‘Hinge moments’

I’m writing this post on a flight home from Nashville after attending Blissdom 2012, a three-day blogging conference for women. If you recall, I had a bit of anxiety about going on this trip, considering I’m a toddler in the world of blogging and many of the women at this conference are, well, kind of a big deal.

Praise God, these wonderful ladies reached out to me and made me feel at home.

From left to right are Cindy from Walking in Grace and Beauty, Traci from Beneath My Heart, and Myra from My Blessed Life™.

I get a bit verklempt when I talk about these talented, gorgeous and gracious women. If you haven’t connected with them yet, you must! They feed my soul. They are my accessible, online Oprahs, so to speak.

I’ve been following Traci’s blog for a little more than a year. She is actually one of the inspirational voices that led me to start my own blog. As you can see by the look on my face, meeting her was like a little girl meeting her favorite princess at Disneyworld – pretty stinkin’ awesome.

I also got to meet my blog buddies Sarah (center) from Three Boys and Jaima from Ring Around the Rosies.

Sarah allowed me to guest post for her when I was just starting out. She is a furniture reupholstering genius; plus she has a great sense of humor.

I made some new bloggy friends as well.

This is Mandy (left) from House of Rose and Tonya from Love of Family and Home.

The Blissdom conference was held at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel. This was the view from my hotel room window.

Among other fantastic events, we had the opportunity to hear Joe Jonas and Rascal Flatts perform.

(Um, Is anyone else experiencing flashbacks to the NKOTB days?)

To sum up Blissdom, I learned a lot about blogging and social networking, made some great connections, got to take home some cool, free gifts, and left feeling energized and ready to take LROL to the next level.

But providing you with a recap of my time at this conference is not really what I’ve been called to post about today.

I want to talk to you about “hinge moments.” (Yes, I realize this is a little far afield from my typical home improvement/DIY/decorating stuff, but stick with me. Sometimes you’ve got to do a little heart improvement before you can do a little home improvement, you know what I’m sayin’?)

Speaker and fellow blogger Jon Acuff describes the term “hinge moments” as the moments in your life when, in order to fulfill your current purpose and passion, you must make the choice to go in a different direction. (Coming soon: review by me of Jon’s book “Quitter.”)

Deciding to enter the world of blogging was a bit of a hinge moment for me. Many of you who follow my blog know that I have a deep faith in Christ and a desire to see His work fulfilled in my life and the lives of my family. As I continue to seek His will for me, He has made it clear that, at least for now, He wants me to invest my time, talent and resources in encouraging, inspiring and motivating women through this blog. This “calling” has welled up in me a passion and energy that I can’t really even put into words.

The bottom line? You’re gonna see more posts, more projects and more soul-bearing coming from yours truly in the coming months. And you’re (hopefully) gonna receive more inspiration, motivation and encouragement as a result.

Along the way, I want to hear more from you, too. What are you passionate about? What do you believe your purpose is at this time in history? Have you recently experienced a hinge moment in your own life?

As we spend some time this week reflecting on these questions, I would encourage you to read the book of Esther. It illustrates the point that God has a unique calling for each one of us, a purpose and specific work that He wants us to accomplish while we’re still drawing breath. We have been created “… for such a time as this.”

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25 Responses

  1. Michelle Snare says:

    Susan……you are amazing and truly gifted and blessed by God!!!!

  2. Carol says:

    I to was inspired by Traci from Beneath My Heart to start my own blog. But, as I discover more blogs, I am now inspired by everyone. I am amazed at how beautiful all if you always look. As jealous as I am of you meeting Traci, her sister, and many others, I could never feel comfortable with myself doing so. Keep up the great work to you and all other bloggers! Carol

    • Susan says:

      Carol, it was so great to discover that we share the same inspiration! Thanks for the compliment about “always looking beautiful.” But remember, we get to pick the best photos/angles of ourselves. We’re not exactly posting our 6 a.m. bathroom mirror pictures, you know? I hope someday you can feel comfortable meeting all of us in person, because I would certainly love to have the opportunity to connect with you in real life. Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a chance and put yourself out there! Everyone has something unique and beautiful to bring to the group.

