I am a communicator: a writer, a speaker, an artsy fartsy fashionista who has a hard time NOT communicating in one way or another. It’s nearly impossible for me to shut myself down, shut myself up or shut myself out of community & conversations.
That is why I blog. Because I have to. Being a rabid communicator is who I am and how typically how I bless others the most effectively.
I have to speak. I have to lead small groups. I have to write for others. I have to preach. Yes, I love to do these things, but they are also a key part of my gifts & identity. When I shut those parts of me down, my head starts to explode while my blood starts to boil. And then I cry.
I’ve done a great deal of soul-searching in the past year not only about where my life is headed (more on that later) but what I’m doing here with this little, baby’o'mine, www.gabbingwithgrace.com aka GwG.
For many, many years I’ve written here because its been a fun outlet of sorts. But, sadly, I’ve avoided two important aspects of who I am: my faith & my identity as a black woman. I’ve talked about these things only as much as I thought wouldn’t annoy you. I’ve hid from these two precious loves of mine.
Over the years, I wanted to create a space where any faith, gender or age would feel comfortable reading my content. I’m proud of my intent, and while it hasn’t always been the best writing or the most profound posts it was all I had while the primary girth of my energy went into the campus ministry I was doing with InterVarsity. I learned a lot about myself in that time, and the writing practice of 7.5 years of 1200+ posts has been invaluable.
Things change. I’m different now. I’m no longer with InterVarsity. I’m no longer employed as a Minister, nor is my identity found in it as it once so unhelpfully was. My current job isn’t nearly as complex nor relationally exhausting as my last. I have more to give.
When I was a Campus Minister I needed the outlet of a fluff personal blog. I had very little energy -nor desire- to create another ministry through writing outside of finishing the memoir I’ve been working on.
But now I do. What’s more, now I want to!
When I was a campus minister my entire job revolved around serving, planting & resourcing black student ministry in 4 states. I had a hard time figuring out how to write about issues African-Americans face without immediately contextualizing it for black college students. But now I can. Well, I can try.
We all need change. We all need to evolve. We all need to grow. Even blogs. Even blog readers. Even blog intent. Even blog content.
So. I would like to invite you into my evolution. Into my blog’s evolution. Will you journey with me?
My desire is to make my blog my primary ministry. Long-term, my dream is to write & speak full-time as a voice for the world’s most vulnerable and I see GwG as a beloved partner and fabulous accessory to that B.H.A.D. (big, hairy, audacious dream).
I’ve decided not to run from issues of faith nor become apologetic in my love & passion for African-Americans. Equally important, I’ll be writing squarely to women in my life stage: Jesus-following, married, Mama’s & leadership-minded. But above all, those who want to live purposefully.
‘What about me?’ You may be thinking, random white, male reader’o'mine?
‘What about me?’ you may be thinking single, atheist reader with no kids? GREAT questions!
Eat the meat & spit out the bones, I say. If you want to live purposefully, gracefully or beautifully then chances are you’ll find content that is valuable for you. If not, I invite you to enjoy other blogs which cater to your demographic.
Al I can do is speak to what I know and where I’m headed, what I’m learning & what I hope to learn.
At this trajectory of life, this is all I got. If it’s not right fit for you, have an extremely wonderful life. No harm, no foul.
As I reign in my focus to purposeful, graceful, beautiful living I’ll be writing more for YOU. If I am going to invest heavily in the GwG community it can’t be about me. My work must be ABOUT others. My work must be FOR others. Moving forward, I’m writing this blog to SERVE others…and I’m willing to work at it. I want to work at it.
GwG is no longer “my rambles,” “my thoughts,” “my musings.” No, been there, done that.
From now on, it’s ideas and lessons, stories and antidotes to serve & bless you. I’m removing the aimless posts, the filler posts, the directionless posts. Of course, I’ll still be delving heavy in personal narrative mostly, because, I’ve found my happy place.
Because I spent a great deal of time in InterVarsity investing in students, developing world-changers, pouring into students’ lives and inching them towards leadership, health & growth, I want to do the same here: to disciple. To inspire. To uplift. To build. In fact, until I get this all hammered out, I will run every post through specific criteria before that “publish” box gets tapped.
