I “Hop” You Don’t Mind… (A Blog Hop)

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I "hop" you don't mind if we pause today for a blog hop!! I'm so excited about sharing some about my writing, and introducing you to a few of my blogging friends! 

I was invited to "hop along" with my sweet friend, Joanne. She and I met through link-ups and comments, and she has become a precious friend to me! Her blog posts always encourage me, and always make me think. I just love that! I hope you'll go over to her place, Days & Thoughts, to meet her. 

The blog hop asks 4 questions about writing and then we each introduce 3 writers we enjoy. So here goes nothing!

photo credit: The hills are alive* via photopin cc

photo credit: The hills are alive* via photopin cc

1) What am I writing or working on?

Right now, I am working on 2 different things. The first is that I am constantly writing for this blog. I love it. It's where my heart is. 

I am also working on a 30-day devotional book about the prophets. I'm really enjoying it, and trying to put my own unique spin on it. I am almost halfway done with it now.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I try to have all of my writing be "real" and also offer hope. I tend to write like I speak, so that gives me my own flare. I want to acknowledge how hard and ugly life is sometimes, but also show how we can find God in even the darkest moments. How we can keep going. How we are never alone.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write what I live. When I first got sick, and was online looking for hope and help, there were very few bloggers who looked at things in both a real and encouraging way. As I came through my first storms, I began to write to myself. I had a computer journal. My hubby and Mom eventually bullied me into starting this blog. I promised God on that day, that as long and as often as He gave me the words, I would write. He has certainly held up His end! I write because it's how I process things. How I come through the tunnels. I'm often surprised by what I write. And I hope if it helps me, it can help you, too.

4) How does my writing process look?

I keep a document at all times with ideas that God gives me for posts. I tend to see Him everywhere and in everything, so the list never seems to get any shorter. Sometimes it's a verse, sometimes it's a line, sometimes it's a concept. When I feel the hankering to write, I sit with my laptop and open that list. I get out my dragonspeak, and I begin with the one that pulls at me to expound.

I start with finding the right scripture for what I want to convey. Then I say a prayer and ask God to give me the right words. Then I just write. Often, once I start, I get on a roll, so I usually write 5 or 6 posts at a time. Sometimes I only do this once a week, and sometimes I can do it more often. I don't ever sit and try to force myself to write. I wait till the Spirit moves me.

There have been a few times when I haven't written a post until the day before, but those days are few and far between. I de-stress in those times by asking God if this is Him telling me to slow down the writing, and assure Him that I am following His lead, if that's so. So far, though, He has given daily words. 

And now I want to introduce you to three women, whom I met through writing. Their words always bless me. More times than they know, they cause me to think differently, think better and deeper. Through meeting them online, I have discovered that God will go to any length to bring His people together and make relationship.

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I am so pleased to be able to feature my beautiful Sister-Friend, Jenni Saake. I met her through Rest Ministries, during Invisible Illness Week. She won my heart right from the start! Later, Jenni and I decided to co-lead an (in)Courage group together. She is more precious to me than she can know. 

Here is her story, from her site, Stroke of Grace:
Starting October 25 of 2011,  39-year-old Jennifer Saake experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour careJenni is now walking (with a cane), has recovered much eye-sight, a little hearing, partial use of her hands, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest.
She is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

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What a joy to introduce you to my inspirational friend, Anita! Anita and I met through blogging, and we share the pain of living with chronic illness. The more I get to know Anita, the more I absolutely love her! I know you will, too. She has a heart that is bigger than any other I've known, and it's so open, you just might fall in even if you don't mean to! 

Here's a little about Anita:
My name Anita – means grace, and my middle name is Joy. I am so grateful to be blessed with these names, as it reminds me that I am in the grip of grace of my Lord and Saviour, and in Him I have come to know real joy. I am a botanical photographer – I design cards inspired by the beauty of nature, to brighten someone’s day. I love nature; as I see God’s hand in creation as a mark of His love for us. I am also a children’s author, running an anti-bullying campaign to encourage children to tell someone, if they are being bullied. God called me to be a Christian writer sharing His love, hope, and Good News in 2011. My heart’s desire is to walk alongside those who are in pain, reflecting God’s love and grace. My hope is that the devotions I share are a signpost to our God, who wants a relationship with us.
You can find Anita at Scattering the Stones Christian Ministry and at Postcards of Hope

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It is a real pleasure to introduce you to sweet Lauren! She and I met through this blog, and I just love getting notifications of a new post from her in my inbox! She is a rare gem who loves God with all her heart and soul, and it is an honor to call her friend. 

