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!
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.
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 care. Jenni 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...
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
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?
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May God Bless You,