Recently I joined an online community called “The High Calling”. Soon after I joined, I received a welcome e-mail from Dena Dyer, the High Calling’s “Welcome Wagon” (and author, speaker, blogger) 🙂 , and one of the things she asked me to do was to write a blog entry explaining to my readers why I joined this group. The purpose of this blog entry is to give the answer to that question, and I will also explain how I found this group.
I began blogging over two years ago because I enjoy writing, and blogging seemed a good fit for me. The blog journey began. As I continued to write, though, I longed to connect more with others online and spend more time on my blog.
Some months ago, as I was reading Beth Moore’s blog, I noticed other readers mentioning a book called One Thousand Gifts. I was intrigued by their comments and interest in this book, so I did a google search for the book and found Ann Voskamp’s beautiful blog. I was captivated by her story and her writing. From there, I read her first chapter, and then ordered my own copy of the book.
On her blog, I noticed she offered a place for bloggers to join in and give thanks and write about faith—so I began linking up at her site each Monday and Wednesday. It was through Ann Voskamp’s blog and links that I found The High Calling. I began poking around the High Calling site, and reading articles, which I found both practical and inspiring. Here is one article in particular I enjoyed about a month ago “Mary, Full of Grace” (in which the author meets a poor lady from India named Mary, in Texas…beautifully told), and here is an article posted yesterday Mama! Are You Coming? (in which the author has a book published and her celebration is a mere 27 seconds…read why in her wonderful article!)
From there, I began reading a few of The High Calling blogs, and gradually started participating, by commenting and eventually by taking the leap of linking up at a few places, such as with Laura at The Wellspsring, L.L.Barkat’s Seedings in Stone, Michelle deRusha’s site Graceful, and Emily at Imperfect Prose. I enjoy each one of these lovely places, and I am inspired by each one of these people and their blogs. Even if I don’t link up each week, I find something that encourages me, truth to spur me on in my own journey of faith, and examples of fine writing. In addition, I have a long list of others I am beginning to read and getting to know. Lately I’ve been checking out Glynn Young’s favorite picks on Saturday at Faith, Fiction, Friends and my “blogs to read list” has grown that much larger. It’s a feast.
I joined The High Calling because I wanted to be a part of a bigger community, part of a larger conversation, and not be the lone anonymous blogger anymore. I was thrilled to find an online community of people who love the Lord, and write about it– and I wanted to be part of it. I feel as if I have found a group of mentors and colleagues, living out this life of faith; talented, passionate writers who challenge, encourage, inspire… who share their stories and ideas, and share them well. I want to be part of this kind of group in the blogosphere. The High Calling is a “safe” place online, a place I know I can find solid truths to read daily. The editors and contributors are a group of people who are tremendously gifted in writing and who are using this gift to write about faith.
It is nice not to be a “lonely blogger” out there anymore. Honestly, it felt risky to start linking up at first. After having been a lone blogger for so long, I felt timid, like a little water girl who wanted to try out for a Major League team; however, I long to walk in community online just as much as I long for this in my person-to-person, walking everyday life. And I’m still stepping out, getting to know people out there and letting them get to know me (online and in the face-to-face world). Stepping out is far more rewarding than blogging alone. I’ve “met” amazing people and read incredible stories and fabulous writing I’d probably not have encountered otherwise. This is yet another facet of the wonderful journey of faith the Lord has me walking.
I love it. I’m having a blast blogging and reading others’ blogs. I do a little cartwheel in my head when I see a comment. It is thrilling to me when people actually read my blog– and then also leave a comment. (Isn’t that thrilling, blog-writers?!)
And finally, one more thing. Through following a few of the links on some of The High Calling blogs I’ve read, I even started posting a little bit of poetry online. I found a couple of sites that offer poetry link-ups, where I’ve found other High Calling participants (and other faith-inspired writers) — and that has been exciting for me. I didn’t envision I’d be posting poetry online (it’s been confined to journals, never online until recently), but I’m immensely enjoying this unexpected part of the journey. Again—it was another leap, and it was risky (and still is) to put my work out there. But, at what other point in time have writers been able to get this kind of feedback from one another? Share with one another? I’m even starting a separate blog just for poetry and creative writing. And once again, I can say—I’m loving it.
Thank you, High Calling, for providing a place of rich content, a community to connect with, and a place to participate in the conversation of faith and life. I look forward to journeying with you.
We’re thrilled that you’ve found a “home” in THC netwwork. What an encouraing post! Thanks so much.
Thanks, Dena, and you’re welcome! Glad it encourages, and nice to meet you.
We are so glad you are part of our family. It’s a great place to find others with similiar values, who can help and encourage and motivate one another. I know this post gave me an encouragement!
High Calling Newsletter
Thank you so much! Walking in community — that’s how I want to walk. We can’t encourage or motivate anyone if we’re alone. Pleased to be a part!
Welcome! We’re glad to have you.
Thank you for the welcome! I enjoyed your article; it stuck with me. What a defining moment, and conversation.
I’m getting a little choked up reading this, Anna. Welcome to this community–you are not alone!
We’re so glad you’re here.
Content Editor, Family
Hi, thank you! Glad to be here. Your article showed real life as it is… an author but also a mom. Loved it!
What a joy to cross paths with you! Welcome to The High Calling community. I look forward to getting to know you more.
Grace and peace,
Jennifer Dukes Lee
Contributing Editor @TheHighCalling.org
Thank you, and lovely to meet you! Just stopped by at your place–love your writing… and your quote: “the way up is down”– indeed it is!
Oh Anna, what a wonderful post! I feel the same way about the High Calling — the community is wonderfully encouraging and supportive and I’ve learned so much about writing from so many affiliated with THC. Thanks for your sweet words here, and the mention — I so appreciate that…and you!
Hi Michelle, you are welcome! Blessings to you.
This explanation of why you joined is very well written-one in which I can relate. Your reasons for blogging sound so familiar. So glad you stopped by and enjoyed my story (which ultimately is God’s story). Always nice to meet a fellow “nutcase” 🙂 Glad to be journeying together now. Blessings!
Blessings back at ya! All of us nutcases have to stick together. 🙂
Loved to hear your story–and I need to find those poetry linkups! (For my reading pleasure–not because I’m a poet!)
Sure– I’m no expert, Anne, and I don’t know the full extent of what’s out there online– only the few poetry sites I’ve visited, but I’d be happy to share them with you. I’ll send you an e-mail this weekend, Thanks for reading!!
I’m so glad you found us, Anna. You have been a tremendous blessing to me as well. Welcome, welcome, a million times over!
Thank you Laura, I’ve greatly enjoyed “meeting” you!
it is like a family isn’t it?
Yes, and I’m thrilled to meet another sister!
This is a wonderful, accurate description of how awesome The High Calling network of bloggers really is. We’re delighted you’ve joined with us!
Thank you for the warm welcome, Cheryl, I’m even more and more glad I joined.
I started writing poetry too, thanks to some prodding, I mean, “encouragement”, from my high calling friends. It’s a great community. So glad you’ve joined us!
I love the name, “shrinking the camel”, just really love it.
Lately, I’ve been more behind the scenes managing and leading the High Calling, but, Anna, this warms my heart. So much of what we do requires a faith that each visitor, each subscriber, and each comment is a real person with a full life that is a service to God and others.
Thank you for the warm reminder that you are real! All of the people in the High Calling are real. And serving these people–even through the mode of technology–is a high calling.
Also. Where do I find your poetry?
First, I’m pleased to be a part of this group .
Second, thank you kindly for asking about my poetry! Here is the link to my poetry blog: