Practical Help for Christian Bloggers

As a Christian bloggers, we want to do our best to honor God and His Word in all that we write, say, and do. Yes?

Yet there is this tension in faith blogging between worrying about pleasing God rather than man and becoming a successful blogger.

If you are a Christian blogger, I’m sure you’ve felt it.

You don’t want to be a sell-out.

You’re not in it for the money but for the message.

Thus, your definition of “success” varies greatly from the typical blogger who is mostly concerned with building a blog that is successful according to the world’s means.

Are you a Christian Blogger who needs help growing your reach in a Christ-honoring manner? Look no further! Christian Bloggers Bootcamp offers practical strategies that are unique to the Christian blogging niche. Join now during open registration!

 

At the same, we cannot reach others with the message unless we learn how to make the best use of our blogs and social media outlets.

How can you best set your light on the lampstand so that it can shine before men without letting pride take over?

How can you use best blogging practices for His glory without becoming consumed by numbers and your own small fame?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 5:14-16 (NASB)

It’s not an easy balance to achieve, is it?

We want to do our best to get the message out there, yet we know that numbers and dollars are not our best measure of success, not as Christian Bloggers.

It reminds me of that whole be in the world but not of the world dynamic that applies to so much of Christian life.

Well, today I offer you some practical help and hope for achieving this balance, friends!  I know some of you are waiting anxiously for the re-opening of Christian Bloggers Bootcamp by missionary and author Arabah Joy because you’ve heard about it from other like-minded bloggers.

 

Why recommend this course above all others?

Because I know Arabah Joy personally.

She has become a mentor to me, not just in my writing, but also in my spiritual life. Her faith is real, folks, and that’s what I admire most about her.

Because I know her heart for God’s message and her desire to spread the influence of other Christian bloggers, I have learned that I can trust her advice!

“We live in a dark world. As a follower of Christ, I consider it not only a joy but a duty to invest in other Christian bloggers whose effectiveness would dramatically increase by learning the key things I have learned.”  ~ Arabah Joy

Working together with Arabah and a close group of other Christian bloggers has helped me to increase page views by 40 percent so far.

Thus far I have only implemented part of Arabah’s Pinterest strategy for Christian bloggers and some of her Facebook wisdom, and already I’m seeing significant growth, not only in pageviews, but also in followers on both platforms and this blog.

I’m excited to see the snowball effect that implementing just a few key strategies for Christian bloggers has already created, and I can’t begin to imagine what the full effect will be once I work through the modules.

Now I want to learn more! :)

So, I highly recommend to you Arabah Joy’s Christian Bloggers Bootcamp, which is now open for registration!

 

Arabah understands the balance required by faith-blogging and she also understands that many typical blogging tips just don’t fit our unique niche.

Christian Bloggers need strategies that fit the nature of our subject!

What Christian Bloggers Bootcamp offers:

6 Foundational Modules

  1. Clarifying your why
  2. Finding and creating your best content
  3. Being savory in a world of instant gratification
  4. Image creation and visuals
  5. Leveraging Pinterest
  6. Winning on Facebook

14 practical assignments for Christian Bloggers

 

Are you a Christian Blogger who needs help growing your reach in a Christ-honoring manner? Look no further! Christian Bloggers Bootcamp offers practical strategies that are unique to the Christian blogging niche. Join now during open registration!

Lifetime access to the material in Christian Bloggers Bootcamp!

~ start right away or wait until you have a good chunk of time

~ work at your own pace if needed

~ refresh your memory whenever necessary

Access to the Christian Bloggers Bootcamp facebook group

The CBB facebook group allows you to ask questions of Arabah Joy and other seasoned bloggers.  Join in share threads, pinning projects, and other mutually beneficial promotions, too.  In case you don’t realize, the value in this community alone is exponential!

What are you waiting for?

Oh, yes, maybe you’d like a discount? :)

I’m happy to be able to offer an affiliate discount code for 10 percent off – just use code JKS10 when you register.

Use coupon code JKS10 for 10% off

All for His glory!

