Well. The first thoughts I have about the image above is... "That sounds a bit self-centered." Ugh.
Let me explain.
I was invited by Katie Reid to participate in a writer's blog hop, where I'll answer 4 questions about my writings (always the same four questions). Then by introducing 3 of my blogger friends, I "pass the baton" to them and they answer the questions. I couldn't find 3 bloggers who wanted to participate, because they had already done it, were doing it soon, or were too busy to do it now. So, I will introduce 3 of my blogging friends without expecting them to answer the questions again.
Here goes.....my answers to the 4 questions....
1. What am I writing or working on?
I just got done with a 40 day prayer challenge for wives. Right now I'm in a bit of a dry season when it comes to writing. I have all these thoughts and great inspirations, but somehow getting them on paper isn't working so well. At first I felt bad. Almost guilty.
Then panic set in. If you're a blogger you get that. Thoughts like "what if I lose all my readers?" "What will they think?" That lasted for maybe 1 minute, because the fact is,
I need to take a blogging break. Maybe just a slow down.
The #1 reason I haven't felt led to share many of my writings is because I need to focus more on my first ministry: my marriage, my family, my home. I haven't actually been neglecting them...blogging has always been second to all that. But, what blogging does do is take time, energy and a lot of emotion. I need a blogging break and He has finally given me the OK to take it!
However, I won't stop writing because the second reason I need to slow down is because I have felt convicted to focus more on writing a book. Will it happen soon? Nope! Will it happen in a year...maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. While I am excited about all this, you probably don't need to get your hopes up! Nevertheless, that is what I'm working on long term.
To all my blogger and writing friends, if you have published a book, PLEASE share which publishing company you chose or if you chose the self-publishing route and why? This little Amish girl is quite lost in this world of techy-talk. Any advice would be appreciated!
2. How does my writing differ from others in its genre?
I have no idea. Is that an answer?
There aren't many blogs whose greatest focus is on a wife's character and role.
Maybe mine is different because I'm a teacher at heart. Most of what I've written doesn't have a personal testimony or story line approach. But, most of what I've shared has an educational aspect, practical wisdom and biblical approach. I like diving into His word, so what I share must be backed up and proven by it.
3. Why do I write what I do?
This one is easy...
Because I have to!!!
You don't understand that, do you?
See, I scorned writing, speaking and blogging until about 10 months ago, when God once again convicted me that I am to be involved in women's ministry. I say "again" because when He first tried, I gave Him a flat out "no". I said something like this, "Go find someone else. You've got the wrong Kaylene in mind. Nope, not doing it."
....can anyone relate? Or is it just me?! ugh.
That was 3 1/2 to 4 years ago. All that time, I couldn't ignore Him, and I couldn't run away.
When I finally said "yes, Lord," I also tacked on "but don't make me speak and don't make me write."
... I wonder if you're smiling because you know what's coming...
Now I write, and have had the honor of holding my first speaking engagement.
I love both.
Why? Because it's all His plan.
I write what I do because when I obediently pick up a pen and start writing, His words fill the page.
4. How does my writing process work?
Uummm... I'm drawing a blank again.
I don't have a process.
Furthermore, I didn't know I needed one!
I just write....I write when it's hard. I write when is easy. I write when its a joy. I write through the tears. I write when its a sacrifice. I write as an offering.
As close to a process that I can think of is, I usually write in the morning before my family wakes, or during my children's nap times/quiet times, so maybe that's a process?
I don't know....I just know that for now, I'm supposed to write.
So I do.
Well, I've answered all the questions on the list. I must say this is one of the more personal posts I've shared. It feels good to share a little of my story, my feelings, maybe even a little of my spunk? (smile)
There are many of you who have asked questions or would like to ask questions about me. Some have, others aren't sure it's OK to ask.
So, to this post, I will also add a few questions I get asked about myself and my blog, ALL THE TIME.
1. Why don't you write about the Amish? This mostly comes from ex-Amish people, so this answer is directed toward that crowd.
Because that's not what He wants. Moreover, I refuse to write about past wrongs or dig up old bones when His word tells us to "forgive as He forgives" (Matt6) and to "strain toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal" (Phil3). How much heavenly 'goal reaching' are we going to do if we keep dwelling in the past?
Proverbs 17:9 says "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." (NIV) Other translations say "one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend" (NRS) "gossiping about the sin breaks up friendships" (NCV) "he who keeps talking of a thing makes division between friends" (BBE). Personally, I don't want to be around people who are always bad mouthing others. It's exhausting. It's angering. It causes dissension, one of the 7 abominations. (Proverbs 6)
So, no, you will not find any Amish bashing on this blog. EVER. I lost a lot of readers when this was discovered. How sad. But, neither do I care. I don't need that negative energy.
I prefer to learn and grow from hurts and wrongs, not dwell in them. Doesn't mean I don't still feel them. Doesn't mean I don't know how you feel. But, it does mean, if you want to get fired up about hurts in your past then you'll need to take yourself to an actual Amish hate blog. They can be found.
Strong words? Yes. Facts are tough sometimes.
2. Is your writing affected by your heritage? This comes from non-Amish.
I used to think, no. But, I've come to accept that yes, my writing is affected by my heritage. Amish is who I was for 22 years. You can't live that much life rooted in a setting and not be largely affected by it, whether positively or negatively. Many of the values or principles found in my writings, I learned through my parents, family, and the quiet, slower pace the Amish life brings.
3. Do I miss it? This comes from both ex-Amish and non-Amish, and always feels like a trick question!
Amish culture? No.
Quiet life? Yes.
Can a quiet Christian life be established without the Amish setting? Yes. And we try, because that's what we love. Simple is better. Relaxed is rejuvenating. Quiet is sane. Slower goes too fast. I can't imagine making what goes so fast, go even faster by adding an excessive amount of going or an over abundance of doing.
Do you have a burning question you'd like to ask me? Go ahead and ask in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you!
Now I will introduce my 3 friends. These ladies have been a pleasure to get to know through the world of blogs. I hope you hop over and read a few of their writings. You will be blessed!
Katie Reid is a recovering perfectionist, who is learning to slow down and breathe deeply, as she fumbles to receive and extend grace in the everyday moments. She delights in her hubby and four children and their life in ministry. Studying God's Word, singing/songwriting, blogging, photography, and heartfelt conversations are a few of her favorite things. She blogs at Echoes of My Heart and also has an album by the same name on Amazon. She'd love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.
I met Katie through her #inspireandgrow link-up party. We have further found common ground in that she lives among an Amish community. Here she has shared a few things she has observed from 'across the fence'. I love the honesty and heart in her writings. I love her energy! There's never a boring moment when reading her blog.
This is Laura: