A Little Dose of Encouragement

I often look at this blog in a funhouse mirror. You know the mirrors I’m talking about? The ones that distort the way you actually look, sometimes making you look short and fat, sometimes making you look tall and thin, but never reflecting your actual appearance?

Some days I wake up tall. I have an over-inflated sense of my importance, my followers, and the message I need to bring to this world. And I wonder, is anyone noticing me?

Some days I wake up short. I get stuck on my stats. I compare myself to blogs with thousands more readers than I. And I wonder, what am I adding to the conversation?

This is my lens as a fledgling blogger. I am writing for a reason. There is a message I want to flesh out. Maybe I am doing it for myself, but I still choose a public forum, hoping for a public reading.

I have questions. I have dreams. I am surrounded by unknowns. And often, things look distorted. It can be hard to know if my voice is helping anyone.

Then, last week, I got a surprise.

I follow the blog Inspiration Driven Life by Sarah Koci Schielz. I love the way she pushes me to be intentional in how I live my life.

Sarah is a fledgling blogger, like me. She received the Liebster Award, and she chose me as one of five blogs she follows to also get the Liebster Award.

This award we’ve discovered is given to bloggers who inspire you and have less than 200 followers. The Liebster Award takes its name from the German word meaning ‘Beloved, Dearest or Favorite.’” - Quit the Cure 

Now, I have to be honest. Though I was honored to be chosen, I was cynical of the award itself. After some further research, I can’t figure out its origin. To win an award, and then have to choose 5 others to give the award to, feels a bit like a pyramid scheme or a chain letter. I have always hated that kind of stuff.

But the more I thought about it, the more I appreciated the idea. Because who doesn’t like being chosen for something? It’s encouragement. And sometimes we need an excuse to give someone else a bit of applause.

Now the technical rules of the award say I should give it out to 5 other bloggers with 200 followers or less. But that’s the other trick- I don’t actually know how many followers some of the blogs I read have.

For those of us who are fledgling, it’s not usually something we advertise. “Hey, come join the 5 other people reading my stuff!” (For my blog, the give-away is when you click on the link to like me on Facebook and see that the number is in the twenties.)

So, to the 5 I choose, I apologize in advance if your blog is actually bigger than I thought. Or, if it’s small and you were hoping people didn’t know, and I am actually offending you by adding you to this list.

But, from what I can tell, you are like me. Fledgling. We are finding our voices, figuring out our place in this blogosphere, and inching our way to more followers.

My hope is that this list helps some of my readers discover you. Because you are worth following. I’m grateful that you blog. Your words encourage and inspire me.

  • .Joys of the Journey by Denise. Denise opens up the Bible and makes faith accessible and relatable. Her blog is a conversation with a friend. I look forward to her posts every time.
  • Awake my Soul by Laura. Laura is a wise woman. When I read her words, I am sitting across the table of a coffee shop with a mentor. She gives advice, talks about struggles, and brings me to reflection.
  • A Diamond in the Rough by Jessica. Jessica is a new mom and former missionary. She weaves beautiful tapestries out of words. Her posts are pictures of life, faith, and grace.
  • Ink in Pink by Melissa. Melissa is an editor who uses Ink in Pink to display her own voice. Her writing helps me pause to look at life and culture, and how I should be interacting with it.
  • Spiritual Glasses by Jennifer. Jennifer is courageous. She is new to this world and in some ways still finding her voice. But I love what I have seen so far. She boldly shares stories from her life that remind me that God really does provide hope in dark times.

Now that I have recognized a few bloggers, I would also like to recognize my readers.

I want to say thank you. Thank you for walking with me as I find my voice. Thank you for the ways you have provided me with encouragement. And thank you for helping me grow in my faith as I write and interact with you.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thess 5:11