|The beautiful, golden maple tree in our front yard. The colors this week are spectacular!|
The past few months haven't been easy. If you've been around for awhile, I'm sure you've noticed. I've spent a few posts lately just spilling my guts and working through things out loud and for all to see. I won't apologize for the melancholy atmosphere my blog took on for awhile because I pride myself on being real and open with people in my life. If I'm struggling, you'll know, because I simply can't live life with a mask on.
All this to say- things won't ever be perfect, but for the first time in a long time I feel hope. It's interesting because when I look at the circumstances in my life, not much has changed. But I can say without a doubt that it is Jesus and His peace. I don't have peace because things have changed, I have peace because He is in control and I've finally learned to rest in that. I've fought through prayers and pleading and doubt and numbness and am finally starting to feel sparks of life and joy again.
I've found myself this week wishing that I could go back to earlier this year, look myself in the eyes, and tell that girl that was afraid and sad that she'd get through it. I know there's a reason we go through trials. I've learned all kinds of things about myself, my marriage, my relationships, and I know that the stretching and strengthening process wouldn't have happened outside of the struggles. I'm thankful that it feels like I'm nearing the mountain top. I know it's not permanent, as life promises valleys, too, but I'm thankful for the rest and joy that comes with knowing who holds tomorrow.
Changing the subject a bit, I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately. It's become one of the things I enjoy doing the most and it's definitely a creative outlet for me. But I think I got off track for awhile. It's fun thinking about growing your blog. I follow so many amazing bloggers who inspire me every day. But I think the insecure side of me internalizes that and creates dissatisfaction. My pictures aren't good enough, my style isn't creative enough, my life isn't interesting enough....and it's not fun to feel all of that.
I've read post after post on how to grow your blog and how to successfully draw readers in. And I think I've gotten a little ahead of myself. I feel all this pressure to write posts that people will be drawn to, or that are "pinnable", or that will make people laugh and not be so....melancholy. And that's just not me right now. I want readers to want to come back, and think all those things about my life that I've thought about other amazing bloggers. I've felt bad about myself when my numbers haven't shot through the roof. I've felt bad about the life I live. And then I feel bad about feeling bad.
I know others have written about these exact feelings, so this isn't anything new. It's something that's so easy to fall into when you're part of this blog world. After a few good conversations with people who know and love me, I've had to come back down to earth, put the brakes on some, and take some pressure off. I want to write about things I love, things going on in our life, things going on in my heart and head, and things that make me feel creative.
I shouldn't feel jealous of other bloggers. I shouldn't feel bad about my life or my posts because others seem to get more traffic/comments/follows. I'd love to eventually get there someday. Who wouldn't? But I need to remember that I've got to be myself in the process. Because IF (and that's a big fat "if") I ever get there, I'd want it to be because people knew the real me, and not the one that wore herself out striving for their admiration.
That being said, I just happened to see a post about a link-up from Chasing Happy entitled The Thankful Project, in which each day is given a prompt to write about with gratitude and thankfulness. I was so inspired by this and have decided to link-up for the entire month. I've spent awhile in a low place, and what better way to help myself than focus on what I have to be thankful for? I'm excited to get creative with these prompts and share some more things about my life.
I also want to take just one second to thank anyone who comes and reads what I have to say. Thank you for taking the time to comment and follow along. I appreciate the friendships I've made and my blogging experience wouldn't be the same without you.
Alright, I may be done spilling my heart now.