Category Archives: blogging

my relationship with my blog

Reader’s Choice ’12: Dear Mr. Zuckerberg

Brooke Clay is having the time of her life.

Brooke Clay

Brooke Clay

Brooke is the travel writer and social media manager for a hopping site called Canvasing Chickasaw Country. That’s Chickasaw as in Oklahoma. And that’s hopping as in more than 22,500 followers on Facebook alone.

Then last week, Brooke got engaged to her Dreamboat in New York’s Central Park.

This may explain Brooke’s selection. It involves someone who can relate to her situation. He’s young and smart, he recently got married, and he commands the largest social media network in the world.

Brooke’s Reader’s Choice is:

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, creative commons license

click to read Dear Mr. Zuckerberg (photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, creative commons license)

readers choice

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No Post Sunday

readers choice

postponed until Monday

I don’t know about you, but my get up and go has got up and went.

Motivation level is zero. Therefore Reader’s Choice 2012 will be postponed to begin Monday instead of Sunday.

Now get off the internet and go spend time with someone you love.

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Advent

Growing up, I couldn’t talk without my hands. 

tis the season

tis the season

I had to animate to express my words. Ask my childhood friends; they’ll tell you. If I wasn’t allowed to use my hands in a conversation, the conversation ended. Can anyone else relate to this?

For almost two years, I’ve been learning to talk with my blog. 

The phrase “don’t blog about it” is the kiss of death. It feels very much like a challenge. Don’t blog about it? Oh, yeah? We’ll just see about that!

This past year I wrote about a lot of different things, including some subjects nice, Christian, mommy bloggers normally avoid: abortion, terrorism, politics, Chick-fil-A.

I fear I’m not finished yet. The stream hasn’t run dry. 

My mind is crowded with stories waiting to be told. They stand in line like patrons at the post office in December, restless and impatient. There are inspiring stories about attorneys who become novelists, dancers who become designers, soldiers who become entrepreneurs. Stories of devotion and loss and the able hand of Providence for people who are often overlooked.

self-portrait

self-portrait

There are more words to remember. More verses to consider. More characters to meet. More humor, I hope. More surprises, I’m sure. More Grace (much more Grace) and more Love (much more Love) to cover a multitude of sins. More meals to cook; I didn’t forget our recipe series. Autumn just unsettled me a bit and bumped me off track.

But now we’re entering winter.

Perhaps it’s good to be unsettled. It spurs me on to pursue Peace. To find a way to get the words out.

Maybe there will be snow this winter covering the ground like a clean, white sheet of paper. I imagine the endless folds of the Flint Hills flush with snow against the backdrop of a smooth, clouded sky. White, white, white. Punctuated by wind, wind, wind.

What words will be written on your winter? What stories will be told in the new year? Huddle together by the fireplace and drink a cup of kindness with me.

We’ve so much left to discuss. 

“But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings…” Malachi 4:2 NLT

Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.

Joyeux Noel

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.
Thank you for being part of this community.
Please join us for Reader’s Choice 2012 and a look back at some favorite posts from this past year. 

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Announcing Reader’s Choice ’12

readers choiceIt’s time for Reader’s Choice 2012!

A handful of everyday epistle readers and friends were asked to name their favorite posts from 2012. Receiving their responses has been like opening early Christmas gifts for me. Starting Sunday and running until the end of the year, you’ll meet this diverse group of readers and see what posts they chose.

As always, comments and sharing will be open on all selections. Look for the purple Reader’s Choice 2012 seal and join me as we revisit the posts that defined this year on the blog.

We all live off His generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift. (John 1:16 The Message)

I love this recording of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings, especially when Sarah McLachlan sings, “King and God and sacrifice.” Chills!

What everyday epistle posts do you predict will be on the Reader’s Choice 2012 list? 

