Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Who Are You?

It all started with our own Lisa's post, "Writing From the Middle Years. Or not."

Following Lisa's excellent post, Aimee Byrd kept the conversation going with her post, "Where Are the Mature Women Bloggers?" Persis added her thoughts, reflecting on what she wants to be when she grows up. Debi also contributed.

I really appreciated Deb Welch's contribution to the discussion, especially since she's been blogging at least as long I have, eleven years. She brought up a piece of the past, blogging aggregators. Aggregators were a great way to find other like-minded bloggers. That was back in the day when blogging was more social, and there was more discussion. I remember likening blogging to chatting over the fence with one's neighbours. Now, blogs have become almost like editorials minus the letters to the editor. They aren't as conducive to discussion. Perhaps that's better; I really don't know.

I remember being really glad to find blog aggregators, because it introduced me to other bloggers, mostly women who were interested in theology. It was such a relief to know I wasn't crazy for liking theology (well, maybe only a little crazy). The blog world is big, but it's kind of like what happens in local churches: about 30% of the people do 100% of the work. There are a handful of blogs everyone reads, but surely there must be good blog reading we don't see. And there does seem to be a shortage of women in their late 40's and older, hence the discussion begun by Lisa.

The issue has been evaluated and pondered, and there are obviously many reasons why older women aren't blogging; busy lives, the need to guard privacy, or perhaps those who used to blog just got tired of it. Whatever the reasons are, many of us are wondering where the older women bloggers are if, indeed, there are still some out there. We here at Out of the Ordinary would be what I consider "older," i.e. mid-forties, kids grown up, some of us have been married a long time. I'm so thankful to blog with these women. They sharpen me, encourage me, challenge me, bless me, and pray for me. But surely, there must be more out there.

Are there bloggers out there who are just not know to us? Are there older ladies out there who blog faithfully but whom we simply haven't met yet? This was a question I had last week. As an older woman myself, I'm very conscious that the female Christian blog world is a young woman's venue now. Sometimes, I feel like I am not very relevant any longer. I'm getting curmudgeonly. Are there older women who just don't write because they don't feel there is a place for them?

In 2011, one of our bloggers, Diane Bucknell, hosted a blogging "tea party."  She invited bloggers to introduce themselves in the comments, including where they blogged. It was through that post that I got to know Diane and a couple of others. Because it's the Christmas season, and I'm still recovering from a busy semester and need to write something light, I'm inviting older Christian women who blog to share in the comments. Tell us who you are and where you write. Do you know a woman who blogs whom you think we should meet? Share that with us. And even if you are not an "older woman," tell us anyway! Maybe you don't post often, and maybe only your mom or your sister reads you blog. We'd like to hear, anyway.

Social media and the internet is supposed to help with connecting people. It's a big place, and it's not always easy to do that. We would like to connect with more women, so please be invited to share with us who you are.

23 comments:

  1. Hi! My real name is Martha, but I continue using my old blogging pseudonym DragonLady even though I "got outed" years ago. I've been blogging since 2004, but I wiped out my old blog in 2009(ish) and started over. I don't blog as often as I would like, though I write nearly every day. I find myself writing, and then deciding what I've written is crap and it sits in a draft until I decide I don't care. haha! :) Anyway, I blog (sporadically) over at http://dragonladysworld.com/wordpress. I'm mid-40's, and just did a full body cringe at that because in my head I still feel 16. ;)

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Martha!

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  2. Thanks for the shout-out! I hope you get some responses to this that we can meet some of the other women bloggers out there. I'm now 41, just about to turn 42 and I feel in some ways like my life is just beginning. Wanting to connect with other women who are passionate about Bible study and theology and have a desire to grow and learn together.

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  3. Being on the far side of my mid-50s, I've enjoyed the thoughts about older women blogging. I've always thought of blogging in that same image as neighbors visiting over a fence as well. In that vein, I've always described my blog as a hodgepodge. I want to share what God has taught me along the way, but in a neighborly sharing life way rather than a strictly devotional or didactic way. I write about my family, books I am reading, views on issues, and spiritual issues as well as quirky or amusing things. A lot of the popular blogs I read when I started blogging 9 years ago operated basically the same way, but now the trend seems to be about finding a more focused niche or "branding."

    I am not Reformed, but I have been a Christian for 40 years, and one of my passions is getting women into the Word of God for themselves.

