Monday, May 25, 2015

Encouraging Updates

           I would like to give an update on Victoria, the little girl I wrote about in my A to Z post on Prayer.  I think this news report says it well:

This report was from last week, and since then Victoria has moved to a rehabilitation center here in Oklahoma and we saw her parents at church yesterday for the first time in three months.  It is all so encouraging and such an unbelievable answer to prayer!  This family is very dear to me, so it was great to get to see them home again.  We are only missing Victoria, and like my pastor (her grandpa) said, we will have such a great celebration when she’s back with us at church!

            In other news, I forgot to mention that I signed up for the Post A to Z Road Trip a couple weeks ago.  I decided I would take it slow and I have met a few new bloggers so far, and I plan to visit many more throughout the year.  For more information on the road trip, you can click here.  I hope my fellow participants all have an enjoyable trip!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

One Blog to Rule Them All

            Alright, before you take that the wrong way, I’m referring to my own blog and combining my ideas on just this one, for now.  I think I got a little over-zealous with all of the options I had for things to blog about, and I initially thought it would be better to divide into two separately-themed blogs.  After reading through the great comments and advice from my last post, I can now see that it is probably better for me to keep everything on one blog and just use certain days for differently themed ideas.  If something works out well, then I could split it off to create another blog.  Before I go any further, I would like to thank all those who responded to my post; all of you have some great ideas and suggestions.  If you are a new to blogging, experiencing writer’s block, or enjoy new ideas, I would recommend reading through the comments from my post: I Want Your Opinions! Please!  Thanks to Betty, Sandy, Barbara, Jeffrey, and Chrys and also two of my non-blogger friends, Twyla and Shannon!

             In the midst of all the advice given, I also learned something new that I had to look up.  I did not realize that the term “meme” had more than one meaning.  When I said Meme Mondays before, I was specifically referring to Internet memes, which Wikipedia defines as “an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet.”  I was thinking of using some of those memes and making a few remarks about them, and I found out Barbara does something similar in posts she calls I Saw It on Facebook.  The other meaning of “meme” is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” (  In the world of blogging, it seems that memes are repeatable posting ideas that are shared amongst multiple blogs; I was even told about some memes that occur on Mondays.  In fact, I’ve seen recurring ideas designated for each day of the week.

Here's an example of an Internet Meme
             There are so many interesting ideas, that I’m not sure where to start!  So, probably for most of the summer, I will be testing some of these ideas out and see which ones fit well for me.  I hope to post once a week and maybe throw in an extra post here and there.  Since I’m trying out different things, I won’t be posting on the same day each week, but I hope to eventually find a pattern that works well.  Also, I will still be writing my regular life lessons and scripture-based posts at least once during the month; with all the changes and additions, I still want to stick to my original intent in starting this blog.  I hope everyone enjoys as I continue into a new phase of my journey in writing and have a safe and pleasant Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Want Your Opinions! Please!

           I have been considering my options for this blog.  For one thing, it will be under construction.  I am finally going to go through and put labels/tags on my posts, which has been something I should have done from the beginning.  For all of my new followers, a few years ago, I got into a bad habit of only posting once a month and at the last minute (meaning 11:59pm on the last day of the month), and I want to steer myself away from that this time around.  I may not make it every week, but I’m hoping to post at least once every two weeks, and knowing how I am, I will not set a certain day of the week to post because I get too OCD about it.  That being said, I will try to set some things in stone.  I am joining the Insecure Writers Support Group, so you can expect a post the first Wednesday of each month.  It’s all a work in progress and here is where you come in: Yes you! My followers and readers, including those of you visiting from Facebook.  I would like you guys to tell me your ideas, and who knows, I may just use them :)

·       First of all, I am thinking about starting a second blog devoted to hobbies and special interests.  I have an eclectic assortment of interests, but it mainly boils down to being a nerd.  I’m not exactly sure where I would go with it, but I like the idea of having a separate place to talk about my favorite movies and post pictures of my cats.  I might also use it to try out some short fiction stories.  Does this sound like a good idea or am I better off using Instagram and Pinterest for this sort of thing?

·       What are some repeatable, topical posts that you’ve used or seen?  I saw the Battle of the Bands, but I’m just not that well-versed in music.  I have considered using Throwback Thursday in some way.  And if I do the nerd blog, how about a Meme Monday?

