15th Anniversary of Blogging and Why I’m Still Here…

I’m trying so hard not to talk about how fast time flies. I find myself always saying, “I can’t believe it! It seems just like yesterday!” Nope, I’m not going to say it. Nope, I won’t say, “15 years!!! Seems like just yesterday when I nervously wrote my first post on my blog!” “Where has the time gone!”

Whew, I’m so glad I’m not saying that anymore! ūüėČ

We can take a look back though and see what all has transpired over 15 years and then talk about what is coming up on the horizon.

The year was 2007, I was 48 and I was at a writer’s conference in Nashville. One of the workshops I was in mentioned how important it was to have an online presence such as a blog or website. I studied all the various details on what to do to get started blogging. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was going to write about or who would care what I wrote about.

If you have been following my blog, you know pretty much everything I’ve been up to. What I love, what I do, what I think…..I guess you could say, I’m an open book! One of the first lessons I learned in writing is, “write what you know!” There you go….I definitely write what I know. It’s easy when you love life and you love everything. If I think I can help someone in any area, I will do my best in sharing what I learned through the same or similar situation. Because trust me, in my 63 years, I’ve seen and heard it all… I think. At least I hope I have.

The question could next be, “Beverly, why do you want to write and share your life on your blog?” That’s a good question. I feel like I’m not here on this earth to just exist and live for myself. The Lord has blessed me so much and I’ve learned so many lessons and I have this calling that I’m also here to help others. I’ve done my best in ministry and volunteering etc. But, in writing about my life and my thoughts ,I always think there just may be someone out there who needs to hear what I’m sharing. I so hope I give hope to someone not to give up. I hope I can bring joy somehow to someones life who may have lost their joy, or even just a little smile for the day. I would love to think that I challenged someone to be a better, more kind and thoughtful person for the day. I would also hope to inspire someone to love their home and their family and most of all, to come to know Jesus and all of His grace and mercy like I do. I guess that is why I feel called to write and share.

Another question may be, “Beverly, what is the best and the worst of your blogging experience?” (I feel like I’m interviewing myself…oh wait, I am.) I’ll go with the least favorite part of blogging first. Probably the worst part is making time. I’m a procrastinator. I’ll have good intentions for the day and a squirrel runs by and off I go and a week later I remember, “oh, yea, I was going to write about….ooooppppsss, I forgot!” Another hard part is keeping up with social media in order to attract readers. I would like to think that I had 10,000 subscribers and they all leave comments after every post telling how their life is now changed by something I wrote. Ummmm….that’s never going to happen. It just doesn’t work that way on this end. Oh, when I get a notice that someone that I know and love unsubscribed from my blog…now that’s a killer. I have to remind myself that I don’t know what’s going on in anyones life and I can’t judge anything or feel like I did something wrong. I gave my blog to the Lord the first day I began and I still do. I pray before each post and I ask for wisdom and guidance. God is in charge of who does and who doesn’t read what I have to say and the outcome.

The best part of blogging is being able to share what’s on my heart. I am a quiet and reserved person…..I have lot’s of stuff going on in my head and it feels like it’s going to explode sometimes. I feel most comfortable writing and not talking. Discernment and exhortation are my main gifts according to a spiritual gifts test years ago. It’s hard to exhort when you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. I’m laughing as I write that, by the way. I have a lot of people in my life who love to talk and share and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise anyway. So, here I am writing away all those thoughts. I also love the people I’ve met. I have some dear friends that I’ve met through blogging and at blog conferences. I love designing a blog that looks like me…that represents who I am. It’s like a home that you invite someone in to visit and have a glass of iced tea while you visit. One of my favorite parts is when I get an email or a comment on my blog from someone that says they were encouraged by what I wrote and could relate to a certain situation as they went through the same thing. My main love language is, affirmation. Affirming words make me want to keep on going.

Well there you go; my thoughts on 15 years of blogging! Thank you for making 15 years of blogging worth it!

But seriously, think about it! 15 years! I was 48, 15 years ago! I loved being 48. 15 years doesn’t really sound that long ago. So much has happened and gone on in 15 years. I’m now 63. I want to love being 63, too! In 15 years, I’ll be 78……….oh, my goodness! I think I’ll stop right there. Will I be blogging at 78? I’m laughing at that one, too! Only the Lord knows…..we will see!

For now, let’s live one day at a time and make each and every day the best we possibly can. What can you do today that will make a difference in someones life? I have a feeling you know exactly what to do…….go do it!

Happy 2022!

I’m excited about the new year, aren’t you? The last couple of years have been pretty crazy for sure. I bet we could share some very interesting stories over a glass of iced vanilla tea! Well, since it’s winter, maybe a cup of hot cocoa! If you live in west Texas, it can be 23 degrees one day and 78 degrees the next, so I have both on hand at all times.