    I wrote a post a while back called "Why Older Women Don't Serve" (http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/why-dont-older-women-serve/) about church ministry, but some of it could apply to blogging as well, particularly the fear of rejection by younger women. Personally, I've been grateful for having an avenue of ministry through blogging when some of the physical and life situation issues mentioned in that post have affected my being able to minister in ways I used to. I followed that post up with "How Older Women Can Serve" (https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/how-older-women-can-serve/). And, if I can share one more link, I wrote to us older women in "How Not to Become an Old Biddy" here: https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/how-not-to-become-an-old-biddy/

    Thanks for this opportunity to share and meet other bloggers!

    (Unfortunately Blogger isn't letting me comment through my Wordpress blog so I am having to use my Google account.)

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    1. Thank you for contributing to the conversation, Barbara!

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  4. My name is Nikki, I'm 43, and I blog at www.kindred-heart.blogspot.com. Though I've been blogging for 10 years, I've been inconsistent over the past couple of years. For a while, I sensed that God was calling me to quietly process and ponder that which He was doing in my heart, rather that putting it out there. Now I think I've just fallen out of the habit. I have a deep passion for Jesus, for marriage and family, and for discipling young women. My blog has been one of the means through which I do that. It's about how my faith in Jesus Christ impacts all of life. It's about how He is faithful through the mountaintops and the valleys; how He is consistent and unchanging when everything else is changing. It's my journey of learning to trust Him and relinquish control. It's about knowing that it's only in Him that I find true life and joy and fulfillment.

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  5. Loving this series. I've been blogging since 2008 and continue to love it! It's a great venue to share the places that I'm seeing God. And since we can see him no matter what age we are, I don't count my age as a plus or negative for that. :) But the plus in being older (am I? I'm 53, ha) is that I've had more years to watch God at work.

    I've really enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with blogging, old and young alike. Many bloggers come and go, but there are a few that I've been reading for years that seem like old friends, including "Lisa writes." When I was looking for a blogging name, that was my first choice but since it was taken, I chose "Lisa notes". :)

    I began at Blogger, but started over at Wordpress in 2013 here:

    http://www.lisanotes.com

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    1. Thanks, Lisa for sharing your blog! I'm pretty sure I've "met" you before at some point, because I remember that blog title.

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    2. Same here Lisa. Nice to see you're still blogging!

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  6. Hi, I am not sure if I qualify to be considered a "blogger" but I just started writing in June for my church's website blog. I am an "older woman" and as a biblical counselor on staff my hearts desire is to help equip the body to not only hear the Word but be equipped to apply it practically in ways that change lives. We need to be dissatisfied with the gap between our confessional theology and our functional theology. I am not a writer but another sinner saved by grace who passionately desires to help another sinner saved by grace become more like Jesus Christ through the biblical process of progressive sanctification.
    http://www.firstefc.org/blog/category/discipleship-counseling
    the blog about older women mentoring younger women is
    http://www.firstefc.org/blog/2015/11/why-women-first-free-should-heed-god%E2%80%99s-call-mentor

    Again, I am not a blogger, only an older woman who who knows 2 Peter 1:3 is true!
    Love your blog!

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    1. So very true, the part about being "dissatisfied with the gap between our confessional theology and our functional theology." I think that's much of why older women aren't a huge sector in the blogging world. Honestly, I think we get wise and realize we've been confessing things that in our older age, we haven't been functionally living! I am being humbled via life experience and the passing seasons. That dissatisfaction creates my lack of blogging material. I find that when I try to blog, I realize how much I really need to learn...again. Thanks for your addition to this thread.

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  7. Hi Kim-

    I'm Michelle Lesley. I'm not sure if I'm ready to call myself an "older woman," but I'm 46, so I guess I'm older than the typical mommy blogger :0)

    I blog over at MichelleLesleyBooks.com, and consider myself a discipleship blogger, covering missions/evangelism, Bible study, discernment, and Christian living topics.

    I, too, followed the "where are all the mature women bloggers" conversation with great interest, and discovered that there are a number of us out there, you just have to know where to look. I've done two compilation articles of biblically sound women bloggers/podcasters, and was happy to be able to include Out of the Ordinary in the first one (http://wp.me/p1qdEF-1eZ and http://wp.me/p1qdEF-1kX) Thanks for being a great resource for Christian women!

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    1. Hi MIchelle: I have read your blog! Thanks for reminding others here of where you are!

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  8. Hi Michelle - Nice to meet you! And thank you for linking us!

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  10. Hi Kim! What a great article -- and thanks so much for the shout out.

    I do love visiting Out of the Ordinary. You ladies always do such a wonderful job holding out the hope of Christ and the Truth of scripture.

    So, Lord willing, I will be turning 51 next week. Never married, but have served in women's ministry in the PCA for the past 8 years or so (which is one of the reasons I let my blogging go in more recent years). I love studying reformed theology and enjoy discussing it with others and applying it in all of life.

