Dear Reader, Are You the One?

After almost 9 months of blogging, it still feels very lonely over here in my corner of Cyberland .  It still feels like I am just adding to the mountain of words that are already out there.  It feels like I haven’t got anything of significance to say.

I recently joined a Christian Woman’s Blogging group and I really love it.  It is a group of women who are all trying to make a difference to the world for their Saviour by blogging.  They are a varied group.  It seems that a number of them are very accomplished.  Some have published books.  Others blog on important sites life the Huffington Post.  Being a part of the group can be encouraging but it can also be discouraging.  I recently read a post from a woman in the group.  She is a new-ish blogger and she was asking how to increase her blog traffic.  She went on to say that on her best day she had 600 visits to her blog and she had an average of 200 visits per day.

I was shocked.  I was also jealous!  I have been on sites trying to find out how to increase my blog’s traffic.  I have tried posting at optimum times of day.  I have tried using social media to publicize my blog.  I have changed my blog’s appearance so many times that I can hardly remember what it looks like anymore.  I would love to do what she is doing.  I want to have that many readers.  Then I would feel like I am doing something important.  Then I would feel like I matter.  Then I would feel like my blog matters.

My good friend recently reminded me that “comparison is the thief of joy“.  Have truer words ever been spoken?  I need that reminder constantly.  I need to re-train my brain to stop looking at others.  I compare my blog with other bloggers.  I compare how thin I am (or not) compared to the other women around me.   I compare my kids to other kids I know, to my kids’ friends.  I have a comparison problem.

I have even blogged about comparing before but I am just like the man in the mirror in James 1.  Verses 23-24 says that:

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

I forget what I have learned every single time.  I can’t seem to make it stick.  Maybe I need to post it around my house.  On the wall beside my computer, where I sit and write.  On the bathroom mirror, where I get ready everyday.  Beside my bed, where it is the first thing I see every morning and last thing every night.  I need to remember it that badly.

My 7 year old daughter came home from school yesterday and told me that she couldn’t read.  She is struggling.  Her teacher has called me about it but I haven’t mentioned it to Sarina.  She doesn’t need to know that.  I think she believes she can’t read because she compares herself to her twin brother. Even this morning, she was reading a chart I had taped to my pantry door and her brother kept finishing the words for her.  It hurts me to think that she is comparing herself to her brother.  It hurt me to see her get discouraged because of comparison.

How much does my comparison hurt my Father God?  He doesn’t compare me so why should I compare myself to others?

My Father God has always been so faithful to me.  Every time I want to give up on my blog He puts someone in my path to encourage me.  It happened just the other day at the grocery store.  A lovely woman I have known for years told me that she loves my blog.  She is looking forward to the day that I am a published writer.  I need that more often than I like to admit.  I feel like I have been blessed with some very faithful friends who have been there for me.  They read what I write and even tell me to keep on.  All because they listen to the Holy Spirit inside of them.  Thank-you for that.

Pete, my husband, has been incredibly supportive through this blogging journey.  He has been patient when I stayed up late because I just had to finish a post.  He has read draft after draft after draft.  He has never complained.  He keeps telling me that he is proud of me.

He also reminds me that there might be one person out there who needs to read what I feel compelled to write about.  There is one person who needs to know how much God loves you.  There is one person who needs to know that God is faithful.  He is strong enough to sustain you.  He is personal enough to know you intimately and yet still accept you.  He is powerful enough to protect you.  He is mighty enough to save you.  He wants to.  He offers grace to you.  Unmerited favour.  Grace.

There is one person, maybe one mom, who needs to know that I have lost a child, my daughter, and I can go on.  I have to.  This is the journey I have been given and I am just trying to walk it with integrity every day.  And occasionally I write about it.  Someone needs to know that there is hope.  I know I will see my daughter again.  Maybe someone needs to know that there is hope for her too.

So, that leads me to the question.  Are you the one?  If you are, I am glad you’ve come.

20 thoughts on “Dear Reader, Are You the One?

