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):
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!)
- 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!)
- A dream of mine is to go on a cross-country road trip to visit my blog friends.
- 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.