Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Stats" That Matter


Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

As I post this, I am five days into my "fast" from Facebook.  I must admit, being absent from social media feels awkward at first, but I'm finding I haven't missed it in the ways I imagined I would.

But I'm missing it.  Greatly.  And for a very selfish reason.

This blog.

When I feel God urging me to renounce Facebook for Lent, it never occurs to me, in my hubristic state of mind, that traffic to Meditations of My Heart would be affected.  Mind you, I'm not one of those bloggers who constantly checks for "stats" on my most recent posts, but the difference between posts shared on Facebook and ones not shared is staggering.

Abysmally staggering.

This leaves me feeling depressed, discouraged, and not a little disgruntled and dismayed.  Lord, I heard You loud and clear.  You asked me to forego Facebook for Lent.  I have.  Now look what's happened!  I thought You wanted me to reach more people for You through my blog.  So what's this all about???  Lord, I'm angry, I'm disappointed, and I don't understand.

And suddenly, in the midst of my fuming, whining, unbecoming temper tantrum, I hear:  Martha, what is the blog really about?  Me?  Or you?

I'm floored.  In the very season where I vow to engage in a closer walk with my Father, I realize I'm off and racing down the crooked path of my own perception.  Instead of trusting in God's timing and understanding, I lean upon my own, choosing the reaction of people over His to my efforts.

It's time to regroup, to confess my sin to my loving God, and submit yet again to His mighty and perfect will for me.

Because the only stats that matter are the accolades and praises and thanksgiving I give to Him each day.

May the words of my mouth and the Meditations of My Heart ever be acceptable in the sight of my Father, who will keep my paths straight when I lean upon Him.

Amen!

20 comments:

  1. It's so true. We don't like to admit that we have tantrums over "trivial" things, but it's just as real. Blessings to you in this time as you seek Him and grow in His grace! Thanks Martha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jason, it is hard to admit as an adult that I still have those occasional tantrums where I "fall out" from God, but I'd be lying if I said otherwise. I'm thanking Him even more now for His constant patience and presence with this wayward child.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. So now I know why I'm not a world famous writer and pastor! I don't do FB. LOL Seriously, you have taken on a big challenge in fasting from FB. But i see a greater blessing coming as a result.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, I know you are absolutely right about the bigger blessing in the end. To quote an iconic television show, "Father Knows Best." Wouldn't we all be better off if we remembered that?
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Martha, thank you for sharing your journey without FB during Lent. It's interesting (and sometimes painful) how God reveals our heart to us. As a fellow blogger, stats can be utterly discouraging or very encouraging--perhaps they really aren't a true measure of lives reached and touched.

    May we both pursue God with all we have and learn from Him important truths that will make an eternal difference.

