Unexpected Blessings In Five Years Of Blogging

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When I started blogging five years ago, I had no idea what to expect, but as I look back over these last five years, I’m so glad I embarked on this journey.

I have learned  lot and been blessed in so many ways.  In this final post in my five-year celebration series, I am going to share five lessons or unexpected blessings from my blogging journey, and I hope there will be some encouragement for others in there too.

The amazing blogging community

When I pressed “publish” on that first post, I had no idea what the response would be or whether anyone would even read it, but it wasn’t long before encouraging comments started to appear, and that encouragement has continued over the last five years.

Before long connections started to form, and some have developed into friendships.  I’m grateful for each one – I’m not sure I would still be blogging five years on without this community.

It’s amazing the depth of bonds that can form between people who have never met.

I recently learned about the death of a blogging friend, and when I heard the news, I was surprised by the depth of grief I felt.  It felt impossible to try to explain to others.  This was someone I had never met, who I had only interacted with semi-regularly for six months or so, and yet we had shared a connection through our words.  It saddened me to look at her blog and realise that there would be no more posts.

However, as one of my other blogging friends pointed out years ago, as Christians, many of these connections we make will be eternal ones.  We may never meet face to face on earth, but we will finally be together in eternity!

I’d encourage you to click on the buttons at the bottom of my posts to explore some of the wonderful blogging communities that have inspired me so much.

The opportunity to review new books

Five years ago, I had no idea what a launch team was.

Then I was invited to take part in one and it opened up a whole new world!

I have always loved reading, and here was the chance to read new books before everyone else, often free of charge!  All that was asked for in return was an honest review and that, if you liked the book, you let others know about it.

Some launch teams have also provided the opportunity to connect with others through Facebook groups to discuss the content of the book together as well as to learn more about the writing and publishing process.  Three of my favourites have been:

A Place To Land by Kate Motaung
We Too by Mary DeMuth
The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking part in another one for The Powerful Purpose Of Introverts by Holley Gerth, so watch this space to learn more about that book soon.

I’ve also reviewed several books through Netgalley and I’d encourage you to check it out if you’re interested in reviewing books.  You can do this even if you don’t have a blog as you can write reviews on Amazon or Goodreads instead.

The knock-on effect of finding my voice

One thing I would never have foreseen five years ago is how blogging has changed me.  Finding my voice through writing has enabled me to speak up in other ways too.

Having people read and appreciate what I have to say has built my confidence that I have something to say and that I will be listened to.

In most situations I am much more ready and willing to speak up than I would have been five years ago, and I’m grateful.

If you feel that you don’t have a voice, I want to encourage you that you do!  Each of us is unique, and each of us has valuable insights that will bless others.  Give it a try – take one tiny step to speak up, whether it’s through speaking or writing.  Then take another tiny step.  Pray for wisdom and courage, and God will use you.

The topic I love to write about

I can’t share my highlights of the last five years without mentioning my Kintsugi series. It is by far my favourite thing I have written, and a couple of others commented recently saying that it was their favourite too.

It was a 31 day challenge I did in October 2017 – one post every day for the whole month – and, despite taking part during a time when I was very busy with other things, I loved writing each post and finished the month feeing energised to continue.

If you haven’t heard of Kintsugi, it is a Japanese art which involves repairing broken ceramics with a lacquer mixed with gold, silver or platinum.  The word translates as “golden joinery” and the principle behind Kintsugi is not to hide the repairs, but to make them a feature, aiming to restore the brokenness into something even more beautiful than the original.

The series explored the similarities with God’s work in our lives and how he can create beauty out of our brokenness.

Even as I write this, I know it is a topic I want to come back to and explore some more.

If you’re a writer, I’d encourage you to experiment.  Try different topics and different kinds of writing and you will discover what excites you and energises you.  Sometimes it may surprise you.  Similarly, you will discover what types of writing are not for you.  I remember one particular post (for another website) which required a ton of historical research which then had to be condensed into a fairly short piece.  I got there, but I would hesitate to take on that kind of post again!

The unexpected doors that God opens up

Eight years ago, I had an idea for a resource for Christian groups in schools to take children through the whole story of the Bible.  I put a version of it together and used it myself, and I always had a longing to share it with others, but at the time there was no opportunity.  The files lay on my computer, untouched, for years.

Then I began writing, and a few years later I happened to mention the resource to someone, and finally received the encouragement to work on it and to share it.

After two years of hard work, it was finally completed in February this year – 55 sessions in all – and it has been used by well over 100 groups so far!

It’s encouraging to look back and see God’s hand in the timing.  The writing I had done before working on the resource seriously had definitely developed my ability and confidence to be able to take on such a massive task, and I think it had also built others’ confidence in me to do it.

Be open to where God leads.  Sometimes his paths and his timing are not the same as ours.  If he has given you a vision, don’t give up.  He will lead you in the right way at the right time.

