Cowboy boots, Texas-sized trucks, and a “state of the blog” address

Document3I This blog has gone through many transformations over the past three years. When I started out, I thought it would be a space where I would keep family and friends updated on our work with iThemba Projects in South Africa. Pretty quickly, I discovered I’m one of those opinionated people who as soon as you give them an inch, takes a mile, and seizes the opportunity to share their views on lots of other things, too. Oh internet, you have allowed so many of us needy extroverts a chance to flourish.

Some of you have been with me from the beginning, and have liked, shared, and cheered along the way (and caught the most horrific of my typos *hint, if you like clean writing, only read my blog after my mom has read it*). Thank you! As I review my posts, I’ve realized this has been a space that has allowed me to process my thoughts about my faith, social justice, missions, and race. You’ve all been a safe space.

Some of you may not realize this, but David and I have just had the craziest year of transitions: We left South Africa in March, hiked El Camino de Santiago, hung out with friends and family in Minnesota and Indiana this summer, and have finally landed in Stephenville, Texas, where David is getting his masters in data mining.

I am STILL WORKING for iThemba Projects, because, you know, the internet is awesome. I can still write grant proposals and thank you notes even though I’m thousands of miles away. I am so, so thankful for the chance to still use my gifts for iThemba’s work. I’m super passionate about iThemba, and I plan on still sharing stories about their work in this space in the future! However, this work is on a support basis, which means friends and family are paying my salary at iThemba. It’s also part-time, which means I’ve been in the process for applying and looking for jobs so David and I can eat food 🙂

But here’s the deal: Stephenville has 10 000 people, the university is currently in a hiring freeze, and in a town that is the self-proclaimed cowboy capital of the world, there just aren’t that many jobs for people with a masters in sociology. (I’m not kidding about this cowboy thing. We went to church on Sunday and everyone was wearing cowboy boots!) I’m still looking, never fear. But in the mean time, I thought that I would take this opportunity to do more freelance writing. I also have decided to take a leap of faith and actually try and get people to read my blog and generate a tiny bit of income from it. (Eek!) So far, I’ve only (and often with much fear and trepidation) shared my blog posts on Facebook, and if anyone accidentally stumbles across here and starts following, that’s an unexpected boon. But now I’m actually going to try a little harder, and so there will be a few (I think, mostly pretty cool!) changes around here:

I’m still going to be writing what I usually write. I’ll write about books I’m reading, race, reconciliation, social justice, culture and SouthAfrica/America, missions, iThemba, following Jesus, and trying to find hope in all the darkness. I might start being a bit more regular. Like, 1-2 times a week. But I’m also going to…

Review books I’m reading and use Amazon affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on a hyper-link in my post, I get a tiny bit of kick-back from Amazon. And that would be cool for me, and no extra cost to you.

Guest post and invite more people to guest post. I’ll invite people who I think you’ll find thoughtful, interesting, and/or funny. My goal is that this space can be more like those thoughtful, semi-philosophical conversations that you had back when you were in college and were trying to figure out everything in the world, and not just random pushy people who are trying to get their name out.

Advertise and promote cool stuff on my side-bar. And if you happen to have written a book, or have a blog, or run a business that relates to social justice, race, Jesus, or any of those kinds of things–talk to me about setting something up!

Interact with you guys more. I really want to know what you all think, and in general, I’m pretty bad at actually interacting with the cool people who read my blog. I’m working on some more specifics, and I know a lot of you are probably like me…you read something, go, “Hmm, that’s interesting” but don’t feel the need to say anything more. And that’s totally fine, too!

Maybe have a book club. I’m working on this one. Watch this space.

Is there anything you’d like to see on this blog in the future? Let me know! You can always email me, or reply in the comments section. Thanks! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Cowboy boots, Texas-sized trucks, and a “state of the blog” address

  1. Definitely been in those shoes! Will be interested to see how things develop for you! Are you connected with Idelette McVicker and Bronwyn Lee? They’re both South African bloggers I think you might enjoy!

  2. Pingback: What’s saving my life right now | bridginghope

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