Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tiptoeing Gently Into Year #13


Well hello, my friends!

The list of errands is done for today, the groceries stored in the cupboards and fridge.  The snow is swirling lightly yet persistently.  I'm sipping a mug of mulled cider while I watch a lone turkey circling the bird feeder, pecking randomly at the spent hulls on the sandy soil.

He doesn't look at all that happy ... either he's not all that pleased with today's meager leftovers or he's missing the gang of 15 who usually accompany him as they traipse through the woods looking for berries and seeds.

Year #13 of blogging has snuck up quietly this week, tapped me on the shoulder, pulled at my heartstrings.  In some ways I'm surprised to still be pecking away at the keyboard after more than a decade, dreaming up something of value every week or so to offer you.

But when I think about it for just a bit, it's not at all a surprise.

I love blogging.  Period.  It's become as natural as the air I breathe and I enjoy the connection with like-minded spirits, the ongoing conversations, the iron-sharpening iron relationships that have taken root with so many of you over the years.

Blogging's been a faithful, steady companion, a comfort of sorts during unwieldy transitions, seasons of grief, and random uncertainties.

Along the way, I've become an attentive student, a grateful beneficiary of all your wisdom, life experience, creativity, humor ... and most of all, your passionate walk with our Lord and Friend, Jesus.

I'm thankful.




For sure I've learned much along the way, like writing when I have something to say and not because there's some kind of life-draining schedule mandating it.  I've learned that mentoring others and having others mentor me is always a needed call.  I've become more aware of unpleasant emotions like fear or jealousy that can raise their ugly heads at the oddest times.  And I've learned what to do with those unwelcome calling cards.

I talk about the tendency toward sloppy boundaries and tyrannical numbers and misplaced focus right over here ... and I came up with 6 keys to help you be the boss of your blog which you can read right over there.

Maybe some of my hard-earned lessons will save you a bit of angst along your own long term writing pathway ... or help you navigate your ongoing social media experience.




My guest post for Mary Geisen's #TellHerStory Link-Up will be up and running next Tuesday.  Truth be told, I'm excited about what I wrote, mostly because I needed to write it for myself.  If you struggle with releasing people, places, and things that are taking up too much real estate in your heart, you might find those 700+ words to be helpful.  I hope you'll join me there.  Mary is a splendid hostess, a truly kind and gracious friend to many.

I've also been doing a second read through of Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis by Patti Callahan, taking notes with an eye toward the four discussions we'll be having right here on Thursdays, beginning February 21st.  To sweeten the pot and celebrate year #13, I'll be featuring a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card.  Every comment you leave on those four posts {limit 2 per post!} will put you in the running for the card {U.S. only}.

All the Book Club details are right here.   Be sure to invite all your friends and fans to join us ... and please do subscribe so you don't miss a single conversation!




And last but not least, one of blogging's greatest joys has been to savor posts like these two that have been published by dear online friends this week.  This kind of heartfelt writing is what doing life in the company of others is all about.

Living With a Heart That's Slowly Breaking - Lois Flowers
'My world hasn’t been shattered by a sudden tragedy, a devastating betrayal or a long trial that finally ended with a crushing loss. But day after day, little by little, a specific section of my heart is slowly breaking ...'

It's Yours Not Mine - Debby Hudson

'I’m not an alcoholic. Not an addict. But I’m drunk on caring for things that are out of my control. I’m enticed by control, my drug of choice. All the things in neat little rows working as they should. Life, as I would have it ...'





*

inviting friends at
Mary's  .  Kelly's  .  Sue's  .  Diane's

52 comments:

  1. Happy 13th blog anniversary! I've enjoyed visiting since I "discovered" you - I don't even remember when and how that was. I'm just about done with my current audiobook and looking forward to Becoming Mrs. Lewis next.

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    1. I can't remember when or where either, Barbara, but boy, am I grateful to do online life with you ...

      ;-}

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  2. Congratulations on 13 years of blogging! I've been going for almost three and a half years now and I've learned a lot from people like you who have been doing it much longer. It's been a blessing to get to know you and I'm thankful! I look forward to reading your guest post at Mary's.

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    1. I can't tell you how much I enjoy having a Scottish blogging sister. My dad would have been so proud and pleased ...

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  3. Oh wow! 13 Years! I've only been at it 4, lots of posts though.

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    1. Yep, Rebecca, it's amazing how quickly those posts can add up, week in and week out. I'm so happy you've joined our happy family the last few weeks!

