Good afternoon, readers.
I’m sitting at the spare desk in my Mom’s office at Camp, because this is where I write the blog for Camp. It has a big window, overlooking the lake, and what a stellar view that is to look out at every single day. It’s great, at least for me. I’ve been blogging all summer long, almost every day (I avoided Saturdays because I thought I deserved at least one day without having to write anything, and normally they’ve been transition days, so there’s not much interesting news to share anyway). If any of you have blogs of your own, I imagine you’ll know what this is like — when you’re done writing yours, you’re quite content to crawl around the internet, looking for the writing of others to absorb and swallow up.
I read once that a writer who doesn’t read the writing of others isn’t a very good writer at all, and I would tend to agree.
I follow many blogs. Many of them get delivered whenever a new post is published, right to my email inbox. Sometimes I read them right away — those are the ones where the writer seems to speak the words that don’t even quite come out of my soul well enough, and I wonder if they know how clearly they speak right to me, and see right through me. Sometimes I leave them sit in my inbox for days, and I read them when I remember, usually having starred them to move them to the top of my inbox, and it’s funny how it always seems to work out — the ones that sit in the top of my inbox for days always seem to pop into my vision right when I need to read whatever’s in them. I always seem to find that delayed read far more encouraging or challenging than I would have when it was delivered.
I thought, on that note, that I would put out a few of the links to the various blogs that I follow and read regularly. This is in no particular order, though there are a few that I have to read the second they come into my mailbox — Ruthie Dean’s, Jen Hatmaker’s, Megan Gahan’s, and Sarah Richardson’s (sometimes screaming helps) being those.
And so, as I link up to all of these blogs, if any of you wonderful writers happen to follow your ping back and check out MY blog as a result, please know that your words have blessed and challenged me so many times, in so many ways, and that you guys shape me as a writer all the time, all in different ways.
I encourage any of you who are regular blog followers to check out any of these, because they’re spectacular. Also, thanks to Bren who is responsible for hooking me on AT LEAST half of these. Legit.
1. — again, in no particular order….. So I don’t follow The Bachelor at all, but apparently this girl is a former Bachelor’s sister… Sean? Check out Shay’s Blog at Mix and Match Family. Shay talks about her family, infertility, adoption, and just things that tug at my heart. Adoption is a huge one, and I will soak up any Godly wisdom on the topic as others go through it as I can. I’ve just started following recently, but I’m a little in love.
2. Sometimes Screaming Helps. This one is Sarah Richardson, that I mentioned above, who speaks right into my soul. I found her on shelovesmagazine.com, which is fantastic!! I can’t remember how I stumbled upon shelovesmagazine… but I know I found the Love Letter To My Body idea on there, and then wrote my own based on it…. which is how I found Megan Gahan, who I’ll talk about later. But anyway, Sarah is single, and not ashamed of it, embracing it, even sometimes loving it, which I love, because that’s where I’m finding more days than not, that I am… I love hearing it from more than one person. I love her writing style, it’s right to the point.
3. Megan Gahan… Another one of those who just digs deep down and says the words I can’t find sometimes. I found her blog when I stumbled upon the Love Letter to my Body that I cited above, because she wrote it, and the impact that writing my own has had on my own self esteem and the way I look at myself, and the things I let myself get away with thinking when I catch my reflection in the mirror…. all of that has been deeply profound. And so I started following her blog, and it’s great.
4. A Holy Experience. Oh, Ann Voskamp…. what a change of perspective, focus, everything…. what a change of everything I experienced last summer after reading 1000 Gifts. I started journaling my gifts, I was facebook status updating them and pushing them to Twitter, and I found this whole new lens to look at everything around me with — gratitude. Not just in the great things, but in everything…. and then I kind of fell out of the habit, and I’ve noticed the difference. I need to fall back into the habit… perhaps it’s time to resurrect the iPhone App I found last fall… because who can’t use a little more gratitude in their life?
5. Jen Hatmaker. Dear Jen Hatmaker, if you ever, and I mean EVER read this blog, could we please be friends? Because I feel like if you didn’t live in Texas, and I didn’t live in Canada, we totally could be BFFs. Moving on. Brenna introduced me to Jen Hatmaker by loaning me her copy of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. If you want your world to be rocked, and if you want to be upset by this life of gluttonous comfort we live in, and then challenged to do something differently, please read it. I assure you, this girl’s writing will change. your. life. She’s hysterical. But she’s challenging in this make you laugh and then question your life choices kind of way. Also – her blog slays me. I’m not kidding.
6. SheLovesMagazine. This is an online magazine compilation of a bunch of different writers writing on all sorts of topics, and I just find it lovely. I’m signed up to get each and every new post, which is how I’ve found a lot of these bloggers. Each time they blog for shelovesmagazine, they get a bit of a bio at the bottom that gets to tell a bit about themselves, and usually where they blog as well.
7. Avoiding Neverland. This girl is a teacher, kind of a nomadic one, who bounces around and switches schools and jobs and towns fairly regularly, but all the while her WHOLE PURPOSE is to love on and seek out the best in the teens whose lives she touches. She challenges me with EVERY post to be a better, more compassionate teacher, and to see the absolute best in every single student, regardless of their behaviour or attitude, because there’s more to every kid than that.
8. Kindred Grace is a mish-mash of topics, writers, and themes, and is one of those ones that seems to show up or get read right at the right time, every time. Often times, whatever the theme of a Kindred Grace topic was that particular day will not seem like something I need to read right away, and then it’ll disappear until a few days later, when I see it sitting at the top of my inbox, starred, ready to be read when the time is right, and it is. Check it out.
9. Ruthie Dean. Ruthie, you are another one that I wish could be a dear friend of mine. I have her book, which is co-written with her husband Michael, on pre-order from Amazon (my Amazon addiction could be another post in itself, I legit need help). It’s called Real Men Don’t Text, and I don’t think it needs much more of an explanation than that. It’s basically about how to get ourselves out of these ruts where we’re waiting around for a guy who hasn’t made a commitment but is content to non-committedly text or send flippant IMs or emails. I suspect I’m going to love it.
10. Last One. Remember how I said Brenna likes to give me links to things she thinks I’ll love? I was about to start writing Number 7 when I saw a Facebook notification, so I clicked on it. Brenna had sent me another link. She linked me up to Annie Blogs. The post she wanted me to read? One where Annie talks about how we help a girl like Miley Cyrus, who, if you’ve been on the internet anywhere close to a social media site in the last 24 hours, you will probably know has turned into the latest topic for discussion on what’s wrong with this world. All day, as I’ve been seeing these posts go up, I’ve been wondering what kind of brokenness must be in that girl’s heart to lead her to such a display on the outside, and I’ve struggled in my heart with knowing what to say when I hear people talk about the performance, or when I hear people bashing her. Annie has answered those questions for me, and I feel like her blog will quickly become a favourite, even with just a quick glance at some of her other posts. I’m now following it, and I hope that maybe you will, too.
Alright, that’s it for me! 10 Blogs that I follow, the authors of which have all impacted me in some way or another since I began following them.