Jen :)

* This post makes use of affiliate links. Jen is an affiliate for the Christian Bloggers Bootcamp and will receive compensation for any registration made through the affliliate links on this blog.  Thank you for supporting the ministry of Being Confident of This!

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, Mama Moments Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, A Little R and R, Think Tank Thursdays

On Good Friday ~ Grace and Truth Week 12

This week has been busy, busy, busy. I’m sure many of you can relate! Last Saturday we finally walked the 5K race I’ve been working toward. I’m so thankful for all of you who prayed for strong knees and good health. I did, in fact, get a cold from our children earlier in the week, but it wasn’t bad enough to affect me in any major ways.

Yes, the hill was just as big (BIGGER!) than I remembered, but I was thankful for my “training” because I knew I could do it. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact, and keep focusing my eyes on the few steps in front of me instead of the distant top. :)

We finished in decent time, considering the freezing temps and giant hill. I look forward to scheduling another 5K to keep us on track!

One thing that has been on my mind often since our break last week is Good Friday. I’ve been reminded over and over again of the suffering Jesus endured and the power for abundant life that resulted from His sacrifice.

So, I really enjoyed Heather’s post this week – a poem about Good Friday and our perfect sacrifice.  Be sure to stop by her blog, My Overflowing Cup, and check it out!

 

 

I hope you all experience Jesus in new ways this Easter Sunday!

Jen :)

 

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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Fear and Blogging ~ Grace and Truth Week 9

Hello, faithful readers! It’s that time of week again when we all gather ’round for some encouragement. How is everyone? Has the week been victorious?  Has it been rough?  Has it been a roller coaster of in-betweens?

Wherever you are in the spectrum this Friday, keep in mind that Jesus knows; He understands.  Whether we’re sorrowing or rejoicing, struggling or persevering, He’s with us. He’s FOR us. That gives me comfort, friends!

This week I’m happy to introduce you to Shari Lynne who blogs at Faith Filled Food For Moms. In this week’s featured post, Shari writes all about that fear that all of us face in blogging, but honestly, her words could apply to so many areas of life.  Are we doing too much? not enough? right? wrong? and on it goes. We all know the struggle of wanting to do our best at something, yes? :)

I love this line in particular from her post:

Fear…Fear…Fear

Unfortunately this can lead to striving OR it can paralyze us into doing nothing or even worse…quitting!

How true!  We can swing from one extreme to the other if we miss her important advice.  Click on the graphic below to read it!

fear in writing, fear in blogging, wanting to do the best in blogging, how to fear less and blog more, Grace and Truth link-up

Jen :)

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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Comfort Eating ~ Grace and Truth Week 8

Hello, readers! No doubt you have noticed some changes ’round here. I’m really excited to have the new and improved Being Confident of This up and running in time for this week’s Grace and Truth link-up.  Now, if I could only learn to use the new and improved features well….  Let’s just say it’s a work in progess. It’s a good thing I have excellent blogging friends to help me iron out the kinks! :)

Last week I featured two bloggers whose posts really encouraged me, but there was one more that I really wanted to share with you all as well. So, this week I want you to meet Rosilind Jukic from A Little R and R. Since I’ve been sharing about my weight loss journey lately, her post about comfort eating fits right in with that theme. I greatly appreciate her candor about such a personal subject!

I am a Comfort Eater, healthy living, healthy eating, weight loss journey, body is a temple, over-eating is a sin, being obedient in what we consume

The Father has been helping me to follow my healthy living plans more carefully the last week or two and I’m starting to see some success! Isn’t it exciting to see the fruits of your efforts?

Trusting Him to continue the good work,
Jen :)

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

Grab A Button

Grab button for Being Confident of This

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One Simple Way to Meet Your Goals

~One Simple Way to Meet Your Goals~

I’ll admit, I tend to resist goals. You?

My perfectionist nature resists setting a standard for fear that I might fail. It’s one of the reasons I had such a hard time finding my “one word.”

I don’t like to be wrong.

I don’t like to fall short.

But the flip side of that is never stretching myself, never reaching for something more, never giving myself a chance to succeed.

It’s not that I never have any goals for myself at all for; it’s just that I don’t often claim them, don’t voice them aloud, don’t share them with others, and don’t hold myself accountable.  I’m guilty of keeping my goals general rather than specific because that makes them easier to meet.

