Friday, April 11, 2014

Featuring Bloggers [and building online community]

One of the newer aspects to my blog is featuring some of my favorite, well-known bloggers who write on the themes of grace, restoration,
creativity, community, suffering, and healing. I enjoy the aspect of sharing within the blogging community and meeting others who are like-minded in grace-centered living in Christ. I love the diversity of stories, families, and lifestyle and, most often, feel connected to them just by reading the honesty in their posts. Ever since I began my first blog around 2008, I have loved this aspect of getting a look into the world of others and hearing their hearts.

  Oddly enough, my writing of this parallels with the release of American Blogger documentary by Christopher Wiegand. To my shock, I have found the Wiegand family under a hateful and disturbing backlash of criticism by many within the blogging community who feel that their documentary does not accurately portray the true American Blogger because it does not capture a diverse audience. This has led many to personally attack Casey and Christopher Weigand and the nay-sayers are creating an obscene uproar over it. There is so much that can be said about this, but I would say the hatefulness and childish criticism is incredibly grieving. While mature and constructive criticism would be helpful, many choose to tear down with their words. So much can be said and learned about this intense situation, but my goal is to reiterate the need for a like-mindedness in how we view and speak to one another in the blogging community. This hurtful situation that the Wiegand family are in just reminded me that, now more than ever, there needs to be mutual respect, care, encouragement, constructive feedback, and acceptance in our blogging connections. We cannot out-shout the negative nancies out there, but our hearts being established in humility and truth is enough. And I believe Casey Wiegand demonstrates that gentleness in and through her reaction to all this. Publishing anything on the internet will always create something of a stir, especially when it begins to spread and reach certain types of audiences who it wasn't exactly created for. The same goes for any creative medium - film, books, music, art, or photography. Not everyone is meant to like or follow every creative work, nor be involved in it. And that is O.K. But it is truly remarkable when bloggers and writers intentionally [personal opinions put aside] choose to embrace the differences and make it their goal to build one another up in their pursuits. Or, we can just simply not follow or read a blogger we disagree with or do not feel we connect to. It's pretty simple. ;)

All this to say, I am more passionate now about connecting myself with bloggers whose goal is to encourage and edify their readers. This is my intent in sharing these posts every month: to bring refreshment and light to those who are hurting within the Christian community.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  
[Proverbs 16:24]

My featured blogger for this month is Emily. She is a wife, mom, blogger, and published author. She blogs at Chatting At the Sky and has written Grace for the Good Girl and A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live. The style of her posts is reminiscent of Ann Voskamp, but more of her focus is on the creative side to our lifestyles. Her posts are usually addresses to writers and artists. I also enjoy her writings on living out the identity we have in our Creator and Father. Sometimes, she shares snapshots and peeks into her cozy world, the books she is reading, and the beautiful community surrounding her with family and friends and fellow bloggers. She engages her readers with reflective questions and link-ups. And she always shares her struggles in the creative process and pursuits and is usually posting something that breathes strength and renewal.
 Below, I have listed my favorite posts by Emily that I recommend others to read. May you enjoy perusing her writings and may your soul be filled anew with inspiration and light!

For the Soul Who Feels Pulled in All Directions

8 Ways to Know It's Time to Take a Break 

On Marriage and Learning as We Grow

Why I Want to Know You and Also Avoid You

For the Artist Who Worries Her Motives Are Wrong


  1. Her blog was how I found yours, I believe. :) I think it was a "Let's share what we learned in (month)." link up post. Her post, "For the Artist Who Worries Her Motives Are Wrong," very much resonated with me, and I enjoyed the clarity of her thoughts on the matter. I wrestle with the same thing often, and God told me once that if I waited until my motives, humanly speaking, were perfectly clear, I would be able to do nothing, but that I should put the entire matter and myself in His hands and trust Him to work it out to His glory and purpose.

    By the way, I am so glad that you found new direction for your blog and I am enjoying the things that you share- your poem was compelling.

    1. That is awesome! Thanks for all your encouraging comments and sharing your thoughts and heart. I truly appreciate this opportunity to know you over blogger. I love that we can trust our Father with our motives and intentions in whatever we do. It's so freeing to not have to "have it all together" right at the start. :)

  2. Wow, these are excellent! The articles I read that really resonated with me were the ones about sharing oneself with others and motives for creating art. Lots to think about. I think a period of solitary reflection is helpful, but eventually its good to make a decision and that not everyone is the public speaker type but there are roles for everyone. Lately, i am focusing much more on writing for myself, at least for just a period of time, to regain creative desire. Thanks for introducing me to Emily's writings!

    1. Jade, I am happy you found her posts inspiring and beneficial to you. I agree, solitary reflection is so helpful and necessary to growth as an artist and that is so wonderful you are doing that for yourself in personal writing. I hope that really fuels your creative spirit and pursuits! :)