On July 11, 2014, I published a post titled “Change is Coming to this Blog!” In the post, I explained that I was working on a new blog mission, vision, tagline, guiding scripture, and core values. I also wanted to define, more clearly, what I’ll be writing about from here on out.
Well, today’s the day, folks! It’s time to launch the vision I’ve had in my mind for the past six months.
But before we get started, let me share a little behind-the-scenes secret. Earlier this week, I woke up in the middle of the night, in my half-awake half-asleep state, and all I could think about was this launch. My worry was that it was too much, too complicated, too wordy. So in my middle-of-the-night state, I vowed that I would keep this as simple as possible. So here’s my best shot at making that happen!
It all started with this – the tagline for my blog had to change. I always LOVED the “extraordinary encounters” part of my old tagline, but as I wrote these past two years, I realized there was something bigger I was trying to communicate through the blog. Three individuals I engaged with in February and March 2014 inspired me in specific and complementary ways. As a result, I knew what I could write about forever, “love what you live. live what you love.” So here it is, the new tagline integrated into my logo!
As of today, you’ll find the updated logo in the header on the home page of my blog. You’ll see it at the top, like this…
I have new covers for my Facebook and Twitter pages, and I also have new business cards which reflect the changes to the blog. The business cards are my favorite. LOVE the way these turned out! (Thanks to Shalon Estrada from Pretty Lovely Design for her beautiful work.)
So you might be asking yourself what all of this means. And why did I feel the need to go to such extreme measures to change one little tagline?
Well, there’s actually a good reason I’m making these changes. Like I said earlier, I want to more clearly define my worldview and what I’m going to write about in this online home from here on out.
In the past six months, I’ve taken a lot of time to define and refine the foundation of this blog. The changes I’ve made will benefit all of us. Starting today, my writing will be funneled through the new parameters I’ve set for the blog. If a post doesn’t fall within the parameters, I won’t publish it. This will benefit you because you’ll know more what to expect when you visit my blog. I’m hoping the posts won’t feel quite as random as they might have in the past. Under this new model, there will definitely be a theme, a big-picture message that’s weaved through all the posts on the blog.
So I made this graphic. I’ll be honest, I kind of love it and I kind of hate it. I spent too much time making it, and unfortunately, it was one of the too busy, too wordy images I couldn’t get out of my mind earlier this week in the middle of the night, but I’m not going to remake it! So here it is. It’s intended to give you a quick rundown of all the new bloggy things launching today. I’ll explain in a minute. For now, just take a peek!
Let me be clear up front. This vision is BIG. This vision runs deep. This vision has the potential to last the life of this blog. Sure it may need tweaks, refining and rewording along the way, but big picture, it’s good to go for a LONG time.
So let’s get to it! These are the foundations of this blog from here on out.
I believe that God created every human being to fulfill a unique and specific purpose here on earth.
My purpose is to inspire people to discover, embrace and walk boldly in their unique purpose.
Based on the observations I’ve made about life on earth so far, you’re likely to discover, embrace and walk boldly in your unique purpose IF you…
love what you live.
live what you love.
You can expect every post on this blog to be written with these qualities, these core values in mind…
From here on out, ALL posts on this blog will fit into one of four categories as follows:
1) PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEIR LIFE.
These posts will feature people who love their life. My goal is to observe and interview people who love a particular aspect of their life, or maybe they love everything about their life! This might include their work, their hobbies, the volunteer work they do, or just about anything about their life that they LOVE. I’m planning to be generous with my borders and boundaries on this one. At this point, I’m envisioning everything from Mary Kay consultants to body builders to real estate agents to pumpkin farmers. Everything from muddy race running to blogging to mosaic making. From nonprofit thrift store management to Special Olympics coaching to animal rescue missions. There’s something to learn from people who love their life. I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to learn their secrets. I’ll be writing these posts with the belief that if you LOVE your life, you’re most likely tapping into your purpose.
2) PEOPLE WHO EMBRACE THE LIFE THEY LIVE.
