Today is a very special day. It is the one year anniversary of my first blog post. As I looked over my 47 posts from this past year, some were short, some were long, some were very long, and some were even longer than that.
Some tell many personal stories from my life. Some contain my fervent testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some are funny, some are serious, but all have me in them.
Not every post had a lot of readers, but all of them came from my heart, and all are special to me.
I had liked the idea of starting a blog for a long time, but never had the real gumption to take that step. Then there was one day when I had all these ideas and messages flow into me that I knew I had to share. They were about the trials of parenthood, but how they really made you a better person.
I knew that I needed to start my blog then. I thought for a long time about a name. I prayed for guidance. The words to the LDS hymn “Love at Home” came to my mind. One phrase in the song is “making life a bliss complete when there’s love at home.”
That was it. That was my title, and that was my purpose. To describe my blog, I chose this phrase: My heartfelt thoughts and feelings about home, family, love, faith, and personal growth.
I have remained true to this description.
I realize that because my purpose is to help myself and others see that God is there, He loves us, and that He has given us this wonderful life on earth to learn, grow and become more like Him, I may not get the most readers. Though I know that we all can benefit from knowing that life really can be a bliss complete when we are kind, compassionate, forgiving and humble, not everyone wants to read about that.
I won’t lie to you, it hurts when I put my heart and soul into a post, and I get maybe a handful of likes, one share, and a couple comments. I want to uplift and help people, and hearing from my readers helps me know I am accomplishing that goal.
When my readers share my posts, I can reach more people. This may sound prideful, and maybe it is if I focus on what people think of me, or how I compare to others. However, I truly feel from the bottom of my heart that Heavenly Father wants me to be His witness and a witness of His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, through my writings. The Holy Ghost has put words into my mind and through my fingertips so many times.
I believe I was given my writing talent to share the gospel of Christ, to help others learn from my mistakes, and even to help preserve my family history.
No matter how discouraged I may get about not having much feedback on my posts, I have never felt that I should stop writing. I will write as long as I feel called to do so. Thank you to those of you who do express your appreciation for my words. It means the world to me. There is nothing kinder you could do for me than that.
In honor of my first year of blogging, I have come up with some superlatives. I hope you enjoy them, and take some time to read some of these posts if you haven’t already.
The Inspiration to Begin
Parenthood: Change for the harder but truly for the better
This posts contains the messages that inspired me to begin my blog. It was my second blog post because it took me so long to write and perfect.
Sabbath Day Light: Forgiveness
There was a message at church that Sunday that helped me lift a heavy burden from my life. That was when I decided to start my Sunday series: Sabbath Day Light. These posts meant so much to me spiritually, but as a new blogger, I decided to stop doing them because of the lack of interest. My testimony remains, however, that attending church truly does nourish your soul and enlighten your mind.
The Most Popular
The Monster and the Miracle
This post has had the highest number of reads, and probably the most comments. I agonized over the title, and based on the number of reads, I think it was a winner. If you haven’t read it, this is a story about my husband and a parasite that had grown for 10 years in his body, threatening his life and claiming the vast majority of his liver.
The Least Popular
Sabbath Day Light: A Promise to Receive Answers
Why would I add this one, you ask? Well, because I still think it was a very uplifting post, and is very relevant to the first weekend in April, just a little over a week away. Check it out!
I have many long posts, but there are only a few in the very long category. This one is my longest, with 15 pages, 4575 words, 19,854 characters without spaces, and 24, 312 characters with spaces.
That post took me countless afternoons to write. I am really proud of it, though, and I really think that couples who study and contemplate these gospel-centered suggestions on how to cleave to each other, will find a benefit to their marriages. I know that because as I researched and wrote it, I found ways to strengthen my marriage.
The Most Researched
You Aren’t Weird but Your Beliefs Are Part 2: Why Are There So Many Churches?
I spent so many hours researching the beliefs, practices and doctrines of the different Christian churches. It was really interesting, and helped me illustrate why I believe there must be absolute Truth.
There are a lot of pictures of a puppy with cute kids…need I say more?
The Most Fun
I had a lot of fun writing this one. Last Father’s Day was so different than what we are normally used to, but we made it special and fun anyway. We will never forget it.
The Most Tear-Inducing
Reminiscing about a Miracle
I actually wrote the birth story of my beloved Kamren before I started blogging, so on his first birthday, I posted that story on my blog. The story surrounding my youngest son’s birth is truly a miracle, and may make you cry – in a good way.
The Most Influential
I put this one as the most influential because I originally published this on a fellow neighbor’s blog. It sparked many questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I was able to answer. I have also found many opportunities to share this blog post with others of and not of my faith, and have received feedback that it helped their perspectives, or that they would like to share it with more people who they think could learn from it.
The Most Eye-Opening
Doing a little service for the less fortunate opened my eyes to how fortunate I really am, and I need to stop complaining.
The Most Picturesque
My Favorite Love Story
This post, that I recently wrote to honor my husband’s and my 5th wedding anniversary, has a whopping 64 pictures. They are some good ones, too!
The Most Helpful for Kids
This post was inspired from a conversation I had with my son about bullying. I know that the Spirit guided me to say what I said to him, and I wanted to share it so other parents could help their children too.
The Most Uncomfortably Personal
I put a lot of personal things in this quote about modesty (in dress, speech and behavior), that apparently made at least one friend of mine and my husband uncomfortable. I put those things in to help other women see that they, and I, are better than I used to portray myself.
The Most Scriptural
100 Things the Book of Mormon Has Taught Me
I really did post 100 things I have learned from this wonderful book, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. Looking at the 100 messages, it is clear that it is a work of God, and a complement to the Bible.
The Most Political
I wrote this post right after election day last year, when I saw an alarming lack of civility. I tried to bring the point home that our country needs more love, tolerance, and support for its leaders and its citizens.
The Most Crucial
Pornography: I say it. I talk about it. You should too.
There is a very sad story in this blog post, one that illustrates the poison that pornography is to individuals, spouses, and families. But there is hope, should one take hold of it!
The One That Means the Most to Me
It is hard to pick a favorite out of 47 posts, but I knew without looking it would be one of my four posts from this series. The series in total I felt very strongly I needed to write. This one means the most to me because my most heartfelt testimony flows through it. The Spirit touched my heart so much as I wrote, that tears streamed down my face. There is nothing more valuable to me than my testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel.
I knew I wanted to write one more post before my 1-year anniversary of this blog. I had started one, knowing it had great stuff in it, but my fingers couldn’t bring it together like I wanted. I prayed for guidance for what to write, and this new post flowed through me without any hesitation. It hasn’t had many reads, but please read it. I know it is supposed to help someone.
There are so many more posts that I love because they are about my family or spiritual lessons I have learned in my life.
I am grateful for my Heavenly Father for giving me a gift with writing. I hope I can always be worthy of that gift.