Here's a little about Lauren, from her blog, For My Good and For His Glory:
Hi! I'm Lauren. I am a single Christian young lady who is striving to please the Lord with her life, though I fail him daily. I have a rare genetic disorder, and through that I have learned to lean on Him a little more. 

I "hop" you've enjoyed our little Blog Hop today!! Thanks for joining us! Say hello to my friends for me, won't you? 


If you have been helped by this post and think it could be helpful to someone you know, please share this post on the social network of your choice for me.

All you have to do is click one of the buttons below.

May God Bless You,

Shelly

22 Comments on “I “Hop” You Don’t Mind… (A Blog Hop)

  1. Shelly, I loved reading more about you & your writing process. I was hoping you would tell me how you always find the right song 🙂 Seriously. You find the best songs. While I have been to each of these blogs, because they are wonderful, it was great to learn how your paths crossed with theirs. And today, it gives me reason to visit them as well. So glad you shared today! Much love!!
    Joanne+Viola recently posted...When the uproar is over …My Profile

    • Hi, Joanne! 🙂 I have a wordpad document with all of my favorite songs on it. It is rather lengthy. In the hundreds, at least. I use a different symbol for when I have used it on my fb page, RD fb page (through the course of a year, then I start over). I have a symbol for when I use it on the blog, and those stay, so that I don't get repeats. When I finish writing a post, I go to that document and search for one that corresponds. Unless, of course, the song inspires the blog post. 😉 Thank you for starting me on this blog hop. It was so much fun!! <3 Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

      PS... I'm glad to share my song list with anyone who wants it. It's not top-secret, or anything. And I add new songs to it as I find them, so it keeps growing.

  2. I really am enjoying these blog hops. So wonderful to learn a bit more about you. I need to work on a running list of topics. You and I are rather opposite in our writing process. lol. I'm so glad God keeps giving you words because I absolutely adore you and all that He places on your heart to share. Love you so much.
    Thanks for sharing a few of your friends with us too.
    xoxo
    Beth recently posted...Get to Know You Monday (Vol. 7)My Profile

    • Thank you, Beth!! I adore you right back, sweet friend! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  3. I love how you encourage others so well, Shelly!! Hope you're feeling somewhat better these days. I know you had a tough bout not long ago. Blessings to you!

    • Thank you, Susan! It's lovely to see you here! I'm still struggling, but having less pain lately, which is a definite praise. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  4. Hi Shelly,

    Thanks so much for the kind invite to take part in the encouraging blog hop, and for your words of beauty. So lovely to read about your writing process too. 🙂
    Anita recently posted...A life savedMy Profile

    • Anita, thank you for joining me! I can't wait to read yours! Love you! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  5. Hi Shelly! So glad I stopped by today to read and learn a little more about you. And thank you for introducing your friends too! You have such a wonderful network of like-minded bloggers.
    Blessings!
    Ceil
    Ceil recently posted...You’re An ArtistMy Profile

    • Yes, and I'm so glad YOU are part of that network, Ceil! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • It's my pleasure! I look forward to reading yours, too, Lauren! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  6. It was so fun to learn more about you today, Shelly. I, too, have been part of this blog hop and it has been such a blessing. Meeting new people, learning each others' stories and getting a grasp on why everyone writes is such a treat. I look forward to getting to know your friends. Beautiful, my friend!
    Mary+Geisen recently posted...God’s Beautiful Garden-Vol. 2My Profile

    • Thank you, Mary! It was so fun writing this post, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I know you'll love my friends, and they'll love you, too! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • Can't wait to read your "hop", Barbie!! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  7. I have to confess...I am envious that you can sit and write 5-6 posts at a time. But I also love that the Spirit moves in each of us a little differently. What is great is that we both just wait on Him, which is why I think we feel the freedom to just be real. I'm so happy to have met you. And I know Anita, too! She's just lovely!!
    Jen+Ferguson recently posted...Connections: Beginning AgainMy Profile

    • Jen, that's one of my favorite things about God... how He loves each of us differently, in just the right ways. I am so glad you are my friend! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • Aw, thank you, Sarah! That just made my day! Love you! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  8. Yay! You got tagged in the hop! How fun is that! Loved hearing more about your story and your writing process. Thanks for introducing us to your friends and for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!
    Holly+Barrett recently posted...Leading productive livesMy Profile

    • The hop is SO much fun! Thanks for the visit and sweet comment, Holly! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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