Two years ago this month, I started blogging when I started my first (and favorite) blog, this one. I had just learned of this new medium, and instantly felt led by God to particpate and express myself in it.
By August of 2004, my social justice and political views were smothering my private thoughts here at The Crazy Woman, so I started a second blog, Heart, Soul & Humor, which is devoted to "Blogging Beatitude Policies --- Unexpected Views on Democracy - Christianity - Sexual Politics - Culture Wars - Wall Street - Everything but the Kitchen Sink." Almost overnight, reader traffic at Heart, Soul & Humor doubled my traffic here. (I found it a bit amazing that people were actually interested in what I had to say....but interested they were.)
In October 2004, my beloved son-in-law, About.com's editor/guide to portable entertainment, casually suggested over family dinner that I apply to be a writer/editor for About.com. He thought I would adore writing for one of the cooking sites (which I would!).
Honestly...I was stunned. What did I....a middle-aged wife, mother of three and soon-to-be grandmother, happily retired from the corporate world...have to offer a a top-15 cyberspace destination site? Yes, I had a few years of home-based ecommerce and eBay experience, and yes, I can write, and yes, I have passionate views. But I certainly had no big-deal qualifications.
So I forgot about his idea. For about six weeks. One day, a few weeks after the November 2004 elections, I ventured a peek at About.com....and I noticed that the Liberals Politics site was open and soliciting applications. Seems that post-election, the understandably discouraged Liberals guide/editor resigned or was terminated.
And again, I felt the unmistakable tug of God, urging me to apply for the position. So right then and there, I did. I poured my soul into it....explained my passions, my limitations, my enthusiasms, my experience, my lack of credentials. I emailed it into oblivion, and again forgot about it.
I decided in December 2004 to shut my two-year-old eBay bookstore (cookbooks and Christian books, mainly), for lack of adequate profits. Too much work, too much competition, too little margin. I prayed to God for a new direction, and I kept blogging at my two blogs.
On January 7, 2005, I was completely surprised by an email from About.com saying they were impressed with my application, and that I would be given an intensive ten-day tryout starting on January 10 to build a site for US Liberals at About.com.
They say God's timing is perfect. In retrospect, He clearly answered my prayer, and His timing was , indeed, perfect. Now please understand...when I tackle something with all my heart and soul and mind, it tends to be excellent and usually reflects my sometimes-buried tendency to perfectionism.
I gave it my all...to say the least. God sat right here with me during long days and nights, as I stretched my creativity to capture this gig that I thought was, in reality, beyond my reach. I landed the gig.
Now please know that I majored in journalism and non-fiction writing as an undergraduate at UCLA. My high school journalism teacher pronounced me a talented writer, and even my sixth grade teacher told me that I was good at sentence structure and vocabulary. This was and is my gift....
I've always admired the New York Times above all other newspapers and news mediums. Always. I could never imagine a higher writing privilege that to write for the Grey Lady. It was an unconsidered fantasy.....never a tangible goal.
So when it was announced in April 2005 that the New York Times acquired 100% of About.com, I cried and thanked God. I really did. He answered a prayer that I never dared to ask of Him. Some people climb Mt. Everest because it's a goal....it's there to conquer. The New York Times was my distantly admired, unattainable Mt. Everest.
My About.com site went live seven months ago now, and I consciously continue to exceed what the powers-to-be ask of me. I have something to say; I feel strongly...very strongly... led by God to say it; and God has provided a highly credible, well-traveled, public place for me to say it.
So here I am, two years after I first started blogging. When I do a search of the phrase "liberal politics" at Yahoo, Google, Dogpile, MSN or any other number of leading search engines, my About.com US Liberals site is now usually the very first listing. #1. At Google's new blogsearch service, my site is also top-ranked there.
Now...uh, what now? I feel like God is leading on to something else, in addition to this gig and my blogs.
But what? This entire path was unplanned. For the first time in my life, I unquestioningly followed God's lead,and I learned to really, truly rely on him. Turned out He had a marvelous plan for me...one that was marvelous far beyond my imagination.
So once again, I am asking God how He wants to use my writing gifts. I now have the credentials to publish books and the track record to expand my ministry.
But all I am doing is praying. I've learned to wait for God's pull, and to rely on His will for me.
It certainly seems to work.