Today is the 7th in the series at Kate Motaung’s blog titled On Being a Writer by Anne Koeker and Charity Singleton Craig. The book is also available at the website. This is week four. She has links to all this information and earlier posts on her site. Here are the links to my earlier posts: Identify, Arrange, Surround, Notice, Write. Send.
I’m reminded of the words to a song from a number of years ago. I have them hanging on my wall. I love them!
Just ordinary people
God uses ordinary people
He chooses people just like me and you
Who are willing to do as He commands
God uses people that will give Him all
No matter how small your all may seem to you
Because little becomes much
As you place it in the Masters hand
Oh, just like that little lad
Who gave Jesus all he had
How the multitude was fed
With a fish and loaves of bread
What you have may not seem much
But when you yield it to the touch
Of the Master’s loving hand
Then you will understand how
Your life could never be the same
(chorus…1st 2 paragraphs)
Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of vulnerable! At least for me, promotion is tied to a deep part of vulnerability that makes it difficult for me to promote myself to people I only know a little because
- what if they think the topics I write about are stupid?
- Or written poorly?
- Or are totally irrelevant?
- Or…you name it!
But the truth is, GOD is transforming me slowly, almost imperceptibly at times. To me, my mess is so blatant! But He is working on me and transforming me into something that can be used for HIS glory.
There are moments when I stop paying attention to myself long enough that He actually uses me in that way! Sometimes I know about it. Often, I have no awareness of it. Sometimes, years later, I find out. It is a gift GOD lovingly gives on occasion.
There is no question. Promotion is a step into the vulnerable. I am inviting you into the deep recesses of my life!
So when I tell someone about my blog, it is a scary thing I do. It is also an act of friendship. I’m making myself vulnerable. I’m inviting you into the deeper recesses of my life. I’m probably telling you more about myself than you want to know.So when I tell someone about my blog, it is a scary thing I do. It is also an act of friendship. I'm making myself vulnerable. Click To Tweet
When I do, I hope you will find out that you are not alone in your struggle. That you will see that your ordinariness is similar to mine in some ways, different in others. But GOD is going to transform you too…with the Gospel of grace and truth!
Before his stroke, my husband was my biggest promoter. When we met people, he would say, “Did you know my wife writes a blog. Martha, do you have one of your cards with you?” I would fumble in my purse and apologetically hand them a business card with my blog address on it.
Promotion on a larger scale is easier in some ways. I don’t know these people. They can decide if they like my blog or not anonymously.
But as I think of promoting my blog on a larger scale, in some ways, it is easier. These people can decide for or against my blog anonymously. I don’t have to look them in the face or know their names. I don’t have to experience personal rejection. I know this blog is not to everyone’s taste level. I don’t even think all my children enjoy reading it. I totally get that!
In theory, I don’t fell guilty about promoting on the larger scale. This is largely because I realize that what I have to say is not self promotional really. If this were a blog about me and mine, I would have a lot of trouble promoting it. But it is a blog about what GOD is doing. Sometimes it is what He is doing in my life…or has done. But my life is about as ordinary as they come. I don’t present myself as Mrs. Superwoman. I’m Mrs. Ordinary.In theory, I don't fell guilty about promoting on the larger scale. This is largely because I realize that what I have to say is not self promotional really. It is a blog about what GOD is doing. I'm Mrs. Ordinary. Click To Tweet
I don’t have all the answers in a cookie cutter way or 5 steps to success here and 10 steps to success there. Not having all those keys to success can be a huge problem for a blog! Too bad for me.
Admitting I repeatedly struggle with weight loss these past few years or have had a bear of a time getting rid of the last vestiges of our down-sized home? Who wants to hear that?
Actually, people like me who struggle and fail and struggle again. We need to know others have the same problems and that we aren’t the only ones. Not only that, but GOD still loves us and isn’t shocked by our failures! He isn’t you know…
But my blog is about the fact that GOD is about transforming the lives of every believer into something beautiful for His glory! I share something of the process He has taken me through. I hope to share more of the process He has taken others through as well…happy endings or not. Because we aren’t there yet. The end of our stories aren’t finished!
So promoting the telling of the story of GOD’s transformation of an ordinary person one step at a time? That can’t be braggy or self-promotional, can it? Well, there are ways it can, but in that context, it really can’t! How can I be embarrassed to promote the giving of that message?
Is it un-christian to be paid for all these hours of work?
I don’t even need to be embarrassed if I am going to be paid because I have spent hours and hours writing; learning how to do a better job communicating how to write; learning enough about technology to get that information out; or pay someone else to do it! Getting paid is not something I need to feel embarrassed about either. I’m not there yet, but I’m not going to feel embarrassed when I get paid!I don't even need to be embarrassed if I am going to be paid because I have spent hours and hours writing; learning how to do a better job communicating how to write... Click To Tweet
I have used too much of my own money to pay for what I have done so far. I pay for hosting service, some conferences, and other courses…and the hours to process all I have learned. No, I won’t be embarrassed at all to be paid when I earn money for all this work! It definitely has not been a hobby despite the opinion of the IRS!