However, this year I recognize the need to risk a little more, step out in faith while trusting in the God who is at work in us and promises to complete that work (Phil.1:6).

If I get up with this long list of "must do's" each day, I'll be worn out and discouraged before lunch. Setting and reaching goals can be overwhelming for some. Focus on this simple way to meet your goals instead! 1Simple Way to Meet Your Goals from Being Confident of This

One of my goals for the year is to do my part in restoring my health.

I need more sleep. I need more exercise. I need to eat more balanced meals and to take in less sugar. This past month or so of illness has been eye-opening. I need to do these things in order to be healthy, but more importantly to honor the Father with my body, to walk in obedience with Him.

I need to do these things in order to be healthy, but more importantly to honor the Father with my body, to walk in obedience with Him.

Pray for me, sisters!

Another goal for the year is to use my time more wisely through better planning.

Time management affects so many areas of my life, but to be specific, I plan to spend at least two mornings a week writing and working on this blog.

Previously, I’ve squeezed writing in here and there, but I’m finding lately that if I don’t plan time to write, it just doesn’t happen. And then I lay awake at night with all of these great ideas and phrases and sometimes whole sentences or paragraphs swirling around in my mind. Anyone else? :)

I want to obey the Lord in best using this gift of writing. I don’t want to put that on hold unless He asks that of me, and lately He seems to be asking more, not less in this area.

Women everywhere understand this pull to be involved in ALL of the good things, but often in our attempts to do so, we miss out on the best things. If I want the best for me and for my family, I have to learn to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and not man’s wisdom.

I make it my goal to please Christ.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Gal. 1:10

If I get up with this long list of "must do's" each day, I'll be worn out and discouraged before lunch. Focus on this simple way to meet your goals instead! One Simple Way to Meet Your Goals from Being Confident of This

A final goal is to love my husband as Christ does.

It’s been a really tough year for both of us. The trials have been nearly constant and there is always the temptation to withdraw into oneself in order to survive the refining fires. But we cannot! For the sake of our marriage and our family, we must learn to suffer together, to support one another even when we already feel the weight of our own burdens.

I see already how the Father is working that understanding into us, teaching us a better way. I know He will be faithful to complete the work in our marriage, as well.

he makes all things beautiful verse, goals in marriage, setting goals for the year

One practical way I can love my husband better is to consistently reach out to him, whether through words or actions or touch. I can hug and kiss him when he leaves for the day and when he comes home. I can look at him and ask him how his day was even if I’m busy when he comes in the door.

My goal is to intentionally seek connection with him, to encourage him, and to help him feel loved – every day.

The simple way to meet your goals

When I read all of the words above, I am easily overwhelmed!  I see all of the flaws, the areas that need work. There are so many and I…

well, I am only one.

Do you feel that same lacking, sisters?  That same inadequacy?

However, the Father reminds me that I can accomplish these goals by doing one simple thing: abide in Him.

It’s true! If I focus on abiding in Him, I will be sensitive to His leading and these other areas of life will fall into place so much easier than if I try to work towards these goals all on my own.

If I get up with this long list of “must do’s” each day, I’ll be worn out and discouraged before lunchtime.

But if I get up with the goal of abiding in Him and following His leading, I can be at peace. You can too!

That’s the simple way to meet your goals – make it your goal to please Christ.

It comes back to that work-in-progress truth, my sisters in Christ.

He promises.

And I believe Him.

Jen :)

 

More to read on goal-setting and goals:

5 Methods for Setting Goals Rooted in Faith

3 Fears to Overcome When You’re Feeling Stuck

How to Persevere in Life

Need help with goal-setting? Here’s my favorite faith-based goal planning resource: (affiliate link)

For those ready to embrace change, but uncertain where to start. This method helps you plan from a faith-based approach. Grace Goals

Sharing with: The Loft, Grace and Truth,

A Fond Farewell ~ #TheLoft

Hello, faithful readers and my favorite Lofters! :)

It’s with mixed feelings that I type these words for The Loft this week.  This space has been good to me and good for me. The Loft came along at a time when I needed the push to get back to regular writing and blogging. After spending the summer with my children, I found it hard to get back into the swing of things here at Being Confident of This. Then, when I was asked to co-host here, I almost said no!

