Welcome to the new blog, friends. Having my face and name share a space that has its own web address is scary stuff. But it's also fun, freeing and official-ish.
The thought of writing on a blog that has my name written across the top as the title has had me turning into a great big chicken since I started thinking about it a couple years ago. But the truth is this: the old blog title and address were hard to remember, making it hard to find me out in the world wide web if you wanted to.
Someone might have known my name but couldn't for the life of them remember the name of my blog. "What was it? The Red Rooster? The Scarlet Petunia?"
Well, now it's easy. All you have to remember is my name, Amanda Bacon.
If you can't remember my name, I'm sorry, I can't really help you there... except to tell you that if you type in The Scarlet Paisley it will automatically direct you here. Easy.
Also, as a side note, if you ever see something here you'd like to pin on Pinterest to save for later, just roll your cursor over a picture and a Pin It icon will appear. I love that.
May I also direct your attention to something else that is frighteningly new? It's the Speaking tab up top. I had to enlist the help of some deep breathing to calm the heart palpitations that presented themselves at finally advertising that I speak. I love to engage with women in person the best, so if you think I might be the right fit to speak for an event or group you're a part of, you can contact me through that tab. If I receive a message from you, I'll try not to faint while I prayerfully consider your request.
Don't worry, I promise not to faint when I get up to speak.
All of that business aside, I want to tell you something that's been bugging me about my writing.
This is consistent with this talk of new beginnings, so I thought now might be the right time. I've pondered how to word it, or if I should even talk about it at all. But it's important to me, so I'll give it a go.
As you know (or maybe you don't), I have eight children. It's been three weeks since we met and brought Jackson home. Yet I can hardly wrap my mind around the number eight. There's eight of them! Anyways.
My life, much like yours, is full. Even though things feel chaotic and busy, I feel this pull to take the time to write words that will be an encouragement to you in an effort to serve you. Messages begin to form out of what I read in the Bible or in books, what I talk about with someone, or what I mull over in the middle of my everyday life.
Message forming and sharing is part of what makes me come alive. Doing this here, in this way, is me playing one of the parts I've been given by God to play. I recognize that and find great contentment in it.
But there's this problem. When I write, I find myself editing out the ugly and embarrassing junk in my head. I don't mean to, it's just that I'm not sure you really want to know all of the junk. Or if I really want to wade through it again in front of you. Or if it will sound like I'm complaining. But what I'm realizing is that maybe you think my life is only filled with precious moments. And by that, I mean that you may think I don't have dark times, thoughts, or days (years.)
It is my personality to be a noticer of the good. So I am pretty quick to change my way of thinking from a negative mindset to a thankful one. But I can't rely solely on my personality for this. I have to purpose to find the good in things and situations. So when I write and things sound encouraging, that's me being a noticer of the good. It doesn't mean my days are perfect.
I learn what I think about something as I write about it. It's the way I'm wired. It's therapeutic for me, and it helps me remember to see the beauty in my life -- in all of life.
Becoming a noticer of the good helps you notice and be thankful for the beauty in your life too.
“The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.”
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
If I edit out the ugliness I started with before I became thankful, you, dear reader, will never know how I got to the good part. You will just assume the good and precious and happy thoughts and times were there all along.
This life I have in Christ and with my family are precious to me, but my thoughts aren't always precious. Sometimes they despair. Sometimes they're selfish and bratty. Sometimes they can't bear to repeat the day that has just ended, and I cry in my room. And sometimes I feel so thankful and want to share with you guys, but I'm afraid to write about it fearing you won't be feeling particularly peachy that day and will roll your eyes at me, viewing me as some sort of goody-goody. Dumb, I know.
I don't want to edit myself in my writing anymore. It's not good for me, and it's not good for you. That's the truth of it. Even though it doesn't come naturally, I'm committing to writing about the hard stuff too. However that plays out.