And I had trouble sleeping that night as I envisioned how many people would read my thoughts and judge me based on them. (FYI, it had a GRAND TOTAL of 30 views, so I needn't have worried.)
From that point on, I wrote what was on my heart and shared my crazy life of being a stay-at-home mom of many (at the time of the first post I had 4 kids) and felt this overwhelming welcome from the Momy Blogger community. I encountered a whole new world. A world where women, like me, wrote and shared about their lives while simultaneously embracing me and all the messiness of mine. It was invigorating and addicting.
Pretty soon, I had a modest following and plenty of "regulars" who would happen by the blog to check in and comment. (If you don't know, comments are a balm to a blogger's soul. It gets lonely feeling like we're talking to ourselves all the time.) And as my "followers" grew, my love of writing what God was doing in my life waned. Before long, I was sharing more of the funny, mundane of my everyday and less and less of God. I saw that my readers responded better to the humor, so I customized my posts to bring in more comments and more accolades.
And then I just stopped writing for a while. I took 2 months off in 2011. It felt like longer, but I just double checked and sure enough, it wasn't longer.
Looking back, I see that God was saying to me, "That's not what you're supposed to be doing. You're supposed to be sharing your love of Me with others. You're supposed to be following Me, not gaining followers of your own."
Of course, I didn't hear Him with my ears. This is more something He put on my heart, but it took me a while to hear it. In fact, it's taken me about 6 years, really, to fully HEAR Him.
So, today marks a new chapter in my writing. Very soon I will be changing my blog name to mandypagano.com and Suburban Stereotype will be a thing of the past. It's a fond part of my past, at that. Blogging is where I truly discovered my love of writing. It's where God helped me work out many issues where my flesh wrestled with my Spirit. And it's also where I got to "meet" so many of you who struggled and labored to work out your salvation just like me.
God has been working on me, feverishly, although patiently as well. I am HEARING Him and I am ready to move forward. That means no longer allowing myself the luxuary of being afraid to speak the Truth. It means no longer being lazy when it comes to sharing who He is with the world. And it means stepping out in faith to go where He is calling me.
It's scary and exciting.
At the same time, I am being called much deeper with my team at Deliberate Women. We have some HUGE plans in the works that will (Lord willing) revolutionaize women's ministry and help to reach a world of aching women who NEED to know about the love of Christ.
The truth is, I don't want to be luke warm in anything, but I especially don't want to be luke warm when it comes to Jesus.
So here goes...
Very soon, when you come to this site, you will be redirected to "Mandypagano.com".
Buckle up. Roll up your sleeves. We've got an entire globe of women who need to know who Jesus is and how He can rescue and redeem them.
Are you ready?
Check out the Deliberate Women team by clicking HERE.