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A New Year - A Renewed Walk with the Lord


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you all had a very blessed and meaningful Advent and that your Christmas was filled with His presence.

I so enjoyed my respite from blogging during the last few weeks of Advent.  Did I just say that?? 

I confess, as the year was drawing to a close, I was beginning to feel the weight of blogging.  The tasks related to it were overtaking my time with family as I tried to keep up with the pace I had set...  Worst still, my blogging schedule, along with all my other responsibilities related to home and a part-time job, were keeping me from the most important aspect of my spiritual walk - PRAYER.

Those three weeks refreshed my spirit, calling me to be still in the presence of the Lord - allowing me to hear Him speaking with more clarity.   Oh what enjoyment I found!

It seemed in the few weeks I was not blogging, the Lord provided me with many topics to blog about in the coming new year!  All inspired by John Piper's Advent Devotional, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, and the First 5 App devotional which is currently going through the book of Matthew.   

Last year, which was my first year of blogging, was a different story as I literally went week to week depending on the Lord for a topic to blog about - many times at the 11th hour!

I believe the Lord veiled His blog topics from me until the last minute so that I would solely depend on Him and Him alone for the words I would write from week to week.  I must say, it strengthened my Faith incredibly to see how a blog post would suddenly come about, knowing that the Lord was providing the topic and helping me to write the words - keeping me humble through the process...

And now, here I am, about to celebrate my very first blogging anniversary, yet having found incredible blessing in my time away from blogging these last few weeks, leaving me all the more refreshed, enriched and prepared for the coming year to write for His glory.

I am very excited to share with you in the weeks and months ahead all that the Lord has shown me in these last few weeks.

I am also excited to share with you two opportunities that were presented to me which will be posted soon.

I was humbled by the request of a dear sister blogger to write a guest blog post on one of the fruits of the spirit, gentleness.  In the months leading up to the writing of that post, the Lord has been so faithful to show me so much about gentleness which I can't wait to share!  I will be sure to let you know when the guest post goes live.  :-)

Additionally, I was humbled by the request of another dear sister blogger to participate in an interview series she is currently doing on her blog.   The interview questions were incredibly God-centered - intended to bring Him all the Glory.   As I answered the questions, I was reminded of all that the Lord has done and is doing in my life.   It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of this sweet sister's interview series.  I will be sure to share links when the interview is published.  :-)


My time away from blogging has also caused me to reassess myself, my spiritual walk and my blog...  
It became evident that changes needed to be made on all counts...

In future blog posts, I will be sharing what the Lord has taught me recently about myself and my spiritual walk that I hope will be an encouragement and blessing to you as well.

But for now, I wanted to tell you about changes I will be making to the blog.

First of all, I want to thank you all for the warm and gracious welcome you gave me to the blogging community.  Your encouragement and words of affirmation over this last year have blessed me more than you know.  They have caused me to want to be accountable to you and give 110% in every blog post I write.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works...
Hebrews 10:24

Late this summer, I began a weekly, daily features series that you all encouraged me in so much, and for which I am so grateful.  However, I feel it is time to return to the original format of the blog by providing once a week content which I hope will continue to help us all grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

I certainly enjoyed journaling my thoughts and blessings.  They drew me so much closer to the evidences of God working in  my life.  And I found the stories behind the hymns so interesting and an encouragement to my own walk of faith.  Delving into specific Scripture verses was also very edifying.  

All of it good, but...   

It began to consume more of my time where I was spending less time in the ministry of my home and personally in prayer, and too much time on the blog.  It became very evident that I needed to cut back.

For my own personal circumstances, I think I like the idea of my blog being more of a living blog whose content is not constrained by set, scheduled features.  I know there are bloggers that do a specific, scheduled feature approach wonderfully, and I look forward to reading and enjoy them very much. But for me, and my quirky personality trait of becoming hyperfocused in my own writing of weekly, daily features, it became more forced and less authentic.

Having said all of this, that is not to say that in the future I won't publish a random additional "blessings post" or "thoughts post" or write about a hymn that touched me in a special way.  It is just that these posts will come as the Lord leads, not on a set schedule.

I hope it doesn't sound like I've been rambling here.  I consider you all my friends and wanted to let you in on how the Lord has been working on me during these last few weeks.  I consider it a high calling to blog for the purpose of sharing His Word, and want to ensure that I am representing my Lord and Savior in a manner that brings Him all the Glory and Honor which requires that my life outside of blogging is preserved for Him first.

I praise and thank God for all that I have learned in this last year through blogging, the friendships I have been blessed with and the faith that was strengthened in my utter dependence on Him through writing.

I look forward to a brand new year and all the promise it holds in Him!