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  4. Happy 13th Blog-Aversary Linda - that is something worth celebrating. If I would have stuck with it back in 2007 when I first attempted blogging, I would be a year behind you - but alas I gave up after a few tries and being frustrated with the technology.. I restarted in 2015/16 and now I can say, enjoy it. I love Mary and look forward to reading your post there next week. YAY! A lot of things for you to celebrate - hope you are having some cake thrown in too. Blessings

    PS.: if you are looking for another place to link to on Thursday’s I would love if you would consider joining my linkup #TuneInThursday – it opens Thursday 3 am PST and runs through Sunday night. You can find it at debbiekitterman.com/blog

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    1. I hear exactly what you're saying about technology, Debbie. I've purposely stayed away from anything more than the basics after almost losing not one but two websites in the process of setting this one up a few years back.

      * ugh *

      Meanwhile, thanks for inviting me to your Thursday linkup! I really appreciate it. Too often I feel invisible and excluded when going to new linkups. But I sure would love to give yours a try ...

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  5. Linda, you are amazing! And an inspiration. I'm so glad we've "met". xx

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    1. You're the inspiration, Debby. You're writing has been amazing as you make your way through this season. I'm blown away by your profound words ...

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  6. Wow, 13 years blogging is amazing. I don’t think I know anyone else that has been blogging that long. You are an awesome writer and I am so blessed that we have met. I will look forward to each post.

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    1. And I'm enjoying your blog with those creative homemaking energies of yours, Pam! Your new presence here recently has been a mid-winter joy ...

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  7. Our Christian blogs should be beacons of light in a dark world. They should be blogs which Jesus would want to read.

    God bless.

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    1. Yes and amen. Ultimately, we live to honor an audience of One, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ ...

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  8. it was good to hear that after 13 years you still have the "fire" needed to keep blogging, Linda. After even less years than that it is easy to either go on auto-pilot or to simply peter out. I pray this next year will be your best year ever and God will continue teaching you new things.

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    1. You're so right, Bill ... it's way easy to get to that auto-pilot place where we somehow think we need to be doing and saying the same thing at the same time each week.

      * yawn *

      I'm trying to pay attention to what's happening in my head and heart, God's still small voice, instead of following the crowd.

      He's often telling me to put it all aside ... as in 'turn off that phone!'

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  9. 13 years is a long time to blog. Congratulations! That give me encouragement, since I have only been blogging for a little over 1 year. I have met so many kind, generous bloggers (like you, Linda) while I have struggled to find my voice and say what God is whispering to me. I hope I get to 13 years!

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    1. Enjoy the journey as you discover your own unique rhythm, Laurie. I always appreciate how you motivate me to step up my own often lethargic activity level!

      You're making a difference and I'm grateful to have you model a healthy lifestyle ...

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  10. What a wonderful gift to the world, 13 years of your blogging, Linda! I'm grateful and thank God for your wisdom, your joy, your faith. And your friendship!

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    1. Please know that I'm grateful for your ongoing gently influence in my life as well, Lisa ...

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  11. Congrats on such a great ministry to others! laurensparks.net

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    1. Praise God for anything good that happens around here ...

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  12. Oh, my, Linda, thirteen years??? Congratulations, my friend, and I'm wishing you many more wonderful years of blogging, and sharing your inspiration with us! You are a gem, my friend.
    Blessings!

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  13. Thirteen years a blessing!

    My thoughts on blogging...

    Blogging is my lifeline,
    my blessing, and my curse,
    but every measured deadline
    keeps away the hearse.
    I've no other connexion
    to the world so wide;
    I meet hearts in whose reflection
    cancer's taken in my stride.
    There are the seasons of the night,
    tales I'd as lief not tell,
    but, by God, I think it's right
    to speak of malignancy's hell.
    So I'll go on to the end, with the prayer
    that you'll read my heart, and see God there.

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    1. Ah ... did you ever dream you'd end up on the world stage as a poet, Andrew?

      ;-}

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    2. That I surely did not, Linda. Not once.

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    3. Surprise, surprise, ol' friend! God's not done with you yet ...

      Thankfully ...

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    4. When I looked in the mirror this morning
      I was feeling less than great,
      but I beheld something weird a-borning
      God was making a P-O-8.
      I always thought they were curious,
      these masters of arcane rhymes,
      typing away in a furious
      effort to frame their times.
      But God wanted me among them
      for reasons surely His own,
      a nod, perhaps to Bethlehem
      where the unlikeliest Grace was sown.
      The best raw material I was surely not
      but God's gotta work with what He's got.

