June 28, 2013


this is not the view from my window, just an old b&w photo from a family vacation a few years back.

Last night before bed, I stuck my face against the window screen in my room and took an extra moment to soak in the night air. The air was warm (the same temperature as my house), moist from the rain, and smelled clean and fresh. The night sky was pitch black and I listened to cars as they whizzed by on the wet pavement (whizz is an exaggeration, but work with me, friends) and train cars rolled in the distance.

And that's when I got to thinking about God. Yep, I got a little philosophical or whatever you call it. I got to thinking about this big world and how I have a hard time ever imagining Him not being the creator of the universe. How could the stars in the sky, each tiny delicate blade of grass, and the beautiful people of the world not be created by someone? Someone great, someone powerful, someone so loving and kind? How could someone believe that someone didn't create this world?

As I got in bed, I pulled my old duvet over my legs, grabbed my favorite pen, and opened my prayer journal. And for some reason, I got to thinking about humility. More specifically, how, when I think about it, it's something that I need to work on more. Too often I start my prayers with I want ___ or I need ___. Of course, if comes out in a pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top voice, but I still come to God asking for stuff. For patience, for trust, for guidance.

But do I ever come to Him, telling Him that I want to be humbled before Him? Sure, I find myself being humbled when I open up His word or even when I'm praying. But do I ever offer myself up to Him in that way, asking to be humbled?

Let's just say the answer is all too often, no, I do not.

I come to Him for stuff. I come to Him when I'm tired and weak. And I come to Him when I'm excited and happy. I come to Him at all times, but do I come to Him humbled before Him? Before His great power, His great creation, His great love for me?

It's hard stuff, isn't it? It's hard for me to humble myself. I think it's hard because I cave into the popular belief that humility equals weakness. But when I looked up the word humble in the dictionary, those thoughts changed in an instant.

Merriam Webster defines humble as "reflecting, expressing, or offering in a spirit of deference [respect] or submission." That means something completely different, right? It made me realize that by humbling myself in front of God, I'm letting Him work through and in me. I'm letting Him use me to do great things. Because while I am much (much) weaker than Christ, I know that through Him, I can do all things. Except I'll probably still say no to bungee jumping.

But I digress. Reading that also reminded me that I need to use my blog for Him, not for me. As this friend so wisely put it, I need this space to be all about His grace. And His power and His mercy. I don't want this space to be about my numbers, my pageviews, or my blogging popularity (or lack thereof). Because when I think about it, the numbers in that GFC widget are HIS numbers. He's brought each and every one of you here and into my life for a reason. For community, for encouragement (thank you for that!), and for strength.

And that's when, during my quiet time with Jesus, I felt God calling me to remove that widget. I've been struggling with making that final click (it's funny how one click of the mouse can be painfully difficult sometimes, right?). I told myself that I would keep it until I got 200 followers. I would keep it for giveaways and for giveaway entries. I would keep it for well, who knows what.

But why am I keeping it? To prove to others that I'm a "real" blogger? To prove to them that there are actually people here reading my blog? To prove to others that I'm successful? To prove to them that I'm worth reading and following?

I hated re-reading those questions once I wrote them in my journal. They disgusted me because since when did numbers define a person? And when did I let them define me? Numbers shouldn't define someone's beauty in terms of pounds on a scale or candles on a cake, so why am I letting them define me as a blogger?

They shouldn't. And I'm not going to let them.

So that's why I removed that widget. It took a lot of prayer and a lot of asking for God to give me the strength to do it (I'm not joking on this one, it took me a few hours and lots of prayer to finally make this move!). But I did it and I'm glad that I did. 

I'm not saying you should go and remove your GFC widget because some of my favorite bloggers have them and I use them myself to find new blogs to read. And I'm not saying that I won't bring it back, either. But for now I need a break from checking that number every time I open my blog.

And I don't want this post to be an "I'm better than you" kind of post either. Because I'm not. I just want you to know that we cannot and should not let numbers define us as bloggers.

