Please Pray for Maggie

Hi, this is Maggie’s mom, Valerie. You might know me from my blog, Living Lighter in Atlanta, but I haven’t been on it much this summer, so you might not… Anyway, she gave me permission to post here today when I asked her because she is really sick with strep throat and I would love if you guys would pray for her and maybe send her some virtual hugs.

She has been sick since last Monday but it was finally obvious that she needed a doctor on Thursday. We had a crazy week with her youngest brother who needed to go to multiple places (pediatrician, ER, and the children’s hospital in Atlanta) to rule out appendicitis and then her other brother got sick. Ugh! But she has been such a trooper. She babysat her sister (for many hours!) when we needed her, even though she felt awful.

When we went to her doctor on Thursday, she tested positive for strep so we thought she’d be feeling better soon after getting on antibiotics but that hasn’t been the case. Unfortunately, even after taking six doses of amoxicillin, she seems to be getting worse, not better. 😦 I’m not sure, but we’ll probably end up back at the doctor tomorrow…and now her little sister has a fever, too, so they both might need to be seen.

Maggie had her blog posts from this week ready to go before getting sick and I don’t think she mentioned not feeling well (she likes being cheery and positive) but she is doing ROUGH. Please pray that we get things sorted and she starts feeling better.

Oh, and any tips for dealing with the pain of strep throat? She’s really hurting and Tylenol doesn’t help. :/

Thanks so much. 🙂

My Looking-Ahead List: 15 Exciting Things

My Looking-Ahead List: 15 Exciting Things

Why hello, everyone! Fancy meeting you here on this fine morning! Er well, it’s morning here for me, my apologies if you’re now getting tucked into bed, or something. Haha anyway! Today, I have a fun list post to share with you. Who doesn’t like posts with lists?? They’re my personal favorite to write, and they’re a joy to browse on others’ blogs, too.

This particular list was loads of fun to write, and the optimism it sprung within my heart couldn’t be beaten. I’m calling it My Looking-Ahead List: 15 Exciting Things. I had hoped to come up with twenty-five things, actually, but 15 was all I could gather at the moment! If you’re interested in composing a list like this yourself, please do so! I’d love to read it; just leave a link to the post in the comments below. x

Looking ahead to what will bring us joy and excitement in life is a great way to stay happy and positive. 🙂

Let’s jump right into this!

I’m excited about …

  1. Graduating from high school! Next summer, I will have officially finished with my schooling, and that freedom honestly sounds SO amazing haha! I don’t have it poorly off right now, or anything – I’m content with what my life is like – but I can’t stop myself from being excited about it. xx
  2. Becoming fluent in Spanish! It’s gonna happen one day, I assure you of that. I have no idea when, but it is on my heart to have as full of an understanding of Spanish as I can. So strong is this calling that I’ve tried to pick up other languages alongside learning Spanish and it has not worked out, haha!
  3. Getting my first job! As I’ve been looking into applying at places to work since I was fifteen, the waiting has not been easy lol, but I know that the Lord has beautiful, perfect timing. The first place I’ll work will not only be perfect for me, but right in His plan, too.
  4. Reaching 1,000 followers on my blog! Many of you know that I’ve had multiple blogs in the past, none of which I keep up with now (aside from my book review blog, self-plug!), but I’ve never gotten this much feedback and response on any of them – combined! I know I’ll get the biggest grin on my face when I get the 1K FOLLOWERS NOTIFICATION – no idea if I’ll celebrate; probably not. How do you think we should celebrate? I’d love to include you guys!
  5. Hearing Jordan Feliz’s next album for the first time! He’s gonna have to come out with a new album at some point. He just has to. But since his current one came out last year, there’s low chance of this happy thing occurring soon. ;-;
  6. Getting to meet my new little sibling! We’re pretty sure it’s a boy at this point, and the name my parents have for him is just PERFECT (I’ll share it with you guys when we’re positive of the gender), and I can’t wait to meet him this winter!
  7. Finishing the A-to-Z Reading Challenge I’m doing! I invented it myself, actually; I’m on a mission to read 26 books, with titles in alphabetical order, all of which I’ve never read before. I’m currently on the letter ‘J’ and still going strong. I’m not sure if I’ll find books for ‘X’ or ‘Z,’ but I’ll make it happen. lol
  8. Baking an apple pie! This has been on my unwritten bucket list for SO long, but I have yet to do it. I plan to this fall, actually! It’s such a staple part of autumn for me, and to eat one that I’ve made myself would be absolutely special.
  9. Getting to my blogiversary! I’m pretty darn sure I’ll still be posting by January – I really hope I will be – but hey, things change. I’m definitely hoping that works out! Blogiversaries are so much fun!
  10. Fully writing my Mayan/Tikal story! I work on stories in bursts, and I wasn’t as productive with it on my blogging break as I’d hoped, as you guys know by now. Either way, I really hope and pray that it becomes a full novel one day, because I have sooo many ideas, and it’s the first story I really feel like I could weave into one driven by a gripping plot – a first for me.
  11. Starting to study famous figures and time periods in history! I’m really planning to do this next summer once I’m done with school, as I’ll have more time on my hands, and I can’t wait to get started with that. I’m fascinated by so many people throughout history, as well as specific time periods. Just a few off the tip of my tongue are Alexander Hamilton, Ancient Egypt, Marquis de Lafayette, American History (obviously lol), Ancient Greece, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Boyle, etc!
  12. Getting better at cooking! I tend to enjoy baking treats and desserts more, but the handful of times I’ve made dinner for my family has made me happy, so I really should pursue expanding my knowledge on cooking over baking!
  13. Reading the other four books in the Heavenly Daze series! Like I mentioned yesterday, the first book in the series was absolutely amazing, and I know that the rest of the books will be fantastic, too!
  14. Learning to play a full song on the piano! If I can just find the chords to Jordan Feliz’s How Long, I would learn them SO quickly and then my life would be complete hahah
  15. Moving to a new place! This will most likely happen next year, but I’m still excited about and looking forward to it! We need to move ❤ the house and neighborhood situation is often upsetting where we are now.

