Saturday, February 25, 2017

Celebrating a Great Big Blogging Milestone

I'm quietly easing headlong into my 10th year of blogging.  

You and I've been hanging out together and talking life over for quite some time.  I hear that there's still a few of you around from way back in the day, 1500+ posts later.

I'm grateful that since that first little post, blogging around here has slowly evolved from a very tentative one-woman-show into an interactive iron-sharpening-iron dialogue with other like-minded souls, that's always laced with encouragement and grace.

I just love what God has nurtured and grown.  

Back and forth we've chatted, weaving a tapestry of stories, some fairly inspirational, others more than a bit unsettling.  We've been nudged forward, gently soothed .. and shaken up a bit.  We've reverently cradled surprising outcomes, unexpected disasters and over-the-top blessings.  We've offered each other desperately needed hope, more than a few virtual hugs ... and tons of links and resources.

Tears have spilled onto virtual pages.  And other times, we've laughed til our bellies ached.

Community.  Relationship.  Encouragement.  Accountability.  Love.




And while we're talking, if you read these posts via email and aren't an active part of this ongoing dialogue, I would love it if you'd come by often and check out the comment section at the end of each post.  The icing on the cake is the conversation that spills forth from whatever subject's on the table.  A number of interesting savvy creatives and a few wise-guys gather to share their unique observations and humor-laced wisdom.  It's usually a discussion worth checking out ... and jumping on into!



a few blogging tidbits I've embraced ...

#1.  Write when the Spirit stirs.
Not because it's a self-assigned day of the week or because there's a weekly link-up or because some expert somewhere told you to hit the publish button every three days.

Pick up that pen when you're compelled to.  Write when you can't not write.  Tap away on that keyboard when there's a fire in your bones. Speak when you're bursting forth with words that you believe will deeply impact your reader.

#2.  Relationship is just as important than content ... maybe more so.
You can have the sharpest writing skills and style in the world, but if you're not choosing to cultivate relationships, your readers might not be with you for the long haul unless your content is spectacular in some way.  Responding to comments, visiting your reader's websites and cheering each other on are lovely blogging graces.  

And it's not a you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours scenario.  Over time, the actions we take in growing our blogs end up giving us something much richer and more significant than we imagined ... supportive kindred spirit friendships that somehow span the miles.

#3.  Simpler is a huge gift.
Technology gone amok freaks me out.  White space works.

There's absolutely nothing flashy or trendy around here.  No bells and whistles, no widgets and gizmos.  Just a safe place for you to land, a gentle pause in the busyness of your online travels, a calm haven where you might catch your breath and be refilled.

Along the way,  I've cut out the sidebar and updated up the pages.  The photos I choose are usually large and unhindered by words stamped atop their beauty.  Tons of white space works for me.  It reflects who I am ... and it becomes a gift of quiet stillness to those who drop by.

#4.  Don't be afraid to take a breather.
Let's face it, some of us bloggers are a bit hesitant about taking time off even when our creative energies are waning or we're feeling a bit crispy around the edges.

Will our stats drop while we're gone?  {Yes, they will.}

Will our readers return?  {Most likely, especially if the relationship and encouragement you offer resonates deeply ... and if they've subscribed.  You can do so here.}

Is there life away from our laptops?  {Most certainly.  And our writing will most likely reflect that reality when we return refreshed, revitalized, renewed.}

Who am I when I'm unplugged?  {If we're asking ourselves that question, it's most likely past time to discover what that looks like.}




All that said, I'm off for a bit of an early spring break.  

I'll be continuing the launch of my counseling practice here on the Cape even as my husband is jumping into what looks to be a productive retirement {he's a big Habitat for Humanity fan}.  We're in the home stretch of putting final touches on The Nest over the garage ... and I can't wait to show you what it looks like!  And we'll be doing a bit of traveling as we jaunt here and there, wrapping up a damp gray winter and welcoming spring in all its warm radiant glory.

Meanwhile, I dug around the archives and am resurrecting The Blog Forum ~ A Creative Little Series for all you blog aficionados.  It's filled with all kinds of goodies that I'm guessing you might find helpful as you continue to design and refine your craft.

