The Weight of Influence

I’ve talked before about vulnerability, and that it’s sometimes difficult to write because a lot of vulnerability is required (See “Gifts Used for Growth“). In everything that I write, a piece of my life, heart and/or mind is revealed to the readers.

That is one part of writing that is scary, but there is another I find to be much more significant. The aspect of writing that probably scares me the most is influence.

I used to be able to write with freedom and post without much forethought. I wrote about what I was learning and put it out for the world to see. As I’m getting older and am a leader in my church’s jr. high youth group, I’m understanding the power of influence.

What scares me is that someone might read what I’m learning, my thoughts and opinions and fully accept them for their own. I try my best to write honestly, to admit that I don’t know everything, or even very much at all. To show that I have weaknesses, and I fall short often. I do this in hopes that people won’t take everything I write as perfect and true, but to instead take it with a grain of salt.

The best example I have of this is when I wrote my post titled “Sex and God“. In all honestly, I didn’t even want to write it, but I also didn’t feel like I had a choice. It was my response to a blog post by a woman who walked through some difficult circumstances with intimacy in the beginning of her marriage. She wrote about why waiting to have sex until marriage messed her up. What bothered me the most while reading her post was seeing the potential influence it could have on others. I thought of any of my jr. high students reading it, accepting it and acting on it. That was what pushed me to write my response post, along with God’s graceful guidance. I wanted to add some Truth to a situation full of lies. I wanted to add some positive influence to a situation with the potential to have an incredibly negative impact.

The weight of my influence can sometimes be scary. I never want someone to read my writing and accept it without thinking through it on their own first. Not everyone will agree with what I have to say, and not everyone should.

I would say that one of my most common prayers when I sit down to write something new is discernment. I want to write honestly, I want to be open about what I’m walking through, and I want to encourage others towards growth, but that takes prayer, diligence and discernment.

Although influence is a scary thing, and in the wrong hands it can be deadly, it can also glorify God and bring honor and praise to Him. That’s what I want. I want everything I say to be God-honoring and to walk away knowing that I only write because of Him and the words He gives me.

Where do you have influence?

Do you understand the value in being a positive influence to others, in everything that you do and say?

Are you using that influence to further the Kingdom of God? If not, what are you using it for?

Do you recognize the weight of having influence over any single person?

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

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Gifts Used for Growth

“You are exactly where you are supposed to be, now and forever.” This was my reminder all through high school and into my college days. I needed to remember that 1) God was holding me and 2) He could use me exactly where I was standing.

I’ve been starting to recognize the irony of the situations God places us in. He has given me the gift of writing (or so I’ve been told), and a passion for literature and writing. Yet, I have some major issues with vulnerability. I can fake it well, I can seem like an open book. I also can be vulnerable with select people, but to be vulnerable to anyone and everyone who happens to stubble across my blog? That’s a bit terrifying. I’ve always been a private person. I still talk to people, there are always people who know what’s going on in my life, but it’s limited.

A little while ago, while talking with a mentor, I began to realize that writers must be vulnerable. Anyone who writes anything, in any form, is being vulnerable. Whether you’re writing a blog post, song or poem, you are revealing something about yourself. Some forms of writing are revealing your deepest hurts, frustrations and weaknesses. All characters we write are related either to us or someone we know. All story plots have a little pieces of our real-life stories connected. All song lyrics hold some emotion that was found somewhere within yourself.

How funny is it that God would use the very gift He has given me, a strength, to push healing and growth in one of my biggest weaknesses.

I’m not always the best at being completely vulnerable on here. There have been many a post that I have scraped because I feel like I’m revealing too much of myself. Of course, I do have to use discernment in this area, I can’t share just anything, but I still aim to be real and relevant to anyone who reads.

Take a minute to think about your gifts and your weaknesses, and I bet you’ll find some connection there.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Two Year Anniversary

Well, today I bought a domain name and hosting account in celebration of two years of blogging. I figured that was a long enough go at it to start putting money into my love of writing. After a very long and confusing evening (with free starbucks refills being the only silver lining) I am back to square one. Maybe, someday, my dream of having my blog become a .com will come true, but for now I’ll just keep writing on WordPress! 

I want to take a moment to thank all the people who have supported and encouraged me in my writing over the past two years. If it weren’t for the initial encouragement of a friend, I wouldn’t have even started blogging. If it weren’t for the encouragement of others over the past two years, I wouldn’t have continued blogging.

It’s so interesting to see the many seasons I have walked through and written about. To see how my writing style has changed and developed. It’s exciting to see growth and movement in my spiritual walk. 

