On the Porch * Dear Linda

Welcome back to the porch, friends!

Your response to our first On the Porch gathering last weekend was warm and kind and enthusiastic.  If you missed the big debut, click right here to see what happened.  Good stuff.  Exactly what I want On the Porch to look like!  You and me together, hanging out on a random weekend.

Thank you.

We put our feet up, we chat about whatever's on my mind ... or yours.  You might find a bit of Scripture, a few snapshots, links I love, or some kind of 'aha' moment I just can't wait to share.

And if you're a blogger, this is where you link up your best and brightest post of the past week ... be sure to offer readers a bit of a trailer {ya' know, like at the movies!} to entice them to visit you.

They're an enthusiastic responsive bunch, for sure.

Or you might find a Dear Linda letter like I'm sharing with you today.  It's where you ask me a question about relationship challenges, social media stuff, ministry leadership, homekeeping quandaries, healthy living issues.  And I respond.

Dear Linda-- how does one best reengage with the social media and writing world after she did so well at disengaging and struggles with feeling worthy of connection? Heavy question. Oh this return to writing isn't easy but as I told my therapist this week-- I'm committed to this regardless of the numbers but because I believe God has a purpose in bringing me back to my writing home. Thank you for your encouragement ... always!! 
Beth @ Simply Beth

Dear Beth ~

Thanks for being the brave one, the first to put a question on the table.  It means alot to me that you'd be vulnerable enough to say 'this is where I am.'

First of all, I'm so glad you're talking to a professional about this season you find yourself in.  I admire that you're sharing with your readers what you're going through.  That kind of writing is courageous and bold and likely to touch hearts where they are ... wounded, hurting, broken.

You become a safe harbor for your readers because you truly understand where they're coming from.

I love that you say that you're committed to writing because God has a purpose in bringing you back to your 'writing home.'  That vision will keep you focused because you're playing to an audience of One, aiming to honor and please Him.

You mentioned the numbers.

Completely ignore those pesky numbers, the stats.  They are a side show that does nothing but make us feel like we're on a roller coaster.  When they're up, we feel on top of the world and when they're down, we feel like losers.

This craziness does nothing but distract from you want to do which is share your heart, spark conversation, and build community.  Back when I started blogging, I'd often pray that just one person would be blessed by what I had posted.

Just one.

It takes the pressure off you to feel like you've got to perform or achieve some kind of goal.  And it invites you to simply be who you are ... Simply Beth.  Lovely, tender, and gracious.

Speaking of social media, I'd encourage you to pick just one venue and not spread yourself all over the place.  You want to be fully engaged in living your life well, not glued to a screen.  It's such a trap.

You're building relationships.  That's the key ... and it's a delightful one.

You bring up a good point about feeling worthy of connection.  I guess none of us feel truly worthy without Jesus' kindness, His sweet grace.  Without His presence alive and active in our lives, it's too easy to look at the places where we've erred, fallen, or disappointed.  That's so like the enemy to distract us, to keep us looking back instead of looking up to the One who gave Himself, who offered us eternal connection in the first place.

Jesus defines your identity, your worth, your very being.  Keep your eyes on Him ... the author and finisher of your faith {Hebrews 12:2}.

Bless you, girl ~


Let's show Beth some love and a warm welcome back to blogging in the comment section.  {Email readers, click on the title of the post to bring you to the party.}

And be sure to visit Beth's site and leave an encouraging word.

If you have a Dear Linda question, please send it along in the comment section {yes, you can be anonymous!}

Or email me at linda stoll @ juno . com

Please keep in mind that I'm a board certified pastoral counselor and a certified life coach ... not a doctor, lawyer, magician, biblical scholar, miracle worker, or licensed mental health professional.

I do love that you're here!
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visiting with
Mary & Sue