Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
Good Morning Lord, It is ME and Sweet Tea!!!
I  journal every morning during my quiet/prayer time. I have been journaling for over 24 years. Since June 9th, 1984, the day that I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.

I had never kept a journal before that day, but from the moment I lifted my head and drew up my knees from the alter of my surrender, I had an urge to write. 

Each morning, I sit in my "prayer chair" in my living room with a cup of coffee and write my heart out. I am always there for at least an hour and usually much longer. All my supplies stay right there waiting for me--journal, a variety of Bibles, highlighters, pens, sticky notes, index cards, my personal prayer lists and emails that friends send asking me to pray. They are all in a basket on the floor to the right side of the chair.


Here at our friend's Mountain Cottage, I gather those things, plop down in front of the blazing fire that my Honey has prepared for me. (I know, he is a keeper!)


For the past 24 years that morning time has been my daily writing outlet. 
That is...until...blogging came along.
  
I LOVE this new hobby of blogging, 
this creative outlet for writing and sharing, 
this amazing world of surrendered sisters, 
this new place of such deep spiritual insight and discussion,
this place of fun and connection with new friends. 

The challenge is fitting it into my life on a regular basis!!!

How in the world do you ladies do it????

How do you make time for your personal time with God, MAYBE a bit of exercise, work full time or even part-time, serve your family, keep your home in order and BLOG!!!! 
Mercy!! 

Help Me!!!! I want to learn and I am willing to give stuff away to get answers!!! 

I am so amazed at how some of you work this out and how beautifully you write!

I was excited and looking forward to having some extra blogging time while on vacation but there are these mountains and streams and flowers...... 

I would love to build the discipline of daily blogging into my life and would greatly appreciate any ideas that you girls might have to offer.

How and when do you fit Blogging into your day on a REGULAR Basis???
Do you keep your time with God separate or do those of you who write devotion type blogs, blend those times together???
Do you see your blogging as a ministry, a personal hobby or a way to connect with other women?

I have a stack of  books-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Christian Living, Bible Studies, Marriage, Teens that I gathered from the International Christian Booksellers Convention in July that I will gladly GIVEAWAY for any tips that you all are willing to share over the next few days.

I am looking forward to your ideas!

 















13 Comments:

Blogger Tammy R said...

Pat,
I having the same problem with the blogging world. When I first started I though it would be a hobby.

Lately it's become more regular.I'm trying to decide how manage it.

I've been doing my visting after everyone goes to bed and on Monday or Tuesday is my day to write.

Time with God...I will get up around 5:30am so I can spend time with God and then go workout around 8:00am after I drop our daughter off at school.However that doesn't always work out:) Never thought about writing devotions to blend in with my time wiht God...good idea!

I'm a stay at home mom,so my time is pretty free,no little ones but I do volunteer at CPC and in our area.


My blogging was God idea because I've never had a desire to write. But after coming back from a SheSpeaks Convention,I felt God leading me.So,at first it was to just write (anything) and to connection with women.Then during prayer time I felt God telling me to share my story about my abortion and since then it has connected me to other women,just like myself.

Not much to go on...hope that helps.

In His Grace,
Tammy

Blogger Pat said...

Tammy,
Thanks for the feedback and the ideas!
Good News!!
So far you are the contest winner :0)!!!
Blessings,
pat

Blogger Cheri said...

Thank you so much for stopping in at my blog and leaving the kind comment! I truly appreciate it.

I blog for several reasons:

1) to keep family and friends up to date (we're military and everyone is spread all over the world). I've also really enjoyed "meeting" other women

2) to "work through" some things going in my life. Sometimes, sitting down and thinking through things to write about them.

3) to share my faith

It's hard to squeeze it all in. It's easier when my husband is gone - when he's home he's more of a priority than blogging! I've gotten better about forgiving myself when I don't blog! Sometimes blogging is part of my quiet time, sometimes it's not. Sometimes I type in our home office, sometimes I drag the laptop to the couch and multitask.

I don't work outside the home right now, but I do volunteer at my son's school. I volunteer in our women of the church and I lead a bible study. So I am busy, and sometimes blogging falls by the wayside.

It's all about priorities - why you're blogging and what God is calling you to do!

Blogger Cheri said...

Oh- I forgot. I read other blogs through a blog reader (Bloglines). That way I mostly only have to go to one site to check which blogs are updated instead of clicking into every blog!

Blogger Stephanie said...

I am a stay at home mom, so I tend to do my quiet time during one of my son's naps (depending if I need a nap or not). He's 5 months old, so his schedule is, well not really a schedule which leaves me flying by the seat of my pants most days.

I tend to blog at night, once I have turned in to bed. If I have some subjects I want to blog on and I feel up to it, I may crank out 2 or 3 blogs right then and schedule them to post later. However, my blogs are not lengthy by any means, nor are they as deep as I want them to be sometimes. That's something I want to work on. Good Luck!

Thanks for the sweet comments on my blog!

Anonymous Chen,Shun-Chuan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

Hi Pat...
I usually get up early, do my quiet time, write something for my blog and then go meet Holly for a run.

Sometimes I'll write the next day's blog before I fall asleep and then date it to post at 12:01am for the next day.

I don't use a paper journal. The books I write and the blogging I do, are like my journaling. But I have to admit, I thought your 20 something years of paper journals sounded like a great treasure to have.

