In celebration of our one year anniversary, we’re working to highlight other sites around the Internet that are Doing Good. Every Tuesday at noon (central time, yo), we’re bringing you a story of why someone else chooses to devote their time Doing Good.
You know our beginnings. Now it’s time to see theirs.
I’d like to introduce you to Jeannett at Life Rearranged. Jeannett has taken her story, her hand that was dealt, and turned it into a blessing for others. The most amazing thing you'll read is this: If we waited for everything to be perfect in our own lives, we'd never help another soul.
But this is not our story to tell, it’s hers.
Welcome to The Band!
I started blogging much like most blogs begin: to outline the exploits of my yet to be born munchkin, document in detail the colors and consistency of poopy diapers, and provide an onslaught of nauseatingly cute pictures of the baby that was yet to be. You know, for family. After all, we lived 200+ miles from anyone and I was finding myself answering the same questions over and over again already. And I had only been pregnant a whopping four weeks. And so, a blog was born.
Lots of posts about diaper habits and drool and doctors appointments and percentages on growth charts ensued. It was all very titilating.
But that heart murmur that doctors heard at birth wasn't going away on its own as it should. Cardologists were met with and lots of testing was had. Always having had a penchant for journaling, I found myself also writing about what it felt like to be going through this. How my new mother's heart beat and twisted in a way I never knew possible. Sure, there were still plenty of "Henry started solids today and he likes carrots!" posts, but mingled in there were also entries where I shared my heart about parenting, life, and how it may often look like I was holding it together on the outside, the inside was different.
That was back when blogging was purely intended for grandmas, a couple of aunts, and a handful of friends...and served an oddly therapeutic purpose. I posted whenever I felt like it, however I felt, about whatever tickled my fancy in that moment. Sometimes days went by, sometimes posts were a week in between.
And then I started getting comments from names I didn't recognize. I would call my husband at work in a tither: "Do you have family in Virginia??? Someone from Virginia just commented on my blog!!!" This was all very shocking for me. After all, in the vastness of the internets, how would a random person find ME?! And why on earth would they care about me and my little family? Surely there were more interesting things one could read. And then came the emails and comments: "you should post more often," you haven't posted in four days!" I loved it. I did. But suddenly I found myself "working".
I had to blog. I needed content. After a while, I realized how much time it was taking...and time was something that a full time working mom didn't have a whole lot of. I finally decided that if I was going to keep at this gig it was either going to have to make me some money...or make someone some money. If I had a captivated audience, I was going to do something with it beyond simply post pictures of my son eating dog food.
I realized that the posts that generated the most activity were those where I shared my heart and where I basically said "Look, I don't have it all together. This motherhood thing is amazing and lovely and I adore it...but dang, it's pretty hard too." The more I read, I realized that so many other bloggers had beautiful stories of their own...and unless you happened to be a reader of theirs, you might never hear it.
What if I could round up bloggers to tell their stories in one space? Share our journeys and struggles and triumphs...and you know what...while we're at it, let's fundraise for a related charity!!! I was terrified. Having a great idea and then possibly having it fail publicly (especially when there's a tangible measuring tool like dollars raised) wasn't exactly something I wanted to willingly spearhead.
After lots of soul searching, praying, and tossing and turning in bed, an idea was born.
"Life doesn't always go as planned. Help others anyway."
It's so easy to get sucked into our own struggles and hunker down. It's so easy to throw up our hands and cover our eyes with them. It's too simple to think that we have our own thing going on...we don't have time to help others. After all, I had a 23 month old having heart surgery...and since then twin girls: one with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I have every excuse to look nowhere but in...right? Maybe.
But I think that's lame. If we waited for everything to be perfect in our own lives, we'd never help another soul. And if we live our lives insulated and self-serving, well, I believe that to be a life wasted. For real.
So amid the stories of kids and dirty dishes and the occasional craft project of DIY, you'll find posts where I share my heart...sometimes about random moments in life...sometimes about Kim Kardashian. You'll find an entire series on Infant Loss/Miscarriage and on Special Needs with voices from all around the blogosphere.
You'll find fundraisers that have generated over $22,000 just one dollar at a time. Because your portion matters. Because your little bit plus my little bit can add up to one great BIG.
And you'll find joy. And hope. And beauty.
Because while these stories are likely to make you cry...they are filled with encouragement and love. It's really an incredible place...and I have no one but my guest bloggers to thank for that. Because this is what community is all about: sharing stories, walking together through the journey, and supporting one another.
And some poop stories too. Because let's face it: poop is funny.