She sat in her car weeping. Finally home. The baby asleep in the car seat, the toddler drowsy from the 45 minute drive home from the moms group. Tired and not looking forward to the loads of laundry that needed to be washed. Dreading going in and seeing the kitchen that needed to be swept and mopped before tonight’s weekly bible study. Was she overdoing it? She questioned the amount of “ministry” she was involved in. But God seemed to be in it all… and she wanted to be a part of what He was doing. But why? And was it what was truly best for her family?

She listened to the cassette tape of an older woman sharing her testimony of addiction to serving. As she listened it was if she was speaking directly to her. It was obvious it was a “God moment”. He was speaking to her heart and teaching her to reevaluate her involvement and motives. This older woman shared about not sacrificing the first priorities God had blessed her with… her marriage and her children.

Guilty for missing hours of her days with her children and not getting it all done at home, she wondered, “Should I be at home more? Do I need to set boundaries for ministry?” This was opposite of everything she had known as a believer. She had been raised in the church and been modeled what it really meant to serve. But really, was that God’s calling for her?

As she sat in her car, snow melting down the windshield, she felt God’s presence. He was weeping with her. Just then she heard Him whisper, “Do you think I will only love you if you work for me? Are you afraid what others might think if you don’t?” It occurred to her that if she answered yes to any of these questions it meant part of her identity and her worth was found in what she did. And if it exposed that her worth was in her service, then it had become an idol, replacing her true value being in Christ alone.

This story, is my story. For years I have struggled with this “balance,” this “confirmation of where I should serve and how I should serve.” You see we need to be careful not to make any idols {dare I say even in being a “stay-at-home-mom”}. Six years ago I started blogging at a small little corner of the internet at a blogspot blog. It was just getting popular to blog and a few of my closest, actually all of my closest friends were doing it. My husband thought, it would be a great way for me to “express myself” and minister to those we knew without me having to leave my home. But I refused. For a couple of years I didn’t want to “follow” the crowd and be a “blogger.”

But the Lord made it clear when those I knew and loved asked me to start blogging specifically “for them.” I was honored and honestly… didn’t know where I would find the time. By this time we had six children all under ten years old and had made a vow not to take on anything that would take away from me pouring into those relationships and souls for Jesus. With encouragement from my husband, I moved my blog here, to Leaving a Legacy. I have to say… there are many times when I still feel like that 24-year-old mom who is wondering should I keep serving in this?

When I started blogging… I would do it at night… from my kitchen. It became a way for me to serve as a part of the Body of Christ without being taken out of my home. But I never let it replace those “REAL LIFE” friendships that know the real me. You may have wondered why don’t I see Angie Blog regularly? Well, it is because I have to put my real life first. Those relationships are the ones that are going to hold me accountable, cry with me, bring me chicken soup, sit with me in the hospital and love me no matter what.

This past week I went to Allume, the social media conference for Women Christian bloggers. I had the privilege of going last-minute last year and questioned if I should go again. The session was very educational, and it was obvious that God had me there for a reason. If I hadn’t gone last year, I don’t know if I would have written Redeeming Childbirth and I know I would have missed out on some lifelong kindred friends. But I have to say, that this year was very different. God had gone before me and set up divine appointments with hurting like-minded sisters in Christ who met a need in my life as well. I think I can honestly say, there was a point where every one of us experienced a moment of brokenness.

I could post a million pictures of new friends here and tag a bunch of people and making the most of “social media” {which by the way would be super cute and fun}, but I feel a burden on my heart for those women who have too much on their plates. The ones who like me, feel like they can’t keep them all spinning. God doesn’t want us to keep them all spinning. He wants us to let Him hold them.

I can’t lie that the first two days I was in PA… I questioned if I had done the right thing going and running a table for my new book. I was tired, scared, and completely unsure if anyone would sign up to be an advocate for the book. What I learned is that while God wants us to take action without fear of man…He still wants us to surrender our efforts trusting that He is the ONE and only that can make the impossible things happen. I am in awe of all the God moments or divine appointments He had set up for me. I have once again been wooed by Jesus. He has done something amazing in many women’s lives already through the ministry this book has provided and has a grand plan for impacting more lives. I am just so humbled and privileged to be able to be a part of it all. He has made it clear He is moving here and that Redeeming Childbirth is His, not mine. On my own I could not do what He is doing or going to do with it… it is all about Jesus.

I am not certain who said this statement over the weekend, but here it is: “Look for where God is moving and join in.”

Is God moving in your blog? Is it a sacrifice to your family and real life friendships? Are you confusing real life with virtual life {because they are massively different}! Is your virtual life hurting your real life friendships? Is your virtual life hurting your marriage? Or is it enhancing it?

These are all questions we need to evaluate and have our accountability partners evaluate for us {including our husbands}. The reality is that not all ministries are for us to do our whole lives. Have you ever seen a pastor preach who was clearly holding on tightly to his pulpit for the sake of the platform or the “identity” it provides him? Is your blog that for you? When I was in women’s ministry for young moms at a church we were at.. they had us make a two-year commitment because they understood that not all ministries or callings last a person’s who life. May I suggest that for some bloggers, they may need to reconsider if their blog ministry is truly a calling for the season they are in right now.

Are you holding tightly to your pulpit {blog} because it has crept in and become an idol that your identity has clung to?

We all need to remain in the true vine. Because it is only there that we can bear good fruit. “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-5

As soon as our identity begins to be found in our platform or our writing… it has become an idol that needs to be destroyed. It’s like chocolate or for some alcohol. God wants you to surrender your idols and BE FREE!

Unfortunately I missed all but two sessions this year… and many of the keynotes. :( However, this is the message I have felt so compelled to share because I fear that the enemy wants to distract and deceive some of my blogging sisters from seeing the truth. The truth that our first callings are our in our home and real relationships.

“Your writing is only as credible as your life. Credible means letting Christ shine through because He is incredible.” Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts and blogger @ A Holy Experience

This is such a profound word. Are you living what you write? Is your writing profound because you are living a real life and willing to be real with everyone… even online?I am not saying we have to all bear it all, but really we should not be pridefully trying to “look good.” Or write about what is popular because that is what readers like when God is calling us to write something else. The point I feel compelled to write is simply this… and this one statement alone is my truest heart intention… Do we blog for men, or for God? What are our motives?

We cannot compare, we cannot try to post three times a week just to get more followers at the expensive of our first callings. If your husband isn’t for you being up early or staying up late to blog… then don’t blog. This may not be your season to do this and that is OK!It isn’t worth losing your family or marriage. Your readers should expect you to have a life. So have one. And don’t let it be controlled by your blogging schedule.

What are your intentions? Is your blog your idol? If it is… will you crucify your idol? Will you surrender your intentions and motives and experience healing? It may not take sacrificing it all… but it might. It depends on how strong of an idol your platform has become. That is something to pray about. I do not know what God’s will or call is for your life, but I do care and I do want to pray for you to be fully surrendered, living in obedience to His will for your life.  If you would like to contact me personally to pray for you… you can email me @ [email protected]
I love you dear sisters… so much that I want you to be walking in His calling. And it will be different for us all.

I am praying for all my sisters in the Lord this week. Join with me on Leaving a Legacy’s FB page as we pray everyday for our sisters in the blogging world.

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Grace and Peace to you all,

Angie T

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