I write about a number of things here.
Over a month ago, I joined hundreds of homeschool families, curriculum vendors, entrepreneurs, artisans, authors, and other creatives at the Christian Home Educators Association (CHEA) Convention in beautiful Pasadena, California. It was their 32nd annual event, filled with two full days (Friday and Saturday) of speaking events focused on homeschooling, parenting, and legal rights to homeschool. We also had vendor workshops that provided demos of their products and services.
I was able to attend a first ever Blogger’s Night Out on Thursday prior to the main events in which bloggers of all ages and focus came together to listen to a fine panelist of authors share their blogging experience. What an event!
It was a superb weekend. I haven’t met so many people in a short amount of time and I was delightfully exhausted from all the activities that I am barely now writing about it. When it was over, I must admit, I was a bit melancholy.
I wanted to take a moment before this all fizzles into a distant memory and identify the major themes that materialized across different sessions and speakers.
I tend to get so overloaded with information and inspiration that I get dreamy with the prospects of what my life may look like one day when all this is over—my homeschool days, that is—and how my children will be sharpened after all those years for the Lord, if He tarries. What will become of my children for the Kingdom of God? Am I doing my part to its full potential, to the obedience of God?
Here are some of my takeaways:
Takeaway #1 : Ask yourself why you want to blog
What is our purpose as bloggers? What is our passion for writing? Whether we are a super blogger or a blogger with a small audience, whether we blog for fun as a ministry, or blog to monetize, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Consider these:
- Audience: who would want to read what you’re writing about? Is it a ministry to a particular niche?
- Authenticity: are you looking to get to know people and them get to know you in your authentic self?
- Community: are you willing to build a community and connect with others in that community to cultivate its growth?
Takeaway #2 : Don’t feel guilty blogging
One main caveat is to remember as homeschool moms that we were called to educate our children first, and educate others second, for the “days are long and the years are short.” Therefore, it is important to identify boundaries as bloggers. We can take a break from blogging if we need to!
We tend to feel guilt when we do something for ourselves, and when we’re not using our time for our families exclusively. [Tweet “One thing I discovered that I hadn’t thought of prior is that my blogging is a ministry.”]
Blogging should enrich us, not become an idol for us. Blogging can be consuming, but with a proper perspective, we can carve out time and schedule to make it work. Our children should see that we work and that we are devoted to other work outside of the instructing, playing, cooking, and cleaning that we do with them daily in the home school. It should be fun to blog, otherwise it can be a chore, and who wants to add more chores to our list? I don’t.
We know that blogging is writing, and writing is a very excruciating, solitary art, as someone once said. During the blogging process, it is just you, your thoughts, and all that needs to be said on your post.
That’s why this blogging event was so helpful! We need to examine ourselves as bloggers and enrich the experience by learning what others are doing to cope with families and the ministry of blogging. That is one thing I discovered that I hadn’t thought of prior: that my blogging is a ministry. It is a chronicle of my life for my children to one day experience. It is a body of wisdom and lessons learned for my daughter to one day look to for comfort and guidance aside from the Bible. It also is a testament to my children’s lives as they will have a living record of what they did and what the Lord taught us during these years here and now.
My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: (Proverbs 6:20)
This verse is one of my family favorites because it illustrates just what the purpose statement is in my blog: Because everything I do ought to have a kingdom purpose. My blog, as multi-faceted as it is, is intended to direct my children to God’s truth. It is to show them how God manifests Himself in our lives.
I want to thank the panelists that offered their time to share with us at the Bloggers Night Out. I needed to hear other homeschooling parents’ writing experience to show me what’s possible. And I didn’t want to hear it from just anyone, but rather the right people. People who understand what I’m trying to do, who know what they’re talking about, and who can help me continue to do what I need to with a kingdom purpose.
In my next post, I will share with you some practical tips and tools that blogger’s would benefit from knowing about. I have a few up my sleeve that you may want to check out. Stay tuned!
Did you attend the CHEA Convention Blogger’s Night? What were your takeaways?