A couple of years ago I wrote a book called, “Carried Away: Post Katrina Confessions of a Foolish Builder”. A mini-memoir of our evacuation from New Orleans and first year in Boston based on the parable of the foolish builder— a teaching of Jesus that was pivotal during that turbulent season. When I had a hard time getting an agent, someone told me to start a blog. “Yeah right!” I said, “blogs are for Mdivs and modge podge mavens”. Then my husband echoed that suggestion saying, “you really should blog you have a lot to say”. “Whatevs!” I retorted and went about my way. I entered my book in a writing contest and… shocker of all shockers…didn’t win. And my husband said, “you should blog, you have a lot to say”. “You’re crazy” I accused. I began nurturing a festering insecurity that maybe I’m not really a writer, maybe I’m just a stay at home mom who happens to write a little something here or there. Until I met up with a friend whose gifted ears hear the truth in between the small talk, and she suggested that writing is a God-given outlet and a blog his chosen medium for me. And then I told my husband what she said and he said, “I told you, so.” (Again…whatevs!!!!).
So I started Carried Away because I wanted a platform, to get an agent, to get a book deal, to get tons of speaking engagements, to get that brass ring of Christian Woman Speaker Writer Celebrity. But, the more time I spent the blogging world, I realized two things:
1: I needed to find my voice: the unique way I communicate and the conversations that get me excited.
2: Platform and book deals don’t matter to God as much as harnessing the power of words to encourage the Body.
So I sat this summer and asked God, “What’s my voice?” and “How can I be an encouragement?”.
And this is what I’ve realized:
I’m a suburbanite turned urban church planter
I’m a military brat turned pacifist
I’m a feminist who submits to her husband
I’m a hot headed peacemaker
I love the teachings of Jesus and asking the question, “how can I create Shalom, or wholeness where I see brokenness?”.
I found my voice in these topics and I’m excited to encourage other women in these streams. So, I tossed this around in prayer and a passage in Jeremiah really spoke to this blogger’s dilemma:
Seek the shalom of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in the shalom of it shall you have shalom.
(unexpected bonus: my old blog’s name is mentioned in this passage!)
So for my birthday, my husband made this new header for my blog’s new direction. Not much is going to change in terms of content, but “Shalom in the City” explains more of my heart and hope for this blog. Sure, a book deal would be excellent, but a more vibrant, Jesus-looking marriage, family, friendships, neighborhood, City, and Body is even more exciting. So, going forward when I write about being a Third Way Woman, a mommy, or a church planting wifey, I’ll always ask myself, does this post create a sense of wholeness or healing where there’s a noticeable brokenness?
I hope you’ll join me on this journey by entering your email in the top right field and check out my new “About Page”.
Yours Because We’re His,
5 thoughts on “The Very Best Birthday Present”
Love it Osheta and love reading your stuff. Glad you finally “got it” and found your outlet! Looking forward to things to come under “Shalom in the city”
Thank you, Lyndsay! You’re so encouraging.
I really am looking forward to getting to know you better. I’m very grateful for your particular prophetic voice. It is a unique voice that is both truthful and loving.
Thank you, Morgan. I’m looking forward to know you better through Despised Ones and your blog as well.
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