That’s it for my list! As you could probably tell, it was a mixture of long- and short-term goals; I knew that it would be easier for me to do that than to break it up into two posts! 😂 I’ll probably do a second part to this post when I have more exciting aspirations to share, but for now, I’ll leave you guys to enjoy your Saturday!

How about you?

What are YOU looking forward to?

Little Accomplishments – July 28th, 2017

Little Accomplishments – July 28th, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Hello everyone – how are you all on this fine Friday? Welcome to this week’s Little Accomplishments!

You know what I just realized? It has been a full month since I did one of these posts!! 😱 What?! That’s crazyyy 😂 I figured five weeks was enough time away from this enjoyable Friday series, so I’m back for another one today.

((Quick Life Update: It turns out that my cold is actually strep throat, a sickness I get quite often. I feel soooo bad today 😭 I can’t talk, can barely eat … Please keep me in your prayers, guys!!))

As you guys can probably guess, I got lots of things done on my blogging break, but I’ll go more into detail on what those things were on the post I’ll be doing on the first of August. For my Little Accomplishments, I’ll just mention what I achieved here recently.

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

Here recently, I…

  • completed a few different coloring pages. (I absolutely love how they turned out!!)

  • updated my blog’s sidebar. (Wanna take a look? Haha it has been forever since I added any new widgets, and the ones I decided on are pretty cool.)
  • finished reading three books. (A book on Guatemala, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and a lovely novel called The Island of Heavenly Daze! The last title I mentioned is the first book in a series of five, so I’m super excited to check out the rest of those!)

  • cleaned up my room. (I dusted, organized … normal stuff! I do it every once in a while)
  • learned some of the major piano chords. (My piano learning progress is going slower than I’d like, but oh well. Such is life! I’m taking it a day at a time and learning as I feel inspired.)

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

I hope that you all had a fantastic week, everyone, and that this upcoming week will be amazing, too!

Blog Comparison: The Thief of Our Joy

Blog Comparison: The Thief of Our Joy

I have fewer followers than she does. They get more comments than I do. That blogger’s content looks better than mine.

Have you ever had any of those thoughts? If so, you are one of the masses that struggle with blogger comparison.

Here in the wonderful world of blogging, just like in any other community or group of people, there is comparison. We recognize that there are others who are more accomplished, and less accomplished, than we are. We look to see, often without even meaning to, if we’re better than those around us, and when we come up with a negative, it really rains on our parade.

