Spring Break Rules

spring breakI’m on spring break.  I’m a 30 year old woman who gets spring break.  Life is good, y’all!  Want to know the best part?  I get a TWO WEEK spring break!  Working for the schools is the best thing that has ever happened to having rhythms of rest in my life.  I don’t know how teachers take this for granted; it’s super amazing.

So, you all know me – type A to the core.  I’ve been making lists for weeks of all the things I wanted to accomplish over spring break.  I did this for fall break and for Christmas break (seriously school employees, life is good, right?).  And I returned to work feeling like I had accomplished a lot, but not feeling rested.

But last week, when I admitted to myself and the world that I was in need of rest – not sleep rest, soul rest – I started to get worried that I would waste this opportunity to get refreshed over a to-do list.

And so, I decided to push the to-do list aside (not totally aside, just a little aside) so that I could find rest.

And I made some spring break rules.  Want to see them?

Each day of spring break, I need to do at least 5 of the 9 on this list.  I have to do something:

creative

generous

healthy

intellectual

productive

relational

restful

spiritual

spontaneous

… And it’s been great.  No, I haven’t accomplished all of the things on my to do list, (but it’s only Thursday of the first week), but I am feeling less frantic.  I’m also feeling less planned, which is good.  Adding that spontaneous agenda item to my to-do list has been good for me.

On Monday, I went to a concert that didn’t start til 10pm because I didn’t have to get up early the following day and because the Local Natives are worth it.

On Tuesday, I spontaneously decided to take a retreat from my phone, it was fabulous.  I also busted out my keyboard and played it for a long time.  That was good for my soul.

On Wednesday, I spent a whole lot of time outdoors, weeding and letting God remind me of  goodness through nature.

Today, I spent a lot of time thinking and writing.  And I watched SLU start their domination of the NCAA Championship.

So, there it is, my rules for rest.

What about you?  How do you plan for rest?  Do you have rules that keep you accountable to rest?

Rest For Your Souls

Have you ever been in one of those seasons where you are completely worn out?  Not just physically worn out – more deeply worn out than that.

I’m there.

I’ve been there before in my life; sometimes because I’ve over-extended myself,  other times because I’ve grown weary from waiting on an answer to prayer, and still other times I don’t quite know the cause, but needless to say, I know this feeling.  Sometimes I am just worn out to my soul.

I’ve been talking with God about my soul fatigue this week and building in moments of rest.  This week, I came to Matthew 11 at just the right time:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

And then at church this morning, there it was again, same verse, same theme…

rest

“rest for your souls…”

Lately, I’ve longed for that rest, the kind that can’t be found in a nap or a vacation (as my pastor put it). Deep rest, like water when I’m parched, like sunshine after days of clouds, like a moment of quiet in the midst of blaring noise.

Today I’ve been reflecting on Psalm 23:  “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.  He refreshes my soul.”

If you’re in one of those seasons, maybe you’ll enjoy this David Crowder song, too. (my apologies for the cheesy font and slide, I didn’t make it).

May you and I both find rest for our souls.

Discipline… Woof

The word discipline doesn’t carry the most pleasant of images for me.  When I think about the word discipline, I see images in my head of military training and punishment.  Fun, huh?  What images does the word conjure up in your head? There are only a few souls in the world who self-proclaim loving discipline (and just in case you’re one of those folks, I want to let you know that the rest of the world rolls our eyes at you).

But the truth is, as much as I fight discipline, I want it, too.  Discipline sounds really nice when I’m being particularly undisciplined.  It sounds safe, structured, and uncomplicated.

Lately, life has been incredibly busy.  Work has been busy, and most weeks, I have something on the calendar every night of the week.  Sadly, the weekends haven’t been bountiful with rest time either.  There’s just a lot to do and a lot of people to see.  And life is good.  I love my job and I love the people in my life, it’s just busy good.

And when life is busy for me, I don’t have consistency.  And when I don’t have consistency, discipline goes out the window.

When life is busy, I don’t have time to exercise.  When I’m not exercising, I feel as though there isn’t a point to eating terribly healthy (I know that’s incredibly backwards), so I indulge.  And when I indulge, I really indulge.  And the cycle spirals.  When life is busy, I am tired, and when I’m tired, I opt for tv rather than books.  And soon enough, I find myself a late-night couch potato consuming Ben and Jerry’s.

And I don’t feel very good about my body, mind, or soul.  And I start to long for consistency and discipline.

