Where I find myself these days

by gidget on June 20, 2013

in community,faith,writing & blogging

My Women’s Summer Discipleship group just started up for the season. Our church transitions out of weekly co-ed community groups and into men’s and women’s groups and all-church beach nights for each week of the summer. It’s already my favorite season and this shift in how we do life together with our church family is just the icing on the summer cake.

This year, we’re reading a book on Biblical womanhood which is redefining for us what that term means and helping us to see ourselves as created in the image of God, uniquely reflecting different characteristics of Him than men were created to do. So far, between that and our inductive Bible studies that we’re training our groups in, it’s been really rich.. and we’ve barely just begun.

me

{David took this photo on Mother’s Day.}

The question came up in our discussion about where– other than in Jesus– we find our worth and value. My first inclination was to give a superficial answer of living up to cultural standards. And while that may be true to some degree, it’s incomplete.

The truth is, the deeper I dig in my own heart, the more I see myself finding worth in whether I feel included by my peers.

This effects me in many areas of life, but I feel the rub a lot in blogging. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel because I don’t feel that successful or popular enough (ugh, here I go, back to high school).

Blogging niches feel a little like various in-crowds to me. I don’t identify with a super specific niche per se, so I feel a bit like an outsider, standing outside of a variety of circles but not quite included.

Sewing is one of my passions, but I rarely have time to do it, let alone write about it. I’m not a fashion blogger, although I’m interested in really figuring out my personal style. I’m by no means a food blogger but I love to share recipes with you. I don’t write exclusively deep thoughts on my faith filled with poetic language and tangible analogies (although I’d love to write like that more often).

writing

I’m trying to be at a place where none of that matters, but it’s still hard on some days. The idea of fitting in is a constant struggle that I’m trying to stamp out with truth. I’m trying to see myself as me enough, even if I don’t feel green enough, creative enough, deep enough.

I’m reminding myself that God was intentional in crafting my renaissance soul. This is who He made me to be and maybe not fitting into any particular box is a good thing.

And as for writing, the more I write, the more I think I will become who He made me to be as a writer, because I know He’s the one who created me with words that spill out of my heart and make their way to my little corner of the internet.

I’m experimenting a bit with my writing and blogging. The times when I can get on my computer and compose tend not to be my most creative, inspired moments (usually that “free” time coincides with my exhausted-and-want-to-veg-out-moments), so I’m going to try going a little old-fashioned. If I write my inspired thoughts down on paper when they come to me, maybe I’ll end up publishing a few more blog posts… it’s worth a try anyway! ;)

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine C June 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm

What book are you reading? Sounds like ones I’ve been reading. I always tell people that they are God’s favorite, like first pick in gym class favorite, and I am too. Only He can do that because He’s awesome.
I’ve been praying to be secure as God’s daughter first, a godly wife second, and a wise mother third. When I get those priorities out of order, trouble comes my way. Just my beliefs.
You are His favorite. :)

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gidget June 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm

OH! Silly me. :) I will link to it in a future post, in the next few days, Lord willing.

You are so right about priorities– I’m right there with ya on that. ;)

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beth@redandhoney June 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm

“Blogging niches feel a little like various in-crowds to me. I don’t identify with a super specific niche per se, so I feel a bit like an outsider, standing outside of a variety of circles but not quite included.”

YES. A million times. This could have come from my own mouth. I get it. There are even a few bloggers who I cannot follow because it stirs up feelings of jealousy, wishing I were on the inside of those circles. There are certain niches that just seem to really lend themselves to clique-ishness. Intentionally or not, it doesn’t matter. It is tough to be on the outside looking in, longing for acceptance. I think that’s a pretty basic human desire, yes?

You most certainly are pretty awesome, yourself, Miss Nicole. I love hearing your heart and seeing bits of your soul. You are a kindred spirit, and I am thankful for you. xoxo.
beth@redandhoney recently posted..Weekend Links

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gidget June 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I agree that we are far-away kindred spirits, Beth. Thank you for your kind words, and for feeling the same way I do. It helps to know we’re not alone. Hugs!

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Meagan June 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Yes, I agree with what Beth said. This could have also come from my mouth. I’ve been blogging for over five years, but have never been part of any niche or had any “success.” And that’s OK most of the time, but sometimes I feel this longing to have my voice heard too. I wonder sometimes why I put any effort into at all, but I think it is just something I’m supposed to do even if I never “fit in.”

I love what you said about how maybe not fitting into a particular box is a good thing. That is a thought that has crossed my mind quite a bit lately. I don’t want to try so hard to fit in that I miss out on becoming the woman God created me to be.

