And the Winner Is…

Good evening, everyone!

Obviously, I am going to start this post by announcing who the winner of the Bible is.

The winner is…

ROSE K. MARTIN! Congratulations! I’ll be in touch with you, Rose.

Click the following link to see me do the draw.

And the winner is…

Thank you to all of you for participating. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments, and was blessed by your desire to share with and serve others. Thanks for taking the time to participate! I wish I had a Bible to give to each one of you, but Ricky says I’m not allowed to buy any more.

I did want to make just a few comments about “The Plea” part of last week’s post. After I typed the post out (but before I published it), I was very undecided about whether I should actually post it or not. I eventually decided that I would post it as an experiment- the experiment being whether or not I could actually be that blunt about what I want for this space without feeling pushy or selfish.

As it turned out, I felt both pushy and selfish, whether I needed to or not. I guess I’m just that sort of person.

So now, I have decided to make a rule that no one is allowed to comment here. Ever.

Just kidding.

That would be extreme.

But I did want to clarify that I meant for last week’s post to be an invitation to feel comfortable commenting and sharing your thoughts here- not a command. The last thing I want is for you to feel guilty for reading but not commenting. There is no obligation to comment.

But I will say this.

I had several people tell me that they really enjoyed reading all your comments. And I did too. You guys are very wise, and I’d love to keep hearing from you every now and then.

I plan to be here no matter what though- comments or no comments.

Thanks for reading and encouraging!

 

 

The Plea and the Christmas Giveaway

Yes, this is a giveaway. But first you have to read the beginning of the post. There will be a quiz at the end to make sure that you did. Just kidding. No quiz. 

Just read the post, okay?


The Plea

Allow me to be perfectly honest for a moment, although I feel a little bit bashful about what I am about to say. This has been brewing away inside me for some time now.

Blogging is such a weird thing to do.

I struggle with it.

I mean, how very presumptuous and arrogant of me to write out my thoughts and assume that someone else is interested in them.

And how very obnoxious of me to post the link on Facebook and Instagram! How much more “in your face” could I possibly be? Who do I even think I am?

I disgust myself.

I’m being dramatic. However, I do think the aforementioned thoughts and they weigh on me in varying degrees depending on things like my current life circumstances, hormones (of course), and the topic of what I wrote. Whether it is “spiritual” or “non-spiritual” makes a difference for me, as I don’t want to clutter your mind with things that aren’t beneficial.

I guess that what I’m saying is that blogging feels self-centered to me. It’s me writing about my life and thoughts, and there isn’t even anything extraordinary about my life and thoughts. It feels like I’m pointing a spotlight at myself and yelling, “Hey, everybody! Look at me!” If you know me in real life, you might have an idea of how uncomfortable I would feel with that scenario playing out for real.

I’ve been doing some thinking about whether it is possible for blogging to not be self-centered. I spent some time considering the bloggers whose work I enjoy reading, and it turns out that although they each have their unique voices and niches, they’re pretty much doing the same thing that I’m doing… writing about their lives and their thoughts. Go figure.

And yet something struck me as being different about their blogs. I think I might have finally put my finger on it.

To me, their blogs felt like a community and a conversation, and to me, mine often feels an awful lot like a lecture.

(Keep reading! Don’t give up. That give-away is still coming.)

Now, there are several things that need to be acknowledged at this point. I shall make a list.

  • I am not good at discussion. Particularly not initiating or leading it. I’ll just admit it. I want this blog to be a place of discussion, but I have no idea how to pilot this thing, you know? But don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll all survive.
  • I am not good at asking thought-provoking questions. I would love to be able to produce deeply theological posts, with many, many footnotes and evidences for my statements. But that just isn’t the way my mind works. I tend to share things like poetry or stories or inspirational (hopefully?) things. I recognize the possibility that sometimes conversation may not happen because my writing did not prompt it or inspire it. I understand that, and I’m okay with it.
  • There are a bunch of you who have faithfully read my writing and commented over the years, whether those comments were on the blog, through email, or in person. That has meant so much. There are those of you who have begun contributing in these ways more recently, and that’s been exciting and fun for me too. Thank you.
  • If you read my blog, but don’t comment… it’s okay. It really is. I get it. I tend to be the same way, although I am trying to grow in this area of participating online, rather than just consuming. My intent is not to guilt you into grudgingly commenting. I just want you to know that if you read a post, and happen to have a thought or a question, I would LOVE to hear it and other readers would too.
  • When I speak of comments, I’m not meaning that I expect compliments from everyone. That wouldn’t be exciting for anyone. (Except me, I guess. Hehe.)  I mean comments that start with things such as, “In my experience…” or “I’d like to challenge the idea that…” or “One thing I’m taking away from this is…” or “My opinion is that…” or “I have a story about…” or “God is teaching me…”

I guess that what I really want is to learn from you guys, and for us all to learn from each other.

That is all I shall say on this matter, except that I have a plan to coax you out of your cozy nooks and crannies. And that plan is…

The Christmas Giveaway

In honour of the approaching holiday season, I am going to be giving away this beautiful brand-new ESV Bible. (The one pictured in the photos below belongs to me. I have one that is still packaged that will go to the winner of this giveaway.) If you (or someone in your life) appreciates pretty lettering, space in the margins for notes, and beautiful, thoughtful artwork… this is definitely the Bible for you.

I think the pictures will pretty much speak for themselves.

I mean, just look at this Bible!

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It has a beautiful, soft burgundy cover.

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Each book of the Bible has its own beautiful opening page, with artwork that pertains to the theme of the book. At the back of the Bible, there is a section with explanations for why the artists chose the design that they did for each book.

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There are full-page illustrations, as well as lovely lettering in the margins scattered throughout this Bible.

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Pictured above is the back cover. I feel that this verse must have been inspiration for the artists who worked on this project, because I really feel that their goal was illustrate the beauty that is found in Scripture.

Here’s how you can enter, as well as a few notes and guidelines.

  • To enter the contest, you need to comment here on the blog. (NOT on Facebook, NOT on Instagram, on the BLOG). In your comment, please share one thing that you plan to do/hope to do to create meaningful moments in the upcoming busy-ness of the Christmas season. There are no wrong answers here, folks! I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas.
  • Each person who comments will have their name put into a bowl. I will pull out a name (with my eyes closed- obviously) to determine the winner. Each participant will have one entry in the draw. (You may comment even if you don’t want the Bible, bless your heart. Just make sure to specify that.)
  • The giveaway will be open all week. It officially closes November 25, at 11:59 p.m. I will post the winner on the evening of November 26.
  • If you do not live close to me, you may still enter. We’ll figure out a way to get it to you, whether that is shipping or super strong carrier pigeons.

Okay! Comment away! What can you do to create meaningful moments (with God, with your family, etc.) this Christmas season?