February 12, 2009

Blog-iversary Giveaway...and a Look Back

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since I entered the land of blogging. I’ve enjoyed reading as others have celebrated this milestone in their own unique way. (I just loved Peace for the Journey’s blogiversary party last week!) But, my celebration will be like me, understated and reflective. Plus, my husband tossed in his idea, “I think it’s time you did a giveaway.”

Before I go any further, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey. To my friends and family, many of you have followed since my first post. Some have joined in somewhere along the way. Others may be reading for the first time. Thank you for your encouragement, support and prayers. While your sweet comments bless my socks off, some of you read faithfully but never comment. I appreciate your presence.

For years I sensed God prompting me to write. Life got in the way and the best I managed was some journaling and a few articles in my church newsletter. On New Years’ Eve 2007 I felt God give me a nudge, “What are you waiting for. I’ll help you, but I’m not going to write for you.” (My paraphrase) So I made a promise, “Lord, this year, I'll to stop talking about writing and actually start doing it—for You.”

A few days later a story idea popped into my head. A few days later another. God certainly didn’t waste time providing the inspiration! I started jotting things down.

At the beginning of February I told my friend Debbie, “I think you should start a blog. It’s not for me, but I think it would give you a great way to write about all the crazy things that happen in your life. I’ll help you.” That night I Googled “how to start a blog.” I clicked on a link and followed the instructions. To help Deb, I decided to try it out for myself first. An hour later, I’d created my very own blog. And to my surprise I loved the idea. Ninety-four posts later, I’m still at it!

I thought I’d share Ten Reflective Ponderings and Lessons Learned from this past year (in no particular order):

  1. I certainly kept true to my promise to God to write more. In 2007 I wrote about 3,000 words. Since starting my blog in 2008, I wrote over 75,000!

  2. Along the way I know God’s used some of those words for good: to help others to see a new facet of Him, know they’re not alone or take a step further in faith. Friends have told me they’ve shared things I’ve written with their Bible studies. I marvel at our awesome God and am eternally grateful for this privilege and honor.

  3. While blogging is a solitary act, I’ve been surprised to see it’s really about relationships. It’s helped me deepen my relationship with God, reconnect with old friends and distant relatives, stay in touch with loved ones and meet so many beautiful, godly women who I now call “friend.”

  4. Thank you to my wonderful husband who graciously pre-reads many of my posts, gives editorial input and allows me to spend entirely too much time on the computer, with little complaint. Although I’m pretty sure he thinks there’s something going on with me and Mr. Linky!

  5. Blogging can easily get our priorities out of whack. First is the time drain. I’ve had to really evaluate how much time I spend in the blogosphere. Between writing, commenting and visiting others, one can get lost here for days! I have to accept the reality that I can’t visit and comment as much as I’d like (Sorry!).
    Second is the comparison trap. I already struggle with comparing myself to others. With all of the statistics and ratings, blogging takes it to a whole new level. I've often fretted, "How many readers/comments/witty stories/deep insights do I have vs. other bloggers?"
    As a result, I have to continually re-center myself on my purpose: why do I blog? Bottom line: To bring glory to God, not to me.

  6. If I strive for the above purpose and end up looking or feeling (which is more often the case) like a fool, so be it. It’s in God’s hands. (It's taken a lot of anguish to be able to say that.)

  7. It’s gotten to the point where I simply have to write. Ideas pop into my head all the time. (If you want to write more or learn to listen for God’s voice, blog!)

  8. Probably since I keep them mostly out of it, my family is incredibly patient, supportive and proud of my blog. (I know my daughter shares my web address with others, even her public school teachers. That’s high praise coming from a teenager!)

  9. A dream of mine is to go on a cross-country road trip to visit my blog friends.

  10. The words of my blog have traveled to 45 states, 34 countries and 6 continents. Who says we can’t be international missionaries!

Whew! I have much more to say, but I’ll stop here. Thanks again for joining me on this journey. I don’t know where I’m going, but it’s been a heck of a ride so far.

Now for the giveaway.

I wracked my brain for an idea that was meaningful, but I hadn’t seen done anywhere else. And I want it to be something you can share with your family and friends so you can tell you them, “See, I’m really spending all that time on my computer so I can win free stuff for you.”

So in honor of Valentine’s Day, marriage and baked goods I’m giving away the newly-released Fireproof DVD and a selection of Tastykakes (a Philadelphia specialty). Let me tell you, if you haven’t eaten a Butterscotch Krimpet or Peanut Butter KandyKake, you haven’t fully lived! Also…did you know Fireproof was produced for just $500,000 and earned more than $33 million at the box office? Even if you don't win, rent it and make a date to watch this inspirational movie with your husband, friends and even your older children. (If you aren’t married, I have another gift for you, if you’d prefer.)

