Thursday, October 24, 2013

What Are You Here For?

Hey sweet friends!  I hope you are having a great day!

Today I’m doing something different, something bold, something I’ve been keeping stored up inside for way too long.

I have a lot to share with you all…and it’s not just decorating. It’s life. It’s joy. It’s pain. And it’s real. I’ve not been all the way honest with you, my readers. Over the past three years, I’ve not given you all of me.

goldenrod

So here, today, I’m coming out of my comfort zone and sharing my heart as it is. That’s all I have. Just me.

For some reason, I feel that I may have portrayed something I’m not, here on my blog. That I’ve made it seem life here is always a clean house, homemade meals and flea market shopping.

Dining room photo bomber

Yes, maybe. Maybe from the outside looking in, my home always seems clean & organized. Maybe it doesn’t appear that I have three kids, two dogs, and a husband living with me in our little wanna-be farmhouse.  When I post photos here on my blog, I usually share seasonal decorating or new vintage items, sometimes even a recipe. But I want you to know that WE live here. We make messes, play with toys, we make memories. We do puzzles, homework, bake cookies, and our puppy has had accidents on our floor. We are a real, happy, busy, normal family. (well, normal could be argued, LOL)

kati jayde 17

I certainly don’t want to leave you with the image that all is perfect here. I want to be approachable. I want to be real. I want to be me. I want you to see all of my life…the good, the messy, the funny and the pretty.

Kynli fishing

And guess what? I chose blogging as my creative outlet. I fell in love with blogging the first time I pushed the publish button. Not because of photos or comments. But because of YOU. Each of you have blessed my heart tremendously in some way. Your sweet words of encouragement and inspiration have made me keep pushing the publish button. But you know what else? Ever so often, I have had someone write a heartbreaking comment…you know the one. The one comment that stings a little. Or a lot. The one nasty comment that makes you contemplate pushing the delete button. And every time these negative thoughts sneak in, I remind myself exactly WHAT I’M HERE FOR:

I’m here to bring glory to God. I’m here to share HIS love. I want HIM to work through me and my simple life. So, my revelation is this:

pumpkin smoothies

It’s not about how clean my home is or my photography skills. It’s certainly not about decorating. It’s about using my art to please and glorify the Lord. What is my art you may ask? My art is what makes me come alive!! My art is my life. When I’m with my family, I come alive. When I’m writing, decorating, setting a table, or behind my camera, I come alive. Hosting a Barn Sale, cooking and gardening also make me come alive. And then to be able to share my life with all of you…well, that’s what matters most… That I use my life’s art to grow the Kingdom of God. 

I’m reading an awesome book right now. It’s titled A Million Little Ways, by Emily P. Freeman. Thanks, Emily, for writing this book! Because, oh boy has it helped to clarify some life questions I’ve been having lately. You see, as I’ve “blossomed” into my 40’s…I have asked God many questions during our conversations. Like, have I missed the boat? Have I accomplished what you’ve set before me? Am I becoming all that you wanted? Have I made a difference? Did I make connections? Have I given love freely?

million little ways

I believe I’m hearing Him answer my questions lately. That He is giving me permission to do the things I love. That whatever I “DO”…do it with love, for HIM. And I create, because He created me and my life’s art pleases HIM. That my dreams mean something to Him. And that I should go after those dreams WITH NO FEAR. And that this is just the beginning :)

And oh how I LOVE His answer. What freedom! What joy!

So, here’s what you’ll get from me…

I’m not changing anything. Except that now, I’m not holding back.  I’m not leaving thoughts shut up in my heart so others will not know of the truth. The truth of my Jesus…and how He has blessed me, and how He has brought me through deep hurt and loss and heartbreak.  How He is all that I need. And how thankful and happy my heart is to really know who I am in Him.  That He thinks I’m beautiful. And He loves me even when my house is messy, my carpet is stained, and my photos are out-of-focus :)

kati jayde chalkboard art

And now I want to thank you.  Thanks for being here with me. Thanks for reading what I write. And for loving me anyway :)

And lastly, I want to ask you a question…

What is your life’s art? What makes you come alive? Can you give yourself the freedom to live it? What are you here for?

Blessings

35 comments:

pballard said...

Well put! It is funny I do sometimes look at blogs and wonder how they/you do it all. How you always look so beautiful, beautiful things, so many followers! I adore your blog, your talent, your family. You are so very blessed. I too am so very blessed. My faith has sustained me this last year with the loss of both parents in the span of 7weeks. One thing people dont know about me and that I have never mentioned is when I was young and first married, We walked in total faith and was given one way tickets to Hawaii. We worshiped and lived in tents. It really was an amazing experience. God is so faithful. I look forward to each and every post!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a beautiful post. God Bless. The Lord is always so faithful to answer us and yes, He definitely wants us to follow our dreams, that always glorifies Him. Hugs, Marty

Karen said...

Well, said. It was God who has given you a creative talent and you are putting that to use to reflect the beauty in this world that He has created. No guilt there.....we all need to be reminded that only through Jesus Christ, there is "beauty from ashes"

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Good for you. Too bad if some people don't think we should write about our love for the Lord, and what He does for us. And none of us, NONE, have perfect lives. You just keep posting as you do....you don't Have to share everything.....some is none of anyones business....

