Welcome, folks to the first Thoughtful Thursday post of the New Year 2013. It has been a fantastic couple of days here on the Welcoming House Blog, and over on our sister page, The Welcoming House Blog Facebook Page. I have been delighted to see many of you sharing, commenting, and participating in greater and greater numbers the last couple weeks.
If I  may, with the start of a new Year, I would like to tell you a little part of my story, and show you how that applies to this post. Many of you are new, or newer, and have not been around for the entire first cataclysmic year of The Welcoming House, where we have rocketed from less than 800 readers a month to over 1000 readers a day.
You see, Thursdays are MY DAY, actually my favorite day in the line up of the week, because I get to pour out my heart and the thoughts that are in it to you. Kinda like sitting down with your best friend across their kitchen table and sharing your life over a cup of coffee.
So grab your cup of coffee, and come hang out with me.
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Just a very little over a year ago, I was a woman with a great big burden. A woman who with every step was ignoring the great big pink elephant in the room. A woman who was avoiding praying because I knew just connecting with the Lord was going to be bringing that issue, and the elephant, to the forefront of my mind.
As the mom of two very adorable, and precocious, toddlers who had not yet hit two years old…..as a mom who was the sole home-school teacher of my soon to be 12 year old…who taught 20 kids a week how to play the piano….who did all the crazy things I do now that you are familiar with…
I did NOT want any other single thing to be added to my plate.
End of Subject.
And you see, that burden was the Lord pressing on me, through prayer, and the words of godly people I really love and trust…..and He wanted me to sit down and write. To chronicle out loud, and I mean OUT LOUD AS IN FOR WHOMEVER TO SEE AND READ, how I do the things He had shown me to do over the years.
Being a perfectionist by nature, who is super hard on myself when I fail, the very thought horrified me. You see, I dont take it well when I FAIL, let alone letting everyone else who wants to read about it know that I failed.
Or that I have a messy kitchen.
Or that my twins love to color on the walls.
Or that I lose it emotionally sometimes and end up crying in a puddle of spilt coffee
with a broken cup in my hands (true story).
Frankly, I didnt want to be, or live, a transparent life.
Not with anyone other than those I trusted.
Because they can forgive me, know me, and move on, even if I cant do those things to or for myself.
So when I gave up,
and gave in,
and started writing,
I had absolutely no idea what the Lord was going to do.I have to admit, I did it because I wanted to honor Him, and knew, from past experience, that not obeying what He was urging me to do ALWAYS ended badly on my part. Not because He would punish me or anything, far from it. But because I would miss out on all the blessings that He had in store for me that went right along with it.
That was a year ago.
And I have blogged, as faithfully as I can, for five days of every week, staying up late, praying through posts, answering emails and questions, participating in link ups with blogs I admired and women I trusted…..and now here I am today.
I want to share with you one of the precious lessons I have learned along this wild, amazing, rollercoaster of the journey.
Simply this, it is not about the numbers.
I could still be blogging faithfully, every day, and only have those 800 or less readers a month,
and be content. Why?
Because I know it has nothing to do with that.
See, all the Lord asked me to do was to be faithful. To carve a little time out of my crazy life and sit down at this computer and write. To be transparent and share a slice of my simple, frugal, fun and passionate life with you. To tell you about my heartaches, and my failings…my mistakes and my thrills. To throw open my door and say:
  “Come on in, YOU are welcome here.”
And who has been blessed by it the most?
I have.
I read your emails, and I cry. I pray for you. I brainstorm to think if there is a way I can help you, if I can direct someone to you who can help you. I get your prayer requests to people I KNOW will uphold you, and who will love you as much as I do, praying faithfully through you. I cheer when you conquer something you have wanted to do for ages, and I laugh when you share with me your stories.After all, isn’t that what friends do in real life?
It is hard not to write like this, blogging faithfully not knowing what is ahead, or who will be listening, to be transparent and wonder if there is ever a time you are ACTUALLY reaching someone. I mean, does it matter that I spend an hour on here every night, and sometimes a little in my busy day, moderating comments…is anyone really listening other than YOU, Lord?
I find myself falling into that trap once in a while.
But every time that I do, God sends someone my way to encourage me. Someone who blesses me with their story and how they found my blog. About how something that I wrote jumped off the page and went straight to their heart, ministering to them right where they are, and they just had to write me. How in some bizarre way they found their way here, and now cant stop reading. That they feel like they know me, can share with me, cry with me, pray along with me, cheer along with me.
THAT is why I write. If by honoring God with my writing means that all I have to do is sit here and put my heart on a piece of paper virtually, and KNOW that HE is the one bringing YOU here to read it….then that is all I need to know.
Whether the Lord chooses to shut the door on this blog tomorrow and I never get the opportunity to write again…or whether He continues to throw open the gates and call the masses,
my heart is content.
Thank you for listening. 
Here is to another amazing year here at The Welcoming House.
Many blessings to you and yours,

PS—if I AM here tomorrow, LOL, be sure to stop back on in for Fabulously Frugal Friday—we have a super fun post that is DIY, and you can go crazy on!
See you then!