Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blog Around the World

I have been amazed since starting a blog this year how blogging has broadened my world, while somehow making the world seem smaller at the same time. I started a blog after nearly a year of keeping up with my girlfriends from church through their blogs. I have enjoyed seeing friends' pictures and hearing what their children are up to. And I feel like I have grown closer to these women as I check in daily to learn about their latest struggles, triumphs, joys and sorrows.

But gradually my circle of "bloggerlfriends" or "gURLfriends," as I call them, has also widened to include many people I have never met face to face. Although I wouldn't recognize many of these women if I saw them on the street, I feel a profound connection to the words they write. I think this is because even though we haven't met face to face, we know each other by heart.

I discovered one of my favorite bloggy friends, Debbie, when I noticed her comments on other blogs I enjoy reading. Her comments voiced so many of my own thoughts. So I followed the links to her blog, and there I found a delightful new friend who always makes me smile. She described her own surprise at the connections she has found with other women in "Mommy Blogging -- Birds of a Feather." Although she started her blog as a means of self-expression, Debbie says she has grown to genuinely admire and care about many of the women she has met through blogging. She explains:
I admire how so many of you have been transparent with struggles ranging from stress, marital problems, infertility, depression, illness, loss of a child, loss of a sibling, etc. You are the world at large. Only you are pouring out your hearts to strangers and blessing so many other women who may read your words while living with the same struggles and realize they. aren’t. alone.
And, as usual, I couldn't agree more. So when Debbie started her latest adventure, a new site called Blog Around the World, I knew I would want to take part. Debbie is linking bloggers by geography, encouraging us to reach out to bloggers in our home state while meeting new ones in other parts of the world.

You never know how one click of the mouse can change your world. At once, blogging has made my world feel bigger and smaller. As a stay-at-home mom, it has broadened my world as I connect with the words of mothers from all over the world. It has reengerized my prayer life, as I have taken others' struggles to heart, then taken them to the Lord. And at the same time blogging has made the world cozier, as I have realized that as women we are bonded by common threads of faith, family and friendship.

I enjoy going through my days feeling connected with other women -- both those who I'll see in church on Sunday and those I may never see in this life. Whether you live near or far, thanks for being one of my gURLfriends. You have changed my world, and I am so glad to know you by heart!


Debbie said...

I am speechless. I mean speechless. I have been so mired in getting this thing set up that I haven't made my rounds. Thank you Melissa. From the bottom of my heart, you have no idea what this means to me. There are two blogs that I read, yours is one of them, that I feel the Lord always always sends me to, to reveal something of HIMSELF to me or to reveal something He wants to teach me. You have a gift. And of course when I set up the whole guest blogging thing, you were one of the people I had in mind. I would be honored to have you as a guest blogger. I will get back to you for dates. Thank you. Truly humbling.

christie said...

You're so sweet! I love reading your blog...and the AMAZING photographs you take. Wow! Sometimes I pop over and just look. Sorry if I don't always leave a comment. Just so you know, you inspire me.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I just saw Deb's fun new wonderful! Thrilled to hear about your special trip and assuming that your back is MUCH better. PTL!

Dawn said...

I was actually talking about you this morning in church. I was telling Josh and Ashley Casson about how I knew you, but I had to explain that we've never actually met.

They had very nice things to say about you and your family.

BTW, I'm making the flip-flop cake this weekend for my daughter's birthday. Thanks for posting such detailed instructions!

Sydney said...

What an awesome post! I also feel that blogging has broadened my horizons. It has also brought some really amazing people into my life. People I never would have met before.

Live.Love.Eat said...

I loved this post & wrote something similar but not as eloquent a few days ago. And the words of your friend Debbie are so true!!!!!

I never heard of the term gURLfriends, LOVE it!!!

Amy said...

Thanks for visiting me today :) I love what Debbie has done also. The response that I have gotten the past two days is unbelieveable and overwhelming to say the least. I can't wait to meet more people and learn even more thru others :D

Tracy P. said...

Oh Melissa, I love this post. I found Debbie exactly the same way, and I often think the same when I bump into your comments. Don't you just imagine yourself moving into a brand new cul de sac and thinking about which of those bloggy friends should fill each home? What fun we would have! The funny thing that crosses my mind is that I'd want to choose the ones that have shown me their "warts", so I would know what I was getting into. Hmmm.

Anyway, your photos make me DROOL!!! Just had to tell you that. :-)

There is a sign on the door to the dairy barn at the fair with Paula's photo and a crossout circle over it. (Just kidding--she is SO good for business!)

Laura said...

I'm visiting from BATW...I'll be back...MUST explore some more!

Tammy said...

BATW brought me to you and I'm really enjoying my visit! I will definitely spend some more time with you in the future. Thanks!

Elden said...

I recently came across your post and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that it caught my interest and you've provided informative points. I will visit this blog often.

Thank you,

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