Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Into the Word Wednesdays - v. 12

The past couple of weeks seem like a blur now.  We got the keys to our new home - an awesome little townhouse we'll be renting for the next couple of years - on September 7th.  We started moving tons of boxes and "little" things over on the 8th.  The 9th was a Sunday and we took a break.  We were both tired and hurting from all the going up and down stairs all day Saturday.  Then just before 11pm on Sunday, Peyton decided breathing was optional, resulting an a 911 call and trip to the hospital.  She stayed in the hospital until this past Friday.  You can read a bit about our experience here.  

We had big plans for last week.  I was going to work at the new place during the days getting things unpacked and organized.  Ron would haul stuff over in the evenings.  Well, that didn't happen while Peyton was in the hospital.  We got home late Friday afternoon.  The movers came first thing Saturday morning to start moving over all the furniture and larger items.  When Peyton gets out of the hospital, I am generally exhausted and I need a nap.  With everything going on, that just didn't happen.  I went right from "hospital mode" to "moving mode" and really haven't stopped.

I haven't really had time for much this week.  My blogging has been a little off, although I really want to share this post on a Compassion International Pinterest contest you ought to check out!!  I did finally get caught up on my daily scripture reading, which had sadly fallen behind a month ago while we were on our Boston trip.  I'm just tired and, while I was reading, I don't know if anything really jumped off the page and really spoke to me....which brings us to this post today!

A long time ago, I signed up to receive daily scripture verses by email through BibleGateway.com.  I would really encourage you to do that.  There are many days when I've received just the right verse for whatever it it is I'm going through at that point in time.  Today's verse was just a great reminder and I wanted to share that.

I can look at this verse in a few different ways.  First, is my "blogging voice".  If you're a blogger, you have a voice.  I've written posts in the past on how you can use your voice to be an encouragement and on how the words that you speak have power.  You may not think you have any influence - that you're just a blogger or you're just writing for yourself - but you do have influence.  The words that you speak {or write as the case may be} can be life-giving...or not.  You have the power to decide how you choose to use your voice - and, no, I'm not telling you how to use it!

Your words have the power to affect people all around the world.  I was looking at my blog stats just the other day.  I live in the U.S., so it stands to reason that the vast majority of my audience is in the U.S.  I grew up in Canada and have family there as well, so it also stands to reason that the second highest number of readers come from Canada, although the gap between first and second is in the tens of thousands of page views.  In my mind, I would have guessed that the next likely source of traffic would hail from the U.K.  I do see a lot of traffic from there {thank you for visiting!!}, but it wasn't.  So maybe Germany then??  Or even Australia??  No.  It was Russia.  The U.K. is actually in fourth place by thousands.  I find it fascinating to see where people are visiting from.  If you're visiting from afar, please leave a comment and tell me where you're from!  My point here is that even if you realize that you have a voice, you may not realize how far-reaching your voice may be.  I don't care about the numbers {i.e. number of followers}, but it just fascinates me to see where people come from, and when you start to see that the countries your blog is being read in is starting to fill in the world map quite nicely, it's humbling.  For me, I think it is a reminder of just widespread our words can be.  So, what is the message that you are trying to convey?  How do you want to convey that message?  What is the tone that you want to set for your blog voice?  What sort of world view do you want for your blog?  How do you want to be perceived by people around the world?

Second is your "actual voice".  When you are speaking on the phone or in person - to people directly or about other people - what are the words that are coming out of your mouth?  How do you speak to others?  What is your tone?  What are you saying to others about other people?  What sort of message are you sending to others with the words that come out of your mouth?  This is huge.  Perception is everything.  Are you conveying the image of yourself that you want people to have of you??

Third, how is your "actual voice" lining up with your "blogging voice" {and vice versa}?  Is your blogging voice an honest reflection of who you truly are as a person?  When you speak in person, is it a reflection of your online personality.  Just like photographs, I think that it can be very tempting to become a "photoshopped" version of your true self when you are writing online.  I don't think it would be that difficult to create a "persona" for your online presence so that other people will think that you are this wonderful person, when in reality you're covering up your true self.  I also think it can go the opposite way.  I think that it could be very easy for some people to "let loose" on their blogs and they speak far more candidly than they would in person - and not in a good way.  If you're too shy to "tell it like it is" in person, perhaps you've used your online voice to lash out about something or someone.

What is your voice?  Does your online voice match your "real life" voice?  How are you using it?  If we're to living according to Ephesians 4:29, then we need to start paying more attention to the words that we write and speak.  We have the opportunity to build people up and encourage others both online and in our daily lives outside the blogosphere.  

Wouldn't it be nice if more people {and, yes, there are already so many out there!} would use their voices to be a light to others?

~~~~~

I would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes
Kelly at The Houtz House Party
Falen at Upward Not Inward 
Kelly at Exceptionalistic

Into The Word Wednesdays


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