yes be yes and your no be no….Anyways, my peace is about gone before I’ve even had a cup of coffee to try and muster it back.

The problem I struggle with is that I find myself doing things that some might say I’m good at and there is this immediate feeling that I should be doing it.

When we find something we’re passionate about and turn it into our own freak show.

I love writing and am blessed that it is an outlet for me and a process that encourages my growth in Christ.

Back in the early fall, I convinced myself to start free-lancing. I had myself convinced it was something God wanted me to do. Two months later I was hating it and had zero peace about it. I didn’t even know why I was doing it to myself.

Then I decided to monetize my “mom tips” blog. That was quite a rush. My site was growing nicely and I was starting to get sponsored post opportunities. I felt like I was helping other moms. I really do think I was helping other moms.

The problem was I that at the end of the day, I was so empty that what peace I had about monetizing my blog was a faint feeling, hiding itself from my heart.

And then God jolts us awake.

Then God jolted me awake with a private emergency. I had to trust Him completely and turn my eyes towards Him, leaving behind my daily commitments. I needed to give my surroundings my undivided attention.

And in that process, God lifted a film from eyes. A film of fear that I had disguised as freedom.

A false sense of freedom.

I couldn’t help but get his feeling that I needed to let go of a few of my commitments in order to cultivate my trust with Him. The feeling was so strong that I was questioning a lot of life choices Mike and I had recently made. And this is when I knew that God had a different plan that what I had planned (shocking, I know).

One of those choices was my writing. I had taken something that God gently handed over to me. I grabbed it with both hands and stuffed my face. Then I came back for more and more, totally overdone with my own ability, tossing God’s intricate plan to the wayside.

And just because I was good at something, didn’t mean I needed to be doing it.

I can think of other instances in my life when I needed to let something go in order to move and trust God. Uh, hello stay-at-home-mom and bye bye teaching eighth grade and shopping at Gap. Bye bye coaching cross country. Bye bye youth leader.

Bye bye all these opportunities that I wrapped my identity around. Hello identity crisis.

And even though I knew I was being obedient to God (most of the time!) I still fought these transitions more than I’d like to admit.

And even though I know that God doesn’t believe in wasted time and I did those things for a time and reason in a needed season, I still struggle to surrender myself and end up fighting Him.

Those small moments that brighten the path, pointing us in the right direction.

Every day my son fights me. He fights me when it comes time to wipe his face and hands after we eat a meal. And every time I approach him with patience, calmness, and firmness, because no matter how upset he gets, I am going to be there to wash him clean.

And the Lord tugged on my heart, reminding me that this is how I am with Him when I am wrestling with my heart. I fight, I kick, I throw my hands up and yell. I turn my face away from Him. But He’s right there, patiently and calmly waiting. He’s not going to leave me unclean.

I just have to open my tightly shut eyes to see that He’s there.

But when I do, the weight that gets lifted is tremendous. And I always wonder why I waited so long to surrender myself to him.

I make the decision to follow Him, yet again coming off the path that I tried to make for myself. It’s a decision I have to remind myself of daily.

I have to remind myself that just because I’m good at something, doesn’t mean I have to do it.

I know I’m not alone in this. When did something like this happen to you?
Peace,
Glo

P.S.
If you’d like to get more scoop from me, follow along on Facebook to catch snippets of encouragement during your day.

Every wonder if you shouldn't be doing something in your life, even though you're good at it? Me too. Here's how I responded when I realized...

Top Ten Most Read Posts for 2016

I get a kick looking at the past year. I like those little videos Facebook makes to capture your year. I enjoy seeing the most liked posts of my friends on Instagram. Even though, if I think about it too much, it’s a little creepy, I still like to reminisce about the past year.

And for my Only a Season Mamas, I love seeing what you guys kept coming back for on our site to get your mom tip fix. I love being surprised too! Sometimes I see a post pop up as most read for the week and I’m like “Whoa! That’s from last year!”

So reminiscing is fun for me and I hope it gives you an opportunity to look around the site a little more to see if there’s a tip or some advice you can use right now, in your mom life today.

Let’s take a look at what you’ve been reading at Only a Season this year!

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are always my own. Full disclosure here.

Most Read Posts by Moms looking for mom tips! Most read posts by moms in 2016.

 

10. Can I Just Take a Minute and Talk about Some Awesome Mom Bloggers?
I love that this post made it to the top ten list! I have made some amazing online friendships and I am so glad that many of you mamas out there stopped by to read about these amazing ladies to help support you in your mom journey!

9. Why I Don’t Shop at Gap Anymore
This post has been one of my most popular throughout the year. As I talk about my transition to being a SAHM, many of you mamas out there, whether you work away from home or at home or both! you felt like you could connect with my sort of identity crisis during that transition and The Gap.

8. What It’s Like to Grieve without God
This is one of my faith-based posts where I talk about the loss of my mother this past year. I had originally published it on Only a Season but eventually started another blog and moved it over to there. Nonetheless, it seems that grief unites many of us in many ways, no matter the journey we’re on with it. If you’ve lost someone you love and you struggle with God and grief, then this post may be for you.

7. Five Freezable Baby-led Weaning Breakfast Ideas
Apparently many of us mamas are looking for quick breakfast ideas that we can pull out of the freezer in the mornings! My son is well beyond the weaning process but we absolutely LOVE these recipes and the handiness they bring to our early, busy mornings!

6. Which Wonder Week Was the Worst for You?
So yah, you are NOT ALONE in wondering what the heck is wrong with your baby and then find out that there’s a Wonder Week for that! I remember times when Bubby would be crying or waking for what seemed like no reason and then BAM, it was a Wonder Week. Check out the survey from other moms and see what was their worst Wonder Week!

5. Four Healthy Snack Alternatives for Your Toddler
I’m thinking that food may be a common theme for many of us moms as we are searching for tips to help us thrive as we parent our little ones! From Universal Meltdown Hour to the screaming baby in the grocery store, these handy snacks will make you feel good about what you’re giving your little to snack on during the day.


4. Five Items Under $20 Your Kitchen Needs
And here we are, another food related post that we all seem to want tips on. ALL of these items are in my kitchen and I absolutely love being able to grab them when I’m whipping us up something to eat. These are great deals and they will last in your kitchen for a good amount of time too! Check them out here!

3. 20+ Tips from Real Moms for When You Have a Toddler and a Newborn
There’s strength in numbers. And that means when you have more than one kid, they outnumber you when you’re home with them all day. But it also means when you receive tips from other moms who have been where you are, then you find strength in their advice, knowing you WILL survive. This post came out only a couple of months ago and it is the third most read post on the site this year. That tells you something, Mamas.

2. 45 Daily Activities to with Your Toddler (12-18 months old)
I remember being inspired to write this post when I found myself constantly scrambling during playtime with Bubby. I finally decided to make a list and then it dawned on me that other moms could use this list too! Apparently many of you feel the same way, making this the second most read post on Only a Season. This post is also one of my higher pinned posts too. For someone who still has a young blog, that’s pretty exciting! 🙂

1. How to Transition Baby from a Rock n’ Play to the Crib
It was late in the night and I started Googling “how to transition from the rock n play to the crib” and the results were pitiful, like there was hardly anything out there to help me figure out how to get Bubby to sleep in his crib. I scoured Pinterest but came up empty handed. So I used some of the principles for nap transitions and viola! I got Bubby to transition sleeping in the Rock n’ Play to the crib. And many of you mamas out there faced the same dilemma, making this the most read, most searched post on Only a Season. And what’s better yet about this post, is if you have a friend who may be going through a similar battle, you can refer them to the post! Whoot!

JOIN THE TRIBE!
There you have it, ladies! I would love to hear any thoughts you might have on other posts we’ve had here that encouraged you! Tell us below! If you’re interested in getting posts like this sent directly to your inbox, check out our Mom Tribe so you never miss a post!

I look so forward to 2017 and what it will bring to us Only a Season Mamas!
Cheers!
Glo

My Two Words for the Year 2016

Back in January I wrote a post about my two words for the year 2016. As I look back and see what my goals were I sort of chuckle to myself. I had a new baby, a new blog, and a bunch of new endeavors I wanted to tackle.

