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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rethinking....

...the whole blogging thing.  This is post no 458 and on 18 August it will be the third anniversary of this blog.

This past week we have been on vacation in Mossel Bay. I decided to take a break from blogging, blog reading and even had my cellphone on silent and didn't look at it for four days.  It was amazing, I could relax and there was NO pressure to try and keep in the loop.  I had heaps of time to think...as you can imagine;-)  I spent a lot of time thinking of this little slice of my world.

I have been blogging for three years here and a bit more than a year on my private blog...and again I find myself at some sort of cross road.  When I started I blogged mostly about my creative side and showcased my layouts.  Slowly as I got to know some other bloggers, I started blogging about my life as a wife, mother, grandmother and a growing child of God.  At first I tried keeping my life and my work separate but gradually I started sharing on what we do at the mission.

Since last year many of you have followed our journey as a family as we came to terms with an inoperable condition my DS2 was diagnosed with.  You followed our journey when he miraculously regained his eye sight.   This is where I came and opened my heart when we had to face a divorce in the family.  You picked me up, dusted me off and put me back on my feet when my DD ran away in the middle of the night.  This place has become my sanctuary, my safe place where I can vent my feelings and work through my "stuff".


The thing is, it’s really not very safe at all.  Maybe the biggest mistake I made in my blog journey was being open about my identity and that of my family.  Am I exposing my family unnecessarily?


Now I find myself in a place where slowly my blog is mainly being used as a place to showcase my scrapbook layouts again.  Suddenly I am hesitant to write about the things that matter, my thoughts and feelings, my walk of faith.  Then I get an e-mail from a random reader telling me how much it meant to her to read positive thoughts or a scripture I posted....and I am even more confused.  Why am I blogging?  Am I blogging for me or for others?

Do I keep this blog for only my creativity?
Do I move all my thoughts and feelings blog posts to my private blog?
Are you just being polite and only read me because I read you?
Why do you read me?
Do you go through soul searching where your blog is concerned?

Please be honest, and share your feeling with me.

xx

36 comments:

  1. I regularly think about blogging and what I want from it.

    But not so much on the 123 blog- there it's therapy and I need to empty my head every now and then.

    On my other blogs, I question all the time - am I too business-like, am I too child-focussed, etc?

    For you, I will be honest, since I'm not a scrapper I actually come to read your heart (because I relate to you so and wish I were closer) and see your beautiful pics and hear about your family :)

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  2. First up...I am in love with that picture in your header...you have a beautiful family Lynette!

    And then secondly...and honestly...I love reading about your family, your ups and downs. I love reading how you cope with each situation...I find it inspiring. I feel like your our 'Mom' in this world on the internet :-)

    Its your space though, if you are feeling not safe and unsure...then dont do it. Your families privacy comes first...

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  3. you know , hun ! You are so authentic ! You sure think a lot a lot !!! lol

    Me not so much I think - but simply - yeah ! I only share what I am comfortable with sharing - but whatever we are willing to share - I do believe it has the potential to touch lives - grrll ! believe you me , even if it is for the sake of THAT ONE life - whether you are aware of it or not ! The word of your testimony would be worth it !!! Go with your heart I say with things that matter & with truth . Don't let fear paralyse you for sure ! ;) The ball is always in your court and whenever YOU are ready .

    hugs,

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  4. Hi lynette, no i am not only polite:) i read your blog because you inspire so many of us on how you deal with different things of life. then of course you scrapbooking is beautiful always.managing more than one or two blogs, sounds like hard work.then of course your privacy is of very high importance.maybe split your postings in inspirational certain days and crafts the other days...making themed day postings.

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  5. I read your blog because I love what you write. I love you LO's, your wisdom and your sense of humour.

    But i completely understand where you're coming from.

    I went through a very similar thing and now my blog is private. I can write what I want and why do i blog? for me. Not for anyone else. And i think that is why we should blog. yes, we may inspire others through our thoughts and wisdom, but at the end of the day the pressure to blog for others? Way too much!

    I think you just need to see how you do. I go thru stages where I blog 4 times a week, then only once the following week. i think that is is completely up to you.

    xxx

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  6. Ek geniet jou layouts baie. Ek geniet jou fotos van jou familie baie!!