Which is where I found myself the last few weeks.  I was over feeling sorry for myself about my out of control schedule.  The truth is, there are ways to finagle even a busy schedule if I’m willing to be disciplined about it.  So, this week, the finagling began.

This was my alarm set for the week:

alarm

The truth is, there is nothing but sleep competing for my time at that hour of the day.  If I’m disciplined, I can get up.  And I did.  21 days to a habit, right? I’m 6 days in and feeling pretty good.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I have a discipline accountability partner who is rolling out of bed in the wee hours with me.  It’s much easier to get out of bed when the sun isn’t up when your spouse isn’t snuggled up under the covers.

Last week we battled the alarm.  This week, we’re adding new eating habits to the battle.  Sadly, I’m not disciplined enough as a person to eat super healthy consistently without a plan.  Chocolate and cheese win every time…  unless I’m consistently saying no, and then it becomes a habit.

I know that I’m happier, stronger, and calmer when I exercise regularly.  I like exercise a lot, I just need to get back in the habit.

I know that I’m healthier and more energetic when I eat healthy consistently.  I know that my stomach loves me more when I’m putting clean things in it.  I like eating healthy, I just need to get back in the habit.

I know that I’m smarter, more challenged, and enlightened when I read more.  I like reading, I just need to get back in the habit.

And I am.  Yay for second and fifth and 100th chances at living healthy and whole.

What about you, what disciplines do you struggle with?  What disciplines have you conquered?  Share your struggles and successes.

Margarita Budget

A few years ago, Adam and I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class.  That class has saved us more fights than it has money, which means it was worth every penny and minute spent.  Through that class, we became more financially literate, and more financially compatible.

We don’t agree with everything we learned in the class, and that’s ok.  (Yay for critical thinking).  There’s a very real tension for us between saving/providing for our future, and living radically/generously in the here and now.  There’s a real tension between savoring the now and saving for future savoring.  We struggle with thoughts like, “should we go on a vacation or a mission trip?”  “Should we eliminate or drastically reduce our entertainment fund that allows us to spend time with people now, or save it so we can retire comfortable and spend time with people later?” “Should we invest this money in a 401k or invest this money in a clean water well? ” We have waffled back and forth between moments of selfishness, moments of poverty, and moments of generosity.  Let’s just say we aren’t ready to write our book just yet.

And while we aren’t 100% Ramsey Converts, we did learn some amazing financial skills from FPU, and we’re grateful for that.

The best takeaway we learned:  Married folks: Hash out your annual budget in public.  I’m sad to report that we have had some knock down drag outs in the confines of our own home about our budget over the years.  Money talk gets us all shades of fired up.  We are both rather principled and opinionated people; add money to that and it’s game over.

BUT, it’s not really appropriate to yell in public.  Have you ever seen 2 people fight in public?  It’s downright awkward.  So, Dave, in his great wisdom, charges couples to budget talk in public.  We started doing that a few years ago, and it has completely changed our budgeting conversations.

quesoHere’s what Dave won’t tell you, but it’s a Buzard bonus.  Do you budget talks over margaritas.  Make it a date.  Don’t rush the money talk.  Sit and chat about life, work on your pitcher, and THEN start your discussion.  Being in public after cherishing some time with your spouse and savoring a tasty drink makes all parties a little more chill and pleasant.  Plus, queso makes everything, even difficult conversations, more pleasant.

A few weeks ago, Adam and I sat down for our Margarita Budget 2013 Meeting.  We budgeted so we can be generous.  Knowing our limits and cutting out some non-essentials means we are able to spend differently.  I’m really excited about 2013.  I’m excited about being disciplined and being more generous at the same time.

How do you make a budget?  What are your tips for pleasant planning?  

How do you wrestle between financial wisdom and generous living?

The Missionary’s Biggest Secret

This post goes out to all my friends who are working out their callings on a mission field.  Some of them are teachers, some are preachers, some are doctors, and some are house parents.  Some of them are posted in America, some of them are posted abroad.  Some of them are on college campuses, others in rural third world countries, some in urban America, and others in developed countries.  Regardless of their station, this one goes out those missionaries who raise support for their salary.

I’m about to share a secret that most missionaries won’t talk about: Support raising sucks!

I haven’t met a soul in all my life who enjoyed asking friends, family, and perfect strangers to contribute to their paycheck.  I’ve met a few people who are good at fundraising for a cause; who can earn millions for an organization they believe in.  But those people are raising money for a cause or for others’ salaries, not their own.