We're much bigger than any numbers. We're made to be bigger than any old number and I don't want you to ever think that those numbers define you.

Are you with me?

And I'm kind of serious on that one because this post was LONG. Sorry about that!

“God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change, 
He will hear them and humble them...” 
(Psalm 55:19 NIV)


  1. I am so proud of you, Kiki! I know how really hard that is. I've contemplated it before (briefly) but always decided against it because 1) yah, that number DOES give me "validity" to visitors and 2) because that's how people are able to find me again, by following.

    Reason number one....is completely self-focuses, self-gratifying and image/popularity focuses. *alarms go off*

    Reason number two...somewhat more valid. Or at least until Monday when it's gone. *weeping*

    So, that was such a brave move. BRAVO, friendie. Every time we die more to ourselves...God can look bigger to other. He already IS bigger. We can just show a little bit more of that bigness. :)

    1. Thanks girl! And I totally get what you mean. I still catch myself looking at blogs and validating them according to their numbers (and I did that with mine, too!). BUT, I also have to remind myself that there are followers on popular blogs who add their GFC for giveaways (i.e. more giveaway entries) and who don't really read the blogs themselves. So in that case, numbers don't really give an accurate picture of how good a blogger is. On the flip side, there are also blogs with tons of followers (or not many followers at all) who deserve even more readers for what they're posting. So like my other post this week, it's all about perspective I guess!

      And from what I've researched, I don't think GFC is actually going away. I think there are a lot of rumors that because Google Reader is disappearing, Google Friend Connect is, too. But from what I've read, the two are connected so I don't think it's disappearing just yet. But that's just what I've read. :)

      And amen to what you said, "Every time we die more to ourselves...God can look bigger to others. He already IS bigger. We can just show a little bit more of that bigness." Loved that.

  2. I was actually just talking to someone about this the other day. (perhaps to my mama? I can't quite remember...) I was explaining why I had taken away the GFC widget, and they were for similar reasons as you. When I began blogging with more intention, I remember clearly feeling in my heart that I was not in it for the numbers or for the fame. I didn't want it to be that way. Of course, with every additional follower, I felt just a tad bit more "legitimate" and a little more "qualified" to write. I began to see my followers less as people with real hearts and more like icons on a page that simply made me feel better about myself. And THAT's when I did a major heart check. I know for me personally, I didn't want those numbers to be there every time I went to my blog. However, I do know plenty of bloggers who have it and it has served as a great way for me to find other people to follow. This is how I found YOUR blog, Kiki! Boy, am I thankful that I did! I think it comes down to understanding the motives behind all that we do (online + offline). It's going to look different for all of us, and that's absolutely okay.

    I am inspired by the way you respond to God's voice. You walk in obedience even when it's uncomfortable. You are a blessing.

    1. I love that you're dedicated to blogging for God and for people, not for numbers or fame. And I'm really glad that I'm not alone in this, too! In fact, I'm pretty sure it was seeing that GFC widget disappear on blogs like yours that really pushed me to do it.

      And I agree with what you said, more followers just added to me and my pride, not to the readers who were finding my blog and choosing to read it. And I'm with you, I don't want to view my readers as a number either, I want to view them as the amazing people that they are. :)

      And yes, it really does come down to motives. That's one of the reasons why I said that it might return. I was actually second-guessing the removal of the widget earlier this morning and it was reading your words that reminded me that it's not the widget itself that is bad, it's the thoughts and attitudes that I associate with it that can be. And I'm with you, I've found numerous blogs through the GFC widget! So if used with the right intentions, it can definitely be a good thing to have on your blog.