For the most part I think I stayed realistic with myself and self-aware of how I operate when it comes to these resolution things. And honestly, I feel like I stuck with a most of them too. Some of them got a little bumpy as we became pregnant this summer with our second and with the loss of my mother, but I have stayed active nonetheless, which was the ultimate goal anyways.

Social media and I have a love hate relationship. As I have worked to grow my mom tips blog, I have had to utilize social media, BUT I have majorly grown in organizing my time and planning tools so I don’t have to stay glued to my phone. Score!

As I look back over our year of 2016 and I can’t help but think the words cultivate and focus still ring true for how I would describe this past year.

With all the deaths, anger, elections, shootings, religious controversy, and that’s to name a few, I feel like this year has caused me to seriously cultivate my relationship with Christ and focus on who He is according to His word. And this wasn’t originally my reasoning for picking these two words back in January.

If there was ever a year when I felt like my faith was tested, then this was the year.

I have spent much of my Christian life relying on my experiences in my relationship with Christ. While I think most of us need those supernatural experiences when we feel God holding us, I have also come to realize that truly knowing what His word says about Him is the fuel that fans those experiences.

It’s the fuel that fans my feelings from day to day experiences.

But my relationship with God isn’t all about feelings either.

Cultivating my relationship habits with Him has caused me to focus on His truth. And while I will continue to look at how God has provided for me throughout the years based on my experiences, I will read His Word to believe in what He will provide for me in the future.

I think we fall into that rut of “seeing is believing,” but that mindset causes me to lose site of the truth that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

To me, this means that if I am praying for growth and change and God’s supernatural power to transform something in my life, then I need to already believe it’s going to happen. Not just look back at what He’s already done to give me encouragement for what He can do. It’s a balance, don’t you think?

And while I want to look back at this year and see how God has shown me to not be shaken in my faith when man tells me otherwise, I want to look ahead, believing that He in His mighty power has gone forth to prepare a way of victory for me.

I want this truth to be real, deep down in my core and daily vision.

This doesn’t mean it will be easy. Doesn’t mean I wont lose heart or sight of Him. But it does mean Hope. And I don’t know about you, but I need all the Hope I can get. Every minute for every day.

Peace,
Glo

Looking back at 2016, I can't help but think of these two words.

 

 

 

Can I Just Take a Minute and Talk about Some Awesome Mom Bloggers?

First, I personally am not a fan of the term “mom bloggers.” Mainly because when I tell people I write for my blog and they say something like “Oh, a mom blogger” with air quotes, I tend to roll my eyes at their ignorance and their shrug of shoulders. I think some folks have an opinion that a “mom blogger” is someone who dallies around on the Internet and “tries” to be some kind of writer.

Not everyone thinks like this, I know, and some people I tell get it and are interested in what it means. But for the most part, I think there is a reality that lots of folks just don’t understand about what all goes into creating, writing, and sharing content for a blog. Just like I don’t fully get everything my husband does at work, he doesn’t get everything I do on my work at home. There. Enough on that.

Secondly, I have had so many mixed emotions on my journey as a writer who has a blog, that if I started taking shots every time I changed my mind about something, or started something on my blog and let it go, I’d be a walking drunken mess.

When you get into this “blogging” world, you are inundated with so much advice and tips and “do this” or “do that,” that you are kind of prone to take up drinking. OK, maybe not drinking alcohol, but I bet the caffeine intake goes up a notch or two for most of us.

With that being said, there are some amazing women I have crossed paths with along the way. What I love about these ladies is that I have a different relationship with each of them but we all have so many similarities that we can gather around each other  (virtually that is!) and encourage one another all the same. I would not categorize these women as the air quoted “mom bloggers.” These ladies can write and are well worth the read.

Seven Mom Bloggers every mom should read.

I have had an interesting week working on my blog and collaborating with other writers and free lancing on the side side side side (insert eye roll) and have sought each of these ladies in one way or another for advice or encouragement. Sometimes I just head over to their site to see what they’ve been up to and find good-for-my-soul encouragement that is exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment.

Friends, that is something special to have in the online world of writers. While not a one of us have met each other in person, I feel as though I could catch up with them easily at a cozy coffee shop. We have grown in our friendships over the last year and I think we have some more years ahead of us in store.

I would encourage you to not just find your mom tribe, but cultivate it too.

 

I have learned too many times that friendships must be cultivated and lifted up in order keep them.

When I say that I am inspired by these women, I don’t just mean they give me warm fuzzy feelings. I’m not just trying to make someone feel better here. I mean these women make me think about the different facets of my life and in the end, make me a better a person. That’s the kind of friendship I want to keep alive.


Meet Abbie. She writes over at www.grumblinggrace.com and has one of the funnest Instagram feeds and genuine hearts. I love her sense of humor yet sensitivity that she brings to motherhood with her faith. She has the ability to make me laugh and cry all in one sitting. If you ever need that extra mom umph in your life, you need to have her in your social feed. Abbie is a woman of integrity who takes what she does seriously, but is sure not to take herself too seriously.


Say hello to Aimee. She is a writer with so much depth and grit and fierceness that sometimes I think her words were literally meant just for me. Aimee has an amazing ability to connect with her readers no matter where they are at in motherhood. She is incredibly honest in her words and strives to lift you up. She is someone you always want on your side. Be sure to check out her writing over at www.mamacentric.com.


And then there’s the fabulous Emily. She writes at www.emilyfisk.com. Emily has such a sweet spirit and I find that when she writes about her journey as a mom, she has a way of softly prodding my conscience to stay focused on my own path as a mom and be sure to cheer on and wave at the other moms across the way. Emily’s ability to remind me to forget about the others and do my own best me is one of the things I love about her.


Harmony is one of the strongest, most confident women I have met online. She has an amazing faith and unwavering belief that I am always drawn to her writing. Even though Harmony is a straight shooter, she has never made me feel less than in my beliefs. She has a way with her writing that doesn’t tear me down, but provokes me to be more. She writes over at www.mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com.


There’s something about Christina that makes you feel empowered as a mom. I don’t know if it’s because she gives me recipes like macaroni and cheese and makes me feel healthy about it or if it’s her never ending encouragement she gives to all her readers, but she is a writer to follow. She is so patient with others and only wants to cheer you on as you walk your path in motherhood (and she might serve you up a smoothie while she’s at it!). Definitely peruse her writing over at www.thewholecook.com.


Marisa is a writer who is so humble and so rawly honest, that you can’t help but read what God presses on her heart. She has an elegant flow to her words and a quiet boldness about her that I am always left with my heart feeling full. Sometimes she makes me feel full of wonder or full of rightly pointed questions, but either way, she is a writer to keep your eye on. She writes at www.brokencookiessite.wordpress.com.


And I could not, will not, ever forget about Lisa Leshaw. If there was ever a genuine lover of people, it’s Lisa Leshaw. I don’t think I have ever met someone online who cheers on other writers as much as she does. She is an ambassador of hope for writers. Lisa would not ever call herself a prolific encourager, but that makes her all the more genuine. I met her as a fellow writer at Her View From Home and it wasn’t long before she sent me a friend request on Facebook. What’s funny about Lisa, is that she is friends with so many of us writers and she genuinely is always interested in how you are doing and that yesterday was your sister’s birthday party. She’d love to hear all about it. There’s no way I could list all the places she’s probably been published but I know one of her places she likes to call home is Her View From Home. Check out some of her writing here.


Like any other mama, we’re all flawed and have our strengths and weaknesses.

What’s beautiful about the relationships we form with one other is our ability to grow someone in their strengths and help them along the way when they are weak with our own strengths, making our bond that much stronger.

I hope you’ll take a minute to say hello to these ladies by visiting their sites and their writing.
Peace to you mamas,
Glo

 

The Truth about Motherhood for Me This Week #fiveonfriday

My alarm radio sounds in my ear, demanding I shake off my warm covers and take on the day. My brain is blaring to get going on my to-do list, but my heart is overloaded. This has been one heck of a week. Between recovering from the election and realizing that Thanksgiving is one week away, I found myself fighting the anxiety bug.

As I went into this week, I didn’t know that I would make some changes and start something new. I didn’t realize that in the midst of the crazy that is motherhood, I would come out on the other side feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are a few things I did along my motherhood journey this week.

Motherhood this week. Five on Friday.

