How is it already 2018? I feel like I just got used to writing 2017 a couple of months ago and I would still have to stop and think about it lol. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that? This year has been HUGE for us! We bought a house, I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Special Education, and best of all, we had Oakley! I can’t imagine anything ever topping 2017, but I know more great things are in store.
I’ve never really been one to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like that it feels like a new start or a clean slate. I like that everyone feels inspired and refreshed. Even though I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, I like to see other people sticking to them and trying new things. I feel like this time every year, I dream about what I would like to accomplish this year. With that being said, I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to share the story of this blog with you.
Here is how it all began…
I don’t have the time. People don’t want to hear what I have to say. I don’t know what people want to read. I don’t have what it takes. These are all of the negative thoughts that went through my head when I was thinking about starting a blog. My entire life I’ve always felt like I was good at a lot of things but not great at anything. When people ask what my hobbies are, there isn’t one thing that sticks out to me because I think something is more enjoyable if you excel at it. When I mentioned this to my mom, she said what she’s always told me, “You’re such a good writer, you always have been.” I would respond with, “but who wants to write?” I’ve tried every sport, musical instruments, etc, why can’t I just be great at one of those things? The issue was I never wrote for fun or because I enjoyed it. I wrote because my teacher or professor made me. That is until now.
Before Andrew and I moved to Arkansas, we bought two chocolate lab puppies, Abigail and Colt. Having to pay for vet bills for two puppies was pretty expensive along with their food. So, one day I got the idea to start an Etsy shop. At this point, we already had our dream of starting a farm and we knew Abigail and Colt were our first animals that would be with us when we started our farm. We decided to name my Etsy shop Dixie Lining. We came up with this name because we wanted to move to the South and Dixie means South. We came up with lining because whenever we saw the sun peeking out behind the clouds, we would talk about how there’s always a silver lining behind every cloud.
In the beginning, we made some banners and sold a couple. We put in quite a bit of effort and got a little in return, but then life got in the way with getting married and moving out of state and starting a new life pretty much. Dixie Lining got put on hold but every couple of months, I would read about what it would take to be successful on Etsy or think about making items for my shop. Whenever I would think about my shop, someone would either favorite one of my items or purchase one. I always thought these were signs from God that this is where I needed to be investing my time, but I came up with every excuse. My main excuse was that I was starting on my Master’s degree and becoming a first-year teacher. I mean, that is sort of a legitimate excuse. So basically, I knew what I needed to do to be successful on Etsy and God kept showing me that it will be worth my time but for whatever reason, I was not taking the opportunity.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I am one semester away from finishing my Master’s Degree, just moved into a new house with land so we can start our farm, and had Oakley a couple of months ago. I started having these thoughts again about my Etsy shop, but I don’t really love to make the banners. So, I started thinking about what I’m good at. I just kept hearing my mom and my mother in law telling me that I am a good writer and I thought maybe I’ll start a blog. The next day, someone favorited one of my banners on my Etsy shop for the first time in months. Another sign, I thought.
I started looking on Pinterest and reading all of these blog posts on how to start a blog. I found a free, five-day course and thought I can follow this. I got stuck on day two because I couldn’t decide on a blog name. I was leaning towards keeping my Etsy shop name, Dixie Lining, because that really was the start of all of this. I thought I could start a lifestyle blog and talk about fixing up our house, starting a farm, and being a new mom. My excuse was I couldn’t start my blog because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to name my blog after my Etsy shop. Then, a couple of days later, I sold a banner for the first time in 9 months. Once again, I took this as a sign from God that I should name my blog Dixie Lining.
Do you think I started my blog? Nope, but I did begin writing blog posts on a word document and I realized that I do love to write, but I would rather write for pleasure than an essay. Once I had quite a few blog posts written, I reached out to my mom and my mother in law. They read my blog and gave me good feedback but all I could think to myself was, “It’s not like they would say if they thought it was boring anyways.” Then, I reached out to my cousin and my mom’s best friend who is like a second mom to me. They gave me good feedback but I thought they were interested in what I had to say because they know me. I still doubted whether strangers would be interested in what I had to say.
One night I had an epiphany. Successful people don’t wait for other people to encourage them or to believe in them. They don’t wait for other people to push them and make them take the jump. They believe in themselves regardless of what anyone else says. I realized that I was waiting for these people to tell me just the right words of encouragement I needed to start my blog even though I was never going to let myself hear it.
Now that I had this breakthrough, do you think I started my blog? Nope! What more do I need? I knew what I needed to do, I knew what God was telling me to do but I kept ignoring it and coming up with excuses. Then, I had a conversation with one of my friends and I explained this story to her. A couple of hours later she said she was thinking about our conversation and thought about the story of Peter. She said that even though God was right in front of Peter, Peter doubted him and began to sink. When Peter reached out his hand, God grabbed it despite Peter’s doubt. I realized the correlation she was making. Just like Peter, God had laid all of this out in front of me, yet I was sinking instead of thriving because I was taking my eyes off of God and allowing doubt to take over.
That is the story of my blog, how I stopped making excuses, and finally got the courage to start it.
Here’s a little throwback New Year’s Eve picture!