April 1 is a big day in Beggar’s Daughter history. April 1, 2009 was the “birthday” of this blog. And yes, it was a birthday, not an anniversary. I stayed up all night laboring with a crazy ftp server. If you don’t know what that means, it’s ok. To be honest, I don’t know if I do either.
What I do know is it’s been seven years. Seven. What better day to release a book than on the seventh birthday of the blog?
I’ve spent the last couple days simply in awe. I’ll start to tear up a bit just thinking about how God has led, all the times I’ve wanted (and even tried) to quit. All the times I’ve wandered off only to realize that this is where I belong. It’s the craziest thing, and right now, in this moment, I stand on the edge of the highest cliff I’ve ever climbed, ready to jump, in a BASE jumping kind of way. It reminds me of that time last April when I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Same feeling.
Sometimes, when you get to these cliffs, the best thing you can do is look back over all the smaller ones. Reflecting on how God has led and sustained helps you remember that there’s no reason to be afraid. There’s no reason He won’t continue to lead and sustain.
So, I thought I’d take you on a little walk down memory lane. There’s a special something waiting at the end. It starts with “b” and rhymes with “hook.”
If you have a Facebook, you’ve probably seen the “On This Day” app. It’s a little reminder of where you were on this day in years past. This is a screenshot of mine from March 31, 2009.
I look at that and I want to laugh… and cry. I am not a mother, but part of me wonders if this is anything like what a mother feels like. I seriously had no idea what I was doing. No, really. No idea. All I knew is that I was creating a basic from-scratch static website. It wasn’t a blog, even. It was just a page.
It wasn’t even a good page. Thank goodness I had overly optimistic (read: lying) friends who told me it looked great!
It was a basic site created using a free WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor and template. I seriously don’t even remember this first version. I do remember that one of the early versions got infected by a virus. THAT was fun. #sarcasm
Note to self: never trust free anything.
Everything was so… amateur, for lack of a better word. Even my headshots were poorly stylized selfies.
Yes, that was my headshot. Oval cropping with the fade-out effect and everything. It seems so… 90s. Except it was 2009. Taken on the floor in front of my bedroom door. Look closely and you can see my exercise band hanging on the door knob behind my right ear.
Apparently, I have a thing for taking pictures like this, because this is a shot from a video I did August 2015. Also sitting on the floor in front of my bedroom door.
(Bonus points to the first person who tells me I haven’t aged a bit) 😉 And, yes, the wave is natural.
When you look back at that starting point- a static, scratch-code site with a Microsoft Paint edited headshot, it’s a little crazy to think of everything that has happened in the past seven years.
Podcasts, radio interviews, a spot on ABC news (don’t watch it), speaking events in the US and Canada, and even a trip to the Philippines. Ok, it’s a lot crazy.
From a static site to a blog. I don’t even remember when/how that happened. I know that when I transferred hosts once it deleted everything completely, which is why the blog might seem ‘younger’ than it is. I know that when I finally figured out how to integrate a WordPress platform, I was forever grateful. Doing everything via FTP was not fun or easy.
Managing something like this is a bit like running a small business. It was hard to not only maintain the blog aspect but also take time to study design and coding to be able to maintain the website aspect of it. It was hard doing it all, and I found that I couldn’t balance it all. I would burn out so easily and it felt like every time I finally got the site the way I wanted it, it needed to be updated again. It was a bit like an iPhone. You buy the new one just in time for the newest one to come out.
I would get the site where I wanted it but then would be so aggravated I couldn’t write. Or, I’d be trying to write and so focused on all the crazy little design details that I wouldn’t be able to write. It was this ugly flash-burn cycle.
But God started opening doors to give me freedom to do what I felt I was called to do. I am called to write and speaking not prowl the internet to find the latest free themes and learn how to hack them.
A couple years ago, a reader offered to design a logo for me, which is the logo you see now.
Last year, one of my pastors offered to pay for a website redesign. This design right now (from the team at Grace at Work) is the first design that I haven’t done myself. Honestly, if you are looking for a new web design, get in touch with Greg. He is absolutely fantastic, and he’s not paying me to say this. He handles all of the stuff I used to handle- server outages, updates, theme design, etc.
When I’m not tied up being the IT guy and web designer, I can be a writer. It has given me the freedom to sit down and finally work on the project I set out to finish seven years ago.
Do you see it?
As I write this, I am taking a break from packing for the Set Free Summit. I’m humbled by the opportunity to speak there, to speak alongside ministries I have looked up to, admired, and studied over the past seven years. It’s been a long haul, with many closed doors- some even slammed. We don’t need that message!
In a matter of days, there will be an opportunity to speak to pastors, and ministry leaders- the gatekeepers, and share with them how they do need this message. We all need this message.
It’s a great opportunity, but greater than that opportunity is the little book nestled there in my carry-on.
It’s done. It’s finally done. And I am so excited to share it with anyone who wants to read it, and even those who don’t.
I think it is a bit like having a baby, honestly. You work and work and work, and finally there is something to show for all of your labor.
Now, others get to share in something you have known for a while. It has lived inside your head and heart but is finally somewhere they can see it. It’s hard work, and it’s not even the end. You know it’s only the beginning. Then, even though it was hard, you turn right around and want another one (hint hint). First things first.
Introducing: Beggar’s Daughter (the book)
Click on the picture to be taken to the sale page. The page isn’t perfect (and the book probably isn’t either). Use promo code: X6FU4RVL to get 15% off the list price. (Let me know if that doesn’t work).
When I get back from the Summit, I’ll release a more “formal statement” about the book along with more places to get it. Right now it is only available through this link. Feel free to share it!
Thank you all for being a part of this journey.
For His Glory, because of His Grace,