It's me said...

Amen !!!..Becky i love this post all your words are so true ......i am totally happy to read this about you...the same post can i put on my blog......i love Jesus with all my heart...that is also my life art darling....and i think lots of other blog ladies.....happy to know you......love from me...x !!!.

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

What a well written post and I want to thank you for being brave and writing it! By the end, I was crying - really and truly - with your final question. I'm so glad to be a follower of your blog...again, thank you

Sandi said...

I adored you before...Now I adore you more! You bring such blessings to me and others and your love for our Heavenly Father shines through loud and clear Becky!! I have needed a boost of confidence lately and you have given me that! You are a dear!!!
Hugs!!

Cindi @ Rustique Art said...

Becky,

Great post and I stand in agreement with you. Thank you for sharing your heart on your blog today. I'm here every so often, but this might be the first time I've commented. So "what am I here for?" I come here to see ideas and to drool over your lovely photos :)
I often wonder why I blog, for me it's not for income, although I will admit that would be nice, until I realize how much work goes into that commitment. I then think if it becomes work it would no longer be fun. I do know that I use my blog to share ideas, home and family updates with friends and family, if others tag along that is wonderful. Maybe someday it can be more than that, who knows. But for now I'm happy to attempt to take decent photos and share DIY projects and family milestones. Would you believe that even my little blog has received a negative comment or two and your right they do sting, but then I consider this an opportunity to pray for that person and then hit the delete button if the comment has no constructive or redeeming value to my current or future audience.
I follow several blogs on a daily basis and I often gasp at some of the things people write in their comments. I'm not even the owner of that blog and it hurts my feelings when I read ugly comments.
I guess those people don't remember why they are there and they don't consider all of the wonderful "free" ideas given to them, sometimes on a daily basis. They must not remember that the blogger has a family and a life outside their blog, that the blogger can write about whatever they wish, they don't remember that if they don't care for the blog post that day, they can click off or go to the archive and read an older blog post about something they are interested in.
When you consider all of the wonderful tips and tutorials that are created and are posted for free, one can't help but be grateful for all of the time and work that goes into sharing this information.
So all that to say, thank you Becky for sharing your time and ideas with us. But more than that, please thank your family for sharing you with us.

Blessings,
Cindi

NanaDiana said...

Becky- I think I have known the "real you" since I have followed your blog. You have always been real and I knew, like most of us do, that behind every sweet vignette there sits a few crumbs on the floor that the kids have dropped. That on the side of every sweet kitchen project is a homework paper that needs to be checked. I have also felt that inside your body beats a heart that is full of the Lord. Your Christianity shines through your blog even if it is not spelled out.

I am glad you are not holding back anymore-but-deep down we knew anyway!;>)
Blessings- xo Diana

Robin Johnson said...

Oh Becky, it is so nice to hear you stand for what you believe and cherish. I have always loved your blog and your honest approach to everyday life. I'm sure in the future I will continue to enjoy my visits here. As women of faith it is so often hard to remember that we too can make a difference even with the million and one other things required of us each day.

trash talk said...

A believer's voice is the most powerful sound on earth and your post is just that...powerful.
If people really think we're gonna show a basket full of dirty laundry...well they can forget it. That is one message I don't need to see and neither do they. It exists and that's the bottom line. Choosing not to show it is keeping it real with a filter...lol! Besides...showing my underwear isn't going to glorify God.
You cannot focus on the negative one. You have to look to the many you touch and with this post...you touched me.
Debbie

MaryMC said...

Becky-thank you so much for sharing your heart today. I have known there is "something special" about you since the day we walked into your kindergarten classroom 10 years ago. You made an impression on me then-what a fabulous teacher you were and Ben was so fortunate to have you for that most important year of school! God has blessed you with so many talents and I love that you share them with all of us!

White Ironstone Cottage said...

Becky you have such a beautiful heart and it shows in this post
and in your home full of LOVE
Blessings
Pam

Namely Original said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely post! I can really identify with everything you said.

clare said...

Lovely post. I'm sorry people have been unkind to you. It's so much nicer to be pleasant, even when you have a different opinion or a criticism.
Let your light shine before men, that seeing your works, they may give glory to our heavenly Father.

Emilou said...

Thanks for sharing your most inner self!!! A God driven woman. I am in my 60's and am still wanting to please Him, hear Him, listen to Him. So glad you are out here in bloglandl. Blessings and smiles, Emilou :-)

Barbara Jean said...

Great post sweetie.
Been contemplating those very things myself, and also sensing the freedom God has for us as we walk in His ways, and give Him the praise and glory.

Here's to knowing you more. =)

be blessed
barb

moofy said...

Becky, I am new to your blog. This post really puts it out there! I am learning so much about Jesus Christ, and how much He suffered for our sins. To read that you, as well as others love Him, and want to please Him gives me hope that more people want to know Him, have a relationship with Him and not just say "yeah, I am a Christian". It's a lifetime relationship! Being honest, and putting it out there for all to read, its a way to let us know that there are other women like us out there. Looking forward to your posts!! God Bless you! - Patty

Cathy Sweeney said...

