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 @ beingretro.com :)|