This space has become a tool for me to use when I need to understand something better or to simply clear my mind! God has used this to teach me so many new things, and my prayer is that He has used it to do the same for others!

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

An Old Love Letter

I found this written in a word document from when I was 18. Every once in a while, when cleaning out documents, I rediscover it. It was a small note I wrote during a quiet time. Some simple words I felt God speaking into me. When I was 18, I had no idea I would have done and seen all the things that i have. I see this small love letter from God, and am amazed every time.

It reads:

“You are my daughter, and I love you. There is nothing you can do or say to change my love for you. The worst you could do is to walk away from this love. I have formed your heart, but I have so much to teach you. You are only at the peak of your learning time. Remember to hold tight to the words I speak into your life, and the words others speak into your life. When people say those words of acceptance to you, they aren’t just throwing those words around; they came from their hearts which are full of the Holy Spirit. You have come so far over the last 18 years, but you are also just beginning. Never become closed off to being teachable and open-minded. Keep on moving, and remember, you have been faithful.”

Each time that I find this, I am not only encouraged, but challenged by it. I truly hope that you can be too!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Post 100

Woah!

Post 100!?

I actually posted something completely different, but then realized the significance of this post!

I want to just discuss some of what God has done through this blog and my dreams for it.

What this is:

I started this blog a year and a few months ago. It was started as a way of staying connected with another friend who was away at university. It was my third or fourth blog. All me previous attempts at blogging failed. I would be so excited about it for a month or two, but then I’d move on to bigger and better things (or so I thought).

This blog eventually turned into a spiritual and creative outlet. It’s a place for me to share my heart, thoughts and learning experiences.

God has used this blog as an outreach to others as well. Every so often, I receive an “Amen!” from a friend or a stranger. My blog used to be read by a friend or two, my mom and her friends (my awesome cheerleaders). Now I watch as God takes it to reach a greater crowd. It has literally provided me with two of my current jobs.

God has used this small corner of the web to foster my gift for writing. I have always doubted my abilities, and still do at times, but every time I write something new, I receive positive feedback.

I continue to pray over this blog and the words I write. My prayer is that God would direct it in the way He sees fit, and that I would attempt to glorify His name in the process. Because of this prayer, I have had to make decisions on the directions I wish to take it.

A couple examples of this are when I posted about growing out my pixie cut and about how to make hassleback potatoes. The audience I reached from those were incredible. I actually got a “like” from Chef Nedra who was on Season 11 of Hell’s Kitchen (what?!). I realized pretty quickly that I could have continued with similar posts, and gotten the publicity. As soon as that thought appeared, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. My heart is to reach people for Christ; to encourage and connect with others. I may occasionally write posts about recipes or beauty, but that will never be my focus.

I want to do this because God is calling me to. I will continue to write and post here as long as I feel God directing my thoughts and words.

My dreams for this:

I’m almost afraid to write these out. Not out of fear that I can’t or won’t accomplish them, but because I understand how important it is for our dreams to fall under what God may have for us. That dreams like this would pull us closer to Him and our purpose, and not pull us away or allow us lose focus.

More of me is excited to share this so that I may look back on it in the future and see what God has done!

I have had a dream of writing a book for a while. It’s been an extremely slow development, and I’ve decided to leave it on hold until I undoubtedly know what that is supposed to be. For now, I’m going to write here. My dream is for this to become a place that cultivates greatness.

I do not mean cultivates me as great, but rather God. A place that followers of Christ can come for a moment of rejuvenation and encouragement. This is an outlet for me, in many ways it is a blessing. For other people, writing is more of a stress than a freedom from stress. Faithful followers are giving their energy, preferences and time up in service of others, but you can’t give without being filled up first. I want this to be a spiritual gas station. A place that people can come to receive that little bit of fuel to continue accelerating. My hope is for this to become a place for devotions. Where each post acts as a devotional, but they aren’t specific to any theme and aren’t dated.

My dreams and passion for this blog are forever evolving. I’m slowly learning what works and what doesn’t, but my prayer is that God would continue to use it in whatever way He sees fit. That I would simple be the vessel to spread his mercy and powerful grace!

If you think to, I would love any prayers you’re willing to send up for me. For my blog and that God would do His work in it, and for me that I would continue to pursue these things without skipping ahead of Christ first!

I can’t thank everyone enough for stopping by and reading and for all the amazing input and feedback. I feel so incredibly blessed to have this place to process life and share real-life craziness with you!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie