blog birthday: what happens when you simply start
My bedroom is my happy place— particularly, when the carpet is vacuumed, the bed is made, the twinkle lights are plugged in, and the candle warmer is emitting its spiced pumpkin aroma. One year ago today on a Sunday evening in October, I sat in my happy place— external world thoughtfully ordered as if to soothe the nervous thoughts swirling round inside.
What are people going to think?
Do I even have anything important to say?
What if it isn’t as witty as this person’s, or as inspiring as another’s?
How will I be perceived?
It felt safer to hide— to follow the script of “supposed to be,” creating and monitoring an image that was sure to be accepted, rather than stepping out, and into the stirrings of my soul. Experience had taught me that revealing your true self comes with risk.
My fingers hovered over the publish button, about to make live what I’d been working on for months, and working up the courage towards for years. My phone buzzed with encouraging texts from the few friends who knew, settling my mind and strengthening my resolve. I silenced the swirling thoughts with a truth that had thrust me into action in the first place:
Success wasn’t good feedback, or a certain number of comments and likes, or even my words encouraging someone, though I certainly hoped they would. No. Success was in showing up. Success was stepping into those stirrings of passion and gifting, no matter how small they seemed, and cultivating them— sowing them as investments in faithfulness and obedience to the One who had given them to me, and trusting Him with the harvest. No matter the results of my blog going public, the outcome was already ruled a success in my breaking the chains of fear and passivity that had kept me quiet so long. Success was in saying yes.
One year ago today on a Sunday evening in October, I said yes, and KaciNicole.com was born.
It wasn’t my first blog— I’d started one two years prior while studying abroad in London, a semester that held deep significance in my walk with God (those posts can be found here, here, and here). That little London dorm room overlooking a perpetually rainy woodland is where I first fell in love with the art of communication— giving life to an insight God had implanted in me so that in the process, I might learn it more deeply and share its encouragement with others. But not long after my adventure abroad ended, so did my writing— at least, the kind that I shared. For two whole years afterwards, I wanted to write, but feared I had nothing of value to say.
During those years, I had two or three ideas for blog posts that I held onto, wondering how I could develop them into something “good enough” to share. Part of my fear in beginning to blog again was that without some grand adventure or deeply transformational season of life to draw from, I’d run out of things to write. Like precious nuggets, I held tightly to those two or three ideas, drawn from past lessons I’d learned, and I regurgitated them, feeding myself by the nourishment God had provided yesterday. But then came that Sunday evening in October.
In the past year, I’ve written countless posts, not including pieces for guest contributions or upcoming projects, and if you were to see the Notes app on my iPhone, you’d think I was crazy because it’s an unorganized collecting ground for more creative ideas than I could possibly know what to do with. The list grows more rapidly then my pace of production but that’s okay— the goal isn't to arrive at eternity with an emptied list but rather an emptied self, having given everything I am to what God has entrusted me with. I say all of this for no other reason than to make the following point:
Once I gave away the little nuggets I was holding onto, my little hands began to fill with more than they could hold. Here I was fearfully feeding on yesterday’s provision when God had something new to give today.
As I mentioned in my last post, lately I’ve loved listening to sermons by Robert Morris, pastor of a large church in Texas. In one, he talks about his early years in ministry, learning to trust God with his finances. He once felt led to give away his entire savings and income for the month to a traveling missionary, not knowing where funds for things as basic as rent were going to come from if he did. He obeyed, and not one week later he received a check in the mail that covered over ten months of his expenses. Nowadays, Morris channels tens of millions into the Kingdom of God each year. As he explains, once God saw Morris could be trusted to steward smaller amounts, he was entrusted with more. Like the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25, he was faithful over a little and for that reason, God set him over much.
God has deposited treasures of creativity in each one of us, our unique encounters with Jesus highlighting different elements of His character that the world needs to know. Each one of us brings something distinct to the world through our individual passions and personalities, a unique expression of God that cannot be duplicated. After all, we are created in His image. God wants to fill our hands full of purpose in fulfilling these callings— but that can’t happen until we first release what’s already in them.
What little idea are you holding onto, waiting for someday— when you have more experience, or when you’re better at it, or when you’re more confident in it?
What if that experience, betterment, and confidence came from simply starting?
God wants to take our little nuggets and transform them into rich treasures, and oftentimes that happens in simply starting— in being faithful where we are, with what we’ve been given. The first step takes the most courage but in the moment we take it, we can’t even fathom all the beautiful places it might lead.
Among all the things that have come from out of blogging for me so far stands one of the sweetest, and also one I would have never expected: wholeness. We are more whole when we create— it’s good for the soul. God has used blogging as a tool on my journey towards wholeness— to give voice to parts of me that were quieted before, to awaken in me new avenues of inspiration and interest, and to draw me more fully into who He created me to be.
God has so much in store for us— let’s release our little nuggets and receive.