Posted on February 22, 2013
Each month, as the Influence community continues to grow, we will introduce you to a woman who has joined our team and is investing her heart and ideas into spurring others towards Jesus. Connected by the common thread of the gospel, we hope to foster deep and growing relationships between our women. This month, meet Katie:
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
Hi, I’m Katie — writer, creator, and polka-dot wearer. I’m a journalism graduate with a heart for creating and sharing beautiful things that bring hope, joy, and encouragement to others. I believe in living fully and creatively, and I write regularly about lovely little things and possibilities on my blog A Place to Dwell. I’m so excited to be here today on The Influence Blog, sharing a bit about my journey online and where God is leading me right now. I feel so blessed to be a part of this community, and if we haven’t “met” yet, please do introduce yourself. I’d love to connect!
What does online life mean for you?
I love being inspired, and so, for a long time, I have appreciated the ease in which one can find inspiration online. But in the last year or so, I’ve also been so encouraged by how beautifully community can form online and how that community offers us such an amazing chance to spur each other on to grow in our faith together and become more of the women God created us to be.
A few months ago, in a series about being made in the image of our Creator, my pastor said this: we should engage with art that captures our hearts, because it connects us to God. He also said that when we see the image of God alive in the art others create, we are then stirred to create ourselves. I believe that our online communities can offer us this incredible blessing, and that by sharing our honest artwork and words, we are stirring in each other the desire to create and inspire joy in Him.
How has God been leading your online life (and just life in general) recently?
I’ve been in a (somewhat long) season of waiting and planting for the last few years. The Lord is teaching me, shaping me, and leading me in a variety of areas. I’m learning what it means to write and create for Him and His Kingdom. I’m learning what it looks like to be prepared for marriage, and I’m being discipled by women (both online and off) who are already in a season of marriage and parenthood.
My heart is encouraged, because I truly believe that by spending this season learning, growing, and planting, He will bring about a harvest of fruitfulness in these areas I’ve entrusted and committed to Him.
In addition, in the midst of this current season, He’s also been teaching me there is value in every season He brings us through. During those times when it gets tough to wait for answered prayers and to keep hoping, I’ve felt the Lord whisper to my heart that He has given me this current season of singleness as a gift to develop dreams and pursue God-given passions. For example, He’s put it on my heart to write an eBook about living fully and creatively in all seasons, and I’m excited and blessed to be pursuing that with His guidance.
What is the biggest challenge you have online, and how would you like to grow in that area?
I’m growing a lot in the areas of balance and comparison.
On balance: Because I work a full-time job, it can often be a challenge to come home and work on my eBook, blog, and collage artwork. I’ve found that I have to give myself a lot of grace and the permission to just rest sometimes. It also means that occasionally, the laundry doesn’t get done as soon as I’d like, or the dusting is left to wait for a few more days. I’ve also recognized that if I’m not seeking Him and being filled by His word and His truth FIRST, I can’t create from a place that produces His fruit. I don’t always get this right, but I’m learning and I’m growing, and I’m working on being intentional about this every single day.
On comparison: I’m discovering what it looks and feels like to value my own voice and individual influence. This is what I wrote in a recent blog post about comparison: “My story does not/should not/will not look exactly like someone else’s. Sure, there may be similarities, which can be great sources of encouragement, but when we start comparing and feeling like our story doesn’t measure up — that’s when we allow the lie of comparison to steal our joy and hinder our ability to produce fruit.” I want to keep being honest and true in both my writing and my artwork, allowing Him to shine through. I keep coming back to this scripture in Romans 12: We have different gifts, according to the grace given to us. I want to use my gifts faithfully.
Why did you decide to join the Influence Network?
I was encouraged by everything I read about the Network, and I think God truly placed a desire on my heart to be a part of it all — especially because prior to joining the Network, cultivating community online was a slow and sometimes difficult process for me. I wasn’t finding it all that easy to connect with other women who were blogging for the same reasons I was. I loved the idea of being part of an online movement that was about making much of Him, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of a community that was all about equipping one another to better follow His calling on our lives.
Do you have any strategies you could share with our readers that help you accomplish what God has called you to in life or online?
I encourage you to be true to who God created you to be. Trust that He can use you no matter what season you find yourself in, and trust that He HAS given you influence. Truly, when I create honestly and joyfully, I find I am so much more productive, inspired, and fulfilled by what I’m creating and sharing online. Be encouraged that you have a unique voice and a story to tell. Be brave and bold and share it!
Connect with Katie:
Blog || Twitter || Facebook