I’m excited about getting back to my blogging on a regular basis. I have some fun things up my sleeve to write about. Well, it’s fun for me, anyway. My specialty is procrastination, so you can imagine with all the strange things going on, it was easy for me to say, “tomorrow, I’ll write!” Speaking of, that is one of my things I’m going to work hard on this year…..my procrastination. It’s really not that bad, but….it’s bad enough where I think, “wasn’t it just Thanksgiving yesterday, I haven’t even made the fall cookies I had the recipe for pulled out of my recipe book!”

I’ve been blogging for a long time and I did a little refresher on my site. I’m having to learn a new system and I’m not tech savvy at all, but, I’m learning….again! I’m having to go back and make my categories and I’m trying to put them where it will be easy to find a certain topic. Oh me…..I love to write about EVERYTHING…so my topics are through the roof. I’m still working on it all…so be patient with me.

My dream for my blog has always been that it would be like sitting down with a good magazine that is filled with all types of things to inspire, encourage and maybe think about something that you haven’t thought of before. I love beautiful pictures and I’m learning on that one, too. When I compare my pictures from when I began my blog many years ago, I get tickled. Hopefully, they will still get better as time goes on.

I’m not in the money making business, so you won’t find pop up ads all over the place. I read some very good blogs and it’s difficult sometimes with all the pop ups…so, that is a no no for me. I am trying to build my subscriber list, but, I don’t want a pop up saying “SUBSCRIBE!!!” I’ve just left that up to whatever happens, happens. I’m taking my annual social media break from FB so I’m not able to share my writing through that. For now, I’m still on IG….you never know, I may take a break from that one soon as well.

In our crazy world it is easy to say, “Lord, come quickly, this place is a mess!” I then remember, that we are to continue to live life to the fullest and be a light in any way we can….. not hibernate and shut down and wait for His return. We want to be busy when we hear that trumpet, don’t you think? Always, looking for His return all the while living a beautiful life!

I hope this year you will find much inspiration and food for thought as we make it in this world as a light and living life to the fullest just as He wants us to. We have much to do, much to share and much to dream about. Are you ready?

I am, we can do this!

I have one question before I close…

Do you like to leave comments on blogs or would you rather email your comment if you have one?

I lied….I have one more question….

Do you subscribe to blogs or do you just go to them when you see a link somewhere….or maybe you just remember where to go to read the latest on your favorite blogs?

*you can email or leave a public comment for your answers if you wish….it will help me make a couple of decisions on that area of my blog updates.

That’s all I have for today. May you have the best year ever and that great and wonderful things are in store for you and your family.

Blessings!

Blog Talk

I’ve been thinking about my blog lately. I’ve had a few ideas on some changes. I even thought about discontinuing my blog writing. After taking a break from blogging over the summer, I realized that I miss writing. I’ve been blogging for over 10 years now and it’s part of who I am. That sounds strange doesn’t it?

Why did you start a blog, Beverly?

I created a blog after attending a writer’s conference and I was encouraged to create an online presence. As I’ve shared before, publishers don’t want to see your work until they see how many followers you have. As I began blogging, I loved it. It was filling a part of me that loved writing. Shortly after I began my blog, I got involved in women’s ministry at my church. I loved writing to encourage women in their walk with Christ. As I wrote for others, I was really encouraging myself! Does that make sense? I also loved the people that I met through blogging. I’ve met like minded people who had the same goals as I did. I also love when I get a comment that is encouraging and motivating.

How long do you plan to keep blogging?

Good question! I have no idea! I’m guessing when I feel like the Lord wants me to stop, He will let me know. I do know that in my mind, I have set some goals and statistics that I hope to see by a certain time and if reach those, that will be what keeps me going. If not, I will take it as my time to discontinue my blog writing. I pray about everything and that is what I expressed to the Lord.

What is your purpose for your blog?

Well, the name of my blog is His Heart, My Desire. Which means, the desire of my heart is to have a heart like His. So, as I write on the topics that I choose to write about, I only hope to inspire others to strive to have a heart like Christ. All the while living life to the fullest!

If I get to the place that my writing does not inspire or encourage, I will stop. The main way that I can tell if I am doing that is by the response I get from my readers. I love the comments left on my blog and the emails that I receive commenting on something that they read that triggered something or was an encouragement in their lives.

What exactly do you write about?

Now, that’s a tough one. I LOVE everything, so I have a huge long list of things that I love to write about. I’ve been taught that you write what you know. I’ve been in some unique places and have had some crazy experiences. Sometimes I think I’m not normal because the things I’ve been through aren’t your basic normal things.