To enter, leave me a comment with a way to get in touch with you. I will pick a random winner next Thursday evening and post the winner on Friday (2/20). For my technically-challenged friends, if you can’t leave a comment, you can send me an email at lightbulblab (at) comcast (dot) net.

With thankfulness,
Kelli

26 comments:

Sue J. said...

While I appreciate your lovely prize package (Krimpets?! Oh my gosh....take me back!! I've been away from Northern NJ too long!), I'm not commenting for the goodies.

Thank you for your dedication to blogging, GOOD writing (!) and love of God, which all make for a breath of fresh air in an otherwise choked-up-with-itself world. It is always a joy to visit here!

I don't have zillions of bloggy friends. As you have discovered, there isn't time to reach out with quality to all. But I am so glad to have stumbled across your blog's title on someone else's list one day, and now am glad that you are on my roll.

Congratulations on your special milestone! Now, about sending that philly steak and cheese.....(just kidding!)

Chatty Kelly said...

I, for one, would love to win your prize! That's the kind of gal I am. But I am glad I found your blog through Sue J, because you have lots of good godly stuff you write about. I enjoy it!

So happy anniversary!

heartreflections said...

Hey Kelli! I'm pretty sure I met you through one of your devotions on P31 website. Congrats on the year of writing. Every post has directed my heart to God. Thank you for following the call on your life. You have been the hands of Jesus to many of us. I'm all about the blogging road trip!

Carol said...

Hey Kelli,

Well I just started to get to know you and your blog writting through the Yes to God Tuesday.

Congratulations on your blogaverrsary (sp?) I've enjoyed the posts I've gotten to read.

And of course as a huge Fireproof fan, I would love to enter. I've heard of Tastycakes, but I thought they were made up. lol.

Look forward to the next year of hearing what God's leads you to say.

Love,
Carol

3dcaligirl at gmail dot com

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, thanks to TWV2, our blogging paths crossed -- and I'm so glad! God bless as you continue to write for His glory!

Pierre said...

Happy Blog-iversary! I've enjoyed your posts.

(and I love the movie Fireproof!)

Pierre

Lori said...

Congratulations on your "Blog-iversary! I recently started following your blog and I am sure enjoying it! I anxiously wait to see what jewels of inspiration you will share with all of us.

Congratulations and keep writing! You are being used by God!!

Dan said...

Kel,

Like "Sue J." I would never (give Dan the Krimpets) comment on someone's blog (Krimpets...Dan) just to get some prize (already saw the movie; need the Krimpets) or other trinket (like, say...Krimpets). I'm not that (mmmm....Krimpets) cheap or easily won-over. So, let me just say (with a mouthful of Krimpets hopefully) that your blogging (rhymes with "hogging" as in, "Why is Dan hogging all the Krimpets?") is an inspiration to me, too. You have an amazing talent (I sit upstairs...wouldn't even have to mail them) for taking the everyday things that I miss (boy, do I ever miss Krimpets!) and focusing them back on God, where the glory belongs (Krimpets...glorious Krimpets...).

Seriously...keep it up. Looking forward to (can it be, already?) Blog #100!

- Husband

P.S. 6 packs of Tastykakes in a box. 6 days for God to create the world. Coincidence? I think not.

Susie Merchant said...

Hi Kelli. I'm not commenting to win. I wanted to let you know how much your blogging has opened my eyes to God's wonders and blessings. You've helped me grow spiritually this year. I'm thankful for both your blogs and friendship. May God continue to fill you with his words.
From,
a non-commenting faithful reader
:-)

JerryLyn said...

Kelli, I'm not commenting for the prize. The prize, for me, is getting to know you and getting to read your honest perspective of God and his faithfulness in your life. I feel blessed to know you. Happy First Anniversary! Jerry

Susan S said...

Hi Kelli
I shamelessly love movies and baked goods. I greatly enjoy your blog. You're a wonderful writer and friend, too. (And Dan is delightful).

Katie Heaton said...

I usually don't comment but I wanted to just so you know I'm here and reading! :) Congrats on over a year blogging!!! :)

Runner Mom said...

How sweet!!! Kelli, I enjoyed first getting to know you and Debbie at She Speaks. Now, even though we're hundreds of miles apart, I still feel like we can chat whenever we want to! You're just not across the table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Your blog has blessed me tremendously. God has used you as a willing vessel to share His Words and grace. Thanks for listening to His voice and typing what you hear! I love your writing style!

I would really love to try some of that Peanut butter tastykake! Yum!We don't have that down here!

Love you!
Susan

Sassy Granny ... said...

