My Little Duke

A Community Spirit

Faith, MotherhoodSteph Duke6 Comments

This blog post wasn't planned. Even as I type, I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this. All I do know for certain is that there is something in the air right now, and I'm pretty sure I know who's responsible! 

As many of you know, I'm in a season of change at the moment. It began with a time of questioning, followed by a time of waiting, and now, a time to step up to the mark. These past few months have been a blur of emotions, a real rollercoaster ride, twisting and turning me in every direction, pulling me higher and taking me deeper than I ever wanted to go. It is something I've been journaling through, and will take you on that journey at some stage, but today, there is a spirit moving that I want you to catch hold of. It’s a spirit that is very timely for me.

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There is a little community on Instagram that is growing. A community that is rising. A community that is searching for more. It's a hugely inspiring community that seeks to find the 'better.' It's pushing people higher and making people stronger. Instagram - don't get me wrong, can be a very divisive and dangerous place at times, but, there is a new spirit moving ... a positive spirit. One that's bringing people together, forging friendships and connections that otherwise, might never have been made. And, I LOVE IT. More recently, I have made connections, both online and face to face, that would never be, but for Instagram. Yet, it's not Instagram that is really responsible, it's God who I see, moving and weaving our stories together. It's a big jigsaw puzzle and all the little pieces are clicking and connecting into place, especially in this season. 

There is both a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose in these connections, both spiritual and physical. I am actually a bit overwhelmed by the support and friendship that I've found on Instagram, and feel that it's now moving to another level. For a long time Instagram felt a bit superficial to me, but now, it's moving from just posting aesthetics to people investing in each other. People getting alongside each other, riding the journey together. Less online. More face on support. Instagram is being used as a tool to equip, empower and encourage each other. COME ON! 

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However, I'm burdened by the weight of expectation that Instagram 'sets' on it's users. The secret to success seems to heavily ride on the amount of followers we have or the engagement we receive. Too many of us are constantly comparing, constantly craning our necks to see how someone else is doing it better, being more creative, wearing nicer clothes ... blah, blah, blah. Why do we do it to ourselves? Instagram is the perfect place to do it too. Pretty pictures of a perfected life. Not. It's just NOT. It's a CURATED life, a grid that's been carefully primed and preened to look and feel a certain way. To live up to 'expectations' of Instagram worthiness. I could go on and I'm not going to. You know the score. Where are you finding your worth? In likes, comments, engagement, followers, how many people read your blog or reply to your stories? My prayer for you is that you find your value and worth in the one who longs for real, meaningful relationship and connection with you. The one who created you in His own image. You are His prized possession and special treasure. Did you know that? It is only recently I've started living into that promise and finding my worth only in Him. It has given me freedom, hope and purpose. He will do that for you, too. (If you let Him.)

For such a long time I avoided social connections as I constantly compared myself to others, always thinking others had it better or looked better than me. I never wanted to go to things or meet people if I'd had a bad day on the scales, roots that needed coloured or the right clothes to wear. And if I did make it out, I'd spend my time belittling myself and being jealous of who I was with. This. Is. Nuts. How did I live my life like this?! Why am I telling you about it? Well, in my current season, learning where my identity truly belongs, is helping to shape me into someone who looks at others, not to compare, but to bless. In seeking to bless and invest in others, my focus is outward, not inward. That is key. Any time I spend thinking about myself, is with God, and his promises over my life. Oh how I’d love for you to get to know what He thinks about you, how much He loves you, if you don’t know already, as everything else pales into insignificance. Now, I have time to fully invest in relationships: no distractions, no jealousy, no comparison. Just wholehearted and meaningful connection. We are created for community. Don't let jealousy ruin you or belittle others. I've shared a few posts on Instagram recently, using some of my little vases from home. I'll pop some photos below if you missed them. We are individuals for a reason. All uniquely gifted in different ways for different purposes. Don’t miss out on your unique purpose because you’re too busy looking at someone else.

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In conclusion, I guess what I’m trying to say is a thank you to all you lovelies who I’m journeying with at the moment. Thank you for investing time in me, for supporting me and encouraging me in this season. I’m also acknowledging God’s hand over my life right now and the people he’s connecting me to. If you’re feeling a move of a community spirit, please get in touch! I’d love to connect with you. Lastly, if you are feeling like you’d love to plug in, be brave and drop me a line, I’ll point you exactly where you need to go to find your true belonging. More importantly, I’d just love to have a cuppa with you.

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It’s time to show up and be counted, no more hiding in shame because we feel unworthy. Be brave and have courage to go all in, regardless of the outcome. Put your trust in God, his outcomes are always better than the ones we make up for ourselves.

Be Brave print by beautiful @ali_marriott_

Be Brave print by beautiful @ali_marriott_

All my love for you and have a great rest of the week,

Steph xox