Your Social Media Voice Needs Rules…


Back when Social Media mainly consisted of Chatrooms, Myspace, my blog was on Xanga and Facebook had yet to become a major player; I had a professor tell a class that I was in, that we had to decide what our online voice would look like.

How would we conduct ourselves?
What were our rules of engaging?

He insisted that at some point in the future, potential jobs would look to our social media presentation of ourselves to decide if we would indeed be a good addition to their company/organization.

He stressed how much it mattered how we presented ourselves online… I remember very little from that class, but that discussion has stood out to me for 10+ years.

Fast-forward to today.

Social media can get exhausting.

There is a never ending plethora of soap boxes, opinions, emotions, facts, “facts”, images, politics blah blah blah blah.


But, let’s be honest, there’s also puppies, funny memes, jokes, beautiful pictures, interesting things, movie/tv show trailers, touching stories, actually keeping in touch with all of life’s ups and downs, and great conversations…

There is connection and a real sense of community when social media is done right and well.

However, let’s be real here, it can all get overwhelming and exhausting trying to wade through it all.

I have been thinking a lot lately about Social media etiquette, and how SO many people seem to not have pre-decided rules for engaging… Likely because they have just never thought of it before.

Here are some suggestions for rules of engagement, some do’s and don’ts to consider:

  1. Assess:
    ~Is your post Inclusive or Selfish? – Meaning, does it encourage community and engaging or is it “look at me” or “listen to me” selfish style.
    ~If your post is not inclusive, how can you change it to be more engaging and involving of others? – Trust me, make that change.
  2. Stop Doing These Things:
    ~Never post when you’re angry… As in, just don’t do it.
    ~Never respond or debate when you’re angry.. You will be incapable of communicating clearly.
    ~Debate in general. Stop debating on social media. – Your pride becomes more important than the person you are debating with. – Knock it off because your “rightness” will never be realized by the other person.
    ~Everyone gets sucked into debates now and then.. it happens to the best of us. – But for real, let’s all just stop it and move back to in-person debates if they are necessary.
    ~We (errrbody) are all tired of the soap box rants. – Stop telling people on the digital stage what you think about polarizing topics… Not. Helpful. and definitely not insightful.
    ~ Stop sharing inappropriate things that you wouldn’t show or say in proper settings (or show/say to your grandma).
  3. In fact, let’s just all agree to stop posting when we have any dramatic emotion other than happy… Avoid. Abort. Delete.
  4. Can We Just All Do More:
    ~Posting of things that are funny, inclusive, brings people into conversation and digital community.
    ~Share loving things, encouraging things, interesting things, helpful things, funny things.. Good things.
    ~Puppies and kitties – These are great, when in doubt: cute it up.
    ~Funny/ridiculous/embarrassing personal stories that show your life isn’t perfect! – No really, these types of posts would make the world a better place for all of us.

So much of what is now  “acceptable Social Media engagement” has replaced communication that is actually supposed to be done in a personal face to face conversation.

People are saying and posting things that they have no business sharing with your cousin’s best friend’s mom because it happened to be liked or commented on by a mutual friend or two.

Things are said that would be considered with much more wisdom “in real life” if that person was sitting in front of them.

Feelings are disregarded too easily online because we can’t see the facial expression of the person we are interacting with… We actually care less and love them less. Basically meaning, we fail.

Keep in mind, this is just my opinion…. like everything else online: Consider and take it, leave it, share it, take parts and leave other parts… But, for the love, please consider something new for your rules of engagement!

It is time we ALL re-assess our rules for online engagement.

So, what are your rules of engagement?

How are you intentionally creating your digital voice and presentation of self?

What are you doing to add to or detract from the online world?

Do you say things on social media that draws people into community or
are you saying things that more closely resembles reality TV?

Take some time and consider what your social media etiquette should be and how you should/n’t engage.

That One Time I Bought a Puppy…


Remember that one time about 3 1/2 years ago that I bought a puppy?

2012 Wrap-Up...

Cute. Sweet. Little tiny puppy.

Adorably Sick Puppy Update... Adorably Sick Puppy Update...


And then he started growing…. In size and personality.

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I knew my sweet pups would grow.. and grow.IMG_0977

I just didn’t realize that he would continue to grow, and grow, and grow.. and of course grow!


I got the pups because I’ve always wanted a “large dog”.. It’s actually on my bucket list. So, I went through large dog breeds, and researched their personalities, quirks, aggressiveness, and then compared them to the lifestyle I have to make sure things matched.

Great Dane, that’s the breed I settled on, cause why not “go big”… and if I’m going big, why not get a male so I would have the bigger version of big.


Growing up, we had “medium-large” mutt dogs… aka little tiny puppies in comparison and let’s be honest, no one gave a second glance to.

So, as mentioned, my pups continued to grow… I learned how to train him, keeping in mind how big he would get, and wanting to make sure I trained him to be large. Which meant, training him to not take food, to not tear things up, to sit, stay, leave it, no, go, move, get out-of-the-way, come, back up, and a plethora of other practical commands.IMG_4453

Trust, “leave it” and “get out-of-the-way” are two of the most handy commands to teach a Great Dane.

