Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good Idea!

**Notice** On September 8, as part of a blog Book Tour, I will be hosting an author interview with Rebecca Ingram Powell on her new book: Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose (see sidebar for book cover). Considering the fact that Rebecca was one of the folks that rejected my piece for ParentLife Magazine, I believe this shows real fortitude on her part, don't you? Seriously, Rebecca is a nationally known author and speaker, and I am thrilled to be part of her Tour. So be sure and read on September 8, for one hum-dinger of an interview!

Now on to Today's Blog Posting - -

Tuesday Tips was a bust! I mean a big loser yucko bust. I expected to get 10 links the first week, jump to 20 by week 2 and by the end of the month....the sky is the limit. "Works for Me Wednesday" over at Rocks at My Dryer had 352 people link up. The Nester had 151 people link on window treatments. Window Treatments?!?! Not that I'm comparing. (But you may notice I didn't link to them. I think they have a big enough following without my help!)

I thought I had a really good idea. A good plan. What happened?

In his book "Me, Myself & Bob" Phil Vischer (the creator of VeggieTales) shares his own "big idea." He reveals that he was working on his vision instead of God's vision for Phil. He shares from Henry Blackaby's devotional on leadership he was reading. It said "If you start something and it does not seem to go well, consider carefully that God, on purpose, may not be authenticating what you told the people because it did not come from him, but from your own head."

Phil's vision was to be the Christian version of Walt Disney. He was hugely talented, and by all appearances he was successful. But somehow, he ended up going bankrupt, selling off the love of his life (his company, Big Idea), and becoming empty inside.

At that point he came to realize that his literal & figurative "Big Idea" had been an idol. He says "The more I thought about my intense drive to build Big Idea and change the world, the more I realized I had let my 'good work' become an idol that defined me. Rather than finding my identity in my relationship with God, I was finding it in my drive to do 'good work.'"

I am a devotional writer who's goal is to lead people to God through my writing. I take every day occurrences and through real life, with a little humor thrown in, try to show that Jesus is always the answer.

Tuesday Tips was not about God. It was about me. Growing my blog, increasing my numbers. To reach more people for Christ? Well, that would be great, but my thought process was more about growing my numbers. And I think perhaps God, on purpose, was not authenticating it. Because NO ONE linked. That is perhaps a statistical impossibility. (But nothing is impossible with God.)

I did a test link to make sure it was working (because surely SOME ONE would have linked). And sweet Mrs. P over at Patterson 5 did a sympathy link when she saw how bad I was failing.

So I need to pray about Tuesday Tips. I need to reflect on my heart motive and give it to God to clarify the decision. The blog carnival was a good idea. But maybe it wasn't a God idea?

Proverbs 19:21 -- Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

Psalm 33:10-12 -- The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

2 Corinthians 1:17 -- When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, "Yes, yes" and "No, no"?


Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Kelly,
I am sorry Tuesday Tips didn't seem to take off. The strange thing is that I oculdn't think of a single thing to give as a tip, I was trying to??

This is an important post and it speaks to a lot of situations in our lives. What an important perspective you have on this! Thak you for being transparant.

I love the verses you quoted. Psalm 33:10-12 especially spoke to my heart. I had better make sure my plans are God's plans!

Love you!

Sue J said...

Personally, I got a little verklempt when I saw what was involved (not that I had an idea yesterday, anyway). Even the "tag" games put undo pressure on me. I guess I'd rather just enjoy someone else's writing--which I do with you :-)

I'm not sure one run at the "Tips" should necessarily mean that it wasn't a God idea. If it was really all about blog traffic, then you may have to have a heart-to-heart with Him. But, maybe this is an opportunity to work at developing an idea, marketing, reaching new audiences....and that may take time--but is time well-spent for the writer-in-development.

I loved that Phil Vischer book, and I visit his new site Jellyfish every once in awhile to check on his new venture--last I heard, a new TV network!? Wow..... (And, Big Idea may be up for sale. Wouldn't that be an interesting turn of events if he went back in?)

All in all, it's good teaching and perspective here, CK!

Chatty Kelly said...

I just had to share my devotional verse for today:

The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me.
Psalm 138:8

Coincidence? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly-
I've been reading your blog for a few weeks and enjoy it. Sorry that your Tuesday Tips didn't work well, but I have to tell you something. I apologize if this comes across as hurtful when I say this, but truthfully I thought your tip was silly. When I read it, I thought to myself...what is so hard about getting your daughters a drink of water? You are a stay at home mom with a blessed life and it is an inconvenience for you to get your daughter a drink of water?