    • Sharon Hines says:

      Hi, Carol. I couldn’t help but be moved by the sentiment in your comment. I hope you don’t mind me “butting” in just for a moment. I can empathize with feeling uncomfortable meeting people that you admire. There used to be a time in my life when I would not speak in group settings because I felt I had nothing of value to offer to the conversation. I was sure I would sound ignorant. There have been times that I felt really self -conscious standing next to a pretty woman. I no longer feel that way. God has given me eyes to see truth and true beauty…not to say their aren’t times of struggle…but, God calls us to share our burdens with one another and I just want you to know that my hand is extended to you to take hold of…I’d love to “walk” you through to the other side of these uncomfortable feelings. In Christ, Sharon

  3. It was sooo nice to meet you Susan!! Love making new blog friends! I had a great time at Blissdom & now even more excited for HAVEN!!! See ya there! 🙂

  4. Renee S. says:

    What a beautiful post. Thank you! You have inspired me to go home and read the book of Esther. I do believe that my life has been one big “hinge moment” for the past year. I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago. I have undergone two surgeries, chemo, and radiation. Just when I thought life was getting back to “normal”, I was a passenger in a 60 mile per hour rollover accident. You know what though? I am doing excellent! God is so good!! I just have to figure out what God’s unique calling is for my life. : ) I just found your blog and I am excited to explore it!

    • Susan says:

      THANK YOU so much for sharing, Renee. I am now sitting here at my desk in tears, looking like a complete dork, LOL. But seriously, I’m so encouraged and inspired by your positive spirit and I’m so glad that you are doing excellent! I KNOW God has got something amazing right around the corner for you.

  5. Jess A. says:

    Susan I can’t even believe how your experience at Bliss and the encouragement you received there about Hinge Moments fits with my last week! So many details to it so I will have to call or email you, but God is definitely working in so many lives and I’m excited to see Him working in you!! 🙂

    • Susan says:

      Jess, I’m excited to hear what God is up to with you guys! By the way, I was thinking about you the other day, and if you get something together as far as a press packet for your ministry or anything like that, I’d love to create a “button” for you on my website that links back to your stuff. Be thinking about that. Free widespread publicity, girl!

  6. Hi, Susan, thanks for introducing yourself, so nice to meet you! Yes, I wish could have been at Blissdom too, I have been for the last 3 years, so needed to take a break, since I have other obligations this year, the main one being Haven. Can’t wait to meet you! You were in great hands with those 3 friends of mine, Traci, Cyndi, and Myra, I love those girls! I know ya’ll had fun. I enjoyed reading your hinge moment & yes, I have had those moments too & feel that God has allowed things into my life that I can use to encourage other women on my blog as well. I too want to use my skills and experiences for God’s glory. I wish you well on your blog journey, It has truly changed my life!

    • Susan says:

      Wow … OK so I just almost fell out of my office chair because THE Rhoda from Southern Hospitality just commented on my blog. In all seriousness, Rhoda, thank you for being so transparent on your site. I’ve laughed; I’ve cried; I’ve learned how to help my own blog become successful. Keep up the great work!

  7. So happy to have found your blog through Traci, and Cyndi. I love Tonya and Myra as well. All great ladies. I am thrilled to hear your heart for the Lord. I think we have a lot in common!

    God bless you. Happy to find a new blog to read!

  8. Ann says:

    Susan, that must have been a wonderful conference. I enjoyed this post and see what you mean by hinge moments.

    • Susan says:

      It was wonderful. Thanks for the feedback, Ann. And thanks again for the FB tips. I’ll have to work on commenting when I “like” a page.

  9. Mandy Rose says:

    I loved meeting you too! So thankful I can’t to spend time with you! I just watched you on my “What’s your favorite thing about Blissdom?” video and it made me miss you! Can’t wait to follow your blog!

  10. Sharon Hines says:

    Susan, are we twins? Haha. I feel the same calling on my life and just in this last week, God has really been increasing my passion to encourage women. I’m trying to think through how to maintain a light-hearted, fun feel to my posts, still talk about decorating, living on a budget, diy yet also inspire and encourage women from the inside out. I’m very excited to see what plans you have for LROL.
    I just had a thought pop into my head….what you think of collaborating in some way? I have no idea what that would like as this idea literally just came to me as I was writing.
    I love following your blog and I consider you one of my blogging buddies. And thank you for your support and encouragement. I always look forward to hearing from you and am uplifted when I do. I sure hope we can meet in person one day. I’d love to go to Haven…praying for God to provide.
    I’ll be watching LROL to see how God grows your ministry.

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