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    5. Man, you're quite proliferate today!!

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    6. I have WAY too much fun, Linda.

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  14. So many great posts over 13 years! I can't wait to see what the Lord does this coming year through your blog and the other blogs that are represented here. The two links you included - Debby and Lois' were thought provoking and I appreciate being pointed in their direction. Loving the Mrs. Lewis book!

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    1. Debby and Lois put out some powerhouse writing this week. I couldn't wait for some end of the month review to spread their words.

      And I'm so glad you're enjoying the book. The perfect escape this week, yes?

      xo

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  15. Sweet post!  Hugs and kisses!

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  16. Congratulations on 13 years, Linda! I don't remember when or where I found you, but I'm so grateful God directed me to you. :) You have helped me a lot, especially in the area of giving myself more grace. Your place here has always felt safe to me. I loved Lois' heartfelt post, too, and am often blessed by her writing. Thank you for introducing me to Debby and her post. It really resonates with me. Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Dear, dear Trudy. That you find this space to be a safe place is my highest joy. Thank you for that warm hug of kindness this afternoon.

      To be safe, to be empathetic, to listen well, to live out Jesus' compassion are my highest goals.

      Bless you, friend ...

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  17. I have almost finished the book and I gave my small group an earful last night of my take aways. Not certain what I will do with it, but I have learned a great lesson!

    Congratulations on 13. I am on my Third Blog Title and I am pretty sure this is the last one. It all started when my daughter was in college--2001-2005. I cringe when I think of some of the earlier blogs. Thankfully I think I have gotten better! There was no where to go but better--LOL!

    It is my on line journal some days. Telling far more than most want to know, it has helped to grow me. That's a good thing!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. I'm pretty sure you're my oldest {as in long time, NOT age!!} ongoing online connection, dear Lulu. And what a faithful relationship we've developed over the years ... not on each other's doorstep every minute of the day but certainly available to each other.

      What a rare gift indeed ...

      Meanwhile, I hope your takeaways will show up here at some point. Your input is dear to me.

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  18. Wow! Thirteen years allows you a great deal of time to sow and also reap. So enjoyed reading this. Got my copy of Becoming Mrs. Lewis and looking forward to starting it. Hoping this message from my heart to yours reaches you. I have a Google account, but it never seems to work so hope this avenue does.❤️

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    1. Yep, you're here alright, Pam, and I couldn't be happier that you'll be in on the Book Club! Your wise perspective always causes me to lean forward just a bit so I don't miss a word ...

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  19. Happy Blogversery! I wonder what the next 13 years will bring? Maybe I'll still be able to join your journey, God willing!

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    1. Please bring your incredibly beautiful lens with you as we continue on, dear Lynn. Your photos are simply stunning ...

      ;-)

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  20. Congratulations on 13 years. I'm very new to your blog (yet still don't remember how I found you, but I'm glad I did!) I'm looking forward to the book club.

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    1. Happy Valentine's Day, Barbara! I'm so glad you're here ... and that you're on board for the book club.

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  21. Congrats, fellow Blogger. And I did see your comment on my blog about us celebrating together and even coming up with the same idea. Great minds, right? I am blessed that we have connected!

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    1. Jean, hi! Don't you just love when a sister blogger and you are tracking on the exact same page?!

      Serendipitous, yes?

      Congrats on YOUR anniversary ... and YOUR Amazon giveaway!

      ;-)

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  22. Oh, Linda ... what a beautiful post! Your blog really is a gift to me. I love that you still love it after all this time, and I especially appreciate that you are in it for the primary purpose of encouraging your reader-friends, not building a platform or promoting your personal brand or some such. :-) I hope God gives you at least another 13 more years to share your heart with us. However long you're here, I'll be reading. (And I can't wait to see what you have for us next week at Mary's linkup ...)

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    1. Nope, no platform, no book, no other social media except LinkedIn. I can only handle blogging ... and sometimes even that gets more of my attention than it should.

      No personal brand for sure!

      THAT'S funny ...

      ;-}

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  23. I'm looking forward to seeing your post at Mary's next week! And congratulations on 13 years! That is a great accomplishment. Your blog is like drinking a cup of hot apple cider and snuggling with a blanket. :)

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    1. Oh you're so sweet. I hope your visits here are a bit of an encouraging respite during this exciting hectic season of your book launch, Betsy!

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Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

Doesn't seem to be a place to leave your comment? Or your comment doesn't show up within an hour or so?

I'd love if you'd email me your contribution ... I'd be delighted to hand post it as soon as possible.

lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...

Linda