Becky, I'm sorry some have been unkind. It seems we are living in a world where folks feel if they're thinking it they have the right to put it out there regardless of how it will make someone else feel. I'm amazed at what people think they can say to someone, and then wonder why children are bullying each other in school!
I appreciate your transparency. Such a reminder that there is no perfection this side of Heaven! Keep it up, and let those who aren't happy with you unsubscribe. Seems a kinder way than being vocal!
May God bless you on your journey!

Holly @ Bella Nest said...

Hi, Becky. I'm not sure if I've ever even commented on your blog before, but when I started blogging in 2011, your blog was one of the first that inspired me and has ever since been my "go to blog". I haven't blogged in a while because I heard the Lord telling me it was time to rest in Him and not obsess over having a perfect house for the sake of blogging. Thank you for sharing your heart in this post. People everywhere are hurting and need to hear your experiences and how God brought you through them. You have a great ministry here. Thank you for being obedient!

Debra Oliver said...

Hey there sweet Becky! I think anyone who is a Christian and blogs goes thru this same kind of process. I know I did back several years ago, and God led me to start my Bible Study/Spiritual Journey blog. I knew He was calling me to speak out, but wasn't sure what the avenue would be. I know that not near as many people see and read it regularly as my main decor blog, but that was how it all came together. If you can do it on your main blog, then trust that God will put it in front of those who can be blessed. I know it's easy to say, but don't worry about that small minority. If they don't want to read what God is doing in your life, then it's their loss. Be true to His Word to you, and share your heart, I for one will be excited to see what that will be!

Shanee said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post! Good for you living truly and openly and putting it all out there. I too love blogging and tend to love to write about live more than most readers like but that is what I am drawn to do. My 17 daughter has a Christian based newspaper column that I feature on my blog from time to time (until she got her very own blog!) and I have noticed that I get far more views on tablescapes than faith or family posts...kind of sad....but that is what I am lead to do. Love your blog...keep being true.

Debbie Tibbs said...

Hi Becky,
Thank you for writing this. I have been a little lost lately and I really needed this. I love your blog and you are an inspiration for me.

BECKY said...

Hi Becky,
What a wonderful exaltation of our Lord and His goodness! I believe your heart and home already glorified Him...what's inside just can't help but come out, and we have enjoyed that all along! I love the boldness you have in sharing your love for Him! He has done so much for us...and people need to know, don't they?

Blessings and Hugs,
Becky

Rebecca said...

Hey GIrl
Many of us have wrestled with the same thoughts you have expressed here. A couple of years ago I posted this http://www.rebeccaersfeld.com/2011/04/blogging-and-who-i-am.html
because I was getting criticized about talking too much about Jesus. Yes, I lost followers, Yes, I felt bad but not a big deal in the overall scheme of things. What is a big deal is your attitude or view of what Christ wants in your life, Him first all else falls in place. Seems simple, not so much. Press on and He will do the work.
Blessings my sista!
RE

Moni - Zuhaus at Home said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart and expressing your love for our Heavenly Father, may He continue to bless your life and use your abilities for His glory.

Kelly said...

That looks like a great book. I'm almost 50 and still trying to figure out the answers to those questions. I think I'm fine, but then life changes things up and then I have to find a new direction. Thanks for keeping it real too. I know that takes courage. It's a good reminder that we all LIVE in our homes and they don't always look like the pictures we put on our blog everyday.

Jill Cooper said...

You know sweetie - I'm 64 and I'm STILL trying to figure it out LOL My goal is to have at least a slight idea by the time I retire in two years so I can fully give what God wants me to give during the rest of my life. I may just have to check out the book you mentioned - it sounds like a good one!

Cathy Cobblestone said...

Beautifully said, Becky - just like you, simply beautiful. God wants you to be happy, filled with joy and thankfully, he doesn't expect perfection out of any of us. I'm glad He is blessing you because you are certainly a blessing to many of us!

LLH Designs said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I know it feels risky (and sometimes harder to hit the publish button), but it's REAL and GOOD! xoxo!

Julia said...

I'm a firm believer in that God puts use where we need to be, at the time we need to be there, with the people we need to be with. We may not know or understand it and may even questions it but what we do today is prepairing us for tomorrow, the next steps in our journey. Trust in Him to recieve all of HIS Love, Glory and Grace anf you are set. You don't need any one else's opinoin. We are who we are for a reason and being true and keeping it real is far and few between these days! Thanks Becky for the post, so much appreciated! :) ~Kimberly

michellejoelle said...

What a beautiful post! I've been an avid reader for a while, but I felt compelled to comment, because your question really got to me. I can answer the first two really easily: stories are my life's art. I love to read them, to tell them, to write them, to think about them, to write about them, everything. But do I give myself the freedom to live it? Er, less so. Here's to brave new attitudes!

Katie Mansfield said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. God has gifted you. Thank you for sharing that gift with us.

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