The people I know who raise support feel called to something that requires them to raise their salary.  I’m 99% sure that if those people could earn a paycheck the old fashioned, conventional way, while working for their cause, they would.  The people I know who raise support believe more in the cause than the security of a consistent paycheck.  So they sign on to raise their support with total fear and trembling.

They sign on to their income being at the mercy of the generosity of others.

They sign on to having awkward conversations, where they get sweaty pits, have to take big gulps, and fight the urge to nervous-barf when they ask friends and family to support them and their cause financially.

They sign on to writing weird letters a few times a year, justifying their continued plea for support by proving the effectiveness of their work toward a cause.

They sign on to crying over their budget and praying like crazy when support doesn’t come in like they had hoped.  They question if they heard God right and if they were really called to this cause in the first place.  They think about the catch phrases they’ve heard like “Where He guides, He provides” and wonder, if He’s guiding, why isn’t he providing?

They sign onto battling jealousy and judgmentalism when they see friends living the American Dream when they are living in the midst of poverty and more often, living in poverty themselves.  They sign onto assuming best intentions when the very friends who declined support because “money was tight” have just posted pictures on facebook from a tropical vacation.

They sign on to feeling vulnerable around those who do support them, and even more vulnerable around those who they have met with or sent letters to, who have avoided the topic since.

They have deep secret thoughts that they will never tell you, but in the spirit of total honesty, I will.  (Sorry missionary friends, I’m ruining this for all of us today).

Your support-raising friends wonder if:

* you get nervous when they ask you to dinner or you see their name pop up in their inbox because you’re afraid it’s a money plea and not a friendly interaction

*you feel obligated to give to their cause to show them that you support and believe in them

* you judge the necessity of giving to their support based on their fashion-sense, home accommodations, blog updates, and eating habits

I know this to be true on a very personal level and I know this to be true because I have a lot of missionary friends.  I’m telling you this on behalf of your friends who feel too awkward to bare it all and are fearful that honesty will impact their support.  I wanted to be honest, so that you can be a good friend to your support raising friend.

Here’s what I think your missionary friend needs from you:

1.  Your friendship: Your unawkward, totally honest friendship.  Above financial support, your friend still needs your emotional support.  If you weren’t able to or chose not to support him or her financially your friend still loves you, but he/she may feel awkward around you.  Act normal and your friend will, too.  If you chose to support your friend, keep acting normal too.  Don’t let money get in the way of a good friendship.

2.  Your concern: Ask you friend how support raising is going.  80% of us support-raisers won’t see that as an open door to do an “ask” for money.  (And just tell the other 20% to bug off.  We all get desperate and make mistakes).  Money is such a taboo conversation in America, so it feels weird to bring it up, but the truth is; raising support takes an emotional toll.  Your missionary friend will really appreciate you asking how it’s going and asking how it’s affecting their head and heart.

3.  Your validation: There are a lot of skeptics in the world, and there are a lot of skeptics about modern-day missions.  A lot of mission organizations are re-programming, re-configuring, and re-structuring to be evidence-based, community developers.  But there are still a lot of biases about the need for missionaries and the need for support-raising missionaries.  Get to know what your friend’s organization is doing, and validate your friend’s work.  You don’t have to invest in them financially to invest emotionally in their cause.

4.  Your understanding: Missionaries feel like weirdos a lot of the time.  Whether stationed in a third world country or a college campus or an American inner city, missionaries have seen some things and lived some things, and they feel out of place in typical American culture.  You know that feeling you had when you got back from your first mission trip, and you hated all your nice clothes, and you vowed to never eat out again, and you pondered selling everything because your excess made you feel sick and uneasy?  Most of the missionaries I know feel that tension all the time.  When they come home on furlough or hang out with you on a weekend, just understand that they might act weird at times.  They hopefully aren’t judging you, but don’t be offended if they decline a spa day or shopping trip; they may not feel comfortable with the idea, or they may not have the funds.  Just understanding that your lives are different but that you love one another makes friendships work.

5.  Your money (Gulp): well, maybe your money… I had to bring it up, it’s the elephant in the blog.  Your friend sent you a letter or had dinner with you at some point, so it’s very possible she/he were hoping you’d give.  I’m not saying you have to in order to be a good friend, but I am proposing that you at least think about it and pray about it.  Even if you don’t have a felt passion for their cause or their location, you have a passion for them, right?.  Charitable donations have taken a real hit with our current economy, and missionaries have been affected by that.  Pray about giving up a cup of coffee a week or a dinner out a month and use that toward supporting a friend.