As a reader, I need help with many things, but not how avoid getting up, opening the cabinet, and handing a cup to my kid.

Your comment: "So I need to pray about Tuesday Tips. I need to reflect on my heart motive and give it to God to clarify the decision. The blog carnival was a good idea. But maybe it wasn't a God idea?"

Don't over analyze. Sometimes it is a very simple answer. I think your Tuesday Tips IS a great idea. Your heart motive IS good -- your tip wasn't.

Love to you and yours-
A Reader

Chatty Kelly said...

Dear Anonymous Reader -
Thank you for your honest comments. Upon reading my tip again, I realize it could have come across that I was selfish or unconcerned of my children's needs.

Actually, it was more about teaching them independence. My 4 yr old is so proud that now she can "do it herself!" like she always loves to do (as noted in my header). And my 9 yr old is at the age she should be not only making her own drinks,but taking on other household chores as well. I'm sorry if it came across as silly or lame to my readers.

Thank you for reading my blog over the past few weeks, and I hope you will continue to come and enjoy.

My ADHD Me said...

I like the idea of Tuesday Tips. And I don't think you need to worry that you did it to raise readership. Raising your readership would bring more people to your blog. That would bring more people to Christ. Don't 2nd guess yourself. And after a few tries if it still doesn't take off, then shrug your shoulders and try something different. What ever you do, Don't Quit Trying!
My blog isn't a quote "Christian" blog. But I believe that every one of my readers is a Christian. Even though I am not teaching the word of God, I am making people laugh (or at least smile--or hopefully at the very least smirk.) I think God likes that. He wants us to be happy.
He also wants us to do things to the best of our ability and a tips blog can help us do that.
And if not, well, we can just continue to get our kids drinks until they are 20 years old and we can all go out and buy new CDs every time one gets a scratch.
(this is a long comment.....maybe someone could do a tip on condensing comments on people's blogs....)
I did leave a tip in your comments but I just knew that without you by my side, even simple directions for linking would become frustrating.

On Purpose said...

It's all between you and God!

The Patterson 5 said...

I am excited to read your book review and interview of Rebecca Ingram Powell! The middle school years are coming up...good to be prepared.

On a bummer note. My littlest is sick today. I hope we did not expose you to something yucky. I will keep you updated.

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Hey CK,

I love the introspection here. Only you know what the Lord is telling you, so I don't want to interfere with that. I do believe, however, from my own experience, that it is a hard balancing act--you want to grow your numbers AND you want to lead people to Christ.

But don't give up! If you think this is still a good idea, then give it a month's worth of Tuesdays at least! What if it blesses just one person? Is it worth it then?

Press on!

My ADHD Me said...

Hi, me again. You need to go to Edie (First Things First). She is on your Tuesday Tips blog. Once you are at her blog, Scroll down to the video of the "Full Immersion Baptism You Have To See". (yes, I know that would have been a great place to link.)
Anyway, since we were just talking abut that....well, I don't want to give it away....just go watch it (it's only about a minute long).

Mrs. Sidney said...

Don't give up!!

Runner Mom said...

Hey! I'm sorry about yesterday also. I couldn't think of a tip to share either!!! But...I think that God has spoken to your sweet litle heart through this experience. I loved your honesty and the scriptures that you shared. I've been right up there with you. It's got to be about Him--even when we do think it's about Him. The tie in with Henry Blackaby was great! I personally needed that!

I love your blog!!! I do get so much out of it, and I enjoy the humor as well!! Keep on blogging, girlfriend!
Love ya,

Edie said...

Hi Chatty Kelly - eh-hem - I linked, I think I'm "somebody". :)
Ok I linked waaayyyy late into the night, but it was the first time I had ever been to your blog.

I think Tips is a good idea, and most tips are moments that appear "duh" when we "get it", but I'm not so sure that most people could come up with a tip every week. Pray it through, only He knows.

I love your honesty here and this devotion really spoke to my heart. I am in a place where I have (I think) handed God the reigns completely in my "career" (means of supporting myself) direction. I want it to be His plan not mine and since He has promised to provide for me I have to trust that He will.

