This month I’m trying something new and confession: The process of figuring it out had me feeling a bit old and maybe not as tech-savvy as I think I am… ’cause I had to google to understand how it works. It’s this thing bloggers do called linking up. If you know all about this, it’s okay to laugh at me (but only a little! I’m sensitive) and if you don’t, well that’s okay too and welcome to the club, we can be kindred spirits.
At the end of each month, one of my favorite writers, Emily Freeman, does a link-up on her site called “What we learned in [month]” where she writes about (surprise!) what she learned that month—about herself, about someone else, about really anything under the sun that was new to her. And then other bloggers (like my friend Lindsey) add their own links to Emily’s post, linking up (eureka!) so readers can poke through and see what everyone’s been learning! Sound fun? I thought so.
Now that I’ve fumbled through the longest intro ever, here are some things I learned in February…
• I do not have a favorite book. Isn’t that a terrible thing for a writer to say? It’s really embarrassing. But I don’t. I can’t decide on one, and you can’t make me.
About mommin’ it:
• Once your kids turn 7, no one expects the parents to stick around at other kids’ birthday parties anymore. Wait, what? It’s true! I dropped my daughter off at a party and the parents said, “Feel free to go and just come back in a couple of hours.” I didn’t have to be told twice. I went to the mall all by myself, and it was a gift. I only had to carry snacks for myself.
About… ’80s movies:
• The writers of Pretty In Pink (which this year celebrates 30 years since its release date), intended for Andie to end up with Duckie, not Blane, but Molly Ringwald didn’t feel the chemistry with Jon Cryer the way she did with Andrew McCarthy. Ouch, sorry Jon. One of our local movie theaters showed the movie in honor of the anniversary, and this fun tidbit was shared during the bonus features. I also learned that McCarthy is wearing a wig in the last scene at the dance because it had to be re-shot months after filming ended… and he was completely bald at the time. If you were wondering why he looked so awful during that last scene, well, that’s why. (More fun PIP facts here.)
About social media:
• When it comes to blogging and social media as a ministry tool… It doesn’t matter how big your audience is. It doesn’t. The people who tell you numbers are everything, well, they’re wrong. Because whoever is there—whoever is reading, connecting, watching, even if it’s just one person—they matter. If you were speaking at a conference and only one person showed up, would you ignore the one because she wasn’t the crowd you expected? I hope not. Gretchen Saffles of Life Lived Beautifully dropped this truth bomb into my lap on Periscope this month, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I recently launched a Write the Rough Draft Instagram feed and initially had been in a panic over the low numbers. Numbers—ugh! I don’t want that to be my focus at all. I just want to share what God puts on my heart with whoever is there, even if it’s just one. Thanks for this reminder, Gretchen.
• Speaking of Periscope… I’m not real big into podcasts at the moment (I know, I know), and maybe I’ll get there at some point. But I did jump on the Periscope bandwagon and that’s been fun. It’s a live video feed of whoever talking about whatever—you follow people who interest you and can be notified when they’re live. I’ve started tuning in to feeds with someone hosting live online Bible studies (how cool is that? Score one for technology), a behind-the-scenes look at a photo shoot, and my friend Ali Grace (see next item on my list!) chatting about what God puts on her heart, among others. Such an interesting way to interact. It’s a totally different vibe than the static photos on Instagram. (Don’t worry Insta, I will always love you.) Maybe someday I’ll turn the camera on myself? Maybe. Brave might be my word this year, but I don’t think this counts… does it?
Oh and that brings me to this other thing.
About friendship in the 21st century:
• It IS possible to build authentic friendships on the internet. For the past few months I’ve been part of an online community called The Influence Network. It was started by a group of women who wanted to equip other women and encourage them that they can be an influence for Christ regardless of where they are. I fell in love with the heart behind this mission and have loved getting to know women around the US I never would have met in my day-to-day and building each other up, praying for each other, and taking online classes together. Again, I tip my hat to you, technology. Last week I learned one of my online connection group friends was going to be in town, so we met up for an early morning coffee. And you know what? She was just as kind and encouraging and friendly in person as she had been in our interactions online. So there you go. An internet-turned-real-life friend.
Hey, that was pretty fun. I just might be back to give this another go next month. I’ll try to be less random and not so long-winded.
I said try.