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A Letter From Her

Do you write Christmas letters? We used to, but these days I use most of my words here with you.

letter

Blogging is a lot like writing a letter. This is electronic stationery where I inscribe a little of myself each time I publish. As with a letter or a book, the reading can be strangely personal and removed at the same time. And, although the response may be immediate, the reader and the writer may reside miles apart.

Will you send Christmas correspondence this year?

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Saturday Update

Have a Good Un

have a good ‘un

Hi, there. I know we just touched base yesterday. I hope you all are making peace with your seasonal palettes.

Yesterday turned out to be a very busy day. Some of you may not be connected via Facebook or Twitter, so you might have missed these happenings.

Garza and Lupo Make My Day
If yesterday’s 300th post on the blog was the cake, then the tweet I received from Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo was the icing. Garza and Lupo authored my favorite wardrobe makeover book Nothing to Wear?, and they tweeted little ol’ me.

Tweet from Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo

Tweet from Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo, they called me “Classic Chic!”

The War on Men Hits BlogHer
Yesterday Lisen Stromberg and I were honored to have posts from our blog Finding (Un)Common Ground syndicated on BlogHer. In Point-Counterpoint: The War on Men, we share our opposing views about St. Louis-based author Suzanne Venker and her controversial article that outraged feminists.

Would love for you all to read, share, and weigh in with your opinions. See our original posts at Finding (Un)Common Ground and read the syndicated story on BlogHer. And see Venker’s response to the outrage in her latest post on Fox News also published yesterday. Like I said before, it was a very busy day.

Enjoy the weekend!

 

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Dare to Hope

I love Christmas. Really, I do.

pink poinsettias

it’s beginning to look a lot like…

I love that our culture still reserves a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth. But the churning of the holiday season is a mixed bag for me, and I’m not the only one.

After I published the bah-humbug-ish post Saving Duck this past Tuesday, my best friend, my closest cousin, and my brother all contacted me within a three-hour period. These people are more dear than I deserve, so their concern could be a coincidence. Just in case, I thought I better clarify.

First, I’m okay. You’re okay. God willing, we’ll all make it through.

Second, this is not a retraction of my thoughts from my last post. The unrealistic expectations of a perfect Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s are destructive. They steal our joie de vivre and drain our bank accounts. We question our faith and our sanity.

Now I know there are a few of you who would prefer I only write about shiny, happy things. I appreciate that, and I wish I could meet your demands.

But I can’t.

It’s not my intention to be a negative Nelly. I do write about fun stuff as well from misread song lyrics to missing underwire, from discontinued lipstick to dismissed hair accessories. But to me, it wouldn’t be honest or helpful to present as if everything is sunshine and roses (or pink poinsettias) when it’s not.

Yesterday I hung out with some Christian girlfriends. One caught my attention when she said, “I don’t really like this season. I mean I like Christmas, I just don’t care for all that goes with it.”

Her courage struck a chord. One by one, every woman recounted personal stories of how painful the holidays can be. My December dread didn’t seem so abnormal after all.

The wisest of all the women shared a story from when her kids were younger. She and her husband piled their little ones in the car and drove across three states to visit a relative for Thanksgiving. The trip wasn’t a surprise visit; the relative knew they were coming. Imagine their shock to arrive just in time to stand in the driveway and wave good-bye.  Grandma had made other plans to go out with friends for Thanksgiving dinner instead.

chocolate turkeys

don’t be a turkey

“We laugh about it now,” said my friend. “We joke and say, ‘Remember when Grandma left us on Thanksgiving?’ But at the time, it wasn’t funny.”

This is in part why we need other people in our lives. It’s why we need to tell each other the truth. It’s why some of us write and read and comment. How good to know we’re not alone. Others have walked this road or on it with us now. Many have survived. Maybe we will, too.

Walk on, pilgrims. Walk on.

Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease. Lamentations 3:21-22 NLT

He Walked a Mile by Clay Crosse. An oldie but a goodie.

Do you still dare to hope? Tell me more.

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