Another little tidbit... I usually write 2 serious posts a week and then 3 more silly or everyday life posts. I think some would say to stick to one voice or the other but I like mixing it up.

I hope that helps...

By the way, do your friends rent out their cabin. It looks exactly like what I need since I just finished my latest book.

Longing for a retreat getaway with my hubs too...
Lysa

Lysa

Blogger Dawn Ward said...

Hi Pat! This is an area in which I struggle also. I usually do my blogging in the evening after my daughter goes to bed, but that doesn't always work out since there are times when my bedtime isn't too far behind her's! :-)

I have my quiet time first thing in the morning. I would like to journal, but I write REALLLLY SLOOOOW, so that doesn't really work for me. I find when I'm in a "blogging groove," I can easily spend too much time on the computer. I then find myself neglecting household chores which is not good.

It is definitely a balance. I'm not sure I have found it yet, but I will make sure to keep checking back to see if your readers share the "magic recipe!"

Sweet Blessings My Friend,
Dawn

Blogger Pat said...

Cheri, Stephanie, Lysa and Dawn,
All of you have had some great ideas to help me get a plan for my blogging life.
The getting up earlier part is something that I have known was a necessary step. I am not a great early riser. I did like your option Lysa, of doing some "next day' blogging at night. I need to learn how to do the post date thing.
Thank you each so much sweet sisters. I am ever so grateful for your visits!
Much love,
Pat

Blogger Meems said...

Hey Pat, Can you tell I'm doing some catch-up blogging? It's been a very busy week. Which sort of leads me to answer your questions - even though I think you probably know this about me already.

I get up early- my laptop has become one of the tools along with the stack of Bibles and journals for my morning time. My devotion time many times feeds into what I blog about on my www.walkwiselyblogspot.com since it is very easy to sit down and type out from my heart.

For my other blog www.hoeandshovel.blogspot.com it is a little more difficult due to the number of photos involved and research for correct information.

The main 'rule of thumb' I have is not to have any pressure about the number of times I publish in a week on either blog. I am mostly moved by inspiration. I also like the post ahead feature if I can ever get ahead.

There really are no hard and fast rules. If you have a blog people like to come to they will come no matter how often you publish as long as you at least keep it current on a weekly basis- again a general rule of thumb- not unbreakable.

I use Google Reader for tracking the blogs I like to follow. It is a one stop shop for seeing who/what is most recently posted.

Blogging is what I choose to do in my down time. There are days I don't even get to look at a blog. I don't watch TV (typically), so when you look at the stats for how many hours your average American watches TV it's a much better use of time IMHO.

You are doing a great job keeping up with your blog. It is always interesting and fun to read. So give yourself a break and enjoy it for what it is... an outlet for your gift. And... thanks for sharing the gift with us.
Meems

Hi Pat!

I'm still new to the blogging world (a little over a year now), but I have fallen in love with it! I was inspired to start up a blog when I found Beth Moore's blog (LPM) and how uplifting it was to me. I use my blogging as a connector to other sisters in Christ...

I will say, however, that I have sometimes used others' blogs as my devotion time (while reading their posts, etc). That may not always be a good thing, considering I'm not spending that time alone with God and His Word. But yet God has fed me spiritually through these "devotions" of others.

I try to blog at least a couple or 3 times per week, just random thoughts that might come to mind. I do try to read each of those that are on my "reading" list because I so enjoy hearing/seeing what others are sharing.

I usually will blog in the early mornings.That seems to be my preference time because it is the quietest time around here and I can "think" more clearly then, but I sometimes will post at night.

I work outside of the home and am busy at my church in addition to currently having 3 grandchildren here at my home, the youngest being 3 years old and rambucious!

I like your idea about "journals" and have considered doing that, to write my thoughts down on paper. The advantage there would be to go back at a later time to see what your wrote and what might have changed from then until now.
I may still do that!

Blogger Melinda said...

Ah, the wonder of blogging!

Well, I, like several others, get up early to have my quiet time (generally 5:30 or 6:00) and don't turn my computer on until AFTER I'm finished!

Then, I generally sit for about an hour or so, and write on my own/read my faves. My blogging is often an off-shoot of my quiet time that day or something that God has been working through with me over the past few days.

As I started to gain more "traffic" on my blog, I initially felt more pressure to "deliver", if you know what I mean! I would try to write more, just to be writing something. It quickly became apparent to me that I was not writing from God, so much as I was writing to please the masses (*wink*). Now, I still write pretty often, but only when I feel that it's something truly coming from God.

Blogging can overtake you, if you're not careful. I've got friends that blog, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace...all at the same time! There's no way I could do that, or my family wouldn't have clean underwear...EVER! A girl's gotta have some boundaries! That's why, for me, blogging's got to be a ministry that hopefully points people to God. Otherwise, it would be all about me and 1) I'm not sure anyone really wants to know ALL about me and 2) I'm enough of a performance-based personality that it would be damaging to me.

Well, now that I've written an epistle, I'll sign off! See? Boundaries, I tell you, BOUNDARIES!! :o)

Blogger Kelli said...

I'm by far not the best one to be giving blogging advice, but I have found that early morning works best. Spending time in God's Word first of course, then blogging is a routine I'm striving for. I have learned to just not put pressure on myself about it. None of us need anymore pressure. It's a privilege and not a chore. Keeping that attitude helps me to look forward to blogging instead of dreading it!

Kelli

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