I’ll never forget one particular dinner party we had during the Hawaii years. The evening weather was characteristically perfect, and we left the doors to the lanai open so the breeze could come into the living room and dining room as it pleased. The pork tenderloin I prepared for dinner turned out tender and delicious. Everyone’s kids played together beautifully, and this left plenty of room for the grown-ups to connect. All was well until later in the evening when one friend eyed me up and down and said, Kristen, this is the wrong kind of outfit for you.
I looked down at my tank top and shorts and thought it is? How does one go wrong with a basic tank top and shorts? Did I look foolish? Crazy? Clashy?
She never elaborated, and for the majority of the evening I was able to push my guest’s comment to the back of my mind. But when I went to bed that night, I replayed her suggestion and decided the only two choices were to accept it or move on. The truth was I liked my outfit–it wasn’t anything special but it was cute and comfy and let me prepare dinner without getting all sweaty (one must consider the sweat factor when living on a tropical island).
So, I moved on.
Now, I am certainly not above taking advice from others on any assortment of matters. But even then, listening to and accepting someone’s advice usually means I agree with that person and believe his or her words will bring me closer to a certain goal. If I don’t agree? Well, I just smile and move on.
I am finding the same thing is true with blogging. As is the case for many a New Year, much has been written on the state of blogging lately. Blogging is dead! It’s on life support! Much has been written about how to do it right and how to do it wrong. Do this or your blog will die, too! After reading various articles here and there, I find I have the same two choices I did at that long ago dinner party: I can either take the person’s advice or move on.
I gotta say, I do a lot of moving on.
The popularity and purpose of blogs may change and trends may come and go, but I have a strong desire to keep trucking along here regardless. I’ve been blogging since late 2009, and at Chasing Blue Skies since 2011. There are many things I do differently now than I did in the beginning, but one thing that hasn’t changed is how I view my calling here.
In my writing, I want to choose fresh air over frantic trends.
Lately I’ve spent some time getting to know myself better so I can better give to others and fulfill God’s tailor-made plans for me. Within this process, I have also spent time evaluating what works well here at Chasing Blue Skies so I can be certain I best serve this community.
Here is a short list of what you can expect to find at this little corner of the internet. At Chasing Blue Skies, I will continue to:
- Create a welcoming space that gives folks a lift by way of words and connection.
- Gear content toward helping others see themselves as they truly are–that is, as Jesus sees them.
- Settle into rather than fight against being small. Most days I still feel all 7th grade knees and elbows at this blogging thing, so it’s comforting to find my familiar friends (that means y’all!) at the table. I like the idea of minding my acre and sitting with the folks who are already here, even as we are happy to widen the circle for new friends, too. We are cozy and connected, and that’s my favorite way to be.
- Keep comments open. I love love LOVE the interaction that blog commenting provides. I read every single one of them and reply to as many as my schedule allows. Sometimes, I email the commenter instead. At any rate, removing comments would remove the community feel here (at least in part), and that would make me incredibly sad. Therefore, comments will be staying.
I’m a crockpot kind of writer. And what’s more, I’m a crockpot writer set on low. Most ideas have to simmer a good long while before I can serve them to you. I’ve tried to crank the dial up and force the contents to cook more quickly, but what comes out after attempting this is, not surprisingly, half-cooked. So ya, I do sometimes write slower than I wish I did. But no matter the tempo of my blog’s posts, it feels good to be the boss of my own blog and prayerfully consider what works best for us here.
I plan to keep choosing fresh air over clutter at Chasing Blue Skies, to keep weaving words that are true to our community. I hope you’ll continue to drop by here and there…because I’d sure miss you if you were gone.
And it wouldn’t be the same without you. Much love to you, friends. xo
I love your fresh air! Keep on blogging!
Passing you a cup o’ your favorite beverage and saying *thank you*. xo
So thankful to hear nothing changes here. Sometimes the world changes way too fast and in ways we really don’t want it to. It’s nice to look forward to an “old friend” popping into my email with ever encouraging words. And encouraging they are. I can’t tell you the times you spoke the words my heart so needed to hear in the middle of a hectic day or difficult time. Thank you for always being you and being so willing to share your heart with all of us.
What a dear you are, Stella. Thank you for sharing your time and words with me. xo
I hope nothing in particular prompted this post – happy to read you are continuing to enjoy what you are doing. I think your blog is refreshing and I get a little happy heart when I see I have a post waiting in my email <3 I find your encouraging words just what I needed in the middle of any crazy work day – thank you Kristen! And I LOVED this line: Settle into rather than fight against being small.
And your kind comment? Just the encouraging words I needed in the middle of my crazy day. Thank you!
Bethany M. says
I have been a reader of your blog for a few years. I don’t even remember how I stumbled across Chasing Blue Skies, but yours is one of three blogs I consistently read every post. I have to tell you that this post brought tears to my eyes. I am a small time blogger (just began my blog eight months ago!), and sometimes I feel the pull of the world to try to be trendier, bigger, better. Reading your observations, and your permission to be a crockpot writer rather than a fast food writer has really put my heart to rest. Thank you. And enjoy your week!
