goals, plans & dreams for 2014

2014.

I realize I’m a bit late in posting my resolutions for the new year but I took a little internet hiatus and enjoyed it more than I anticipated.  As much as I heart being a blogger, it’s nice to just live without the fuss of having to document every little thing, ya know?  Seriously, if I didn’t blog I wouldn’t touch a social media network with a ten foot pole…not even Pinterest.

However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about my site, this little place that I love so much.  This blog is like my little getaway, my happy place, and it’s been a pretty exciting journey so far but in order for it to reach it’s full potential, I realize that sometimes means stepping out of my comfort zone and making some necessary changes.

The only real goal I have for this blog is for it to glorify God. 

I can have a ginormous readership or only half a dozen readers, it doesn’t matter to me.  It’s the quality over quantity concept. What does matter is that the people who are reading are finding encouragement, inspiration, ideas, or whatever else they came here looking for, in an Orthodox context.  I am not superhuman, I do not have it all together all the time.  Who does?  I make mistakes and take plenty of unnecessary detours, some of which get hung here for the whole world to see but I also have the knowledge and the faith that whatever God brings me to, He’ll bring me through.  My hope is that by following my journey you can somehow benefit from not only my triumphs, but my failures as well.

And while I have hopes and dreams (you all know how much I love to dream) and lots of things I’d love to see happen here, I don’t have any expectations.  I firmly trust in His will and try to act according to what I believe that to be.  No one can know the will of God, of course, but I believe striving to do what’s right and speaking the truth will keep me heading in the right direction.

When I first started this blog in 2008, I never imagined that it would evolve into what it is today.  This little corner of internet space has opened so many doors for me and has broadened my horizons in more ways than I thought possible.  I’ve made such wonderful friends from all over the world and have grown to love so very many of you, my dear readers.  I don’t know why you keep coming back, but you do, and for that I’m thankful.  You’ve offered support and encouragement through some pretty difficult times and even the occasional reprimand, all of which helped me grow immensely.  I can never give back all that I’ve gained from you, but I promise to keep trying.  That is why I’ve decided to take the next step in growing this site.  To give back as much as I can to you and your families.

But in order for that to happen, I have to put in the work required from behind the scenes.

behind the scenes of OrthodoxMom.com

Below are just a few things in the works to help that happen.

start earning revenue to support various projects and programs.  Some people have a hard time thinking of ideas.  But not me.  I am constantly thinking of ideas that, at least I think, are fantastic.  My problem is executing them.  I simply don’t have the time between homeschooling, regular school obligations, family responsibilities (and they’re always first on my list of priorities) and all of the things required to run this blog as more than just a place where I rant.

I have always wanted to keep Adventures of an Orthodox Mom an ad free, ‘no strings attached’ place but in order for me to bring to life all of the ideas swimming in my head, I have to accept the fact that I can’t do it all myself.  That’s why I am looking into some fun ways to start earning a bit of cash through various ad networks.  I’m even considering teaching an online class on how to make prayer ropes. With the funds earned from these venues, I am hoping to bring in a couple people to run some of my programs, such as the Book Club, Pen Pal Program, and our Swaps.  This will save me a TON of time give me more freedom to think of and test out different craft projects and recipes to share with all of you!  At first, they’ll be volunteer positions but eventually I’ll be able to offer payment.

If you’re interested in joining my team, keep an eye out for a “We’re Hiring” post in the next few weeks.

Speaking of The Book Club… I sort of dropped the ball with that last year.  For some reason, it was just really hard to get back at it after summer break.  I was really bummed, too, because we had such an amazing response!  I am still consistently getting emails from people asking to join.  It was a new venture and there were a few lessons learned along the way.  The first problem was I wanted to keep it all on this blog but that didn’t really allow for very fluent conversation, so despite my feelings about social networks, I’m moving the club to Facebook.  That will make it much easier for people to discuss their thoughts and I’d like to even get some of the authors of our selections to chime in from time to time.  You can ‘like’ the page here and keep an eye out for updates there as well as here on the blog.

officially launch The Glitter Girls.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember back in early September when I posted a photo asking you to follow a new account I created.  I’m always so inspired by companies who try to make a difference with the products they sell.  Like the FEED Project, Tom’s Shoes and 1Face Watches.  All three of those companies are making a difference in the world.

And really, that’s what I want to do.  To make a difference. 

For as long as I could remember, it’s been a dream of mine to start some sort of organization that would help those in need.  But, that’s pretty broad criteria and I never could quite narrow it down to what kind of org exactly.  Would it help childhood cancer patients, the elderly, the poor?  Ideally, it could help everyone but I knew I had to choose a certain demographic and start there.

Back in May, I spoke at our region’s St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival.  It reminded me how much I love working with young people and how awesome they can be.  They have so much potential, if only there was a way to tap into it.  So, I decided to test the waters by creating some buzz on a couple of the social media sites.  The response I received wasn’t overwhelming but it was definitely enough to encourage me to go for it. Hopefully, there will be more to share about that soon…

the publication of a new book {or two}.  I can’t quite spill the beans on these projects yet, but I can say that I poured a good part of my 2013 into them.  I am super excited and will share details as they’re available.

So, there you have it.  A few of my goals, plans and dreams for twenty fourteen.  What do you guys think about all of this?  Your opinion matters in these decisions!

p.s.  I just found out someone set my blog up on Blog Lovin’.  You can follow it here.

Comments

  1. Wow, you are ambitious! ♥ If anyone can juggle it all, it’s you…homeschooling and bringing in some revenue to help those in need is quite enough.

  2. It sounds good to me! May God give you strength to accomplish all the things you’ve set your mind to!

    The only 2 cents I’ll add is that for people like myself who neither have nor want to have a facebook account a book club that only discusses books in that format is a let down. But, even if I can’t be actively involved in it, I still think it’s a good idea.

    • Orthodox Mom says:

      Mat. Constantina, I know, I know! That is exactly why I wanted to try to do it from my blog but it just didn’t work. I don’t use a personal page on Facebook either but don’t know of another way to really enable people to interact. Do you know of anything??

  3. Good for you! I have been struggling with what to do with myself in 2014. I recently read a book that has been making me think I need to get out of my comfort zone and get out into my community to really help people this year. Looking forward to hearing all of the things you are doing!

  4. Katerina Loucas says:

    Hi Sylvia,
    I accidentally came across your blog as I was trying to find a few quotes for my English class. I teach English here in Greece, on the beautiful island of Crete, in Chania and since then I constantly visit it because I’m amazed at what you’ve accomplished. Please tell me how you do it. I don’t have a Facebook account, because I’ve got a teenage daugter and I have to set the example for her, so it would be impossible to interact, so if it is possible could you try something else? Also, I’m interested in learning how to knit so could you give me some advice on how to get started.
    Thanks in advance

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