Here is a short list of some of my favorite topics:

Home and Family, Decorating, Fashion, Bible Study, Pastors Wife, Women’s Ministry, Holiday’s, Writing, Testimonial, Genealogy, Blogging, Life Purpose, Grandchildren, Homeschooling, Empty Nest, Travel, Photography and the list goes on and on and on.

Now for my latest ideas for my blog. I would love for you to subscribe to my blog and that way you never miss a post. Not to mention in how great it would sound to a publisher that I have a million subscribers. A million? Anyway, if you choose not to, that is perfectly fine. I know how it is to not want clutter in your inbox. But, if you do….thank you!

I have decided to change my settings to where you will only receive one email a week that will have all the links to the blog posts for that week. Instead of getting an email each time I post you will just get one, which hopefully will be in newsletter style. Lately, I panic if I write too much, I think, “oh, I’d hate for someone to say…there she is again, cluttering up my inbox!” So at the end of this week, I will put together a newsletter that will have the links to each blog post for the week. I hope that makes sense. I sure hope I can do it. My computer skills are lacking. It’s a miracle that I can blog.

Now…I have a question for you….

What subjects inspire or encourages you the most? Is there something you would like to read or see on my blog? Feel free to email me at beverly@beverlydillow.com I would love to hear you thoughts and ideas.

One last thing….I do not blog to make money. So you will not see pop ups or ads. If I do have a link to something, it is because I am sharing something that I use or love. There have been a few times that I use an affiliate link of something that I recommend, such as an Amazon product or through another company I purchase from. IF…I make any money from those, I use that to donate to a couple of human trafficking organizations that I support.

There you go, my thoughts on my blogging world!

An Over 50 Girl and Social Media

Social Media! Is it just me or does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with it?

Where It All Began

It all started in 2004. I went to my first writer’s conference. If you haven’t been to one, trust me when I say this….. your brain will explode! I just wanted to write a book and BAM! So much information, I didn’t even know where to start! Business cards, followers, writing, more conferences, books to read on writing, books to read in your genre and other genres to learn writing styles, online courses, blogging, facebook page, instagram, on and on and on. The Facebook and Instagram came later as those platforms became more popular. You come home from the conference with a bag full of notes and worksheets and new books that you bought at the book table. I think I put everything aside and didn’t touch them for a couple of weeks.

I had always homeschooled our two children while they were growing up and our son had just graduated from high school and that left me without a “job.” I figured writing that book that I had dreamed of even before I was married all those years ago was about to happen. I took an online writing class.

I then started a full-blown women’s ministry at our church from the ground up and oh, what fun that was. I loved every minute of it and that kept me busy for the next 9 years.

In between women’s ministry and family life, I would work on writing, but, I kept pushing it back further and further. Social media became my writing platform. I had a blog for women’s ministry and then my personal blog. Facebook became a huge platform as well. Then Pinterest and Instagram came along. I tried Twitter and didn’t even have time for that one.

Do you see where I’m heading?

I have come to the conclusion that FOR ME……social media is a time taker upper! Is that a correct phrase?

Remember when I said social media was a love/hate relationship?

Here is what I love about social media:

It’s quick and easy to get answers; faster than texting or calling sometimes.

You can see pictures of friends and family that otherwise you probably would never see.

Great articles on subjects that interest me.

Lot’s of encouragement in areas that I need encouragement.

I love to laugh and there is always something cute or funny that bring a smile.

You get to share parts of your life with others and get feedback.

When you look at your friend count, you can say, “Wow, I have 850 friends?” Who knew! Some have over a thousand….double wow!

Here is what I hate about social media:

*Note: It’s hard for me to say the word “hate.” When my kids were growing up, I didn’t allow them to say the word hate…..ever! One time I was talking to our son and I used the word hate. I have no idea what I was talking about….probably something like, “I hate brussel sprouts!” Anyway, that cute little red headed boy said, “ummmm…..you said hate, you aren’t supposed to say that!” So let’s change that word hate, to dislike!

Here is what I dislike about social media:

Time! Once you get on and you begin reading one thing, it leads to another and another and another….when you look up it’s an hour or two later.

Our society is addicted to social media. You see it when you get out. People are on their phones 24/7 and not talking to the people around them. Kids are growing up seeing mom and dad staring at their phones and talking to someone else other than them. I’ve seen groups of young people and they are all on their phones.

Did you know that there are exercises to help you not get a neck problem from looking down at our phone so much? I just read that yesterday. So, yes…bad posture is one of those things.

Out of all those friends, who can you call if you have an emergency and they are there for you in the flesh. 850? Don’t think so. All that to say…..what is a friend? I’ve known people who check their friend count, their likes, comments regularly. But, are they really friends? Have you ever read into someone that is on your social media and they don’t give you the time of day. And you just conversed with them over Facebook recently…now that’s funny.