Now, it's your turn ... I'd love to glean from all your blogging tidbits, wisdom, and secrets!

Missing you already ~






38 comments:

  1. Congratulations on that anniversary, Linda! You've been such a blessing to me, and to everyone in this community...I really have no praise high enough.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/02/your-dying-spouse-276-journey-to.html

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    1. You continue to show us how to live well even though the end of your days is said to be in sight. Thank you for the wisdom you bring to the table, for the insight you share from your hard won experience.

      Please know you are appreciated ... deeply, pal.

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  2. Missing you already, too, Linda! It seems like we've only just connected, and I have certainly gleaned much wisdom, joy and encouragement from your words.
    But there certainly comes a time when we all have to take a break from blogging. Mine don't usually last more than one week, the time my husband and I retreat to the mountains, and I find that, as I miss writing so much, I'm ready to get right back into it when I get home. I'm all for a rest and a vacation, my friend, and I will be waiting right here, expectantly, for your return.
    Blessings always!

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    1. I hear you about missing writing, just chomping at the bit when the time comes to get back in the saddle.

      I have a feeling it won't be long.

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Martha. How very good to do community with you.

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  3. Oh, Linda, I've got no tips to share here, but I'm grateful for the relational aspect of blogging, and have benefited so greatly from your infusions of encouragement over the past I-forget-how-many years of this blogging fellowship.

    Enjoy your break!

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    1. Infusions of encouragement.

      So aptly put, Michele. Beautiful.

      Grateful for all you've added to my life during this season ... oh ... all those books!

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  4. What a delightful reflection of your insight from 10 years and lots of relational connections with so many of us. Your heart for others is clear and I am so much enjoying our journey together. Have a great time away. We just spent four days in Indy watching our middle grandson play in the Midwest Regional Basketball Tourney...his last. (He's a high school senior.) They won the championship and it was so much fun to see this team play together. They love each other dearly, have Bible studies together and truly have each other's backs. They won the division championship in the final late yesterday afternoon and will head to Nationals in MO in March. Hugs to you!

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    1. Isn't it the best fun to be a grandma, to cheer from the sidelines {in more ways than one?!} This is the best season ever, isn't it ...

      Thanks for the grace and wisdom that you share. I consider you a dear mentor from afar, Pam ...

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  5. I second all your tidbits! Here's another nugget of wisdom I have settled into---it is NOT a job--no one is paying you--so do it for the pure enjoyment--NOT because it is another 24 hours and you MUST post! YES--when the spirit hits me--these days! I am also tweeting those short bursts of inspiration and enjoying that as well. Love the blog friends I have made--HOW I would LOVE to eye ball them!
    Blessings, My Friend--ENJOY this semi retirement!

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    1. I remember that post you wrote about blogging not being a paying job, Lulu. It seemed to be a gift of freedom, a turning point for you ...

      And I know that a good number of our friends do rely on income from blogging and social media in general. And my hat's off to them today. For I think it must be easier said than done.

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  6. favorite things from this:
    blog when the spirit hits
    simple is a gift (AMEN and AMEN)
    don't be afraid to take a breather.

    Have loved what you have done here.

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    1. And I just love when you come to call, Carol ...

      ;-}

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  7. Wise counsel, Linda. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I love all these tidbits on blogging you have shared Linda. It also gives me permission to be okay with the process! I know my blogging changes and morphs as time goes on, and instead of beating myself up for not having a clearer vision from the start, I can look at it as staying open to changes and listening to the Spirits promptings. So my tidbit to other want-to-be bloggers who are hesitant to start, is to just start and know it is OK to change it as it goes. Congrats on 10 years! You are inspiring and happy I found you a couple of years ago.

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    1. Oh, you've penned it so well, Lynn ... it IS ok to change things up along the way! Maybe it's even vital that we do so!

      All of life is a process, isn't it ... and anything healthy morphs and grows in one way or another.

      Love doing community with you, friend.

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  9. Congratulations dearest Linda! I do so love your posts filled with so much wisdom!

