Don’t upset Jesus!

point

I just read another piece calling out someone for calling out someone else. Maybe there was a third level of calling out in there. I'm not sure. It's all pretty muddled at this point. The point is, calling out people is bad and we need to call them out on it. There aren't many things that make me want to quit blogging, but the unending circle of making sure we're morally superior to "those other guys" is one thing that makes me vaguely consider it. Let me be very clear. I am totally okay with people writing blogs wherein they disagree with the writing/teaching/tweeting of any other person. It's usually big names like Mark Driscoll or John Piper or Rachel Held Evans or Rob Bell. They do something that rubs someone the wrong way. So folks will write about it. Some will write about the … [Read more...]

Not naked, and not ashamed

naked

  Today I'm guest posting for Joy Bennett. Joy and I have had an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better over the past year and I'm honored that she's offered me a chance to post over at her place, especially since this piece might seem like I'm disagreeing with her (I'm not). My friend Joy has an amazing post about writing naked. I love her words. I love how raw and honest and gutsy they are. Not just the words in that piece, but so many more. She lives what she preaches and I am grateful for that, both as a writer and a reader. I really, really want to do that. I want to strip down to my pale white skin on my blog and blind you with ALL of me. All of the beautiful, sexy parts, as well as the blemishes, the scars, the lumpy bits. I want to be able to flip off the … [Read more...]

Featured at BlogHer

ChristHero

I have the distinct honor once again of being featured over at BlogHer. With so many superbly written blogs out there, I can't tell you what a lovely little boost it is to see my work over at that site. I love the way that they honor the voices of female bloggers. Today they are featuring my piece from last month about the Church reaching out and how I think we need to change our focus and stop reaching out. I would love it if you'd let people know about the post. And if you're here for the first time, welcome! Take a look around, sign up for my newsletter, check out my Facebook page, and come chat with me on Twitter. … [Read more...]

Seven Lessons in Seven Years

Tomorrow marks seven years of blogging. In seven years, I've learned a couple of things about this process. Here are seven lessons about blogging that I've learned over the past seven years. Keep proper perspective. Your writing is important, both to you and to your readers. But it's still a blog. This world will keep on going if you need to take some time off. And you will keep on going if you need to take a break every now and again. In fact, you'll probably be better if you sometimes don't post. Which leads me to number 2... Know what healthy blogging looks like for you. There will always be people telling you how many times you should check your stats or how often you should post or what topics you should write about. And there is some good advice out there. Refreshing your … [Read more...]

Featured at BlogHer

Today is my day to make you click around to find me. In addition to my piece at A Deeper Family, my piece about almost being an influential blogger is being featured over at BlogHer. With all of the recent hoopla about the presence of female bloggers, I appreciate again the work that goes on over at BlogHer, featuring a variety of women writers. And of course, I am honored to be featured there today. Thanks for your support of my writing here - you guys are all kinds of awesome. … [Read more...]

It Is Good

I had a truly amazing time at Story. I loved the people who I met and most of the messages that I heard. But (there's always a but, isn't there?), I left feeling a little bit conflicted. The thing I loved the most about the conference was seeing one presenter after another get up and share the excitement that they got from their craft. Watching Isaac Rentz bounce around the stage, sharing his videos, and telling us, "I love this. It's really good," awakened something in me that I didn't even know was asleep. Being proud of my work. When I went through The Bad Time, the phrase that stuck with me the most was that I had "a spirit of performance." This was because I wanted to music to sound good. I wanted the worship team to practice, to give our best efforts, to come prepared. I … [Read more...]

The day I was almost an influential church blogger

If Kent Shaffer's list of influential church bloggers went to 225, I would be golden. But alas, it only goes to 200. So instead I'm just one of the faceless, unwashed masses. I hate lists. It can be so easy to get caught up in who is in and who is out and the successes and failures of those who are "above" and "below" us. We tally up the numbers and figure out our ranking. She's better than me. I'm better than him. This person shouldn't be on the list. That person got completely screwed over by the list. Influence is such an odd thing. The most influential female writer on Kent's list was Rachel Held Evans. I found her blog by way of my best friend Tina about four years ago, before her first book was out. Rachel wrote about things that resonated deeply with me in a way that I … [Read more...]

I’m so happy for you…really!

A whole stack of my writing friends just released new books. Another group just signed publishing contracts, some for multiple books. Friends signed with agents. Friends with speaking engagements. Friends with writing jobs that pay the bills. I read their status updates and their tweets and I'm genuinely happy for them. It is exciting to see a dream realized and they are my friends, after all. I read their writing, it's good, and I want more people to have the opportunity to soak in their words. Any time you seek to make a living doing something creative, it's a risk and it's a joy to know that risk is working out for people who I like. Sometimes I worry that my congratulatory comments don't sound as sincere as I intend for them to be. Because let's be honest, while I'm happy … [Read more...]

Story Teller

You've probably noticed that in my weekly "Stuff I've Been Reading," I regularly link to pieces at A Deeper Story. I kind of heavily crush on every writer over there, even the ones with whom I have some disagreements. I love the honesty that happens there - the bare-bones, sometimes cringe-worthy honesty. It hurts and it heals. God, how it heals. I admit, I've longed to be a part of that writing community pretty much since it opened almost 2 years ago. So when Megan Tietz asked me prayerfully consider joining her at the new Deeper Story channel, A Deeper Family, I did no such thing. Instead, I did a little dance around my living room and then sent her an email saying that yes, I would very much like to be a part of A Deeper Family. Because really, I've been hoping and praying for … [Read more...]

My Love/Hate Relationship with Blogging

I'm tired. Apparently there's nothing like having the hugest week ever on your blog to make you want to quit blogging forever. I know all of the rules about blogging. How I'm supposed to be focused on one or two topics. How when something big happens in the news in said topics, I should write about it. How I need to be honest because that allows my readers to know that I am a real person, but not too honest because then I might not get a book deal later. How I need to care about my platform, making sure that I have enough Twitter followers and Facebook likes and an impressive Klout score. How I must make sure that I interact with all of the right people who have all of the right connections. All of these things that I'm supposed to do. Of course, everyone else knows the rules … [Read more...]