    I'd like to get back to doing more blogging, too. But I've also started writing two books. I have no idea whether I'll finish them or not, otherwise I could populate my blog with some of the chapters that I've written. I'm not sure whether that would be a prudent idea, if I'm still thinking about publishing, though.

    Anyway, thank you for writing, Kim! I always enjoy reading your perspective. God bless!

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    1. God's blessing on your writing, Deb!

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  11. What an encouragement and blessing these posts have been to this older woman's heart. I'm 53, but I can't believe it. I can't believe that I'm not still counted among the younger women, especially since I still seek and soak up the teaching and guidance of older sisters in Christ.

    I wrote and edited (a lot!) when I was younger, specifically when I was with a publishing house and during a year on staff at Ligonier Ministries, while I was juggling life as a single mom. When I married 20 years ago, I put the red pen down and worked instead on the little creations the Lord gave us. Now that they are moving out on their own, I started freelance editing last year and returned to blogging this past summer at www.thereyougothinkingagain.weebly.com (although I have been writing for my church's blog for a couple of years at www.3riversgrace.org/3rg-blog).

    I wanted to start my own blog to give voice to thoughts I was mulling that wouldn't fit in with the parameters of my responsibility at 3RG's blog (which was primarily to cover children's education). For the most part, I speak to women's issues and Christian living, usually with a devotional framework.

    Thank you for providing such a valuable resource for the body of Christ, women and men alike.

    Laura Miller

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  12. I'm not for sure how long I have been following your blog but I always enjoy each post. I have learned and been encouraged from your posts. I have been blogging since 2010 when my husband and I began our journey to serve as missionaries in South Africa. As we returned to the states last year I have continued to blog though my focus is different. Women's ministry is still my heart and now my people group is made up of younger women. I write with a reformed point of view and belong to a reformed church. I am a Bible study teacher with a passion to see women grow in the knowledge of His word.

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  13. A fellow blogger friend recommended this site and post thread as we were discussing blogging and all the complexities of writing. I do appreciate knowing that others in my "older women" category deal with much of the same issues as I do. I am 55, have ten children, am reformed in theology but consider being a disciple of Christ more important than a title. I love the wording of Karen (above) who talked of the frustration in "the gap between our confessional theology and functional theology." That has been my blog purpose for the last year. Clearing the air of false claims and legalisms, seeking to lead other women to truth-filled living!

    My blog was named A Mom's Many Lessons (in Living Above the Noise and For the Glory of God) until this year, when I did a complete overhaul. I realized that my focal point in blogging was no longer simply as a mom, but now I am a "Grandmomma" to ten, and I have come to view life from a much higher vantage point than that of a mother.

    This alone has created a dilemma for me in writing and knowing what to write about. I have adult children, and grandchildren, of whom I often cannot divulge the details of "lessons" learned from these relationships, which causes much of my blogging to become less personal. This has caused me much frustration in writing.

    Also, I am finding that the older I get, the more I realize how little I truly understand about life. I am more humble and less bold in my proclamations, yet at the same time, I see God's purpose for life so much more distinct, truly to glorify Him, making me want to shout out to the world! Discovering this reality as we get older, can make all the details of family life and mommy-ing less exciting to blog about. All those "five tips for this", and "seven ways to the perfect that" just seem so hard to espouse! We know they can help, but we now know they are not the end-all.

    Okay, so I wrote a book! Sorry, but I really have been pondering this a lot this year, and it's great to have a place where I know others can understand it. Thanks for writing this post and sharing others.

    Blessing and Merry Christmas one and all!
    Terry

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  14. I've enjoyed your blog for quite some time, and I think it's partly because of the maturity. I know there are some spiritually mature younger women out there who have really good things to say, but there's just something about the seasoning that comes the longer you live this life. I recently listened to some of the podcasts from younger women, but was discouraged by how much of the conversation centered around the TV shows they were hooked on and how they really just wanted to go drink a glass of wine with some friends. Does this make me old?

    I remember the first time a younger woman approached me requesting some informal mentoring. She stammered around, then blurted out, "I wanted to ask you if there was anything you could teach me, because, I mean, you're..." I saved her by finishing her sentence: "...old enough to be your mother?" Very humbling on many levels.

    I've been (somewhat inconsistently) blogging for several years at princapecos.blogspot.com. I've always loved writing, and the blog is one way to help me think through spiritual truths and express them in a way that might encourage others. I'm also a pastor's wife, so sometimes that bleeds through, as well.

    Thanks for inviting us to share our links in the comments. I've enjoyed hearing from the other women and look forward to visiting them online.

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