When looking directly at our own blogs, not taking into consideration what others’ blogs are like, we usually see wonderful content, a great theme and setup, a nice amount of followers, and good comment counts. Our behind-the-scene stats are satisfying, too – there’s always so many cool statistics to be found there! When we turn our attention to others, however, whether it’s their numbers or content that gets to us, it’s hard to accept that there will always be bloggers who have it more “together” than we do.

Because, in truth, we struggle to accept that we’re not always on top. It’s hard to go from being content with what we have, to wanting and needing more because it isn’t exactly what others have. We see all the comments they get, the multiple-digit follower count, whatever it might be, knowing that they have more than we do.

Sometimes, I’ve been envious of blogger statuses I’ve seen that I wouldn’t even personally want for myself! It’s really the fact that they have more than I do that makes me jealous, which I know is wrong. I don’t desire to harbor this irritation in my heart, and starting here recently, I’m taking the steps to be content with my blog as it is, and to slowly work toward being exactly where I want to be.

Below, I have compiled some different things I think will help you combat these negative feelings. It would bless me so much to know that I could help just one person!

First, I’d like to establish that there are two main groups of bloggers: the ones who would love to grow in the community, and the ones who are blogging for themselves and are happy wherever their stats are.

Over the years, I’ve fit into both of these groups. I have run blogs that I was writing on solely for myself – those were really online journals, to tell you the truth. Then, with other blogs, I wanted to get to know people, receive comments and get feedback – you know. Dreaming of Guatemala is the main one I’ve wanted to cultivate and write for myself, as well as others.

I find it quite easy to blog when it’s just for you. There isn’t the pressure of keeping up to date with your audience, blogging consistently, etc – it feels much more relaxed, because it is. When anything we do online involves others, we like to keep up with our friends and talk to them on a regular basis. I understand that, and I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with either way of online interacting.

When we’re blogging to grow, however, the weight we put on ourselves can be excruciating sometimes.

Weekly posts. Blog reading. Comment responding. Social media promoting. Blog maintenance. The list is usually endless! When we’re not careful, blogging can become a full-time side job.

+ To the full-time bloggers, especially the ones who get paid: I realize that all of that is quite necessary to keep up with, and I admire all the time you wonderful bloggers put into your blogs!! I can’t see myself ever doing that, as I love blogging as a hobby, but man. Y’all are pretty awesome people.

+ To the small-audience bloggers who are happy where they are: I applaud you!! I have always seen the appeal in writing for yourself, as well as having a few friends who keep up with your blog, too – I’ve been there before, and I have quite enjoyed it. Keep doing what you love, and do it for as long as it makes you happy. When you feel it’s time to move on, whether that’s to switch blogs, stop blogging for a while, or begin growing your audience, chase after what’s on your heart to accomplish! 💗

+ To the small-audience bloggers who desire to grow: I was right where you are this past winter. In the whole month of January, I had gotten just over 500 total views and 105 comments. This month, at about my six-month blogging mark, I hit 5,000 comments and got my 800th follower. It’s hard to figure out how to grow if you’ve never done it before, or if you’ve tried and your tactics didn’t work. We all meet stumbling blocks in our blogging lives, no matter how popular our blogs might be.

If you are looking for ways to grow your blog, I’ll share my tactics with you. They’re actually very simple.

First, be a consistent part of the community. If that means blogging every day for you, or once or twice a week, follow your heart. That aside, read your friends blogs and, as you’re in the mood, browse tags in the Reader and reach out to others with similar interests. Make connections in my personal favorite way to build your audience: through friendships. Respond to the comments you receive on your blog, hold conversations with others; be open to getting to know people.

Second, write the kind of posts that YOU would want to read. If at any point in your time of blogging you feel like you’re writing too many obligatory posts, or if you’ve become discontent with that series you’ve been keeping up with, switch things up. Make an inspiration board on Pinterest. Brainstorm new post topic ideas. Take a week off, if you need it.

Third, include others on your blog. I wouldn’t say that this is crucial to your standing in the community, but I do believe that it’s a great way to connect with others and bring some sunshine into other bloggers’ day! Invite them to participate in conversation by ending posts with a prompt question that relates to the post itself. Interview other bloggers and share them on your blog,  visually interesting. Host reader-submitted stories and make it a series, invite others to leave you questions for a Q&A post or video, or nominate your favorite bloggers in your next award/tag post! It blesses bloggers to be included; I know how happy I always feel to be part of something – anything! – on others’ blogs.

