There are few blogs I stumble across these days that give me that, "holy cow!" wow factor. I think it's because there are so many blogs out there today; it's almost more of a blog overload I experience while searching through the web or Pinterest.
Then I stumbled upon This Pilgrim's Progress- a blog written by a humble Christian woman for Christian women around the globe. That "wow" factor completely overtook me as I read through various aspects of her blog- this woman has such a heart for Jesus! It's as undeniable as it is completely beautiful. She unabashedly proclaims the Gospel in every post and shouts the Good News of Jesus Christ from each and every page on her blog. Man, that's not only encouraging for me, but also incredibly convicting. In a good way.
(Not to mention, her pictures are gorrrrrrrrrgeous!)
I mean, just one look at "The Gospel" and you know this woman means business. She not only breaks down what she believes in a completely tangible way, but also satisfactorily describes what The Gospel is about so clearly, anyone who can read would be able to understand.
And then there's this little snippet, under "My Mission":
"I exist to live an un-wasted life in pursuit of this one single passion: the ultimate pleasure, delight and satisfaction in Jesus Christ, that it would magnify Him as the single greatest, most fun, most beautiful treasure that anyone can be belong to or possess."
I mean, what?!?! That's the best thing my eyes have ever read, outside of the bible! So simple, so to the point and SO powerful. In one swift sentence this woman captured what I had spent paragraphs trying to say. So beautiful. Couldn't agree more, Lorraine!
So without further adieu, let's get to know this girl more and more shall we?
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi there! I'm Lorraine. Jesus moved me from Britain to British Columbia to help plant a church in a little town called Squamish. I currently have a full-time job and commute to work every day with my Rottweiler, Talitha. I'm single, 28, and love the church, theology and enjoy photography.
What encouraged you to start This Pilgrim's Progress?
God had done a crazy amount of things in my life; firstly by saving me and then putting church planting on my heart and finally bringing me to a place to help plant a church from scratch. I wanted to keep a record of what He is doing in my life and wanted to share it with the friends and family that are now thousands of miles away from me.
As well, writing down what God is teaching me is a way for me to process what He is teaching me, and helps me focus on how to explain something fully, and prompts me to go back to scripture and make sure that what I am saying is true; good theology is important to me.
This Pilgrim's Progress was a way for me to record the big and little things God is doing in me, through me and around me.
God has wired me in such a way, that I like to find truths or object lessons in the everyday situations and places. I could be hiking one day and notice how overcast the clouds are and the Holy Spirit will remind me of a passage of scripture, sermon or truth about God. And suddenly a ton of wires fire off in my brain and I suddenly understand something wonderful about Jesus and in my sheer excitement, I have to share it with someone!
Sometimes it works itself the other way where I'm spending time in the word and the Holy Spirit convicts me of something or reveals something amazing about Himself and I am compelled to write it down and share it with someone with a ton of pictures, illustrations and analogies if necessary.
What is the most important part of blogging, for you? What is the most important part of blogging about Jesus, for you?
Displaying the person and work of Jesus in truth is probably the most important thing to me, which is why the process of blogging is so important to me.
When I put together my thoughts down, I have to make it ordered, logical and comprehendible. So when I try to write what God is showing me, I'm forced to make sure that what I'm writing aligns itself with scripture, that I consider the balance of what I'm writing and not presenting God in a false or imbalanced way. Like the mercy of God and the justice of God; the penalty we all deserve and the grace available to all.
Haha, yikes! Sometimes I feel that my blog will do far better in readership and numbers if I were to only write about the fluffier things in life.
I guess I feel compelled to make much of Him in all I do, and because He is worthy of it. It's very hard for me to pour myself into writing and blogging something that doesn't point to how He is the reason and centre of it all because everything simply points to Him, His character and His work.
Do you ever feel discouraged by the blogging community when it comes to sharing your faith? If so, how do you overcome it?
Haha, oh yes! I know some of the things I write can be long, heavy, and hard - it's simply not everyone's cup of tea, and not something that everyone wants to sit down and actually read. I'm still working on a balance between some lighter sweeter stuff and heavier stuff.
Reminding myself that I'm really blogging for the audience of one - The One - helps me overcome it. Knowing that my blog is temporal, but my relationship with Christ is everlasting helps me put things in to perspective.
What advice would you give a blogger who wants to start blogging more about his or her belief in Jesus Christ?
I think being honest, humble and vulnerable is a good start - I'm still working on all three. Some of the biggest lessons God teaches us are through our valleys, and sharing your walk through those valleys allow others to journey alongside you and will allow you to bless others.
But on some of the lighter sweeter things, simple questions you can ask like, "How does my recipe/outfit/DIY craft point to Christ?" "What is it about this photo, my home decor that stirs my affections for Christ?" It might be that putting an outfit together will draw on the creativeness of God, or our need to be clothed by something righteous, or simply how grateful you are for what He has given you.
Asking these questions may also help point to how the things you love are actually distracting you or pulling you away from Jesus... and sometimes with great difficulty, you may have to give it up.
I do love reading blogs like Samantha's and Elizabeth's, who share their everyday lives and faith. Seeing how much their blogs have grown in only a few years is a huge encouragement. But also reading the smaller blogs that testify to the intimate work of Christ like Courtney's blog. The Resurgence, The Gospel Coalition and Desiring God are also my favourite sites for great resources, solid theology and challenging posts.
How do you balance your blog and home life? What are some of the struggles you face? How do you overcome them?
Oh dear... I'm still working on this! I know a lot of this will come with better planning, organizing, prioritizing.
A lot of my struggles is comparing myself with other blogs, getting fixated on numbers and statistics and getting distracted for hours on how to improve the "look" of things, instead of just focusing on the task at hand. There are still times where my blog gets in the way of my relationship with Christ.
I'm learning that putting Jesus on the top of the list; if Jesus is number one, everything else falls in to place. Giving Jesus the first of my time and talent.
Serving and devoting my life in Squamish to our church plant has been the craziest, most draining and most rewarding. My church family has been able to see the best of me and the ugliness in me, and still somehow love me the same, it's been very humbling.
Throwing myself in to co-leading a youth ministry was also very interesting. We had some pretty rough spots as well as incredible stories. One of my favourites was planning a Youth Surf Trip Summer Camp in Tofino!
Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, emotional, goofy - (a terrible combination)
Any special news you can share for us about This Pilgrim's Progress?
I love learning about what Jesus is doing in the lives of people and helping them share that, so if anyone is interested in partnering with me with my Delectable Mountains Sponsor Package, I'd love to give you my House Beautiful Package for FREE for the consecutive month for all sponsorships purchased from now until June 30, 2014. Just mention "Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe" in your sponsorship application.
Are you interested in having yourself, your shop or your blog featured? Head on over here and find out how to do so! Also, now through the end of the month make sure you enter code: JUNELOVING for 20% off ANY ad spot on Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe! Wheeeeeee!