I talked to a lady who said that she is only on Facebook so she can see her grandchildren’s pictures. Evidently the parents don’t “share” pictures or details of their lives unless it is on social media and the entire world gets the pleasure of seeing the pictures before the grandparents.

I think the worst is when you realize someone unfriended you that you thought was a friend. Then when you run into that person and it’s a bit awkward as you wonder what you did to make them drop you like a hot potato!

Here is my disclaimer. I can count on one hand how many people I unfriended. I know each reason. One was for foul language that I didn’t want to read, another was a person said some really mean things about me and my family, another was because I heard something that this person did to try to hurt my feelings. I was hurt and the only thing I could do to get back was click….unfriend! This was all before I knew you could actually unfollow instead of unfriend. Oh well. I don’t think they missed me as I haven’t ever heard from them. I have asked a couple of people if I did something when I saw they unfriended me. Awkward again!

That is probably the worst about social media. Feels like grade school. Friend, not a friend, like, don’t like. Do we really have time for all of that?

This is something to remember while on social media.

So, where does this over 50 girl draw the line on social media? I can say over 50 now because I have one month to go before I have to say, 60. Yes, I’m in mourning, but, I’ll be okay.

Where do you draw the line on social media? Do you set a time limit? Do you only check once a day?

Now we have insta-stories and videos. I’ve sat and watched people that I don’t even know tell me their life story and I don’t even have anything in common with them. I’ve watched young moms give tips on raising children, decorating, organizing. But, I watch because I’m intrigued and amazed. When I was a young mom, there is no way I would have ever had the time to make a video of myself showing my day, or putting my make-up on or modeling my outfit for the day. Oh, or cooking our meals, now that would have really been hilarious! It actually makes me laugh out loud to think of it.

We definitely live in a new day. A lot has changed in the last 20-30 years.

I read a report that even with all the social media and all the many followers, and likes and comments…that by the year 2020, more women will be depressed and on medications for depression than ever before. Hmmm….makes you think a little bit about that doesn’t it?

Disclaimer #2 – If you love and manage your time with social media, I am thrilled and I in no way am criticizing anyone that has it wired when it comes to social media. I envy you and would love to learn from you. I’m just sharing my thoughts today on something that seems to be an huge part of everyones lives these days. For us older folks, we know what life was like without it and life was just fine…so we are having to work it in and make it as normal as life was before. Oh, I also heard this the other day. Young people are flocking to Instagram because all the old people are taking over Facebook…..yep…that’s what I heard. Who knew!?

Social Media……do I love it or dislike it today? It’s a new day. I think I will go see what my friend in Alaska is up to.

Until next time….

Trying Hard to Love Social Media

Do you ever wish for the days when we didn’t have to carry a phone in our hands constantly? ¬†Do you miss carrying on a real conversation with someone or receiving real letters in the mail? ¬†If so, you are probably a “Baby Boomer” like me. ¬†Younger folks today can’t even comprehend how it was just a short time ago. ¬†But, we must keep up with the times and you have to admit, having our phones with us is great for safety and getting the answers we need quickly.

I’ve been doing some thinking on this social media thing. ¬†I thought I would share a little bit of what is going through my brain on this subject.

Facebook:

Facebook is interesting isn’t it? It’s fun keeping up with people that you’ve known forever, family members that you don’t live close to, people you met briefly and became Facebook friends. ¬†You may even have people that are friends with someone else and you have chosen to be friends online.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  If I get on and read the main feed, I get sucked in and maybe two hours later I think, I need to get busy!  Articles pull me in and I end up going and reading something and then it links to something else and it goes on and on.  I have to limit myself or I can spend way too much time sitting and reading.

When I make a post and someone comments on it, I always make a point to reply or like their comment. ¬†To me it is like someone talking to you and then ignoring them if I don’t reply back.

Messenger:

I love this feature of Facebook as you can have a quick private conversation with someone and the world doesn’t have to read about it. ¬†One thing that happened to me recently was, I sent a quick note to someone and I noticed that in 2015 they had asked me a question. ¬†I answered and told them I would get them the needed information they wanted as soon as I returned home. ¬†Evidently, I never got back to them. That was embarrassing and I was very upset with myself. ¬†Long story short, three years later, she got her request.

Twitter:

I have tried Twitter twice and just deleted it recently….again. ¬†Twitter is just not for me.

Pinterest:

I love pinning things I like on Pinterest. ¬†To me, it is like reading a magazine and saving the pictures that you like. ¬†I don’t really spend much time on it, though. ¬†I usually pin a few pictures that catch my eye each time I log on, but, that is about it. ¬†I’m struggling with having so many boards and pins that I wonder how do you have time to view them all? ¬†I’ve gone to someones board before and they will have 8,000 pictures on let’s say, kitchen designs. ¬†Who has time to view all of those? ¬†When is enough enough? ¬†Do you delete pictures after so many or do you just keep going and going and going?

