When I read to my teenage daughters, a lesson from Habitudes, by Tim Elmore, hoping to prepare them for life, I didn’t expect the message to be for me. The lesson began with the story of the starving baker.
Do you know that baker?
It’s the one who spends so much time baking bread for others to eat, that he neglects to eat. He was so busy serving bread to the others, he never stopped long enough to feed himself.
I’m nearing the end of a 31 days series on my blog. Writing everyday has been an incredible experience for me, and all-consuming, too. Though, I am careful to make sure the family is taken care of first, and I hope they know they are my priority, all of it combined can be taxing.
The minutes turn into hours. The hours turn into days. I’m studying and writing for everyone else, and I don’t even know I’m starving. Starving, not for the food I consume when my belly’s hunger pangs remind me that I’m hungry, but for the Bread of Life that sustains my soul, and provides the nourishment necessary for strength, growth, and health. (John 6:35, Matthew 4:4)
I’ve been working assiduously to produce content for my blog series. Pouring over books and journals, tapping out words with a desire to help others recognize their God-given potential, rekindle passion, and help foster growth in their life. And I enjoy doing do so. However, I cannot allow myself to become the starving blogger in the process. And neither should you.
The story of the starving baker shows us; we must nourish ourselves before we feed others. It is a selfless thing to do, to nourish our own soul, so we are giving out of the overflow of our life.
And it’s not just my own writing, but there are a number of online communities I am part of, and contributing to. I’m helping promote others and supporting them in their dreams. Connecting on the networks to encourage and pray for others. I am homeschooling my children and everything is done from home. The same home that beckons for my attention, needing laundry, floors, dishes done.
As a blogger it is tempting to live life for the content of the blog, instead of truly living our life. Though, my words are not lacking, I notice when my walk is. And if I am not living what I’m writing, I am not living authentically.
The number one problem of leaders in my generation is that they traffic un-lived truth.” — D.L. Moody
Trafficking un-lived truth — for more blog traffic? May it never be.
Here are some safeguards I have in place to prevent neglect of my own personal growth.
- Accountability: It can be a scary thing to give your spouse, children or a friend permission to speak into your life when they notice something isn’t right, but there is safety in it, too.
- Allowance: I allow myself regular blog breaks. My guideline is to take every 7th week off of social networking and blogging. It helps me refocus, renew and keep my priorities in order; God, family, friends and blog.
- Awareness: Just like our bellies remind us with hunger pangs we need to eat, our souls do the same. When I am becoming weak, impatient, clouded or negative I know I’m growing hungry and need nourishment — for me, not more blog content.
Have you ever found yourself tending more to the growth of your blog than your own personal growth? What is your plan for personal growth?
journeying with you,
Michele-Lyn at A Life Surrendered