·       Let me know any other ideas or suggestions you may have, and thanks in advance :)

           I will probably post next week to let you know any decisions I’ve made and I will go back to my regular posts about life lessons sometime in June.  It has been nice to take the month of May off after diving into the April A to Z Challenge, but I am gearing up for getting this blog into a new normal.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 Reflections

           Well, I guess April wore me out more than I realized.  It was nice to take a few days off, but I’m back now for my A to Z reflections.  This was my first year to hear about the challenge and I am glad that I chose to participate despite the real challenge it has been.  I will warn you now that this will be much longer than my other posts within the challenge, but there are so many great things I’ve learned and would like to share.  Let me start from the beginning:

 In early February, I was doing a random search on the internet; I don’t remember what I was looking for.  In the search results, I came across Sue Kuentz’s site and she had an A to Z 2015 badge in the sidebar.  Being naturally curious and easily distracted, I clicked on it.  At that point, I had not written a new post since 2013, but I thought that it sounded doable and that it would be a good way to jump back into blog writing.  I wanted to be ready, though, so I considered possible topics and themes and I wasn’t going to sign up unless I had a topic for each letter.  I liked the idea of an overall theme, and I decided Life Lessons from the Bible would be fairly simple and fitting for my blog.  I missed the theme reveal day, but I had a list of A to Z topics and verses to go with them when I signed up for the challenge a week before April 1.  I managed to get my A to F posts prewritten within that week, and I was able to stay ahead with G to J, but after that, most of my posts were written the night before.  I regret not getting them all written before the challenge because I could have gone a little deeper on some of my letters, especially letter T since I simply did not have time that night to write and had to put something together in about 5 minutes in the morning. 

Despite the rapid pace I had to keep up with, I did make a few last minute changes on some of my topics from my original list, and I like how they all came together in the end.  When I wrote about Joseph, I noticed how his story exhibited grace, endurance, and blessings.  I saw similarities among my posts on prayer, quiet, trust, wait, and yield.  And armor, fruit, love, ministry, and unity are building blocks for churches and fellowship.  These people and things I’ve written about stand out to me and looking at them all together shows me that God is using these lessons in my life and they are building blocks to strengthen my own walk with Him. 

Before I acknowledge the blogging community, I would like to make a special recognition of my family and friends who have been faithfully reading my blog since I first started it and they were willing to come back for more after my long absence.  Thanks for coming to visit from my Facebook posts or texts and for the words of encouragement!

Something I didn’t expect came about from this challenge.  I had heard the term “blog hop” before, but I had no idea that there was such a large, supportive community of bloggers behind it.  I saw on the A to Z sign up page that we were encouraged to look at other people’s pages, so I decided to save the links of a few of the bloggers near my number on the list.  I also started following a few of the co-hosts who had some interesting-sounding themes.  After April 1 rolled around, I saw all the comments flooding in to their pages and realized that was part of the experience.  I started off slow, and I will admit that I read a lot more posts than I commented on.  I was really nervous about it at first, and I found that it was easier to start on the co-host pages since there were so many other commenters.  I was so elated when the first few co-hosts left a comment on my page!  I managed to comment back on most of the people who left a comment on my posts and I apologize to those I missed in those first few days while I was still adjusting.  I also gained some followers through this challenge, and I am following each of you in return; I appreciate your encouraging comments and I am excited to continue sharing with you.  I wish I could have had more time visit the pages I liked every day and to get to see more bloggers on the list.  I will remember to have all my posts pre-written so I can participate more fully next time.  Overall, this community of writers has made the experience richer and more enjoyable.  I am glad that Arlee Bird started this challenge and I am grateful to the co-hosts and their helpers for diligently keeping it running smoothly.

There is one more silly story with this challenge.  In the week leading up to April, I started looking for clip art letters to use for my posts.  It took a lot longer than I thought to find letters I liked and to double-check that they were public domain.  It was not until April 1st that I found out there were letters designed for the challenge on the A to Z homepage, and since I already had most of them I decided to use the ones I found.  So, there’s another way to gain more time next year!

Anyway, if you made it this far, thanks for reading!  I already have a lot of ideas forming for another A to Z, so I will probably participate next year and hopefully be more prepared.  It really was a great experience and I hope those of you who have followed along have enjoyed it as well.  I will post again sometime next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday, and share some of my plans for some changes to my blog.  Stay tuned!

Close-up of my A to Z Survivor t-shirt designed by Jeremy @ :)
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