How Writing Tested Me into Greater Intentional Faith (**Giveaway**)

****The winner of the giveaway is Angela @ Setting My Intention****  Thank you all for participating!

When I pressed the publish button on my writing a year ago, I was terrified. Who was I and what did I have to say? Many times, I thought I would run out of words and topics to cover. I didn’t know anything about writing or blogging for that matter and being intentional hasn’t always been my strong point.

A year later, God has provided me an overabundance of ideas and situations for writing. I thought taking that first leap would be the hardest, but in reality, every day is taking the leap to continue.

Isn’t this how stepping out of our comfort zone is?

How Writing Tested Me into Greater Intentional Faith. One year of blogging and I've learned so many lessons. Leaving my comfort zone, dealing with comparisons and growing in faith. What happens when we let go and let God lead? We become more intentional!

Working Intentionally

Sure the first time we do anything is hard, but continuing to follow through takes intentional commitment over and over again.

Some days, doubt and negative thought patterns enter and we are tempted to throw in the towel. Our expectations fall short and we aren’t as successful as we thought we’d be.

This year has been riddled with impatience and frustration. Honestly, other blogger’s successes and accomplishments are constantly in my face via social media, so the battle of comparison has been par for the course. God knew that I would need the word trust through this journey.

I’ve seen God’s strength in my weakest days and God has come through for me on days when I spent time staring at a blank computer screen. He even carried me through one month of horrible insomnia and sleep medication.

These tests and trials grew my faith, intentionally.

What about you? Has God showed Himself in great ways in your work or life the last year?

Living Intentionally

Allowing others to see glimpses into my life has forced be to reaffirm my desire to be better. I can’t write to encourage others to trust God in everything if I’m not doing the same thing.  Becuase many of my posts are what I’m going through, I’ve even had to go back and read my own words when I’m having a hard day.

Some lessons don’t seem to stick for this girl!

Here’s the thing, many days I feel I’m not making a difference in anyone’s life through my writing because I don’t have gobs of readers. However, I realize blogging has made a difference in my life and my family’s life. I have grown in faith by leaps and bounds and this is over spilling into those within my home.

Using Our Gifts Intentionally

This parable in Matthew really spoke to me this last year.

15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities (Matthew 25:15, NLT).

You probably know the story. One man gets 5 bags of silver, one gets 2 bags and the last man gets 1 bag. The man with 5 bags earns 5 more and the man with 2 bags earns 2 more with smart investments. The man with 1 bag gets afraid and buries it in the ground and fails to earn anything.

So many times, I want to forget the gifts God has given me and instead, try to get ahead of myself by using gifts I don’t possess.

I need to work intentionally right where God has me instead of trying to be someone I’m not. As I use the gifts He gives me faithfully, He will increase my ability to grow whether it’s in faith or reach.

Serving Intentionally

It’s hard to serve others when I’m  feeling internally frustrated. When I want to have a pity party, I usually want to remove myself from all social settings.

Many moments over the last year gave me pity-parties. However, God nudged me to just continue in spite of a negative mindset. Even though, many times, I wouldn’t “feel” like getting on to social media, writing or making graphics.

Serving is not about a feeling, it’s putting faith in action.

Writing Intentionally

If God has called me to it, I have to do it even in the midst of a messy mood. This has been an important lesson for me over the course of the year.  Moving beyond my fickle feelings to intentionally serve my Lord in writing has been what I’ve strived for.

A bad attitude doesn’t excuse me for what God wants me to accomplish. Click To Tweet

How foolish I will feel someday when He’s standing in front of me and He brings up my excuses for not using my gifts. Will there be sand in Heaven because I think I might stick my head in it?

When God prompts us to serve, we do it in the midst of whatever trial or chaos is happening in our life. We step above the hard and through His power we give Him our best.

One year accomplished, but more lessons and growth need to take place. I still get a flinch of nervousness when I schedule posts or hit publish. Now I feel more pressure because I need to continue on writing. As a result, I’m leaning on God more each day. None of what has happened is because of me because it’s been all Him.

Thank you so much for participating in my journey! I pray your faith is growing right along with mine!

How can you be more intentional in these areas of your life?

P.S. When you comment on this post you will be entered into the giveaway. Come back and comment on Thursday’s post and you will be entered again (2 chances to win!)

I will be closing the giveaway Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and drawing a name and posting the winner on Saturday.

1 year blogoversary giveaway

The giveaway includes:

 

Sharing this post at: #TeaAndWord, #TestimonyTuesday ,   #RaraLinkup , # TuesTalk , #TellHisStory , #SittingAmongFriends , #CoffeeforYourHeart

1-year Blogoversary--Giveaway--unmaskingthemess.com. Check out latest post for giveaway details!

