About the Author

Dawn Camp shares God’s gift of essential oils in her newest releases My Essential Oil Companion and It All Began in a Garden. She is a photographer, essential oil slinger, Mom to eight and Mimi to five. Dawn enjoys movie nights with her husband and steaming cups of Earl Grey.

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Dawn,
    I love the line, ” Use it (my blog) to elevate Him and let Him determine the opportunities it will produce.” To answer your question, yes, it sometimes feels like a comparison game, but I keep trying to focus on seeking God first and remembering that, ultimately, I write to an audience of One. If others read along and the glory goes to God then I have used my gift wisely. Thank you so much for a reminder that we are all in this together and that God is no respecter of persons. Wonderfully encouraging post…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. was just writing about worth and after reading your post dawn, i think often i do more to “rank” myself than anyone else does. pick myself last for the team so to speak. a good reminder to myself to quit it! thank you. xo –kris

  3. Thank you for these words! The comparison game is certainly on that can entrap us almost before we are aware. Praise to God for the grace and freedom he bestows on all of us.

  4. I agree with this! I hate favoritism. I think that there is a sense of this in the blogging world. Sometimes when I read blogs and they have a series they do, it seems they use their friends or “famous bloggers” to promote it because of the name and not the content. I love reading unknown bloggers if you will because they usually have a lot of good things to say. They don’t write because they have to, but feel led to–they want to show Jesus and not themselves. (Just my humble opinions and ramblings). Be blessed 🙂

    • Bloggers who are well-known usually become so because their words are so good. Everyone starts somewhere, though, and we’re all in different places in our journeys. We all have different focus and ministries in our lives. For some, more is online, for others, it’s face-to-face. Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a time when that’s possible?

      • “Bloggers who are well-known usually become so because their words are so good.”
        —–
        “A million criteria exist to rank and pit us against each other—and as much as we resist, you and I will use every one of them—but thankfully God shows no such favoritism.”

        Oh, the struggle – in a nutshell.

      • I love that there are online bloggers who offer encouragement and advice. I am grateful. I am grateful that I don’t have to do life w/out online community, especially when it is harder to get together in real-life. I also think it is easier to let your guard down online.

  5. Hello Dawn,

    How grateful I am that God is no respector of persons! That in itself is something I latched onto when I first read and realized it years ago. I love that we are not all lined up waiting to see who gets “picked” for the team. God chooses all of us out of His incredible love! God Bless you as you continue to use the gift that He has given to you to glorify Him!

    Love & Blessings,
    Brandi

  6. Yay! Amen! Great reminder! I’ve always been a rebel against respecters of people… Lover of all! Love to hear our HIS-stories; HE wrote them all!! The Author of our hearts!!

  7. I love the heart of this article and needed the reminder. As the friend of many teachers and the child of a teacher, my heart does cringe a bit that you included a picture of the teacher you are criticizing. There’s a strong chance she has passed on so doubtful she will see it personally but if I were to see a photo of my mother in an article like this it would break my heart. 🙁

  8. Thank you for your honesty and frankness. I used to live in a community that was constantly changing so everyone made friends fast and at work it was what you knew for the most part and you worked hard at being excellent….then I over and the rules changed. Basically, I have a hard time making friends because, well it’s hard for me anyways…and everyone already has their friends….I’m ranked because I’m still new here….it’s been 10 years…and at work, most of it is on the relationships, long ones, and not so much the excellence. That’s ok too….

    Thanks for the reminder of God and His grace and His love.

  9. Dawn, this reflection is certainly a reminder that no matter how the world “ranks” us, we are already chosen through Christ our Lord and that we must continue to honor him in everything we do and say. Thank you for bringing a little hope to the rest of us. Be blessed!

  10. It’s hard to stay out of the comparison trap. It leads to one of two things, inferiority or superiority. I was just reading today in I Chronicles 24-26 how David chose the priests, the musicians and the gate keepers. It was by sacred lot. That way no preference was shown. Interesting. Maybe DaySpring or Zondervan or whoever is responsible for the commercialism could try the sacred lot practice. That way it would be Gods choice and no one could he was choosing somebody because they’re Somebody. Just a thought.

    • I think businesses have to operate by real business models. I’m thankful for companies whose focus is Christ-centered and spread his word through products that reach the world; they enrich my life.

      I think the problem is when we rank ourselves, because God doesn’t see us that way. Blessings to you!

  11. I agree with AC. I was feeling a bit sad for the judgement of Mrs. Smith. Who knows what feelings were going on inside of her? She looks pretty solemn as well.

