The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
– Proverbs 16:9
I have no idea if you’ve noticed, but this here website has spent the better part of the last 3 months offline. It was a minor first-world catastrophe on my end. After the amazing experiencing of writing and hosting October’s 31 day Survivor Songs series, I celebrated with a visit from my best long-time, long-distance friend. We’re the type of nerds who spend half our time together project-ing (you know, getting stuff done) and the first thing she did at the beginning of November was stick her hands into the back end of my blog to – well, I can’t remember anymore what we were thinking we were going to do. Because whatever it was, we didn’t do it.
What we managed to accomplish instead was to completely take my website down to its very raw foundations – meaning it went offline, we dismantled the theme it had been running on, and basically I had no website left at all. It wasn’t a planned dismantling. It just kind of happened. It was probably a God-thing, but the timing felt pretty horrible because I was riding a serious high from the October series and had a ton of writing plans for November and December – like the Survivor Songs ebook half of you signed up for. (I’ll tell you what. When it’s done, it will be done, and I’ll give it to you with all the love in my heart.)
Well, two entire months were spent building up a new website from the dirt, and it was nothing but frustration and dead ends. I normally really love dipping my hands into code and tinkering behind the scenes, but that’s because normally it’s a form of checking-out therapy. This was anything but therapeutic. I’m still in the early grades of coding elementary school – I can read a stylesheet and find my way around files and such, but I can’t speak or write the language on my own. So I spent two whole months building a website off of an Elegant Themes’ theme (Divi) that I ended up hating, and then in one bold gulp of courage trashed the whole thing to start again (hello, Studiopress, I love you) to build what you now see here. It has been an amazing knowledge-aquiring experience, and now that it’s all over I don’t regret a minute of it. Seriously. I can, like, kind of code a few things without looking them up, now. And I can utilize this same framework to build you a website if you want. And my respect for real web developers and designers is out of this world. Hats off and I grovel at their feet. Yes, they really should charge you as much as they do. 😉
So anyway, welcome back! My website is back online and if you are reading this in your email or another social media feed, come on over and check things out! I totally welcome your feedback.
Can you navigate well? Does the loading speed lag? Are pictures clear? Are my words (headings/descriptions) to the point, or are they unclear in their intent? Does it come across pretentious, vague, too blunt, repetitive or anything else you can think of that I might want to work on? Please let me know in the comments!
Some things you’ll notice as you look around:
- The Home Page is kind of a launching pad for the rest of the site. The blog feed is hosted on a secondary page.
- Newsletters are making a debut. I have three, which sounds like a lot but if you read through the descriptions you’ll understand why. Please sign up! I won’t be launching them until March (a cross-country move is taking over our lives in February) but I’d love to have you on the list when they launch!
- Homeschooling thoughts will primarily be funneled into a homeschooling newsletter. The main reason for this is that I want to make my website more as a home for my faith/scripture/meditative writing, and having a homeschool-specific newsletter will empower me to really share more intimately the practical how-we-do’s of that part of our life without it taking over what I feel is the direction my work is taking on this website. I will still incorporate homeschooling and parenting into my writing here, but the bulk of it will be in the newsletter. So while I hope you stick around and continue to follow my blog, I also strongly encourage you to sign up for the homeschooling newsletter if that subject interests you!
- Survivor Songs (newsletter) will be a themed newsletter written specifically for survivors of sexual abuse. It’s focus will be encouragement, hope, and the beautiful healing ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- Patreon is a new venture, too. It only took me about six months (that’s sarcasm, ahem) to be convinced by some of you that my writing qualifies as an art, and therefore is eligible to be financially supported by patrons on Patreon. You will see a link for it on the home page and the blog page, and the purpose is to offer those of you who wish to engage in sacred reciprocity a practical way to help me keep these words flowing. Please don’t feel any pressure. I write because I love to write, because I feel called to write, and because it is my heart and soul. Practical costs of hosting a website and taking time for these ventures do add up, and Patreon is a gentle way to help alleviate the costs on a monthly basis. So I am grateful for those of you who are able and want to encourage me in this way – and I am grateful for all of you readers who can’t. Really, I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to know you READ my WORDS. Thank you.
Here are some things to look forward to on this site:
- Spoken Words. As soon as I can get myself settled into a new home and new routine, I want to begin Spoken Word posts. Much of my writing is written to be read aloud, and the idea of doing Spoken Word makes something in me feel absolutely alive. I am giddy about this, you guys.
- eBooks. My friend Laura has put together a gorgeous mini-eBook off of one of my Wednesdays in the Word posts and I can’t wait to share this with you and the others like it that I think this one will inspire. (Speaking of Wednesdays in the Word, this series will be starting back up, too.)
- Homeschooling Resources. I want to incorporate my best tools, instruction, and lessons-learned into some easily accessible (and downloadable) resources for you. I have lots of ideas brewing, but we’ll have to take this one step at at time!
- Other Awesome Things. Like, a book. And music (my friend Sonja is an amazing singer, and I’m working on her, working on her. She’ll be on here before long if I can have my way. And my husband, well, his music is the balm of my soul. I’m working on him, too!). Also, Brave April is coming up and I’m going to be inviting you to join me in writing brave words all that month long. So stay tuned!
Thank you for being part of my online community, for reading my words, for investing in my life, and for sharing your own life and work with me. I’m so glad to be back online with you.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. – Psalm 40:3
Please take a look around and give me any feedback that comes to mind – thanks!
(In case you want to sign up before moving on. Full descriptions of newsletters can be found here.)