Seasons Change // Farewell?

Hello everyone!
Yes- I’m alive! cues confetti and bows

So I have a blogging update, but first, I’m going to give a quick life update!

Life Update:

I’m finishing up school for the year! I’ve been learning ASL for my high-school language, and I’ve been loving it. (so if you’d like someone to geek out with about ASL, I’m here 😉 )

I’m working a job now! 🙂

I’ve been touring colleges *mind blown*

Blogging update:

I’m taking a blogging break.
A few years ago, whenever a blog I followed announced that they’d be taking a break or were giving up blogging, I’d get upset.
But now I understand. Seasons of life change. And in my current season, blogging doesn’t fit. Sadly I don’t find that I have the ‘want to’ to blog this season. I have different priorities right now.
I’ve loved blogging, and I’ve loved connecting with wonderful people. But life has changed since October of 2019.
I plan to still be active on other people’s blogs, and I may even guest post for some friends. But that’s the best I can say.
So is this goodbye forever?
I don’t know.
But it’s goodbye for now.

Remember, you matter and you are loved.

Announcing Diamonds 2022 Summer Event Theme & Speakers!

Has chronic illness stolen your dreams? Have you ever wondered what your purpose is on this earth as you live with chronic illness?    Has chronic illness forced you to let go of some of your dreams? Are you finding it difficult to demonstrate resilience and pursue different dreams?    Do you struggle to maintain…

Announcing Diamonds 2022 Summer Event Theme & Speakers! — Romans 5:3-5

How To Serve God When You’re Chronically Ill (Free Conference Session!) — Romans 5:3-5

Esther Smith wrote a book titled, “But God, Wouldn’t I Be More Useful To You If I Were Healthy?” and even though I have yet to read it, even the title resonated on a deep level. One of the hardest things about having a chronic illness was feeling like I was alone. But another close one was feeling . . . . purposeless. Maybe you relate.

Continue reading here

How To Serve God When You’re Chronically Ill (Free Conference Session!) — Romans 5:3-5

Blogging Tips // Brooklyn

Thank you for being a guest poster in the “Blogging Tips” series, Brooklyn!

#1 Jot down any and all ideas

When I first began blogging, I made a list of the main topics I wanted to cover. A few of mine were: traveling, book reviews, my thoughts, and writing. Then I went through each topic and jotted down any ideas I had for posts. Even if some of them seemed too small for an actual post, I still wrote them down. And don’t be afraid to even dive a bit deeper, and pick out certain things from your ideas! For example: If I wrote down “How to write a book in 30 days”, I could dig deeper and even write things like “Best writing tools”, “How to outline a novel”, and “How to be a productive writer,” etc.This became a huge help because now I always have lists of ideas I can choose from. Even now, two years into being a blogger, new ideas are constantely coming to me. Two big ways I find post ideas are: 1). Following other bloggers you writing down what I enjoy reading that they post. 2). Going to YouTube, and searching for some topics realted to what I want to write about. You’ll be amazed at how many ideas spark!

#2 Create an outline

If anyone looked at my process for writing a book, they’d know very well I am a huge outliner. I don’t start writing a book until I have every chapter outlined and as much research done as possible. Even with just everyday things, I like to create an “outline” for what I want my day to look like/what I want to get done. And when this comes to blogging, I like to do the same thing. Whenever I have an idea for a blog post, I try to outline it right then and there, even if all I have is a sticky note nearby. I write down main ideas, themes, pictures, Bible verses, quotes and past experiences. I do this so that when it comes time to publish my post, I already have a starting point. It takes way less time and thought and it keeps me motivated. Outlines are also helpful for more then writing posts faster. It also helps us stay consistant on posting, and motivated to do so. And you don’t have to post once a week to be consistant. As long as you’re consistant in what works for you, it keeps your readers coming back and knowing you haven’t left. 😉

#3 Connect with other bloggers

When I started my blog, I already had started following other blogs. I was already commenting and “gathering information” on what I needed to do to start my own blog. I did this so that when the time came to create and publish my blog to the world, I already had those connections. A lot of people think that all you have to do is create a post, hit publish, and then wait for those comments and followers. But nothing will happen if you’re not putting in that effort to draw those first people to your site. Comment on other people’s blogs, leave your blog address, and create friendships. Your blog might start off small at first with not much of an audience, but don’t give up! Never give up. It takes lots of hard work and time to turn that dream into reality, but with time it gets easier. And before you know it, there’ll will be several people reading and commenting on your posts! Don’t give up! Make those connections so you won’t give up!

