“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” – Hebrews 12:1 NIV
It has been two years and one hundred posts since the birth of Life@Thorntonville. What began as an encouragement from a loving spouse, turned into a place of release, an opportunity for my introverted self to have a voice. I’ve learned so much through this blog including the following:
Thorntonville. Thorntonville is home. Simply put it is my home where my family resides. We are Thorntons. So when I started Life@Thorntonville I intended to write more on our life, like parenting issues, being a wife to my amazing husband and illustrations of God working through our home. My children, eager to encourage their mom on a new quest, thought that would be ok for our lives to go into print- until it did. Then they weren’t so comfortable. As my friends read more about our family- my children became a lot more honest with me. I learned many lessons on our home being a safe place where mistakes can be made without the public always knowing about them. I do occasionally still write about my children and husband, but only with their approval before publishing. My family is much more important to me than this blog. Thankfully, the comment, “Don’t do that or mom will blog about it.” Hasn’t been made in a while.
Purpose. Over the last two years I’ve learned through writing, my personal dreams are constantly evolving; plus, my opinions often change as my dreams evolve. I naively believed at the beginning of this journey that most people just woke up with a dream and then followed that one dream their whole life. At some point in these last two years of writing, though, I’ve realized life is meant to be lived, shaped and formed in route. God uses these shaping sessions to draw me closer to Him and mold me, giving me knew dreams as I go. He purposefully exposes me to new realities to help me mature as a follower. As a woman, I’m evolving, learning, growing and maturing. I’m much more comfortable with this concept than when I started blogging and thought I had to have everything figured out.
Grammar. I’ve always been a math kind of girl. Even as an Interior Design Major in college, I enjoyed numbers best. I’m good at space planning and mental calculations of square footages, not necessarily throw pillows and paint colors. Taking up blogging was an adventurous quest for me. There are no numbers in writing except for words per page and how many people respond to a post, both categories of which remain minimal for Life@Thorntonville. I’ve always struggled with words, too. I’m a lousy speller and could care less about things like past participle or present tense. From a family filled with English degrees and people who love to correct, I found numbers to be more forgiving. I figured (math lingo), if someone understood what I was saying, I’ve communicated successfully. Blogging however does require attention to details of the language being communicated. I’ve proofed and proofed, had my children help me and have, on more than one occasion, referred to my college grammar text books. I’ve learned so much, but progress is still needed. Never the less, I press on.
Faith. I always wanted my faith to play a role in my writing. I cannot live without God. He had to be part of my writing. So I pray for verses before starting each blog. Some articles end up being amusing to me when I finish, because the verse printed doesn’t directly pertain to what is written. However, the meaning of the verse is usually the starting point from where the thought began.
Fear. Writing words on paper can be downright scary. I never know how my thoughts will be received. The first six months of writing were the hardest because of fear. Then I had a conversation with another blogger who gave me some wise advice. He said, “Kysia, write for yourself. It’s your space. You aren’t writing to please others. If you are, then it will never work. There is always someone who will disagree with you.” I had to revise that thought a bit. I’m writing my thoughts in hopes to encourage anyone else out there who may need encouragement. My prayer is for God to use my stories to grow others closer to Him. My words are seldom complicated, just simple statements of my life that I want to share, hoping someone else will be blessed. When I came to terms with why I was writing, my fear, for the most part subsided.
Lessons. Although, I’ve learned many things through blogging, this last item keeps me going. Each time I write I learn something new about God and about myself. Through blogging, God has corrected me on many a thought that doesn’t measure up to His word. At times, I’ve had to rewrite knowing that my own conclusion would not encourage others, but instead tear them down. Through prayer God has led me to scripture and teachings to help guide me to where he wants me to go. Often hard lessons learned through the process.
Life@Thorntonville begins a third year right now. I want to thank a few people who helped along the way. First, my husband and children for holding my hand as I stepped outside of my box to learn to express myself. Second, Jody Dilday, who sat in Panera with me one morning helping me learn the basic computer skills of WordPress. Third, Seth and Amber Haines, who although I really don’t know that well, have been a huge source of encouragement through their own writings. Last, thanks to my readers. You’ve been a fun and very kind fellowship.