Thanks for sharing your heart here!
Meagan recently posted..A Stirring

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gidget June 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Meagan. It’s so nice to know that there are others in the same place. I feel like we’ve got our virtual arms linked together in solidarity outside the box, trying to be who God wants us to be. xo

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Liz June 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

Don’t you think humans have a deep desire to be found interesting? It’s not narcissism or attention-seeking or demanding validation as in high school. Sometimes I feel it’s as basic a need as parental affection — kind of like the grown-up version.

I see a lady who has been given much wanting to give much in return for people who would benefit (Bennett-fit? oh geez). It’s easy to see how it would be frustrating to feel like it’s not being received or acknowledged. For all the gifts you have, the one I admire most is your honesty. There are many sleek, shiny, snappy, well funded blogs out there but I’d bet you a bazillion dollars that they have just as many insecurities (or crippling pressure to preform) that they don’t share about.
Post like this one are what make me a fan:)

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gidget June 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Yes, I do think we have that deep desire. Thanks for pointing out that maybe it’s not the same as high-school insecurities. I think as bloggers there definitely is a sense of wanting more people to hear our message, reaching more souls to encourage them in the way we’ve been encouraged, in addition to just the fun of connecting with more readers.

Love you, and appreciate your words.

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Breanne June 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

And this is exactly why I first started reading your blog. =) I so appreciated your honesty and openness and I feel like this too. I could format my blog into something but it’s not me and it’s not my heart. I don’t have a ‘niche’ and I think it’s okay. Especially when I see a post like this from a blogger I admire. ;-)

And I love the last picture of your writing process, my graph moleskine is where many of my thoughts first end up. =)
Breanne recently posted..24/52

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gidget June 28, 2013 at 7:29 am

Thanks for your sweet words, Breanne.

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Deanna June 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Beautiful words, beautiful picture! Thanks for sharing your heart!
(And I think that sounds like a great idea for small groups! Love to read more about the set up and what you guys are reading/studying.)

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gidget June 28, 2013 at 7:30 am

Thanks, Deanna! I wrote about the book recently after this post – did you see that? I think I’m still going to describe how our group works more in the future though, so stay tuned. :)

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Heather Anderson June 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Wow, you really put into words how I am feeling as well. I feel so broad in my blogging that I don’t really fit anywhere. And though I would like to network with others, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess there are more of us that feel the same way than I realized.
Heather Anderson recently posted..Firm Foundations for Marriage – Dating vs. Courtship

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gidget June 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm

It’s definitely nice to know we’re not alone. :) xoxo

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melissa June 21, 2013 at 11:48 pm

What a beautiful picture of you, Nicole! You look so happy. I hear you on the popularity and in-crowd thing. And you’re right–we all are (and can only be) who we are made to be. Being on the “in” side won’t make us more ourselves, or more of who we’re meant to be. That’s a comforting thought, I think.
melissa recently posted..Stamps as story prompts

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gidget June 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm

aw, thank you, that was a fun outing we were on. :)

“Being on the “in” side won’t make us more ourselves, or more of who we’re meant to be”–That IS a comforting thought! Thanks for chiming in here, Melissa, it means a lot.

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Erika June 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

Hi Nicole,

I discovered your site a while back over at Simple Mom. I visit from time to time and I appreciate your transparency! I also like “visiting the beach” via your site :) I’ve also enjoyed your language posts (didn’t you have a blog at one time about that?)

I agree – it’s hard find our way sometimes in blogging world – how true that it is reminiscent of high school. It sounds like you are already doing this, but stay true to yourself and how He made you :)

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gidget June 28, 2013 at 7:32 am

Hi Erika, Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting. I love hearing that you like “visiting the beach” here. :) I did have a language blog at one time!! I haven’t blogged on language in eons it seems but it’s fun to hear that you enjoyed those posts. I appreciate your encouragement!

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Sarah June 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I like that you call it a “renaissance soul!” I feel the same way–as if I could have ten blogs and be ten different kinds of writers! I haven’t found my blogging niche either; even in real life, I tend to stay on the fringes of lots of different groups. There is just too much of the world to see and experience to pick just one group of friends or just one career or just one niche!
Sarah recently posted..Adding Children to Your Family // How parenthood effects marriage.

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Molly June 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Hi Nicole! I love what you wrote and how you expressed your feelings. I’ve rarely ever felt like I fit in or really even who i am, and though I hate to say it, it’s nice to know I’m not alone ;) Though we’ve never met, I’ve felt from the start on IG that there is something inherently special and lovely about you. Something comfortable and comforting, friendly and welcoming. Thank you for sharing yourself online! I’m very grateful. xxoo

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Joyce July 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I’ve tried many times to blog about certain topics, hoping to find a niche, but alas, that never amounted to anything. I mostly just blog about things that I’m passionate about and that usually is daily life with my fam. It’s nothing that will eventually make me six figures as a blogger, but I’m okay with that. I love that writing helps me to figure out more of who I am. Love the pic of you!
Joyce recently posted..Our Week in Photos (Week 27 of 52)

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