I changed up my wardrobe.
Hello #capsulewardrobe. I had never heard of a capsule wardrobe before and when I came across this site on Pinterest talking about a winter capsule wardrobe, I immediately fell in love with the idea. When you’re expecting baby #2 in March and you have a 17 month old running around, well, you know how it is ladies. For many of us, our fashion and style priorities fall to the side.

capsulewardrobe

I decided I would take on the principles of a capsule wardrobe to accommodate the unique fashion sense that comes with being preggers. I removed several and I mean several items that I don’t “love.” Items that I was unsure about, I turned the hangers the other way and if they get worn in the next two to three weeks I’ll keep them, otherwise, I plan to say farewell to clothes whose hanger didn’t get used.

I rearranged my closet, prioritized my shoes based on the principles mentioned on her site and felt like I was all ready to tackle my fashion dilemma these days while carrying around this extra weight. 😉 Plus, I signed up at Corina’s site for her first seven outfit arrangements to help jump start my wardrobe creativity to reuse and rewear what I already have!

Speaking of fashion, have I told you that I feel SUPER PREGNANT these days?
My body. OH me oh my. I remember with Bubby I had this weird sense of confidence with my body. I think it was all the excitement that came with the first pregnancy and I was definitely in better shape before I got pregnant the first time than I was this time. But this time around, I just feel big. I feel like I may never get my body back (which I know isn’t true, but you know, #hormones.) Basically as soon as I was done breastfeeding Bubby I became pregnant again, so there went that short window of freedom and all the wine.

img_0034

I think that was part of my drive to change up my wardrobe and take charge of my maternity fashion sense. Doing this gave me a confidence boost I think I needed.

I also know that I thrive with exercise. It’s my go-to for postpartum depression too. I have been making it a point to walk almost every day and that has helped me tremendously too.

Ankle Boots
Oh, and I know I’m way behind the fashion train, but I took the plunge and got me a pair of ankle boots to use as a base shoe in my wardrobe and I LOVE them! I got a neutral color to wear with several outfits which is a plus. The downside to ankle boots? I gotta keep my ankles shaved! Ha! Bye bye #noshavenovember 😉

img_3230

Being Present in the Day-to-Day and Not Wearing my Watch
You read that right. I went a whole day without wearing my watch. This may sound trivial to some of you moms out there but this was a big deal for me. I like to plan. I like to organize. Shoot, I would love to have a planner for my planner. After a weekend away for some much needed time to evaluate and look at my faith, I came home with the urgency to just BE and forget time.

I was amazed at how much more present I felt in the moments with my son. Playtime and story time and outside time all seemed like this big, fun adventure. Seriously, give it a try. It may be just what you need to refocus.

beingpresent2

 

A Weekend Away
I had some time last weekend to go on a “retreat” that my church hosted just for the ladies. I say “retreat” because it wasn’t what you might think a traditional retreat is when you hear that word. This was a weekend about restoring. Restoring your heart and your faith in your walk with the Lord. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in my life or felt as raw and real.

It was incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating and I will definitely need to write separately about it sometime soon. Having gone to that retreat soon after all the emotional and social out lash that came from the Presidential election was just what my soul needed.

I came home and was welcomed by this cute fluff butt whose vivacious curiousity keeps me moving forward. What about you? Any new revelations on your motherhood journey as of late?

beingpresent

 

 

My Secret (not so secret) Guilty Pleasure: Etymologies

The clock quietly buzzes as the neon light tries to fade out. It’s 12:30AM or something like that and my eyes squint as I try to finish off my term paper. I am searching for a witty end to wrap up my discussion about the symbolic meaning of who knows what with Shakespeare and his shrew. I had been at it for a couple of hours but all I really wanted to work on was my semester project for my History of the English Language class. That’s right. History of the English Language. Or as most students affectionately coined “HEL.” And I was excited about writing this paper.

When you’re an English major you find your niche of literature and topics that resonate with you the most. One of mine was language. Etymology to be exact. And since I’m on this little journey of writing everyday on my blog, one of the topics came up about writing something that wouldn’t “fit” your blog. So I chose etymology. Because, well, I just told you. It is a secret guilty pleasure of mine to look up the etymology of words all the time.

So what is etymology? I’ll let o’l Webster sum it up easily and quickly:

Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. By extension, the term “the etymology (of a word)” means the origin of the particular word

You see, what’s kinda bizarre about the English language is that it’s one of the most impure languages out there. Meaning not a lot of our words originated from Old English. A lot of our words come from all sorts of different countries and their languages. Example: “salsa” or “souffle.” What’s even nerdier cooler is that the more you know about how our language started in one part of the world and how all these countries kept invading this part of the world and forced their language onto Old English, which caused all sorts of meshing and merging and all sorts of craziness, then when you read etymologies, you’re like “Whoa, this word is of Scandanavian origin. Cool.” Just me? OK…

If you don’t know already, the Oxford English Dictionary is the mother of all etymologies. It is considered the rock source for word origins. At my college, the OED took up like a whole row of books on shelves in one complete aisle. Well, something like that. It’s pretty epic.

So, if you get this weird hankerin and wonder where that word came from–just me again?–then you totally need to look up the OED. I mean, who wouldn’t be interested in knowing that the word “booger” was recorded to be in the English language in 1890 and it’s always meant mucus gunk from your nose.

OK, so now you might be thinking of words you would like to know about. Let me give you a quick simple run down of how to read an etymology.

First, another easy site that is pretty reputable is www.etymonline.com And don’t worry, the way you read etymology on this site is how you would for the OED too.

Say you want to look up the phrase “tongue twister.” You would type it in the search box and you’ll get something that looks like this: (note this is from etymonline.com)
Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.45.37 AM

When you are reading etymologies, the first year that pops up in the explanation is typically assumed to be the first time it was found and/or recorded in history. So tongue twister came around 1875.

Second, you will typically find part of it’s definition or its story behind its usage in whatever language it came from.

Third, this one doesn’t have it, but sometimes it will say something like “from Old Norse” which means, simply put, that’s the language that word came from. And if you keep reading, sometimes you find that it was in all sorts of languages before it somehow came into English.

Fourth, if you want to know specifically the year it came about and the original language, you always go with the first year that comes up in the definition and the first language that gets listed.

If you really get into it, you’ll find LOTS of words have a Latin origin ultimately. Which if you know anything about history and the Roman empire, that’s not all that surprising.

That’s my secret (not so secret) guilty pleasure share with you today! OH and then there’s The Bachelor and Bachelorette, but that’s reserved for a glass of wine and another day.

Happy word searching!
Glo

What about you? Ever wonder about this? Every tried searching for word etymologies?? Am I the only one?!?!?! Please let me know I am not alone by commenting below. 🙂

Some of us blogging buddies are committed to writing more weekly on our blogs! We have a variety of topics we’ll be writing about! To check out these lovely ladies and where their writing is taking them, click on their blog links below! And as always, tip your waters.
Aimme at mamacentric.com
Abbie at grumblinggrace.com
Emily at emilyfisk.com
Harmony at mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com

guiltyetym

When I Realized I Was Teaching my Son to be Sexist

Twelve years old, I was riding my bike down our neighborhood hill as fast as I could. I remember beating my neighbor friend to the bottom of the hill and enjoying the thrill of winning against him. He was one of the “wild” kids in our little tribe and my girlfriends and I never really went over to his house to play. Unless he asked us to jump on the trampoline.

But he hated to lose and let me know about it too. To restore his manliness, he wanted to race down another hill not too far from our spot. The hill was far enough away on a busy road and I remember not being comfortable competing against him anymore. That’s when I heard it for the first time. Pussy.

I cringe as I write it now. I remember the feeling it gave me. I felt like I got punched in the gut. I felt bad for being a girl. I didn’t know anything about sexism and feminism but what he said never left me.

Why is it as a society we find satisfaction in insulting others by using feminine vulgarity? You’re a bitch if you’re in a bad mood. Your ex-girlfriend is a cunt because she broke up with you. You play ball like a girl. You’re a pussy for not racing that boy down the hill.

Why does it matter? Using these kinds of terms perpetuates a weaker view of women and skews upcoming generation’s view of the female sex. Calling someone a “pussy” instantly denotes a weak feminine counterpart. As if you’ve been called a girl and that’s somehow incredibly insulting.

