How to love the unlovely

I learned in Blogging 101, when you write an epistle in response to someone else’s post, Julie Sheppard’s in this case, (to join her discussion, click here to read it), it is best to write a post in your own blog! So that is what I am doing. I have actually shared this story a number of times, so I might as well tell the whole story here!

But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only those who love you, why should you get a reward for that? Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than anyone else. Even the people who don’t know God are nice to their friends. Matthew 4:44-47 ESV amp Continue reading

2015 Blogging In Review

I’m so grateful for the support of this little and very personal blog. Below my narrative is a link to my report. But first, I’m especially grateful to my top contributors, with links to their blogs:

honestme363, “Revealing my inner narrator”: Kelly is such an open and honest person about her walk in this life! I met her in July’s Blogging University 101. I loved her “about me” page/photos and knew we had a connection. She’s a wife and a mom (step mom) and loves the outdoors – or at least takes the best pictures of them! This blog is about REAL life and she’s about as real as they come!

Vibrant and Arpita tied for second place! I’m going to talk about my Vibrant friend first, because I think I met him first, in August’s Blogging University 101. And more than likely, found Arpita’s Travelogue through him. Both are from India and we have found we have so much in common. But first, Vibrant, also known by his name, Anand, is an amazing blogger and encourager. When I first saw his blog name, Blabberwockying, I had to look the word up (and really, I have to look up many words he uses). He didn’t look like the type of blogger I would follow….but something about him intrigued me. And so our friendship began! We discovered we have many things in common….interesting how different our worlds are, but yet we have connected.

Then I met sweet Arpita (links to her personal blog)! What isn’t there to like about her? Maybe it helped she invited me to have a cup of coffee with her (blog) and that started things off right! She’s a lovely young lawyer who loves to travel, takes gorgeous photos, asked me to be write a guest post about marriage (more like advice) and began the journey towards minimalism, like us. She has two blogs, one is her travel blog and one a personal blog, like I do! We have much in common, too.

oneta hayes, My Sweet Aroma friend, Oneta! I don’t remember how or when we first connected. Like me, she’s taken a number of Blogging University courses. We have so much in common, too! First and foremost, she loves Jesus as much as I do and she’s a grandma. Once I found her blog, I just read and read….and loved it all! I’ve been trying to recruit her to start helping us in Blogger’s World, in writing a weekly feature (but only once a month) as she misses teaching. She has so many college degrees and education, she could teach anything! Oh, she’s just so amazing….check her out!

Audrey D Cunningham I think I found Audrey during a Blogging 101 assignment to find other bloggers using tags. We had an instant connection. She has an amazing wit and ablity to take all the everyday life experiences (even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) and give God the Glory! Probably the first one of such posts was about those pesky Geckos! And she was a caregiver of her dear mom. She sacrificed everything to help her mom and she was a daughter any mom would cherish. Sadly, her mom did not survive her last health event, but happily, we know she is fully healed and is rejoicing in Heaven. Audrey has taken a break from blogging…I hope and pray she finds her way back. Her posts were just so much fun to read, while they also brought me closer to the Lord.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hiking to success!


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!


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?


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!


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,

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!