  1. donaeley April 11, 2015 / 8:06 am

    Oh My Cheryl, how timely for me to read this post! Ditto on your thoughts and the other comments. Minutes before I read this I was thinking of blogging on envy . I had given a presentation on it 10 years ago but thought it was time to remind myself of important truths . Your post nailed it! By the way would you mind sharing the Christian women’s blog group site? And I will try to skip the comparisons.

    Like

    • Cheryl April 11, 2015 / 10:10 am

      The bloggers world is a lonely world but I am so blessed to meet so many people who understand the struggle! I am so glad you could relate to my post! My girlfriend and I were out for coffee the other night and we were joking that I needed a tattoo on the inside of my left arm reading “For the One”. If you knew me, you would realize that I am not the tattoo type but I need to remember Who I serve every day.

      As to your enquiry about the blogging groups I am in, they are both groups on Facebook. One is “Blogging by Grace” and the other is “Christian Women Bloggers Unite”. They are both closed groups but I just requested to join and they added me. They have been a great support!

      I hope you will get a chance to join! 🙂

      Like

  2. natefredrickson April 10, 2015 / 1:07 am

    Thank you for this! Loved reading it.. Such a great reminder of Gods incredible Grace.

    Like

    • Cheryl April 10, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Be Blessed…

      Like

  3. williscrisi April 9, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    What beautiful words!!! I would be lying to say I never compare myself or my blog to everybody else because I have. Most times I am bit slower than other times but God always has a way of pulling those reins back in and stirring my thoughts back to Him. What you write about when the Lord is leading May only be for just one person and sometimes that person is yourself. Many blessings.

    Like

    • Cheryl April 10, 2015 / 9:18 am

      Someone told me before I started blogging that the reason I needed to write might be just for me. So that I could heal. Thanks for the reminder!
      Be Blessed…

      Like

  4. Gema Diaz April 9, 2015 / 1:57 am

    Oh my! I have been feeling exactly the same way as you. I have been blogging for over a year and I honestly think that not even my friends read my post. Joining groups has (Im also from the same Christian group as you) been discouraging when no one reads my post. I also saw the same comment of the person who got 600 views per day, Im excited when I get any per post. I feel like Im on a roller coaster until the Spirit pulls me back down and reminds of my purpose. I have been wanting to write a post too, but it is not time yet. I also see other blogs on fashion, make up, recipes who have a huge amount of readers, yet my Christian blog does not. Again, Im reminded that I must stand out in the world and the internet. Have a purpose behind my writing, even if it only reaches one soul that day.

    Cheryl, yes Im the one!

    Be blessed,
    Gema
    belovedgems.org

    P.S I have link up on my blog and would live for you to share this blog in there.

    Like

    • Cheryl April 9, 2015 / 9:18 am

      Gema,
      I am so glad that you are listening to the Spirit inside of you. I knew that I could blog about more popular things than the death of a child but I felt that God had a purpose that went beyond being popular. You do too and I am so glad we have connected. All we can do is be faithful with the job God has given us.

      I am so new to blogging that I am not sure how too share my blog to yours. If you know, you are very welcome to do that!

      Be Blessed…
      ❤ Cheryl

      Like

  5. April "Gemmy" Boyer April 8, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    I think we all struggle with that comparison thing. yep. and I often have to remind myself about the things I’ve taught or written. Me in the mirror. hmmm. Thanks!

    Like

    • Cheryl April 8, 2015 / 10:09 pm

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment. We all struggle with comparing. It is human nature. Some of us just have trouble with it than others! 🙂

      Like

  6. janncobb April 8, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    Think about why you blog. Who is your audience? I love the thought are you the one? Great thought

    Like

    • Cheryl April 8, 2015 / 10:16 pm

      Thanks so much. The “one” always keeps me going!

      Like

  7. ShahShankedRedemption April 8, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    Hi Cheryl,

    Knowing how important it is to all of us, I try very hard to read all the blogs I follow, and comment on them, but lately, due to some health issues, it’s has not been easy. So, I’m sorry for not being available lately to read your posts.

    It is true that, “comparison is the thief of joy”, but reality is that we ALL do it. As much as some would like to make the Apostle Paul a perfect man, even he compared himself with others, and demanded to be treated accordingly. This doesn’t make it right, but it makes it human. At times, I think if we want to improve our lives, we all need to compare ourselves with something, or someone better than we are.