Instagram:

I really like Instagram…..BUT, I’m struggling a bit with this one, too. ¬†Let’s say you are following 1,000 people. ¬†How do you view everyone’s pictures? ¬†I follow close to 200 and I can’t keep up. ¬†I hesitate to follow more as I don’t think I have time to scroll through all of the pictures and “like” and comment. ¬†And now, we have…

Insta-stories: (I think that’s what it’s called)

People make videos or still pictures and write notes all over them. ¬†I can’t figure out how that is different than just putting it on Instagram. ¬†I’m not getting it yet, I guess. ¬†The really funny thing is when someone makes like 5 or 6 ¬†videos and they go on and on talking to you. ¬†I can’t imagine sitting there chatting away to my phone to the world while people are looking on. ¬† Maybe it’s just me…..I have enough trouble finding someone who listens to me face to face much less on social media. ¬†I would hate the thought that I was talking away about my wonderful day and someone was hating the sound of my voice or wanting to say, “Who cares, lets move on.” ¬†I do wonder if we are missing out on the “real” people around us by focusing on the world in our phones? ¬†Maybe I will get it figured out soon and who knows, maybe you will see me on video ¬†walking at the mall and talking to you about my day, I don’t know, we will see.

Blogs:

I love reading blogs. ¬†I’ve always loved reading good magazines on subjects that interest me. ¬†To me, that is how blogs are. ¬†When you find a blog that shares things that you are interested in, they can be very enlightening and encouraging. ¬†I work hard to make sure my blog looks nice and is encouraging with what I post.

*The reason I began my blog 10 years ago was because I began writing and I was told that you needed a website/blog in order to promote your book. ¬†My book hasn’t been published yet and I’m still writing on my blog. I also got busy with women’s ministry for 9 years and tied that into my blogging as well. ¬†Now that I’m no longer involved in a “women’s ministry,” I am concentrating more on my book(s). ¬†I have put myself on a time frame of how long I will keep my blog going. ¬†I won’t share that time line as it could change tomorrow.

Vlog:

This is like a blog but it’s done on video. ¬†I enjoy watching some vlogs, but, I am so not there. ¬†I don’t even like my picture being taken, I can’t imagine talking on video….as in my comments on the Instastories.

Phone Apps:

So many apps for everything imaginable. ¬†I regularly go through my phone and delete apps that I’m not using or are a waste of my time. ¬†I have to have my phone screens organized with types of apps, too. ¬†I can’t handle clutter and when it’s on my phone, it drives me crazy.

I try to not view Facebook on my phone. ¬†I put my social media on the last screen of my phone so I’m not tempted to sit and read my phone when out and about.

Texting:

I love texting! ¬†I can keep up with kids, grandkids, my mom, friends, etc. ¬†My main problem is getting excited about something and sending a text to the wrong person. ¬†I’m known for that. ¬†Or, my spelling. ¬†Spell check will change my words and it hasn’t been pretty. ¬†I’m also known for sending another text with the correct word right behind it. ¬†One time I sent a curse word to my son. It changed the word shot to…..??? ¬†So embarrassing! ¬†My lesson for texting is to go slow, check the spelling, and double check who you are sending it to. ¬†Three things I usually forget to do.

Kindle:

I read books on my iPad through the Kindle app. ¬†It’s really nice as I got a large iPad and I can see it! ¬†I do not read blogs, articles etc. on my phone. ¬†I save that for my iPad or computer. ¬†I love holding real books and putting bookmarks in my stopping place rather than on my iPad. One thing to watch out for, if you fall asleep while reading, it might hurt when your iPad hits you in the face. ¬†Just a warning if you are prone to falling asleep while you read. ¬†But, it comes in handy when traveling and you can buy books so much cheaper through Kindle.

Those are my thoughts on Social Media for what it’s worth. ¬†Don’t answer that!

If I could suggest anything it would be:

Be Kind. ¬†If you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say it. ¬†If you are following someone you don’t like, stop following them. ¬†Don’t keep following and leave rude messages for them. ¬†I see that a lot and wonder why they follow that person/organization/ministry.

*if you had bad service at a business, deal with the business personally, don’t get on social media to try your best to destroy someones livelihood/reputation. ¬†This one always blows me away. We all get upset here and there with service, but, there is a better way to deal with them than blowing off steam to whoever will listen online.

one more…

Be Courteous.¬†As in answering someones text or comment. ¬†(Even if it takes three years) ¬†If you read someones post and you like it, hit like, give them some love instead of just ignoring it. ¬†It’s easy. ¬†When someone speaks to you over social media, it’s just like talking to them in person and we wouldn’t ignore them……well, there are people that ignore some folks, but, you and I don’t do that, do we?

