what's in it for me.

I have no idea how to classify this post. 
It started out as "here are a few links" type of post and in my heart, before I've written any words, it's evolved into a whole 'nother beast. 
Hopefully it will be a blessing. 
If nothing else, skip to the links:). 

A few funny things have happened lately that 
left a weird tone ringing in my heart. 
#1 - someone referred to me as a fresh, new blogger on "the scene" (you can laugh)
#2 - someone heard about the eBook and said "oh! I didn't know you were a writer!"
#3 - I've heard women blatantly reference online endeavors and ask - "what's in it for me?". 

All of these things got me thinking. 
If you don't know the backstory - I'm not really a fresh new blogger on the scene (though I was super humbled to be referred to as such). I've been really intentionally, faithfully blogging with purpose for about five years. I was faithfully blogging with intention (and lots of typos) and prayer when 50 people read it and when 500 people read. It felt important to me when I had no idea what a blog follower even was. Moreover, I only blog because I'm a writer. I'm old school and I started blogging when you blogged because it was an outlet for writing, not because it was the thing to do or the way to build a brand. That's why you won't see me doing a lot of the typical "blogging" things like fashion posts, recipes, etc. There is nothing wrong with those things - I've just always blogged because of writing itself, even though I've gotten easily sidetracked before.

And lastly, I've been doing this blog and a few other online endeavors for a long time without much of it actually tangibly blessing me. I obviously do paid sponsorship now and what not, but the fact is: most of what I do online - Sashes, She Reads Truth, Influence, emailing women, video chatting etc. is just because I believe it's a ministry. Because I look at this laptop and see more than just an outlet for my own desires or a money maker - I see a way to IMMEDIATELY encourage other women. 

I'm really, really, really THANKFUL for all the ways the Lord has given me to minister online. Seriously. I'm really, really, really GRATEFUL that He's given me influence to make much of Him with. But I'll be honest and tell you the other day, I got done with one video chat and looked at my to-do list for the day and hung my head and cried. And I cried to my husband and to the Lord and said - I really feel like I've been toiling and working and emailing and working and striving and praying and staying up late every night for years now for this ministry. For these women. Yet, I often feel unknown and misunderstood and super under-appreciated - which I know is a completely prideful waste of my heart time. At this point, it feels so important to me that we all catch His vision for what He can do online and what He longs to do in our real lives if we will look past our own perceived value and need for appreciation.

It's more than blog sponsorship money. 
It's more than your klout score. 
It's more than your beautiful pictures. 
It's more than your cool new linkup. 
It's not about what is in it for us.
And I am reminding myself of that today. 

That being said - I am praying for a season of harvest in my personal ministry. I've been putting in lots of work and lots of prayer and lots of time for the last few years and now with the conference, the eBook, Sashes, the shop - all of it, I am praying for the Lord to use that work and make much of Himself. As much as He can from this life and this voice. So if I'm praying for harvest however He wants it. 
Tangible harvest or behind the scenes. 

And here are some links that I'd love to share with you. 
They're worth it. 
They're for women who are more about Him than they are about them. 
Check them out and you'll be blessed. 

(ps: I accidentally posted this a few days early and quickly deleted it, but not quick enough:) I got a few emails from people making sure I was ok and feeling appreciated. That blessed me so much BUT the purpose is more to encourage others if the Lord has called you to something where there isn't a ton of visible fruit. Even if there's "nothing in it for you". I'm encouraging me too.)