(Don’t forget my first giveaway! See below.)
Celebrations give us markers for our memories—momentary pauses in the repetition of everyday living to acknowledge milestones, successes, and gratitude. When I flip through a photo album or browse the digital images saved on my computer, I use the photographs of birthday cakes, Christmas mornings, and American flags to confirm the passage of time, to measure my children’s growth, and to reflect upon the blessings that each year brings.
Today I am pleased to acknowledge my first full year of consistent blogging. I began keeping a personal journal when I was very young. My earliest writings (that are coherent) were written when I was seven years old. I loved writing stories and creating drawings to go with them. I collected pretty blank books through my childhood, teens, and twenties, but as enamored as I was with the art of journaling and all the fun books and pens that go with the territory, I was terribly inconsistent in maintaining these journals. Wanting to be a writer from the time I could write, I knew that regular time with pen upon paper (or fingers on keyboard) was essential to my growth as an author. Again and again, I heard from teachers and professional writers that keeping a journal was good exercise for writing but also a great way to keep a record of potential topics and anecdotes that could later grow into poems, stories, novels, and essays. Terrific. I’m in! But once the excitement of my latest notebook wore off and inspiration waned, I moved on to other things, leaving behind another journal.
In late summer of 2009, I ran into Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey on the “new” shelf at my local public library. I had started an ill-fated blog a few years earlier, but I just couldn’t get excited about it. I didn’t have a digital camera. I was busy with a job that left me uninspired, and I was using most of my non-working time trying to make up for the time that I wasn’t spending time with my toddler son. Tara Frey’s book helped me to see that blogging wasn’t just journaling for the public to see—blogging could be a creative pursuit in itself. A blog could be a service to my family by acting as a chronicle of our growth and our commitment to one another. A blog could get me writing again after the burn-out of an M.F.A. in the midst of a busy life of parenting. So I took the plunge on September 22, 2009.
My blogging experience has confirmed that Tara was right. I learned that blogging could be something else, too. From my real-life blog friend Emily, I learned that blogging is a sort of spiritual discipline. I am living a more creative life as a blogger because I am connecting with creative people and seeing the beautiful work that they produce. I am living a more grateful life because I scan my world for beautiful images and blessed moments to reflect upon and share here. I see God’s work around me in ways that I overlooked when weekly writing didn’t “fit” into my agenda.
Thank you for reading Warm as Pie. I’m raising a cold iced tea on this unseasonably warm day to the hope of many more years in this space.
(Keep scrolling! Giveaway ends at 9pm EST.)