  12. Thank you! I have struggled with this…it seems daunting to build an audience that isn’t an insulated group of like-minded people isolated from “the real world” and writing to each other. But then I remember that God asks me to show up and be obedient to him. He’ll handle the rest.

  13. Yes! Yes! Yes!!! Thank you for voicing this. I’ve been in the world of blogging and social media for only four years, but have seen it change so much–mostly for the worse. I started out blogging for a business, but when my job changed the Lord led me to start my own blog. That became a personal ministry for me and I realized at that point that if only a handfull of people ever read it, then it was worth my time. I threw all the “rules” out the window (how many times a week I should blog, following memes, rankings, etc) and just wrote when God laid something on my heart. I don’t have a huge following and that’s fine. It’s been amazing to have friends tell me how much something I’ve written actually ministers to them. It’s all for God’s glory!

    • Kristi, I love this! You have the *best* outlook: make your blog your personal ministry and it will bless those who see it. All for God’s glory!

  14. How delightful and encouraging. I am 63, married, mother of 2 and grandmother of 3 – – -didn’t start my family til I was 38 and missionary living in Haiti. I have always enjoyed writing and my job with the mission even now is desktop publishing and proofing all writing. I chat with a friend whom I have not seen for 33 years, every evening. She loved reading my stories and encouraged me to start a blog to share the adventures and document for my children. So – – -yes. I have found that I have something to share and what a thrill to get bolder and just tie it in with the WALK with the Savior that makes it all possible. And your post this morning has put even more fire under my feet. Thank you

  15. This is such great truth, Dawn!! Thank you for putting words to it. So freeing.

    It’s been a struggle for me, and to be honest, it still is, quite often. God is setting my heart free though.

    And t’s so nuts – I actually have a post written and ready to roll on this exact theme. It’s “How the Gospel Changes our Experience of the Blogosphere.” Regarding living in our new identity (in light of the Gospel) and how it frees us from comparison, releases us to openly give to- and receive from- Christ in each other via our writing.

    So crazy the timing of this post relative to mine. I’m kind of in awe. Anyway – here’s my take on getting free from measuring ourselves against each other if anyone wants to take a look at it.

    🙂 Blessings to all you precious ladies!

  16. One thing I really hope I got across here is that others who get those opportunities first are making the way smoother for their sisters to follow along. Don’t play the comparison game. We’re all in this together. 🙂

  17. I am not a writer, and I don’t necessarily speak eloquently, but I have something to say.

    I was reading this morning in 1Cor12 how all of the gifts are for building up the Body of Christ and they all have a purpose in the ranks of the kingdom. We need everyone. The gift of all of you women who write are using this forum to exhort, teach, encourage, minister, etc. No one is better than another. I am grateful you each write. I learn something different from each of you based on where I am that day, what your understanding of scripture is, what the Lord has taught you, where you are in your life and your life experiences.

    I look forward to each day’s writings. I am learning who all of you are and am delighted by what I see. I feel you each are gifted in your own unique ways. I do hear what you ladies are saying, and I know it would be easy to compare yourself with one another, but I hear your hearts by what each of you have written and they have each been valuable messages.

    Are you teachable? do you desire God’s own heart? are you using your gifts? is this your passion? do you love your families? jobs? being married or single? do you long to express what you are learning? are you being real? are you struggling? do you love beauty and can find it wherever you are? etc. I’ve seen all of this and more and am blessed…….and challenged……and encouraged…..

    Blessings,

    Joanne

    • Joanne, you prefaced your comment by saying that you don’t necessarily speak eloquently, but you have done that here. Thank you for your kind and thought-provoking words that challenge us and urge us to be encouraged right where we are.

  18. Hi Dawn – thanks for this post that strikes such a chord in my heart and I’m sure countless others! For years (2006-2012) blogging was a lifeline for me and an outlet to enjoy my passions of words and people. But somewhere along the line blogging became a sort of measuring stick and online communities started feeling as cliquish as middle school. From the solitude of a comfortable chair and a computer screen significant lingering wounds surfaced about how hard it feels to make genuine, life-giving, non-competing relationships with other women. So for months I disconnected from all things social media and blogesphere – and the intentional withdraw was so good for me. Our hearts and our words and the ways that we share them get tarnished when performance or applause is at the root of why we hit “publish” – and I had unintentionally gotten sucked into that place. Now, there are a few sites/blogs I regularly read (but rarely comment) because they are soul-nurturing, and (in)courage has always been one of them. Keeping perspective for me has meant a season of writing in the absence of an audience – and I’m thankful for what I’ve been learning in the process.

