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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blogaversary Party, Day 4 - Ten Things I've Learned Through Blogging

If you are just joining the party, start here and check out all the amazing prizes! You can also meet me here as I explain a little bit about this blogaversary party week.

I really enjoy blogging. What's especially cool to me is to be able to look back on my year of blogging and reflect on some of the things I have learned through this online journey. I've not only discovered things about myself, made "real" friends, and learned some valuable life lessons, I've also grown to actually appreciate and somewhat enjoy the technological aspects of blogging (surprisingly). Oh, and I've learned I really can't spell worth a darn! (Thank you mr. spellchecker.)

Ten Things I've Learned Through Blogging

I am a sinner

Okay, so I did know this, but boy did blogging bring out an ugly side of me that at one point that really put a magnifying glass on my sin nature! I got so wrapped up in my "escape," that everyone and everything else became a burden. I am thankful for this magnifying glass, because it helped me to get my priorities in order. It also helped me to understand my weaknesses better. Blogging has become a humbling experience for me!

Blogging helps me process what's going on in my life

I really believe that the Lord shows me areas in my life that need pruning through blogging, and then uses blogging to help me work through my "weeds." I am able to express my areas of struggle with all of you, and then through writing it out and reading your thoughtful and gracious comments, I am able to begin to tackle my "issues." Thank you for being a part of my growth!

You really can make friends

I think I was one of those people who thought you couldn't possibly have real relationships through the Internet. Well, I've learned you can. I have not only "met" women I consider very dear to me, but I do plan on meeting them at some point. I have also met online mentors that have literally changed my life by giving me fresh perspectives and loving, truth-filled encouragement. One woman in particular has really inspired me, and I hope greatly that I can meet her and her family someday soon. I consider my "online" friends to truly be friends.

It is actually possible to make money doing something you love

When I started blogging, I don't recall having an aspirations of making money, I just wanted to create a place where I could learn and grow with other women. I also had no idea how much I would love blogging! Now, a year later, I have found something I enjoy immensely, and I able to make some money with it. As a stay-at-home mama, blogging gives me the opportunity to earn a little something all the while fulfilling a most beautiful calling - being a "worker at home" and raising my children myself (something I realize many women would like to do but are unable - keep praying!).

I am so much more tech savvy then I ever thought I would be

"Twit what?" Oh yes, I knew what twitter was before my 20 year old college brother did. That's sayin' something! I also know how to do so much more with my blog than when I first started. Although I'm still pretty behind technologically (I just learned what a widget was today), I am much farther along than I used to be!

There are perks

The really fun part of blogging is the perks - like getting free stuff! I have been given a vacuum cleaner, books, mugs, jewelry, etc. all because I have a blog. It's actually quite a blessing because many of the things I have received I would have never been able to afford myself, so I am honestly grateful for all that I've gotten. In fact, each day as I sit and blog I enjoy my coffee in this lovely Dayspring mug that is microwavable, dishwasher approved, and ultra feminine! (Hehe...product placement at its best!)

Online friends think you are so much cooler/smarter/talented than you really are

Ya'll, I am not only a dork (see, I told you I'm a dork, I don't even live in the south and I just said "ya'll"), but I sooooooo...... don't have it together! For any of you out there who think I'm some super cool/smart/whatever chick, it's only because you don't get to see all of my "real life" failings and flaws! With that said however, I really am super cool...so keep being my friend, okay?!

There is a world of free help out there
Hello! I have learned SO much from fellow "bloggers!" You all know how to do everything, from cooking to cleaning, to toddler tips, to homeschooling resources and support, to theological stuff, to...you get my drift! I love the world of information that I find from other blogs!

What my gifts/talents are

I don't consider myself a writer, but apparently people out there do! It blows me away when people tell me that I write well. Maybe it was all those "red penned" papers in college and work that led to a major lack of self-confidence, but I struggle with calling myself a "writer." Either way, I've seen how God has used my blog and my writing for His glory, so I'll take it! I'll take being called a "good" writer and trust what the Lord has me doing.

My husband is a very understanding and supportive man

"Reason # 532 why I don't tell anyone I know about your blog." That's what my husband told me after he saw that I posted our laundry pile for the world to see on my blog. He teases, but in reality, he is my #1 fan. Whenever I suggest that maybe I should be blogging so much, he encourages me to keep at it, doing my best, and seeing where it goes. I also love that he lets me share so much of my life with all of you. He is one great man.



What have you learned through blogging?

