Monday, August 24, 2015

Surrounded by Amazing Bloggers and Friends

Joining in with the online discussion on the book "On Being A Writer" by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. Today we are working through Chapter 3: Surround--I surround myself with people, activities, and books that influence my writing. I am so very thankful for the friendships God has orchestrated this year as I have been surrounded by amazing people, places, and things!


These words echoed in my ear as I read them this past weekend. I find I surround myself with people, places, and things that help me to live this quote out in my daily life. I surround myself with amazing friends and family who allow me to talk about things in my life that I am currently thinking about. Sometimes our conversations lead to a blog post.

I also surround myself with awesome books. I have always loved books and continue to love books. Long before I read Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts," I began a Sunday series on my blog titled "Sunday Blessings." But after reading Ann's book, my series was even more solidified. Each week I keep a list on my phone of the blessings I encounter and then post it on Sunday evenings. I also read Annie F. Down's book "Let's All Be Brave." That book led to a blog post after I read it in just a few short days. That book is a book that spoke to me especially this year since "brave" is my one word 365 for 2015. I recently picked up "Wild in the Hollow" by Amber Haines, "Searching for Sunday" by Rachel Held Evans, and "For the Love" by Jen Hatmaker. Books all recommended by other bloggers. I also am currently reading "Orphan Train."

But, not only, do I surround myself with books, friends, and family, I find myself surrounding myself with more and more bloggers. Because I have come to realize that these people are "my people." They remind me of the gifts that I bring. They challenge me to be a better writer when I read their posts and want to sound as elegant as they do. But mostly they understand me and what I write about...God, faith, my family, my friends, singleness, mental illness, yearning to be a mom and wife, adoption...and the list goes on and on.

I met many of these woman through the Write 31 Days challenge last October. I spent those 31 days writing about "Being a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness. I met Theresa Moma because her 31 day series was about her battle with depression. I met Dana whose words are always so beautiful and speak straight to my heart. And as the year went on...I have met others through the snail mail party and through Five Minute Friday. And I actually wait for new posts from so many of these people. (Susan, Bethany, TammyMelissaAnnaKate, Jen, Janel, Karrilee, and so many more. I wish I could list you all! I love you all!) Karrilee and I have so much in common that it could only be a God thing that our hearts have been united. And I believe that about all of the other woman as well. Only God could orchestrate these surroundings for me!


Each week, I often link up with some of my most favorite writers. These are writers that I want to to be more and more like. I am so thankful for the many who have shared their testimonies of faith over at Holly's place every Tuesday. I am so thankful for Kelly and the RaRa Linkup over at Purposeful Faith. Some of the best cheerleaders in the world! I am thankful for Holley Gerth and Coffee for your Heart. But, to be honest, my most favorite of all is the lovely Jennifer Dukes Lee. Jennifer always writes words that speak to my heart. And the funny thing is she attends the church where a seminary friend was their intern. Jennifer's words always weave together like a beautiful tapestry of words. I want my words to do that too! :)

There are so many more that I could write about, because I feel like each of them in their own ways surround me with stories and words that help me to write especially when I am feeling like I have NOTHING to say! I think there is so much power when we can inwardly and outwardly share our stories. I wouldn't have met so many of these wonderful people if I hadn't decided to be vulnerable and share my family's story of mental illness. I wouldn't know how to live if people like Andrew and dear Kara Tippetts didn't share what it is like to live with an awful illness. May dear Kara rest in peace and may we all surround ourselves with people, places, and things that help us to answer the question on the header of Kara's blog: "What will you do in the mundane days of faithfulness?"--Martin Luther.



18 comments:

  1. tara, i enjoyed your post today. hearing how so many have influenced you as you blog has been fun to read. someday, i hope i'll make someone's mental list:)

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  2. So interesting that you blogged before reading Ann Voskamp...I began after finding her blog and book. It inspired me to write my gifts and photograph the good around me. I was in a funk of postpartum depression and winter "blues" in KS. I don't know how you mid Westerners function in the snowy months without the light of words like these! I pray you have good books to make it through the winter with smiles and fires. I love to read as well...blogs and books. I will check out some of those titles you mentioned. I haven't read any of those on your current shelf. I'm reading the On Being a Writer too. I'm also reading Tables in the Wilderness by Yancey and a book on Fear I picked at the FMF retreat. So sweet that we have all these linky places for Christian bloggers. Jenn

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    1. So many started their blogs after reading her book. I was the complete opposite. The snowy months without the light of words is nearly impossible so I surround myself with good books, blogs, etc. It is what often gets me through the dreary winter months. I love that we have this community too.

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  3. Humbled, of course. And reading this makes me realize I hang out with an amazing group of people! Online friends are REAL FRIENDS!

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    1. Yep we do hang out with an amazing group of people. Online friends are indeed REAL FRIENDS!

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  4. It's great to hear about all the books and blogs that have influenced your writing. I've heard good things about many of those books but haven't read any of them yet. As someone who is fairly new to blogging I've been so encouraged by how many lovely people there are out there in the Christian blogging community and look forward to getting to know people better.

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    1. So glad you have been encouraged, Carly!

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  5. Oh friend... just so much yes and amen here! xoxo

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  6. You are definitely surrounded by a wonderful group of people--a tribe both met and unmet. It's like church--only bigger and better and the community is more specific ;).

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    1. Anita, I love where you are going. And also like church, in the reality, that church is way MORE than just a building. It is the people of God gathered.

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  7. Surrounded and rounded by love and caring. All of your posts are wonderful.

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  8. Yay for 31 days! I am with ya girl, I feel the same way about the influence of my writing.

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    1. Natalie, Glad to know I am not alone!

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  9. Tara, absolutely loved your post. Loved how you talk of your process and am anxious to check out the books you recommend (the way you draw your readers in, I just know they'll be books I'll love! Thank you!)....I will be back at the weekend to check out the bloggers you recommend, too....(thank you!)...Helen xx

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    1. Thank You! I hope you do get a chance to check out those books I recommended. I haven't read all of them myself, but am taking recommendations from other bloggers who have similar reading and writing styles to me. I hope you love them as much as I hope too. And also hope you do come back and get a chance to check out the bloggers I recommend. I love them all so much!

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