    Sal dit definitief mis as jy daarmee ophou - maar jy moet doen wat vir jou die beste is.

    xx

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  7. These are very serious matters to consider. Please know that I feel you bacame a friend and I appreciate your sharing. You are such a sweet wintness. I am learning about ministry and family from you. Your sister in Christ from Moscow Russia. Hugs and prayer to you and the family!
    Maria

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  8. I love reading what your write, you are very inspirational to us all...but the decision at the end of the day is really what you feel in your heart.

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  9. :-) YOu are not alone. I think every blogger crossed this bridge once, twice or thrice every few years. Only you can make the decision....it may do you well to go private and take *your friends* over there with you? And keep this blog for your layouts?
    I have bounced betw open and private many many times. And very well may go private again. I blog for me,my kids, my family - it is my gift to them as you know I print each year.
    I think taking a *technology* break every once in a while is truly good for the soul as it does make things clearer in our heads, dont you think?

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  10. I read your blog because I'm interested in what you are writing about Lynette. I do understand what you are saying about privacy though. I've had the same thoughts about my blog. I would miss it if you stop, but totally understand your concerns. :)
    By the way, it sounds like you had the perfect holiday. Take care. xx

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  11. I love reading you and following you, the family and your scrapping and the mission. You know that I went private though for my family stuff and leave my journalingjunkie blog for my dt work. I did it because I realized I was editing what I wrote and my blog is here I go to look up stuff from months or years ago....I need to write it down or I forget it.

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  12. At first I started my blog for all the family members that lived far away and wanted to see Adam and Brookie growing up (that is why they are frequent fliers on my blog to this day!)... but as I started adding DT's to my resume, it was a place to share my creations :):):):) I found you through another friend and have never looked back! :):):) I think you are one of the strongest, most beautiful, spiritual, caring, creative women out there on the world wide web.... no matter what you post, I will be here, as no matter what you post, you inspire me! {{{hugs}}} :):):)

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  13. Allie says:

    You will know, Lynette, that I tried giving up blogging recently: it didnt work. I felt bereft.
    Then I tried starting another one, being completely anonymous - thinking if I did that, I could write freely and openly about everything.
    That didnt work either.
    Well, not for me.
    It was the weirdest feeling -like speaking into an empty room!

    So - for you...
    I read you because I love your honesty and vulnerability. I love the way you take us on your journey; the way you include us and entrust us with such raw matters.
    I love that we get to share the way God helps you get through things.
    I love the testimony to His faithfulness in the midst of life's very real trials.
    I think it would be a pity if you went private because you never know who might just need to hear what you have to say.
    Part of the reason I blog, is to "sow seeds" - I believe the same is true for you?

    But obviously, Lynette, the decision is yours alone.
    I'm sure you'll choose wisely.
    XX

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  14. Hi Lynnette.I found your blog because of a DT we are together but I love to red it and visit.First because your work is great and second because I love to know about your life and the place where do you leave because I visited most of the places you talk about many years ago with my dad and my sister and this brings great great memories of this trip and your country.
    I think you have to do what you want and what you feel ALWAYS!!!
    Big Hug!!
    Luma

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  15. You are not alone in the "Why do I blog?" feelings. For me, I am a private person and could never open up on my blog. For this reason, I keep it strictly for creative purposes . The only personal things I share are very general day to day stuff. I blog for me. I don't try to get more followers by requesting followers in order to be in on one of my giveaways.

    I totally enjoy your blog, both the creative posts and your heartfelt posts. I love hearing about your grandkids and your strong family unit. I would totally understand if you just posted your creativity though. With blogging, once it is out there, it is really out there.

    Some of my favourite blogs that I never miss rarely post anything scrappy. I read them because they are fun to read. I read other blogs totally for creative inspiration. I try to be considerate and comment bqck for people who leave me comments, but there are people who never leave me comments that I always leave comments on. If I am gaining creativity through them, I figure it is only polite to say hello. :)

    Regarding the time issue, I spend way too much time blogging and have wondered at times if I am wasting time. Then I figure that it makes me happy and really what else is important in life. The housework can wait. ;)

    Hope you reach some insight and decision on this. I understand any way you choose but.... I'll miss you if you leave our scrappy place. :)

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  16. I love your blog...for so many reasons.
    I am private and have been to protect my family and also to write more about what I feel.