Super Awesome Businesses of the Day

If you have kiddos, you know how much it can cost to outfit them - especially because they grow so darn fast! We need affordable clothes, but it's also fun if those affordable clothes are also cute, maybe even name brand. Welcome to Loobalee - you can have both! You can sell your kids clothes on Loobalee to then buy other new and used clothing. Love it! They are preparing to launch, so make sure you follow them (@ Looblee) - you don't want to miss what they have to offer! So what is up for grabs? A FREE annual subscription ($29.99 value)!


LoobaLee is going to be the premier site for buying and selling designer children's clothing, so make sure you bookmark them!

Alright all you blogger folks out there who desperately need a new design - here's your chance!
Extravagant Grace Designs is donating a full blogger design, valued at $75.00, which includes header, background, template colors, font selection, button and code for sidebar, and installation. You'll want to head on over to this gal's site to see some of her impressive designs!



Just in case one blog makeover isn't enough, the generous Miss Jocelyn has also donated a blog makeover from APH Boutique. What's great about this prize is that she can customize your choice of a wordpress (personal domains), blogger, or a homeschoolblogger blog. A custom blog design by APH Boutique inlcudes a header, background image, two istockphoto credit, divider graphic , sidetitles, signature, and complimentary Blog Ad set plus installation. Be sure to jump on over to her site to see some of her superb designs!

Remember, all comments left on each day of the blog party count towards the giveaway! Click here for all the details and for the full prize list!
Subscribe here if you like what you read!

61 comments:

Mandy said...

Thanks for introducing me to all these great new items/sites! I'm staying up way too late having too much fun!!! *M

CABean03 said...

I'm fairly new to blogging and really enjoyed your post and site recommendations! Thanks for sharing and encouraging the rest of us!

heidi jo said...

i'm really enjoying this blog... so glad that simply dawn introduced me to your site.

Kris said...

This seems like such a nice blog..and you're right, I'm a new blogger and I was telling my hubby that "All these women seem so much smarter and more organized, etc. than I am"...he was trying to give me reassurance but of course I didn't listen to him lol...Thanks for the reassurance!!

Bonita said...

Great insights into blogging. For me, blogging has become my source of mentorship as found in Titus 2. Like you said, anything I need to know I can find out from some wise woman's blog!

teacupsandpoodles said...

Thanks for sharing all the info in your blog. Thank you for stopping over at raspberry dreams and leaving a comment! It's good to make new friends!

eLisa said...

I'm so enjoying your party, especially your thoughts about blogging today. I definitely resonate with so many of your points.

God has used blogging to grow in me a desire to encourage women in the Word through writing and speaking. I actually will be going to CA in the fall to do a retreat...and they found me through a google search on the words, "Holy Habits," which was the title of a devotional series I posted following a message I gave at a local church. WILD!

Of course, I love all the freebies, too, and the chance to review some wonderful books and CDs has been a true blessing.

Happy partying!

Emily said...

I'm just getting started with blogging and loving it! How did you start making money? More importantly, how do you get free stuff? Thanks for the tips! I wuv your blog!

christinnjon said...

I can relate to your number one! God has brought me so far!
I'd like to do the "work at home" thing, too, but have a hard time finding the TIME w/everything else. You'll have to share your time management secrets! ;-)

I'm actually tweeking my schedule right now and trying to work in set aside blogging time so that I'm not just "in and out" all day. We'll see what happens!

Julia said...

I love this post! Thanks for all the new sites!

You can learn so much through blogging, people have helped me get over the fear of entertaining. I've learned to cook better, had advice on potty training help me. I could go on an on! There is so much out there!

Cari said...

I appreciate all of the things that you introduce us to! I truly am blessed to have a blog like yours to enjoy!

Carisa said...

I LOVE this post!!! So much that I wrote a post about it on my blog today!!!!

I have SO enjoyed your blog since I began reading not too long ago. Happy Anniversary!

;) Carisa
ps-I also watched your intro video today and I had no idea that you were connected to Laura...how cool! Small {blogging} world!

Rona's Home Page said...

I really enjoyed reading your "10 Things" list.
I've been blogging for 4 years now and it's been fun to see how it's changed along the way.
Please feel free to stop by my blog and leave a comment. I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate from vinylvineyard at Etsy.
One of my favorite online decorating stores!

SquiggleMum said...

Just have to say - firstly, that I do think you're super cool. And secondly, I liked you before you posted your laundry pile photo, but oh so much more after!!! Bless you heaps.

