finding your voice

It is quiet now.  The breeze is blowing cool in my window.  My hands curled around a mug of warm vanilla chai, I sit at my desk and indulge in the rare treat of perusing a few other places in the blogosphere. {The wonder of it all.  The white plastic table wobbling under every key stroke is GONE and a beautiful custom desk just the right height for my barely 4’9″ frame is in its place. Thank You Jesus for such joy as a desk that is my very own.}

I soak in a post from Sarah Markley’s blog where she shares about authenticity and finding your blogging niche.  And I do something even rarer.  I comment.  As the words spill from my heart onto the screen, I know.  They need to be shared here too.  With you.  And as the night is on its own journey onward, rarity seems to be on the rise.  Two posts here in one day.  {Well maybe we’ll make up a little for all the times you never heard from me while I finished my second book! Thank you for the prayers and patience.}

Sarah’s question that provokes my comment– and this post: What have you learned about blogging, creating or standing out that you’d like to share with us?

My own words remind me of the reason this journey here began.  Sometimes I need reminding.  How about you?

I pluck words out from my heart here because the crazy creative whirlwind that I am needs a place to share her life, to connect heart-to-heart, to create beauty on this muddy, messy, unpaved road I travel.  All the way in Africa.

For years, I kept creating more websites.  One for every idea I had.  Until some of you who knew me were utterly confused as to what “exactly” I did and I had more websites than most fortune 500 companies, all going nowhere and confusing everyone in the process.  The hazards of being a visionary AND being able to design a very basic website. Help us all Jesus.

Then in January this year I had a revelation.  I didn’t need 10 websites, I just needed a canvas for my world.  In a daring move of utter necessity, I killed them ALL.  EVERY last one of them.  Sanity demanded I just say no.  And fromtheunpavedroad.com was born.

In its startling simplicity I finally unearthed the life metaphor I was searching for.  I discovered my voice.  I found my sound.    I had a canvas I could splash words on, paint on, tears on, life on.  And here YOU are, dear reader, joining me in the joy of it all!

Now we are going somewhere together and I am meeting all kinds of wonderful people who are on their own unpaved roads and relate just a bit because let’s be honest, isn’t LIFE anywhere an unpaved road? I am utterly amazed how a little raw and real makes friends faster and a greater impact for eternity than polished and professional EVER did.

Maybe we have this stats and facts and number obsession backwards and the last really will be first.  Maybe we who seek first His Kingdom are even called to blog upside down in a bigger-is-better, more-is-what-matters, social-media-driven world.  Maybe success and site meters are mutually exclusive and have nothing to do with each other when it really counts.  All puns are purely intentional. 😉

You and I have come a long way in a very short time.  I am humbled by the stories you share with me, the encouragement you so beautifully offer, the ways God leans close, whispers deep to your hearts and allows our stories to intertwine just a bit on this journey.  Shared journeys truly are gifts of grace in our too-often solitary world.  And the journeys that matter most always start deep inside of us.  I am so blessed to be sharing mine with you.

Thank you for being here, being real, being family.  I pray each of you finds your deeply-needed, totally-unique, true-to-you and filled-with-Him voice and the joy that comes with living loved, embraced by grace every day.

With much love from an unpaved road in Africa,

Michele

PS  If you’d like a little glimpse of what we covered in our first EVER Deeper in God Intensive, Restoring Desire, here in Yei last weekend meander over here.