Not just a girl, but a girl’s vagina which, I don’t know about you, but our vaginas are pretty amazing. I mean, my son came out of there. And for some reason, a teenage kid thought calling me a pussy was a good insult. Hmmm. Wonder where he got that idea.

While many worry about what celebrities and politicians say, you don’t see a lot of people talk about how their favorite popular teen movie had sexism in it. You don’t hear many talk about how their grandparent is a blue collar racist. No one wants to take that hard of a look at themselves.

I don’t really remember my parents running around spouting off gender degrading comments, but I’m sure they did. I do not doubt that most of my gender stereotypes came from TV and friends, especially growing up.

Unfortunately, there was a time when I had never thought too much about these degrading terms until I had a son of my own. I remember we had been playing in the front room and my husband made a comment about someone on TV  “crying like a girl.” For the first time I saw that I might be contributing to the problem.

Taking a hard look in the mirror, I realized that what I do and say could have my son imitating that twelve year old neighborhood jerk. I about threw up.

When my husband made that comment around our son, I knew we weren’t going to be talking like that in this house. Not anymore.

How do we break the cycle? The simple answer: within our homes.

I want to educate my son on respecting ourselves and the opposite sex. I want to live an honest life in front of him that shows integrity towards the male and female sex. As a family, we have to decide what that will look like and how we will cultivate an atmosphere of respect towards others. I want to empower my daughter to stand up against those that would slander her using feminine vulgarity.

In my home we won’t need to tear down each other by degrading their gender and using stereotypes.

And if my son gets beat by a girl in a bike competition, I hope he’ll tell her congrats and not “take it like a man” but authentically respond like a child should. Tell her she cheated.

What about you? Have any memories like this? How will you approach this with your children?

Do you ever wonder how sexism gets perpetuated? I realized I was teaching my son to be sexist and knew I needed to stop. Feminism. Sexism. Parenting.

 

 

Why I Made my Blog Instagram a Private Account

He looks at me with the sweetest smile and oatmeal all over. This kid can eat. At 11 months old and baby-led weaning under our belts, this kid likes to stuff his face. And he’s pretty stinkin’ cute when he does it. Many times I find that in these sweet moments, that I would like to take a picture and share with some friends. I am aware that not all moments need to be social mediaized, and there is a time and place for everything.

I find that I am one of those parents that thinks twice before posting family pics online.
I have to ask myself what is my motivation for posting this. Is it for the likes? Is it to just be fun? Is it to form relationships with other moms? I know, that ultimately, whatever you put on the Internet is accessible to anyone in all reality, but I like to think that I have a little bit of control over the privacy of who sees in to my daily life.

So when I take this cute oatmeal-breakfast-face picture of my son and want to post it on Instagram to share with some great women that I’ve met through writing, and remember that I have a public Insta account, I sometimes hold back. What is it about a picture that seems more intimate than a tweet? I know my son can be walking down the road and many people can see him, so what’s the difference? The difference is that I can control my Instagram more than I can control public observation. And I want to be able to share some photographic moments of our everyday life with a blogging friend I have up in Canada for Pete’s Sake. I have another Insta account that is very local to my private life but I like having my blogging friends and I don’t want to mess with always thinking about what to post here or there, so I decided to make my blog Instagram account a private one and not worry about it.

Asherinstaprivate2

This means that I also decided to unfollow a lot of people because, honestly, Instagram has become a fun outlet and  I don’t need a large platform there anyways for my writing. And the result? I had a lot of folks unfollow me, and that’s OK. We weren’t true to each other anyways.

I started out writing with the mentality of following people I am genuinely interested in and not just because I want to beef up my numbers.


In the end, my blog is a hobby and that’s OK. And that’s a whole other post for another day. 


I know it’s probably blasphemous to say that I have a private Instagram account for my blog, but in the end, having a large number takes me away from the community that I am so enjoying right now. This isn’t some kind of blurb to validate to myself about having a small following. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with building your numbers and having a large following. So much good can come from those two things! I have other social media accounts that I want to build and will over time. Again, that whole blogging as a hobby thing. But pictures of my daily life just seem a little more private to me and I want to keep it that way.why-iblogprivate

It’s hard writing about this and hopefully not making another mom blogger feel judged. I certainly don’t care whether your profile is public or not! Clearly this is not something that rings true for every mom blogger out there. There are many bloggers out there whose family is part of their community and that is OK!! I love those kinds of writers out there and follow some of them!

I just know that for me and where I am at in my writing journey, I don’t need another It Works Wrap Mom DMing me  and spamming my account just to get a response from me (and if you’re a friend of mine who is a Wrap Mama, then you already know how I feel about spamming me and we’re on the up and up!). I just know that I don’t need to have another blogger follow me just to follow me. I don’t need to follow them just to follow them. If I am going to stay authentic to myself, then this is a choice for me.

And what’s even more reassuring about this, is the readers who are loyal to my writing and who are following me because they have a connection with me, they are the ones who will most likely be reading this and commenting anyways. 🙂

Cheers,
Glo

 

 

One App Every Blogger Needs

 

Sitting at my computer, I exhale in frustration because I just got done reading this great article by one of my blogging friends and I wanted to keep it to share on my social media for a later date. A few clicks later I see one of my friends with a hilarious photo that I would love to keep for another time to give them a shout out later in the week. I am always finding myself coming across all these great people on the Internet and I just want to gobble it all up and tell others about how great they are.

Then there are my own photos that I create that I want to share the next day. Or maybe I would like to share one of my older posts that encourages other blogger moms along the way. I don’t know about you but I get overwhelmed by all this. I get overwhelmed when they say you need to post to Facebook at least three times a day and try to post on Twitter, you  know, like every two minutes. Don’t even ask me about Bloglovin’ or StumbleUpon. I can barely catch my breath on them.

What I do know is that I needed something that I could have on hand to easily share my content and the content of others. I wanted something that I could easily schedule posts so I could leave my phone on my bedside in the mornings while I eat pancakes with my little guy. Something that would share my favorite recipe on Sundays to help other moms start their week. Oh, and something FREE.

I found Buffer. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s perfect for my blogging needs. And for the record. I am just sharing this because I want to. Buffer doesn’t even know I exist, so there’s no bias here. OK, I guess they might since I have an account with them, but yah know.

Let me quickly tell you a few features of Buffer that I love:

1) You can sign up with one of your social media accounts or sign up with an email address.
2) They have the most popular accounts you can link to for publication (Twitter, Facebook (page or personal), Google Plus, and Linkedin. They also have a Pinterest option but that is not part of the free stuff.
3) They have an app for your phone and an extension for your web browser.
4) They provide you easy analytics to see how your posts perform during what times of day, etc.

Number three is MY FAVORITE because this is where I need help the most.

When I am reading someone else’s great article that I want to share, or if I want to easily share one of my own at a later time, the extension button in the bookmark bar is AWESOME. It’s easy to add and looks like this when you add it.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 1.37.04 PM

When you click this button, a nice little pop up window appears and you can type whatever you want about the article, pick what account you want to “buffer” it to and share it right away, or MY FAV feature, set it to publish at another time. What’s great too is if you need to tag someone in the post, you can easily do this from within the extension. Just start typing their name beginning with “@” just like you would normally do.

I also love how the Buffer icon hoovers over any image on a web page in the browser where the Buffer extension is installed. Example is pictured below. I have the Pinterest extension in my browser and it is awesome having this with buffer too!

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 7.05.19 PM

(Another little secret not pictured, if you click on any selected text from a site, and right click, the buffer icon appears there too.)

Here is a quick shot of the buffer app while you are on your desktop viewing Facebook.

YES. AWESOMENESS.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 7.42.52 PM

So what about those times when I am not at my desktop but on my phone and I want to share one of my own posts later or someone else’s image? Enter the Buffer app. Like the account they offer for desktop, their app is free too! Once you download it, and sign in on your phone, the app immediately walks you through how to add them in your sharing bar when you go to share anything on your phone, from a picture to a website to a tweet to a Facebook post. It is AWESOME. Once you add it to your sharing bar it will look like this when you click on your “share” icon on your phone. I have a photo for my iPhone, but this applies to Android devices too.

IMG_1320

So why might this change your world as a blogger?

Obviously it is nice to have a tool that is easy to use that helps you publicize your work.

