Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The 2016 Threshold

Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering 'it will be happier'...
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

I was so glad to see 2016. It was welcome even if it did come barreling over the threshold first thing- without knocking- and yank open the drapes and say, without so much as looking over its shoulder, I'm here. Get up and say hello.

Hello, 2016. Come on in. We all just hope you are happier than your predecessor.

How were your holidays? Mine were stuffed- stuffed with miles and meals and masses and musts. I was relieved to pull down the tree this past weekend and start getting the place back in order. I have hopes and prayers and goals for this year. More so than in many years, I'd say. I'm eager to move forward. This year, my heart knows the new year is here.

I've been taking courses, lately, on things I want to accomplish in these dazzling 360-some-odd days that stare blankly back at me from the calendar on the fridge. One course I took was on how Make Your Blog Take Off! and Earn Six Figures From Your Blog and other bright pink and glittery headlines like that. I realized, three minutes in, that the "proven formulas" would never work for me and apparently I don't want to Make My Blog Take Off after all. The advice included things such as: pick one topic and only blog about that one thing... become an expert in your field. There was also talk about thousand dollar branding and social media platform plug-ins and paid content and coding your own sites and areyoukiddingyoudon'tuseyourowndomain and... ugh. No. I slammed my laptop shut and realized, anyway, that the blogs I read every day are just real people blogs... and none of them are professional content payers or paid photographers. I guess I'm the only one left who clicks off things that seem too slick. I explained it all to Josh, who believes fervently that I can monetize if put the effort in, and told him it isn't me. It's just not (even 2016) me, I said. I don't want a blogging empire. I just want a rose garden in that back corner over there.

One thing I am trotting out, however, is a re-launched and beautifully branded Balm and Honey. (Which is bare-shelved for the next few hours because you wonderful people keep buying me out. Thank you!) I am excited about that. This spring will see, God willing, the rolling out of honey and honey-based products: raw, natural Texas honey... beeswax candles... natural soaps... and lotion potions. And more House Helpers, of course. (Always those. Always.) I tried out my Vanilla Latte honeyed soap as gifts this year and got some rave reviews, which gave me just the confidence I needed to decide to go all out. I suppose I just have this vision of having one of those creaky, old houses that has furniture polished with beeswax in rooms that smell faintly of beeswax candles, honey soap and flowers. I want that, and I want the world to have that, too. Balm and Honey. Solace and sweet for the home. Hope that whispers from the thresholds that this year will be... happier. 

We can only pray and stubbornly hope.

Happy new year, friends. Praying God's kindest and best presence and blessings in your life this year.  -Brin

11 comments:

HollyM said...

Don't change a thing! I have followed your blog, waited when you stepped away now and again, and rejoiced when you have resumed posting. I have been there through Freeman House, the bakery, the heartaches and the triumphs. You have been a real touchstone in my own walk with the Lord, and you have been prayed for and lifted up in your walk by those of us who follow you. I know money can be made from blogs, and yet I really dislike any site clogged with advertising. YOURS is the only blog that I have consistently followed and have had saved to my favorites for years. It is because you are real, honest, just yourself, and shilling only for the Lord. What you post is what you live, and I doubt there is a more authentic voice in all of blogland. You are the real deal, and God is using that to His advantage. We love you as you are; and we walk into this new year knowing that the Lord has good things in store for all of us.

Lori said...

Brin, I would rather read your blog then other blog there is. I feel like you are my friend, like I could sit and have tea with you and laugh and cry. I am growing weary of blogs where everything seems contrived. As if everyone's house is perfect all of the time, perfect children, perfect everything. Please. I love your blog is raw and real. I am going through life doing the same things, pulling turnip from the garden, baking cookies and dealing with my own need for real spritual growth. Thank you for continuing on as you are. xo You are light and hope in the blog world, my friend, and you are real. All the best in 2016 and thank you for the genuine inspiration. xo

Kay Thomas said...

BUT....what is in those pots??? Keep your blog YOUR way. That's what has made it a success...the homey-ness of it. I've followed it for years. Blessings for the new year.

Jill D. said...

Oh Brin, I've been reading your blog for many years, since way before Freeman House. I only follow two blogs steadfastly, and neither is glitzy or slick, just two wonderful, real women who love the Lord. Yours is my favorite, and the first one I check, and I always bounce a little in my chair when I see you've added a new post! Oh please don't think everyone wants glitz and shine, ack.

I'm looking forward to walking through 2016 as one of your unseen but sincere supporters and blog friend. You are an inspiration to me, and now I want to go polish with some beeswax, lol. What you said about your home smelling faintly of beeswax and honey echos - almost to the exact words - what I've thought in relation to my own home many many times. Just continue to be you, wonderful Brin, and happy new year to you and Josh!

Kiina said...

I discovered your blog just before you left Freeman House and read back through everything in one (slightly stalkerish feeling) glorious binge of a weekend. I felt your heart in what you wrote, you were genuine -- are genuine -- and your blog shows it which is why your readers are loyal.

I read your blog even when I took a break from my own, and when you took a break I understood and when you came back I was happy that one of my favorite bloggers was blogging again. I am unemployed right now myself and figuring out how to make ends meet... but I can't stomach the slick commercialism either. I tried too, like you, to figure out how to make my blog earn money. Your post resonates with my experiences. "It's not me."

It seems we value things that the world does not want to value... or at least that the world does not want to pay for. It makes it scary to think where the money for that next bill will come from, at the same time it makes it real to be living in the midst of what for so many is only a cliche. I live each day Trusting that the Lord will Provide. And I know you know what I mean -- that's one of the reasons I still read your blog.

Rebecca said...

My darling, darling Brin... don't you know that's why we love to read your blog? Because you are real, you are transparent, you are...just simply you. There are more than enough super photographer, perfect decorator, perfect family, perfect cooking blogs out there to make us ALL feel inadequate. But you...you make us feel ok. You make us feel normal...and good. Please don't change.

Rebecca said...

Oh, and hallelujah!! Honey!

Running with a sharp pencil said...

I have stopped visiting some blogs because the ads are so annoying and intrusive--so really the are counterproductive for these bloggers. I completely understand and support women trying to earn income from blogging--it's not that, but there has to be a balance. I know that there are people earning a fairly good income from Etsy shops and blogs are a great support for that. Heard a man on the radio the other day who said he and his wife were earning a great income from selling vintage costume jewelry. I love the idea of buying any products with honey and beeswax and I love supporting women who make things. Another blog I visit where the young woman in Fayetteville, AR has built a successful business is Natalie Creates and her blog does not have the annoying ads!

Betty said...

I love your blog just as is Brin. Keep it real is the best! Keep trusting!

debbie said...

all the above and more cant wait till u fill up ur etsy store gave away the helpers I bought now I need some for me

Kay said...

"I guess I'm the only one left who clicks off things that seem too slick." Oh no, You are not the only one. I hurts my heart a little when a blog I love(d) goes commercial and professional. I seem to lose that initial connection I had with the writer. I'm not a professional blogger and I chose to follow blogs that touch my heart and make me say, "Me Too!" I only want that rose bed in the corner over there too (only I would kind of prefer the strawberry bed and the iris bed. Roses don't do so well for me.)
Stay small, stay "real". We love you just as you are. *hug*