#4 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It can be hard for beginner bloggers to ask for help; one of the main reasons being that they don’t wanna be a bother. Trust me, I was there once! But you have to keep in mind that every blogger had their first day once. Every blogger had that first thought once of, “hey, I should start a blog.” We all needed help at some point. We all still do need the help of others every once and awhile. So next time you have a question or can’t figure out why that one post wont publish, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Find bloggers that are willing to extend a hand. And someday, when a new blogger reaches out to you, cheer them on in their journey and give ’em a hand!

#5 Hemingway Editor

There’s a TON of different blogging tools I could reccomend, but this is one I probably use the most. Hemingway Editor is a site that lets you edit pieces of your work for free. I can paste my post on their site before I publish it and fix any gramatical errors, hard to read sentences, and more!

BIO

Blogging Tips // Tara

Hi there! My name is Tara, I blog over at Tower in the Plains, and I’m so honored to be guest posting on SawyerMarie’s blog today!

I remember when I started blogging 11 years ago how overwhelming it all was. I didn’t post often because I had no idea what to write about or even post for that matter! So I didn’t post much and even had a few years go by where I didn’t post anything at all.

I wish I had found a blogger who did what SawyerMarie is doing with this series, posting tips on blogging and things to help other new bloggers know what to do.

I’m sure there probably was at least one, but I never found it.

I really hope that all of our tips are helpful to you and that you are able to take them and learn and grow as a blogger! So, without further ado, here are mine.

#1 Be yourself and post what interests YOU

This one is perhaps the most important. If you are not posting things that you are interested in, you will quickly get bored or bounce around from topic to topic and end up with a confused or disinterested audience.

Post things that you are passionate about, about things that interest you, and let this show through to your readers.

They’ll pick up on your enthusiasm and want to engage with you on these topics.

Also, when you are not being yourself, it shows. There’s an underlying current that readers can pick up on that can leave them feeling that your posts are lacking something, so make sure you are the genuine, honest-to-goodness you that will leave your readers wanting to know you better!

#2 Have a posting plan and schedule posts as much as possible

Ok, I can’t stress this enough, and I’m talking to myself here too because this is something that I have yet to fully stick to. Use a calendar, have a tentative plan at the least of what you want to post, and write as much ahead of time as you can.

You never know when life will interrupt your writing schedule or when things may come up and prevent you from posting.

Blog readers appreciate consistency and knowing what they’re signing up for, so if you can plan ahead, at least one post a week on a regular basis, you’ll be off to a good start!

*Note from SawyerMarie* Yes, Tara! You never know when life is going to happen, scheduling posts in advance is a *huge* help!

#3 Engage in the blogging community

Are you sitting there wondering why no one ever visits your blog? Wishing you had more followers but don’t know how to get them?

Engage in the community!

Go to other’s blogs that you like and follow and comment on them. Have conversations. Make friends. Other followers will see your interactions and may want to know you better, and thus follow your blog!

#4 Include pictures!

Readers love to “see” what they’re reading about. It makes them feel more plugged in to what’s being talked about. So include pictures whenever you are able.

With that said, make sure you don’t overdo it with the pictures and they’re gigantic and all over the place.

Make your pictures have purpose and engage the interest of the reader, but don’t make them have to scroll a mile and a half to get to the end of your post. 😉

#5 Post Regularly

Now, don’t let this one scare you. I’m not suggesting that you post every day, or even every other day. So long as you have a schedule that works for you and you can work with without overreaching yourself. You can post once a week or once every other week, just as long as you’re consistent so that your audience knows what to expect from you and your blog.

Now, that’s not to say you can’t take a hiatus from time to time, I’ve done that several times this year and a couple of those times went unannounced simply because of life and its randomness. (Which is why I once again suggest you write and schedule ahead when you can. 😜)

Well, I think that about covers it for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed my contribution to this series and will check out the others’ posts as well! Thanks again to SawyerMarie for inviting me. (She really is the best and sweetest you guys!!)