An arm around your shoulder and an “uh huh” because I get it, sister. Let’s just keep bucking the exhaustive climb and changing trends together! xo
Kristen, Thank you. Just for reminding all of us that read hear that what we do is for the Lord. I know I am designed to do things for the glory of His kingdom, within my skill set and natural wiring, and in His timing. How often, especially in the blogging world, I can get sidetracked looking at everyone else. Your post today reminded me to keep my blinders on. Have a great weekend!
Oh girl, I could probably write a book–or at least a pamphlet– on all the ways to get sidetracked. Heh. Thank you for your encouragement, Jacqui. You are so appreciated!
Leigh Ann says
This certainly resonates with me. I’m thankful for your words that are slow cooked instead of half baked!
Leigh Ann says
Me again! Something that has been on my mind today was a Facebook post by Focus on the Family. They brought up the subject of Christians who drop out of church because they don’t like the people there. I like that you didn’t let your friend’s comment ruin your evening or your friendship. God doesn’t drop us when we say or do stupid or hurtful things.
Oh no. It would take a *lot* more than that to ruin a friendship for me! And heaven knows I would hate to be dropped every time I made an unwelcome comment.
Always wonderful to see you here, Leigh Ann!
Your blog is perfect just the way it is because it is a reflection of your beautiful heart! Keep going strong, friend!
Raquel! A warm wave to you pretty lady!
And thank you. xoxo
Kristen 🙂 I’m so glad that you are listening to God and not the ‘blogosphere’ concerning your corner of the internet! I look forward to seeing a notice in my inbox that you’ve posted, because, girl, 9 times out of 10, I’ve got Holy Spirit goosebumps before I’m finished reading what you wrote! True story 🙂
There is, without a doubt, REFRESHMENT in your words – because you get them from THE Source of all Refreshment. As long as you are listening to Him, I’ll be showing up here. ((Hugs))
Kristin Hill Taylor says
The blogging trend posts lately have been getting on my nerves. My blog is my own self-therapy that helps me foster relationships and document life. Of course, my online place changes as I learn and am in different seasons of life, but I don’t like the pressure that comes with trends. So, Kristen, I adore this post. And, more importantly, I adore you. Thanks for being such a delightful breath of fresh air. Keep it comin’, sweet lady.
“Of course, my online place changes as I learn and am in different seasons of life, but I don’t like the pressure that comes with trends.” ~ Yes and exactly.
Thank you for your unceasing encouragement and kindness. I love you!
Tina Kachmar says
I’m subscribed to quite a few blogs (maybe too many?) and I have to say that yours is one of my top 5 favorites to read. Keep on keeping on!! We all have gifts and it makes me so happy to see someone who embraces and uses that gift to glorify God. Blessings to you, Kristen!!
Gretchen Louise says
Hurray for good old-fashioned, slow-simmered crockpot writing where comments and community are celebrated! 🙂
I just wrote a post on the value of keeping comments on our blogs, and it’s fun to see the topic popping up everywhere. Thanks for sharing your heart for your blog in the new year.
And thank you for being such a delightful example of one who celebrates community, Gretchen. xoxo
Shelly Miller says
Love your heart Kristen and nodding my head with all you’ve said here. I like the crock pot analogy, fits me well too. I’m making a few minor changes this year where God is directing and taking advice when it seems led by the Holy Spirit. It makes for a peaceful writing life, yes?
Shelly! How I love seeing you here!
Taking advice led by the Holy Spirit ~ indeed, this is the recipe for a peaceful writing life. Wise advice from a gifted writer. Much love to you, Shelly.
Irene Talaasen says
Kristen!! Keep doing what you are doing; you refresh and inspire and help us know we are not alone and we are on a path with Jesus!! I don’t always comment but I read every post and am thankful. Love your military connection as my husband is retired Navy 🙂 and we live in Woodland Park. So I ask the Lord to bless you today and thank you for your encouragement to all of us in blogland!!
A warm wave toward Woodland Park, Irene. And thank *you* for such meaningful encouragement. xo
Deena Burnham says
Yes! ♡Chasing blue skies. Keep doing what you are doing. I’ve been on a personal blog-vacation, but plan to start up again next Tuesday.
Susan Keich says
I’m glad you’re here, Kristen. I’m a fair bit older than you, but it doesn’t matter as I find you point me to Jesus. And, that’s what it’s all about! Be who He created you to be! We need you!
