Why I've Stopped Caring If You Like Me Or Not

Recently, I've stopped caring. 

 

I've had to. It wasn't healthy and it's not worth the trouble. I see so many mom bloggers desperately trying new things to grow their following. And their desperation shines through more than their actual content does.  

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If you want to know why I've stopped caring if you like me or not...and whether I care if this blog grows or it doesn't...then read on. 

 

I was recently told by a good friend that this blog and this following may never "make it big".  

 

Because, "I don't have what it takes to make it."

 

It's not because I'm not likeable, or I don't try to expand the following.

 

I've tried what I could over the past five years and it's always taken this steady, slow, organic sort of pace.  

 

Its because I'm not willing to be something I'm not to make all of you wish you were me

 

It's because I'm not going to stand in front of brick walls, dressed like a Target model, with a latte in my hand, and toddlers pulling at my dress all with a hysterical smile on my face.  

 

It's because I really don't care to spend hours and hours and hours editing photos, doing giveaways, and telling people to make sure they turn their notifications on.  

 

I'm not willing to trick my followers into liking posts and engaging, just so more traffic comes my way. 

 

And I'm not willing to make my whole platform all about myself, portraying a fake portrait of motherhood, while I miss out on real life motherhood all around me. 

 

I've probably accomplished what most bloggers would only dream of. And it happened totally organically. And it happened because God spurred it on to happen.  

 

That accomplishment was having a blog post shared on radio stations, websites, and read by half a million people in two days.

 

It got the attention of celebrities and other influencers that have no clue who I am.

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But that attention was short lived. And that sort of accolade was only temporary.  

 

I can't, and I won't, spend the rest of my motherhood trying to gain it back, somehow. 

 

At my core, I'm a yearner for acceptance. 

 

I want people to accept the choices I make and I take it really hard when people don't. In other words, I'm an insecure decision-maker, although I'm almost always confident in my choices.

 

I feel rejection. I feel stressed out. I feel like a freak. I've been this way since I was a teenager. It's been hard to change.  

 

I see my fellow bloggers desperately trying to make it big and I feel for them.

 

Then there's the influencers that already have a following. They start blogs and small businesses and make it big the same day they begin. And I get jealous.  

 

But I'm tired of feeling jealous. It's exhausting.

 

And since I'm not willing to write what you want to hear, or photograph what you want to see, or spend the hours that require me to become BlogFamous, then maybe I am accepting that maybe my influence is supposed to stay small. 

 

Thats fine.  

 

It is.

 

Because maybe a smaller following actually yields a deeper influence in the end. And if I had to choose between the larger audience and the more shallow influence, or the smaller audience and deeper influence...well, when I put it that way, it's easy to choose. 

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If God wants to grow this blog, He can and He will. The timing will be perfect and I'll be ready for that day.

 

But for now, I'll be proud of what I've given to my small ring of influence. 

 

I've given truth, laughter, tears, sorrow, and passion.

 

I've shared ideas, concepts, and encouragement.

 

And most recently,  a book that has touched whoever has read it. Even though the royalties remain poor monetarily and rich in impact; That's payment enough for me. 

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Maybe that's the sort of royalty we should all strive for. Impacting lives. Impacting souls. Being an encourager instead of an influencer.  

 

I surely don't want to influence Mothers to feel less than just because of something they read and saw from me.  

 

And that's sort of the way the blogging world is. It's less about being honest and more about making you feel envious.

It is essentially fueled by envy.

 

Bloggers who harbor envy as it looks to the success of another blogger, all while  displaying beauty in ways that spurs the viewers heart to invite envy inside:

 

Food.  

Style. 

Products.

Crafts. 

Travel. 

 

I can't compete with all of that. I'm just me.  

And I don't have time to show you anything beyond that. I've choosen to live life authentically.  And maybe that's just not enough for what the blogging world requires of me. 

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So, I guess I don't care what you think about me anymore.