    Love and Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Kim, let us both chase after God with determination and focus always. He is the only stat that will ever matter in eternity, and we need to remind ourselves of it by submitting to Him each and every day.
      And yes, not going on FB is so different. I am getting used to it, though I miss great friends like you!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. I love this honest post, Martha. What a powerful answer God gave you! I often have to be reminded of that, too. It reaffirms my mission to write for the audience of One. And even if it speaks to the heart of one person, it's a special blessing from Him. But I so easily forget. I am not on Facebook, but I do get some visits through the link-ups I join. It has been niggling at my mind to stop this, but if I'm honest, I'm afraid the visits will decrease. But I feel guilty to continue, because I can't keep up with reading the post in front of me. This post is really helping me to take this niggling feeling more seriously. I need to pray about this some more. Like you, I long for it to be all about Him, not about me or my popularity stats. Love and hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, Trudy, it's all about the audience of One, isn't it? When we were leading contemporary worship, that was one of my favorites to sing with the congregation. I'm so glad your words here reminded me of how dear the lyrics are to my heart, and that I'm making the right choice to listen to Him, not thinking the world is my calling.
      Because we are human, we can't help but be tempted to increase our readership as bloggers, as you mention here, too. If you are feeling called to pray about it more because of this post, know you have blessed me beyond words. Thank you, my sister!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. Martha, This post was such an inspiration and conviction. I could see myself reacting in the same way if I fasted from FB. I can do without it, but I would worry about my blog stats too.
    Thank you so much for your honesty. It caused me pause and prayer today.
    Praying for you, me and all our fellow Christian bloggers to remember what the stats the truly matter.
    Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Beckie, I'm so glad this post inspired you, and that you could see yourself in the same boat. I must admit, when these feelings first surfaced, I was absolutely ashamed at my selfishness when God has been so gracious in so many ways. But God wants our honesty, our raw feelings and emotions, because He wants all of us. I'm so glad to feel forgiven for not trusting in Him completely; He is so awesome!
      And I will join you in that prayer, that all Christian bloggers will always remember what stats truly count.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. I never check my stats on my blog. I know that God will direct it to those who need to see it or who are meant to see it...and most of my readers lately are not even my facebook friends. I have discovered that a lot of my facebook friends never comment on my blog...unless they are also fellow bloggers. They are the ones who really pay attention. I don't know who else reads and never comments...but that's okay. It's all about Him. He will direct your blog and mine exactly where it ought to go. so just relax and enjoy writing and don't worry about who is reading. God knows...and He's the One that matters...as you already know!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful encouragement here, Pam. Yes, I find that most of my comments here come from fellow bloggers, not Facebook friends or acquaintances. So really, in the long run, that doesn't matter, does it?
      And we will keep on keeping on for the Lord with our writing, knowing His plans for who reads our words are the best.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  7. I've fasted from social media before. It's amazing the hold it has on us. While I use it for "good" (like my blog) it often takes me away from God and I don't even realize it.
    About a two years after starting my blog I felt overwhelmed by trying to up my traffic. After much prayer I stopped tracking my stats. I can honestly say I haven't checked them in a few years. At first this really bothered me. But now I have a freedom to enjoy my blog and the people who come to it that I didn't have before. God helped me see my blog was about the people, connecting with who HE brought to my blog.
    I'll be praying God will show you what He wants you to do with your blog and social media so that you can have joy and peace as you minster to others through your blog.
    I'm not saying you should forgo checking your stats. It's just what God asked me to do and I'm so glad I obeyed. I enjoy blogging much more without the pressure I had placed on myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so ironic, TC, that before I chose/obeyed to get off Facebook, I rarely paid any attention to my stats. I could care less, or so it seemed, and I used to scratch my head and wonder when other bloggers bemoaned losing followers due to a controversial post, why they were all in a tizzy about it. But in this fast, God, in His graciousness, lifted the veil for me to see that my own pride is getting in the way of too many earth-bound things. I'm more convinced than ever that I need to let go and let Him.
      I'm so glad you have found freedom with your blog, and that you are content to allow God to open the doors to others through His efforts, not your own. What a great lesson for all of us to learn! Come to think of it, I didn't meet you on Facebook, but through the following of other blogs where you left comments, and I decided to take the plunge. I've never regretted that, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  8. Hi Martha! I'm sure that God saw this coming in you when he asked you to back off of FB for a while. I think we can all get involved in the numbers game when we blog. After all, shoudn't that be a reflection of whether we're making a difference or not?
    But God's loving question to you is so clarifying. Is the writing about you or him? Wow, that really made me think, I have to admit. Cuts right to the chase doesn't it? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and what God said to you. I think he meant it for me too.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ceil, that question cut right to the chase and to the quick. Why do we blog in the first place? Whose world is this anyway? How could numbers ever be more important than God?
      Wow! I'm still floored by how God confronted me and made me retreat from my "cause" in earnest. And I can't thank Him enough as my trust in Him and His timing has grown by leaps and bounds. Lesson learned, and it sounds like one you, and so many here, have taken to heart. What an awesome God we serve!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Oh, yes, a huge amen, Jedidja!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  10. ouch you are hitting close to home with me. I too watch the stats too much. I look at the scale each morning for my value too. I know, I know, trust him , not outside indicators.... sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said a mouthful here, Jean. We all have our points of weakness in this world, that's for sure. With God's help, though, we can make it through!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

Big Plans for Big Play

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to gi...