+ To the bloggers who struggle with envy, regardless of what their blogs are like: chase after what makes you happy. Focus on the joy your blog brings you and leave jealous feelings behind. They’re only bringing you down; they accomplish nothing. Although, if nothing else, they’re an encouragement to grow your blog, and/or make positive changes to it. Learn to accept that their are bloggers who run bigger and smaller blogs than yours. That doesn’t in any way alter the fact that your blog is a masterpiece just the way it is!! 💚

Did this post help you? I’d love to know! It surely encouraged me. xx

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (July-August 2017)

Making the Change ~ Monthly Wrap-Up (July-August 2017)

Hi guys! I hope that you are all having a beautiful Wednesday so far. xx I woke up feeling not so great today, as I have a cold right now, and I broke my fever upon waking. I’m planning to take it easy today and catch up on the posts I’ve missed reading.

On that note, I’m now back to blogging! Click here to read yesterday’s post on why I’m back a week early, if you’d like.

When planning ahead for what I’d blog about upon my return to blogging, I went back and forth between wanting to do a Making the Change wrap-up post, and deciding against it. As I’d planned to originally come back in the first week of August, it didn’t seem right to do this post on the first Wednesday of the month, as I’ve been posting them on the final Wednesdays of the month. As fate would have it (although I personally believe this is by the Lord’s guidance), I’m back a week earlier than planned. It’s still July. 😂 It’s the last Wednesday of the month. So, let’s get into this!

I have had lots of time recently to bond with my family. We’ve been playing games and having heartfelt conversations. I’ve also had more time spent in prayer, as my evenings as of late have been quite a bit quieter than they usually are, what with staying off of WordPress. Both of these paired together has caused me to notice that the Lord is calling me into a deeper relationship both with Him, as well as with each member of my family.

In June of 2016, I very much struggled to get used to having a new baby in the family, and this past April, my mom’s miscarriage really took a toll on my faith. I had drawn away from the Lord, sunken into myself, and crawled into a shell of what I thought was protection. When I realized that my self-inflicted hiding place was what was injuring the relationships and friendships I valued so much, the Lord was then able to lead me out.

He has taught me so much through what I continually thought was worthless pain. He continually uses each and every trouble I’ve ever found myself in for a good purpose – most especially for His glory. I am slowly finding it easier and easier to boast in my affliction, as Paul wrote in the Bible, for then the Lord’s grace may rest upon me.

I’m still a long way from where I want to be, but you know what? Maybe I’ll never get there … and maybe that’s okay. The Lord is directing and guiding my steps; He has my life in His hands. When I am willing, His strength is manifested in me, and I know that the changes I desire to see in my life will be here sooner than I realize. I’m taking it a day, a minute at a time, focusing on the good and forgiving myself for my downfalls.

It’s getting easier and easier to make this change. ❤

The Past Month: July 2017

Improvements: I’ve been finding as many things as I can to do with Samuel. Playing pretend, doing Wii games … I’m pretty sure this was mentioned in the last ‘improvements’ section of the last wrap-up post, but I’ve come even farther from there. He and I have played pretend every day for the last week – a huge improvement from where we were not too long ago.

Next Time: I need to further accept mine and Joshua’s differences. As we’re in such difference places of maturity and in our walks in life and with the Lord, it’s hard, and often weighs heavy on my heart.

The Upcoming Month: August 2017

Focuses:

  • Forgiveness. Letting go of the past, and exhibiting grace to future faults I would have once struggled to forgive.
  • Having a servant’s heart. I want to put my desires consistently behind me and instead look to what my family needs.
  • Thinking before I speak. It is important that I put more thought into what I say before letting things I don’t mean slip past my lips.

Quotes and Bible Verses to Inspire:

“Forgiveness is a process. A choice you have to make over and over, every day, until you’re free of hurt.”

“The highest calling we’ll ever have is to be a servant of the Lord.” – Christine Caine

“When someone does something wrong, don’t forget all the things they did right.”

“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.”

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with one another, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” – {derived from} Ephesians 4:2

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Thank you so much for reading, guys. I hope that you all have a blessed rest of the week! How about you?

What do YOU desire to focus on in August?