Why do I love this app?

Because I got my sanity back. I was going nuts always trying to figure out when and how to post all these ideas and articles and pictures that I had stored all over the place, that I finally found a solution to streamline everything.

Have a great post that you want to resurface? Plan to tweet and retweet and Facebook it 30 days from now if you want to! Have a friend blogger whose article you just love and would fit in with your theme of DIY for the holidays? Plan it to post on the weekend.

This app also allows bloggers more time to interact with their readers about their posts, instead of spending tons of time trying to get the content out there. I feel like I have much more time during certain parts of the day (OK, the 10 minutes while my kid picks Cheerios off the floor) to say hello to readers!

Having this easy tool has made life a little simpler for me. I just thought I would do a quick share of my experience for those who are still looking for something that works for them.


When I wake up in the morning, I’m not worried about trying to meet the crowds online because Buffer is doing that for me. I can enjoy those pancakes with my son.


I know as blogs grow, bloggers need a stronger post planner, and maybe some day I will move to that option! What about you? Do you use a post planner app that you couldn’t live without? Is it a free one?

OnEAppBloggerNeedPIN

 

 

Four Letter Words and Blogging Friends

I am loving the blogging community. I love it even more when I find other women who are passionate about their writing. As a Christian writer, it is even more lovely when you come across other women whose words lie in the molding of the Creator.

Harmony is one of those writers. She is as genuine as they come and writes from her heart. I have been following her writing for about six months, so I was thrilled when she started guest posts on her blog. Guess who is her first post? >>>> Whoot! Whoot!<<<<

I am over on Harmony’s site today discussing A Four Letter Word Christians Should Be Talking About. Head over to her site and check it out and take a look around her site. I think you’ll enjoy her writing as much as I do!

Life Is Not About Likes

 

Mother’s Day has come and pass, but I am still cozied up on my couch, taking in all that’s around me. My family. My home. This new life I am living as a stay-at-home-mom.

As I started to thumb through Facebook last night, I had to remind myself that what I had that morning, the breakfast and laughs with my family, that is what matters. NOT the responses I got on Facebook.

If you’re like me, sometimes this is hard to remember. I am honored to be published on Her View From Home where I talk a little more about my struggle with social media, If you struggle keeping your peace sometimes when you start comparing and looking at the numbers, then I would love for you to click over and read my post.

If it resonates with you, would you be so bold to share it with others to remind them of the Truth?

Thanks friends, and Happy Monday! Cheers to a GREAT week!!

Gloryanna

PinLifeLikes

Attention Bloggers: Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin

I keep hearing a lot about how we can’t be all to everyone or we can’t be everything to all that’s out there. It seems we are always going going going and getting ourselves deeper and deeper into the busyness that is blogging. You see a lot of posts out there about “Simplifying Your Life: Use a Post Planner” or “5 ways to being more balanced in Your Writing.” I will quickly click on those posts because I, too, need to simplify and slow down, get focused and write. When you find yourself constantly clicking on these posts, you start to evaluate what you’re doing and why you have this constant feeling like you’re spinning your wheels and not ever moving. I started wondering why I get myself into that crazy mode that is the fast lane of blogging.I realized I wasn’t being honest with myself and I wasn’t being honest with my readers.

I try to do it all and have it all because at times I am not comfortable in my own skin.

I am constantly looking over my writing and my goals and where I’m going with all of it, but I get so easily wrapped up in the day-to-day demands, that I lose myself. Trying to stay up on all the social media trends, trying to find the right time to post an article on Facebook and the totally different time to try and hit the sweet spot on Twitter. Growing a readership. Making genuine connections with other writers and not just “liking” something so it will somehow serve me back. How do you keep the balance of the genuine and the reality of needing a social media base to grow your readership? A blogging friend of mine mentioned the other day about how we get so busy trying to put the daily fires out, we sometimes lose site of our long term goals. I find my constant attraction to these day-to-day fires draws me farther away from my authentic self.

No longer was I operating in my own skin, but the demands of trends or numbers. Stats or comments. I was becoming a servant to my social media.

I do this because if I was comfortable in my own skin, I wouldn’t worry about trying to get all the right #hashtags or getting in on all the blogging circle discussions and figuring out the best way to write engaging captions and posts to boost audience interactions. My own skin would stick with the genuine follows and growing my readership organically. My own skin would stick with when it works best for my family life to write and not when the stats tell me to. My own skin doesn’t like to post selfies. There I said it.

We all have our own interpretations of what it means to be comfortable in our own skin as writers. I know plenty of writers who have a system and are efficient with their time as they grow their readership. There are so many bloggers out there whose strength is connecting with their readers and building a community on their blog. These writers are passionate and comfortable with their writing processes.

I want to stay passionate and genuine to myself as a writer. I want to embrace my personality that shapes my writing. This means I’m not always going to be on the up and up with the latest social media trends. It means that I may miss out on some awesome blogging discussions. It means that I’m going to have to put my phone down for a while everyday so I can stay in the moment with my baby boy who is growing wildly fast. It means I need to set aside the evenings so I can focus on my husband and nurture our relationship.

I don’t want to be defined by my readers. I want to define my readers.

I find this to be such a hard act to balance. Clearly, writers need to be aware of their audiences and pay attention to efficient ways to interact with their readers, but when do you draw the line? How do you decide when you’ve gone too far and it’s no longer your genuine self out there but you, wearing a mask trying to be all things to everyone?

The comfortable-in-my-own-skin me would rely more on God’s direction for my writing. After all, He is the reason I started this.

Maybe you started your blog to make money by monetizing. Maybe you are working on a platform to being a freelance writer. Maybe you are writing a book and are hoping to grow an audience and use your blog to write more. We all have our reasons and we all have what makes us the writers we are.

We need to be reminded about those writing tips to boost our readership and  new ways to simplify our writing methods.

But we also need reminding to BE who we are and stay comfortable in our skin.

The result should be a simplified life.

What do you do that keeps you from drifting from your authentic self?

What reminders or tips would you give to writers to encourage them to be comfortable in their own skin? I would love to hear you thoughts in the comments below!

Peace,
Glo

attention-bloggers

 

Dear Readers: I Haven’t Been Honest Lately

I woke up at about 1:00 AM with a long night of tossing and turning. The fan droned in the background as my thoughts just wouldn’t stop. I had started to feel it a few weeks back. This feeling of always being unsettled. It was like I couldn’t breathe. I was questioning myself. Worried about what people were thinking.

As someone who likes to write and put it out there on the Internet in hopes that it reaches someone and meets them where they’re at, you are always running the risk of anxiety. Worry that someone will misunderstand what you’re trying to say. Worry that you’ve said too much about your perspective that you end up crossing the line of someone else’s privacy. Worry that you sound, well, like a jerk maybe. Judgmental. Whatever it is, you worry about the representation your words bring to the table.

Worry that you might lose yourself in the process and start writing for your audience instead of yourself.

At 1:00 AM in the deep of the night I had lost myself. Lost myself to a world that I slowly walked into.

When I started blogging, I knew that this was something God wanted me to do. I had made a big transition in my life going from a teacher to a stay-at-home-mom and I saw writing as an outlet. I saw writing as a way to still “teach” others one might say. I saw writing as a way to encourage others in their relationship with Christ. It didn’t matter if you were a mom or dad or aunt or uncle. What once was a vision to write to edify others, became a morphed road that I hijacked. God showed me an opportunity and I grabbed it with greedy hands and let it devour me.

In the middle of the night I was starving to know why I was empty without any of the peace I had once had when I started this little blog. Scenes started triggering my mind.

The first trigger came in a conversation I had with my sister. She made a comment about who my target audience is in my writing and she said, “Well you are writing towards stay-at-home-moms, right?” My response was that writings about my faith and walk with Christ could be for anybody. Later that night I couldn’t shake that feeling. The feeling that I had veered off what my original intent was with all this writing. I wanted to reach anyone in their faith. Not only moms, let alone stay-at-home-moms. Granted, God has given me this new role of being a mom, so there will definitely be times I write about that journey, but forgiveness? Grace? Those are for everyone. Looking over some choices I’ve made, my writing has become well, a little like tunnel vision and I feel like I am becoming blind.