Congrats!

If you decide to take that cross-country road trip, by all means duck into Sassy's B&B&L&D (that's bed, breakfast, lunch & dinner) here in the Phoenix area.

Debbie said...

Well Kell,

It's been quite a journey! I love to see God at work. You knew He was taking you to highter grounds and look what He has done and is doing! You amaze and inspire me. We entered the blogging world together yet took two very different blogging paths. you're the real blogger, I'm just an utterly chaotic online journal!

Thank you for stepping out and allowing God to use you mightily!

I hope someone wins your contest who lives far away so they can experience Tastykakes! Ah..they take me back!

Love, Deb :)

Angel S. said...

Thanks for hte chance to enter! I love the fact that there is a Christian message being played at the local movie theater!I wonder how many went just because their marriage needed a tune-up and got to hear the message of Christ at the same time - awesome!

Chanda said...

Kelli, your constant encouragement has been a tool in the Lord's hands, guiding me and prompting me ever onward. This year has been tough but I know He is not done with me yet. Because people like you are His word of encouragement to my heart, challenging me to believe, to trust, to never give up this worthy pursuit of Him! Thank you thank you thank you!

Joy in The Truth said...

Happy Blog Anniversary! Wow!

I agree...it's about relationships. And you have a fun idea....travel cross country to meet bloggy friends. I think if you put the idea out there seriously, you'd get a bus full going with you!

Great idea -- the Fireproof movie! And Tastykakes are always good! I've given them away on my blog before, and it's really fun when someone in another part of the country wins because Tastykakes may not be available there!

Kelli, Enjoy this anniversary! Just wishing you a heartfelt congratulations. Please don't include me in the give-away (hubby had pre-ordered two copies of Fireproof...we love it!!! and my waistline has seen a few too many Krimpets!).

theresa162 said...

I am so glad that Shane's What on your Mind 09, led me to some amazing women of Christ. I too have recently celebrated my blogoversary. It is fun but at times it can draw you in to far.

Many Wishes for many great blogs to come!!

Joyfulsister said...

Aloha,
It seems you 've had a wonderful journey tis far I have enjoyed what I have read so far and will be back to read more. I know hearts have been blessed just by visiting your blog. I found your blog while visiting a friend. I would love to enter your giveaway!!! I have yet to see that movie.

Blessings Lorie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, first...

congratulations! Can you even believe the places that you've been with God because of blogging? I never could have imagined what I now know to be true in my heart. It's been a shaping year like none other; I know that you feel the same.

Highs and lows, and yes, I feel many of the same "comparison" issues that you feel. As I launch into a new year, I have many different thoughts in mind, not the least of which is how to balance this entire thing.

Kelli, one of the reasons I make it here at some point during the week is because you are a gifted writer. I sense your passion and pull toward God, and I know that He wants to use this gift that He's given you for his glory. We can't help but have a bit of "self" in the mix; that's the flavor, and yours is adding a unique taste all its own.

Keep at it. It will be interesting to see where we are in a year's time. Like you, one of my desires would be a mountain weekend with all my blogging friends. That would be something!

If not here, then there. Until then,

peace for the journey~elaine

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Girl, I just got back over here and had to comment on this. I relate to so many of the lessons you've learned this year. Blogging has spurred me to write too, although I don't know where the Lord wants to go with it. Maybe it is just for me.

And the movie fireproof? Well, we just rented it off itunes (thank you, Lord, that it was on there!) and I was SO IMPRESSED. Great movie! We are looking for a way to get it translated to show over here. It can open some doors!

michael said...

I'm severly challenged with all things electronic (even keyboards,) but I do want to let you know that I've appreciated your thoughtful writings. You keep it "real." Continue to let our Father use you.

Nicole M. said...

Kelli - First, CONGRATS! I love your blog - found it through Shane's link page. Your hubby is a hoot! I don't need the krimpits although am quite curious. Just wanted to say you have blessed me through your blog. Keep it up, sister!

grey like snuffie said...

"As a result, I have to continually re-center myself on my purpose: why do I blog? Bottom line: To bring glory to God, not to me."

Although it was just 3 minutes ago I have not a clue how I found you.
:)
This blogging world is so fun, so addictive and so challenging. I so agree with your statement above...my flesh gets in the way sometimes with my posts but I so want others to see God at work, hear who He has been in my life and mostly know His love. I'll have to come back and peek into your world again.

Susan said...

Hey Kelli,

Thanks so much for dropping by the Cafe yesterday and leaving such a sweet comment.

It's so nice to meet fellow bloggers.

Congrats on your anniversary!!

Your blog is great, I plan on coming back and checking out more posts.

#9, my dream too!

Blessings to you♥