I’ve been rethinking this blogging thing a little.
When I started blogging a year ago, I did it for several reasons. One, it was something I’ve wanted to do forever. Well, maybe not forever, but for a few years at least. Two, I felt led to write, even if it was only for my little corner of the world. Three, I didn’t want to be that person that only talked about doing something, and never did it. Seriously, ask those who know me well and they will all tell you I talked about blogging for awhile.
The name “out-of-the-box mama” came from my husband. I had a different name in my head for the blog, which thankfully never happened because it was when I thought I wanted to blog about food. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about food with people and I love the educational part, but I found that I don’t enjoy writing about it so much. It takes a lot of time to condense what I’ve learned over the years and talking about it is much easier. Anyway, I can’t remember our exact conversation but I must have said something about wanting to live outside the box more. He added the ‘mama’ part and that’s how the name was born.
So what is an out-of-the-box mama anyway? For me, it means living life a little different than the rest of the world. It means walking by faith when things don’t make sense and not allowing the world define who I am. It means making decisions that might not be mainstream. That might mean big things like homeschooling, trying to live off one income, and avoiding the status quo, or small things like drinking raw milk and not owning a TV.
I think for much of my life, I’ve been a bit out-of-the box, but maybe afraid to admit it. Or afraid to live that way. Or afraid to trust my gut when challenged. If I’m being completely honest I think I’ve just wanted to be accepted by the world: liked, appreciated, complimented. And not that all that is bad necessarily, but it often prevented me from really being who I was, and living my life to the fullest. I spent time believing I should be a certain way as a teacher, as a wife, as a mother, even just as a woman.
So for me, I’m getting out of my box a little more each day. Daring to write and share what I’m passionate about. Daring to hope and dream and trust, not in what he world is offering, but what Jesus offers. Fullness of life when we live for Him.
What does all that have to do with my blog? Originally, I started this space as a place to record life. A place to write all the things in my head that drive me crazy all the time and finally put words to paper. A place to preach to myself and to satisfy the itch to write. I thought I knew the direction I was going to take the blog, but I just wanted to get started and worry about that part later.
In October 2015, I wrote for the 31 day writing challenge. I chose to write about living small, inspired by Emily Freeman’s work in the book Simply Tuesday. You can find that series here. After writing daily on living small, I began to see how it was really the kind of life I wanted to live. I began to see how God really does show up in the small moments of life. And I started connecting the dots that being out-of-the-box means living in the moment, being present and aware in all things small, slowing down and ignoring the pace of the world. Because let’s face it, that’s not how most of the world is living.
And just how I found myself trying to live small in my regular life, I found that I wanted to write small too. But it’s taken me some time to figure out exactly what that means.
I started thinking a lot and praying a lot about what direction I wanted to go with my blog. About how I can write about the things I’m passionate about, but keep my focus on living small. Writing is time consuming. And as a reader to my blog, you are taking time out of your life to read it. I don’t want to be just another voice out there. I don’t want to add to the noise of the Internet. Quite the opposite. I want to slow down. To focus small. Because I think when we do that, we are actually serving others, whether it be our families, or the people we surround ourselves with, because living small means that you are focusing more on in-the-moment living. Not looking too far ahead, not looking behind, but looking on what’s right in front of you. Thinking about how we can take this moment in time, this moment of our day, this little piece of our lives and just be present.
I want those who use their time to read the words I share here, to walk away thinking, walk away wanting to incorporate small in their lives too. Walk away focused on their own families more, but also, to keep coming back and to build a community of like-minded people, those who want to live small, those who want to be a little more out-of-the box with me.
So my goal from here on out is to write small. For me, it happens in several ways and those ways just happen to be areas I’m passionate about. Local food, local and small business, and in just our everyday lives with our families. Hence, why you see a new theme for my blog when you look at the top: eat small, shop small, live small.
So as I continue to write and explore blogging in general, and navigate my way through these concepts, you’ll hopefully see these ideas played out more. What does it meant to eat small? What does it mean to shop small? How can I live small every day?
Won’t you continue to join me? In a fast moving world, where so much wants our attention, I dare to ask that you’ll want to be part of a community that is slowing down. It doesn’t mean we’re ducking our heads and running from our problems, but more so that we are really living. Really seeing those in front of us. Not worrying about picking battles on social media (or following those battles), but lifting one another up. Encouraging each other in our dreams. Helping each other find the nuggets in each day, even the days that drag us down.
If you want that too, please join this community. Subscribe to my email list to be notified of new posts on the right sidebar of this blog. Leave a comment if you are moved by something or want to add to the discussion. Share a post that’s meaningful to you on social media.
And by all means, if you want to share a story of living small, contact me.
I’ll be sharing over the next week a little bit more of my vision. I hope you’ll join me to see what that looks like.