Support-raising friends, what did I miss, what do you need from your friends?

Friends, what has your experience been with those who raise support?  What can your missionary friends do to make friendships work?

Casa Buzard 9.0

A few months ago, Adam and I started talking about how much we liked Nashville.  We have felt at home since we moved here.  There’s something about this city and its people that we connect with and love.  So we started talking about something we haven’t talked about any other place we’ve lived: Staying.

Our mo is to move states about every 3 years for a new adventure. We like adventure. We have enjoyed the freedom of being able to pray and seek God and pursue adventure all over. We have enjoyed not being tied down to a place due to family obligations or home obligations.

But there’s something about Nashville that makes us want to stay.  So we started talking about embarking on a new kind of adventure.  We decided that it would be a definite adventure for us to have to commmit to a place, put down some roots, form and maintain long-term relationships, and stick through jobs/community/church when the newness has worn and it gets hard.

And so we bought a house.  That’ll show us.  Now we have to stay for a bit.

Put that raised eyebrow down.  It was not a spur of the moment, whimsical decision.  Do you know me?  We made a budget, researched neighborhoods, and carefully considered the weight of our decision.  We prayed a lot and asked God if we were crazy.  We even went to a First Time Homebuyer Class on a Saturday (Which by the way, was the best 8 hour investment we made in the whole homebuying process.  Offered through each state’s housing development authority, they are free and super informative).

We sat down in our class and the facilitator handed out a book:

book cover I read the title and my heart started racing and sweat started forming.  Realizing the American Dream? I’m not into the American Dream.  I’ve been very clear on that.  I’m fighting hard against consumerism and amassing wealth.  I’m into sharing and equality.  I have to be honest and say that I didn’t listen to the first hour of the class.  I was having some very colorful internal dialogue about whether buying a home was a sellout on my ideals.

Thankfully, I have a husband who has the same intentionality and the same hangups that I do, and so we talked it out. He reminded me that we had alread talked through the fears and here is what we decided about becomming homeowners: Owning a home was not going to own us. Owning a home doesn’t mean that we will be overly consumersitic. Owning a home means more responsibilitly to open our home. He reminded me that we had set out to buy a home yes, because it was a good investment for us, and also, because we felt like it would be an opportunity for us to be more hospitable and more generous (there’s that word again).

And so we found a dreamy little home that has felt like home since we first walked in. It’s in an up and coming neighborhood with lots of diversity. It’s just a very us home in a very us neighborhood.

casa buzard

And with this responsibility of owning a home, we are accepting the responsibility of stewarding this well. We are determined to be open with our home; to sharing it with others. We are determined to fight consumerism and live simply. We are determined to be environmentally conscious in this home, as well. And we’re determined to be thankful in this home; it is such a blessing.

So, when do you want to come for dinner or a visit? Casa Buzard 9.0* is now accepting reservations!

(This is our 9th home in 8 years. Yay for settling down for a bit).

2013: A Year of…

Every New Year’s Eve, I carve out some time to reflect and journal.  I love reminiscing about the year, processing pain, admitting failure, and making plans and prayers for the year to come.  Each year these moments have been more about reflection that prescription; but not this year. 

For several months, I have been thinking and praying about 2013.   A friend of mine started this initiative called One Word 365 .  It’s this movement that says, instead of waiting for the year to happen to you, take initiative, and decide what this year is going to contain.  It’s the idea that we can choose the lens through which we experience the year. One Word 365 asks:

What do you want to focus on in 2013?

Who do you want to be by the end of the year?

I heard about One Word early into 2012, but not enjoying starting late into games, I determined that I would wait until 2013.  For a few months, I’ve been batting around word ideas, but one word keeps coming back to me.

It’s a word that I keep seeing in books and hearing in sermons.  It’s an idea I love and it’s an idea I hate.  It’s a concept that I struggle with daily, and it’s a concept that I embrace daily.  And over the last few months, it has become apparent in so many ways that it’s an area in my life that God is growing me.

My word for 2013 is generosity.

I want to be open handed with my resources, my home, my relationships, and my time.  Well, in theory I do… When it fits in my budget and my ideas, and my timetable.  I love to be generous when it’s my idea.  It’s fun to be generous when it feels good.