— Maggie

 

Thoughtful Tuesday | Little Life Updates

Thoughtful Tuesday | Little Life Updates

Hello everyone! Ahh I’m so excited and happy to be back! How have all of you been? I’ve been absolutely fantastic. 💖💚

It was so strange to be away from WordPress for two full weeks. Well, alright I take that back; I haven’t been responding to comments or commenting on others’ posts, but I have been stalking the Reader just a wee bit. 😂 There were a few afternoons where I found myself bored (unnecessarily; I had plenty of things I could have been doing lol), and could not resist. However, it was pure torture to wait to comment until I was back to posting! So here I am, back to the blogging world today, about a week early. Why is that, you may ask?

There are two reasons: I was more than ready to be back to interacting with you guys, and I start 12th grade next week. I’ll have a lot to juggle with schooling and blogging if I were to start both in the same week!! So, upon my mom’s suggestion, I am back seven days early, which I’m very joyful about. I can’t wait to catch up with all of you! I’m also looking forward to some of the new subjects I’ll be studying for my senior year.

On that note, I must say that I can’t believe I only have two semesters left until I’m done homeschooling. 😱 That fact is SO exciting and kind of scary to me, too! Am I ready to adult yet?? lol I’ll turn eighteen next April!! Only time will tell, I suppose.

Back to my blogging break: I accomplished so many things!! It could not have gone more smoothly or beautifully. I’ll be sure to write more about that in detail in my monthly wrap-up post at the beginning of next month! To sum it up, I got back into reading more books, which makes me incredibly happy because I love reading, but it’s hard for me to make time for it nowadays. I decided on what changes I want to make in my typical blogging schedule; things are going to be more laid-back than they have been for the past few months. 🙂 I started cooking more; I’ve made a few new lunch dishes for me and my brother, and they turned out so well! I’ve been exercising more and doing yoga, which has been wonderful; I love getting fit and knowing that I’m making the right choices health-wise! I feel rejuvenated and 100% recharged, just like I hoped I would. I’m happy to be back to blogging, and I’m a much happier person in real life, too. ❤

When it comes to blogging, my motto at the moment is to blog comfortably – I’ve been pressing myself for blogging inspiration for too long! I’ll be posting when I’m inspired to and only then, writing standalone posts as they come to me and adding to series as I feel like it. Haha, that probably sounds like what I already was or should have been doing, but it isn’t. From now on, that will change.

Some of you may be wondering how my Mayan story is coming along, and I will say that it’s a nice work-in-progress. I have one book to finish reading on ancient Mayan history, then I’ll set out to write some scene ideas I have down. Because I write in short bursts of inspiration, it takes me longer to formulate stories than I’d like, but such is life. I am planning to share what I come up with here on my blog!

In the next week or two, I’ll be catching up on all the posts I’ve missed, responding to comments, and also finding new blogs to follow! That’s something I’ve missed doing these past couple of months; I didn’t have much time to reach out to new bloggers. That will change starting now. I’m really looking forward to meeting new blogging friends! 😊

My summer is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t make me sad in the least. I had a great time on my break, and the weeks before that were enjoyable, too.

I’d love to chat with you in the comments!!

What have YOU been up to lately?

I hope that you are all having a blessed week so far!

Spotlight Saturday – Shannon from Trail of Lights

Spotlight Saturday – Shannon from Trail of Lights

Hello everyone! How are you all doing today? 🙂 I hope and pray that your weekend has gotten off to a beautiful start!

If you haven’t already seen the post I did yesterday, I am taking a three-week long blogging break starting tomorrow. 🙂 This is the last post I’ll be doing for the month of July, but I’ll be back bright and early in August! Click here to learn more. 🙂

For this week’s spotlight, I got to interview one of my dearest blogging friends, who was also one of the first people I met on WordPress this year! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. ❤

My words are in italics, and hers are in bold.

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Spotlight Saturday #10

Hi everyone! Thank you for coming by this week’s Spotlight Saturday. Today, I’d like to introduce to you someone I met very shortly after starting my blog back in January; she was one of my very first readers! She is so sweet, writes encouraging posts, and I honestly really enjoy her blog so much. Please welcome Shannon from Trail of Lights!

Hello Maggie! Thank you so much for the interview! And hello readers – thank you all for tuning in. I hope you guys enjoy this 🙂

You’re welcome, Shannon! Alright, so first, can you tell us about yourself? What are some of your hobbies and interests?

Ok! I am a Texas girl and yes, I own a pair of cowgirl boots!

