Favorite Blogs Friday!

Hey ladies!  I'm doing something different over here today.  I decided to do something fun.  It's not original I must admit. I got the idea from Courtney over at one of my new found favorite blogs.  I love Courtney's personality and love her blog.  Not only do I love her blog, but I also love what she's doing over at Good Morning Girls.

I'm going to let my Saturday's post be about one of my devotions from the Good Morning Girls summer reading plan.

I must tell you that I am shockingly surprise at the effect that certain women and their blogs are having on me.  I never, until about two year ago, thought of blogging as a ministry.  I knew blogging was a platform that companies used to attract customers, and artistic folks used to display their talents, but never had I considered blogging when it came to spreading the Good News.  God isn't behind is He?  He's using social media to get His Word out.

Y'all, the women who operate the blogs mentioned in this post and many other bloggers are using blogging as a means to reach, encourage, teach, and speak to the lost and to God's flock.

Quite frankly, I— in particular never in the wildest of my dreams considered God using me in this manner.  I've always longed to do missionary work, but thought I would have to leave home ... even my country to do it.  That's not entirely true now in the 21st Century.  How cool is it that we bloggers have the opportunity to be world-wide missionaries... influence others for God, but never have to leave home.

Influencing others with God's Word is exactly what the women whose blogs I'm featuring in this post are doing.  It is so refreshing to have a community of predominately like-minded women to fellowship with.  I can remember when I first began homeschooling 18 years ago, and continued having babies after I got to three, I was ostracized and misunderstood—was even seen as "weird."

Reading the daily stories of these beautiful souls take me back often.  I'm very grateful that God has led me to such gems.

Each time I read Courtney and Ann's blog {I will talk about Ann Voskamp's blog last} I'm motivated more and more to dive into the Word myself. I'm not sure exactly why that is, but it seems that every time I read something of theirs I end up falling on my knees thanking God for them, praying for them, praying for myself and reading my Bible.

I believe more than anything with all of these women the Spirit of God that is in me resonates with His Spirit in them and I see their genuine authenticity.  Flawed, yet Godly.

Another favorite of mine is my girl over at Like A Warm Cup of Coffee, the pretty SM.  Sarah Mae challenges me to continue going back to my original goal of being a stay-at-home mother, and in particular  my goal as I train my daughters.

In Sarah Mae, I also see many gifts and abilities.  She has a keen knack for bringing people together—networking and she does it in a fun way.  She uses her gifts and talents to influence women in the business realm too.  She reminds me of a free spirit, more of an entrepreneurial spirit.  Sarah is another authentic one.  She openly shares about being so involved in the writing process of her ebook until she didn't shower for a few days {that cracks me up.  How funny and authentic is that?}.  Sarah has now authored two ebooks.  She's not only authentic, but she's also brave.  Love SM!

Next favorite is my Southern Belle, Amy Bayliss.  I've followed personal moments of this girl.  The first time I saw a vblog was Amy when she was very pregnant.  She's a brave soul too and was so much fun to watch.  Sadly, I've even quietly experienced grief along side of Amy and her family, as her oldest two sons lost their father.  She's buying a home{seems like they may have moved in.  I'll have to check}, and she's holding cooking classes over there on her blog.  Thus far the only recipe of hers that I've used is the Jello-o cool cup.  My children and I loved them!  My husband is thinking about doing the steaks this weekend.  To see the steak recipe visit her blog.

Melanie over at Only A Breath blog is very feminine and pretty.  I took a liking to her blog right away. She's a multi-tasker too.  She works outside the home and blogs!

*Drum roll*  The saying is, "We saved the best for last"  

The mother of all blogs for me, right now, is A Holy Experience written by the very talented and poetic Ann Voskamp.  When I first read Ann's blog I loved it.  Then I didn't.  Then I did.  And now ... I'm just obsessed over it.  I still can't fathom how God has gifted her with His Words and how He gives her rhyme, rhythm and meaning behind the stringing together.  I actually become memorized and get lost in her writing.

Through her blog and her new book, Ann has impressed upon my heart the importance of giving God thanks and keeping a gratitude journal in order to see the small gifts that often slide by or get taken for granted. To say "yes" to what a good God's hands have to offer.  She teaches her readers how to live fully right where they are. Right now.  Today.  I've learned that Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, always proceeds the miracle, to view my life and all that happens in it as coming from a God of love.  It is from that perspective that I am now able to find joy in the smallest and ugly things that befall me in life.

I've heard family, friends and media say, "be careful with Facebook, Twitter and online in general."  It is true, online can be dangerous.  However, in these blogs and many others that I will share with you in the coming weeks, God has ordained these writing ministries.  The women who faithfully write their blogs are   serving God in a new and different way with their talents and gifts.

Ladies I would like to thank each and everyone of you for giving of yourself the way you have.  Some of you get up early and go to bed late so we can read what God lays on your heart .  Your service is not in vain.  Each of you through your crafted words and sharing have given me the desire in one way or another to keep on keeping on spiritually, in my marriage, as a mother and with home schooling.

You may not know on this side of heaven, just yet, how you have benefited others for God's kingdom by what you do, but one day ... when we all get to heaven, you all will have the opportunity to see how you've touched  and made a difference in lives of individuals around the world!

Thank you so kindly for giving your service to Him.

"Eucharist [thanksgiving] is the state of the perfect man.  Eucharist is the life of paradise.  Eucharist is the only full and real response of man to God's creation, redemption and gift of heaven." Alexander Schmemann {taken from One thousand gifts}

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