Once again, I've been doing a lot of 'thinking' and pondering about the mystery that is blogging. I just don't get it sometimes, how I can like something so much. How reading other peoples blogs and having them read mine is something that inspires me and fulfills me and entertains me endlessly. In the past week, I have received several "Blog Awards" from some of my blogging friends and I am just completely blown away by their graciousness. So, this post is a thank you to them, a contemplation about blogging, and my way of passing on the "blog awards" to a few of my very deserving friends.
When I decided to start a blog, there were a few things I expected. I expected it to be a fun, creative outlet for my appreciation for writing. I expected my family and close friends to read it (Hi Mom! Hi Grandma!). I expected it to be a place where I could log memories for myself. And you know what? My blog has met and exceeded all of those expectations.
What I didn't expect, though, has actually been the best part of being a member of the 'blogging' community.
I didn't expect to meet one of my best friends in the entire world through blogging. That on one not-so-special day during the summer of 2009 I would receive my first ever comment from a stranger. Her name was Emily, and I was completely blown away by the fact that someone I didn't know was reading my blog and had found encouragement through my posts about marriage. It was the first time I realized that, hey, maybe I had some insight to share about what being a husband and wife is all about. Em and I grew our friendship slowly, and went from exchanging blog comments to being facebook friends to being text friends to actually hanging out in real life. This summer I was so honored to be a part of her wedding. Blogger didn't tell me that was going to happen.
I also didn't expect to have people emailing me and talking to me about how something I wrote - an idea or a hunch that I had about life/family/marriage/friendship - had a positive affect on their life/family/marriage/friendships. I didn't expect people I hadn't talked to in years to email me saying that something I had written had inspired them.
Blogger didn't tell me that as I was preparing to move to another country, I was going to find a blog written by a woman named Lenae who was, miraculously, moving to the same exact country I was moving to. (The first post I ever read of hers was the post where she explained where she was moving. Coincidence? I think not.) How could I have known that just by writing in this little space, I would meet a new friend that was going to be living a few minutes away from me, as I live a few thousand miles away from everyone else? A friend that will probably be one of the first to visit me once we have our first baby overseas, will probably throw me a baby shower because my family won't be able to, and who will probably understand and let me cry on her shoulder when seasons of loneliness or hurt come my way and everyone else I love and care about is 7000 miles away. How could I have possibly even fathomed that?
I didn't expect to make wonderful new friends. People like Carlie, who sent me a sweet and encouraging email and whom I have struck up a wonderful friendship with and who I am enjoying getting to know even more through her blog. People like Breanne, who understands my desire for going overseas better than many of my close friends and family do. and people like Dani, who keeps me laughing and entertained on slow days at the Inn.
I didn't expect to meet kindred spirits like Jennifer and Mackensie. Ladies that I would genuinely enjoy hanging out with (if only they didn't live so far away!). Two ladies whom I feel like I understand and know and every time I read their blog I think, "Me too, me too, me too!" every other line.
Blogger didn't tell me that God was going to use this little online space of mine to encourage and inspire me; to help me to understand that I'm not so crazy in thinking that He is real or that marriage is amazing or that being silly is an appropriate way to life every day of your life.
So, if you are someone who is just getting started in the blogging world or you are considering starting a blog of your own, I must say that I think it is one of the best choices you could ever make! Friendship isn't limited to the people in our immediate sphere of influence anymore. Friendship is something that can span states, countries, and quite honestly the world.
So, here is the part where I pass on the bloggy/Liebster award to a few of my bloggy friends. The rules are to link to each of the people who gave me the award (Dani, Mackensie, Carlie, and Breanne) and to nominate 5 people of my own who have blogs with less than 200 followers and who I think deserve a little recognition.