    • This is so true Amy! Your words resonate with me so much. Especially this: Our hearts and our words and the ways that we share them get tarnished when performance or applause is at the root of why we hit “publish.”

      Oh girl. Yes.

      I took a season off from blogging as well. It was so good for my heart and perspective. I actually plan to do that fairly regularly just to continue to keep my perspective in check before God.

      Just couldn’t resist commenting and saying – AMEN. Blessings!

  19. I strive to use my blog to elevate Him. It’s a constant pull of feeling unworthy or not good enough. I have to work hard to stay focused on Him. He’s the only one that truly matters.

  20. I connect with what you’ve written. but, im in the teaching world. I’ve found administration can develop pecking orders based upon youth and looks. What happens with kids in a classroom is somewhere further down the line. I have to stop myself occasionally and remember why I do what I do. It’s not about outward appearances, rather its about how kids are touched by a loving learning atmosphere.

    • Cindy, thank you for your perspective! I substituted a handful of times many years ago and I particularly remember a little boy in the 2nd grade. I had the feeling he’d been labeled and just wanted a do-over. He spent all day trying to get my attention—not in bad ways—and I hoped I made him feel special. You are so right about the importance of a loving learning atmosphere.

  21. Thank you! This is soooooo right-on and sooooo needed! It’s a shame, I see the real roses ignored and sometimes walked over as the “want-to-belong” crowd grasps for the plastic-fake flowers.

    When I feel like that I try to remember that Jesus felt the same way and was treated the same way.

    Great article, I’ve pinned it and emailed this to trusted blogging friends. Great message and so needed in so many circles…

    Blessings!

    • you have my mom’s name! She has been home with God for several years now so when I saw it I just had to respond. God Bless.

  22. Dawn,

    Thank you for writing this thought-provoking post. I adored blogging when I started out five years ago. And I still cannot let it go as I want to share how God continues to work in my life … but I’ve been so sporadic … I blame it on my busy schedule, etc (which has picked up!!) but honestly, the real reason I write less and less is because I often feel so much lesser than many others … I often listen to those voices taunting “You don’t write as well as others … you don’t have that many interesting things to say … hardly no one reads your blog anyway … you need to be more special before you write more … come up with better material, etc.” That kind of thinking has me in a rut … and it is so ironic, because the main reason I started blogging was so I could reject lies and help others do the same. So thank you again for this encouragement.

    • Hi Angela,

      I hear you – and just want to encourage you. When I started blogging in 2006 it was an avenue God regularly used to show me eternal significance in the seemingly insignificant of my daily grind. Unfiltered blogging (less edited for readership writing is what I mean…), when I read back over it weeks or months later – became a reflection of what God was doing in my life and I loved having that “diary” of sorts. But eventually, it gave room for some personal struggles and was tempting my heart to be bound up instead of free. Doesn’t it seem that the gifts and talents and passions God gives us are often the very places the enemy of our hearts wants to distort or use to make us compare, perform, strive, or seek identity from? … and we (at least I) lose the joy intended for us in sharing our gifts, our words, with others. I get that struggle – I know it so well!

  23. I am so glad you wrote this and explained your resistance to he ranking game. I am glad you exposed the reasons why you are against it and i support you wholeheartedly! Viva la Resistance!

  24. Dawn, as a newbie to the blogging world, this article is something I want to read often! I’m just starting to figure out how this works and am starting to see the competitiveness of the online world. I started my blog because I have a story I want to tell, for personal healing and for helping others if God wants to use it that way. I don’t even consider myself a writer. It’s not my passion. I am however, passionate about telling my story for the sake of healing within myself and others.

    My prayer? That He use my story despite my lack of articulation and blog popularity, for His good. And if someday He wants to take it further, I’ll be ready and willing. Otherwise, I’ll continue to be a vessel for Him in small ways. As a body of Christ, if we all pull together and let Him use us in small ways, we can make a magnitude of difference! This blog is a great reminder of that. If we let go and let Him have complete control, we can rest assured that what happens is exactly what is best for us. Thank you so very much!

  25. Dear Dawn,

    I sit here in tears to tell you these are the EXACT words that I needed to hear today! The. EXACT. words. Thank you so much for your reminder and your honesty.

  26. This struck a chord with me, as I have been uncomfortable with my blog and thinking about closing it for awhile now. I worry too much about how others view my posts. Your comment to “elevate Him and let Him determine the outcomes/opportunities” is just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  27. I follow several popular blogs, and what I have been most thankful for is how they have lead me to other, much lesser-known blogs — the tiny gems of the online community where I have found the most beautiful, encouraging words and friendship.

