Happy Anniversary, Scattered Journal Pages + a Giveaway

Happy Anniversary, Scattered Journal Pages + a Giveaway.png

 

Wow.

 

I can’t believe it’s been two years since the inception of this blog; two long years, yet it feels like a blink to me.

 

Looking back on old posts today was nostalgic and slightly embarrassing as I read over the awkwardly-crafted words – but it reminded me of the adventure I’ve been on since 2015.

 

I’ve learned so much just by going for it. By living. By trying new things, like starting a blog when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

 

I’ve learned that people connect with honesty, vulnerability, and openness, instead of someone trying too hard to be funny.

 

I’ve learned how important it is to listen – not just talk.

Continue reading “Happy Anniversary, Scattered Journal Pages + a Giveaway”

4 Things I Learned During My First Year Blogging

4 Things I Learned During My First Year Blogging

To all of you who took my survey and celebrated my blogiversary with me, thank you! (If you hadn’t seen the extra post I put up on Wednesday, go read it here! It’s celebrating my 1-year anniversary of when I started blogging.) You all are so sweet and kind, and I appreciate all the feedback. If you haven’t taken the survey yet (I only got a few responses), please do go and take it. I know there are a lot of you who don’t comment, but know that you are a reader, and your input definitely counts. Here’s the link once more to the post.

 

Moving on.

 

I learned a lot in my first year of blogging, and I believe it has grown me as a person.

 

So, here are four things I learned in my first year of blogging.

  1. I’m not perfect, and it’s alright.

 

It’s alright because I’m still growing. You’re still growing. That is a very good thing. I made some blogging mistakes this year, just like I made life mistakes too. It’s okay. God is loving and gracious and forgiving, and, as I’ve learned, readers are gracious too.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.

 

I like comfort. You like comfort. We all like comfort. But unless we go outside our comfort zones, we won’t grow or mature or learn anything new. Unless we stretch our borders to something bigger than ourselves, we’ll stay at the same place.

 

Trying new things can be challenging, but so worth it. This past year, I started writing book reviews (something I previously loathed with all of my being), I started taking karate (something I would have never thought I enjoy!), I’m taking some challenging classes for school, I’m starting to edit now as opposed to waiting until I graduate college, I’ve made online friends who know me pretty much just as well as my in-real-life friends, and so much more.

 

These things can be scary, but they are so wonderful. If you’re just itching to start a blog but you’re scared, then go. Do it. It may not be easy, it may not be the best ever, but you’ll learn, and it will be worth it!

 

  1. Commitments can keep you on track.

 

I write twice a week, on Monday and Friday nights for the next mornings. At first, I couldn’t wait to start writing, but every now and then, I just don’t want to write. I’m tired. It’s late. I want to watch a movie and go to bed. But you know what? If I hadn’t committed to doing it twice a week, I probably wouldn’t have done it even once, because when I don’t have a commitment, I’m not motivated.

 

It might seem strange, I know, but it’s helped me to stay on track, and learn, and mature in my faith as well as in my writing. By giving myself a goal, and holding myself to it, I have stretched myself to work hard and improve, week by week.

 

  1. It’s not about me.

 

I love blogs, and I love blogging, but when I set out to start this blog, I didn’t want this to be all about me, and my problems, and my feelings, and my life, and my happiness, and my everything.

 

I sought to make this about Jesus, and His love. I don’t want to just rant about my feelings, I want to make Scattered Journal Pages about spiritual maturity. I want to grow, and lead others to the Cross. I want others to see His love through me. I want to bring glory to the One who gives me everlasting life.

 

This year has been amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even with its ups and downs. This year has brought me to the place I am now, and God has revealed overwhelmingly to me who He is.

 

Thank you all for reading my posts, for commenting, for supporting me, and for learning with me. I pray you all would experience the love of Jesus.

 

*aj

5 Lessons I Learned in 2015

5 Lessons I Learned in 2015

Hello, everyone! Happy New Year!

 

Wow, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back to blogging again. It’s only been two weeks, but man, I really missed it!

 

A quick shout-out to all my readers. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be writing. It fills me with such joy to have such amazing feedback day after day and week after week. Thank you for making 2015 – my first calendar year blogging – a huge success.

 

Currently, we’ve hit over 100 posts, over 1,000 comments, over 10,000 page views, and over 160 subscribers. That’s pretty fantastic, in my mind. Keep sharing my posts with your friends!

 

2015 was a very interesting year for me. My faith grew tremendously, and I say that if it wasn’t for this blog, I wouldn’t have grown as much as I have. Here are five lessons I learned in 2015, through the ups and downs.

 

Number One: Life Isn’t Always Easy or Predictable.

 

In my life, things tend to happen without my prior planning or consent. Things just happen, and I have learned to roll with it all. This past year, I’ve learned that though life isn’t predictable, and accidents really do happen, God is unchanging. He doesn’t change like shifting shadows, as it says in the book of James. That’s such a relief for me when everything around me is going crazy!

 

Number Two: God Helps Us Through Everything.

 

I experienced some quite challenging things this year, but looking back, I realize how blessed I am. Not blessed because everything was a breeze, but because God helped me through. Time and time again, God has shown me how faithful He is, even when I am not. Every trial in my life has helped me to put my trust in Him more than I had before. In that way, I am so blessed.

 

Number Three: God Loves to Give Us Good Things.

 

I’ve been blessed with getting to know some online Christian friends very well. I consider this such an amazing gift from God. Just because you haven’t met someone in person, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist! I’ve gotten to Skype, use Google Hangouts, and FaceTime with some absolutely wonderful people this year who have encouraged me in my life and faith. If you are one of these awesome girls, please know that you are so appreciated. Hugs all around.

 

Material and non-material things have a way of brightening up our lives, and God knows this. He loves to give us good gifts because He loves us so much.

 

Number Four: The Gospel is Incredible.

 

Growing up in church, I never saw the Gospel as more than something cool and “I’m glad I get to go to Heaven now.” This past year, in dissecting chunks of the Bible, I’ve learned not to take it for granted. I see it now as such a miracle – the miracle that it is – that Jesus chose to came to earth to save us, when we did not deserve any grace or mercy. We were rebellious and sinful, and He yet offers us forgiveness. Honestly, how can we take that for granted?

 

Number Five: Joy is Not Circumstantial.

 

Joy comes from knowing the love of Jesus, and not from circumstances. We all have things that go on in our daily lives that we can let crush us. Should we become downcast because of unfortunate circumstances? No way. Joy is more than an emotion. Joy is a choice to accept God’s amazing love for us and find peace in all circumstances. Despite whatever may go on, we can have joy. That is amazing.

 

I plan on posting a survey about Scattered Journal Pages soon. I’d like to hear your honest feedback on how I can make my blog better.

 

Now it’s your turn. What have you learned this year? I love reading comments, and whether you’ve been here for two minutes or two months, I can assure you that I read and respond to all comments you leave. I love hearing about your lives! Thanks for letting me share my life with you, and thanks for opening up your lives to me!

 

Happy New Year, everyone. God bless you all.

 

*aj

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