Thoughts on blogging.

2:00 PM

Jocelyn: "Is your hair ready for the party mama?"
Me: "Yeah, I think so."
Jocelyn: "But it's so crazy!"

Randy: "What can we do that shows that we love Jesus?"
Charlotte: ................................*thinks for a really long time*.........................................................
.................."Take a shower".

Things have been quiet around here again.

   And usually that's because life has been super crazy or willfully neglecting my blog, but this time it's been more of a result of contemplation.  (Well, that and a little craziness, let's be honest.)  I've been trying to really closely examine my motives in blogging, my heart in this whole thing, and what God would have for me in it all.

   Lately I've felt this insane amount of pressure....that I need to somehow "make it" in the blogging world or else all of this amounts to NOTHING.  That I need to compete, or at least try and keep up, with all of the other bloggers.  That I need to try and fit a mold...the successful kind, the on-trend kind, the gets-lots-of-traffic kind, or the kind that provides something that people need and are looking for.

   And while I certainly DO what to provide something that people need and are looking for, I'm just not sure if that is necessarily what I've thought it to be in the past.  I want this to be a place of refreshment and encouragement.  I want this to be a place that leaves you feeling uplifted, and bolstered in hope, courage, and strength in your own journey.

   There is far too much Pinterest-perfection and Instagram-idealism out there already, and if I'm just adding to the noise, than I need to stop.  Because that's not what I want for this space.

   If there has ever been anything that has flowed naturally from my heart and onto these pages, it has been sharing my heart.  Whether that's funny or sad or light or dark or a crazy combination of the entire realm of emotions, THAT has been what keeps me coming back here time and time again.  I want to encourage.  I want to share about what is on my mind and heart, and I want to document our lives as we find our way through it all.

  So while you may still see the occasional random post about fashion or links that I like, or maybe even a recipe once in a blue moon, the majority of what will be happening over here at Frame of Mind is just sharing whatever it is that is on my heart lately.

   And it takes the pressure off of myself to just lay out there what you can expect from Frame of Mind, and then just go and BE THAT.  I don't want to try and be anybody else, and while there are a million blogs out there right now who are absolutely nailing it at what they do, that's OK.  It doesn't mean that I need to be a carbon copy.  That's the beauty of diversity.  You can literally find a blog (or ten or more) to cater to every specific niche or desire.  And so I don't need to try and be whatever it is that I view as relevant, or successful, I just need to be me.

   I don't know if Frame of Mind will ever quite fit into a specific category, or if it will ever be as consistent and predictable as I'd like it to be.  But once again, that's o.k.  And what I CAN tell you is that, to the best of my ability, Frame of Mind will be real.  Authentic.  I will strive my hardest to keep things real and genuine over here, and not ever try to be something that I'm not.

    For example....this picture heavy post?  I know that's not popular.  I know it's not the model of a "successful blog post structure" to upload a billion photos and blather on and on about life.  And so I've really tried to steer clear of that in the past and keep things more streamlined and simple.  And sometimes that works out for me, and sometimes it just feels like I'm trying SO hard.

 I used to take oodles of pictures of my girls and realized only recently that I don't have hardly any current ones of them, and I think this is why!  I've been trying to move towards something in my blogging style that doesn't leave room for lots of pictures.  And it's all kind of sad to me, now that I think about it.  If that's what works for us and works for my writing aesthetic, than it's OK.  Even if it's not what the other popular blogs are doing.

   And so here I am with 15 more pictures than I should be posting, and 500 more words than is probably necessary, but it's what comes naturally and so I am learning to embrace it.

   We can really only be who we are.  Everyone else is already taken.  And it can feel so vulnerable trying to figure all of that out about yourself while blogging.  Because the transformation can't really take place behind closed doors, it's just all out there front and center, in front of everyone, critics and fans alike.

 But I'm relieved that over the past years of blogging I am learning more and more about what feels natural and right, and I know when I'm trying to be something I'm not.

   We're all on this journey together!  And if you choose to follow along with us as we live our lives over here on Frame of Mind, I'm humbled and honored.

   And now I'd love to hear from you!  What are some ways in which you're trying to be more authentic and genuine in your own life?  It's not an easy thing to do!  But I can't encourage you enough to be just that......YOU.