    I have chosen not to have my own blog right now; but I am ever grateful for the well-knowns who have helped pave the way and for the lesser-knowns who don’t give up – even when it feels like you are not making a difference in the natural. You are. And whether you have 1,000 followers or 1, please remember – if your words are for God, they are SO GOOD — and the person that is meant to read them will.

    • Amy, those gems are all over the place, aren’t they? God uses blogs of all sizes, and of course He uses some of us more in local community and others online.

  28. As young girls, teenagers, young adults and now more mature, there seems to always be the element of ranking. It’s been in us since birth and we even saw it in the Bible when the disciples were arguing of who would be seated next to Jesus. We were created for significance but we often find it in the wrong places or in the wrong way. May we be led by Jesus everyday, to not live for the limelight but for what He has called us for today.

  29. I love your little white flower btw.
    So true. I used to strive so hard to be well known and when I was all over the world, it was like it meant nothing in the end cos I was so tired and worn out I had no time to enjoy the feeling at all. Well, no feeling at all really.
    Now, I do not strive any more. I just enjoy my life to the best of my ability and rest in JESUS’ grace and peace and LOVE.
    In the end, only the LORD remembers me.
    🙂

    • Karyn, you’d be surprised at what a big print I turned that little white flower into in my house. 🙂 Yes, the Lord always remembers us!

  30. Oh, how I love this! I fight against myself to stop doing the ranking in my own mind, but somehow that comparison “monster” just will not stay slain! I have to keep reminding myself that I write for an Audience of One and even if no one ever read my words, my job is just to be obedient and keep doing what I feel He’s called me to do. It really is hard when you see others around you getting chosen for more and better opportunities, and it helps to remember that each of us is a one of a kind individual with a unique voice and experiences.

  31. I have blogged for years, oblivious to the rank of things. Blogging for the joy of doing so. In the last 2 years or so though I began to notice that there was a definite flow of things. As I began refining and clarifying my blog, I realized that I may never have an active community on my blog, and that would be OK. Yes I love comments, and I want people to read. But if I stress over these things, I began to lose the joy in simply sharing what God gives me to share, and it becomes more work than fun. That is something that I am not willing to sacrifice. I’m learning to trust Him to get the message to those who need to see it. I am refusing to fall for the trap that I must do everything that people recommend that bloggers do as well. Images are great, but if putting one in every post takes away from writing time, then it will not happen. Social media is awesome, but I also refuse to let that get in the way of sharing my simple words. I have to write as I am lead whether that brings followers or readers isn’t as important as sharing what is on my heart.

  32. You are absolutely precious, Dawn! Thank you for this post and drawing us out. We live in such a celebrity society. A beautiful and youthful one. It’s hard. I recently went through cancer and am grateful to be alive but the cancer meds have taken a toll on my face and body—also I’m way older. I can still push through exercising (even walked over 400 miles this summer and it’s hot in Texas) but I can’t stop exponential aging. But I have something far worse in my life to face—cancer of my soul. And I have so much hope for that! Not relief from going unnoticed, unrecognized, untouched from blogging to living BUT hope of such intimacy with a very Good God Who is always doing us good. I’m so alive and so are you! A friend of mine says: “The biblical axe breaks the frozen sea” within each of us. Now, all those painful moments of being a nobody, a failure, a social flop, I want to welcome the pain, the immense loss in my life, as opportunity to tell more of His Story even if it is just to one person. Trusting God to enter our stories. Detaching me from whatever deadens my hunger for Him, even good things. Those places where I want something more than God—like solving my plethora of problems. Again, you’re precious, I think that you seek very good things from Above. May we all be more concerned about being rescued from our darkness than rescued from our problems and pain ~ Colossians 1:13.
    PS – sorry I wrote too long but you stirred me … and did I say, I think you are absolutely adorable in your writing … smile

  33. The more things change, the more some things stay the same. So well articulated, Dawn, and thank you for helping us readers (and writers) to remember the right focus….

