Have you ever suddenly found yourself in a place and then wondered how you got there? Or, maybe you had actually been planning on a trip but then once you arrived at your destination, you felt like you needed to pinch yourself just to make sure that you were really there? Well, that’s the kind of situation I find myself in these days as far as this whole blogging business is concerned. I mean, as few as three months ago, if anyone had suggested that I write a blog, I would have laughed and said, “Do what?” That’s because, as the most private person I know as well as one of the most vocal social media “conscientious objectors” ever, I would never have ventured into the land of Blog unless I had been compelled to do so by Someone whose wisdom far exceeded my own. So, just how did that Someone go about getting me to leave my place of relative safety and take up residence in such an alien land?
In retrospect, I think the implementation of His plan for my journey actually began about eleven years ago. That was about the time my boss asked me to take over the scheduling responsibilities for our department. I laughed then, too, because doing the scheduling meant using the computer and at the time, I couldn’t even turn one on and off without a great deal of trepidation. However, not being one to let a challenge go unmet, I agreed to give it a try. It wasn’t too long afterward that I discovered that there were computer training classes being offered by our IT department—so I signed up. Wouldn’t you know it—the more classes I took, the more of them I wanted to take. And then I took the most wonderful class of them all—the Word table-making class—and yowzers!—all of a sudden, the clouds parted, the skies cleared, and a whole new world of technical possibilities opened up before me!
You see, for years I had been hand-drawing the charts and diagrams that I used in my Bible study presentations, even though I had long wanted to find a more professional manner in which to present them. Let me tell you, once I was in possession of those table-making skills, I went berserk—I started turning out so many great charts that I could hardly keep up with myself—it was just too wonderful to be believed! Of course, by this time I wasn’t content to stay within the narrow confines of the Word world, so I began exploring the worlds of Excel and PowerPoint, and eventually made it into the far reaches of the land of Access! Gradually, as my computer skills improved, my self-confidence increased, and it wasn’t long before I decided that I would start on the book that I had always hoped to write.
Actually, I had, for quite some time, been hoping to write at least two books—one presenting a Biblical perspective on the increasing number of disasters that were taking place all around us and one that would teach people a new approach to reading and understanding their Bibles. So, armed with my new skills and confidence, I very eagerly started working on the “disaster” book, and was even making great progress on it until…uh-oh…a series of disasters struck my own family. While not in the same league as the category four or five tornadoes that we have been hearing about recently in the news, these events still turned our lives upside down and consumed so much of my time and energy that I found it necessary to relegate my writing project to a back shelf in my life—to that place of literary limbo where it has been gathering dust for over five years.
I had begun to despair of ever being able to liberate it from this sad state until about three months ago, when I came across a book at the bookstore entitled, How to Blog Your Book, by Nina Amir. Although it was very small and tucked away among the many other books on the shelf, it called to me, saying “Judy, Judy, Judy, take me home”—so I did! I bought it, took it home, read it quickly, and was so inspired by it that I decided that I would gladly leave the safety of obscurity and move to the land of Blog if it meant being able to finish my book. Once I had cleared that seemingly impossible hurdle of faith, a very strange thing happened; I started thinking that doing one blog was just so “small potatoes,” why not do three blogs—one for the disaster book, one for the Bible study book, and one for my personal testimony?
It seemed like such a good idea that, since then, I have been busy studying everything “blogular” that I could get my hands on, in an effort to immerse myself in the curious culture of this new land and to familiarize myself with its strange new language—a language replete with such strange sounding terms as widgets, plug-ins, dashboards, cascading style sheets, HTML, headers, footers, sidebars, bots, spiders, pages, posts, and RSS feeds. While still far from being fluent, I am a lot farther along than I was a few months ago, and I am very pleased to be able to say that the first of my three new homes on the web has been set up and is really quite comfortable. As far as the other two are concerned, they are still under construction, but I will let you know if and when they, too, become habitable. In the meantime, please continue to visit me here as often as you can because, as the new kid on the blog block, I need all of the good company that I can get!
If you find yourself stuck in life, Peter Furler is here with “All in Your Head,” a little something to help get you moving.