With the ending of Lent and start of the Easter season (which officially ends fifty days from yesterday, May 31, on Pentecost), now seems a good time for new beginnings. And so, I’d like to introduce my fellow bloggers — those who have taken me by the hand in my introduction to the blogging world, others I’ve discovered since beginning the journey, and those I’ve called friends for some time now. Though I began posting my blog list (the blogs I try to follow on a regular basis) at the institution of Peace Garden Mama, I’ve never explained my association with these bloggers, nor their blog leanings, in full. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting them and that you’ll consider visiting their blogs sometime.
With that, please give a warm welcome to:
AT LEAST WE KNOW…we’re crazy. Thoughts from a life gone terribly right: Author: Marylisa. I’ve known Marylisa for quite a few years now, but she’s known my husband, Troy, since childhood. They grew up together. When we moved back to his Minnesota hometown the spring of 1996, I had the pleasure of working for Marylisa’s father, and remotely, with Marylisa, as a freelancer through the paper her father owned — The Pope County Tribune. Even though our crossing was brief, I really felt that if we’d have stayed in Glenwood, Marylisa and I would have become friends. It’s that writer/creative thing. Every time I stopped in the office to drop off the latest, or get an assignment, or pick up a paycheck, we’d inevitably find ourselves chatting. It always seemed very natural and easy, and I was delighted when I discovered she’d picked up my blog on hers, and have enjoyed reciprocating. She describes her blog in this way: I live in rural Minnesota with my husband and kids, and I practice the ancient art of home economics. Also on her blog home page, this quote: Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
BEREKETOCHE ~ MY BLESSINGS: Author: Betty. I met Betty several years back at a conference on children’s literature at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. This Ethiopian native, who married a North Dakotan, became a citizen of the United States this past July. I consider her a friend, and enjoy getting together with her for lunch every so often. She is a bright and beautiful women with three children, boys, two of them twins. As a person who claims English as a second language, Betty does an admirable job of expressing her thoughts on “paper.” I really enjoy reading her thoughts, which sometimes seem very North Dakotan, and other times, have that “wider world” perspective. I never fail to enjoy her company when we’re together, and appreciate her thoughts on motherhood and life in general. Words on her home page: “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” And words from one of her sons: I don’t want this to turn to long conversation, I came to tell you good night and I love you. Josh @ 7 yrs.
CONVERSION DIARY: Author: Jennifer. I discovered Jennifer’s blog a few months ago through another blog, and have been capitvated by her thoughts and words, which she expresses so honestly and poignantly. Jennifer recently had a baby, and mothers three other small children besides. Plus, she keeps up with her blog, which shares the story of walking into a life of faith after spending all of childhood and most of her adult years as an atheist. Truly powerful stuff here, and from the mouth of a mother. Rarely does she put up a post with which I cannot identify in one way or another. Her perspective has enlivened my own faith, and based on her wide readership and the comments she receives (both in content and number), I am not the only one. Here’s how Jennifer describes the basis of her blog: Five years ago I had never once believed in God, not even as a child. I was a content atheist and thought it was simply obvious that God did not exist. I thought that religion and reason were incompatible, and eventually became vocally anti-Christian. Imagine my surprise to find myself today, just a few years later, a convert to Christianity who loves her faith (my husband and I both entered the Catholic Church in 2007). This is the chronicle of my journey.
EMBRACING MOTHERHOOD: Discovering holy in an ordinary yet extraordinary vocation. Author: Donna-Marie. I met Donna-Marie (through email) quite a few years ago, just when her journey as an author was beginning to take off. I believe her first book had been published, along with an impressive volume of articles. I’d contacted her after reading one online article she’d written that a friend had sent me. Her warmth and gentleness was so immediately evident. I soon learned that she’d not only met Blessed Mother Teresa but had exchanged letters with her for a decade. It’s obvious Donna-Marie has been profoundly influenced by this encounter; that it, in fact, changed the course of her life. Donna-Marie’s writing endeavors were encouraged by this great woman of our time, and she has since produced many subsequent books, all within a relatively short time period. Mainly, Donna-Marie writes about what she calls the sublime role of motherhood, and, as Mother Teresa also espoused, our challenge as mothers to reconsider our role, seeing our work not as mundane but holy and eternally significant. Last year, Donna-Marie was invited by Pope Benedict to visit the Vatican as part of a gathering commemorating the apostolic letter written by Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.”
FAR SIDE OF FIFTY: Author: Connie. Connie is a standout to me, in part because of the gentle way she introduced me to the world of Area Voices bloggers last September. She gave me advice, helped me with some startup glitches (in the wee hours), and because of this, I quickly grew to feel a connection to her. Then, in November, while out at a book signing here in Fargo, Connie surprised me by driving from her home in Minnesota to do a little shopping and, lucky for me, buy me a cup of coffee. It was a delightful way to make entry into this more local blogging community, and I continue to enjoy her posts, which often feature her dog, Chance, and/or her grandchildren, and husband (Far Guy). Aside from her writing, Connie also enjoys photography, and has a separate blog that features her photography work called Far Side of Fifty Photos. It’s a visual treat to peruse her beautiful photo creations. She also features “Wistful Wednesdays” each week, featuring old family photographs.
That’s plenty to absorb for now, but I’ll be back soon to introduce the rest of the slate.
Peace to you…