Have fun out there on your social media. ¬†Use it to make a difference. ¬†Use it to encourage someone, lift someone up, inspire…….share your blessings and your lessons you are learning. ¬†We all need to be lifted up and encouraged, don’t you think?

My Billy Graham Story…

I’m sure you heard that Rev. Billy Graham passed away last week at the age of 99. ¬†Were you familiar with him? ¬†Do you have a Billy Graham story? ¬†So many people do. ¬†Something that my husband and I always say when we saw him on an interview or if we heard he met with a US President or a celebrity, is we know that whomever he was speaking with, would hear the gospel in a simple, easy and non-intimidating way.

Wouldn’t you love to be known as a person that people always knew that they could count on you to share the gospel with everyone you met.

The Holy Spirit does the work, all we have to do is share the message of Jesus Christ. ¬†We aren’t responsible if someone chooses to believe or not. ¬†We are just responsible for telling others that Jesus loves them and that He died on the cross for our sin.

Do you feel confident in sharing this message with all that cross your path?

In a typical day, we have so many opportunities to share Christ with those we meet.

Now for my Billy Graham story:

I heard Billy Graham for the first time when I was 14 years old.  He was on television the evening I was all set up to watch an Elvis Presley movie.  My mom said we were going to watch a preacher she heard about named Billy Graham.  I was heartsick in missing the Elvis movie!

I wrote out my story and it was selected to be published in Decision Magazine, which is a Billy Graham publication. ¬†This particular issue was a 60th Anniversary Issue. ¬†They spotlighted a story from each decade of Billy Grahams ministry. ¬†My story represented the 70’s of someone who ¬†came to Christ because of hearing Rev. Graham.

I think the hardest part of having my story published was the editor sent a photographer to my home to take pictures. ¬†I DO NOT like to have my picture taken, so this was really hard for me. With a couple of outfit changes and trying several locations around our home, they had what they needed. ¬†A few days later, I was sent a few pictures that were taken. ¬†If you are like me, you don’t like any pictures of yourself. ¬†I could live with most, but, there was one that was really bad, I thought. ¬†Well, a couple of months later when the magazine was out and I opened it up to my story, guess which picture was used. ¬†Yep….that one. ¬†What can I say? ¬†I had to tell myself, it’s not about the picture, it’s about the story and the message. ¬†Despite the picture of myself, the article in this magazine is one of my favorites that I’ve had published as it means the most to me.

Click here to read the post about getting my testimony published.

Click here to read my salvation story. ¬†The actual article in Decision Magazine was titled, “Better Than Elvis!”

I have to add this one tiny story. ¬†Several years ago we were sitting in a church service. ¬†The pastor was preaching and for some reason he mentioned Billy Graham. ¬†I will never forget what he said. ¬†He said, “By the way, Billy Graham has done more to hurt the cause of Christ than anyone I know of.” ¬†I didn’t hear anything else he said as in my head I kept thinking, why is he saying that? ¬†What in the world? ¬†The thought kept going through my mind that I was someone that first heard about Jesus because of Billy Graham. ¬†I put my faith and trust in Christ the first time I heard the message of “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son.” ¬†To this day, I still remember that pastor’s words and it is just a reminder that the world if filled with so many opinions. ¬† We need to know what God’s Word says and then when all those opinions are thrown at you, you can match them up to the Word of God. ¬†You will then know where those opinions come from.

I pray that each one of you reading this has a salvation story that you can freely share.

If you have never put your faith and trust in Christ, don’t wait one more second. ¬†He’s waiting for you. ¬†Click here¬†to learn how to ask Jesus Christ into your life!

 

 

It’s Time To Be Quiet!

 

Happy New Year!  May the coming year be your best year ever!

How was your 2017? ¬†Mine was wonderful. ¬†I’ve been working on my photo albums and I found all the pictures from this past year and not only did it seem like just yesterday that I took the pictures, but, we got to see some beautiful places. ¬†I loved all the family times from the past year, too. ¬†Many memories were made.

Did you accomplish all those goals that you set in January of 2017? ¬†I didn’t; I’ll just say that right away. ¬†Matter of fact, I need to find my list so I can mark the things I did accomplish and work on those I didn’t. ¬†This time of year, you hear so much about goals and resolutions. ¬†You also will hear how some people don’t believe in setting goals and resolutions. ¬†I never understood that. ¬†I think we should always be striving to be better at who we are. ¬†Matter of fact, we should strive to be more Christlike in our actions, our thoughts and our attitudes. ¬†We will be talking about that this year on this blog. ¬†I hope you will join me and together we can learn how to have a heart like His. I hope that is your desire. ¬†It’s a good one to have. ¬†I love what my ¬†pastor said, “The only way to find out who God is and how He thinks, is to read His word; get to know Him.”