These posts will feature people who whole-heartedly embrace the life they live. The original vision for these posts is to observe and interview people who love what they live, people who are making the best out of less than ideal situations, people who are living in joy, beauty, peace and love even though life has proven to be challenging. At this point, I’m envisioning a whole host of individuals, including people who have special needs, people living in poverty and extreme poverty, people living with mental illness, people who have suffered abuse, people who have battled addiction, acutely and chronically ill individuals, infertility, stillbirths, adoption, and a whole host of others unnamed and yet to be imagined. Within this category, I would also like to dive deeper into the impact of these special situations on the family at large. Therefore, I hope and pray I’ll be able to interview moms, dads, siblings, special friends, and family members that have been impacted and have found beauty in the ashes. I have a feeling that God has more in store for this category than I’ve imagined. I can see already that He’s going to expand my definition of “love what you live” exponentially through these interviews. I’ll be writing these posts with the belief that God wastes nothing, that your purpose might very well rise up from the ashes.
3) EMBRACING AND WALKING BOLDLY IN MY PURPOSE.
These posts will be personal reflections on embracing and walking boldly in my purpose. I’m going to work this “love what you live” and “live what you love” out in my own life, and I’m going to share it with you in real time. What does it mean to love my life, even when it’s hard, even when it’s messy, even when it’s less than desirable, even when it’s barely tolerable? What does it mean to live a life I love? What makes me tick? What fuels me, makes me feel lit up inside? What risks will I take? How many times will I step out of the proverbial box or boat? In what ways will I be stretched like never before? And how will I know if I’m living my purpose? I’m not exactly sure how these posts are going to look. Some might look a lot like posts I’ve written before. But I think many of these posts are going to cause me pause. I’m going to need to reflect and look at my life from angles I haven’t before. And one thing’s for sure, I’m going to be jacking up my courage. Big time. Because in order for me to live out my calling, the purpose for which God created me, I’m going to need a lot of courage. And faith. I’ll be writing these posts with the hope that you’ll feel empowered to live, love and discover your purpose if you know someone’s on the journey with you.
4) LEARNING TO LIVE, LOVE AND DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE.
These posts will be written for you. And I’m SO excited about that. Among the handful of careers I wanted to pursue for the longest time was psychologist, and one aspect that’s been missing from this blog is getting down and dirty in the trenches to help YOU. So with these posts, I’m envisioning that I’ll step back and draw some big-picture conclusions. What words of wisdom can I draw from interviewing people who love their lives? What words of wisdom can I draw from interviewing people who have chosen to embrace the lives they live, even if they’re less than ideal? What words of wisdom can I draw from embracing and walking boldly in my own purpose? If there was ever a how-to aspect of this blog, these posts will be it. I want to empower you. I want to inspire you. I want to engage in meaningful, authentic communication with you. I’m going to get vulnerable and real, and I hope you’ll be willing to go there with me. Oh yeah, and I’m guessing that I’m going to ask some hard questions. Because nobody ever started loving their live and living their purpose until they started asking and answering some really hard questions.
Last, but not least, I’ve chosen two scripture passages that will guide this blog.
Psalm 139:13-16 (click here to read the passage)
Isaiah 61:1-3 (click here to read the passage)
These are some of the most beautiful pieces of scripture there are. They both speak beautifully into the new mission of this blog. I can’t imagine any better words to guide my writing than these.
So yeah, let’s do this!
I feel like I’m baby blogger with this gigantic God-sized vision. And I have to be honest. This scares me. This is most definitely going to stretch me beyond my wildest imagination. Because in and of myself, I don’t have the power, the connections, the strength, the resources to make these interviews happen. In and of myself, it’s going to be a real challenge to embrace and walk boldly in my purpose, and share vulnerably with you. In and of myself, I don’t have the power to create change in your life. In and of myself, I can’t make this God-sized blog vision come to life.
But as Kristin Welch of “We Are That Family” stated in a recent blog post:
“There will be a big gap between your yes and the reality of your dream. That space is God-sized. If we have all the answers, resources, funding, the perfect plan, it might be our dream and not His. But when we don’t know all of the details or have all the answers, it gives God room to show up.”
God’s assured me with His still small voice that He’s prepared and trained me for this, that He’ll equip me because He’s called me. So I’m choosing to say yes. Because I don’t see any other plan for this blog. And I believe this is what God is calling me to do with this space. I believe He will show up. Big time.
So let’s go.
You and me.
Let’s live and love. And on the way? Perhaps we’ll discover the purpose of our lives.