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Just when I think I’ve figured things out, there is something that comes along to humble me. It’s a good thing, but I won’t say it isn’t frustrating at times.

Last week I wrote about planning. And while I 100% believe that planning is good, there is a huge pitfall for me when it comes to planning. Sometimes I plan, and I expect my hard work, determination, and strategic planning to make all of my plans happen.

It never works out that way exactly, does it?

When I was on a roll last week with writing, I added another level of planning to my writing platform by creating goals to boost my Verity and Violets Instagram feed. I’m no stranger to Instagram – I’ve had a personal account since the beginning, but I’ve never pushed for followers. I have a few non-family and friends followers, but I mostly keep it to people I know. With Marionberries Kids, I did start an Instagram as well, but I never did it long enough to see any results.

Now I have my fourth (yes, fourth) Instagram account and this one is solely for business building and networking. I chose Instagram because I know my way around it and can tweak things from an advertising perspective. Twitter and other social media platforms just don’t do it for me.

I started the Instagram account just about a month ago, and when I saw my followers start to grow, I decided to make a goal to strategically increase my followers. And, I was going to do it through pictures and interactions alone. I’m never going to buy followers, I’m never going to be a mass follower/unfollower to trick people into following me, and I’m not hosting giveaways. The first week after setting my goal, I was doing great! I was gaining 3-10 new followers a day, which is a lot for me (though I understand not fantastic for some). I was proud of myself, and I was mentally patting myself on the back for a job well done. 200 followers by the end of May was in my sights (and, is still reasonably feasible).

But, yesterday happened, and instead of gaining any followers, I lost ten.

I was disappointed.

I was dwelling on my disappointment, but then I stopped myself. Who was I doing this for? Was I working for my own glory? Or was I really truly working for God’s?

The painful and obvious answer is: I was definitely working for myself and by myself. I wasn’t giving this Instagram goal to God. I took it myself and said, “I’m talented enough to figure it out on my own!”

Losing ten followers is peanuts in the grand scheme of things, but it did make me stop and think about my motivations and why I’m writing in the first place. I always want this to be for God and by God, not me.

Two of my favorite verses popped into my head this morning:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

   and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

   and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6


Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

   and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:3

God needs to be at the forefront of my planning, not myself. This whole writing journey is for Him, not me. I’m just blessed by being able to be on this journey. And, I am grateful for losing ten followers and being humbled – it keeps my focus in the right place.