Let the fireworks explode, the streamers unravel, the balloons fill the air, the music play! Today, we celebrate 700 posts at Ferns by the Fireside!
I asked you to tell me what you would like me to write about on this landmark occasion. ;) Okay, it's not really a landmark occasion but it feels like somewhat of an achievement!
So, here goes.
Amanda said "I would like you to talk about the expectations you had for your blog when you started. How is it different, and how is it as you imagined."
Well, I started my blog back in 2008 when several of my friends had started blogging. I thought "yay! a chance to write!" I do love to write my thoughts and express myself through the written word. It also seemed like a good way to journal our family's life. As for expectations, yes, I think it's pretty much been what I expected. I expected it to be fun, fulfilling, to bring me joy and be a way to connect with other women who blog. It has met all my expectations. :) I didn't know I would continue to blog for so many years, and so regularly. And I can't imagine that changing really. I could probably do this forever quite happily!
Renata said: "Congratulations on almost 700 - that is impressive! I really like Amanda's ideas. Also would you share how your faith in God has been strengthened through this difficult time you're currently going through".
Great question. Well, my faith in God is very strong at the moment. I do find, like most people, that when life is going along swimmingly that you tend to rely very much on yourself. It's easy to think that yes, we are in control and yes, we have our life quite sorted and everything is fine, thank you very much. :) When difficulties arise, whether it be poor health, troubles in relationships or an issue with a child, we turn to God in prayer. I believe He uses these times to strengthen our bond with him. This season for me has been a reminder that the world is a fallen, broken place. The ideal I had for my family is currently not the reality and that makes me so sad. For a long time I have clung to visual pictures of the "ideal" life - I have striven hard to meet these ideals, and they haven't always been realistic. This isn't in itself a bad thing, I would actually consider it a positive thing. But. God is teaching me that despite our brokenness, His love prevails. In spite of our circumstances, He is here. He truly does never leave us or forsake us. He is very present here in this home - He provided the children and I the perfect home in the perfect location, at the perfect time. He has taken care of finances. He has surrounded us with people who love us unconditionally. And He continues to provide the children and I with opportunities to grow and experience joy. All of this reminds me what an awesome God He is, and how very much He loves his children. So I guess the answer is - God is using this experience to draw me closer to Him, and for that, I'm very thankful.
Jen said "I would love to hear why you started a blog in the first place."
Thanks for your comment Jen - I think I answered your question in my response to Amanda's question! I started it to journal my thoughts and keep a record of the things happening in our family. :) The children and I love looking back on older posts as most of our best photos have been uploaded to the blog!
Melanie said "When I put my daughter to bed, each night I have to come up with a story about when I was little, so maybe you might write us a story about when you were little? Either that, or your 700 favourite books? (hehehe)"
Hmmmm...... I think I'll go with telling you a story about when I was little! As much as I love books, listing 700 of them would be somewhat too time consuming. ;)
Wow Melanie, first let me tell you that I love your bedtime tradition! My kids would love to hear more stories of when I was little!
They like hearing this story. When I was 8 months old I reached out to a little orange teddy bear when I was sitting in my pram, in a pharmacy. I was insistent I wanted him. :) My Mummy bought him for me, and he became my most favourite toy. She tells me the story of early one morning when I was about 15 months old, waking up to a blood curdling scream. She raced into my bedroom in the semi darkness to find me cowering in one corner of my cot. Orange Ted was right down the other end in another corner, and I was pointed madly at him. On closer inspection, Mum realised that his little black nose had come off, and was sitting in the opposite corner of the cot! I was seriously freaking out! Right then and there, at 4am, Mum sewed Ted's little nose back on. And I promptly fell back to sleep, cuddling him in my arms. :) To this day, I don't cope gracefully in a crisis situation! If one of my kids has a badly scraped open knee, I feel like cowering in the corner of the room just as I did when Ted lost his nose!! Of course, I don't. ;) Ted went on to have many more adventures, such as falling in the family swimming pool and losing most of his stuffing. Mum had to sew him a brand new body. I must remember to post a photo of him for you - I still have him, sitting in my bedroom. :)
Trish said "Congratulations Saminda! I would like to know what advice you would have for a new blogger just starting out."
It's great to see you blogging Trish! I like that you have chosen the theme of gardening. I think with blogging it's good to have a basic theme - it helps give your blog an identity. :) My advice would be to fall into a rhythm of blogging that you are happy with. Don't lay pressure on yourself to blog more often than is realistic. With four beautiful little people in your life, I know you are busy! So keep it simple. Sometimes blogging regularly - even just a short post with a picture and a caption - a few times a week can help keep the flow of your blog. But I have had, at times, weeks where I haven't found the time to blog. Accept this and don't put pressure on yourself! Blogging should be fun, and a reflection of who you are. And don't blog for other people, blog for yourself. :) Having said that, please include some photos of your gorgeous kiddos in your garden - I don't see enough of them!
Amanda said "Congrats Saminda! I would like to know your favourite Bible verses (maybe your fav 3?), why and what they mean to you. I love hearing how God uses His scriptures in peoples lives!"
This is a hard one. I have so many favourites that it is hard to narrow it down to only 3. One of my favourites I have in my sidebar - Psalm 4:23 - "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." I also cling tightly to Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." :) Um...... only one more! Well this next one I love so much that I bought a canvas with the verse printed on. It hangs in my kitchen, where I spend most of my time.
Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God". For me this is a daily reminder to slow down, to breathe, to trust, and to listen to what He is telling me.
I also asked my children to share their favourite verse with you. They both chose the same one! Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd. :) They really love this verse, I think because it's full of the quietness of God's strength, and all His promises to us.
And finally, Wendy said "Saminda, I would be interested to know how you feel that complete strangers can follow your life through your blog and you have no idea who is looking. I have met you through a friend, but have been following your blog and would love to know your perspective on Internet and personal security as I would be afraid that people could know so much about myself."
Wow. Big question! Do you know, this is not something that genuinely worries me? I don't know why - many bloggers I know use false names for their children and basically keep all personal details private. I understand their desire to do this - I have just never felt the need to, for myself. For me, there is something exciting about the not knowing who is reading the blog! I tend to hear from a long lost friend (or someone I barely know!) from time to time say "oh, I love reading your blog!" I actually enjoy thinking about who may be reading and enjoying seeing our family grow. Having said that, I don't tend to give very personal information away (though I do tend to share my emotions fairly openly; this is just how I'm wired!) But as for the town we live in, the school my children attend, etc., these details are not included in the blog for privacy reasons. Maybe I just hope and trust that the world is still a fairly honest place? This is probably naive but I pray that whoever's out there reading is genuine- family, friends, or friends I just haven't met yet. :)
There! I hope this has answered your questions and I thank you, faithful readers, for sticking with me through 700 blog posts! I know some of you have been reading since The Beginning. :) Have a great weekend everyone.