My life was changed through the investment of others. I believe in the ability of community to transform lives. I believe in you and your potential. I believe in me & my potential. I believe it is our responsibility to keep ourselves inspired and to live fully into that potential as gifted women of God with a Kingdom to build.
I believe, if you trust me, we can do beautiful things together.
If you’re still with me, here’s what I hope to accomplish on GwG this year:
1. The Happiness Project & The Happier Home by Gretchen Rubin (5-6 posts due to nature of content)
2. Quitter by Jon Acuff (2- 3 posts)
3. A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans (2-3 posts)
4. Wrecked by Jeff Goins (1-2 posts)
5. How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
6. Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
7. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell (multiple posts)
8. How To Be Black by Baratunde (review)
Some of these I’ll take in 4-5 chapter chunks, some will be a 1-post review.
Probably more! (Any you’d like to read & discuss here on GwG?)
Lisa Jo-Baker’s 5 minute Fridays. Because sometimes, I’ll need a post to only take me 5 minutes.
Monthly, perhaps, biweekly, ‘What I Wore Wednesdays blog hop posts. Why? Because I love communicating through fashion. And just perhaps, I might be able to help you live more beautifully through the simplicity of a beautiful look.
Any blog hops you love that you think are perfect for GwG?
Every 1st Monday, I’ll be updating on how I’m doing at sticking with my One Word for 2013.
Every Sun., For You, Netizen posts, where I’ll round up the best of the week’s post from around the web that will help, show or inspire us to live purposefully.
I’m highly considering a “Mama Moments Monday,” where I’ll reserve at least one day each week to force myself to write about parenting & motherhood with all of its joys and pains.
Twice a month -at least- I write about Social Justice Issues through my work with the Global Team of 200.
Blog Series I Hope To Do
A beautiful Body is a Healthy Body - focusing on health and what we can do to live absolutely purposefully in care of the only thing we got to live in.
Life Investments – an ongoing series about how I’m trying to be intentional to develop the next generation of leaders through mentoring. I’m also being mentored and may like to write about how this experience is panning out.
Guests posts from The Most Purposeful Women Living I know (or don’t). Going to work hard to bring in some incredible guest-posters for this one!
What does Leadership Look Like? I’m not sure how to execute this one. But I love leadership and I can’t wait to think more about how to contextualize this for GwG.
On Purposeful Living
Resources I’m using, learning or of desperate to try in the following areas:
- decluttering, cleaning & enjoying our home. Follow my journey to clean up our messy, sometimes disgusting home that I struggle to even like.
- becoming more financially secure
- pursuing leadership, personal development & growth, etc.
- chasing your dreams, yes, even in this crazy life stage.
On Graceful Living
One of the things I most excited about planning an editorial calendar is following the Christian Calender. If I can get my ‘ish together I’d love to pre-plan & pre-write posts walking through Ephiphany, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time, Advent, Christmas, Etc.
I’d also love to explore what it looks like to pursue quiet times with the Lord. I taught this several times as seminars but have very little idea how to make it relevant, written, engaging material. We’ll see about that one!
On Beautiful Living
Living beautifully to me, means embracing all of you and graciously offering all of that back to Him.
I want to explore what it means to enjoy outward beauty & adornment while striving for inward beauty & servanthood.
Fostering contentment with what & who we have.
If any or all of this excites you, let’s do this together! Here’s how to be a part:
- Comment thoughtfully – I respond to every comment & go check out your blog too!
Share generously – If you like something, pin, tweet or FB that mug!
to get each post sent to your preferred reader.
Sign up for my emailed posts & quarterly-ish newsletter which also hosts sporadic giveaways & book booty.
Like my for the occasional funny family story, link to posts & other pleasurable tomfoolery.
More than ever, I’m heartily excited for what God will do with our little community in 2013! Coming soon? My year-long transformation story from a year with Weight Watchers + why I’m opening up ad space. After that, smooth sailin’!
Subscribe to my quarterly-ish newsletter if you’d like to know what’s up with my book, or where I’m producing content for other places in the blogosphere.
In Lieu of these Changes, Care to De-Lurk?
Who are you? Where do you blog? Do you any of these topics excite you? Which content are you most looking forward to this year? Any incredible blog hops you think I’d love? Anything else you’d like me to tackle in 2013? Are you a new reader? An old-head? Are you a robot? And most importantly, what’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?