-Tara Savanna

Tara Savanna has been a lover of words and all things art-related since childhood. Now in her mid-30s and unmarried, while being a homemaker in her parent’s house, she strives to serve God in any way she can. This has often led her down new paths she would not have considered otherwise. When she’s not writing, crafting, drawing, or playing instruments, she can be found curled up with a book and her little dog, Cloe. Reach out to her on her blog or Instagram!

Blogging Tips // Jen Rose

Hello! I’m Jen Rose from Living Outside the Lines and SawyerMarie was so sweet to ask me to share with y’all some blogging tips I’ve learned. After over 3 years of blogging (most of that was on a private blog 😉 ) I’ve learned quite a bit that I hope can help other bloggers too.

#1 Don’t overdo it

I know, if you’ve just started a blog you are so excited and raring to post all your article ideas. You might have goals to post every day or every other day. Maybe you’re excited to finally be able to sign up for all those fun blog tours and cover reveals. And oh, hey! You find out stealing tags is a thing so you find all the ones you want to do and add that to your already full posting schedule.

Are you getting tired yet? I am just reading all of that! XD Something I learned the hard way is, even though all of those are great and wonderful in and of themselves, you’re going to burn yourself out if you try to do them all at once.

You sign up for one blog tour and it doesn’t seem that difficult to manage so you sign up for a cover reveal happening about the same time, then you realize your blogger bestie just tagged you so you have to do that stat, and before you realize it one of your posts for the blog tour (because how could you NOT sign up for more than one post?) is due the next morning and you haven’t even written it yet. O.o

Moral of the story is, even though it’s fun and you want to help, don’t over commit. Find the schedule that works for you and doesn’t cause you to burn out. A quote I read says, Say “no” to the good things, so you can say “yes” to the truly great things.

#2 Try To Post Regularly

This tip correlates to finding that schedule I just mentioned. If you post only once or twice in a four month span and then spew out a dozen posts in one month, odds are your readers won’t like that or will feel overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of their inbox.

Maybe you thrive off of posting every day, or maybe you can only handle posting once a week, or you prefer posting every other week, the point is to pick a posting schedule that works for you and try to stick as closely to it as possible, necessary hiatuses and vacations notwithstanding.

Your readers will love knowing you post on a specific day and they can eagerly watch their inbox for when your post arrives. And if visitors to your blog see that you post regularly they might be more inclined to stick around and follow you.

#3 Don’t Be Afraid To Be Real

Readers LOVE authenticity. Most of my popular posts are when I’ve been open and vulnerable or shared about my life. Now, I’m not saying you have to post every tiny detail, or things you’re not comfortable sharing, but don’t be afraid to show the real you.

I for one, am tired of only seeing people’s “Instagram worthy” lives. I don’t live in a state of “IG worthiness” and it’s hard to connect and relate to those who only share that side of themselves. That’s why I try to be brave and “show” my messier side. Maybe I have a few scars, and goodness, my curls are probably going wild right now, but being “imperfect” makes you approachable.

None of us are perfect anyway. 😉 Only One Person was truly perfect and He loves us in our imperfections.

#4 Post What You Love

This tip also ties into being real, if you aren’t posting about things you love or are interested in, readers can pick up on your “false air” towards your subject.

For example, if you hate writing reviews but you know joining blog tours helps get more readers to your site who might not have found you otherwise, or that book review blogs might seem like they draw a bigger audience, so you do them anyway, it’s going to show that you don’t really like what you’re doing.

Maybe you’re scared to post about what you love because you’ve yet to find anyone else who likes it to. Well, maybe they’re scared to talk about it because no one else seems interested but then they find your post and bam, instant click and squealing over what you both love.

No matter what it is, odds are there’s someone else out there who enjoys reading about what you love to post about. A niched group is often more loyal and tight-knit than a broad group over a variety of subjects. That’s not to say you can’t blog about a wide variety if you have multiple interests. If you’re posting what you love, readers are going to see that love and feel like they’re connecting with the real you and you will be what makes them come back because they love reading about what you love posting about.

