Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Reformed SHEology!

For a good, solid decade or so, I prided myself on being one of those strong, independent types who didn't need to depend on anybody but myself. Relationships were for crybabies. In fact, anything that involved feelings and emotions was a waste of my time. I had ambition. I was driven. I didn't have time for men, especially since I thought men had been given an unfair advantage. Why should I help them? What did they ever do for me? No, I was a Christian, and everyone knows that Christians don't need anyone but God. Little did I know, God was about to hold a mirror up to my face and force me to see what I had been avoiding for a long time: my pride. What you are looking at right now is the product of my repentance.

A BLOG IS BORN
When I started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing, and quite frankly, I was nervous to put my thoughts on the web where anybody can read them. In fact, the only reason I started this blog was because in October 2007 I had been asked to deliver a presentation to women at an evangelism conference. We ran out of time at the conference so I only had ten minutes to give a forty-five minute presentation. I didn't want all the work I had done on this topic to go to waste, so I prayed about what I should do with it. At first I thought I'd just make a resource-based website. I didn't think a blog was a good idea, because I honestly thought I'd run out of things to write about. Nevertheless, I felt the Lord impress upon my heart to open a Blogger account and just write. So I did.

OUR FIRST READERS
This site was officially lauched on November 2, 2007. (Don't be fooled by all those October 2007 posts. Those were added much later on, as web pages. I don't consider them to be real posts.) Because I was shy about putting myself out there on the internet, I only shared the link with one individual, Kurt Michaelson, our very first reader. Kurt was very supportive, so I got up the courage to share it with some others. Before long, we slowly aquired a handful of readers.

THE SITE TAKES "SHAPE"
Meanwhile, I began praying for a blogging partner. I specifically asked God for someone who is married (because I'm single), someone with children (because I don't have any) and someone who is really passionate about the subject matter. In January 2008, Geraldine Davidson found the site through one of my online profiles. She fit the criteria I had been praying for and so I asked her to come on board as a contributor. We still did not have a solid direction, but were just seeking God's face on both the site's design and content. Over the next few months, I spent hours every weekend tinkering with the code and the layout of the blog. Then one night in April 2008, I saw a movie on television that would inspire the format of our content.

The themes of the month were a gift from God on two levels. First, they guaranteed us something to write about. (We discovered this truth after temporarily abandoning the theme of the month in August. The result: writer's block!) Secondly, the theme provided us with a protective boundary. Over the last several months, much has happened in our lives, not all of it good. There were times I was tempted to vent my frustration publicly and use this site as a vehicle to discuss my personal issues. The only thing stopping me at those times was that the situations I wanted to write about did not coincide with the theme of the month. I cannot tell you how many times I've said to Geraldine, "PRAISE GOD I did not publish that!" God is so good. I find that God will give me themes up to two months in advance (we already have December's theme and film planned for you). And it helps to know in advance what we are writing about and commit to that as it prevents us from going off topic and writing as our circumstances dictate.

THE PIECES FALL INTO PLACE
At this time, we were still praying for an overall layout to tie everything together. For a while we used a flower theme (you may remember our tagline, "Biblical Womanhood in Full Bloom"). We also toyed with using the butterfly as a symbol of spritual transformation in our lives. But in my heart I knew God had something else in mind. I spent hours searching the web for ideas. In July we settled on our third (and current) template. Again, it was a gift from The Lord. The use of both moving and still pictures gave way to our current tagline, "Biblical Womanhood in Living Color." Between the layout design and the monthly theme, the blog was starting to take on a "magazine" feel. We were finally starting to see this thing take shape!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU
We want to thank everyone who has supported us and encouraged us over the past year. Thanks to all of our faithful readers (you know who you are), those of you who have linked to us, recommended us to others, and commented on our thoughts. I continue to be amazed at the positive reception we have received, especially from those of you we have never met.

I never had any intention of starting a blog, but it seems God had other plans. I have derived much joy and experienced significant growth since taking on this project, and I'd like to take this time to thank you, our readers, for your support and words of encouragement. And with that, I pray God will allow us to serve you for another year, perhaps more!

5 comments:

Natasa said...

Happy birthday!!! May God bless you and lead both of you!

Geraldine said...

I really do thank God for SHEology! Jen, i am so blessed to be a part of this blog. God has certainly used SHEology in the most amazing way in my life such as highlighting areas where i need to change. So not only has SHEology changed and grown over this past year but i have to and i have God to thank for it all!!!

Kurt Michaelson said...

Jen, your blog has transformed so much in the past year and become such a beautiful reflection of Christ in you.

You are an amazing sister in Christ to me and I am blessed to know you.


Semper fi in Christ,

Kurt

Roger said...

Jen,

You're blog has been a blessing to many including myself and it has morphed into something very special over the last year! Keep up the great work, you guys are awesome. May God continue to grant you favor with this blog, so that in turn you might glorify His name.

Grace to you,

R.A. Servin

Chris Tolbert said...

Hello Ladies and congratulations on one year!!

I love reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

I was going to post on the RE, but couldn't. There wasn't an option to.

Soli Deo Gloria!!