Research blogging or blog marketing, etc., and you quickly come across oodles of articles with best practices, helpful hints, and “how to’s.” Tips on how to write, who to write to, how to define your niche, drafting a dynamic title… the list is endless. There’s even a whole group of “how I make six figures blogging – and you can too!” I read them. I read a lot of them. And a common theme to guaranteed success seemed to be this: a) know your audience and b) show them how to solve their biggest problems.

Know your audience. 

The first part was relatively easy for me. Because who I know I’m called to write to is other ladies just like me.

I don’t mean how we look, where we live, our education, language, culture, etc. I mean our hearts. I bet – like me – you sense that there’s more to life than the title we hold, the work we do, what politician we like (or loathe), the hobbies we pursue, the hours we work or the amount of money in our bank account.

That cannot be all that life is about; all that brings us value.

At home on the farm with my husband Sam and our three cute and crazy kiddos.

Fix all the things.

So that brings us to tip #2: show your audience how you can solve their biggest problems.

It took me exactly one blog post for that idea to fall flat on its face.

Because here’s the thing: I’m still on this journey called life, just like you.

Don’t me wrong, my story has value. I am proof that God makes beauty out of ashes. I come from a family that is dysfunctional going back multiple generations. Just one branch could fill an entire season of the Jerry Springer show (and probably get decent ratings, since some people enjoy that sorta thing). My story has chapters that include things like childhood sexual assault, mental illness, codependency, miscarriage, abandonment, perfectionism, control-freak, and the like. 

And yet, here I am. I’m still standing.

More than that, I’m learning. I haven’t arrived, but I’m growing.

See, my story has a lot of really beautiful chapters filled with joy as well. Marriage, children, family, friends, community, success, education, food, geekery, technology, planning, fitness, and so much more. So much beauty. In the past 10 years I’ve begun to work through old wounds, weed out old behaviors and practice some new things that are better and healthier, for me and my family.

Sometimes they work.

Sometimes they hit like a belly flop.

The thing is, I’m not sure how much of that was me, and how much of that was the work of the God that loves me. I don’t have anything that isn’t a gift from a loving God, a good GOOD Father whose goal and purpose for us on this earth is reconciliation and redemption.

I couldn’t have done any of this without Jesus.

For it is God who is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13

All I have to offer.

Friends, I have to be honest when I say, all I have to offer you is my story.

My journey.

That’s what this place is meant to be. A place I humbly offer you my story, acceptance of your story, and a kindred spirit. I want this to be a safe place to breathe and say, “it’s not just me.” A place where we can come alongside each other and challenge one another to step out of where we are and get on the path that leads to who we were meant to be. A place where I share the heart of Jesus, how he loves, and how I’m learning to dance in freedom. 

Free from fear.

Free to love fiercely, both others and myself.

I am growing fierce.

I hope you’ll join me.