Never before did I realize how much attention he would bring to us himself. How many of the same questions I would have to answer repeatedly on the same walk. How many times I would have to tell people his weight, name, breed, and name again because they misunderstood me the first time!

IMG_3053 My pups and I have moved six times in the course of our life together. We have traveled literally more miles than I can remember. He is ever my companion, snuggling on the one piece of furniture he’s allowed on, and getting to go bye-bye are his two favorite things.



He is stubborn, lively, silly, pushy, rude, friendly, and cuddly…. possibly all reflections of his owner!IMG_6078

The pups and I have been through some rough seasons of life, some really fun ones, and everything in between.IMG_1207

He is the best “party trick” that there is, and at (currently) 205lbs he is the largest dog most everyone (including myself) have ever met.

He is loving, but there are some pretty serious dangers in having such a large dog… He has also accidentally broken a bone in my foot from stepping out of a vehicle directly onto my foot. He has hip-checked me and caused me to slam into things, which has caused lots of bruises. – Once in the bathtub when I was trying to bathe him, and I was hip-checked cause he shifted… I was sure I had almost died. He has stepped on, sat on, laid on, and of course pawed at me causing a plethora of minor cuts and bruises.IMG_3834

Sometimes, I find myself annoyed at him, frustrated with him, and having a lot of extra work because of him. But, then I am reminded of how perfectly suited of a companion he is for me.


All the snuggles and kisses make it worth it!


Remember that one time I got a puppy? While that created some of the most work for myself, it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself.IMG_4169

….. But, for the love, please stop asking if he’s a horse or I have a saddle for him! – I’m tired of laughing at that same lame joke!


Yes, It Is Normal…

I want to be known for my blending of Grace and Truth exactly perfectly…

Unfortunately, I tend towards Truth naturally and really have to work on being better at HOW I say things.

And, in the spirit of honesty, one of my biggest struggles is learning how to blend Grace into my words to mitigate my natural leaning towards Truth in a way that reflects the Holy Spirit and Jesus well.

You see, I believe that one of the biggest tricks the devil uses against us is making us to feel like we are isolated. I think often many do not share openly their lives in a way that could be helpful to someone else because it is personal, private, and feels intimate… But, if we are alone, and if that thing we are struggling through is believed to be abnormal, if we are the only one, then clearly we are weak or there is something wrong with us…

I regularly find myself in conversations with people that allows for me to share my own story, struggles, and in a completely honest light offer them authentic encouragement because, after all, we are now in this struggle together.

Over the last few months, I have been given this amazing opportunity to share about my ministry/job with other churches around the country. Some of them were referred to me, others found my name and title (First Impressions Director) on our website, and others I am not entirely sure how they found me. But, I have gotten to talk to them, encourage their ministries, hearts, and share whatever information I could about how and what I do… As well as simply connect over our common bond of “overwhelmed but passionate” for our ministries.

One of the biggest things I have come to realize, regardless of the ministry, church size and even occupation, it needs to be said frequently: 

What you are feeling, that’s normal. 

It doesn’t really matter what you’re feeling:
Like you’re drowning,
Dry inside,
Numb, etc…
AALLL of the feelings are normal, they are being experienced by someone else also in your same place trying to keep that same pace.

I have been asked SO many times, “How do you manage it all?”

And, my very real and honest answer:

Sometimes I handle it well, flawlessly, and feel energized!…

Aaand then other times, I find myself binge watching Netflix with a glass of wine and snacks, locked away in my room with my puppy for six hours. – Totally healthy coping mechanism 🙄

Sometimes my daily Jesus time is SO GOOD! Then all of a sudden I look up and it’s been TWO WEEKS and I’m not entirely sure where my Bible is even located.

Sometimes my journal and prayers are overflowing, and other times I just sit and stare blankly.

Sometimes I wake up looking forward to my day, having slept well and stoked about what I have planned. Other times I hit snooze until I’m late for work (sorry boss!) and have to bolt out the door without brushing my teeth (I promise I make up the work time)!

Sometimes I go to the gym and eat so well totally dominating the meal prepping for the week. Other times I can’t even remember the last time I ate something other than fast food.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the love and joy for my job and life. Other times I am just overwhelmed with a heavy and discouraged heart.

Life is hard. 

Following Jesus is hard. 

Life and following Jesus are all real things, real struggles, authentic joys and sorrows, love and hate, anger and repentance. These are normal life things that so many try to hide or pretend are not a normal part of their lives. Why are we not highlighting the good, bad, beautiful and ugly as ENTIRELY normal?!

Some days we will feel ready to go and like we can conquer the world. Other days we will do all we can to merely survive the day. 

So, Yes, it (whatever “it” is) is normal. 

Don’t let the smiles, adventures, Instagrams, Facebook posts, snapchats or 30 second conversations of and with others fool you… We are all swinging back and forth on this pendulum of so good, and really just trying to survive the suck.

 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.”– 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Trust me, those feelings are normal, and experienced by others! Share your feelings with others, be honest, choose to help someone else see their feelings are normal and accepted too.