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    1. From Massachusetts to South Africa, sending a great big 'thanks' your way, Jandi!

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  10. Congratulations on ten years, Linda! I am blessed to have "met" you. I love the nurturing space you keep here, and I will miss you. I pray you will have a refreshing, relaxing, rejuvenating time as you take a blogging break and do some traveling. I have been thinking a lot of your launch back into counseling. It must make you busier. I pray the Lord blesses it as you have blessed us here. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. All your words ... so kind and supportive, Trudy. How grateful I am to do community with you!

      ;-}

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  11. Congratulations on entering your tenth year of blogging! I'm grateful for the advice and reflections you share and I love how blogging can create these friendships and connections that span the miles. I will miss you, but I hope you have a good break and enjoy your travels!

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    1. Ah, my Scottish sister. I'm wondering if we're related from afar ...

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  12. Your gentle and loving ways keep people coming back year after year. Not sure where and when we first "met," but so glad we did! I love your blogging advice! Congratulations on this big anniversary! Enjoy your time away!

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    1. You know that my visits to your place refresh my perspective, friend. Thank you for continuing to restore my sense of balance and gratitude ...

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  13. Wow ... I can probably list on one hand the things I've ever stuck with for 10 years, Linda. Good for you. I hope you know I love your blog and consider you a blogging mentor and friend. :-) Your third point (Simpler is a huge gift) totally reflects my thoughts on what a blog should be. I know the experts have reasons for their all their advice about (self)promotion, but I've found the thing that keeps me focused as I blog is to remember who I am, sound like myself, and try to run my blog like the kind of blogs I like to visit. Hugs, friend. I hope you have a wonderful break!

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    1. Your insights are keepers, Lois ... remembering who we are, sounding like who we are, offering exactly what we'd like to receive.

      And you're a keeper, too. I'm oh so grateful that our paths continue to cross ...

      ;-}

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  14. 10 years! That's beautiful, Linda. I'm so thankful to have connected with you in this peaceful online space you host so well. These are wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, my friend. I do #4 a lot, many, many breathers. It keeps me sane. I actually just returned from a month long one :). I hope you have an amazing breather. Enjoy your time away!!

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    1. Candace, welcome back! It's so good to see you out and about again! You've modeled for us what it looks like to feel free to take a break when you need to, especially to focus on your family.

      Oh so wise you are ...

      ;-}

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  15. Hi Linda,
    Congrats on the great milestone and enjoy your little break! Spring must be in the air as I'm headed to Rome and will be on a little blogging break too, while I'm gone. Happy spring, friend! xo

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    1. Oh ... Rome, Valerie, Rome!

      I absolutely can't wait to see your photos, to hear your stories. You know I travel vicariously through you, don't ya'.

      Enjoy every second. And have an extra helping of something luscious for me, ok?

      ;-}

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  16. Wow! 10 years of blogging. That's just awesome. What a journey, huh? I'm so glad to have bumped with you in this road of blogging. It's good to have inspiring people around.

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    1. We have met some of the most fascinating, loving people along the path, haven't we, Lux ...

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  17. Linda,
    Wow! 10 years!!! So thankful we met and I'm glad you're following the Spirit's leading to take an early spring break..May it restorative, my friend :-)

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    1. I'm happy easing into this fairly unplugged time, friend ...

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  18. Wonderful words Linda, I do appreciate your simple clean white space here, so refreshing! Your heartfelt, clear, honest, and insightful writing are always a blessing to me, and you can be sure you will be missed, but I hope you have a wonderful and special time on your spring break getaway! :)

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    1. I'm lovin' being kind of invisible online!

      And I hope you're doin' real well way out there in Idaho, friend ...

      ;-}

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  19. Sorry for the late response, friend. I've been a bit under the weather. Excited to be congratulating you on 10years of blogging - whoot - whoot! Hope you're enjoying your breather, hope to connect soon. Blessings!

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    1. I tiptoed onto your site, June, and am so sorry to hear that you've had a bit of a health scare. Please know that I'm praying for you this morning, ok?

      May you embrace, once again, that when we are weak, He is strong. Blessings to you, dear ...

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda