Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

So Far: My Second Blogiversary

2Blogiversary

 

Today marks the completion of another full year of blogging; it is my second blogiversary!

I’ve been at this for two whole years! It’s hard to believe that much time has gone by since I decided to take myself seriously as a writer. And a lot has happened over these two years.

Like any 2-year-old, though, I think my blog is still deciding what it wants to be when it grows up. But being the 39-year-old that I am, I feel like I should have this figured out better by now.

The truth is, the blog has played an important role in helping me get started as a writer. And that has been lovely–for me.

What I have struggled with over these two years is figuring out what it is about this blog that is of value to y’all, my dear readers. I may be breaking some blogging taboo by sharing that concern here on the blog, but it is the elephant in the middle of the blogging room for me.

So, I’m naming the elephant: I don’t know what I’m doing here.

However, I would like to have a third, fourth, and even a seventeenth anniversary of the blog eventually. So, I’d love to hear from you…

1. What has/have been your favorite post/s so far?

2. What do you appreciate most about this site?

3. What do you wish there was more of here?

4. What else can you tell me about what this blog means to you?

You can comment below or send me an e-mail at livingfaithjct (at) gmail (dot) com

As always, thanks for journeying with me in this.

For Us

Once after a speaking engagement, someone asked me if sharing hard stories helps me. I was puzzled because I ordinarily share because I want to help others know they’re not alone in the hard times.

As one who has a public dimension of speaking and writing it is an interesting question. I know that it does help me to think out loud or on paper about the hard times–but these are very private processes, usually involving tears, many, many tears. The outpouring itself is cathartic.

The public sharing though, that brings its own kind of difficulty. The choice to make the private thoughts public has to bear up under scrutiny: Does this even make sense? Does it really have the chance to help someone else? Does it make me look bad, and if so, how bad? And if it makes me look bad, what might be the costs of looking bad in that way?

After all that, then I weigh the question, am I looking for sympathy? And usually the answer involves a recognition of what a wise Deaconess once said, “There is no such thing as a truly pure motive.”

I would love to be able to stand behind my original sentiment–that I share to help others. Yet I know my altruism isn’t pure. And I wouldn’t do this public bearing of my soul if it didn’t come with at least some kind of benefit to me.

Even now I am aware of the way in which sharing here about my aimless aching just a couple of days ago has given me strength to move through this weekend. It didn’t make the ache go away–that would be far too much to ask. But pouring out the thoughts was the catharsis I so appreciate about writing. And sharing here has helped me because of the feedback from readers who have told me that I am not alone in the aching.

Does sharing help me? I have to say, yes. Does it help others? It seems to. What I’m realizing is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both. I hope it is both.

I think what I hope most of all is to deepen community–for you, and for me, for us together–as we share, honestly share, the hard times.

This Writing Thing – A Little Booklet and A New Blog

I wrote a number of months ago about my excitement about signing my first real writing contract. Well, the package just arrived the other day with my copies of the project I worked on and I wanted to share my joy with you.

gracepeacepackage

As a writer for this project, last Monday I received five copies each of the standard and large print editions. (Photo by my son)

The booklet you see is a daily devotional from Augsburg Fortress called “Grace and Peace: Devotions for Lent 2015.” I was one of three writers for the project, contributing 15 of the devotions.

All of the devotions are based on the New Testament book of Ephesians. To write each devotion, I was given a few verses from Ephesians and a photograph that was to appear with the devotion. My task for each was to select a quotation from a non-biblical source, write a brief devotion, and write a prayer to wrap up the day.

Some of them were easier to write than others. And some of them got edited more than others. But overall, apparently I did okay, because they still put my name on the cover!

The devotionals are only $2 each. They’re available from Augsburg Fortress directly and if you order 100 or more copies, you can get a 25% discount. They’re also available at Amazon where I also created an official Amazon Author Page for myself!

Now that my first round of paid writing projects are complete, I am taking time to work on some writing that has been percolating in me since high school. To do that, I actually started a new blog called A Truth of a Different Color (ATDC). The tagline for it is “Uncommon Sense about Dealing with Differnces.” You can read more about the genesis of ATDC at the About page over there.

I felt the need for a second blog for ATDC mainly because I have enough to say there that I think it can hold its own. Plus, the tone I’ve set here is generally more descriptive of my life and experiences whereas what I want to do at ATDC is unpack some of my thinking and philosophy.

And honestly, I don’t expect that everyone who follows this site will necessarily be interested in what I’m doing over there…and vice versa. So, keeping them separate gives people choices. If you love Living Faith, don’t worry, it’s still gonna be here and I’ll continue to update it as inspiration strikes.

My hope is that ATDC will eventually be organized into a book, but right now I just need to get the ideas out of me and onto the page. I’d love for y’all to check it out, but I’ll understand if you’re more comfy just staying here.

Whatever you do, just know that I appreciate you being on this journey with me in whatever way you are able. I just wanted to make sure you knew about my little booklet and the new blog as I keep plugging away at this writing thing.

That Time When I Met David Housholder

After working with David Housholder (aka Hous) for nearly a year, we finally met in person in Dallas on Tuesday. Hous and his wife, Wendy, were in Dallas for a conference. So my guys and I drove up to have dinner with them.

The funniest thing about meeting Hous in person was the first thing he said to me, “You’re so tiny!” I knew he was tall because he often mentions his height, but I guess I don’t exactly broadcast the fact that I’m rather short. It does just go to show though, that my personality is “larger than life.”

Over at Life & Liberty, I posted a longer version of the story of how we met online and started working together; that post is under the title, The Joy of Meeting People Online (click the title to read that post). But I thought it would be fun to share a couple pictures with y’all right here.
05-27-2014 Hous & Jen

Hous and I, you know, just hanging out in Dallas.

 

05-27-2014 Epic Tinker-Housholder Summit

The Whole Gang at the Epic Tinker-Housholder Summit: (from left) My husband-David, Me, Hous’s wife-Wendy, my son, Hous

 

So Far: My First Blogiversary

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I can’t believe that it has already been a year since I started blogging here at Living Faith! What’s even more astounding is how many folks have come along for the adventure!

I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started my blog. I never could have guessed where it would bring me in one short year, but I’m sure glad I’m here!

At first when I seriously considered starting a blog it was for the sake of staying connected with people after they hear me speak. As a “freelance” speaker & preacher I meet people in various locations and I wanted a way to maintain a presence in people’s lives after the speaking events or worship services.

But once I started the blog, then it began to take on a life of its own and I’ve done relatively little speaking & preaching compared to what I had hoped. So the blog itself became an entry-point for connections.

And then there were more and more connections through the blog!

Even people from my small town, people from my own church began getting to know me more deeply on the blog before hearing much from me live and in person or up front from a pulpit.

And then the other opportunities started coming along, some highlights of which were joining the staff at Life & Liberty, and getting my first real writing contract! Then a bunch of preaching and speaking opportunities came all at once in December which was cool.

My depression–which kept me from writing for so long–has tried to hold me back even since I started this blog. It has been particularly bad since December. I am getting help though, so that’s a good thing. And I am not letting it stop me from writing!

The biggest way I am combatting the depression is by trying to get more and more clarity about what I want to do with the blog and with my writing in general. I figure if this blogging & writing stuff is taking off for me, I want to be crystal clear about my purpose in it all.

I am particularly excited about the new series about “Receiving Others as Gifts” that I announced last Friday. It is exactly the kind of thing I need to be about with my writing and fits beautifully with my life message. I hope you will follow that series each week and let me know how it resonates with you.

This is for keeps now people. I am really, really, really doing this writing thing, and I look forward to many more blogiversaries! Thanks for being with me in this!