I’m going to college right now to become a child and teen psychologist, I love animals, and I would say my faith is the most important part of my life.

Hobbies include writing, reading in bed at midnight, scrapbooking and crafts, doing Irish dance leaps in my bedroom, musical theatre performances in the shower, and baking (sometimes) edible creations. 

Hahaha, that all sounds great! I’ve always wanted to scrapbook, but I have yet to pursue that dream, lol. Next, can you tell us about your blog? And what made you decide to start blogging?

I had wanted to start a blog for a while, in the back of my mind, but never did it. I really wanted one because as a writer, it was important to me to get feedback on my little scribblings. Also, I was starting college and wanted a way to keep people, like my grandparents and friends, posted about my life. And finally, I thought it might be therapeutic as well. So one day in the fall of 2016, I was on my computer, and suddenly I was purchasing a blog spot on WordPress!

My blog is called Trail of Lights, from the verse in James 1:12, and from a poem I wrote that contains that phrase.

I wanted a positive blog that looks at the good in our world. However, I have always struggled with depression and anxiety, and I also wanted my blog to be a place where you could go and feel like you don’t have to hide your struggles.

So I finally decided I would just have a blog that reflects me.

Some posts are goofy, others are reflections, either in photos or words. I try to acknowledge the good and the bad of life. And ultimately, I hope maybe the posts will help people consider taking their struggles to God.

What a cool way to start blogging, Shannon! I’m always so excited to create new blogs. ❤ I haven’t done that recently, but when I was younger, I had multiple ones, hahaha! Also, I love the focus of your blog, how you delight in the joy in your life, as well as reflect on the sad. It helps us to keep our eyes on the Lord, to talk through what upsets us, as well as praising Him no matter what we’re going through. 🙂 My next question is, can you share a few of your favorite posts that you’ve written? Why are they your favorites?

I am so glad you enjoy my blog Maggie! And hearing you describe it also brings joy to my heart because what you said is exactly what I wanted to convey to readers: that there are good times and bad times in life, and it’s ok to talk about both of them – Jesus is there with you no matter what, and there IS hope for tomorrow. 

Oh my goodness! Favorite posts… I really, really enjoyed the Philosopher Frog Tea Party post, and I know Kafka and Conrad did too! That really brings out the goofy side of my blog 😊!!!

My other favorite post is Kisses. It is an old blog post – one of the first I did. It is pretty serious, but I published it because I remember so clearly feeling so proud of it once it was done, and wishing I could share it. Because it expresses both my dark times and my hope.

Finally, I love one of my Sunday Blues-Busters in particular! It’s the Sloths, Songs, and Sickness post.

Yes!!! There will always be hope for tomorrow. ❤ I love all of those posts, Shannon!! That particular Sunday Blues Buster had me cracking up 😀 Now I’d like to know, do you have any advice or inspirational words you could share with us for anyone going through difficult times?

It’s never easy to know what to say to people going through painful experiences; everyone’s situation is different, and sometimes even good advice can come at the wrong time! But to anyone going through something tough, you need to know: you are loved.

I know that God loves you and wants the best for you. He doesn’t forget people, and He understands our weaknesses. Let me, (Shannon) encourage you to not give up, even though it’s really hard sometimes. I won’t if you won’t.

When I was a kid, in Sunday School, one of my teachers gave each child a rock, to represent the Ebenezer stones Israel put up in different places, as memorials to what the Lord has done. Sometimes, things happen in our lives when we clearly sense the Lord’s presence, or we see something happen that only God could do. When that happens, write it down. Or get a rock to remember it by. Remember your Ebenezers, don’t forget the good times and the amazing things in your life that God has provided. Reading that list will help you remember that God has begun a work in your life, and He will not stop now.

That is beautiful advice, Shannon. 🙂 It has definitely proved to be helpful for me over the years to think back on how the Lord has worked in my life and shown Himself to be faithful, as my immediate response to hard times is to wonder why He’s allowed that situation to happen. By remembering the good that He has done, it makes difficulties so much easier to bear. Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Shannon! It has blessed me to learn more about you. Is there anything else you’d like to tell my followers before we go?

Thank you for interviewing me! It has been a pleasure. I just want to say thank you to all of your readers, and all of mine – you are all so special to me, and make my day brighter! I hope you continue to enjoy ‘Dreaming of Guatemala,’ and that you keep coming back for more of Maggie’s delightful posts. Kafka and Conrad salute you!