I'll keep writing and sharing. But I won't even try to keep up.

 

This is Honestly:Motherhood. And that's how it'll stay. 

 

-Alicia  

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Stay at Home Mom's Worst Enemy

As a somewhat new stay at home mom I've come to realize we have some big battles we face everyday. There is the constant exhaustion of taking and keeping alive small children, the never-ending list of chores to be accomplished during the day, the stress of creating a healthy meal that your kids wont throw on the floor and finally making sure we shower at least once in a while to keep strangers from staring at your crazy greasy hair. (But at the end of the day we know it's all more than worth it.) 

However, by far the hardest thing I have encountered as a stay at home mom is...myself. More specifically my mind. I don't know about you but before I started staying home with my daughter I was in the work force. I spent my days taking care of children of all kinds, my mind was constantly focused on my job.  I never had much time to think about anything in my personal life when I was focused on performing certain tasks for my employer. Now as a mom staying at home I have down time here and there. There are moments when I'm on the floor playing with my daughter, feeding her lunch or pushing her on the swing I will find my mind figuratively on the top of a slide....you know what I mean?

I start thinking...thinking about how my back has been hurting me lately...

then that thought turns to

hmm, should I go see a doctor?...it's been hurting for a few days...I wanna get it checked before it gets worse...oh gosh, maybe I should just wait until next week to not look like a crazy person that goes to the doctor for everything... but what if I wait and there is something seriously wrong with my back...could it be a tumor? I have cancer. I am dying. (When in reality its probably hurting because my 1 year old is getting bigger and it takes a lot more muscle to pick her up.)

Yeah. That was a matter of less than a minute and the rest of my day is spent googling trying to find solutions. I am an anxious mess and I can't find my way out of the hole. My mind slid down that slide faster than any child ever could. Anxiety creeps in unwanted and steals joy and no matter how much I want to stop those thoughts its one of the hardest battles. Have you been there? Have you felt your mind go to those dark places? Maybe it is something you've never had to deal with or maybe you've been in this exact situation and don't know what to do. 

Jesus does not want us to live in fear. He is with us in those scary anxious moment and wants us to cling to Him and His truth to get through. For me I found some ways to help me through those days where all I can do is think on the negative.

Here are some ways to help: 

1. Find a friend: Find another stay at home mom and keep each other accountable. Be texting buddies. Send scripture to one another and keep each other focused on the things of Christ. When you know you have someone thinking and praying for you it will be a lot easier to keep your mind in the right place.

2. Memorize Scripture: When we memorize scripture we are putting truth in our minds. We are guarding our hearts with the things of Christ. We are focusing our minds on things above and can combat the lies with what the Bible says. 

3. Have Scripture EVERYWHERE: Have it in your kitchen on the fridge, on the mirror in your bedroom, on the doors, in the closets...everywhere you look! You will have constant and daily reminders of Christ's goodness and His truth! 

4. Get off Social Media/ Set boundaries: Personally for me social media is a deep hole. It is easy to see others and get suddenly anxious or depressed when I see a sad story or I see the way our world is going. I have had to set boundaries for myself when and how often I look at my social media. It has really helped me and my thought life.

 

**As always, moms, if you are really struggling with anxiety and depression please don't hesitate to reach out to others. You ARE NOT alone. Please don't go through this alone. You are precious and loved and don't have to suffer. There is no shame in seeking help.**

God's Purpose or Mine?

 "We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success.

 

We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God's purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.  

 

We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not.  

 

The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way.  

 

What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. 

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What is my vision of God's purpose for me? 

 

Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power  now.

 

If I can stay  

calm, 

faithful, 

and unconfused

while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me.  

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God is not working toward a particular finish--His purpose is the process itself. 

 

What he desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no access, no goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" (Mark 6:49).

 

It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.  

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God's training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future.  

We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. 

What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself. 

God's purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. 

However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious." 

-O.Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

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