To blog or not to blog…

I was hugely privileged last week to be asked to be on Catrina Benham’s podcast REAL Conversations, where she chats with women about life and faith. One of the regular opening questions is ‘What’s New?’ I realised that much of what’s new in my life tends to revolve around my boys, for example what’s new on CBeebies! It was great though to also talk about this blog and the fact I had started writing again.

I’ve been writing this blog now for a couple of months. I’ve been pleased to discover I have things I want to write about and it’s been satisfying to find that people have enjoyed reading my thoughts. But talking about it to Catrina has prompted me to think again about why I am ‘blogging’.

People write blogs for all sorts of reasons but they generally tend to have a theme. Some blogs are on a specific subject that the writer has an interest, for example nature, model building, parenting, spirituality or sci-fi. Some blogs are connected to specific causes like the environment, or gender inequality, or social injustice. Some blogs are connected to brands and products, either written by the owner of the brand to sell their product or by others reviewing and comparing things their readers might shop for.

I’m not sure my blog fits neatly into any of these categories. I don’t have a specific theme or cause and I’m not trying to sell a product or service . I’m simply exploring in writing various things that have been rumbling round in my head. However, I could do that quite privately; instead I’ve chosen to make my written thoughts public and I’ve been pondering why I would do that. What do I hope for when I share my words with you?

We live in an age of social media where your worth can be measured in the number of ‘likes’ you get for the picture or statement you’ve posted. I have an exercise app where I can record my physical activity and others can follow, comment and ‘like’ what I have achieved. Reality TV, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube ‘Influencers’ see people sharing their lives in the hope of gaining a following.

My blog account has a stats page that tells me how many people have read a post, where in the world they live, and how they reached the site (via Facebook, Instagram, Search Engine etc). It can be easy to get sucked into that, going beyond finding the statistics interesting and instead looking to those numbers to tell me that my thoughts and therefore myself has worth.

If I try and find my worth through how many people read my blog or what they have to say about it then I’m going to struggle. Either my following is going to be pretty low which could dent my confidence or if I’m privileged to build a larger following I’m inevitably going to find, even if I get plenty of positive feedback, that there will still be some people who disagree with me, criticise my thoughts or even attack me. And the nature of being human is that however many supportive comments we get we still become hungry for more if that’s the source of our self esteem.

As you will be aware, if you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, my faith in Jesus plays a big part in my life. When it comes to measuring your worth and firming up your self esteem believing in Jesus is a game changer. You may find that puzzling if your previous encounters with Christianity were ones that just emphasised what you were doing wrong in your life, setting moral standards that seem to high to be realistic. And if that has been your experience of Christianity so far then I can only apologise. I apologise because you’ve not been told the full story – the story that says yes humans muck up big time (just look at the news and you can’t deny the truth of that) BUT God loves us still anyway. He loves us so much, he thinks we are the best thing he ever created and so does his son Jesus. To prove that fact Jesus came to live as a human on earth to teach us the best way to live and love. He also demonstrated us just how much he loves us by dealing with all the stuff we do wrong by dying for us. Yes he’d like us to live better and love better but even if we don’t he loves us inside out still anyway.

It defies logic really but what it means is that if I fully embrace that fact my worth comes from knowing I am known and loved by the creator of the universe just as I am. So I don’t have to find my worth by how many social media ‘likes’ I get or how many people read my blog or respond to it. And if I can practice what I’ve just been preaching then that is incredibly freeing.

With all that in mind why do I write and share my life and thoughts?

Firstly I need to be honest – it’s therapeutic- it helps me to order the thoughts floating chaotically around in my mind. By shaping those thoughts into sentences, paragraphs and an overarching narrative capable of being read and understood by others it helps me to clarify for myself what I think about various subjects.

Secondly I write and share my life and thoughts because I have a hope that what I write may prompt your thoughts. Maybe what I write may inspire you to explore or do something new or clarify something you were already pondering about. I write because it might cause you to say – I totally get where you’re coming from, that’s exactly where I’m at. Or maybe you’ll say – that is really interesting because it’s so different from me. I write because if you already know Jesus something I’m exploring may encourage you in your relationship with him. And if you don’t maybe some of what I write may make you curious about finding out more.

And with that I want to thank you for reading and subscribing to my blog. Although my aim is to find by worth in what God thinks of me and not by how many people read my blog I still feel privileged and blessed that you are taking the time to read my words.

Ps – please like and share this blog post 😜

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