Launching Intentional By Grace in April 2011 was one of the scariest, riskiest, odd defying things I’ve ever done. I never aspired to be a writer, at least not until I started writing. You see, growing up, I kept a journal, but I wasn’t formally trained in grammar and persuasive writing. I went to college to get a Business Management degree. Why? I’m embarrassed, but I’ll tell you anyway. I don’t like being managed, and I wanted an office with a window. I just wanted to be my own boss, which was indicative of my state of mind when I graduated high school. I was going to be independent before I was dependent. I told you a few weeks ago that true womanhood eluded me so this should not surprise you.
However, it was in college that I learned about the power of the written word and secretly fell in love with it. When I married Mark, he started a blog that we utilized for our family living in other states, but it quickly became more of an online journal for me to share what the Lord was teaching me. Soon we had a small handful of readers, and we were hearing how my words were being used at youth retreats and small group Bible studies. It was humbling, scary, and unnerving. I wasn’t a writer and had only just come to truly know Jesus as my Savior! But I kept writing, and eventually my husband started another blog, IntentionalByGrace.com, and tossed me out into the vast ocean of blogosphere with the sweet words of, “Go get ‘em, sweetie!” What in the world?
Nevertheless, I kept writing and quickly learned that I had a passion for not only the writing, but the business part of blogging as well. Business Management degree anyone? However, I had no way of knowing what was in store, nor what I was getting myself into. I had no idea how quickly IBG would grow. I just had no idea what lay before me. All I knew then, and all I know now, is God is calling me to obedience, to lay it bare before you, and to allow you into my life, pulling back the curtains so you can see into the depths of my heart.
Intentional By Grace has been my “baby” since its inception. It is because of YOU that we are given a voice and platform and an opportunity to reach women (and men) around the world with the truths of God’s Word. With each passing day, my heart is stirred with compassion for the women who represent hundreds of thousands of families from all walks of life reading IBG. So it is with this great burden in our heart for our readers that my husband and I began to pray the Lord would bring more workers who believed in the mission of Intentional By Grace to shoulder the burden (and joys) alongside us.
By grace, the Lord has provided an amazing team of contributors who embrace Intentional By Grace as their own. They are coming to love you, as I love you. They want to share their lives with you, and each month they slice off a piece and hand it to you in hopes that you will be encouraged to love God in a way that makes it impossible to not think about Him always. I am so grateful for their sacrifice of time and their willingness to shoulder the weight of responsibility that comes with running a website. This site would not exist without them.
And as you know, over a year ago I met Nikki, and in God’s kindness, we are now business partners, together running Butterfly Ministries, LLC. I know you, my beloved readers ,do not yet “know” her. You’ve glimpsed her here and there, but she has not been the face of IBG as she is now. I want you to know her heart because I want you to trust her as you have come to trust me. I don’t doubt that you will, for her words and her life speak testaments to God’s grace and goodness. So even though Intentional By Grace is my baby, it is fully hers now too.
Thursday, Nikki will lay her heart bare before you, and I hope it will only fuel the flames for a more fervent pursuit of God as an Intentional By Grace community. I’m so grateful for how you have embraced the direction of IBG for we believe this is ultimately God’s ship that we are entrusted to sail. But no matter who you find working behind Intentional By Grace, we wouldn’t be here without you. So thank you for your faithfulness, encouragement, and friendship. And I wrote today to make sure you know that I’m so glad you are here.