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!

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