Monthly Archives: January 2013

Simple Tips to Help Non-Bloggers Follow Blogs

Most of the people I know in real life are aware that I have a blog. They’ve even taken the time to read a post from time to time (for which I am most grateful), but often I hear a statement similar to this one, “I love reading your blog when I remember to check it, but I just can’t remember to keep up with it.”

I get that, and it doesn’t in any way offend me when those I know don’t read every post, but I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned over the past couple of years of blogging. Because honestly, it’s a whole different realm that can be overwhelming. In light of my own blog as well as the growing number of people I know in real life are joining the ranks of blogging, I thought I’d share a few ways you can easily follow the words of the friends you know and love without getting overwhelmed.

1. Determine how many blogs you want to follow. It can quickly get overwhelming to keep up with all of the posts written on a daily basis. There are literally thousands to choose from, and many of them are written by wonderful people, but let’s be real here – we all need to have a life outside of the Internet. Choose a manageable number of blogs that you enjoy reading and then enjoy reading them. 🙂

2. Find a method that is easiest for you to keep track of when your list of bloggers publish new posts. The two most common ways for people know are through email subscription and Facebook updates.

Email Subscription. Did you know that you can receive new posts from most blogs directly to your email inbox? This is a great and easy option for a couple of reasons. First off, you don’t have to remember to physically look up the blog’s web address. When the blogger publishes a new post, you know about it as soon as you check your email. The other nice thing is that you are then in control of what to do with the post. You can take a couple of minutes to read it right then or you can save it for later without worrying that you’ll forget to go back and read it because it’s waiting for you in your inbox.

One bit of advice I’d encourage you to consider before subscribing by email is how often the blogger publishes new posts. If it’s a blog that publishes multiple times per day or every day and you’d prefer to not receive an excessive amount of emails, think twice before subscribing. In case you were wondering, I try to post about once a week on my blog. You can go here to sign up for an email subscription to my blog. It’s painless. Just make sure you confirm that you want to follow along once you get a confirmation email.

Facebook updates. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve undoubtedly seen your fair share of links pop up from various sources on your news feed. Many bloggers have a Facebook page set up for their blogs and will post when they have new posts available to read. If you rely on this method to keep up-to-date with posts, you are probably missing a lot of posts.  Facebook has made several changes to how things appear in our news feeds, and unless you take a few seconds to set up your preferences, the odds are you’ll miss out on updates.

  • Go to the Facebook page of the blog you’re wanting to follow. Once you’ve liked it, click on the button titled “Liked” at the top right side of the page.
  • Click on the “Liked” button and choose which options you want to apply to your news feed. If you want to receive updates in your news feed, make sure the “Show in News Feed” option is selected. If you want to go a step further and receive notifications when updates are made (ideal if you only sign into Facebook every once in a while and will consequently miss some posts otherwise), you can select the “Get Notifications” option as well. See the graphic below if you’re a visual person.

FB Page

 

 

 

 

I hope you find this information helpful and doable. You do not have to be a blogger to enjoy reading blogs, and I assure you from personal experience that taking the time to read what us crazy word people have to say and then letting us know about it encourages us so much. Words of affirmation are most generally our love language…who would have thought? 🙂

Get Trend Breakers for just $2.99!

JPEG Trendbreakers 350

During the launch week of my eBook last month, I got an email from Crystal Paine, also known as the Money Saving Mom. Somehow she came across my eBook and took the time to purchase it and read it. I was extremely honored by this, but even more humbled that she took the time to email me an encouraging note about it.

I love Crystal’s blog because she shares so many incredible deals as well inspirational ideas for living on less. I have also grown to love it even more because the longer I’ve followed along, the more I’ve been able to see her heart and passion shine through. I feel truly blessed that she was willing to share the book with her readers.

Today through Thursday (January 17th), you can purchase the PDF version of Trend Breakers for $2.99. Go to this link to get the code! Thanks again, Crystal! You have greatly blessed me with your generosity!

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Come Fill These Shoes Please

Shoes

It’s coming.

The end and the beginning. Life as we have grown accustomed to it is about to change. The unknown will become reality. Early mornings will become a way of life, and free hands will be full.

As the week 38 mark of this pregnancy came and went yesterday, my awareness that it is almost time to live this reality I keep trying to picture grew along with the moving child within. With each restless turn in the night as my body refuses to find a comfortable position, I sense this precious child grow restless as well, already beginning to prepare for her first big step towards independence.

That’s when I remember that, in spite of all of the crazy about to fill our days with a fuller house and another child to nurture, teach, and discipline, it passes far too quickly. She will be as big as her older brother before I can comprehend it. He will be a young man who is competing with me in height.

So as crazy becomes reality any day now, I feel the urgency to soak up each second of these long-short days while they’re little. The good, the bad, the ugly, and beautiful. They will only be this kind of moldable and adorable a little while. I will only be sleep-deprived for a short season, even if it seems like forever when I’m living it.

She’s coming any day now. The girl who has already filled our little family with a surprising amount of love and excitement. We are all ready to kiss her sweet little head, to let her hand curl around our fingers, to let her see the faces of the silly family who wakes her up from naps in the womb with our laughing and chaotic robot and dinosaur games. We’re ready to let her add her own passions to what brings our family joy – princess tea parties, dress up, and silly little girl songs.