#5 Write To The Glory Of God

I’ve saved the best tip for last. God loves you so much and He wants to be included in every aspect of our lives, even our blogs! Trust me, I know what blogging looks like with God included and without. With God is so much easier and better than without Him.

When I try to write a post without Him, I can get one written, but when I write one and ask Him to help me it turns out better than I could have done on my own.

Sometimes when I’m really struggling getting my thoughts together I’ll realize I haven’t invited Him to write with me. When I do invite Him, it’s not a quick, “magic” fix to my struggles, sometimes I get inspired a few minutes later and sometimes I might have to sleep on it before things clear up, but in the end writing with God is so, so much better.

I hope these tips can help you on your blogging journey! Thank you so much, SM for having me on your blog!

Comment below with your favorite tips or anything you’ve learned from blogging! 😀

Jenavieve Rose is a Christian, writer, and a dreamer. She loves being with her family, using her talents for God, and creating stories about finding hope amidst darkness. Her desire is to glorify God through her words. She spends most of her time with her nose stuck in a book, but if not there, you can find her crafting, making cookies, or writing the baker’s dozen of plot-bunnies all clamoring for her attention.
You can find her on her blog, Instagram, Goodreads, & Pinterest.

Blogging Tips Series // Intro post with Katja

Hello wonderful people! I hope you’re well- I (And 4 other amazing bloggers!) have a special treat for you in store! We have a “Blogging Tips Series” where we share our top tips for blogging. Stick around and come check back next Tuesday for the first post, written by Jenavieve Rose! Without further ado, here is some bio about all the bloggers and an explanation to the series written by Katja Labonté of Little Blossoms for Jesus

Hi friends! Welcome to the Blogging Tips Blog Series!

We’ve gotten together a couple of experienced bloggers to share their best and favourite blogging tips with you.

~ Jenavieve Rose of Living Outside the Lines!

-Jenavieve Rose

“I am a 20-something Christian writer. I love exploring the vast realm of speculative fiction and sometimes dabble in other genres, though my historical fiction has a tendency to turn into some form of fantasy. I’m a homeschool graduate who lives in the South. I have been blessed to remain living with my parents, which allows me to pursue a future in writing and publishing my stories, while keeping up with my share of the chores. 😉 My love of writing sprang from a lifetime of using my imagination. Before I could really talk, I was already playing out stories. Stories have always been as vital to me as breathing. I was a storyteller long before I was a writer. I am also an avid reader, which contributed to my being a writer. My happy place is being surrounded by books, reading books, looking at books, basically anything bookish and I’m happy! (Don’t get me started on Fandoms though, unless you want a long convo about things like Phineas and Ferb, Kingdom Hearts, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Marvel, LoTR, etc. 😉) My greatest love, however, is Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. It’s through Him that I live outside the lines of what the world says I should be while finding the right life and living it for Him and His glory.”

~ Tara of Tower In The Plains

-Tara Savanna

“Tara Savanna has been a lover of words and all things art-related since childhood. Now in her mid-30s and unmarried, while living her dream of homemaking in her parent’s house, she strives to serve God in any way she can. This has often led her down new paths she would not have considered otherwise. She loves learning new things—considering herself to be a sponge—be it a craft, hobby, foreign language, or researching new ideas. You can often find her with several tabs open in her browser while she gathers interesting facts on any given topic, sometimes leading her down rabbit trails to things not on her list. When she’s not writing, crafting, drawing, or playing a musical instrument, she can be found curled up with a good book and her adorable little dog, Cloe. She loves to help out other writers and authors in her spare time!”

~ Brooklyn of Five Shekels!