    Now, as little as I know about you, let me tell you what I get from your posts.

    1. You’re a compassionate person who’s experienced much pain, but because of the grace you talk about, you’ve been able to pull through. In a world full of pain, this is a hopeful message. So, keep reminding us.

    2. You’re brutally honest and refreshing. How many Christians do you know who are willing to be as transparent as you are? After all, many of us were told over and over again that Christianity means success, victory and no pain. And if there’s any failure, or defeat, it must be because of sin or lack of faith in one’s life. For you to come out and say, “I hurt! I’m weak, but there’s grace and hope.” is a life giving revelation for many Christians. So, keep on spreading this fresh air.

    3. Growing up, I had the same issue with my son and daughter. As much as I tried to teach her not to, my daughter who adored her older brother, constantly compared herself with him. They both had their strength and weaknesses, and there were things that she was much better at than he was, but as a younger sibling, she constantly compared herself with him. I think that’s something that not too many parents can avoid, but we can avoid adding to the problem by not comparing them with each other, which is very common in my original culture.

    Just like you, I’ve tried everything to get more traffic, but for whatever reason, I can’t get it either. I even email them to about 600 people on my mailing-list, but very few ever read them. Do you post your blog on Facebook?

    Now, may I make some suggestions as how to improve your blog,

    1. Always write about what you’ve experienced—as you’ve been. People much rather read about personal experiences than some abstract subjects.

    2. Stay on the same subject, and don’t deviate from you original point. Sometimes, our posts can be broken down into two separate ones.

    3. I’m a speaker/author (At first, I wanted to delete this lest I come across as boasting, but to make a point, I left it in.) but I never post anything before having at least 2 people read it, edit it and make corrections. I even read and reread my updates on Facebook before I post them. That’s because what I think makes absolute sense to me, might not be as clear to my readers. Do you think a couple of ladies from your blogging group will be willing to help you with this if you offer to do the same for them?

    4. I’ve found humor to be something that can increase your readership. At times, be funny even if it is at your own expense.

    5. Make your posts shorter. We live in an age where people lose interest quickly, especially younger people.

    6. When a thought comes to you, write it down as soon as you can for future posts.

    7. How about writing about the way your children compare with each other and what you’re doing to prevent it. How are other people dealing with it? Have you Googled it? I’d certainly read a post like that.

    Please forgive me if this was not my place to make the above suggestions. I just wanted to help in anyway I could.

    Shah

    PS. One last thing! There are several people that I used to follow who, as much as they want people to visit their blog, don’t reply to comments left for them by their readers. I stoped following those people. For me, this should be a community where there’s give and take. If they’re not interested in my comments, then they shouldn’t expect me to read their posts. By the way, this is not a hint. I’m not going to stop reading your post if you don’t reply to my comments. However, I think it’s only fair and respectful to always return the favor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheryl April 8, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      Hi Shah
      I honestly had missed you and I’m so glad you are feeling better. Of course, I will respond to your comment, especially when you put so much thought and effort into it. Thanks for your suggestions. Every bit of advice helps in terms of readership. I will definitely think about everything you have suggested.

      To compare is part of human nature. It is natural but I think sometimes I really need to examine who I am really trying to please and that makes all the difference.

      I’m looking forward to reading your next post! 🙂

      Like

  8. Lenore April 8, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Hello Cheryl, I look forward to your posts and the faith I see in you through it.

    Like

    • Cheryl April 8, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      I am so glad you are enjoying my blog. Thanks for reading. It is all about Him!

      Like

  9. Andrea April 8, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    I love this so, so much. We fall to the pressures of comparison so often, and it does steal our joy! God made each and every one of us perfectly unique, and he has a particular role for each of us. Such meaningful words for me to live by every day.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheryl April 8, 2015 / 2:57 pm

      Thanks so much, Andrea. It means so much to me to be part of a group where we can be unique and encourage each other. Not to be the same, but appreciated regardless.

      Like

  10. barrira April 8, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Heartfelt words ❤ and very apt.
    We all forget to go easy on ourselves in the competition of trying to be like someone else.

    Like

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