Do you choose a word for the year? ¬†I have the last couple of years and I have had a verse going through my mind for the past few months and I have felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about some things. ¬†I will share with you some of those things in some upcoming blog posts. ¬†I will say that the word I have chosen to be my word of the year is, Quiet. ¬†There is so much to say about that little word. I look forward to sharing some things about the word Quiet with you soon. ¬†I grew up very quiet and shy and I’m still pretty much that way now. This is a different kind of quiet. ¬†For many years now, life has been going so fast and we have been busy. ¬†We are in the midst of the “empty nest” years and trying to find my place of what I am to be busy doing or not doing has been a struggle for me. ¬†In my quiet time, I have constantly heard a nudge to just be quiet. ¬†Take time to listen and not worry about where I’m supposed to be, how I’m supposed to be and what I should and shouldn’t be doing. ¬†I am to slow down….be quiet and listen. ¬†I still have a very full and active life, but, it will be a bit different as I will be more quiet and listening to the voice of my Father.

Wouldn’t that be awesome to go away to a cabin for a few weeks and do nothing but spend time with God and just listen for His voice? ¬†I won’t be doing that, but, I will be busy with my responsibilities and working on my goals that I have set for the coming year while listening more than I ever have.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being a reader of my blog, His Heart, My Desire. ¬†My goal is to encourage you to live a life completely sold out for Christ. ¬†We can still partake in all the fun things in life and still have a heart for the things of God. ¬†If you are a regular reader, you may have noticed that I talk about ¬†so many different things about home and family, travel, crafts, friends…it just goes on and on. ¬† Sometimes, I have so much I want to say and I don’t want to hog a conversation with all MY thoughts…..hence….a blog. ¬†I can talk and talk and I don’t have to worry if someone can hear me or if I’m interrupting someone. ¬†You can just click out anytime you want and I won’t even know about it. ¬†I’ll just be talking away as if the world is listening. ¬† I’ve had so much fun with this blog and I have met some amazing friends through the blogging world. ¬†I love ¬†reading your comments and hearing your heart.

If you are new to His Heart, My Desire or you landed here be accident, I do hope you will come back for another visit soon. ¬†I’m not a theologian by any means, (that is my husbands department.) I’m a simple girl who loves Jesus with all her heart and loves to encourage others to love Him too.

I’ve seen some crazy things in my 58 years and been through some pretty crummy things, too. ¬†I’ve also seen and been through some very wonderful and amazing things. ¬†I’ve seen the goodness ¬†of people and I’ve seen the cruelty of people. ¬†I know you have too, and I love sharing some of those things to let you know that it will all be okay even when you think it won’t. ¬†I’ve had my heart hurt so deeply that I thought it was literally going to break in two. ¬†That is why we need each other. ¬†We need someone to say, “It’s going to be alright….you aren’t alone. ¬†There is an answer even when you think there isn’t.” ¬†I hope this blog will be something that will give you hope, encouragement and the confidence to be the best you possible and make a difference in our world.

May you have a wonderful 2018!

And The Winner Is……..

How fun this was! ¬†My first¬†giveaway on my blog! ¬†After 10 years, it’s about time, isn’t it?!

If you don’t know about the drawing, you can read about it here.

Did you notice I said that I would do the drawing live? ¬†Well, I am not able to do the live drawing plan. ¬†In other words, I’m too chicken to do that! ¬†I guess I’m not ready to do a live recording of myself talking away to a camera. ¬†Maybe I will try that another time soon!

Here is another look at the giveaway.

I loved all of your sweet and kind comments.  I wish I had a gift basket for each one of you to show you how much I appreciate you reading and commenting on my blog.

I put each of your names on little slips of paper for each comment on the blog and all the follows that you did on my social media platforms.

I then put them all in this beautiful box that I have on my desk, closed the lid and shook it as hard as I could.

Congratulations Lauren Colby, you are the winner of the gift basket of goodies! ¬†If you can contact me through email with your shipping address, I will get it to you. ¬†I’m so excited for you!

Again, thank you all for your comments and for following along in this journey of blog land.

 

 

 

 

 

Two Days Until My Blog Anniversary Giveaway!

Hi Friends!

I just wanted to write a quick post to remind everyone that we have two days until I draw for the winner of a a gift basket.  I wanted to do a give-away in celebration of my 10 years of blogging!

I love blogging and I especially love my readers!  You encourage me with your kind comments and your notes that you send over email.

On July, 27th, I will be drawing for a winner, so… if you don’t have your name in the drawing, now is your final chance.

How do you get your name in the drawing?

