Monday, December 31, 2007

The Blessing of Blogging

I'm new to the world of blogging... or should I say, "blogosphere"? Obviously I'm intrigued enough to join in, so here's some of my thoughts on it and why I think blogging is a blessing.
The reason I was attracted to reading blogs:

Kristi is an amazing and inspiring woman. I have never met her - I don't know her. I only know of her because I love her blog. I started reading it because she has SO MANY creative ideas- so many fun things she comes up with. That hooked me. If you're looking for a great creative idea for a teacher gift or starting a new tradition or a visiting teaching treat or how to send "good mail" or holiday idea or lesson idea or to find cute things to buy from other stay at home moms- you must check out her blog! So like I said, I was hooked. But then came one of the best Christmas stories I've ever experienced (in the virtual kind of way) You must go check it out. (Click above on her banner Everything Pink).

She is a mom who lives in the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband have been called to serve in an inner city branch (congregation) of the Church in downtown D.C. She's in the Primary (Children's group) Presidency and he's the Young Men (teenage boys group) President. They travel an hour to church every Sunday instead of the few minutes to their local building... and pick up many on their way. She talks about how much their family has grown and been blessed in the year they've worked with the members there. As Christmas time drew near, they began to make plans on how to get gifts for all of the families who so desperately needed things. Their local ward made many donations to help out with that. As the month went on she began to receive many many donations and gifts intended for their downtown branch... people that she doesn't even know, who just read her blog, sent generous donations. I can't do it justice- you'll have to visit her site when you have time. Read as many posts as you can! It is truly inspiring- She is truly inspiring. You'll see how her taking the time to blog has blessed SO many lives.

The reason I began to contemplate blogging:

Holly's blog, Sunny's blog, and the blogs of many others

Reading my sister's blogs is so fun. Not only do I get to keep up on the latest funny stories, happenings and pictures of their families, but I've learned a lot about Holly & Sunny. They are great & entertaining writers. They have interesting thoughts. They provoke me to think as well. As a stay at home mom I feel like I don't think much- I just go and do and do and go. Reading their blogs and the blogs of others where I've lurked (like the many names listed on Kristi's site) has helped me to see my world differently. I started thinking in blogs. I began to observe and treasure things in my life more. I began to capture more moments with my camera. I began to ponder topics I hadn't in a long time. I began to evaluate myself more and get some ideas of simple things I could do to improve myself and my family. In a lot of the blogs I've read, I've found a whole world of other girls a lot like me. I've found out that maybe I can "stretch" (Kristi's word) myself to do and be a little more. Reading blogs has blessed my life.

The reason I gave in and started my own blog:
All of the above and

Well, of course Angie tagged me at a time when I was really starting to get tempted to start blogging. Answering the tag was fun and fairly easy, so I guess I kind of got a gentle start to the process. And then came the clincher... COMMENTS! People read what I wrote and they seem to care because they commented and I was VALIDATED! :D Silly I know, but strange how good it makes you feel. I feel blessed to have friends and family who care.

Why I intend to stick to blogging:

All of the above again and my need to "remember"

Ever since I was young I've been taught to keep a journal. I did that as a child, I did better as a teenager, and then I didn't at all. While I may not disclose every thought and worry and struggle and blessing in a blog, atleast it's a start. Better than the nothing that has been for a long time. Hopefully this is a way to journal some of our family experiences. I love being able to tell a story with pictures and video. So much better to see it! So this blog is for me and my family- and for anyone else who is interested or cares.

In our Church's General Conference last October there was a talk given called "O,Remember, Remember". It is a must read. President Eyring encourages us to look for, acknowledge, remember- and hopefully record- the blessings we get from God.... every single day. As we do this we will be blessed with a stronger testimony of Him and His love for us. Forgetting God only brings sadness. There's more- like I said- a must read (or re-read). Blogging seems as good a place as any to record those moments. Kristi certainly has and it has uplifted her family and all of her readers! Remembering is important to me since I worry about forgetting (see Angie's tag). This should be a great place to remind myself of what we've experienced.

And finally, some other advice was given from our Church leaders that encourages me to continue... Elder Ballard gave a talk giving this counsel.

“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches,” he said. “While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.” He said we should consider sharing our views on blogs, responding to online news reports and using the “new media” in other ways.

So maybe in some small ways I can do this too... and that blogging can be a blessing to others and to me.

OK- so finally I got my thoughts out. Sorry no pictures with this post- pictures make it so much better.


Holly said...

ooooohhh! You changed your layout! I love your "ode to Kristi" and it really amazes me how much of what she blogs about comes up in my conversations with others. I might say, "this lady I know" when talking to others, but with you I would say, "Yeah- it's like what Kristi said..." I am so thankfun for what blogging has done for my own appreciation of my life- not that I didn't always appreciate life. It just helps me focus on the positives, and like you said, reading others validates me. You can tend to feel isolated being a SAHM running here and there, folding laundry, doing dishes, helping with homework. I also look for more opportunities to create memories which makes us closer as a family. I am so glad now that you are committed to blogging. I can't wait to see more!

Sunny said...

Wow Nik, great post! And a long post too!:)

Shan said...

Nik you inspire me but I STILL haven't started my own blog! I love Kristi's blog and feel like I know her but also feel like I invade her space by knowing so much about her :) Holly I get on and read yours a lot too - hope you don't mind!

Nikki said...

Shan- The down side is finding time to blog. I don't know how those daily bloggers do it! You should try- you know just a post a week or a month. It'd be fun to read- and keep up with you guys! and I'm sure Holly is glad to have you visit hers too!

dad said...

Bless you Nikki, Holly & Sunny!
You bless us with your efforts and faithfulness.