Monday, June 2, 2014

campfire chats: new name, new look, new purpose

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It’s been awhile... a month to be exact. I’ve missed this place. I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed you. But at the same time, I needed this month.

It all started with a campfire chat. The husband and I were throwing marshmallows into the flames, watching them explode. We were talking about life - our goals, our dreams, our disappointments - the kind of conversations that only get pushed to the surface when televisions are turned off and cell phones lose service. 

That’s when he said the words that created this month of silence and a complete upheaval of what was once Wonderfully Complex: “I don’t know if I support your blogging.”

My mind screamed, “What?!? How could you say that?” but my heart knew that Daniel never says anything without purpose. He went on to explain that he only saw my blog as a source of stress, just another item on my to-do list. When I talked about my blog, the words swam in a dark pool of complaints.

As I thought about his words, I realized just how much truth they captured. I was writing something just to post instead of something I was passionate about. I was doing activities so that I could blog about them, not because I wanted to do them. I was leaving comments on blog posts I had no interest in because that’s how you get more readers. 

So I just stopped. Right then. And I apologize for not giving forewarning or responding to your comments, but I truly needed to just cut myself off. And this month has been full of so much joy and peace and renewal because of it.

It only took a couple of days to realize how much I missed it. To me, blogging is much more than a hobby - it’s a creative outlet, a way to sort through my thoughts, a way to connect with others. So after a month of praying and rethinking and a little bit of redesigning, Pretty Is As Pretty Does was born. 

My blog has a new name, a new look and a new purpose. The new name deserves a post to itself and the new look is up and running for all to see {and I’m open to any suggestions or helpful tips}. So today I’d like to share a little about the purpose. 

To give my blog some focus, I’ve created three questions to help me narrow down the content. 

1. Is this something I want to remember? 
One of the beautiful benefits of having a blog is that it’s a permanent chronicle of my life and marriage. I love knowing that years from now I’ll be able to come to these archives and reminisce about my first year with Daniel. We’ll be able to pull stories from these posts to share with our children and our children’s children. And it’s currently a way to share our day-to-day activities with friends and family so far away.

2. Is this something I’m passionate about? 
Those who know me best know I’ve always struggled maintaining a positive self image. The hopeless attempts to conform to the world’s standard of beauty have left me bruised and broken countless of times. Though I remain passionate about food and fitness, it’s a struggle to find balance between the extremes of not caring and caring too much. I hope to share that journey with you here {as I once did}.

3. Is this something God is teaching me? 
The part of blogging that brings me the most joy is to hear a reader say, “This encouraged me.” And those comments don’t come from posts about my three favorite water bottles. They come from being real and vulnerable and sharing what God is doing in my life. I don’t want to be scared to do that.

I also want to point out that I don’t plan on posting on a regular schedule. It’s important to me that my marriage, my family and my friends always come first. In fact, the first time I sat down to write this post, Daniel said, “What are we doing tonight?” I immediately closed the computer and we went to the movies. I always want the freedom to do that, and I never want to feel chained to a posting schedule. 

So, I’m back, and it feels good. And I hope you’ll join me on this new chapter.

Have you ever needed a break? A reset? A fresh start?

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