We might impress people with our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses.Craig Groeschel, Pastor of Life.Church
You may have noticed that my site looks a little different. The colors and layout are the pretty much the same, but the pictures across the top are different. The opening quote is more prominent. I also have a Resources option in the menu. More importantly though, the name of my site has changed. It’s no longer Cafe Society: Love You, Do You, Be You.
After the recent breakup my marriage and all the life changes I have experienced since, I realized I couldn’t continue writing the way I had. You see, while my previous blog posts had been intended to be encouraging and inspirational, they weren’t exactly hitting the mark authentically. At least not from my standpoint. In other words, I wasn’t truly expressing myself, showing me, being me completely in those posts. The posts may have sounded good and so forth but I wasn’t letting my vulnerable side show.
Those who know me well, know I don’t readily show my vulnerable side to just anyone. No, I reserve ‘tipping my hand’ only those I know intimately and trust, which typically means my family and close friends. That’s because I feel safe in sharing me with them; because they won’t exploit my vulnerabilities. However putting myself out there for others to see, is actually quite challenging and difficult for me. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel exposed. It makes me feel open to ridicule or judgment. Plus it seems inappropriate to put one’s self out there because it gives the impression of pandering for attention like those on reality T.V. shows. Meh.
So then why, you may be asking, did I ever start a blog in the first place? Good question. There’s no straight-forward answer really but I’ll try to explain.
Every year, I attend the Global Leadership Summit. It’s an annual event hosted by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. They broadcast the summit worldwide and across the country. Their intent is to bring people together from every kind of background, experience, and community to hear from leaders all over the world, to learn from them, to be encouraged, inspired and empowered by them. More importantly, though, to see how God can work through ordinary people to make extraordinary differences right where they are. The Global Leadership Summit’s mantra has been “everyone has influence.” It is, in a word, phenomenal. I’ve attended this event for the last 10 years and each time I have come away truly refreshed – encouraged, inspired and empowered.
So two years ago, was no different. Except for some reason this time I came away with this overwhelming urge, conviction if you will, to start a blog. I had no idea what I should write about except that I wanted to it be a blog of encouragement. To inspire. To connect and let others know they weren’t alone. So I eagerly set up my blog. I thought I came up with a clever name too, Cafe Society, with the angle that people in general put up a facade of who they but actually are someone very different underneath. Not entirely untrue or out of line except that it was me who had put up the facade. Instead of writing from deep personal experiences, I was writing about surface things. I didn’t want anyone to see the real me, the real stuff. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking I’m not that important for anyone to care why I’m sharing my personal life experiences. What did I truly have that made any difference?
And that’s where I went wrong from the start. It was about “I”. Me. I went off headlong thinking I was going to write about happy-happy-joy-joy things and everyone would just be wowed. Psh. What utter hooey. I had completely missed the point of why I started the blog in the first place. Remember when I said I had an overwhelming desire to start this blog? That’s because I believed it was God inspiring me to write. But I didn’t put the focus or intent on Him; I put it on me.
And now with all that’s happened in recent months off my life, I see that I need to start over. I need to reboot my blog in the same way I am rebooting my life. I need to rethink and rewrite my experiences. Because it was God who got me through the valley of the shadow of death. Not me. Not of my own volition. God.
So that end, I’ve decided to change my blog. It’s no longer about the facade of a cafe society. It’s no longer about me putting up a front presuming to be encouraging. It’s about my soul’s journey, growth and recovery through my relationship with God; about God’s love breathing life. And while it still may be difficult to share my personal side, I am going to do my best to share God’s side. Then maybe someone else can relate. Then maybe someone else won’t feel hopeless or alone. Then maybe someone will see God, and know God. I sincerely hope so.
So this is my reboot. My do-over, my 2.0. This is my Soul Journal: Love Breathes Life. I hope you enjoy it.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:18-19