It was an honor to meet the lovely Erica at the Declare Conference. Erica was one of the sponsors at the conference and is an independent designer with Origami Owl. Erica is a wife, mom, business woman and, most importantly, a follower of Jesus. She spoke a special message to the Declare attendees—her words resonated deep and refocused my try-hard heart. Below you will Erica’s her first ever guest post, written just for you.
More Than A Like, Comment or Stat
I accepted the Lord into my life two years ago and my heart has struggled ever since that blessed day. My heart aches for my husband and two little girls who do not know the love that Jesus has for them. I pray that soon our hearts will be united by His grace.
I try and convince them to go to church so they can hear His words—that those words will find a way into their hearts.
The last few years, I made my family my excuse as to why I did not attend church, but God realized what I was doing and by his mercy He provided me with a different option.
A year ago God’s option started with a divine introduction that would send me off to my first ever Christian blogging conference called Declare.
I was not sure why I was there and felt like an odd man out. You see, I don’t blog or write. I actually sat outside the conference doors the first night, afraid I would not fit in and made the excuse that I did not belong there. I could feel something inside that room going on that moved me to further my relationship with the Lord. Little did I know it was the Holy Spirit at work.
I let my guard down, took a leap of faith, and ventured inside the next day—determined not to be a lost soul.
My life was forever changed by what I witnessed.
I left the conference and realized that the Lord was using “digital evangelists” to spread His Word. I was blessed to meet some amazing people who welcomed me in, made me feel loved and showed me Jesus’ love.
God gave me the option to attend church by coming to the altars that these digital evangelists had so beautifully and deeply created through social media websites and platforms.
I went back to Declare this year and was able to reconnect and plug back into this community that changed my life over that last year.
It was there that I heard the Lord speak to me for the first time. He told me to tell His digital evangelists not to be consumed with the who but with the why—not to focus on the stats or how many were gathering at their blog, but to see the people behind the numbers and to remember the reason why they were writing in the first place.
I was there to remind them to continue to serve Him and make peace with the numbers.
Today, sometimes, I go to church, by picking up my phone and reading the words that you share on these social media platforms.
These words give me the tender mercies, hope, humility and comfort that I need some days.
Don’t think of me as a social media like, heart, share or comment—realize that you are reaching out to a soul who is hungry.
I realize it’s your option to write, but just know that through your work, I am learning how to pray, read scripture and how to apply it to my life, and how to struggle gracefully. I am learning to read the bible and understand how it all came to be and will forever be.
I give thanks to God for giving us both options…His Option. I know it may not be much, but I like offer you a chance to win a small token of my appreciation and hope it keeps you encouraged on your journey! And thank you for keeping me encouraged on mine.
Enter the Giveaway below! The winner will be announced on Periscope (@Katie_M_Reid) during the #MondayMessage at 1:30pm EST on October 6th.
Erica’s words move me. She reminds us that even if people aren’t commenting, liking or sharing our words, they are still being impacted. Your words matter and so does every life represented by your “stats”. You are impacting the Kingdom. Sometimes I think He protects us from pride by shielding us from the depth and breadth of our reach. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing and pour our hearts and words out of our love for Him.
Speaking of writing, I am excited to showcase some of the upcoming 31 Days series (starting October 1st). Checkout these topics from my friends and be encouraged throughout the entire month of October.
Write for 31 Days
Sometimes even as followers of Jesus we find ourselves stuck in thought patterns and habits which keep us from moving forward in our walk with Him. Abby McDonald will look at what some of these negative patterns are, and how we can discover tree freedom in Christ when we lay hold of His promises.
Whether you’re a lifetime church-goer or a new believer, you probably want to get more out of your personal Bible reading. Join Asheritah Cuicui for a 31-day series as we learn to interpret and apply passages to grow in our knowledge and love for God.
Ashely Hales is going to do a series called “Letters to Weary Women.” Each day, Ashley will be writing a little love story to you, weary woman. She’ll tackle topics like faith and doubt, motherhood and marriage and wearing yoga pants all day. Join Ashley for rest from the weary. www.circlingthestory.com.” The permalink to the landing page will be: www.circlingthestory.com/
My tween daughter is doing a series called, “Mixing It Up With The Masters”. She will be sharing cooking tips from famous and not-so-famous chefs via her cooking blog, Kookin’ and Bakin’. The posts will short and sweet. P.S. She LOVES comments and exclamation points!!!
Kate Motaung, fabulous host of Five Minute Friday, is offering a linkup within a linkup for October. Head on over here for the details. Kate has provided a writing prompt for each day. Write a free write for 5 minutes on the given prompt.
Jolene Underwood is doing 31 Days to Believe: What you believe impacts how you live. Jolene will be exploring how our beliefs impact us, what we believe about God and ourselves and how to deal with doubt.
As I mentioned last week, my 31 day series is entitled, The Restoration Project. We will be exploring the topics of rest and prayer and how we can unwind as we practice them. I will be on Periscope each weekday at 1:30 EST to expand upon the series. I hope you’ll join me as we learn to rest better and pray more—not experiencing guilt but embracing grace as we keep pace with His path, following His lead.