I suppose I feared the responsibility some and the commitment. I also feared technology because I’m still a newbie in so many ways.  But I have learned so much in these past months and grown in several areas, not just spiritually, not just technologically, but more than that. Along the way, I’ve made new friends, too.

So, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for the weekly topics, the small yet friendly community, and the many encouraging words I’ve read both here in the comments and from our fellow Lofters on their various blogs.

And I think what we are all experiencing now is some growth pains. Just as the transition to the Loft took time and many adjustments, I know the birth of what we are heading into now will be the same – uncomfortable at times, yet necessary for growth.

The best thing about growth, about new birth? It’s exciting and filled with opportunity! So, I hope you will all come with us on this new journey!

Jen :)

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

Before we get to this week’s topic, we have an important and exciting announcement to make!

After this week, #The Loft is merging with another brand new link up for Christian bloggers.

It has been a pleasure to open The Loft and connect with you all since we started back in August. At that time, we wanted a place to connect, converse, and grow.

I am proud to say that we have done all of those things well. Many linkups are “link and leaves.” The Loft is not by design. I have heard this sob story from multitudes of hosts: they end up having so little interaction that the hosts either call it quits or spend hours upon hours each week trying to maintain it.

We have never had those problems… because you all are the best, hands down! As far as click throughs go, we are one of the best out there.

Now we want to serve you all even more. We want to focus on the “network” part of our goal. We want to open the doors even wider and get our linkers even more exposure.

So after much prayer and discussion, The Loft hosts have decided to merge with Grace and Truth Linkup, a brand new linkup that will launch later this week. YOU have the opportunity to be part of this from the beginning!

 

Here are the main differences and reasons why we are merging:

Grace and Truth will be a Christian Living linkup. Having a weekly topic has been great. It has defined us and for those who love it, well, we love it! But it does greatly restrict participation. We know that many of you would link more often if you could choose your own post. At this point in our growth we believe this change, although significant, will serve our community of bloggers best.

Grace and Truth will have a few more hosts. Links will appear on nine different blogs. That is EXCELLENT exposure for a blogger. A no-brainer there!

Grace and Truth will do “featured posts.” That means if selected, your post will be a shared on social media and featured on the following week’s link-y. More great exposure!

Grace and Truth will be on Fridays. Bloggers can link up any post from their week (or their archives!)

Also, there will be a $100 gift card giveaway this week for the kick off of Grace and Truth so you don’t want to miss it! Go ahead and link up your Loft post today (we’ll still be visiting and reading!) and then come back here Friday at 6am and link up any Christian living post.

Grace&Truth Christian Living Link-up on Fridays

 

We are committed to you and your growth as a Christian blogger and are so thankful for this community. We hope you continue to connect, converse, grow and network with us!

 

This Week’s Topic: “Goals” (Share a goal you have for 2015 or about your goal setting process? Anything to do with goals!)

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

While there are many link and leave blog hops out there, we are different in that we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic. This fosters community and conversation. It also helps us practice “topic” writing as bloggers. Please mention The Loft in your post so we can find each other. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find and share with each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link your posts up!

This Week’s Topic: “Goals” 

 

Reader Favorites ~ 2014

I’m so thankful for you, my faithful readers, my sisters in Christ (and let’s not forget the brothers, too).  You have made this space a friendly zone for sharing my most personal writings, and 2014 was just the year for it.  All year long, the Father has been challenging me to “Take Courage.” and having encouraging readers certainly helps me to do just that!

Often this space is mostly for me, a place to share what is on my heart, what I want to write about and hear about. But today I want to share YOUR favorites from 2014.  If you haven’t read these top posts before, just click on the individual pictures. Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite. :)

reader favorites 2014, Being Confident of This blog, top posts of 2014, number one posts, grace for the work-in-progress woman

Most time in the #1 spot:

marriage, Christian marriage, how to love an unloving spouse, feeling unloved, want to feel loved, loving a difficult spouse

“I’ll be honest. As a busy mom of four, I wrestle with this idea that God should be my sole supply. After all, God cannot help with the bedtime routine or sweep the kitchen or sign permissions slips or pay the bills, at least not in a physical sense.  I wrestle, too, with feelings of disappointment and unkind thoughts toward a husband whom I truly wish to respect.