What about you?  Where have you experienced unexpected blessings? (either in your writing journey or life in general) Feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks for joining me for this five year blogging celebration!  If you’d like to catch up on the other posts in the series, the links are below:
the book that inspired me as I started writing
the Five Minute Friday blogging community
five book contributions in five years
five Bible verses for Christian writers

    Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up          Tell-His-Story-button-newest-200x200  purposefulfaith.com     

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38 thoughts on “Unexpected Blessings In Five Years Of Blogging

    1. Thanks, Fiona! I’m glad you’re starting to find your niche. I think we can often only do that by getting started and trying different things. I look forward to seeing how God leads you in this. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a great post and an intentional way to celebrate your five year blog-iversary 🙂 I agree that the blogging community has been a huge blessing, as well as being able to promote great new books. I have been able to receive some very sweet children’s books in the past through blogging that are now beloved by me infant son. And yes! to finding your writing voice through blogging! It has been a great way for me to practice writing in short bursts and to talk about things I am passionate about, especially in this season when it is a lot harder to do that in person.

    Hopping over from Inspire Me Monday. Here is a recent post on Psalm 23, if interested! https://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-shepherd-looks-at-psalm-23-part-8.html

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations and blessings on your writing! I have been blessed in many of the same ways through blogging. It constantly amazes me how God uses the internet to connect His people, and particularly, people I would not have otherwise been able to meet. May your writing continue to bring you and your readers joy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Yes, the internet has brought so many great opportunities to connect across the miles. I’m glad you have been blessed through blogging too. Your writing is always an encouragement to me!

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  3. The blogging community has been one of the biggest surprises and blessings of blogging. I’ve made dear friends that I’ll likely never meet until we get to heaven, but they’ve had such an impact on my life! The upcoming book about introverts sounds good!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Celebrating with you … and just clicked on to re-read that post I wrote for your Kintsugi series.

    3 years later it looks very apt for the time we’re in.

    I love doing the blogging life with you, friend. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda! I love doing the blogging life with you too, and I love that you took part in the Kintsugi series. Another unexpected thing I’ve discovered through blogging is how God can sometimes use our own words to bless us when we look back on them. I’m glad you had that experience today.

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  5. God does open unexpected doors for us, doesn’t he, Lesley? When I first started blogging (3 years ago), I never imagined the relationships that would develop. I pictured more of a solitary endeavor, tapping away at my keyboard. I have enjoyed getting to know you through our blogs and I look forward to reading more about the beautiful art of Kintsugi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’ve been blessed by blogging too, Lisa, and I’m glad we’ve connected. I always love your book reviews and I’m impressed by how many books you manage to get through!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on Five Years! Blogging has so many similarities to how women used to write to each other over 100 years ago – the friendships maintained through writing and never seeing each other due to long distances! The friends I have made through blogging have prayed with me through challenges, encouraged me, taught me, as we’ve mentored each other! This community is a special place of grace!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Blogging has been a great way to share my unique voice. To share things that many may think about yet not have the courage to say/write. That’s the space God carved out for me in the blogging world. With that comes being misunderstood which doesn’t lend itself to the warm friendships you mentioned. I’m okay with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I saw your link on the Purposeful Faith Link Up. Thank you for sharing these insights. It has caused me to reflect and see where my blogging journey has taken me. I’m grateful for the blessing it’s been to be able to serve others with my writing. I pray it continues. Thank you for sharing this and for five years of making the online space better!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lesley, I am not familiar with the Japanese art, but I love that thought. It reminds me of God’s glory shining through my cracks. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the blogging community too, Lesley. And what a blessing that you have found your voice and have been able to use it in so many varied places. So grateful that our paths have crossed in this online space!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations, Lesley! What unexpected blessings have I received? Many were right here at your site. 🙂 I always feel you understand the deep hurts in me. I especially LOVED your Kintsugi series, but many of your posts have blessed me. I don’t remember how or when we connected, but back then you were “Carly.” Thank you for all your encouragement over the years! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Trudy! You have blessed me so much too and I’m grateful for your friendship and encouragement!
      I can’t remember when we connected either but I think it was through a blog link-up quite soon after I started. Love and blessings to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lesley, I’ve loved reading your words for years. I don’t know if I’ve been with you on the entire 5-year journey, but I’ve been here for most of it. I love reading your words and thoughts, and I’ve loved reading all God’s done in and through you as you’ve discovered more of your passions. God has created an amazing person in you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! I can’t remember when we connected but I think it was quite soon after I started. I love reading your posts too and I’m so grateful for your friendship and encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Such good lessons!! These all resonate so strongly. I love getting to grow in Christ alongside you and see what He is doing and has done in your life and heart through your blogging, Lesley! Praising Him with you! And eager for more kintsugi, of course!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a beautiful post and congratulations on your 5 years! When I first started blogging I really had no idea what I was doing. I only knew that God was calling me to this ministry, so I stepped out in Faith. I have been amazed how He has paved the way for me and continues to show me the path. I still have moments of, “does this really matter”, but He is quick to remind me that it is all for His glory and His glory alone! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a wonderful journey Lesley! To answer your question I have found that it’s the most difficult part of our journey to share that gives the biggest blessing not only to others but to us as well.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Yes, I think that’s true. It’s amazing how God can work good through our difficult experience by working in us through them and using them to encourage others.

      Liked by 1 person

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