Your name will go in the drawing for each task that you complete! ¬†You don’t have to do all of them, but, you do get your name in for each time you do each one. ¬†I so hope that makes sense!

  1. Leave a comment on this post or the original post about my Blog Anniversary.  You can see it by clicking here.
  2. Subscribe to my blog. You will see a form to fill out on the home page of my blog. (You will receive posts in your inbox each time I write a new post.)
  3. Follow me on my Facebook page for my blog, His Heart, My Desire.  Click here to go to that page.
  4. Follow me on Instagram.
  5. Follow me on Pinterest.
  6. Follow me on Twitter.

Here is a sneak peak of the gift basket!

 

What’s in the basket?

  1. One of my favorite magazines, Tea Time by Hoffman Media.
  2. Another favorite magazines, Southern Lady by Hoffman Media.
  3. A cute polka dot calendar for July 2017 to July 2018 (I love calendars!)
  4. A photo album.  I so need to get all my pictures organized in albums.
  5. A yummy smelling home fragrance.  The box matched the color of the items in the basket.
  6. An adorable cake plate with a ribbon. ¬†If it has a bow on it….I love it!
  7. The cutest tea pot, sugar and creamer with polka dots!  Do I need to say how I love polka dots?
  8. Harney and Sons Peppermint Tea.  I went with that flavor because the can matched the color scheme.
  9. A really nice basket that will be perfect for putting magazines in or if you are like me, you can always find a need for a basket.

There you go…..I hope you win and you love all the items in it. ¬†I could have kept going and adding things, but I had to stop somewhere.


 

Celebrating 10 Years of Blogging with a Fabulous Give-Away!

Happy 10 Year Blogiversary to my blog, His Heart, My Desire!

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since I began blogging. ¬†It was May 2, 2007 when I hit the publish button on a free blogspot site. (I’ve now moved to WordPress…which is another story) ¬†During this time I was ¬†a wife, mom and Mimi and serving as Women’s Ministry Director and leading a Women’s Sunday School Class at my church. ¬†I dabbled at writing since my first writer’s conference in 2004. ¬† I also had a few magazine articles published and a couple of chapters in some compilation books. ¬†I was working at trying to get a book written that has been on my heart forever! ¬†But, with all the things going on, I put the book on the back burner. ¬†When I say back burner….I mean waaaay back there! ¬†I was even speaking at a few places here and there…which is crazy to think about. ¬†Me….The extremely shy girl who failed her speech class in high school because she refused to give any more speeches after giving two speeches that just about put her in an early grave. ¬†I’ll share that story someday soon. ¬†It will be for all you shy girls and to let you know, it gets better and easier. (Did you notice now many I’s there were in that paragraph? ¬†I tried to write it without those I’s, but it wouldn’t work…so bare with me)

All that to say….

Yay! For 10 years of blogging and I didn’t quit! ¬†Trust me, I’ve thought about it. ¬† I thought who cares what I have to say and share. ¬†There are some amazing writers and bloggers out there and they are also 30 years younger than me and have so much more wisdom than I do at 58. ¬†Yes, 58. ¬†I just had my 58th birthday. ¬†Wow! ¬†I should be 38. ¬†Well, how about 48. ¬†Oh, well, like I said before, I’m going to embrace 58. ¬†Notice how that rhymes just a little.

To celebrate, I’m going to do a give away! ¬†Yes…¬†I am!!!! ¬†I’ve never wanted to do this before because I thought, “what if not one person tries to win my prize. ¬†How embarrassing.” ¬†That thought is not stopping me anymore! ¬†I’m doing it and if no one registers. ¬†That’s okay. ¬†I’ll keep it all for myself because it is a basket of things that I love! ¬†And, if you really know me, you know that I love everything! ¬†It’s going to be a good one, trust me!

So, here is what you need to do to win!  Ready?

For each one that you do, puts your name in the drawing that many times!

  1. Leave a comment on my blog at the end of this post.
  2. Subscribe to my blog.
  3. Share this post on your social media. Just copy and past the link for this post. ¬†Or share my post from my Social Media…does that make sense. ¬†I know, I sound so non-tech, but what can I say! ¬†(Let me know how many social media shares you do.)
  4. Follow Me on Instagram.
  5. Follow Me on Twitter.
  6. Follow Me on Pinterest.
  7. Follow Me on Facebook

This will be so much fun!  I hope you win!

I will draw for the winner on July 27th at 8:00 p.m. CST live. ¬†Did I just say live? ¬†Yikes! ¬†That’s four weeks from now, don’t procrastinate like I would. ¬†Just do it all now and we will get this thing rolling! ¬†Good luck!

Thank you to all my readers, subscribers and followers. ¬†You inspire me to keep on writing, sharing and encouraging! ¬†(I may have to title this post the “I” post!)

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3