Britta Lafont says
Yes! Thank you 🙂 I’ve been thinking lately that some people in blogging are more bloggers than writers…and that’s great! These people help writers find out how to use PicMonkey to make images and how to title a post for SEO and how to use Pinterest or Instagram to share their message (because writers would much rather spend time writing than thinking of such things). Just like not everyone who writes on the internet is a writer, not everyone who reads on the internet is a reader. Some like the images more, some like to participate in (or observe) short conversations like on Twitter…Blogging is changing but readers will always want to read and writers will always want to write. Those who leave “blogging” for some newer version of it will have many to follow them…and that’s great too. Ultimately, we can decide to count ourselves blessed that there are so many ways to express ourselves these days….
So well said, Britta.
Lorretta Stembridge says
You almost made me cry with this one. Because I’m here. I’m STILL here and I’ve got my virtual fingers in my virtual ears going LA LA LA LA…. at the top of my virtual lungs while They say…. and …. and… about this ministry of words and my humble altar. So thanks Kristin. From one Crockpot writer to another, thankyou
How beautiful and lovely and so inviting!! I read every word you write, Kristen. I may not comment on every post, but I read every post. Thank you for this beautiful space. I look forward to reading your book too!! 🙂
Let’s hear it for the crockpot writers! I’m with you!
Molly Huggins says
Oh friend, I love this! I am a simmer-er to…just now coming to terms with it! Also I have lots of small children and pregnancy brain, so there’s that…;).
Oh my, when I first started reading today, I thought you were stopping your wonderful blog. I let out a huge sigh of relief upon learning that you were carrying on. I love your writing, beautiful pics and your heart for Jesus. Take your time, sweet girl. You are worth waiting for!
I’m glad to hear that you plan to continue your blog as is. I am an e-mail subscriber and appreciate that you don’t bombard us with masses of mails, but send along only when you have something meaningful to share. That is why I read every mail that I receive from your blog. You keep going girl!
Love from South Africa,
Susan G. says
Kristen, this is the ‘perfect’ kind of ‘outfit’ for you! You go Girl!
And just for your purposes…I’m a 60+ grandma, with 3 grown kids, and 6 awesome grandkids. I ‘live’ in 2 different states…although looking for that perfect spot. And just passed my 40th Wedding Anniversary last month.
Love your blog.
And of course love Jesus the most!
Beth S. says
I love coming to your corner of the internet!! Much love. xoxo
I’m thankful that nothing will be changing on your blog. I have been reading your blog for over a year. I feel comfortable here. If what you write doesn’t speak to me, I delete it. If your words touch me, I file your blog away to read again.
Chasing those blue skies with you
Thanks for this! I love what you write, and I don’t always comment, but you always inspire and encourage me in some way with your words. Looking VERY much forward to your book, and to the future of your blog. Thanks for letting the Lord use you!
Julie Joiner says
Yes! I love your thoughts to keep on keeping on no matter what the trends may be. I enjoy reading your blog. I am a new blogger and it encourages me to know the learning continues; I am not alone, just behind. Thanks for your commitment.
Beth Williams says
Thank you Kristen! I love how you write and the words you choose so eloquently!
Keep doing what God has laid on your heart and it will be well received.
Love ya Sister in Christ! 🙂
Beth Williams says
I stumbled upon your blog via In (Courage). I singed up immediately! Just love your crock-pot style of writing! Thankful for all you do for us readers out there! I am not a fan of pinterest, don’t Twitter or Tweet, etc. Just like good old fashioned Christian writing that stirs me to think on Christ more!
Thank you so much for writing this.
As I get older, I feel more comfortable with myself and the way God made me, though I still get those 7th-grade phobia moments when I worry if so-and-so likes me, if I’m wearing or saying the “right” things or have something caught in my braces. 😉
I really like your crockpot analogy. Perfect!
Elizabeth in MO
I LOVE this! Keep blogging! I love the analogy of the crockpot style writing…. sometimes I try to force my writings out because I want to, not because it’s something really pressing on my heart and when it’s done I wish I hadn’t “served ” it just yet. So thank you for that beautiful analogy!! And I loved the story of the tank top and shorts and how you responded to it… a lesson I must learn in my own life! thank you for these encouraging words!
Thanks for providing fresh air to my week. And, by the way, encouragement too. I also have a blog, struggling with what to say and what it’s purpose is and your words “I’m a crockpot kind of writer. And what’s more, I’m a crockpot writer set on low. Most ideas have to simmer a good long while before I can serve them to you.” They are such an encouragement to me.
Sometimes I feel super slow with this thing although I feel God urging me on to do it. I took a 6 mth break this year just because life was on super fast speed and there was no time. So I’m just now getting back into it again. But I write slow too and I have to mull over what I want to say for a day or two. There is no popping out a blog post in 30 min or even in a few hours. I have to watch I don’t write a book in a post. Kinda of like this comment! Thanks Kristen for your encouragement. I always love getting your email.
Popping out a blog post in 30 min? Only in my dreams could I be that prolific. But then again, I find there is a certain richness to a slower, more intentional pace.
Your comment was just right, Lisa. Thank *you*. xo