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  17. All of those questions have been asked by me too. The answers? I really don't know. All I know, is that when I read about your journey in life and your struggles with questions like these, I know that somehow my life has been made fuller and more meaningful. I know that sounds crazy, but when I first stumbled upon your blog, I felt like you were a friend. Somebody I have known for so much longer than just the time I have read here.
    I blog for me. if I can inspire somebody somewhere, its a bonus. I rarely blog about my private struggles, but gain strength and courage to face them from blogs like yours.
    Vir my sal dit 'n baie hartseer dag wees as jy nie meer blog nie, ek sal voel ek verloor 'n dierbare criendin, maar dis steeds 'n besluit wat jy self moet neem. My wyse mamma het altyd gesê, prrat boontoe my kind en as daar vrede in jou hart is, weet jy mos jy doen reg.

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  18. Lynette, you inspire us in so many with your blog. Not only about how you handle personal ups and downs in your life, but also with what you do at The Mission. And then of course there is your creative side... I love looking at your scrap booking!
    We all re-think about our blogs and what we want to do with it! It depends on your own perception and thoughts about it...
    If you can go back and re-read what you have done and find value in it, then I think it is worth continuing!

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  19. Weet nie wat die antwoord is nie. Ek het jou deur scrapbooking gevind, maar kom terug want ek vind jou lewe en werk interessant. Sal dit mis as jy ophou
    Bly jy het jou vaknasie geniet.
    Linda

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  20. I know exactly how you feel because at times I want to quit all this too (blogging, facebook, texting, etc). However, I do benefit from it in ways and others I hope benefit from me and so really it is all about finding a balance between too much and too little. It takes discipline and a regular time away from technology is not bad either. I hope you keep blogging. I enjoy looking at your layouts and reading about your life in South Africa.

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  21. Lynette I understand what you say, I found it hard to "hold back". When I wrote a blog it was a space to express myself, and share thoughts and feelings about my world. I tried to keep it under a pseudonym but too many people started linking me via their Facebook and that left me feeling way too exposed.
    I am so grateful I met you, Shayne and Allie through your blogs and I know you have a ministry in that.

    It took me a while to get used to "shutting down" - but I don't regret my decision.

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  22. I love the way you are so honest & open & how you cope with life. Your creativity is wonderful & you inspire so many people. But its your life & we all respect that. Hope all these comments help you but not put you under pressure.

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  23. Now here I come and I will simply echo so many sentiments already written, first I feel your blog must be for you and how much you share is up to you. I love reading about your family and your scrapbooking layouts are a huge inspiration for me. But, you need to do what you feel comfortable with. Hugz

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  24. Looks like we are not alone! Well, I started my blog because I want to share my handmade creation with my family who live on the other side of the globe, and on one fine day, I found the paper crafting blog accidentally, and started taking part in challenge, and then I start to have "strangers" visiting my blog, so the blog actually cannot be private anymore, I do write about trips and what i do on weekends etc.. overall, I think we are allowed to express how we feel, what our thoughts on our blog.
    I can't remember how we "met", probably from one of those challenge blog, I love reading about your missionary work and your relationship with God. You are very inspiring and truthful, it is a blessing that I get to "know" you! (on top of all that, you are an amazing crafter) Thanks for sharing your blog!

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  25. Hi Lynette. I'm one of those 'strangers' I guess, though I suppose I don't consider myself one! I enjoy your spritual postings, your calmness of manner when things seem to be going a bit boss-eyed, and the inspiration of a mother who seems very secure in herself and where she stands in her family unit. I admire that in a person, as I've mentioned to other bloggers I follow, and I draw strength and inspiration from that. But by the same token, I do wonder how I would feel if I knew total strangers were following every word I said! So I guess I concur with those sentiments previously expressed, it has to be what YOU are comfortable with. It is after all, your creation. You can continue giving it life or do what is humane and put it to rest.
    Love
    Alison
    x

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  26. I come here for you, not your scrapbooking or creative stuff - although I do find them very pretty. It is you that I like to read about, and the family and the mission.

    I would certainly suggest moving the creative stuff from the rest. And yes, I am also thinking wordpress for the password of single posts.

    And you know I keep my blog life away from my real life - ie Facebook is real life, blogging is not.