So, how can I demonstrate love for my husband even when he’s not demonstrating love for me?”

Most comments in 2014:

confidence, fat girl insecurities, insecure, overweight, fat, trying to lose weight, obese, heavy, healthy body image, health

“I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word aimed at me.  He spewed it out like vomit, his eyes filled with disgust. “Fat,”  the boy accused me, and I believed it even though I wasn’t anywhere near “fat” back then.

I always was a…”

Runner-up for most comments in 2014:

That New Girl: Finding Confidence

confidence, finding confidence, that new girl, no condemnation, identity, loving yourself, identity in Christ, self-acceptance, imperfect progress

“Sin temporarily hijacks our child-of-God identity, the world teaches us that we will never be enough, and the pride and insecurity of self often confirms the lies. But the truth, sisters, the amazing truth is that we don’t have to be enough because He is already everything for us. It’s this Christ-confidence that sets us free!”

Most comments of all (even though it’s from 2013):

marriage, imperfect progress, perfectionism, grace, through my grace-colored glasses, work in progress

“Last night I had a little run-in with Perfectionism again.  He just won’t leave me alone.

He follows me wherever I go, pointing out flaws in my house-keeping, my parenting, my marriage relationship, even my walk with the Lord… He whispers lies to me: “you’ll never change” or “you’re never going to be good enough” or “why even bother anymore.”

I’ve been enslaved by his words before, but last night was different…”

The Top 5 written in 2014:

#1

big list of energetic indoor fun, high-energy kids, boys with energy, stuck indoors, cabin fever, school break, I'm bored, kids bored, get energy out

Are the kids driving you crazy? Do your boys have too much energy to stay cooped up indoors? Need a cure for cabin fever?  Is the weather outside frightful?  This huge list of ideas for expending pent-up energy while stuck indoors will help you stay sane!

#2

7 ways to teach bible verses to kids, teaching bible verses to kids, memory verse, preschool, toddler, children, homeschool, church, creative ways to learn memory verses, scripture

For moms, dads, Sunday School teachers, homeschooling families, Children’s Church leaders and anyone else who works with little ones – here’s how to help them hide the Word away in their hearts.

#3

dollar store deals, cheap homeschool supplies, early childhood education, preschool, toddler, preschooling with dollar store deals, what to buy at the dollar store for homeschool

This isn’t just a list of what to buy for the littles at the dollar store. It’s also a list of how to use the items you buy!  Great deals + great activities=happy learners.

#4

Saving money on kid's clothes, clothing budget, frugal, stewardship, single income family, clothing budget, tight budget, saving money, frugal living

This is part one of two posts on how to save money when buying clothes for a large family.  With three boys and one girl in the house, our tight budget really gets stretched when it comes to purchasing clothes and shoes for the kids. Over the years, I’ve learned quite a few tricks for working within our small clothing budget to make the most of it.

#5

keeping Christ in Christmas, kid friendly advent free printables, The Christmas Adventure Box, family advent activity, homeschool, church, AWANA, youth group, easy advent, flexible advent, advent fun

Kid-friendly Advent with Free Printables!  I created these as a companion to the Christmas ADVENTure Box that we do each year as an advent activity with our children. Our boys especially love the adventure aspect of it.  It’s an easy, flexible way to keep Christ in Christmas!

Thanks for making 2014 a great year for Being Confident of This!  And even though this isn’t a reader favorite (yet!), I want to leave you with one last post as you head into the new year. It’s close to my heart and really sums up what this year has been about for us.

Courage to Face a Giant

courage quote, fail or succeed, take courage in the Lord, be strong and courageous, facing a giant

Take Courage in the new year, my sisters!

Jen :)

Sharing with: The Pin-it Party, Grace and Truth,

Best of 2014 ~ #TheLoft

Hello, Loft crew!  We made it through another week – whew! :)  Did you find it hard to choose a favorite from 2014 to share?  I certainly did.

