Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What I Learned Wednesday #4: Special Edition

Since it was this blog's 5th anniversary yesterday, I decided to write a special edition What I Learned Wednesday. I did learn something this week but I'll save that for next time. ;)

1. You Have Plans and God Has Better Ones for You: If there is one thing I learned throughout the 5 years that I've been blogging, it's that you can't think that all your plans will happen exactly as you mean them to. When I started this blog, I was involved with a young man whom I thought would be it for me (whom I don't believe I ever mentioned because of my notoriously private love life). I thought I was going to finish my Creative Writing BA degree at Bath Spa University (yes, that's the actual name) in Bath, England. I never thought my father's cancer would return. Five years later, I'm happily single (though my heart is open to whoever God has in store for me), I have a BA degree in Religious Studies from a CINO college in Los Angeles, and I've been without my father for almost 3.5 years. Nothing I had planned (living in England, writing full time, etc) happened, but I know that God has greater plans for me so I happily accept the changes. If I had gone to England, I wouldn't have taken care of my dad when he was in his final days. I would never take any of that back. Back in 2007, I used to pray for things to go exactly how I wanted them but these days I pray for things to happen according to God's will and not mine. If things don't go as I'd like, I pray for the strength to endure them. I think that's been one of the biggest lessons I've learned in all my years blogging.

2. You Can't Please Everyone When You Blog: Another big lesson for me has been that I can't be my usual people-pleaser self. This is something I've also been trying to shake in my life offline. If you read my earliest blog posts, you saw that they were more of a personal diary type style. While not much has changed, I was a lot more cautious about what I wrote about. I would stay away from the more controversial things. Along the way, I came to realize that I was doing myself and God a disservice by doing that. I really wanted to document my reversion (which was in its earliest stages in late 2007) but I was too scared to write something really dumb. Eventually I thought to myself, "Ah, forget this!" and started writing what I thought... even if I wasn't sure that what I wrote was theologically correct. That's how we learn -- by asking questions and by putting our thoughts out there. If something I believed was right was, in fact, wrong, I'll own up to it and blog about it. That's what I'm still doing (and why I really want to keep What I Learned Wednesday going throughout the Year of Faith). Some people may not like that my blog posts are personal and that I don't include too many stories found on Catholic news sites... but that is kind of the point of this blog. As the title suggests, it's the journey of this Catholic nerd who happens to be a writer.

3. The Prayers of Strangers is a Powerful Thing: Though I do interact with the majority of you lovely readers either through twitter or through this blog's FB page, it wasn't so in the early days on the blog. I just created the FB page a few months ago and my twitter was private until last year at the urging of Sr. Helena Burns. Even so, that didn't stop readers from sending me their prayers when I was sick or when my father passed away. When I was attempting to finish my degree and found myself feeling frustrated by the lack of Catholicism at the CINO college, I had good friends (who started out as blog readers) praying novenas for me. When I graduated earlier this year, I had a slew of messages congratulating me and praying for my future. When I asked for prayers (either selfishly for myself or for others), you guys never failed me. A lot of you one time strangers (whom I met by your early comments on this blog) ended up being some of my best friends with whom I occasionally hang out offline. Prayer brings us together and it's a beautiful thing.

Anyway, these were just some of the thoughts I had of things I learned during the 5 years that I've been blogging.

And, before I go, I just wanted to thank you all for everything... for your prayers, encouragement, and advice. Though this blog has only had a couple of guest bloggers, it really is a group effort. I learn from all of you and that, in turn, provides content for this blog. So, thank you all! May God bless each and every one of you. I will say a special prayer for everyone. :)

If you'd like to participate in this week's What I Learned Wednesday (which, for the tl;dr crowd, means writing about something -- no matter how big or small, short or long, tweet or blog post -- that you learned about the Faith this past week), please be sure to add your link at the bottom of this blog post. Beth Anne was kind enough to make this graphic for y'all to use if you choose to. :D

Image courtesy of Naypong /

And now... back to my annual clean-a-thon. *groan* lol.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D

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