Do Not Be So Naive!

do not be so naive

“Start a highly profitable blog in eight minutes and work less than eight hours a week, no experience necessary!” COWPIES! Or as my husband would say, “bovine scatology” (you can process that one if you need to.) Today I am going to share how the first few months of blogging have gone for me at faith-family-food.com and if there is scriptural support for NOT believing everything you see or hear. And just for fun, we’re going to make Peanut Butter Oreo Bars.  Thanks for stopping by.  Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links seen on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

Food For Thought  It has been almost four months since the launch of my blog and website at faith-family-food.com.  To say I’ve learned a lot would be an understatement.  A year ago I was not even entertaining the idea of quitting my job to become a blogger.  A year ago I said things like, “Blogging is a real job?”  I liked reading blogs, especially certain teacher blogs and some faith-based blogs.  When I did decide to quit my job as a kindergarten teacher it was for a variety of reasons, some of which are very painful for me.  Circumstances that I believe were of divine intervention pushed me to a point where I felt I had no choice but to leave a job that I had loved for so long, but had I become as deeply burnt out and jaded as I once was passionate.  Still, I didn’t just say, well that’s okay, I’ll just work from home as a blogger.  It wasn’t until some “signs” came into view and a gentle nudge from God that I even thought about combining my love of cooking with my passions for faith and family, via a blog.  So, like with any major tasks I take on, I did my research.  Lots and lots of research!  I read blogs about blogging, followed other bloggers’ stories, prayed and studied, and researched some more.  I talked to bloggers in person and via social media groups.  I asked about host sites and money-making opportunities.  The ones that have already made it “big” are the ones that make it sound so easy.  People I know personally would say things like, “I haven’t made any money yet,” “my traffic is very slow,” or “my website has already crashed more than once.”  But if you look on Pinterest, you will hear claims about it only taking an hour to get a website designed and a blog up and going.  You will see people confidently sharing their income reports of 6 figures, allowing them to leave their executive position to work from home.  You will hear of 20-somethings traveling the world via their 10-hour-per-week blogging career.  And to ALL of this I say COWPIES!  Even after doing my research, I knew that all of these statements were too good to be true, especially for someone such as myself who has limited technology experiences, has a low number of friends and contacts on social media, and doesn’t have any “assistants.”

real truth about faith blogging
Its necessary to pick your way carefully through the field of manure to get to the harvest on the other side.

Fortunately, I’m not super gullible or naïve.  I know if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  I do not believe that my website and blog is going to pull in a six-figure income, and I probably don’t even want it to.  I also know that I spent a month designing and preparing my website and my first drafts of content before I ever launched to the public.  I researched host sites and monetization strategies.  I invested in higher tier hosting and website features, which is wonderful when it comes to blocking spam and malicious account attempts.  In this day and age, this is a necessity with any online business and not a place to skimp financially.  So to say that I was able to get my blog up and running in an hour or had no upfront costs would be a LIE.  Oh, and that ten-hour work week?  Not if you are legit about growing your website and audience and dedicated to your content and facts.  I work at least five days per week, 6-8 hours per day.  Part of the reason for this is my blog crosses two niches-spirituality and food, so I’m kind of doing double the work.  But what else am I going to do right now?  I do love the flexibility I have as being my own boss.  If I want to take a long weekend, I can.  If I want to take time out from working on my blog to go have lunch with my daughter at school, I can.  If I need to run errands for the household during the day, I can.  I can volunteer at my daughter’s school and keep my house cleaned and organized, which are tasks not easily accomplished while working outside the home.  So there are some obvious perks, especially because I like what I’m doing and have considerable less stress.  But guess what?  At four months in, I haven’t made a single cent!  Yes, folks, we keep it painfully honest here at faith-family-food!  I have to make my disclaimers in case THIS is the post that I end up getting paid from, and honestly, I write every one with that hope in my heart.  But blogging is a lot like teaching (minus the steady paycheck.)  You don’t go into the field looking to become rich and famous.  A few will and do…very few.  You do it with the idea that you are helping someone.  When I was teaching, I had the philosophy that if I helped one person learn one thing on any given day, my job had been successful.  I have to approach blogging with the same attitude.  Each day I pray that my words will find just the right person at the right time when they need encouragement most, then I can say my day has been successful.  In the meantime, I still have things to say.  I still want to share God’s love with the people of world.  I still believe God’s blessings are on their way to me for following this calling.  I don’t know when, or how the blessings will come, but I do know that I’ll believe His word before I believe the banner I read on my Pinterest feed.