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  1. I love these thoughts on blogging so much. I feel like you have always been so authentic + inspiring + awesome with your blog, and the posts you share about your family + joys + battles are what make your page authentic + inspiring + awesome! Diversity is such a beautiful thing, and sometimes we can lose sight of that. Sometimes we can lose ourselves in trying to be someone else. I love how you are being intentional about being YOU - that is beyond inspiring, my dear.

    Just one thing...don't STOP blogging. ;)

  2. Thank you Alicia! What sweet, kind encouragement. It has been such a journey, this "finding my authentic voice" thing. But I hope I am at least making progress! Blessings--

  3. thank you for sharing these thoughts - your heart of authenticity and that you just share plain and simple is what brings me back. In this day of a push to make as much profit as you can off your blog, some things are lost. and your little girls are just darling! what cute photos!

  4. Love all the pictures, even if you didn't post one of your "crazy" hair :). You have a nice balance of real topics on your blog.

  5. each time i get to visit, it's a little slice of an old and dear friendship! I'm sorry if it's a rather one-sided one at this point, but I love the glimpses into your world at the moment! write, dear girl, write for you!

  6. God tells us in His word to not compare ourselves among ourselves. I love reading your blogs , continue being yourself. Each person is unique in their own special way. i love the pictures, wow such beautiful green grass while we in the east are experiencing SNOW on the first day of Spring. One thing i am glad for is that Spring always come after Winter!!!

  7. Dear, dear Shelley-

    Please, do not pressure yourself by perfection. In a blogosphere that demands Pinterest-worthy content, your blog is a breath of fresh air. A place where we can all let down our guard and be honest, open, and real with each other. We don't have to put up our facades or act like we have it all together- because you bravely pave the way for us to open our hearts and share what is truly going on.

    I absolutely love that about you and your little space here- you're not afraid to share the beauty in the messy, rather than hide it all through edited photos and staged shots. When I visit here, it's just like climbing up onto a Big Sister's couch with a mug of coffee and being right there. Even when there's kiddo chaos or a hard day, even when there's a glorious celebration and your heart is soaring with new hope. YOU are authentic- and therefore your blog is authentically you.

    I honestly don't remember how I came across your blog a number of years ago, but I know that I haven't stopped checking it a day since! You've challenged me and inspired me in many ways- and I am blessed by you! <3

    Sending a big {{hug}} your way today!

  8. And just being yourself is what makes this one of my favorite blogs of all. Love, love the cute little girls that live at your house. You and Randy should have at least a dozen, considering how adorable they are! ;)

  9. I agree so much---things are lost in the race of it all. I'm so glad you find authenticity here! That's what it's all about.:)

  10. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  11. I just wish I could get an equal peek into your world! What a fun blog that would be.:) Miss you!

  12. You are so right, comparison only brings us down. Thank you for reading!

  13. I seriously want to frame this comment and hang it on my wall. Ha. :) I just need to hear this reminder over and over!! That even when I feel like a failure or that my blog will never "be enough" it has brought inspiration and hope to some, and that is truly what it is all about. Thank you so, so, so much, dear friend! *hugs*

  14. You are too kind, Wanda! And if that theory holds true, than you should have at least a dozen or so too.;)

  15. girl! i love you!! you just say what everyone else is too afraid to say out loud!
    yes. we all wonder if we matter. make a difference. want to with the choices we make.
    i think that's the rule of life in general. but throw that in the realm of blogging..
    and it's a whole new and accelerated version of wanting to feel our voice is being heard.
    but you're so right! so, so RIGHT. "if I'm just adding to the noise, than I need to stop."

    it can never be about what anyone else thinks or does. or is doing. ~it must be for us!

    what makes us come alive. what we're passionate about. and i see in you a passion for OTHERS!
    wanting to encourage. uplift. keeping it real so others know they're not alone.
    and that's exactly what women get when they come here.
    and seriously.. give me that ANYDAY over all the perfect fashion bloggers or the organic homemade whatevers!! ;))
    real. normal. every day life! that's where it's at.

    as my oldest daughter kate always says, "you do you." :))
    and keep doing it, girl. xox


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