      Thank you for encouraging me and supporting me through this! And for your infinite wisdom. I am always amazed and inspired after reading your words (including your instagram photos + captions!). :)

  3. Girl I loveeeee this. I want to not care about those stupid numbers, but I do! That's why I took it off mine as well. That's also why I took my blog buttons off my sidebar. I felt really self-aware of whose button I put on my blog, and who reciprocated mine as well. I didn't like the feelings I got when I was thinking about it--it felt very cliquey... this is not to say anyone should take the buttons off--I actually think they are a great way of showing support for your friends... but to me, personally, I didn't like the way they changed how I blogged. I still go back and forth on both these issues, but for now I'm keeping them all off until I can change my own perspective on things.

    Thanks for introducing this dialogue, it really made me think about why I do and don't do certain things on my blog. :)

    1. Numbers and stats are a daily struggle for me, so you're not alone! In fact, I still struggle with if I made the right decision removing the widget. But in the end, I know that A.) it's not permanent, B.) removing it has really helped me so far and C.) if it's something I felt God calling me to do, it must be the right thing!

      And I completely agree with you on numbers and I like your thoughts on buttons, too. I've never really thought of it before as a clique-y thing but now that you mention it, it really can turn into that. And it's funny that I never thought of that until you brought it to my attention because I was super aware of cliques growing up!

      And thank you so much for coming in to support me on this--you don't even know how much it's helped! :)

  4. what incredible truths to meditate on. wow. i needed this! thank you, sister!

    1. Thank YOU for commenting! I'm still struggling on this change, but so far, I think it's been a good one. And reading comments like these really affirm my decision. :)

      And I just took a quick look at your blog and OH. MY. GOODNESS. You've got such a great eye for photography. I can't wait to read more of it! :)

  5. I really enjoyed reading this, Kiki, and in some ways, I feel like it was the perfect thing to read after what I was feeling today. I wrote about something that seems dissimilar, but I think we came to a similar conclusion. For me... I was writing about how I don't want to have a bucket list -- especially if it's going to be all about what impressive things I can do for the sake of being impressive. I wanted to let my life unfold and blossom like a flower... I wanted to tap into the destiny that has already been arranged for me, that I am free to choose if I so wish... and let it surprise me and take me places I could have never imagined on my own. Your sentiment -- a similar one -- was expressed much more eloquently. :)

    It's hard sometimes, I think, to... "not care" about what other people think. I like that you wrote about the definition of humble... about submission. I'm learning, too, the surrender gives me the ability to feel... freedom. It gives God the worrying and gives me all of the fun rewards from letting him take care of the plans. But if I know this, why is it so hard to let go sometimes?

    Thanks for talking about stuff like this. And when you speak so honesty and beautifully, it never feels "long." It feels just right. :)


    1. I love your thoughts on bucket lists. I know that while I intend to make these lists into motivation, they can easily turn into a one-upping contest. And I appreciate your thoughts on that because it's really made me take a step back and re-examine my motives behind my blog posts and who I'm ultimately pointing my readers to. And you are SO right, it's letting God's plans work through our lives and giving Him our worries that leads to happiness and fun. :)

      Thank YOU for your support and encouragement. I honestly can't thank you enough for being honest!

  6. I've been thinking about taking that stupid GFC widget down forever. The only reason I still haven't is because I know of some people who actually still read blogs on their Blogger dashboard, and I don't want to take away a following option. But I moved it to the bottom of my sidebar so it wasn't at the top and so "in your face." It's sad how attached we get to our numbers. This is a really great post and hits on a lot of things I've been thinking about in regard to my blog. Maybe I'll bite the bullet and take it down one day :)

    1. I love that you have your GFC widget on the bottom of your blog! That's actually the first step I took in removing it completely. I, too, am not a true fan of it but I took it down because of how many other methods there are for following blogs. And even though it may not be on my blog, I've found that people are somehow following along via GFC because my numbers have increased. So maybe people can still follow along that way? I'm not really sure, to be honest. :)

      Anyway, that probably made no sense. What did make sense was reading what you said about numbers. I so easily find myself comparing myself to other blogs and bloggers because of the numbers. It's crazy, I tell ya! :)


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