the back story. i have always read friends' and family members' blogs, but i can't exactly remember how i started reading the blogs of strangers. i think it may have started with cool mom picks. not long after i started reading, i realized that the editors were also bloggers. from there, the rabbit trail began. i went to their blogs, linked to more blogs, linked to more blogs and linked to more blogs. blogs by bloggers who blog for money. quality blogs. with advertising and sponsors, pretty layouts and fabulous photography. i always ended up on blogs of women, most of them moms like me, working from home to help support their families. but on the first "blogmania" go 'round, i found myself reading blogs that were less than uplifting. often the women writing them were cynical, critical or even outright offensive. the used their blogs to bash their husbands and in-laws. as far as i could tell, none of them were christian women. some of them were outright atheists. they were excellent writers writing about intriguing topics. but i always felt down after reading them. while their talent was obvious, there was nothing uplifting about their content.
then i found simple mom.
authored by tsh oxenreider, simple mom is practical, uplifting and encouraging. "live simply, stay sane" is a mantra i could get behind. without being overtly in-your-face, tsh's faith shined through every key stroke. her content struck me as Holy Spirit-inspired, as i told her once in the comment section of a long-ago post. plus, she's from texas!
then, as i was praying one day, i felt God tell me that i should read and support more blogs like tsh's. proverbs 4:23 says, "above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." God was instructing me to fill my thoughts with those of likeminded women, those who honored and lifted up their husbands and children, had a similar outlook on life. because even if it's virtual, "bad company corrupts good character" (1 corinthians 15:33).
i heeded the Holy Spirit's leading, quit reading the blogs that were not in line with my beliefs, and i have been rewarded. my google reader currently bursts at the seams with brilliant, gifted, awe-inspiring women blogging about a variety of topics. they don't pretend like their lives are perfect. sharing that they aren't is part of what bonds this blogging community. but, for the most part, the writers on my list turn their faces toward the Light, finding inspiration and wisdom there. most of them have no idea i exist. but, oh, how they have blessed me.
the celebration! since i started reading simple mom, tsh has landed a (deserved) book contract and, this week, is celebrating the launch of simple living media. the company is a group of five blogs focused on simple living in a variety of realms. in addition to simple mom, there is simple kids, simple bites, simple organic and simple homeschool. tsh has secured a staff of stellar bloggers to lead these sites into greatness, and i, for one, am pumped to get to reading.
in honor of the group's official launch, each of these sites have amazing giveaways this week. i don't normally enter giveaways. i'm totally one of those, "if 8,363 people enter, i will not win. so why spend the time commenting?" but these giveaways? these are too good to pass up. (click the links in the previous paragraph to go right to the giveaway posts at each blog.)
even if i don't win, supporting the internet presence of bloggers/authors like tsh is worth the time it takes to leave 50 comments.
good luck, simple living media. this someone in blogland is rooting for you.
Aiming for progress, not perfection.
"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."