An important question

Justin and I had a conversation a few weeks ago and I just haven't been able to get it out of my brain since.  The topic of that conversation...

This Blog.

Justin's question was simple: "What is this blog and/or what do you want it to be?"

And the crazy thing is, I had the hardest time coming up with an answer / I hadn't really (REALLY) thought about it before. (!)  And after discussing it, I'm realizing it is a very important question to know the answer to.

What is this blog? So far it has been a place I inconsistently share our monthly 30 day challenges, James' monthly updates, and an occasional fun project or idea usually related to some aspect of design.

But if I'm completely honest with myself, I'm not super proud of this blog as a whole.  

That said, I am really proud of parts of it and some posts have been very good.  But in the past year of blogging I've struggled to figure out what I find life-giving to write about. I tend to spend lots of time and effort creating content I'm not actually that excited about, which also explains my half-hearted attempts to be more consistent at writing regularly.

The truth is: I haven't found my voice in the blogosphere.

As cheesy as that sounds...I realize it's true.

Initially when talking to Justin and realizing this, I got pretty down.  Here is this blog, this piece of me and our family and our life that I've put out there on the WWW for all the world to see, and all of a sudden I recognized that it kind of sucks.  At the very least I'm not happy with its current state.

Because of that I chose to feel embarrassed and discouraged at first.  It felt vulnerable to have put my creations- some of my thoughts, experiences, ideas- out there in the open and then realize I hadn't been doing a great job of it.

And I could see, objectively, it really is not a top notch blog (yet). But it was healthy (though difficult) for me to recognize and admit that.  I like to be good and competent at things and feel insecure when I'm not.  It's a sin issue I struggle with in many areas of life.  

But then Justin spoke some life into me in that mopey, embarrassed/sorry for myself state: It's not realistic to expect to be a pro at blogging right away, and that's OK.  I wouldn't expect that of myself in any other activity or arena: learning a sport, or a musical instrument, or to cook, or motherhood.  It takes time to learn and grow in everything we do, and blogging is no exception.  I realized I am a relative newbie at blogging and it's ok that I'm still just figuring it all out.  

Plus, I know that my value and worth comes from God and his view of me, not from what I do.  So even though my attempts at blogging have been just okay thus far, God has declared me valuable and worthy, which is really good news! 

So what do I want this blog to be?  Since we created this blog almost 2 years ago, it has been an exercise in figuring out what I have to share with the world that is important and of value.  I continue to learn a lot from the journey.  Trial by fire.  The good news is, I am more and more certain of what I want to share with the world.

So here are my ideas.  I want this blog to be:
  • Something much good comes out of in the form of me speaking truth, goodness, and life into others' circumstances by writing as I learn and grow in my own circumstances.  (This will likely come in the form of posts about our 30 day challenges, motherhood, design, and living in a foreign country, since these are my current life circumstances, roles, and passions.)  
  • Not a chore.  I don't want to sort of like doing it.  I do want it to excite me and above all enjoy it.
  • A place of inspiration and encouragement for those who visit.
  • A space of free exchange: where I am free to share our victories and mistakes, and to continue to figure out what wisdom and insight I have to share with others.  And where readers are free to learn, disagree, think, engage, be inspired and encouraged.
For those of you who have been with me for a while, and for those who will join along in the future, I truly thank you for coming along on this journey.  It is going to be a good one.


  1. I ask this of myself all the time, and I've considering quitting my blog at different points. Just when I'm doubting it, someone encourages me that they enjoy reading my blog and they appreciate my genuine tone. I think the best use of a blog is to use it as a creative outlet to process life and faith and encourage others! you're doing a great job!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Nicole. I have been thinking of/wanting to start a blog geared toward a specific topic (or topics) for YEARS now and haven't managed to do it, so I commend you for keeping up your blog regularly. I have honestly only read one other blog on a consistent basis; ironically the author's name is also Nicole. :) One of the things that I value and admire the most in any person is authenticity. When people are genuine and authentic to their true selves, it always invites others to do the same. I'm glad that you do this through your blog, and it's one of the many reasons I like it and read every post. I wanted to share a quote I find meaningful for my life, and kind of connects to how you might be currently feeling about your blog.

    This is the basic premise that helps all successful creators
    keep trying in the face of frequent failure."
    ~Martha Beck~

    Of course, I don't think you are blogging "badly" or that it is a failure in any way, but I hope the general sentiment is encouraging. I think she's really saying that in order for something to be worth our time, we don't have to do it perfectly, which is a struggle for us perfectionists.
    I hope you want to continue being vulnerable and sharing pieces of your inspiring life via this blog. I appreciate it, as do many others you may never know. :) Thanks again!