    xo

  34. Yes, to answer your question, it does!
    But (in answer to your second question) on the other hand, (in)courage has been kinder than your picture. Sure, you’ve got your well known writers and your not so well known ones and then all us not known commenters. But there was the open invitation to review Dayspring deals of the month and just one time I did it, even though perhaps at that time I had only a dozen (or less?) regular readers, followers. I still don’t have many. So I only did it that once, and I loved the things they sent, but I sort of put myself down because surely they want writers with large followers to promote their stuff?
    Then (in)RL happened and surely anyone could host it. Surely anyone can come. We can be taken seriously and loved, and listen along all over the place. Maybe none of the bright (in)courage stars were at our town meetup, but there was a chance to love on each other.
    Recently I wrote about this feeling on my own blog (things seem to occur to many of us at the same time, eh?) and how although we love the popular writers they don’t have time or ability to love all of us back. Yet they are still blessing us, leading us. We can respond. Sometimes just responding is enough. Sometimes naming the friends in thanks to God is more than enough. http://highheartedly.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/on-friends-and-gratitude/

  35. A resounding AMEN! Such a good word and reminder to all.
    I started blogging as a way of journaling with accountability to my Creator. All is for His glory!
    Yes, there have been times I’ve caught myself getting caught up in numbers . . . but God is so quick to remind me that it’s never about numbers, it’s simply sharing what the Spirit has put on my heart through His Word and through encouragement of others.
    Yes, there have been times (more than I care to count) when the enemy has put his spin on me in trying to thwart my baring and sharing my heart —- even if it’s only to one reader!

    thank you for helping to keep us focused on Him!

  36. I was thinking about your post while watching the birds around the birdfeeder and birdbath in the back yard and I watched the large, noisy blue jay – squawking, the striking red cardinal, the beautiful and graceful doves, but the ones I enjoyed watching the most were the “ordinary” sparrows. They flitted around and chatted joyfully, they seemed so comfortable in their own skin – or feathers. The looked like they were having fun and it made me smile. Their song seemed to be the happiest song and that’s how I want to be. I don’t think they had a single thought of comparison on their minds. They seemed happy with who they are even though they look pretty ordinary.

  37. Totally agree with you, but how did you get away with writing her name in print and then showing a pic of her?

  38. Fear of this very thing has kept me from starting a real blog. Once in awhile I write something and share it via email with a small group, but I don’t feel like getting trapped into the numbers game.
    I was a license lay pastor for several years. One of the congregations had about 8 people and I drove 13 miles each way to the church from the 2nd church. People asked why. I said numbers were not what mattered. Maybe I need to remember that when it comes to writing.
    Thanks for sharing. One of the blessings I get, even as a much older woman in Christ, is to share the lives of those who blog and to pray for them and hopefully offer them encouragement and understanding. My family is grown and I am blessed in retirement to travel with my husband in his job as a semi driver. These online blogs are such a blessing!
    I don’t know who is famous and who isn’t unless they have a published book or something that is available. Otherwise I just look for encouragement from God, insight into His love, grace, some laughs, and a peek into the lives of others who share their hopes, dreams, fears.
    We are enough just as we are. Each of us gets in trouble when we start comparing. We are all needed by God and will be used by Him if we trust and obey. God Bless

    • Mary, I was glad to hear about your ministry. I drive an hour to lead worship for six to eight people. I am so blessed by them. You’re right, it’s not a numbers game.

      • that’s how I felt. It was the first of 2 services I did. When we were planning a community service some of the pastors were so caught up in numbers it was frustrating. I cannot believe how they now chose to celebrate Good Friday. It makes me glad I am not a part of that any longer. For them it was about how many they could get to attend and not about what would honor God and help the most people.
        I will pray for you Helen as you minister. God Bless you for your response to His call.
        My ministry these days seems to focus on prayer and encouragement.

  39. Dawn,

    You hit the nail on the head with this post! Far to often people play the comparison game and others “rank them” accordingly. I feel that God made each of us individually and want us to use the specific talents He gifted us with for His Glory.

    The blogs here at (In) Courage are each unique-just as the writers are. When I’m tempted to “rank” myself and life low I’ll read a blog and find out that others have overcome even bigger obstacles than I could imagine. It is nice to read that and be able to praise them & thank them for using this vehicle to uplift me and countless others.

    God doesn’t rank us & neither do I!

    Blessings to all!

  40. Dawn, Thank you so much for these encouraging and uplifting words! For several months I’ve been wrestling with this desire to do MORE with my blog, to make it more meaningful and substantive. A few concrete ideas and opportunities are now before me and I know if I keep my eyes on Him, all will be well. Have a blessed day ~ xo Heidi

  41. Absolutely LOVE your Blog. I may be a little late in responding but I just read it and I couldn’t agree more with you. Thanks for the encouragement to put our G_D first and keep HIS commandments close to our hearts, families, lives and homes. THANK YOU. Blessings to you. We should celebrate who we are in HIM and share, share, share!