28 thoughts on “How Writing Tested Me into Greater Intentional Faith (**Giveaway**)

  1. Smiling, because so often the things that show up in my rough drafts are eye openers to me: “Do I really think that?”
    Writing is a great way to inform my feelings — which are very real, but not all of them get to be the boss of me. So thankful for revealed truth that keeps my heart (most of the time?) and my words (I trust!) on track and serving my calling — not the other way around.

    1. Michele- yes, writing is cathartic and we can replace our feelings with God’s truth. I think it’s important especially reading and re-reading drafts because it gets into our mind more through hearing and seeing:)

  2. Hi Julie! I’m surprised you’ve only been blogging one year. You are a gifted writer, and I always find quality posts here. I will come back on Thursday to linkup again. Did you hear? There’s a new linkup beginning on May 18 called #saltandlight. Hope that’s helpful to you! From your neighbor at #teaandwordtuesday this week.

    1. Sarah- thank you for the encouragement and kind words, it means a lot! Yes, I’m planning on linking up on Thursday!

  3. I came over from Facebook and don’t think I’ve ever been before. I love the way you share glimpses of your real life, intentionally. I try to do the same thing, even in hard season. I look forward to getting to know you more!

  4. Julie, it has been a blessing taking this journey with you. I think we both started blogging within weeks of each other. As you know, a good blog is relative. I stand in awe of your growth and I wonder why I have not implemented the wonderful things you have. Praise God he is not comparing our blogs. He is using them to his glory. Congratulations, my friend. I’m so proud of your obedience. If noone else tells you today, I have been helped, encouraged, empowered and convicted on numerous occasions from your writing. Keep doing the hard work. I am a benefactor.

    1. Calvonia- you’re one of my biggest cheerleaders! I appreciate all your kind words and support through the last year! God knew I needed you:)

  5. Happy Blogiversary Julie! I totally relate to your feeling about blogging. I’ve been blogging a year and a half and boy has it been a journey?! Learning so much about myself and God. Keep writing Julie because you are making a difference my friend! I always enjoy your work👍

    1. Gretchen- I’m so glad you can relate! Yes a lot of learning about myself, some of it isn’t good either;) Thank you for the kind words!

  6. I’m visiting from Testimony Tuesday. I can identify with so much of this, though I have been blogging for ten years now. One friend and fellow blogger shared something that helped me once – I can’t remember exactly how she put it (and she’s not online any more), but it was something to the effect of “feeding those at the table” – writing to those who did come by and not worrying about how many there were. Sometimes when we’ve poured our hearts out in a post or shared what we know is good truth because it’s God’s, we can get discouraged when no one seems to be receiving it. But every now and then I’ll get a comment or email that God has used something He has helped me write, and that’s such a blessing.

    1. Barbara- thank you for stopping and I love the wisdom you shared! You’re right, we never know when it’s received. Blessings to you!

  7. Congrats on one year of blogging! What a great reminder that we are called to be intentional and faithful with the gifts God has given us to show Him to the world. We each have unique ways that can point others to Him and He is absolutely worth the time, effort, and sometimes inconvenience of using our gifts.

  8. I can so relate to what you are saying here. We must practice intentionality and moving forward in our gifting. God is patient with us and works with us where we are. Congrats on your one year anniversary! You have accomplished a lot. Way to go!

  9. “I thought taking that first leap would be the hardest, but in reality, every day is taking the leap to continue.” – Yehesss. And not leaning on our effort *alone* but trusting in God yes! You hit the nail on the head here, Julie. I can tell you from my own journey you have impacted me in this way: You continually show up and write well, and write honestly. I see your words each week and am amazed. I also look up to you in that you seem to pace yourself better. When I get ahead of myself you and a couple others pop into my mind, so you are making an impact! I hope that came across right. I mean it all well and just from how I observed and what God spoke to my heart in it. I love you giveaway stash…I got excited because I actually have The Anxious Christian in my “wish list folder” on Amazon lol! Thanks for linking up and sharing your words with us friend.

    1. Meg- gosh, it’s humbling to hear I’ve impacted you! Thank you for encouraging me with your comment! I so appreciate you, friend!

  10. Happy blogoversary! I love how God called you on a journey of writing and you said “yes”. I did the same when I first started writing. I am learning to ignore the social media conquests of other writers because God just keeps telling me to write. He is the reason and I pray I continue to honor Him in all my writing. I will pray the same for you.

  11. Julie,
    I’ve just found your blog a few weeks ago. Enjoy so much. Happy one year Blogiversity!!
    Your giveaway sounds interesting. The bag sure would be nice to carry my yarn and other items I use making Blessing’s Boxes for the hospital to use for parents who have a stillborn baby. I am always reading and have put the book on my to read list.

    1. Jane- so glad you found my blog and enjoy it! You have encouraged me today:)
      I love how you’re comforting others with your gifts! God’s blessings to you!

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