Tiffany said...

I love the lessons that you learned through blogging. I've learned so much too, from technical stuff, to writing tips that help me in some of the volunteer things I do, to photography.

Amanda Flynn said...

Aw...thanks so much for sharing! It's true that you really do learn so much from blogging. I've only "officially" been at it for a bit over a year now, but I find it so rewarding. I've met some great people, received some great opportunities... and I know the best is yet to come. :)

Robin said...

Your party is so much fun. I have really enjoyed reading your thoughts and looking back through older posts.
And yeah, Online friends think you are so much cooler/smarter/talented than you really are...just remember that. HA. coz, you are so much more cooler/smarter/talented than I.

I have never considered myself a writer either and still don't, but every once in awhile I actually write something. Never thought that I would do that!

I have learned so much from other bloggers and do believe that this is way that the Lord has allowed us to learn from each other.

TidyMom said...

What a great post!!!

and thanks for the links to all the great sites!

~TidyMom

entrustedwith said...

I have only been reading your blog a few months, but all along I have felt like you could be my big sister- or that I might turn into you in a few years after I get married and have kids. Seeing your little picture at the top of this post confirmed it! I always have my knees up too. Thank you for what you do, Sarah Mae!

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Congrats on your blog-anniversary!

I agree with much on your list!

I've been so blessed by blogging for so many reasons. Mostly by meeting like minded and fun people like you!

I have two blogs - forevernevernalways1.blogspot is all about our family.

schoolhisway.blogspot.com is my new homeschool blog.

I look forward to getting to know you :)

God bless and happy blogging!
Jill

L Harris said...

I love Extravagant Grace's use of color! Her designs are soooo bright and attractive. I like APH antique or old style.

Latte With Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Muthering Heights said...

I have learned similar things from my blogging experience...except the bit about making money! LOL! I would be interested in hearing about how you got started with that! :)

Latte With Me said...

Happy Blogaversary!

I've learned some of the same lessons you have from blogging and I'mso greatful to have a place where I can write my thoughts down and other folks understand what I'm talking about!

Have a beautiful day!
Cathy

(I just realized this is the same blog I signed up to be accountable and to be a 5:16 gal, which is why I deleted my other comment! I'm a silly girl!)

Lori said...

Great post! I'm enjoying the celebration and agree with your points about blogging. :)

Jacquie said...

You are so a writer Sarah Mae! I believe everything you say as being true to your heart and I love getting to know you better and better.

I also would like to know what you do to "work at home" and how you make an income through blogging.

Here's to another blessed year!

Jacquie said...

As I am just developing my blog and learning everything on my own, I would so appreciate the blog makeover from Extravagant Grace Designs. Oh yes, this is so fun.

Jacquie said...

The APH Boutique site is absolutely beautiful. I love this stuff and really need some help better customizing my blog.

Loren said...

Wow! I just love learning all of this information about you and never would have known without this wonderful world of blogging!
Your exactly right, there is so much we can learn from one another and there are soo many kind & helpful people!
thanks for your list!

Friend Chick said...

Well, you are a blessing and a vessel that the Lord uses in amazing ways, regardless of what you think! Love ya girl!

::Traci:: said...

I just wanted to stop in and say Happy Blog-versary! I love what you're doing this week and I am beyond thankful to have "met" you!! Have fun girl!

Sarah said...

Hmmm, what I've learned from blogging.....Well, I've learned to be more real and transparent. When different kinds of people read your blog (friends, family, strangers) it's easy to wonder what others might think. I'm learning to be transparent, honest, and vulnerable to let God do His work in and through me.

BeLovEdAiMeE said...

you ARE really cool and I will still be your friend. that said...I really really really need a blog makeover!!! what do you say friend?? :P

Reborn said...

I can identify with so many of the benefits of blogging you listed, and I've only been at this for a few months! The biggest things for me have been discovering the amazing support system that exists out in the blogosphere, and how God can use blogging/blogs to speak into my life. It's really amazing!

Angie Kerr said...

Hi there! I just want to thank you for your wonderful blog. It came at a time that I truly needed it! You are an inspiration and you provide great motivation to "pull it together", all the while trusting in our Father's grace!

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

oh Sarah Mae - we always love seeing inside your heart. So neat to hear all the things you've learned in your first year. My blogaversary is coming up mid July. I may have to find out how you got all these great giveaways. :)

Kristen, The Pajama Mama said...