The direction He is taking me is very new to me and is about the size of that little tiny cloud that Elijah's servant saw, so it's hard to imagine that it could possibly produce the "much needed" results. I am praying that just like Elijah's cloud grew into a downpour that provided for the people "and" glorified God, so will this new direction.

Thank you for your thoughts! Blessings -

Julie Gillies said...

You sweet, honest woman you...what refreshing transparency.

I agree with Rebecca...let it ride for one month (or whatever time period you prayerfully prefer). Don't despise the days of small beginnings. If, after that time period it doesn't fly, no biggy. Just drop it, knowing that God has other things in store.

Tammy R said...

Hey Kelly,
What a great post you had today.

Doubt is a great tool from the enemy but look how you took that doubt and used it to honor the Lord.

All day yesterday I had several tips swimming in my pretty little head...but didn't post.

Busy got in the way...I'm sorry,friend.

Pinkshoelady said...

Hi Kelly,
I am praying about your Tips! I thought it was a great idea when I read it!
"Test it and see if this is from the Lord or from man." This is paraphrase from scriture about the power observed in the Apostles after Pentecost.

I will be praying for you.

I love your blog and come almost everyday! You are a wonderful writer and I love reading your stuff. You are also a fantastic encourager which shows up in your writing and your sharing.

Remember something a wise old Pastor told my husband and I as we went into Ministry...You can't please everyone so make sure you only try to please God!

Love ya,
Pamela R.

My ADHD Me said...

OK, I get it. You make a Tuesday Tips blog.....people send in delete almost everyones tips and then blog about it. Hence the highest number of comments ever. LOL :)

I predict there are quite a few people out there trying to think up a tip for next week! Great Strategy! (JK)

HisPrincess said...

I agree with what most people have said here.

Don't give up.

I will try to do it properly next week! ;)

The Patterson 5 said...

Hey, I was going to come over and ask you how to add a list of my fav. blogs and well, I figured it out! Little Miss P is doing much better so I do not think we were harboring a cest pool of germs yesterday!

Beverlydru said...

Well look what a great blog post came out of the "failure". Another shining example that God takes our mess and makes something better than we could have thought of. I also was a blank when I tried to come up with a good tip.

Screaming Meme said...

Nice blog! I'm having a "faux" class that is starting come join in the fun! Screaming Meme

Screaming Meme said...

Nice blog! I'm having a "faux" class that is starting come join in the fun! Screaming Meme

Bonita said...

If you felt tips was a flop you have only to look at this post to see that this post is definitely not a flop and I think it's telling. What does it tell?

Well, you've been completely honest, transparent, and real here and look at the response. Sometimes we have to try on different types of writing and even blog adventures to see which shoe fits best. When I think of you I never think "tips" or anything of that nature. Rather, I come to your blog thinking I'm going to hear some great insights into life and walking with God and deeper things. I expect I'll hear how something that happened or something you saw reminded you of some great spiritual truth. And I look forward to hearing your insights! It's become sort of your blog signature or trademark.

I know what it's like to want the number of comments. I have several friends, Nester being one of them, who could literally write "Boo" on their blogs and 100 would comment. But as my husband has so aptly pointed out, blogging is not my primary writing ministry and it might be for those friends. But give me a writing curriculum and a homeschool conference and that's where I shine.

God has a plan for your writing, Kelly. He won't forget you. He knows your heart. He also knows you have small children and He won't put more on you than you can handle right now. Don't worry about the numbers. The people who are reading your blog right now are the ones that need to be reading it. You just be you and let numbers fall where they may.

One last thing and I'll shut up. I participated in Nester's window mistreatments because decorating is something that I've been working on a lot lately and I finally actually had something to contribute, but I pass up 99% of the carnivals I encounter for one simple reason- lack of time. I doubt I'm alone.

Kris said...

Oh, my goodness. I so needed to read this today. I have gotten really caught up in my plans lately...plans which have very little (okay, okay...nothing) to do with God. Thanks for the reminder to get my priorities straight.

Edie said...

Wow, you've gotten more comments on your "flop" then I have on my best post! (whatever that me be)
And your Tuesday Tips introduced more people to me too, since I was the only nobody who linked. ;)LOL (I'm just playin with ya.)
I'm getting almost as much from these comments as I do from a lot of posts too.

LOL - Your ADHD sister cracks me up! She is a HOOT!

Well, I did come by to see if you had posted anything new today and was pleasantly suprised when I saw one of my Scripture Tags on your blog. That made me smile. :)

Have a good weekend!