Monday, July 12, 2010

Blogging to Bless!

Two years before I started a blog I wrote the following in my journal.
'I have discovered blogs! There are some amazing, creative people who write blogs that are truly inspiring. I am helped and encouraged by these women I do not know - gracious homemakers, homeschoolers, mothers of twins - just like me. A lady perhaps a tad more traditional than me but an awesome writer - she points people to the source of her joy - her God.'

I had started to contemplate writing a blog because I loved to write and inspire others. I was always full of ideas for homemakers and I wanted to share them with others. I was already opening up my home at Christmas to groups of women and running decorating seminars. I had previously been involved in setting up a ministry for homemakers called 'Inspire' - in the days before blogs. There were so many creative women just in my church alone and I would convince them to come and share their talents with others. I roped in friends and even local businesses who would donate time to tell us about taking family photos or choosing a perfume and they would bring giveaways! It was like hosting a live blog - lots of hard work mind you. A blog would be the perfect outlet for me. I cannot believe I found so much to write about but my family are not surprised - they know I find enough to talk about! And there is so much more - my mind is always abuzz with ideas. I have come up with inspiration for blog posts in the middle of the night!

It's time for a picture so let me introduce the newest member of our family. This is Kiera and she is my daughter's dog, a Border Collie/ Kelpie cross - extremely bright and intelligent just like my daughter! In just a short space of time I have revealed a little of my thoughts on blogging - I have not shared my daughter's name and told you something positive about her. This is deliberate - in my journal I also wrote down my concerns about blogging.

They were No 1. Protecting my family - how much do I reveal about our lives? Do I use my children's names? Does it place us at risk? Will critics be hammering the comments box? Will it be too much to bear? This is my concern I wrote 'but I would like to encourage others, make some new friends and create a journal of memories with photos and writing about our beautiful family and the life that we live.'

And share the occasional recipe for food that my family loves.

And give you a few glimpses of the beautiful countryside in my region of Australia.

The other concern I wrote down on that journal page and underlined was 'Time.' Writing takes time, creating and maintaining a blog takes time. Will it consume me? Will I neglect my other duties? Visiting other blogs and leaving comments also uses up my precious time - I will have to use discipline and know when it is time to close the page no matter how lovely and return to base i.e my own home and children. I made a few decisions - I would keep my blog page uncomplicated and not waste time with fancy templates or too many gadgets. It took some time to work out the technicalities such as how to make a custom header bar (it is called tech savvy teenage son!) I also decided not to keep on adding buttons or rewards which would all use up precious time and need updating. It is that KISS principle of life - keeping it simple and I decided to extend that philosophy to my blog.

It would be almost two years before I would introduce myself to the world but I am so glad I did. I have met some wonderful people, some are sharing the same journey in choosing to educate their children at home. Others love the work they do at home - spending time in the garden, baking bread, crafting and making their home a little taste of Heaven - so many of the things that I delight in. Others inspire me in my Christian faith. Others just make me laugh and bring a little mirth and merriment to my soul just when it is needed. Thank you for everything!

The reason I blog is to bless. I really do want to reach out and bless others by sharing with you the life that God has blessed me with. I asked the Lord about blogging and waited upon Him. His words to me were 'Offer hope, encouragement, inspiration and let them know about joyful family living.' So this is what my blog became - a celebration of family life and raising beautiful children in a beautiful place - with its very own koalas!

My next post will be my 100th and having given some thought to the matter I will be celebrating with two giveaways over the next week or so. The first is for my friends in the USA and Canada and is possible thanks to an opportunity from a promotion for an online store. I'm not a girl who is into gimmicks. I rarely enter giveaways myself and don't feel right visiting an unfamiliar blog in order to gain something material for myself. I have only ever done one review on behalf of a company. I don't advertise on my sidebar, I try to keep my blog clutter free and non-commercial but I did want to bless my friends in some way so I checked out the offer and the company, they appear to be reputable and have many lovely items for the home... so dear friends do return for my next post and enter the giveaway!

My friends here in Australia and New Zealand you will have to wait a little longer. I'm shopping locally for you and I have seen so many gorgeous possibilities. I just love choosing gifts for people and because this is from me personally I get to wrap it for you - I love that too! Let's just say the giveaway will fit the theme of my blog and I am excited about blessing someone I have never met in person!

Thank you for all your encouraging comments and emails. For the friendships I have gained I am so appreciative. I'm looking forward to sharing more from my heart soon.

From my home to yours

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Unknown said...

I too had similar concerns, but decided to blog for the opportunity it afforded me to keep an online family journal. I too have kept my children anonymous.
Well done on your 100th post.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Ann I personally am so very glad you started a blog.
Your concerns were the very same as mine....I think it is a Mum thing though...
You have inspired me and often I return to your pages to read when I need time out from my "base" and to be emersed by THE writings of someone like minded such as you!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

I just love your blog - it is a blessing and you are so right about "why to blog" - it can get a little consuming but then you just have to walk away from it for a few days.
I have learned so much by reading yours and feel as though I have a friend Down Under!

SF said...

BEautiful post, Ann. And indeed you do bless with your blog! :D xo

Erin said...

I thank YOU Ann for sharing:)
Blogging is indeed a fascinating world.
BTW we have no koalas here:( Haven't seen one since I was a child.

Renata said...

Oh Ann I do love your blog & it sure is a blessing to me! Thanks for all the time you put into it!
I've had similair concerns about blogging (unfortunately I didn't think about it properly until after I started). I am glad I never used my kids proper names though!
Congrats on your 100th post! The giveaway idea sounds like great fun!
Hope you have a lovely day & enjoy your holidays!

Cheryl said...

I am not a blogger, but I have contemplated it a few times. I figure, if I ever do it will be for the Glory of God.

God has given me an amazing testimony and I know He had purpose for me to share it. I am just not blogging savvy yet, and a bit intimidated. With that said, I can't tell you how many times I have been encouraged or convicted by the Holy Spirit by something I have read on my fellow brothers and sisters, in Christ's blogs.

Camille said...

What a great post Ann! It's precious to "hear" your heart on why you blog! It is lovely to "know" you. I am going to guess that you are sending your local friends a pet Koala bear off your eight I right?? My children would *love* to see one of those guys up close and personal...what a beautiful piece of God's glorious creation you live in!!



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