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Thank you all so much for reading! It would bless both of us if you could go visit her blog for yourself. She writes about things going on in her life, encouragement and inspiration to bust your Sunday blues, and so much more.

Happy Saturday, guys!!

— Maggie

Time To Recharge || A Three Week Blogging Break

Time To Recharge || A Three Week Blogging Break

Hello everyone! ❤ How’s it going? I hope that you are all doing well. If you’re in the US, did you have a good 4th of July weekend? Mine was fantastic! 🙂

Unfortunately, I have some sad news to share with you today. As a matter of fact, it’s happy for me, but I’m also sad about it. *sighs* I guess there’s no easy way to put it.

I need some time away from blogging, so I am taking three weeks off from being on WordPress.

In this post, I’ll share with you why I’ve decided to do this, what I plan to do while I’m away, and where else you can find me online if you’d like to stay in touch!

Why I’m Going Away:

  • I’m working on a story. Ahh this is the most exciting part, and also the main reason! It would be impossible for me to spend my writing time on story research if I were to be post planning, too. That’s why I really need this break; to solidify what my story will be like (I need to pick a plot and develop characters), so then I can eventually begin writing it. I’ve already penned down full scenes that honestly have me SO excited for what the full novel will turn out to be! Also, if you’d like a hint as to what it will be about, here’s a picture clue:

  • I need to recharge. My blogging inspiration hit a high last week, and then suddenly … it dropped to zero. Haha! Then I came up with a great story idea and my blogging drive was really done for, lol. During my time away, I’ll slowly work on new post ideas, and learn how to better plan posts that I enjoy doing weekly. It’s a learning process.
  • I need a detox. This time away will do me so much good! I won’t be attached to my phone half as much as I am now, and I’ll be able to focus on doing other things that are important aspects of my life, such as growing closer to my family, writing, and playing the piano. Don’t get me wrong, blogging makes me extremely happy, and I love getting to be there when someone has just published a post, and I love quickly responding to comments, but I need a break. I really do. I’ve become a tad too obsessed.

Goals For While I’m Away

  • Plan and write this mystery story. And it’s going to be epic. lol
  • Really focus on piano-learning and Spanish-mastering. As you know, I already do these things, but I have to go to so much trouble to squeeze them in to my daily schedule, it’s crazy. No longer!
  • Decide how I want to blog when I come back. I’d like my weekly posting plan to be a little different, I think. If I do decide to focus on different topics once I’m back, I will appreciate having decided on this before I return.
  • Go through things I’ve fallen behind on. This mainly has to do with digital picture organization at the moment, but I’ll probably add to this task as the break goes on.
  • Exercise and stretch more. I fiercely struggle to stick to this because each time I try to get fit and toned or whatever, I hurt myself lol, but I’ll take this slowly. I will eventually be a flexible yogi, and I will have toned abs and arms. ONE DAY!
  • Watch Poldark Season 2. What a strange thing to have on a goals list. But it’s true. It was just released on Amazon Prime, and I intend to eagerly watch each episode while drooling over my character crush (not telling who. Or can you guess?).

Where You Can Find Me

I’m on Twitter, Pinterest, and I have my email, too! ( dreamingofguatemala@yahoo.com ) If you follow me on Twitter, I give funny life updates with relevant gifs a lot of the time, and on Pinterest, I’ve mainly been adding to my story’s board, where I keep a large amount of my story inspiration. You should totally check that out if you’re interested! Last but not least, if you want to directly send me a message, I respond to all emails usually within a day, so feel free to reach out; I’d love to chat with you.

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I am very sad about this parting, but it is so desperately needed that I am still looking forward to it. 🙂 xxx

Today and tomorrow, I’ll be responding to all the comments I get and posting one last Spotlight Saturday for the month. I’ll also catch up on all of your blogs so that I won’t be behind on any new posts when I go away. 🙂

From Sunday, the 9th of July, until Sunday, the 30th of July, you won’t see me around. I’ll probably post again on August 1st, but we’ll see!

Thank you all sooo much for your continued support. I will miss you all so much! ❤ I’d definitely love to talk to you on Twitter, Pinterest, and via email, so contact me if you’re interested in staying in touch! xx

I hope that you guys have a blessed and happy July!

— Maggie