Most of you know that a little over a year ago, we told you about a message that had come to mean a lot to both of us. As two women who, as new moms, had struggled mightily with trying (and failing) to follow the mandates of popular Christian parenting approaches to the first year of childhood, we felt led to find a way to share our words of encouragement towards another way of looking at parenting with a wider audience. At that time, we envisioned moving this message forward in the form of a book - a book that we dreamed of seeing on bookshelves alongside other new baby care books, something that new moms could pick up, thumb through, be encouraged by, and pass along to their friends.
We prayerfully moved forward with our plans to see this material published as a book, but it wasn't too long before God began gently closing doors on that idea. As is often the case with redirection, it took us some time to heal, recover, and regroup. (Can anyone relate?) But just as God was faithful to provide direction on where this path would lead, He was also faithful to continue to whisper encouragement to us to keep moving forward.
A few months ago, Laura and I were chatting and thinking out loud about some possibilities. She brought up the domain name that she had purchased for As He Leads Us last year and wondered if anything might be done with that. From there, we began to dream big again, and that's what we want to share with you today:
Our vision for As He Leads Us has shifted from publishing a book to launching a website. We are envisioning an interactive destination on the internet that would include the material we had begun to prepare for publication as well as the material we had published in the AHLU series here at SortaCrunchy. Additionally, we will offer a discussion forum for those who have specific questions or who want to offer personal experience on what it looks like to live out a Christ-led, servanthood approach to parenting in the first year.
If there is one thing that I have learned in the past year, it's the power of community and collaboration. (Laura has always been much better at being community-minded than I have been!) It is our heart's desire to see the As He Leads Us website be rooted in community. Because of this, today we want to make you aware of some ways you could support the As He Leads Us website:
- Our biggest and most immediate need is help with the technical aspect of launching a website. Specifically we need people who could advise us on how to set up the site as well as someone who could offer some (very basic) design services. If you or someone you know would be able to support our mission in this, please let us know!
- We would love to see the discussion forum grow into a helpful resource for people who need some more specific encouragement. We also want to make sure that the forums aren't a place to come and bash other parenting philosophies; our purpose for the forums will be positive encouragement. To that end, we will be looking for a handful of people who might volunteer a little time to help moderate the discussion forums.
- Finally, we would invite you to be thinking about how you might contribute your own thoughts, experiences, and wisdom to this project. Something we were surprised, delighted, and encouraged by time and again is how each of you added such depth to the discussion in the comments on our As He Leads us series. We so look forward to building a community of voices and stories that will be an encouragement to many.
So, that's where we are! For those who have asked for updates, thank you so much. God used your questions as powerful motivators to keep this project alive! Your feedback means so much to us!
photo by Weird Beard