This is the crazy, beautiful, full life that I am excitedly waiting to begin with my January princess’s arrival. No seriously. Any time now would be good. 😉

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

The Joy of the LORD is my Strength

Nehemiah 8-10

I was 21 years old and dwelling in the midst of black squirrels and fiddle heads when Nehemiah 8:10 first came alive to me. Three summer months in the midst of Huron National Forest as a counselor at Camp Barakel sparked a change in my relationship with God.

That summer I learned what it meant to depend on God for strength in a new way. Up to that point, I’d never really been stretched in my faith. I grew up being a camper at church camp nearly every year of my life since 4th grade, but my responsibilities as a counselor one week after the next brought on a whole new meaning to tired once we were about 5 or 6 weeks through the camping season.

In that time I’d witnessed the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of dozens of girls, learned to build campfires, made lifelong friends with other counselors, and learned to rock the bandana and side braids hair style.

Somewhere in the middle of all of those positives, I felt weariness settle in. Spiritual warfare and resistance comes when God is at work, and in spite of all of the great things I was experiencing, I began to feel the effects of the battles. I believe it was during one of the TAWG (Time Alone With God) times the resident staff encouraged us to take on our days off from campers that I found the treasure of Nehemiah 8:10b.

“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Strength. How I needed it!

As happy as my surroundings were, I felt the joy waning a bit as the weeks turned into routines rather than adventures. I felt grieved because I could sense the apathy threatening to take over even while I knew God was present and at work all around me.

So I made the verse my theme verse as a new group of campers arrived on those beloved green and white buses. I began to pray for God to give me joy, and thus give me strength to bring Him glory rather than wasting my energy on being frustrated.

And He did just that.

I felt the joy creep back in as the week progressed. I forgot about my petty insecurities as my campers and I painted our faces with charcoal and splashed around in the lake.

I felt God’s joy strengthen me to do what He’d called me to do. I wondered at His beautiful creation and felt the burst of energy I needed to roll out of bed early enough to spend some time alone with Him before ministering to my girls.

This was the first time I took notice of the power of God’s Word at work in my life, and I clung to the promise and challenge that small portion of scripture offered me as I completed my time at camp that summer.

A decade later, I still hold onto the rock pictured above. One of my sweet friends and fellow counselors painted it for me during craft time one day after we’d talked about how much the scripture meant to me. I keep it as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to provide joy-induced strength when I need it. It also reminds me to look to God’s Word for answers and to hide it in my heart so it’s readily available when I need it.

This post is the first in a series of posts I hope to write that share when and why various Bible verses became an important part of my life. It’s all a part of my quest to live out my word for 2013 – identify. I want to identify the many ways God has been faithful to me throughout my life.

Soli Deo Gloria

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Telling My Story + An Invitation to Tell Yours, Too!

Identify

The word identify came to me in a number of ways during the final week of 2012. Pregnant brain, time with family, and nursery preparations made thinking ahead to New Year the last thing on my mind.

Yet little thoughts kept popping into my head as I laundered baby socks and packed my hospital bag. I reminisced on the identity crisis I was surprised to face after my firstborn entered our life. Then I began thinking about the normal that we’ve grown accustomed to as a family of three as well as the rhythm I’ve gone with as a woman and mother and how it is about to do some major transforming.

My identity is about to be chiseled from what has become comfortable into something that will make me a better person in the end. New and familiar challenges alike are awaiting in moments I least expect them. God has decided that it is once again time for change, and I must either choose to welcome it with joy or dwell on the fear of the unknown.

On Sunday as I listened to my pastor speak, I felt inspired once again to consider the importance of identifying what makes up my identity. I reflected on God’s faithfulness and the ways He has spoken His plans into my life thus far. There’s a comfort that comes with seeing His work in the past, both in my own life as well as the lives of others.

That’s why I want to make an effort to write my story, at least in little bits. I’m not writing an exhaustive autobiography or anything, but I feel compelled to explore how God has brought me to this very place. To celebrate His faithfulness. To be encouraged by remembering what He has done, and hopefully encourage someone else along the way.

The dreamer in me would love only one thing more – if someone else who reads these words is inspired to do the same thing. We all have stories, and I believe they deserve to be shared, even if it’s only with a small audience. You don’t have to blog your story if blogging isn’t your thing. A journal, a scrapbook, a Word document – you choose what works best for you. Just think of how much your written-out story will mean to your children and loved ones!

I have some ideas for writing prompts if you don’t know where to start. I’ll share them in future posts. In the meantime, allow yourself to envision what you want your story to look like and where you want to write it. Next, let me know you’re on board! Shoot me an email (kwesterf@gmail.com), leave a comment, post about it on my Facebook page – I’m not picky about how you communicate with me, just do it, please. 🙂

I’ll give you a hint about what I’m wanting to do first because I know coming up with a starting point can stress a person out sometimes. I’m looking back on some of my favorite Bible verses and thinking about why and when they became favorites. I’ve already loved reflecting on the stories behind when these verses came alive to me, and I can’t wait to write them all down!

I hope you enjoy identifying along with me this year! Now let’s get busy thinking about our stories.

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.