The second trigger came when I got sucked into the bumpy road that is social media and started equating my writing success based on the interactions I would get via social media. God has opened my eyes to these sneaky, yet heavy chains and is growing in me about it. At this point, I rarely check my blog stats anymore and try to keep all social media outlets to a minimum. I use a post planner for social media as much as I can so I don’t have to actually be on it all the time. God has broken the chains in this department and His peace is starting to fill me up more. If you want to talk about losing your peace in a snap, spend too much time on Facebook. Let me just say, and as obvious as it might sound, life is not about likes. But that is another post for another day.

The third trigger came when I was cleaning up old photos on my computer and the original photo with my blog tagline popped up. It was only a few months ago, but in that time I had completely forgotten. I had chosen the name of this site for a couple of reasons. As we go through this life, we are constantly moving through the different seasons, and they happen in the blink of an eye. The baby that won’t sleep through the night? It’s only a season. The rough patch with your friend? It’s only a season. Not so much as in, “it’s only a season, get over it.” No, it’s like it’s only a season, slow down, work through it, or pause and enjoy it. Enjoy this season because it will go so fast. While I was pregnant with Asher, I clinged to Ecclesiastes 3:1

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.

Asher was 12 days late and this verse was the only thing that got me through that time of waiting. Knowing that everything happens in its time. Hence, my blog name was born.

What I didn’t plan for, was to let myself get sucked into a blogging world I wasn’t ready for. THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE FOR BLOGGERS. It is overwhelming. I soon became engrossed in approval addiction and statistics for viewership on my site. I slowly started writing differently, driven by these suffocating emotions. I sort of gave myself this “momblogger” identity that I hadn’t originally planned to be. I changed my website header, got rid of the Bible verse and started brainstorming like crazy over all these topics I could write about that would draw in the mom crowd. All the while, losing my identity as a writer. You would think as a mom, that writing about being a mom is a no brainer.

I have met some awesome mom bloggers and I have gained some phenomenal support from women in the blogging world. Unfortunately, I let some of these circumstances change my goal for writing. Instead of staying honest to myself and writing about what God was revealing to me in my heart, the raw, honest stuff about my faith, I started writing about the best way to cook homemade dinner rolls. Instead of writing about God changing my character as a wife, I started writing about the best baby food meals. Don’t misunderstand me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about these things and I love reading about them and the world needs this stuff!! What became wrong for me is that I wasn’t writing about what I knew I should be. Writing became a struggle each time I sat down at the computer. Posting on social media became a task. The joy was slipping away.

I have realized that I haven’t been honest with you because I haven’t been honest with myself. I have been so busy writing to appeal to the masses at times, that I have lost site of why I originally started this. So, all of this to say that if you’ve been following me along this bumpy way, and have seen how I keep changing on here, well, I can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again, but hopefully you’ll see the real me continuing to emerge and it will encourage you in some way. Hopefully, you’ll draw closer to God in your relationship with Him.

I’m not in this to make money or some kind of blogging celebrity fame. I just want to write. I just want to stay honest to myself and be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know if I’ll keep falling into the category of a #momblogger or #faithblogger or maybe #mombydaybloggerbynight.

Better yet how about a Child of the true God who writes for His kingdom.

I know one thing for sure. I will stay true to the calling God has placed on my heart right now and that is to grow closer to Him on this journey. Even if this writing gig is only for a season.

readershonestpin

 

5 Survival Tips for New Bloggers

Sigh. I look at the stats and only a handful of views for my new post. OK, put the phone down. Wait to check for like 15 minutes this time. Eeeek. I can’t. The adrenaline is irresistible. Oh boy, one more view than two minutes ago! Progress! Yessss!

You Can’t Be All Things to Everyone

And so are the thoughts of many new bloggers as we embark on this new journey of putting ourselves out there in the blogosphere. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started my blog about sixish months ago. I remember thinking to myself I just want to write. This is my release and I need this. Then it morphed into I just want to encourage others. I want others to feel like they aren’t alone. Someone else has been there. Then you start picking up steam and think you need to write about everything. You start thinking I’m a genius. I need to let other people know about this awesome thing I have discovered. Everyone needs to know that you can knit underwear in five minutes.

5 Survival Tips for New Bloggers. Blogging advice for new bloggers.

Before you know it you feel like your blog is all over the place and last time you checked the stats on your phone, things felt pretty stagnant. All that work you’ve put in to try and be versatile, then trying to be coherent, then back to being versatile, then OK, I’m going to keep a focused content on my blog this time. You feel like no matter what you do, you come up empty handed with hardly any new followers to show for it. Why is it that us new bloggers get sucked into this? Whether you lose focus and keep trying to reinvent your blog or stay focused but feel like your progress is “meh,” many bloggers come to some sort of crossroads at some point.

I decided to survey a group of bloggers. I was interested to see how they got in the game and how they survive the journey. I gotta say, reading the responses were incredibly enlightening. I started flipping through the sheets of responses and not only did I notice a similar trend of advice from veteran bloggers to new bloggers, but I noticed a similar struggle amongst us newbies. It was like the new blogger was speaking their frustrations into the wind, hoping for a change, while the veteran bloggers were whispering back keys to stay the course. While I initially was going to make this article a little more about statistics, my muse sent me in another direction. Thank goodness, because any time the muse shows up, I must bow down.

I needed to write about this. To write this for me. I wanted to write this for the new blogger. I wanted to write this to remind veteran bloggers. We bloggers must never forget these life blood tips from our very own. The ones who have been there. I pulled these from the mouths of the very ones who have traversed the line of success and a mess, but always pushing forward to better themselves as writers.

Write about what is important to you and stay the course. Don’t get caught up in appealing to the masses.
Write what you love. Write what you feel, not what you think others want to read. I find this hard at times. I see other blogs thriving and easily get caught up in tweaking my blog to some similar version of someone else’s. I mean, if they have a gazillion likes then they must be dong something right! Yes, and no. They are doing what’s right for them. Trying to do your content based on what you see out there working for someone else will most likely lead you down a path of writing destructiveness. Yes, cliche comment coming but just be yourself. Let your own personality come through and learn to harness your own creativity over whatever topic fits you. Come on people, there are a bazillion mom bloggers out there writing about their life as a mom and tons of them are successful. You know why? Because they write about what’s important to them.

Write because you want to, not to receive validation.
I keep going back to that image of my staying sucked to my phone checking stats. While I like to think I’m a little more lax about it, boy those first few months I couldn’t get enough of my stats reader. It would be arrogant and ignorant to say stats don’t matter at all as you write. Maybe for some, stats don’t carry much weight. For the rest of us, remember to walk the balance of learning from your readers but not being controlled by them. So you have a certain page that gets the most views? Great, keep developing that page IF you feel good about it. Don’t change everything you enjoy about your site just for that statistic. I have easily been sucked into the numbers game and finally decided to go with what I felt most confident with my writing. While I am learning to be patient as my readership grows, I am not defined by them. I should be defining my readers.

Connect. It is the life blood of bloggers.
It is easy to get isolated in the blogging world, so get yourself out there and join a blogging group or two. I did not realize how rad the blogging world can be until I started joining blogging groups. The more I started engaging in our own community, the better I started to feel. The more you give the more you receive. You can’t make it blogging very long by yourself. You need the help and advice of other bloggers. If you aren’t part of Naptime Nation Facebook group. Join. Trust me. It is a life saver and I have not found a woman in that group who tore another writer down for her success. Choose to encourage those around you who are success. It will make you a better writer in the long run. Stay out of the vortex that is jealousy. Lindsay from Pinch of Yum has some great tips about fighting jealousy and being supportive of our fellow bloggers.

Write. Write. Write. And BE PATIENT.
The more you write, the better you’ll be. Focus on producing quality content and the rest will fall into place. Be patient. Good things can come from being patient. Patient as your writing skills grow. Patient as you grow your number of followers. Patient as you wait to hear back from ScaryMommy to see if your piece gets published. Patience doesn’t mean sitting on your hands. Keep working your butt off to engage your readers to grow your readership, but as we all know, most empires take time to build. Build your blog by writing, writing and writing some more. Be patient as you continue to learn the process and learn from others. “As one blogger said from our survey, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s midpoint/end because at one point, they were right where you are now.” Nuff said.

I couldn’t write this list without adding the most popular, beefy tip from our fellow bloggers.

