HERstory: Beautiful Blogs!

The WEBlog…A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. (Wikipedia strikes again!).

There are thousands and thousands of blogs. Fashion blogs. Food Blogs.  Political Blogs.  Hobby Blogs.  And lots of mommy-blogs…mothers blogging about their children, families, faith, the list goes on.  I only follow a few blogs regularly and four of them are bee-u-tiful blogs by mommies just sharing their lives and hearts.  They tell their own HERstories.  They all have neat photos and posts. Coincidentally, they all homeschool – like me!  But that is not why I follow them.  I have enjoyed getting to know about the hearts and lives of these special women.  I think you will too!

Ree Drummond shares the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman.  She lives on a ranch in Oklahoma now, but she was a city girl right up until she married “Marlboro Man” (name not so much about the cigarettes, really about the icon from the advertising campaign).  Ree, a.k.a. “Pioneer Woman” a.k.a. “PW” a.k.a. “P-Dub” a.k.a. “P-Widdy-Dub-Diddy”…and the list goes on…is an awesome cook (has TWO cookbooks published, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from and Accidental Country Girl and The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier), an “amateur” photographer (the photos look professional to me!), star of a Food Network Show, a big-hearted momma, a loving wife and a wonderful writer.  She is hilarious, colorful, imaginative, and humble.  She loves her animals and her people too.  Did I mention she is hilarious?  I think the thing I love best about reading her posts is she is really, really, real.  And SO hilarious (you HAVE to click the link to read my all-time favorite).

Ann Voskamp…I ran across her name so many times on (in)courage.   It is a Christian blog network and website that seeks to build community between christian women, bloggers and readers alike.  I saw her book everywhere One Thousand Gifts…it is a smashing success.  It still sits on my nightstand, so close, waiting for me to carve some time out of my schedule.  I plan to bring it with me on the girls retreat next month (I am making good on my goal to get over my fear of traveling alone).  The only thing  am worried about is all the crying on the airplane – from the book I mean.  Then I decided to read her “journal”.  Every post she writes tears at my heart.  She is vulnerable and wounded, yet triumphant and grateful all at once.  She shares her deepest hurts, composing word-pictures and poetry along the way.  Her posts are…lyrical, I guess is the best term.  Here is how she describes herself: I’m Ann Voskamp, a plain Ann without even the fanciful “e”, wife to The Farmer,  mama to six, and honestly, I’m a bit of a mess. It’s okay, really. Grace is the most amazing of all. She blogs at a holy experience.  And lately she seems to be everywhere!  Oh and she takes amazing photographs too – now I don’t know anything about the technical aspect.  Just the tug at your heart part.  Funny, though she is an overnight success in the publishing world, at home she lives a quiet life (if you can ever call being a mother to six “quiet”), on a farm, in Mennonite country in Canada.  It looks like a beautifully wild place to live.

I stumbled across We are THAT Family…you know the ones.  I loved reading how she came to realize that SHE, Kristen Welch, had become a mother to “THAT Family” – the ones making all the mistakes.  She shares about how all of her aspirations to be the “perfect” mothers were shattered when, well, when she actually had kids!  I SOOOO get that!  She was always a supporter of Compassion International and so she was asked to visit Africa and blog about it, to share the personal stories with her readers.  It changed her life and she has never looked back.  She met Maureen in Kenya, a phenomenal young girl rescued from poverty by Compassion International on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that relationship launched a ministry.  They opened The Mercy House to save young Kenyan girls from back-alley abortions.  These girls are very often rape victims.  They are castoffs in a society full of castoffs.  Mercy House is making a difference.  Spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, educationally and financially  – these girls are cared for during their pregnancies, during their time at Mercy House.  They are taught life skills, heart skills, soul skills, and they learn to earn an honorable income by creating jewelry and art, which is sold at The Mercy Shop.  Kristen’s hope and Maureen’s story compelled my husband and I to sponsor two boys through Compassion and support the Mercy House monthly.  God is making a difference, through big time operations like Compassion and small mom and pop (Kristen’s husband Terrell is behind her 100%) ministries.  God is working in the lives of those in need and those of us who have been blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.  Oh, and Kristen also has a book!  Don’t Make Me Come Up There: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms.

Finally, I have an old friend.  Ok she is NOT old…unless I am, which come to think of it… Anyway, we were friends when we were chasing after the wrong kind of approval, searching for our self-esteem, thinking we knew who we were, but totally off track.  And God worked mightily in both of us, separately.  And when He brought us back together, almost twenty years later, we were amazed at how our different journeys led us to the same place – at the feet of Jesus.  She is Grateful for Grace, GFG.  Like me, she does not use her name when she blogs.  She is a passionate homeschooler to six funny, loving, incredible kids.  Unlike me, yet like all my favorite blogs, she posts TONS of pictures of her family doing all sorts of creative and amazing things.  Like making bread, the homemade-grind-your-own-flour-kind, and salsa, the homemade-cut-up you-own-homegrown-peppers-and-tomotoes-kind…and those are just two of her KIDS!  She has her own skill-set.  Or should I say skillet-set?  She stunned her small town community when she, on her first try, ran away with the skillet-throwing trophy from the country fair!  The action photos are the beeest!  I really need to get some more time with my camera!  But what I really love about GFG is her heart.  She is painfully honest about her own journey and full of grace and compassion for others.  She also has an unflinching, uncompromising faith.  She is unabashedly loyal to her husband (like all of my favorite bloggers).  But my most favorite posts (I know y’all, that is sooo southern), other than the skillet-throwing (which is better for me because I can totally imagine her doing that!!), are about her dear mom, who she lost a few years ago to ALS,Lou Gehrig’s disease, and the step-father who walked her mom home.  GFG is a fun blog about real life and how God can make miracles out of everyday life – I think all the blogs have that in common too!

And so, I hope you might find something here that you did not know about…because if you do, you’ll see how much you’ve been missing!  I am inspired and encouraged regularly by these Christian women.  We do not live close to one another, attend the same church, or even homeschool the same way, and except for GFG, I have never met any of them.  But we all have a mutual friend, Jesus.  And God has helped me through a bit of a lonely spot this year, as I have learned to find my own writing voice and have loved to listen to theirs.  WEBlog? WeBLOG…

justAgirl…just like you!  a.k.a. “britta” :) a.k.a “I need photography lessons!”

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