Two and a half years ago I prayed about God’s direction for a new season, and He used the story of Elijah and the widow to prompt me to use my “flour and oil” – my tiny bit that He would make enough.
Specifically, this blog. I said, “Ok, I’ll try to show up with my flour and oil if You’ll show up with Your Spirit.” It is no holy-moley exaggeration to say that it’s been a stretching experience of dependence on Him for weekly words. Any value here is Him graciously using me. Last week, for the first time I did a survey to see how you feel it’s going.
People in “real” jobs get a pay check and a yearly review. Students get grades and diplomas. We all grow by evaluating – setting goals and checking to see where we’re hitting the mark and where we need to recalibrate. Other than praying and trusting God, discerning progress and value on a blog is hard.
I know surveys can be a pain, so I want to say a HUGE “Thank you!” to the many readers who took the time to give feedback! I sooooo appreciate it!! It was informative and encouraging! Often I write and post and it feels like my words are flying out into a vast cosmic void. This survey assured me that there are actual PEOPLE reading and being encouraged by these posts God graciously gives me. It was so great getting to KNOW you a little bit through your responses!
Three things I learned from the survey:
1. The profile of my typical reader is a married woman between 25 and 34 years old, but 15% of readers who responded are male. We have “awakeners” in New Zealand, Switzerland, Kenya, Uganda, Great Britain, and Israel (Isn’t that cool? We need to hear from you!)
2. Relationships are overwhelmingly the most important topic for you. You also gave me tons of additional good ideas for specific post topics you’d like. You had some suggestions about series and another virtual book study I’ll try to respond to also.
3. What you appreciate most about the blog is humor, authenticity, and stories that are relevant to your life. Soul care is important to you! Someone specifically asked me to remind them to subscribe so they would always receive posts in email, and not be dependent on FB.
So why should this matter to you?
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” but more importantly, it’s a value we see throughout Scripture.
Lamentations 3:40 says, Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.
So in your job as a parent, or boss, a coach, or a athlete, or entrepreneur how are you doing? What tools do you use to track your progress? Here are a few ways I’ve observed to get feedback and stay on track:
- Some parents go out to a restaurant to discuss goals for their kids and look back over the past year.
- A couple I know has a shared marriage journal they write in once a year on their anniversary – each of them reflecting on the highlights of the past year, and writing down their hopes for the coming year.
- Our worship team meets weekly to evaluate the previous weekend services. What worked? What didn’t? Where did we see God at work?
- For daily or weekly spiritual growth, try the Examen.
- Meet with a mentor or trusted friend to ask for feedback. We all need truth-tellers in our life!
- I used Survey Monkey to look at whether I was hitting my goals and how I can improve.
Where is feedback important to you? What suggestions do you have?