DON’T GIVE UP.
Don’t get discouraged by your stats. Learn from them, but don’t live or quit writing by them. Don’t rush. Blogging is a forever learning experience. Enjoy where you’re at. OK, begging for some sponsors with your media kit may not sound all that enjoyable, but remember why you started this in the first place. Keep that in the forefront as you move forward and remember what is important and obsess less about what isn’t. Capiche?

An original version of this post appeared on livingfornaptime.com

5 Reasons Mom Bloggers Rock

 

Have you ever Googled “mom blogs” before? Talk about overload. Upon my Googling adventures I saw writers out there saying that there are almost 4 million ladies who call themselves a mom blogger. Holy Buckets. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started blogging. Seriously, talk about sticking your head back in the sand.

I first started out posting here or there, not really worried about which way I was going. When I wanted to put more focus and energy into this “hobby,” in hopes of making some moolah off my writing someday, I realized I needed support. I needed to figure out what the heck I was doing and where I wanted to go. I did what anyone would do before they get ready for the big game. You stalk your opponents.

As I began spending way too much time late into the night reading and ciphering through a gazillion mom blogger sites, I started noticing a trend. Not only were my opponents pretty flipping awesome, but they were team players. These amazamoms are out there, cheering on the next mom, encouraging her to write her story and be vulnerable to the spectators. It didn’t take long for me to realize that we’re on the same team and that we’re pretty rad. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say these are the five reasons mom bloggers rock.

Five Reasons Mom bloggers Rock. Finding your tribe in the mom blogging world.

We are the masters at multitasking.
You know what I love about mom bloggers? They are constantly mind blowing me with their talent. Not just their talented writing, but their ability to to keep on balancing mama life and everything else that demands their attention. How is it possible that a mom can write, work, chase kids, love husband, write, work, rinse and repeat and still put herself out there time after time to share with her readers? Because we are awesome. I heard once that being a mom puts you in the top ten list of a job that requires you to make the most decisions in a day. I think some people equate a mom blogger as someone who watches Netflix all day. If they only knew the time and energy we expend as a mom then tack on whatever else it is we do–work away from home, work at home, travel, maybe have the ability to cook or clean, having to help take care of the place in which you live…. I’m getting exhausted just writing this.

We remember to pause, breathe and enjoy where we’re at.
There’s nothing that can keep you more grounded then writing about your life or your experiences and then realizing you need to enjoy what you’re writing about. If I want to write about #enjoyingtheride then I need to actually do it. That’s why I told my husband we need to take a vacation to Ireland, so I can write about it. Fingers crossed people.

We cheer each other on.
I would be amiss if I said jealousy is not a force to be reckoned with as you enter the mom blogging world. I think you have to make a choice if you choose to join the #momblogginghood. You can either choose to let jealousy eat away your talent and motivation or keep your eyes ahead on your own path and learn to appreciate the ladies you identify with. I hear #momtribe alot these days and love the unity this term brings. No matter how we all write, we’re all moms and we can all identify with what that means.

We like to write.
Do I really need to add to this? We enjoy writing  when many others would rather take a chainsaw to their toenails before they sat down to listen to the muses out there and write about it. We are a special breed who choose to use our “spare” time to write. #mamaswhowrite

We are diverse. 
Like I said, I was overwhelmed when I started connecting with other mom bloggers because it seemed like we were all “competing” for the same thing–page views, followers, readership numbers, blah, blah. Honestly, I was intimidated by all these awesome ladies. But you know what? There are a bazillion love songs that say I love you in a bazillion different ways and we keep on listening to them. There are a bazillion moms writing about that one recipe that will kick off your holiday weekend or 10 ways to get your kids to bed before it’s too late or 5 reasons mom bloggers rock, but behind each screen is a woman whose perception on life is different than yours. A woman who reminds you that there is more than one way to make a cake. A woman who reminds you that you are an awesome mom. A mom who identifies with your loss, your gains. A mom who rocks .

Peace,
Glo

P.S. I’m totally digging the 5 hashtags for the 5 reasons. Sheesh, I’m obsessed.

What’s Up with Fake Follows?

 

icon-set-1142000_640

I recently created an Instagram account for my blog. I had a personal one, but felt like I needed to promote my blog separately and since Instagram recently created a way to have multiple accounts on your phone and I have a new email address by having Blue Host for my WordPress site, long sentence short, I joined the blogging world of Instagram.  I use Twitter and honestly, that started out as a personal account, which I never used, so I switched up to be my an outlet for my blogging. I noticed an interesting trend that began as I beefed up my use of #hashtags. One day I would have some new followers, so what was 100 followers now is 105 followers. The next day, my followers number would be 99. What? That’s when I discovered fake follows.

I guess I’m somewhat oblivious to some of the “follow” rules out there. I came across a post from a blogger I particularly like, and Courtney mentions that bloggers should cut out all that “follow for follow” crap. Really? This exists? Apparently I’ve had my head in the clouds, but I didn’t realize this was a thing. Why would I follow someone just because they started following me?

 

I feel like this is just another example of why social media has created folks to be obsessed with themselves. Don’t get me wrong. I have clearly fallen into this trap from time to time. I mean if one of my Facebook photos doesn’t get 50 likes within 30 minutes, then clearly it was not worthy enough.

 

But really, I don’t follow anyone unless I’m interested in seeing the content they put out there and I would never expect someone I choose to follow to follow me back “just because.” If this is some kind of social media etiquette, then whoever invented this “rule” was probably some super, narcissistic crazy person who feeds off of numbers. Numbers are not the end all to why I write. I write because it’s my outlet. I write because I can. I write because I hope to encourage someone else. I write to blow off steam. I write for a good laugh. If you aren’t interested in what I have to say, then by all means, don’t follow me. I want the authentic. I want the curious. I want the genuine readers.

So what about the people who do follow you? I was talking to my friend about this and she mentioned people who start following someone, like a blogger or a “typical civilian” expect a return. If you’re Beyonce then it’s not expected for a follow back. Duh. But an “average Joe”? Their is an expectation they will be followed back. What will I do with people who follow me? I’ve started sending a “thank you” message. Saying, “I noticed you noticed me. You are awesome. Thank you!” And if I’m interested in their profile and what they have out for everyone to see, I will follow back. If they put out content that is about knitting underwear for their family for Christmas, then I might not be interested. I don’t think I would ever have the patience to knit, let alone knit underwear. There’s nothing wrong with knitting underwear. I’m just not interested in that topic and it doesn’t seem like a topic I would branch out on either. Nothing personal, people. Sheesh.

Do you follow people back if they follow you? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Do you follow backPIN

 

 

 

 

Word for the Year 2016: Focus…and Cultivate

I couldn’t decide on one word for this year. I had a few goals and thoughts that I was mulling over for a couple of weeks and I just kept coming back to these two words. Focus was the dominant word. Each time I would delve deeper, the word cultivate kept swimming around my thoughts. So there you have it. My two words for the year are FOCUS and CULTIVATE.

Every year I tend to fill the need to change something in my life. One year I allowed myself to watch TV/Movies for a total of three hours in a one week period. Another year I wanted to run everyday. Ha! That was the year I got bronchitis AND laryngitis. (If you’re wondering, no, I didn’t end up running everyday that year.) Another year Mike and I pledged to eat at one new restaurant a month. One year I decided to read a new book each week. (I was close. I ended up with 50 on my reading list that year.) You get the idea. I have never picked a word to focus on. This will be a new endeavor.

I got the idea from Frank Viola. He posted a great article about getting ready for 2016 and I decided to run with it. If you’ve never heard of or read any of his stuff, you should head over to his site and check it out. Once I decided to pick a word for the year, I started to pray about it. I plan to take this seriously, so it seemed natural to ask God for help.

I knew I wanted to be on social media less, run more, eat healthy, read more, write more, be angry less, spend time with people I care about more and be purposeful in my relationship with Mike. I wanted to focus on them, but not just that, I wanted to grow these things. Improve upon them somehow. Enter cultivate. So here’s my list of focus and cultivation for the year 2016 and how I plan to “implement” them.word2016

1) Facebook less. I plan to turn off all my push notification on all my social media apps (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). I have found that I have great excuses to be on these all the time (while I’m nursing, while Asher is napping, when I’m going for a walk…you get the idea). I keep missing the present because I’m so focused on someone else’s “present.” Who wants to spend life on Facebook. I don’t even want to know how much of my time is spent either surfing social media or the Internet in general. So, I’ve decided to allow myself two times in a day to check these things. I get up early and like to do emails, etc. so morning seems natural. I’m not sure when the other time will be, but it will be minimum.