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends




Comments

  1. Dear Karen,
    I was so blessed by your letter. I always enjoy my visits here. I want to thank you for "talking back" at Harvest Lane Cottage. Sometimes it feels like we're writing to ourselves, and it means so much when someone takes time to respond. I like to respond directly to comments on my blog by email when possible.

    Do you know that you are listed as a "no reply blogger" when your comments come through on other people's blogs? If you want to change it so that they can respond to you directly, read this post. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-h9qmBP40OBA/VYYsFxqqs2I/AAAAAAAAMKo/2xBbeiYJHu8/s220/No%2BReply%2BBlogger.jpg

    Blessings,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. Awe, you are very welcome Laura.

      You graciously pointed this out to me a few months ago and I used the link that you listed and it appeared at that time I had everything set properly, and was confused why I was appearing as a "no reply blogger". (This may explain why when I comment on certain peoples blogs they never seem to respond back.)

      I'm in the process right now of googling around to figure this out. I was just on a site that explained that Google Plus Profile can make a person a "no-reply", but when I tried to follow the directions, my dashboard was not set up like theres or at least wasn't functioning as they indicated it would.

      I will continue to look into it and very much appreciate it you pointing it out to me. Thank you so much!

      Delete
  2. Karen, I think we all enjoy a blogging break once in awhile. I enjoyed my break too. So glad to see you back. Blessed to be your neighbor at Testimony Tuesday today!

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    1. Tara, I'm glad you enjoyed your blogging break as well. :-)

      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Delete
  3. Karen, I've only been blogging a little longer than you, and I loved reading your thoughts about your journey so far. What you wrote about God veiling your writing topics from you until the last minute really struck a chord with me, not in relation to my blog, but about another ministry I'm about to embark on. Humble dependence on Him ... that's what I need too! I wish you all the best in the coming year as you allow the Spirit to lead your writing each week!

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    Replies
    1. Lois, Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Blessings to you in this new ministry. May you feel God's peace in this new season serving Him.

      Thank you so much!

      Delete
  4. Oh, dear friend! I could SO relate to all you said here. Long ago, my dear, wise husband gently pulled me back and made me to see that my blog could begin to hold me under bondage, and I needed to only write as God inspired me to write and not be on a set blogging schedule. I have learned through almost 28 years of marriage, that he is very wise, and he listens to God's voice, and I would do well to follow his kind advice. When our blog is a ministry and not a place to self-promote, when it is Holy Spirit led, then is it most successful. True success is not about having the highest numbers, most subscribers and followers, and most page views. True success, to me, is stepping back and allowing GOD to do what He will with the platform He has given us. I am oh, so thankful He is leading you and giving you the wisdom to do what is best for you and your dear, sweet family. You are a wonderful blessing to me, dear friend. Happy New Year!!

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    1. Cheryl, I'm so glad you shared your heart here - sharing the wisdom you lovingly received from your husband which has brought me great encouragement.

      I always anticipate with great joy reading your comments.

      May God bring you joy and happiness in the coming year. :-)

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  5. I'm new to the blogging world as well, and have also found it can be more time-consuming than I thought! But it is such a fabulous community and it has been life changing in so many ways. I'm glad you got some clarity during your break from blogging!

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    1. Leslie, Welcome to the blogging world. :-)

      Indeed it is!

      Thank you!

      It was a blessing to have you visit. :-)

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  6. Hi Karen! Great to be your neighbor again and catch up with you and your story! I really appreciated what you shared here. I am newer to blogging as well (Just started in May 2015) and I have generally been waiting on the Lord for where and what I am to write. I do not seem to fit with features or a yearly word as others do so well.I have a strong sense that He really wants to speak through each of us, using our voices to encourage, challenge, deepen, and refresh our lives. Additionally, I have a stronger sense of being sure the blog points always to Him without being preachy. I look forward to seeing what the Lord has given you to share in the weeks and months ahead and pray He will use each of us for His glory and desire. Blessings on your day! Pam

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    1. Pam, Thank you so much!

      Thank you for sharing your own story on how the Lord is moving in your blogging experience.

      It is so true. I am realizing that even though I don't have big numbers, the Lord is using my blog for His purposes to those He has set aside to be touched by, and the same in those blogs I visit using to teach me lessons. All it takes is one person's blog to reach one heart and that is enough.

      Thank you so much Pam. Blessings to you too!

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  7. Congratulations on hitting the one year mark. I think the blessing of relationships is one of the best parts of blogging. You're a blessing my friend! Thanks for the ways you are blessing me!

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    1. Deb. Thank you! Indeed it is!

      Awe, thank you. You have encouraged and blessed my heart greatly. :-)

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  8. Thanks for the encouragement to keep blogging in its proper place. This has been a struggle of mine, but it is something I plan to fix soon.

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    1. Kali, You are welcome! :-)

      I think we all struggle with it. May God guide you and your blog.

      Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

      Blessings.

      Delete

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