I can feel the freedom to promote the heck out of whatever I write, knowing that I am one of GOD’s ordinary servants bringing glory to Him by what I do, whether my work is obviously “spiritual” or not. What I am doing is good work. It brings glory to Him because I am working to do a job with excellence (not perfection). I know He is transforming what I do and transforming me in the process!
This is what I need to work toward
Hopefully, I will have a group of online and IRL friends who are supporting me as they critique. pray for and promote for me too. It will be mutual. I’m realizing I need to grow that group now! It looks like I have another “how” to learn!
Thank you for sharing your blog! Christians are people who practice our faith. No one is ever perfect. Sharing the practice is what community is all about. By demonstrating to others what practice looks like you are building other people in faith. The evil one’s chief tool is to make us afraid so we won’t try. You are helping other believers try. Well done, Martha!
God Bless You!
thanks so much for your kind words amy:) they came on a difficult day. we spent 5 hours in the ER waiting to hear if ron had had another stroke or not. the verdict was “no.” what a relief! it was simply vertigo not related to a stroke. we can find a way to live with that.
YES! That’s it. That’s the difference. I’m all about promoting what God’s doing! But what I’m doing? Not so much. I actually kind of figured this out in the comments on my blog this morning. I don’t like vulnerable, but that’s it too. That’s why I didn’t tell folks I know about my blog for a long time. You also reminded me I need to print more business cards when I get home, with the new address. Funny, business cards for my blog has never bothered me in the same way as “promote” hmmm….
you crack me up christy. you are more vulnerable than you realize. you ooze vulnerable. i don’t think you are writing just for you. as some writers say, “i’m writing for an audience of one.” when you get that mentality that you’re there writing to please GOD, you won’t think of it as being so selfish. because i think your life style oozes a life for others. of course, you are selfish and proud too…that is the human condition! but transforming your view of how and why you write will change some aspects of how you write. it probably won’t be by much. and it will make it much easier for you to promote yourself b/c you are promoting the transforming work that GOD is doing in your part of the kingdom:)
YOU crack me up Martha 🙂 Yes, I am vulnerable, I decided a long time ago that I would be real. That I wouldn’t be one of “those” perfect mommy bloggers that imply that their babies don’t poop or puke. And that’s why I didn’t tell folks about my blog for a long time, it’s easier to be vulnerable with strangers, than with those that you know in real life. It’s all to the glory of God. (the audience of One). I’m sometimes too straight forward and that can bring out some ugly comments sometimes. And yes, I guess some of the things I write I DO want others to read, but I know that we can’t all be blogging queens 🙂 Some of us have to be small potatoes. Maybe that’s more of what I’m thinking and where my thoughts wandered.
you’re right Christy. the obvious “success” we have will be up to GOD. meanwhile, we just have to learn to write and connect as well as we can and let Him deal with the results. for now, I’m just small potatoes too. i’ve never been able to pull off the perfection thing…either in real life or online:)
Those song lyrics are beautiful! I love what they stand for. And so much of your words today resonate with me. Thanks!
glad you found them encouraging tara:)
I love the words of the song you quote. God can definitely use ordinary people because that is who other ordinary people can relate to. And I agree it can be hard to be vulnerable and open about our struggles but that is what other people connect with. I like your focus on telling the story of God’s transformation.
thanks carly. i just recently adjusted it. i’m doing some tweaking on the blog to get ready for october when all the people start reading my blog series:) (i don’t have great illusions about that. last time i didn’t have a huge response at all. i got lost in the crowd. but i’ll be ready just in case.) we’ll see how it goes. i learned a few things about publicity. i know a few more people. we’ll see. tangent:)
yes, i love that song! i just realized today that it was written and sung by a gospel singer. i didn’t realize that was where it came from. who knew? glad you stopped by carly:)
Martha- Great post! Well written and thoughtful ~ I appreciate the connection with vulnerability. Sharing my words and my blog space does make me feel vulnerable. But that’s the only way for others to not feel alone with their story- and feel brave enough to share. And you are SO right about it being easier to be a writer to strangers. It’s very different with people who know you. You are writing for God’s glory, friend. Thank you!
I enjoy the vulnerable style for sure karen. it touches my heart. that’s probably why i love your style as well;) i am touched by your kind words. i totally agree! I have found over the years that people, especially women, can’t connect with us until they realize that their struggles are similar. so many think they are the only ones who struggle the way they do…no matter what the area of struggle…but particularly when it comes to parenting and marriage. i suspect it is because everyone looks so good at church that they assume they all have together at home too:( so sad!