I want to be open-handed with my resources, my home, my relationships, and my time; no clauses no conditions.  I want to stop calling them “my” resources, home, relationships, and time because I really understand that they aren’t mine anyway, that they are a gift.  I want for this year to be about freedom from selfishness, and joy in giving.

And so, I am declaring 2o13 a year of generosity.

What will your one word be?  Link up and let’s talk about it all year!

2012: A Year Of Joy

2012 was truly a year of joy.  It wasn’t easy-breesy or without sadness, but throughout the tapestry of events and emotions,  I truly had a deep and constant sense of joy that I haven’t known before.  This joy was a resolute knowledge based in my understanding of a good God and in thankfulness for His presence with me in the midst of everyday, in the midst of loss, and in the midst of goodness.

In January, I started a job after months and months of searching and waiting and talking out my trust issues with God.  I found joy in answered prayer, provision, and a sense of calling.

In February, Adam and I moved out of my sister and brother-in-laws house into our little house in the ghetto.   I found joy in being able to host small group, friends from out of town, and friends in town.  I found joy in hospitality.

In May, our little house in the ghetto was robbed.  In the midst of the mess of robbery, I found joy in the knowledge that my God is my Protector and my Provider.  I found joy in knowing that things are things, joy that neither of us were harmed, and joy that life went on mostly as normal.

Also in May, I took a summer job at my Church in their local missions department.  I spent the summer coordinating volunteers, planning service projects, and dreaming big about how our Church can effectively serve our community.  This summer I found deep joy in my vocation.

In June, I said goodbye to my grandfather who went to be with Jesus after battling cancer.  I found joy in God’s comfort, and joy in the knowledge that he was with His Jesus.

In July, I celebrated 8 years of marriage with Adam.  I daily find great joy in our community, our teamwork, our service, and our love. 

In August, my grandmother came down to visit my sister and I and fell.  I got to spend amazing, priceless time with her for three months while she rehabbed to the point of being able to travel home.  I found joy in learning from the wisdom of another.

In December, I turned 30.  I’m finding joy in being more comfortable with me.

Also in December, we bought our first home.  I have been so busy moving I haven’t had time to write about it, but don’t worry, that post is coming soon in 2013.  Through this little house, I have found great joy in accepting God’s blessings.

Throughout the year, I found joy in hanging out with the college students at my church.  I found joy in feeding them, having coffee with them, listening to them, and watching them grow. 

I found joy in writing this year as I shared some of the things dearest to me.  I wrote a letter to my female Christ Followers and to my mom friends.  And some friends and I wrote letters to the Church.  I also wrote about healthcare and taxes and Christ-followers and I even got an article published.

I found joy in reading some amazing books this year.  Among my favorites were You Lost Me, The Hunger Games, Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life, Toxic Charity, and Celebration of Discipline.

This year, I continued to find joy in community. I’m never at a shortage for a listening ear or a dinner mate or a challenging conversation.  I know this is rare, and I am deeply grateful for the gifts of friendship that bring me such joy.

This year, as in years passed, I have found deep joy in working.  I love contributing to my family and my world through my work.  I find great joy in knowing my calling and seeing my gifts and passions work together to do good in the world. 

2012 has been a beautiful and joy-filled year.  I look forward to a new start and a new tomorrow with 2013.

What characterized 2012 for you? 

Could you sum it up in one word or one theme? 

Happy New Year, friends!

When There’s Darkness in the World

On days like today, when great tragedies occur, I usually get very quiet.  My facebook statuses and tweets go silent, and I can’t find words.  Most things I can think to say sound trivial, and it annoys me that others are ok with being trivial.  In a way, I understand that “the world must go on” because there are tragedies daily that we oft don’t hear about, but acting as if there is no horror in tragedy doesn’t sit well with me.  The pit in my stomach and lump in my throat will remain for days after news like today. 

On days like today, I think a lot.

I think about why horrible things happen.  I think about how pain and mental illness breed pain and mental illness.  I think about mercy.  I think about loss.  I think about victims. I think about forgiveness.  I think about justice.

Because of the line of work that I have chosen, I experience a lot of great tragedies through others’ experiences.  I experience suicide, physical abuse, poverty, addiction, mental illness, oppression, chronic hunger and sexual abuse.  Great tragedies occur daily for many.  Add those to great tragedies like that which we see in the news today, and I’m back to being without words.

I was raised to look for silver linings in everything.  I was taught to look for truth in hopelessness, or good in evil.  But there are days, when there are no silver linings in the intense storm clouds that brew in the world

Some days the darkness is just dark.  Some days, there is just evil, hatred, violence, and pain.

What do we do with that?

We grieve. 

We acknowledge the darkness. 

We don’t try to pretend its ok. 

We pray. 

We acknowledge our fear. 

We cry. 

We pray some more.

And then, we have a choice. 

We can use the darkness as fuel to fight for justice and mercy.  I’m not proposing that we use the darkness as fuel for hatred, bitterness, violence, or indifference. I’m proposing that we use the feelings that have been churning in us to make a difference in the world, maybe even to prevent future tragedies.

We have a choice in our response to tragedies: We can ignore them, we can get angry about them, or we can act as a result of them.

How do you respond to tragedies?  How can we pursue justice in the midst of tragedy?

“And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Sassy Friday – All About Social Media

Some Fridays on the blog are “Food Day Fridays” and as of today, some Fridays on the blog will be “Sassy Fridays.” 

My office is mostly full of women.  Often, when you get women together in a work situation, they get sassy.  To cut down on sass surplus, we have instituted “sassy days”.  Each of us got to pick the day of the week that we wanted to be super sassy.  Like a wise woman, I chose Fridays.  Usually my filter has worn down by the end of the week, so Fridays were a logical choice.

In honor of Sassy Friday, and the fact that I turned old this week (and old people get to say whatever they want), I have decided to tell you all of my musings, beliefs, and opinions about social media use.  Be forewarned, it’s sassy.

1.  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have different functions.  If you post the same content on all three forums, you will soon find yourself unfriended or unfollowed.  Switch it up, keep it fresh.  Keep us engaged.  Reserve your triple posts for major life stuff.

2.  Know your audience.  This is the beauty of social media.  I have very different following on Twitter than I do Facebook, and well, my Instagram following is pitiful so I don’t know how to comment on that.  But, write to your audience.  I have categories of things I post on twitter, and things I post on facebook.

3.  Don’t “live status” your life on facebook.  Seriously, the run down on the number of copies you made at work or diapers you changed at home is not that interesting to anyone else.  You may get hidden from my feed if you post constant statuses all day long every day.  You most definitely will get hidden from my feed if your many statuses all day long are about how busy you are. If you are on facebook all day long, you are not that busy.

4.  As far as pictures go, give yourself a reasonable “selfie” limit for the year and then stick to it.  There are a lot of frequent flyers in the selfie club, and it gets awkward fast.  Ladies, mystery is sexy, cover yourself up.  Gentleman, no bathroom half shirt up photos either. 

5.  Filter what you put out there.  People put some deep stuff out there on the interwebs, and that’s ok sometimes, but consider if your deep stuff would be better suited for a phone call or email to close friends.  I have at least 600 “friends” on facebook that are more of acquantances.  I don’t share super personal stuff with 600 people I haven’t talked to in 10 years.

6.  Social media is great for measuring outcomes.  Look at your comments, likes, and such.  If people aren’t commenting or liking what you put out there, evaluate.  Super frequent status updates, frequent rants and raves, and frequent complaining stop getting feedback quickly.  Switch up your content and see what comes of it.  The purpose of social media is interaction, so if you aren’t getting much, it could be because people don’t know how to interact with what you’re putting out there.

7.  Speaking of complaining, truly look at what you put out there.  If the majority of what you put out there is negative, bitter, angry, or rude, followers lose interest.  Readers are more interested in hearing what you’re for than what you’re against.  Sure, we all have bad days, we all get snarky, but monitor how much negativity you put out.

8.  Don’t be crass. Don’t be gross.  That is all.

9.  Pregnancy and Childbirth via social media could be it’s own blog.  Pregnancy is beautiful.  I love seeing your bump grow, but I’m not so sure about the bare belly bump photos (of you, of your husband, of you and your husband…).  Please know, I’m not discrimiating against pregnant bellies. As a hard and fast rule rule, I don’t want to see anyone’s bare belly pictures on facebook.  No bikinis, no men without shirts, no bare bellies.   Also, I don’t ever want to read the words “effaced, mucous plug, dilated, or cervix” as a part of a status.  I’m confident I’m not alone on that one.

10.  I fully expect to get unfollowed and de-friended because of the content of this blog.

What would you add to this list?  Be honest, it’s Sassy Friday!