It’s been just over a week since we announced our blog on social media, and it has really started to take off! I’m new to reading all of these analytics, but as best as I can tell, during this first week:
- Our blog has had 337 unique visitors who have visited a total of 520 times.
- Our Facebook page has gained 195 followers.
- Our Instagram has gained 91 followers.
- Our Twitter has gained 100 followers.
- Our YouTube Channel has gained 9 subscribers (we’re going to work on that one a little more).
- And our Pinterest…drumroll, please…has had 1600 viewers…WOW!
I want you to know that I am not sharing this to brag. I know very well that life is not measured by the number of followers you have on social media. There’s a whole layer to this story that we haven’t shared yet, and I just wanted to take a minute to tell you why we have decided to jump into the world of blogging. No, it’s not just so I can play on the Internet all day and call it work.
As our friends and family who are reading this already know, we’ve had a pretty tough go of it the last several years. I was right in the middle of my dissertation research project, and I got hit with a diagnosis of bone marrow failure. While we were still trying to wrap our minds around the reality of lifetime health issues and the medical bills that go with that, I got another blow…a brain tumor. With continually declining health, I managed to finish and defend my dissertation just days before having brain surgery. My degree was officially conferred two days after the surgery. So there I was with a shiny new Ph.D., a head and brain that would never be quite the same, and the probability of a bone marrow transplant within a few months. The plan we had for me to start teaching online as soon as I finished my degree didn’t look like it was quite going to pan out.
Well, recovery has been long. I’m still dealing with daily issues that most people don’t even know about, but these issues affect my life in ways that have a deep impact on our family. I haven’t been able to get an online teaching job. Getting your foot in the door when you don’t have any experience teaching at the university level is just almost impossible. Add that to the fact that I have huge gaps in my employment history while I’ve been raising and homeschooling my kids, and the degree just doesn’t seem to carry much weight. So, why don’t I just go get a traditional teaching job at one of the local colleges to get some experience? Well, I can only drive short distances at low speeds in light traffic during the daytime, due to my vision problems and overstimulation reactions. Some days, I just don’t function very well. And let’s not forget the seemingly neverending doctor’s appointments. I’d just be a dream employee, wouldn’t I?
Henry has been my rock through all of this. That man just buckles down and takes care of business. In addition to his full-time job, he works every side job he can get his hands on. He tunes pianos, gives music lessons, and installs audio/video equipment. He’s a carpenter, a mechanic, a plumber, and whatever else he needs to be to earn enough to pay all the ongoing medical bills that still pile up every month when you have chronic medical issues. But he’s tired. And I knew I needed to do something to alleviate some of the stress he feels to constantly be taking side jobs. I had been praying about what I could do for…well, forever, it seemed. When I realized that I could use my writing and communication skills to build my own business that I can work from home, it was a lightbulb moment for me!
So, you may be thinking, “Why a blog? There are no guarantees. There are thousands and thousands of blogs out there. Most of them just fizzle out after a while”. Maybe. But the ones who do the research, put in the work, and don’t quit, those people are making a good living. I don’t expect it to be easy, and I know it will take time. But I’m committed to this business (it’s a real one, by the way, registered with the secretary of state and everything). This is going to be how I contribute to my family income, keep up with the medical bills, and tackle that mountain of student debt. This is going to be how I bring some relief to my husband, so he can be around to enjoy his kids while they’re still at home.
Well, that was personal…
This post became way more personal than I intended it to be. I just wanted to say thank you for supporting us and let you see a little of the behind the scenes reasoning for choosing this path at this time in our lives. I would like to ask you to pray that we would use wisdom in this new venture and always allow the Lord to order our steps. He sees the big picture. It’s just our job to listen and obey. We believe that is what we have done in starting It’s a Joyous Journey.
Once again, thank you. Thank you for liking, following, commenting, sharing, reading, and signing up for our newsletter. All of those things get us out there to be seen by others who can help our growth to continue. We truly value the support of our friends and family, as well as that of new friends who we hope to get to know better through our interactions on It’s a Joyous Journey. If this was just week one, I can’t wait to see where we’re at by the end of the year!