2) Run More. I like to run. I feel healthier, stronger, and usually mentally stronger when I’m running. Especially if I have a plan for my running. I plan to run a half marathon this spring. That’s as far as I’m taking it right now. The fall gets pretty busy for me with coaching, so we’ll see what it brings. I already try to run a few times a week, so this isn’t new, but I am cultivating this habit. See what I did there.

3) Cook More Wholesome Foods. I believe I’ve mentioned before how I love Lisa over at www.100daysofrealfood.com. I use her site as my go to when I want to make wholesome, less processed foods. I’ve decided to use my blog to help me with this goal. I’ve got some ideas turning but I’m thinking of a “Supper Sundays” post. I’ll post what I cooked, how it went over, the recipe I used and any other resources. I don’t know if anyone will read it, but it will help keep me accountable to cook at least a wholesome, non processed, possibly all organic meal, once a week. I’ll most likely cook this on Sundays, hence “Supper Sundays.”

4) Read More. If you check out my side bar, you can see that I’ve signed up at Goodreads.com for the reading challenge this year. I plan to read 40 books this year. If you are a struggling reader or like to read, this is fun to do. You can join others and check out who’s reading what. It’s an easy way to find some accountability for your year of reading. I love it!

5) Write More. I’ve thought about using my blog to help me accomplish this. Obviously it’s two-fold with the Supper Sundays idea. I’ve thought about other “day themed” writings. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers do this and it seems like a good idea. I wouldn’t have to keep it up every week, but when I get an idea, I could tie it to one of those themes. I also have realized that I want to schedule more time in for writing. This can be tricky. I have two prime times in a day to do this, but I use that time for a lot of other things too, so I’ll have to decide maybe what days to do what. Book ideas keep floating around my head. Right now, their just floating. I’m trying to get the sail up still.

6) Relationships. I would definitely consider myself and my husband an introvert by definition. We have friends we see every now and then but nothing consistently. I tend to easily run in my head that “I’m introvert. I don’t need to see people to get energy.” This might be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s the way God intended things for all introverted people. I plan to invest in some of my relationships more this year and spend time with people I care about. I’m pretty sure Mike will go along with this 🙂 I also have a big family, and we can go a long time without talking to each other. This bothers me when I think about it. So, I’ve decided to plan a phone call/text to my family members more often throughout the week.

7) My marriage. I can easily see how married couples lose their intimacy and friendship when they have a child(ren). I can see this slowly happening to Mike and me. He works fairly long days and it’s easy to fall into the roommate mode and give all  your energy to your kids. I’m thinking we need to implement two date nights a month or something. I haven’t worked out all the details of this because I need to talk with Mike about it. but I plan to be proactive in this. We’ve got a great babysitter that we trust and Asher doesn’t have any issues going to bed at night, so we just need to plan to go out together!

That’s my list to help me FOCUS this year and CULTIVATE some things that are important to me. Have you thought about your year? I really like Frank Viola’s idea of making a list of your “Dream Year.” How inspiring! I would like to sit down with Mike and do that. I think it would be a cool idea to see how those dreams pan out for the year. What would  your word for the year be? Why?
Thanks for reading!

Crying in the car and being a control nut: What is your top ten list for 2015?

I know many are focusing on New Year’s resolutions, but before I jump in to looking ahead, I like to sit back and look at the year and all the things I experienced. I like to make a list, (shocking, I know) and reflect on what had an impact on me as a person. I like to try and narrow down these experiences to ones that seemed most impactful to me. These “experiences” could include a book or music or even a movie. So before you jump into the new year, I would encourage you to reflect on your year in 2015.

WHY make a list?
It’s good for the soul to remember things that have helped mold you into the person you are. As a society, I feel like we’re always looking forward to the next date we have marked on our calendar that we forget to reflect on important things that have happened to us.

HOW to make your list?
I tend to be a “free writer” myself. I don’t start out with a number one and then try to perfect my list right away. I generally sit down and just start writing about the year in total free form. Sometimes I go through all the pictures on my phone to bring up reminders of special events. Sometimes I go through my music play lists to refresh on my favorite songs. I also keep a journal. I like to go through it and reflect. You might even want to talk with someone you spent a lot of time with throughout the year. They might have some interesting perspectives on how the year went.

WHAT to put on your list?
Of course this is very general and can vary greatly depending on the person and what they experienced during the year. Some might find this reflective process liberating and motivating as they move into the next year. We can’t forget the struggles that the year brought. There are many who may have had a tough year who wish to leave it behind and never look back. Think about how your experiences could or may have made you a stronger or more considerate person than before. Your list may include a relationship that ended, a lost loved one, a new loved one, a book, a song, a trip, a concert, a restaurant your family was addicted to, maybe a TV show.

This list is wide open. Be serious. Be funny. Be thoughtful. Be gritty. Be honest.

MY LIST FOR 2015

1) Having my first child.
Of course, this seems like an obvious one, but I must say that it seems almost all my experiences this year revolve around this little guy. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if Mike and I would have kids. God opened my heart and now I don’t even know how I used to think that! I could live without the labor part, and really skip the nine months pregnant part. A stork delivery would be nice. But I would do it all over. Words can’t express all this, really.

2) Becoming a stay at home mom.
If you would’ve asked me a few years ago what I thought I’d be doing the rest of my life, I would have said teaching in a school somewhere. I never would have thought that I’d be a SAHM. Now, I can’t imagine working away from my little guy. The transition had its and still does have its emotional moments, but I am so grateful that I get to be with Asher for all of his “firsts.” Wearing leggings everyday does have its perks.

source

 

3) Love and War by John Eldredge.
This book has brought a new foundational meaning to my marriage. If you are struggling in your marriage and are interested in faith-based insight, you really should check this out. I feel like this book gave me a huge reminder that we are all under attack by the Evil One and prayer is a powerful thing for your marriage, for any relationship, really. Marriage is hard and having a child and being parents is icing on the cake! This book saved us! I really should write a review for this book.

4) Since I’m on the topic of marriage, the song Broken Together by Casting Crowns rang true for me this year, especially after having a baby! There were many car rides, with a lot of tears upon hearing this song. Pregnancy hormones didn’t help either! (Come to think of it, there was lots of crying in the car this year…) There’s nothing more humbling than you and your spouse caring for this new little life (or lives) you’ve been given and realizing how utterly flawed you both are as you walk your parenting journey together.

source


5) Organic and less processed.
This year I have tried to cut out processed foods and create a more “whole foods” shopping list. I am addicted to Lisa’s site www.100daysofrealfood.com I first decided to really pay attention to ingredient lists of foods I buy and I try to buy organic when it’s feasible. I really try to go by the dirty dozen. We certainly don’t always eat healthy, but I feel healthier knowing I’m making more educated purchases at the grocery store.

6) Being a control nut.
I have realized this year that I like control. I like to control as much as I can and when I can’t, I feel like a failure or I feel unstable. Again, having a kid can do wonders! I always knew I liked to plan and organize, but I feel I really saw my controlling flaws within my marriage and my relationships and the unhealthy side of control. I think control can be a good, healthy characteristic, but like anything, too much can become a problem. I certainly haven’t mastered dealing with being too controlling but I feel that being more self aware has already helped tremendously.

7) Learning to laugh more.
Laughter instead of anger. This practice has helped me a lot in my marriage. It could help in any relationship. There are several occasions when Mike and I could easily get snippy or rude with one another, but we’re finding out that sometimes. things can be pretty funny and laughing instead of getting angry can calm a storm very easily.

I could probably add Taco Bell, KLOVE Radio, and the public library to this list, but those are long enough for a post of their own! By the way, I realize I only have a list of SEVEN! I’m working on my controlling deficits.

The new year is almost here. Take some time to reflect before diving in with new resolutions or before planning away all your time. Remember those closest to you and how they have impacted you. Most of all, enjoy the season of life you’re in. We all know things can change so quickly.