New feature: Travels

Brookgreen Gardens

I need your help!!! See my poll at the end of this post to help give me some guidance. What do you want to learn more about some random facts?

In my responses to the Versatile Blogging Award, I had to share some random facts about myself. I’ve been trying to think of a way to add this interesting info about myself – but wasn’t sure how to “fit” it into this blog. I’m privileged to have lived and worked in many different states and countries!

You may be aware, my husband and I have a travel blog about our RV trips, which started as a marriage blog. Then I started this blog as a way to record and keep a “spiritual” blog of sorts. It is still trying to figure itself out! But, exciting news, I am about to partner with a blogging buddy to see if we can make some headway with my dilemma. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are some random facts others have asked me to expand upon.  I now plan to write a weekly or bi-weekly feature about each place I’ve lived or worked in…and with the Lord’s help (I need a miracle),will post some pictures I have from these places:

  • I’ve lived in three countries: USA, Germany, Japan
  • I’ve traveled and/or worked in six countries: Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan
  • I’ve had fabulous layovers in four countries: Tokyo (felt like home after living there for three years as a child), London, Singapore, Abu Dhabi
  • I can only speak English, but can talk gibberish with my sister.
  • I have lived in seven USA states: Wyoming, Colorado, Virginia, Pennslyvania, Alabama, New Jersey, Florida
  • I can’t count how many states I have traveled in. One day, I’ll try to count them. The goal is to drive our RV to all lower 48 states on our continent.
  • Bottom line, I’m a wanderlust!

This is now where I need your help and input. Where should I start? What interests you the most? Help me focus and take this

“Give ’em what they want!”

I’m taking a free WordPress Blogging University course in hopes of becoming a more effective blogger, delivering more interesting posts that generate more followers, comments, inspiration and/or community discussions. This means some hard work and today is one of the hardest.

Today’s assignment: do a basic stats analysis to help you create an editorial calendar for the next 30 days.

I used to love analytical work, but this one is a hard one. I’m not sure I am going to like my results. The end result is to help us figure out how  to create more “hits” and encourage more followers. These are not necessarily my goals or purpose in blogging. Much of it is more for my own benefit and I only hope we can inspire others in some positive way. But human nature, I can’t help but see others who have hundreds and even thousands of followers – and feel a bit jealous. What does my Bible teach me?

1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.

Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

James 3:14-15 – But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

Ok, I’m over it. I’m happy for these other amazing bloggers! So now what? If I was as successful as they are, wouldn’t that create a dilemma? I’m quoting only part of a scripture, Luke 12:48 and quoted by many people in high places:

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

Am I ready for this type of commitment? You see, my husband and I are trying to live a life of freedom! This blogging thing can become an albatross around my neck. I read so many fabulous blogs and see they have many followers….but I wonder, how on earth to they have the time to write such great blogs? And I seem to have the ever problem of keeping our internet usage under 15 GB a month (great news, Verizon just bumped me up to 18 GB for less money. Go figure.) Or occasionally being in a situation where I have plenty of free WiFi (presently, I do have for a few weeks!)

Then part 2 of this exercise is to create a calendar!?!? Geez, we can’t even begin to use a calendar as tumbleweeds! We go as the wind blows, so forget about it! No calendar for me….

Now that I have just about talked myself out of blogging, let’s take a quick look at my stats. They are a bit depressing, but does it really matter? I get lots of “likes” and a few nice comments here and there. Am I trying to impress people, or do I want to provide a service? Or do I just want to create a legacy? I know I’d sure love to read my grandparents thoughts and about their lives…and even my parents!

In the end, I really want to please our Lord and creator. So does He really care about this? I think He cares about anything that matters to us. I think He wants us to be good stewards of not only our time but our resources. So maybe I need to take a look at my stats.

First, I’ll show the stats from my personal blog, the one I really wanted to get going. It has been during my time of focus in Blogging University that I’ve discovered over 100 blogs that I really like – and now make me prefer to read about others’ lives over posting my own stories. (Sneak peak-I’ve been so moved by Cathy Lynn Brooks, who’s writing a book about the life of her daughter that ended abruptly in a car wreck. Her blog and book are, “Let me tell you Justine’s story.”  I plan to begin telling the story of people in my life who have passed on. I’ve done this once before. I’ll call mine, “Stories to be Told.”)

My personal blog stats:
Stats from my personal blog

Stats from my personal blog

our travel blog, TheTumbleLees.me:
From our travel blog, TheTumbleLees.me

From our travel blog, TheTumbleLees.me

I could do more stats analysis, but I’ve spent more time on this blog than I’d like. I’m really ready to move on and see if my new focus will help!

Please do give me some feedback! I’m really struggling….

Hiking to success!

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Hiking near Lenoir, NC

Goals are important and that’s how I’ve succeeded in real life. But I never had a goal in my blogging. Enter Day 1, Blogging 201 assignment, which is building on Day 1, Blogging 101.

Hiking gives me clarity. It draws me closer to my creator! It satisfies my need to breathe. I tend to be an extrovert (according to a Professor who administered The MBTI, Myers & Briggs Personality Test, I’m an expressive introvert) but I need quiet time to recharge. Hiking recharges me. And it’s so good for my health!

Adversity creates success. I’ve had my share and it was always my springboard to achieve. I was losing my ability to walk. And look at me now! My one blog is floundering, so a goal is to see it soar!

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Hiking near Lenoir, NC

I’m easily inspired and I want to be an inspiration. Some of my best ideas come from others. But I always believe the Lord is in on it. Enter my friend from July’s Blogging 101. His creative posts always get me going!

I read my Bible first thing every morning. I’ve done this for over 10 years. It used to inspire my writing, but now I’m in a desert. Just like I need a cup of Jo every day to get me going, I need my “dose” of the Lord. I can’t live without it….but has it gone stale?

Bible

I need to focus. I blog for clarity in my life. I’m getting older and more forgetful. I don’t want to forget the precious moments occurring daily in my life. Blogging helps.

I need social interaction. My husband is an extreme introvert (not with family.) But I don’t like small talk and that’s what I find in so many of our social interactions. For example, since we travel full time, we drive our home to new places relatively frequently. When we are setting up, I’m usually inside and Bill is outside. You’d never know he’s an introvert because he chats it up with our new neighbors. Not me, I have to find a way to connect. The blogosphere makes it painless to socialize!

I want feedback! I can’t grow without challenges. How great our August Blogging 101 decided to go on in its own “Alumni Commons” to continue to grow! It’s helping keep us all on target!

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Now that I’ve rattled on, so here are my simplified Blogging 201 goals:

1) Increase the comments to my blog, seek more feedback. At least obtain three comments on each blog from here on out.

2) At least post three times a week. And that includes a post or two on our full-time travel blog, TheTumbleLees.me.

3) Link every post to the Bible or a spiritual truth.

From my Bible reading yesterday:

“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:26-27 NIV

I, too have been rescued. Maybe not in such a dramatic fashion, but I know I am as grateful as Daniel was for his life to be spared!