This weekend, Mabel's Labels is running a contest, and the prize is a trip to the BlogHer conference in Chicago on July 24-25, 2009- now, wouldn't THAT be fun???** The question that we are to answer is "What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?" Now...where do I even start???
I have been reading blogs since the fall of 2007, and blogging since May 11, 2007- just a few weeks after I found out I was expecting my son, little Z. I never realized that I would enjoy writing, but the platform of blogging has helped me to discover that it is a great way to articulate my feelings about the things that God is doing in my life, and to share with others the things that I am learning on my parenting journey.
Through my involvement in the blogging community, I have learned a lot about parenting. For example, I had never heard of babywearing before I came across some babywearing bloggers. Now I wear my 14-month-old son in his Patapum often, and my new ring sling should be arriving in the mail next week! (yay!) I also didn't know that not all Christian parents spanked their children every time they disobeyed- there are so many different viewpoints that I have had the opportunity to be exposed to! It's so encouraging to read posts from mothers across the country and around the world, whether those posts focus on cherishing each moment they have with their children, describing their difficult day, or discussing tips and sharing wisdom they've gleaned from their years of parenthood. It's such a blessing to be able to drink in all this wisdom and counsel from women who have been at this years longer than I have and who have felt the way I'm feeling and yet, somehow, survived. :)
I also see my involvement in the bloggy community as somewhat of an opportunity for ministry. When I get time to 'fool around on the computer' during my son's naps, I pray that I would use this time to be an encouragement to someone, whether I've met them in real life or not. Through my blogging, commenting on other's blogs, twittering, and facebooking, my goal is always to bring glory to God and to encourage others through each word that I type.
I do believe that I am a stronger, wiser person for the time that I have spent blogging and reading others' blogs. I believe that God has used other bloggers and the difficult times that they have gone through and so graciously shared about to change and grow me and to deepen my relationship with Him and my appreciation for the blessings that my husband and my son are. The blogging community is unique because, to a point, you are free to be as anonymous as you choose, and you can share feelings or ask questions that you wouldn't dare to ask out loud. It is unlike any other forum, and can have great benefits, as long as it is used wisely.
**(the deadline for this contest is Monday, February 9th, so if you want to participate, you'd better get your entries in!!!)