Today marks the one-year birthday of Struggle to Victory. To celebrate, I am sharing some of the best advice I have received over my life and how this advice shapes my approach to blogging.

1. “Always look up.” My naturopath abides by this philosophy. Basically, this advice involves finding the root cause of ill health. In a physical sense, that means following the connections up the body, starting at the main source of symptoms. For example, I have had chronic pain and tingling in my left foot (the symptoms) for several years now. This problem has been traced up my legs to my hips and lower back (the source).

Blog application: As I focus on post topics and responding to comments, I must constantly go back to the source of all that I am, a child of the King and servant of Christ, to address the symptoms that are life.

2. “Go deeper down and further out.” Tom Tarver at A Curious Band of Others reminded me of this quote from one of my favorite book series (The Chronicles of Narnia). See Tom’s post “If You Started a New Community, Where Would You Begin?” For a wonderful application of this quote found in The Final Battle, the last book in the series.

Blog application: The Holy Spirit brings an abundant supply of thoughts and ideas He wants me to explore. Upon first glance, they usually have an ordinary feel about them, but further reflection and meditation usually reveals a pull to go “deeper down and further out.” This pull takes me from the ordinary into the supernatural. This constant draw to go “deeper down and further out” with God provides the drive behind all that I do. No area of my life remains untouched by this.

3. “You don’t have to have all the answers.” I read a lot of other blogs, and I am not sure which one gave this advice. What I do know is that it has helped me immensely by taking pressure off of me to always be as thorough and complete as possible. It’s not that being thorough and complete is bad, but it sure does make for lengthy posts, which does not usually draw and keep readers.

Blog application: Blog posts don’t need to cover every detail of a topic. In fact, leaving room for readers to think and possibly respond is not only good blogging but also greatly beneficial in promoting critical thinking and personal application. As I write this, I realize that my favorite blogs are ones that get me thinking and then encourage me to do my own thinking even past the comments I leave. My prayer is that I do the same for my own readers.

Want to know what my favorite blogs are? See the “Links” listing on the right hand side of any page in Struggle to Victory. Oh yeah, be watching for updates to this very soon!

4. “Do what’s next.” Not sure where this advice came from either, but I have applied it for many years to everything from house cleaning to grocery shopping. Basically, it means to not get overwhelmed by the big picture or size of the task but to focus on the one thing that needs done next.

Blog application: I sometimes get overwhelmed by all that I have to do. Focusing on what’s next allows me to be productive and meet deadlines through simple prioritization.

5. “Just be yourself, and people can’t help but like you.” My mom has said this to me for as long as I can remember. She was teaching me the simple but powerful truth of being who God created me to be.

Blog application: In every detail of my blog from the writing to the layout to the graphics, I simply try to choose what reflects who I am. I try to not make choices simply to impress others or make my blog like someone else’s. In taking this approach with my blog as well as in life, I am actually discovering more about who I am through the process. Mother always knows best, doesn’t she?

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