Today’s Scriptures  There are many times in the Bible that we are warned of false teachings.  We certainly want to be on guard for this when it comes to those who dispute God’s word and wisdom.  But I think this needs to carry over into other areas of our life too.  We can’t just believe everything we hear, even when it sounds SO GOOD and the words deliver promises we desperately want to see come true.  Check out these verses regarding “Don’t be so naïve.”

Proverbs 14:15  “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”  I always like a good proverb, for its practicality!

Romans 16:17-18  “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people.”   I underlined the part that I considered most significant for this topic today.

1 Timothy 4:1-2  “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whos consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”  I am not saying here that the writers of the blogging statement examples I made are necessarily hypocritical liars, but I am warning everyone to have their minds clear and think through the teachings and statements you see, hear, and read.  You need to make your own studies and pray for discernment and wisdom from the Lord so that you may not be mislead, and that includes the statements I make here in my blog.  I pray, and believe, that my words are true, but I would never want to be the cause for someone to be led astray!  I encourage you to spend time in scripture following, or along with, reading this blog.

Today’s Prayer  My Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You may guard our hearts and minds from false teachings or any beliefs that may lead us away from completing Your best works.  Protect our spirit from taking in earthly wisdoms that interfere with Your truths.  Please bless those of us that seek to help others, that we may not deliver any false, dishonest, or misleading testimony or advice.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Today’s Recipe  I was originally going to make cow pie cookies for today’s recipe to go along with my opening statements about misleading blogger information.  Most of the recipes I saw for “cow pies” looked more like the classic no-bake chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal cookies from school lunch rooms back in the day.  I do love chocolate!  I do love peanut butter!  But do you know what I love better than oatmeal?  Oreos, ha!  So instead we are going to make Peanut Butter Oreo Bars.  Three layers of chocolate and peanut butter sweetness!  Hold onto your sweet tooth, my friends, because this recipe will not be making my “Healthy Living” page!

Peanut Butter Oreo Bars
Three layers of chocolate and peanut butter goodness!

Peanut Butter Oreo Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 package peanut butter Oreo cookies
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 16-oz jar crunchy peanut butter (you will need to set 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter aside for the topping)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
peanut butter oreo crust
peanut butter oreo crust

1. In food processor, crumble entire package of peanut butter Oreo cookies.  Melt 1 stick of butter in microwave-safe dish.  Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter.  Press firmly into bottom of 9×13 pan.  Place in freezer to firm up while you prepare filling.

peanut butter fudge filling
peanut butter fudge filling

2.In medium sauce pan, melt one stick of butter and entire jar, minus 2 tablespoons, of peanut butter.  Stir in vanilla.  Remove from heat.  Stir in powdered sugar.

second layer for oreo bars
second layer for oreo bars

3.Remove crust from freezer.  Spread peanut butter fudge layer on top of crust.  Set aside while you make chocolate topping.

chocolate peanut butter topping
chocolate peanut butter topping

4.In same saucepan, heat heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and chocolate chips.  Whisk until melted and smooth.

final chocolate peanut butter layer
final chocolate peanut butter layer

5.Spread chocolate layer on top of peanut butter fudge layer.  Refrigerate for at least three hours before cutting.  You will need a sharp knife to get through all three layers, especially the oreo crust, so be prepared.  I store these in the refrigerator.

finished and cut peanut butter oreo bar
finished and cut peanut butter oreo bar

 

If you are contemplating starting your own blog, I am not here to discourage you.  I just don’t want any of my readers to be mislead by some of the information that is out there.  The best book I read for blogging was this step-by-step guide for setting up a website and beginning a blog.  It would be the best place to start, in my opinion. (link verified on 10/15/17 at 4:05 pm, CDT)