Still learning to do this blog thing. Trying to get my media in better condition too. Suggestions? Leave me a comment. Would love to hear how to get those pics edited and transformed! But… this is not what I wanted to write about today.
Niche. It’s a wonderful little word. I like it. As a scientist, I learned a niche meant where you fit in the food chain. Where you belonged in the big wide world. Eat or be eaten. The French origin means a safe spot or kennel. A place where you “fit” to be sheltered and kept from harm. That crevice in the rock where Moses was sheltered from all the Glory of God (Exodus 33:22). It’s a good word — but a useless one.
Niche. It’s a wonderful little word. I like it.
Does anyone really fit in a niche? The great blog gurus say that you should have a “niche” for your blog. This way people will follow you based on your theme… where you fit in the blog food chain. I don’t think I fit. I like my animals. I like photography. I like learning. I like crafts, I like travel, I like baking, I like eating my baking, and sometimes I even like my kids and my husband. Why can’t I write about all those things?! That classifies me as a “lifestyle” blogger according to the experts. I found another blogger who feels the same way. Chelsie, from Hey There Chelsie wrote about her views on the subject in this post from 2015. For now I am taking her advice and writing about whatever tickles my fancy.
I say this because I truly don’t think anyone really fits into this perfect little square. As much as I love it when all my pieces fit in a row and I am fully in control of my world, it never stays that way for long. Life is just like that. When I was younger, I had my life planned: I wanted to go to vet school, be married by a certain age, have my first house, my first kid by such and such and live and die — done. Of course a failing Chemistry mark and a cute boyfriend changed some of those plans. Only now, as a (ahem) middle aged grown up, do I recognize that God’s plans and timing are always perfect. Even if I don’t like them.
Recently I attended a high school parent-teacher interview. My eldest son is a kind-hearted, smart kid. He loves people and is social like his dad. He wants to serve the world in youth ministry after high school. His teachers assured me that grade 12 math is not necessary for this plan. I panicked. You need math! What if he wants other options? What if he doesn’t get in to the program he wants, or changes his mind and needs that prerequisite later? How do
we let go of the plans we have for our kids and let them choose the path that is right for them? Parenting often teaches us that we cannot mold our kids into the direction we want them to go. Sometimes we have to do all that we can and hope for the best! I’ve been learning a lot about learning styles lately… which is a topic for another blog post … but it assures me that we are not all the same. And that this is okay. The world would be pretty boring if it was.
We never really are safe in this world. It changes so rapidly. We can hide in that cleft of the rock sometimes and God will certainly protect us there. But eventually He kicks us out and makes us go back to a bunch of lost desert dwellers to do our jobs. We can’t protect our children or our families from this churning whirlpool we call life. We strategise and study and attempt to make plans and learn and fail and try again. We have faith that God is in control and do our best to wander in the desert. It’s just the way it is.
The bigger (and better) thing to do with our niche is to love it. To learn to love the “fit” and enjoy where we are at. It seems like I am counter arguing myself… I don’t mean we should be boxed in… I mean we should love our box! Create the passions and desires within us and then go with them! Use them to the fullest… help others… do your best… learn a new skill… try, fail and try again! Yeah, we might get eaten as part of the food chain… but maybe it fulfils a bigger picture and plan that we don’t understand quite yet. It’s something huge we can teach each other: to work together with our strengths and weaknesses to make this world a better place. If each of us accepted our role, our “niche”, if you will… wouldn’t we fight and argue less? It’s not saying one is better than the other… it simply fits like pieces of the puzzle. Links on the chain. Part of the plan. Niche. Yup… it is a wonderful little word. I like it. A lot.