I think I’m finding myself as a writer more this year, and so the choosing was difficult because I actually like some of what was written.  That’s an exciting thought, but also a little scary because it means I’m putting more of my real self out there.

In the end, it was a close tie between the post where I talked about my fat-girl insecurities and another one.

Since I’ve already shared about my fat-girl insecurities with The Loft crew, I decided to share something from earlier this year about choosing the struggle, fighting the fight, even when it feels like we might not be winning.  Look for it in the link-up.

I can’t wait to read YOUR best from this year, too!

Jen :)

If you are new here and want to join in, it’s an easy week to do so.

Just follow the instructions below.

We’d be happy to have you as part of our community of writers!

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

This Week’s Topic: “Potluck: Best of 2014″ (Link up your best post of 2014. “Best” is defined loosely!)

Next Week’s Topic: “Christmas Traditions” (Tell us how you celebrate this rich holiday.)

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

While there are many link and leave blog hops out there, we are different in that we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic. This fosters community and conversation. It also helps us practice “topic” writing as bloggers. Please mention The Loft in your post so we can find each other. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find and share with each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

Best Blogging Tips

Faithful readers, I promised you a post earlier this week and life just got in the way.  However, I do have some great tips to pass along to those of you who are bloggers, so even though I’m very late with this post, I want to be sure it gets to you.  Better late than never, right? :)

When I first began blogging, I really had no idea what a huge industry the blogosphere is. I never “followed” any blogs before that time. I had no idea bloggers could earn income from their posts. I hardly even knew what a blog was.  So, why create a blog?

It was purely out of obedience to the Lord, honestly. No, He did not speak in a loud clear voice saying, “Jen, I want you to create a blog.”  However, He did use the Holy Spirit to convict me of neglecting one of the gifts He had given to me.  I was too overwhelmed to imagine writing a book or for any other sort of publication right away since I had not “practiced” writing in such a long time.  Thus, from what little I knew about blogs, creating one of my own seemed a simple, inexpensive, and the least terrifying way to walk forward in obedience.

To read more about my blogging journey thus far (a year and a half in!), check out the “For the Writers” tab on my sidebar or click here.  I would suggest starting with My Monday Morning Confession as it was my first post ever!  You might also read A Blogger’s Prayer to see what I have learned so far from this faith walk online.

I think I’ve been most surprised that rather than using the material the Lord gives me to encourage others (which is what I first expected), He so often uses the writing to encourage me!  Although others might find the words here encouraging, as is my deepest desire, even if no one else read them, this journey would be well worth it solely for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

As a “seasoned” blogger of a year and a half (ha!), I do have some more practical blogging tips to pass along to you:

Pinterest – once I learned the value of creating a somewhat “pinnable” image, I began to receive most of my traffic from pinterest. In fact, this past month, I received close to a thousand views daily from a single post (The Pumpkin Gospel) that is doing well on pinterest simply because of Halloween.  I rarely reach that number even on a good day, normally. That’s the power of pinterest, my friends!

What I know about creating “pinnable” images:

The better the lighting, the more attractive they are to the eye, as far as Pinterest goes. Lighter images tend to work more effectively than darker ones.  Also, collage-type images (several pictures together) are more eye-catching. A good description also helps the reader to click through to the actual blog post.  I recently started using hash-tags, as well.

I’m no pro at creating pinnable images, but what little I can do has helped tremendously.  Therefore, I try to always include a photo of some sort in each post for easy sharing on pinterest. Sometimes when I don’t have an image that goes along with the theme of the post, I just include something beautiful from nature.  I keep my camera in my purse to capture scenery along the way; this allows me to avoid the issue of photo rights altogether, which is just easier for me.  Lately, I’ve really enjoyed adding verses to beautiful photos using either picmonkey.com or ribbet.com (photo editing websites).  Someday I would love to learn photoshop! :)

Pinterest works well for me because I liked it  and used it even before I started blogging.  Twitter, on the other hand, is another story altogether…

Key-words and phrases – recently I’ve been learning more about how search engines work and am working on including more key-word phrases, especially earlier on in my blog posts.  This helps anyone who is searching for information on a specific topic to find your blog post.  I have one post in particular that does well from searches, and that is How to Love When You Feel Unloved.  I usually receive several hits daily from that post ever since I updated it with a pinnable image and some bolding on key words and phrases.