I knew I recognized APH Designs-I love her design for the Faithful Fashionista!

Jacque said...

I can so relate to each of those ten things. Blogging definitely grows you, and even when my online friends think I'm cooler than I am, sometimes blogging can sure bring the truth -the good, the bad and the ugly- out in my life as I contemplate and consider things. I find myself relying on the LORD to show me things carefully and considerately.
And, I'm still learning...

It has been quite the journey blogging with my girls, learning with them. It has been good. We have found a lot of true friends and learned a lot in the process. God is very good to us!

Thanks for the great fun!
Of course, don't enter me for the blog makeovers. :) I have a great designer!

blessings!

Anne Basso said...

None of us have it all together. We're all wandering through this life the best we can, leaning on Him to see us through. But one of these days, let me know how you make money at this. I haven't figured it out yet. ;-)

Michelle said...

What have I learned from blogging? That I love to write, that there are genuine people out there that care about you, that I LOVE to share my life with others and learn from others while I'm at it! My goal for this year is to become a PR blog because it looks like a blast!

irishmcmommy said...

I love hearing what you have learned. My blog is only about 2 months old and I still want to learn so much...but as a mother, you have to take one day at a time. Thanks for sharing!
Steph
mkstephmc@yahoo.com

Cindy Bultema said...

What an encouraging post!! I just started blogging a few months ago, and sometimes feel so blogging-illiterate! THANK YOU for encouraging me to not give up!!
Keep up the great work!!

Composing Hallelujahs said...

blogging really is the best! and i'm certainly glad you decided to blog!

Kim said...

Just found your blog. Love it!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I agree with your list Sarah Mae - so much of it applies to me as well.

I do know that you don't have it all together. You and I struggle with many of the same things, but you help us to work through it! That is why I think you are SUPER-cool!!

Today's businesses are great! And those blog designs are fabulous!

Love that there are several new bloggers stopping by here. They have come to the right place! :)

Debbie said...

Being a blogger is much like being a Mother - we do our best but always question our ability, our worth, our contribution...

Well, you certainly bless the heck out of my life and I am really glad I found you and am happy to celebrate your Blogaversary with you!!!

We 2 B's said...

I enjoyed your list. Blogging really does give you an area to share...rather it's family pictures or thoughts God has laid on your heart!

Emily said...

Thanks for stopping by. Your blog is so helpful to me as I'm just starting out. Blessings!

Ladipierce said...

I am enjoying your blog. Please enter me in your giveawy. dpierce2007@comcast.net

Dani Joy said...

I think it´s so great how you have really turned blogging into something very practical. It has become for me, in a very short time a great area of upliftment and encouragment. As a missionary, way over seas, I really have needed the companionship of other girls.
It´s really amazing how your blog grew so rapidly. I have actually had a blog for a few years. Just never knew it could be so great!

A House FULL of Grace said...

What fun insights into you. I can especially relate to reason #1. Seems I have a whole lot more things to work on in my life since I started blogging. The magnifying glass is a great analogy. As always, thanks for your transparency!

Sara

Kristin said...

Enter me, please! I could use a free site design for Beautifully Adorned. :)

Nimmi said...

What I learned through blogging. That I am really super excited about something new at the beginning, but sticking to it is the hard part. Still trying.

I love your writting. You are such a talented person.

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing this list. As a new blogger, I clicked on the title with the expectation of finding tech tips. What you've listed are items that are far more important than the latest widgets. Thanks again.

LivingforGod said...

I enjoyed reading your list of things you've learned through blogging. I enjoy your party, too :).

Would you mind sharing how you make money by blogging?

I have learned that through my blogs, the Lord has used my writing to touch different people in different ways. Soli Deo Gloria!

LivingforGod said...

I subscribed to your blog.

serving_theKingofkings@yahoo.com

Kristina said...

I love both Extravagant Grace Designs & APH Boutique. These are at the top of my list of things to win, but who wouldn't want a blog makeover, right?

quelleheure4 said...

I agree with you about making friends. It's actually really surprising how easy it is to do on here!

Susan said...

Thank you for your helpful posts. I really appreciate them, as well as enjoying your awesome giveaways :)

Breezy said...

I can't believe how much I've learned through blogging - especially about not exaggerating. And I found out how much I really do love to write.

Proverbs 27:19 said...

Hey Sarah, I'm a little late with the party posts but...

We have so much in common! And yes, you are an awesome writer and super cool!

smooches,
Larie