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  27. I come here cos I Luuurvvvee you! I admire you. I love keeping up with your happenings. I admire your scrapbooking talent, but do not read you for that.
    I know what space you're in. Cos I'm in it too. I am clear about the reasons why i blog - to remember, to show my children.... but at the same time, am i exposing my children? I am toying with this idea at the moment.... and as you mayhave noticed, am blogging less frequently.
    I will only blog when I feel the urge now - I am not blogging for an audience :0

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  28. Sjoe, ek wens ek kan die redes op die punte van fingers opnoem hoekom ek jou blog lees, maar die "NBste" rede is dat jy 'n ongelooflike inspirasie is. Of dit nou jou scrapping is en of dit nou ervarings of werk is, of selfs verhoudings met jou kinders en kleinkinders is, ek kry iets as ek by jou "kuier". Dankie Lynette, xx

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  29. I've enjoyed getting to know you as a "friend" through your blog... and I love seeing your layouts too... that is the main reason I started following... and because I wanted to support my fellow South African bloggers.

    Blogging is definitely something we must do for ourselves but with the knowledge that it is open to the world (unless you make it pvt). I've virtually decided to only post my layouts now... that's enough personal exposure on my blog.... even my fb I only post arbitary comments.

    Tough decision but one you will need to make for you.

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  30. I'm quite happy with my blog just the way it is. I wish I had started out like that in the first place. Online friends are great but at the end of the day we share scrapbooking & I get the least comments about personal stuff or photo posts. It doesn't worry me at all though. I still love to blog & don't feel the need to pour my soul out to the world. If you do then I think a private blog is the way to go & keep this for the scrappy part. You are very talented in that area & obviously enjoy it. I love to read all things on blogs but that's just me - I'm genuinely interested in other people & have no ulterior motives.

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  31. Hi L! I stumbled on your blog by chance and it's been one of my fave SA blog finds! I enjoy seeing glimpses of your life and knowing that there is someone "out there" that goes through some of the similar troubles I do as well as enjoys similar things to me. When I started blogging it was to reach out to people at a time in my life when I felt very alone and I think that is still the reason I blog [even if it's not often enough lately!], maybe you blog for similar reasons and if that’s the case then share whatever is "you" on your blog because after all that’s why we keep coming back to visit!

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  32. Hi Lynette and Happy Anniversary. Today is also my anniversary but my 4th wedding anniversary.

    I read your blog because I love what you have to say. I love getting to know bits and peices about you and your family. We share a common love of scrapbooking and the love of family. I also think it is so cool that I have a friend that lives all the way on the other side of the world.

    In regards to why I blog or do I search out or what you should do. Well if you didn't blog I would miss you something terrible. I blog to share my crafty stuff. I took a blogging class once and she asked many of these questins that you are asking. One thing I did get out of the class was that if you want your followers to come back you do have to give them what the blog is about as well as a litle something more personal. It is that personal part that helps build connections.

    I get it though I mean I have small kids your grandkids age and it is a hard choice and a fine line between sharing and over sharing. I think that you have a good ballance but only you can make that call.

    Hugs my friend.

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  33. I read your blog because I love reading about you and your family and how you cope with your ups and downs. I find you inspiring. I think you write beautifully and your writing has moved me to tears on occasion. Do what is right for you and your family.

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  34. What a beautiful vacation! I loved going tech-free last week :) The time I had . . .

    I enjoy reading your blog because of your openness and honesty. I've cried and laughed out loud. But your concerns of privacy are totally understandable! We've never met in person yet I feel like we could sit and have lunch with a constant flow of conversation!

    You just have to do what is best for YOU! :)

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  35. This is one of my first trips to your blog ... I totally understand the privacy thing and yet the feeling of the need to share. It's definitely hard to manage sometimes - what to say/what not to say. I feel guilty about posting pictures of my dd sometimes or of other things going on ... at any rate, you have a great blog and go with your heart! :)

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  36. How wonderful that you mention your blog struggles. I feel the same. I've gone back and forth with posting just my creations and then sharing a bit of me too. Now that my blog posts are automatically coming up on FB I've struggled even more.
    I wish I could give you some real advise...I believe it's your blog and you should be able to write what you want. If you start getting negative comments, turn your commenting off. I, for one, would still read your blog whether I could comment or not.
    Personally, I love that your share your life and your beliefs, along with your projects. I always appreciate you and am inspired by your words and your service.
    xoxo

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