-Brooklyn

“My name is Brooklyn, I am a freshman in high school, and the oldest of four amazing siblings and two loving and encouraging parents. I live on a farm in the Pacific Northwest, but love to travel the world, where learning about languages and culture as well as the history of the places I travel is a passion of mine. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and I am beyond blessed to be His child. My Parents have homeschooled my siblings and I from the beginning, and I absolutely love it! I have a loving, caring, and fun teacher (Mom), and just as an amazing principal (Dad)! I am an extrovert, bibliophile (lover of books), I enjoy playing basketball and softball and greatly enjoy the outdoors! I love to write, draw the characters I write about and daydream about great book ideas 😉 When it doesn’t come to writing, I like to make and design things, join in on my sibling’s wild adventures, hang out with friends, or sometimes just sit down and read a good book with a warm (or cold) cup of tea. My dream is to someday become a published author while also traveling the world and spreading the Good News! Since our move in 2020, we’ve acquired quite a lot of animals, and realized I have to update this page almost weekly 😆 We’ve got our puppy, Jethro, the three-year-old family cat, Boaz, a mama Nigerian goat Opal and her two bucks, Ares and Atlas, Primrose (whose the same breed of goat and actually is not ours but a friends we have for now), 7 chickens, 6 chicks, a barn cat, Jasper (which found our family and hangs around a lot), Survivor, our microscopic baby fish, 2 ducklings, and my mini pig named Tilley and her 9 piglets! (Although I am only keeping one of the piglets and the others are now old enough where they are slowly going to their new homes 😉) *catches breath and realizes we acquired over 30 animals in 6 months* 👀  My family loves being outdoors, exploring all of God’s Creation and discovering His beauty in it all. “

~ SawyerMarie of SundropGirls, whom you all know and love!

-SawyerMarie

“SawyerMarie is a word-loving teenager, letter writer, future published author, big sister, reading nerd, history nerd, reader, INFJ personality, and a daughter of The King. Connect with her at her website to find Hope & Light through Jesus at: SundropGirls

~ And finally, yours truly, Katja Labonté of Little Blossoms for Jesus

Katja Labonté

Hello! My name is Katja (pronounced Kot-tsya said super fast). I have yet to meet an anglophone who can correctly pronounce my name. 😉 I am a Canadian bibliophile, writer, and child of God. I have many favourite things (including bullet point lists, so you guys will be seeing those a lot) and I love to talk about the things I love. I am a 20-year-old homeschool graduate with a copyediting certificate about to start a freelance business, an Independent Baptist preacher’s daughter, and the oldest of nine children. I live in Québec and am bilingual French & English (an all-important skill when it comes to reading cereal boxes and product descriptions. Seriously, do you have any idea how much those two little squares of writing differ?) Being bilingual has its challenges, but I am embracing my weird French-English language as part of my heritage from both cultures. (The same goes for my mixture of ASL and LSQ xD). I am a real-deal history nerd with strong British attachments and old-fashioned leanings. I’m also a complete and absolute bibliophage and librocubicularist. I also love talking, if you haven’t guessed. ;P And most of all, I love people. And above all, my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. ❤

Are you guys as excited for this as we are?? Stay tuned for the next couple of blog posts… 😉

Sunday Songs With Sarah // Eyes On You

Perhaps it was the memorable piano tune that I wanted to hear again, or perhaps it was because multiple people told me just how much they loved the song and I wanted to finally form an opinion. Either way, I sat down one day to listen to it. Truly listen to it. Not just have it in the background.

Few songs hit me as deep as this one did. 

Keeping our eyes on Jesus is a reminder we need (or at least I do!) on a daily, if not moment-by-moment, basis. It’s so easy to focus on the millions of things that cloud our days when we should be looking to Jesus. 

I could go on writing for a long time about everything this song says, but I think if you listen to it and think about the words, you will find it yourself. Since that day, I have heard “Eyes on You” more times than I can count, and it touches me every time. “I keep my eyes on you, holding onto your hand, God with you I will stand,…”

Sarah Susanna Rhomberg is a young writer, who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children – always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. Connect with her through her email list here.

Saturday Songs With Sarah // Merry Christmas! // Joy Unto the World

Merry Christmas, my wonderful readers! I hope and pray that you have a wonderful day celebrating Jesus’s birth. ❤ Joy unto the world! ❤

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been listening to this song since October. Or was it September? That alone should say a lot. “Joy Unto the World” is one of my favourite-ever Christmas songs.

There are many aspects of Christmas we could talk about. One of these is joy. Joy is an essential part of Christmas. This song is very uplifting and reminds me of this important message: Jesus’ birth means joy unto the world.

 “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15, ESV

Sarah Susanna Rhomberg is a young writer, who lives in Europe and is fluent in both English and German. When not writing, you will often find her reading or working on the organization of a camp for children – always with a mug of herbal tea at hand. Sarah wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him. Connect with her through her email list here.