This is another area in which I have plenty of room to grow, as I’m still learning and probably always will be. :)

I just learned this past week NOT to include a picture before the words in your blog post.  If you’ve followed Being Confident of This for very long, you know I’ve been guilty of this, so I have many past posts to make changes to.  Apparently, google and other analytic programs scan the first words of a blog post, and when you include a picture first, they end up reading a bunch of html code rather than the topic of your post.  I read about that here.

For more practical blogging tips, I suggest pinterest as a wealth of information.  I have a board just for Blogging that contains even more information than I have shared here. Some of it I haven’t even had time to look at or use. Some of it is easy to incorporate once you know how. I’m sure some of the other hosts have similar boards, as well. :)

 My Best Blogging Tip

My best blogging tip, however, has nothing to do with pinterest or even with the mechanics of blogging. My best tip is to avoid getting caught up in blogging perfectionism. As I mentioned above, I knew so very little about blogging when I first began. My only desire was to have a space to write that wasn’t too intimidating, in obedience to the Lord.

However, once I learned about linky parties and began reading other blogs, I began to realize I knew literally nothing.  And after a month or so, the desire to be “successful” started to creep in. I became concerned about things that I never even knew to be concerned about before.  Blogging became a lot less about glorifying Christ and more about glorifying my own meager abilities.

Don’t get me wrong, learning how to blog well or write well isn’t wrong in and of itself, but I think it can quickly become an “idol” in our lives if we allow it to.

 

best blogging tips, tips for bloggers

 

So my best blogging tip is simply this – fix your eyes on Jesus.

If you have time and the inclination to learn some of the rest of it along the way, great.  But don’t lose the vision He’s given you to the trappings of blogging perfectionism. Write in faith instead.

Trust Him to guide you to the “right” content, my sisters in Christ. Trust Him to bring you the “right” audience.

Fix your eyes on Jesus.

Jen :)

It’s a Blogger’s World ~ TheLoft

It’s that time of week again! Meet you in the link-up?
Jen :)

The Loft is open, come on up!

 

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

This Week’s Topic: “Blogging” I hope you guys have a lot to say! Some ideas are: Tell us why you started blogging, your blogging goals, needs, how we can help you. Share your favorite blogging tips and tricks, the floor’s open!

Get a running start on Next Week’s Topic: “Intimacy with Jesus” (What does that look like for you? How do you abide in the vine? What barriers do you face or victories you’ve discovered in maintaining intimacy with Jesus? Let’s encourage each other!)

 

About #TheLoft

 

The Loft is the place for conversation, community, networking, and Christian growth.

Each week we provide a topic to start the conversation.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We want to foster community and transparent conversation with one another, just like we’d do if we were meeting in real life. So we ask that your link stick to the weekly topic and that you mention The Loft in your post. Thank you so much!


Monday night, at 9pm Eastern, the linky goes live and all week you can link up your post on that week’s topic.

We’ll have fun topics, serious topics, practical, soul-ful, holiday, and so, so much more…we can’t wait to get started! This is not only a great way to connect with others, it’s also a fun and easy way to establish a writing habit. If you aren’t a blogger, you are welcome to join in by leaving your comments in the comment section.

So grab your coffee mug and come on up! Hang out for a bit. We betcha you’ll be glad you did.

 

To Participate:

 

1. Be creative. Feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly topic. But please stick to the weekly topic :)

2. Listen twice as much as you talk. If you leave one link, visit two. Trust us on this one~wink.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or link back in your post so we can find each other. Also, share the great stuff you find when you visit around…we’ll be doing the same.

 

The Loft Link Up

 

When you link up at The Loft, your link will appear on 4 blogs! We’d love for you to visit The Loft co-hosts and know who we are: Jen, Rebekah, Leah, Arabah

 

 

Now it’s time to link up!

 

 

Add Your Link Here: