A blog and a baby - can I have both?
I've struggled almost daily with not being able to blog much since we got home from Ethiopia with Aster. Not because I don't love every minute with my new little girl. I'm seriously more crazy about her than I ever thought I could be this quickly! And not because I feel pressure to blog.

It's because I don't want to give up this part of me. I miss it.

I've tried again and again to write a post - in my head and on the page of my heart.
But then that little bundle of sweetness decides to wake up or make a messy diaper or do something cute that totally distracts me.

And I am starting to feel like maybe all my adult conversation words have been deleted from my brain. I still have the basics like" yes" and "I don't know" and "when will you be home?"

But the rest have been converted to cooing and sounding out "ma ma" and "da da" and "no - don't touch." Do you know if it's scientifically proven that sleep deprivation and an abundance of dirty diaper fumes affects the part of your brain that strings letters into words and words into sentences?

My days are not full of words anymore but sweet snapshots of the
moments we have with our sweet girl. I can't tell you how many times I pull her close, right up into my face, and take a picture with the click of my heart.

I am praying for a new way of journeying to the heart of God with you in this new season of life with a baby. I want to get creative and have a plan. Maybe have certain topics I write about like Monday's for moms and participate in things like "Tuesdays Unwrapped" and other ideas that could give my currently unstructured blog/brain/life a little form.

In some ways, I feel like my blog is turning into a scrapbook and for some reason I am hesitant about that. Yet I want to capture the memories and stories of Aster and I don't have time to blog and scrapbook. Plus I just signed a book contract (yay!) and will need to reserve some creative thinking for this bigger-than-me assignment.

I know God's got a plan so I'm just asking Him to show me what it is. I thought you might have suggestions? Any thoughts on what might work for me? Topics you like to talk about? Do you get tired of seeing all these photos of Aster? Is that the dumbest question a mom can ask?

Since I'm challenged in the 'thinking' department these days I was thinking you could brainstorm with me.



Blogger Oh Dear said...

Ms. Renee,
When I read your Aster comments...I think-WELCOME TO MY WORLD!! BTW-She is beautiful and looks so very happy!

OpenID lehrerin said...

Definitely not tired of the pictures. Aster's beautiful! I can't imagine how difficult it must be to find time for husband, a new baby, older boys, house, meals, laundry, speaking and radio ministry, book deal, etc, etc. We're happy to hear from you when you are able, and all of your suggestions sound good to me. Maybe it could be something informal like what Marybeth Whalen does - she uses Meal Plan Mondays, Simple Woman's Daybook, etc., when she's able to do it, and on other days she does other things. You'll find what works for you!

Blogger emily said...

Renee, I think girls just like to enter in with you, to see where you are and what you're up to. If that's sleep deprivation and diaper fumes, then that's what it will be. I love seeing Aster and getting glimpses of this fleeting life stage. Thanks for your honesty...how quickly I forget to remember the brain-cell sucking early years of mommy-ing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, definetely not enough pictures with Aster, I want more. SHe is such a cute girl and we are a great, strong woman, mother, wife, friend and blogger.
I enjoy your every word.
God bless your family.

Blogger Victoria said...

I really enjoy hearing about Aster. I think a blog-scrapbook is fine...as a new mom it is nice to hear that I am not the only one who is worn out, dealing with new-mom-everyday-things. And you are always so inspiring. And she is seriously adorable!! God bless!

Bring on the pictures! :)

Your blog is titled "Journey of my Heart". Right now your heart is beautifully steeped in Aster's love and in your family. Your friends are happy to journey with you.

And ps...we like seeing all the pictures just as much as you enjoying sharing them!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEVER STOP TELLING AND SHARING ABOUT ASTER! Show us God through you and your experiences...

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...


For me, the beauty of blogging on your own page is that there is no structure. You can post when you want and what you want. If you have faithful readers who are sincerely following to get to know you, then it's okay to write about your life in it's current season.

Having Aster in your lives is worthy of writing about. There are many posts just in that. This just may be the time for you to focus more on the bloggy-mommies! Girl, share with us, God uses children to teach us lessons as well!

Congrats on your book contract!


Blogger Joyful said...

I love what Sharon wrote above. This blog is a journey of your heart. The Lord has you walking a wonderful new path right now, and I'm so glad your heart is following His plans for you.

Aster is such a huge part of your God story right now. It's incredible to me how quickly your adoption came about. I have a friend here who was locked in paper work for over four years.

At the same time, I hear your longings and desires of a time for more. Not wanting to let go of the deeper for the sweeter written word. Know that both are good Renee. Release yourself from any expectation and pressure. Just continue seeking Him and He will lead your blog posts. Unless God clearly guides, I don't think I'd lock myself into specific days...that will still hold structured committment. Let His Spirit guide your posts. If He prompts an Aster day - wonderful!!! If He awakens a new truth in His Word - wonderful!!! He will give you the time on that day for whichever way He leads.

Enjoying sharing in your mommy moments. Aster is darling. Absolutely darling! Hug each other for me.

Love ya,

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Maybe have a goal like you said of a certain day. Maybe shoot for one more ministry post a week and one family post. Just a thought.

Single, no kids, but sometimes I still have trouble fitting it in!

Any which way you go, I think most of us here will be happy to hear from you anytime and about anything.

Love you!


Blogger mary said...

Every morning I check 'is there a new pics of Aster/or the family?' I love your sharing the journey of your life. When you went to get Aster I was so excited for you & your family. Please continue to share your moments of the good, bad, calm, & the hectic life of a home of a young child, teen boys & finding time with your husband. This life in its fullest. Praying God will you lead you to where He wants you to be! Blessings & Peace Mary

Blogger Shannon said...

I love to hear of your journey as I hope it is one that I will write about very soon! So keep on writing what you write...I check almost daily for updates


Blogger Kristan said...

I've often wondered why I became dumb after having children. The only thing is it started with pregnancy. Getting dumber was actually my first clue I was prgnant with number 2. Maybe God was just preparing me for the "fumes" and "sleepless nights" brain.

Blogger B His Girl said...

Love seeing Aster. You can't go wrong posting pictures. No words necessary. lol. She is a picture of joy. I believe God will settle you in on what to do. Enjoy where you are Renee.

Blogger Lindsey said...

Hey Renee!

So good to see you back. Keep those pictures coming!

I love reading your posts. Whatever is on your heart is what I like reading.

Continuous prayers for you and your family. Aster is one blessed little girl!

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

HI Renee,
I love seeing the photos of Aster and hearing about your lives. She looks so happy and secure. How far God has brought you all through this! Amazing!


Blogger Cheri said...

First off, I popped over here almost everyday and when there was nothing new, it made me smile! I thought she is enjoying that baby!

Secondly, it's nice to come over to your place and read what's going on in other mom's lives.

You could do a once a week "ASTER" a question day.(cute huh? ) :0)

This will allow people to ask you whatever kind of question they want; it could be about God or how you would handle a certain situation in their life. It could be about anything. Advice is ALWAYS good-especially when it comes from a godly woman.

"ASTER" a question day!! :0)

Blogger Dana said...

Oh renee- please dont stop sharing the gift of Aster with us. She's proof that God works in ways we all never imagined!

I too enjoy your every word.
God bless your family.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love seeing your pics! and hearing about Aster! Its only natural that she consumes your days.

Blogger Julie Gillies said...

I think the most powerful thing you can write right now is what you're walking through, Renee. Back to babyhood, struggling with sleep deprivation, a new book on the horizon. Just keeping it real is what every blog reader appreciates. To every thing there is a season, and this is the season you're in.

I adore the pictures of Aster. I prayed so much for you through the journey I feel like I'm invested in her life, too. God allowed you to rescue her and to see her beaming face now just leaves me breathless.

So don't feel pressure. Just keep it real and know we're rooting you on, praying for you, and sighing over Aster's pics. :)


Anonymous Andrea said...

Love all the pics and updates of Aster, Renee! I can clearly see the hand of God as He's worked to bond her with you and your family! This is a great encouragement of His Presence and His Spirit's intervention in daily life.


Blogger Monica said...


Your readers have travelled on the adoption journey through you and this is a new chapter in your season of motherhood. Please continue to share pictures of Aster as this shows how God answers prayers and what happens when we live with the blessings. Teach what He is teaching you and write what is on your heart. Don't worry, the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say (Luke 12:12).


Blogger Renee Swope said...

You have totally encouraged my heart today. I need this little community of friendship. You help me feel "connected" and loved!!!

Love you back!

PS. More photos of Aster coming soon! My batteries died so I am waiting for LeAnn to send me some we took today at the P31 office.

Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

First of all, rest assured, your blog readers aren't going anywhere. We love you and treasure your insights on life.

Secondly, maybe post some of the scripts from your radio show. I ALWAYS love your shows.

And don't be afraid to post snippets of some of the chapters you are working on for your book. My blog readers helped me write my last book because their comments broadened my thinking and stirred my creative thinking.

Hope that helps...

Love you and love that sweet baby!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So precious! Don't worry about us. Enjoy being Aster's mom and just let God guide you. Thank you for sharing!

Blogger Kim said...

It's an honor to read about Aster's new life in her home with her forever family. God is using your words to bless others and convey His heart to others. Don't stop what you're doing. He gave you a new chapter in this life but it doesn't mean what you're blogging about isn't exactly what He wants you to blog about and it doesn't mean it's not important for others to hear about. God bless you days with your baby girl! She's an angel and will only be little once. Cherish each moment...there will always be time to blog.

Blogger Bonita said...

Renee, we WANT to read about Aster and see her sweet face. I'm amazed at the difference in her countenance in these pictures as opposed to the ones in earlier pictures. All that loving is doing her good! So keep loving her and let us peek in now and then. We aren't going anywhere.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures of Aster! And more than that I love being able to peer into this journey of adoption and faith with you. It is more of a gift than you can imagine. Hearing whatever snippets from your life that you feeled called to share is an amazing gift -- a treasure that leads my heart to the soft places. I love checking in and being surprised that you found a tiny window of time to share your life. It's like unwrapping a Christmas present -- emphasis on the Christ.
Blessings to your and your precious family,

Blogger Momma of JAA Lemon said...

Yes you can. YOu can do all things through Christ that Strengthens you. Love you and thanks for sharing it is so awesome.

Blogger Nanci said...

Hi Renee,

Your story with Aster is beautiful and please keep sharing your story with us! I can see her progress and adjustment to her new family in the pictures you share. I love hearing about your feelings as a mom and your love for her. Keep posting as you are!


Blogger Rachel B said...

Just keep it real, Renee. That's what you've always done and that's what brings me back. :)

Blogger Elaine said...

I just wanna see pictures. ;)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,
There are not enough pictures you could post of Aster's joy! All is where it needs to be, including mind, body and spirit...and vocabulary. We all have been there, going through it or will have it in our future. We are women and we understand. Congrats on your book deal! I spent a considerable amount of time with your CD's as inspiration when I was doing a lot of traveling. They soothed the static in my mind during difficult times. Thank you. Give who and what you are, and where you are at- all of us will be happy with that.

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