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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reflecting On the A to Z Challenge


A to Z Challenge:  Reflections:  

A to Z Reflections


The A to Z Challenge really started for me back a few month in preparation for April. I began tracking the A to Z challenge website and gaining tips and tricks for how to prepare, as well as how to get and give the most in the challenge.  And I did learn oodles from that daily check in.  I practiced daily what I was learning, like visiting blogs of those on the list and prewriting some of the A to Z entries.  Both of these were huge helps.  In fact, if I participate next year, and right now I think I will, I’ll start even earlier and try to not only get most prewritten but also pre-posted, which I did not do until we got very close to the kick-off.  

Starting off in April wasn’t too tough.  I was able to get a week’s worth of pre-posts ready to go, and so the daily 5 new blog visits and revisiting those who became blogging friends or those blogs that really intrigued me or those that were kind enough to stop by my blog was not initially too difficult.  However, as I began to fall behind on the rest of life, running to catch up, and as I didn’t have a week in advance ready anymore, if even a day, and as the revisits mounted up, well the CHALLENGE of the event began to challenge me.  

I imagine I am not much different than others in this regard.  At that point I not only had to catch up some days with life outside of the blogosphere, I started to feel like I had to catch up with life in blogland as well, because I am fanatical about keeping my commitments, and I made a commitment to visit as well as write my own entry.  So by golly, I was going to do it!

In spite of the stress in the second half, what a joy it has been connecting with the  like-minded, coming to understand the not-so-like-minded, visiting places and people from around the world, being inspired by the young, the old, and the simply inspiring, and so much more that many of us would never have been exposed to.  It has been a truly growing experience.  Not only writing everyday in this way, but also connecting in a way that is, well, out of this world in more ways than one, I have found myself very deeply contemplative on some points and prayerful for new people.  The fun, the inspiration, the challenge, have all been a healthy stretch.  

I am very grateful that God laid it on Arlee’s heart to get this off the ground those few years back.  It is incredible how many people’s lives around the world A to Z has touched and how it has connected so many of us in such a good way.  Recently I was listening to a speaker who was addressing the current state of our information age that we know so many things that in reality are trivial and unnecessary to our daily lives, and yet we don’t know what is happening in our neighbors lives.  True and sad.  Yet this challenge brought lives together in an explosion of discovery.  Perhaps some of it was trivial and unnecessary, but I have to say I do feel like it did add to the quality of my life, my personal development, and my relationships across the spectrum of this world and the cyber-world.  Thank you Arlee and thank you to all of you who have connected with me through this A-Z adventure.  

A to Z Challenge Reflections

33 comments:

  1. Yet this challenge brought lives together in an explosion of discovery.

    YES! And your review/recap was right on! I am grateful to have found your blog, and been on the receiving end of your thoughtful comments. It is fun to have so many new followers/friends and blogs to read each day!
    tm

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    1. I agree Tracy, It has been great making new friends, and I loved your reflections. You hit everything I was thinking all along the way and wished I had jotted down to include in my own reflections. Thanks so much. Glad we have become blogging friends. God bless, Maria

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  2. A great account on your reflections of the challenge. Well done.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you Yvonne. You have been one of those inspiring figures. God bless, Maria

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    1. Thanks Jen, It's been fun spending more time with you through A to Z. God bless, Maria

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  4. I think I found your blog through the challenge, so I'm glad you participated. Take care and many blessings to you and yours!

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I am glad we found each other too. God bless, Maria

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  5. Explosion of discovery...that really says it. I couldn't put that into words, but love how you did. I'm making my way through the reflections linky today and hitting folks I didn't hit on the sign up linky, so more new folks, more meeting. Awesome.
    Oozing Out My Ears

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    1. Let the fun continue. You're right, Sandy, awesome! Thanks for making the stop. God bless, Maria

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  6. Great thoughts- I certainly felt the same way through out the challenge- wanting to connect more with others. But thankful for the connections it did provide. Mostly, I am thankful for the opportunity to achieve a blogging goal!

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    1. Hi Becky, Thanks for coming by. It does feel so good to complete a goal! I enjoyed visiting your blog too and congratulations on your soon to arrive next child. God bless, Maria

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  7. Great reflections.I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Go to this post to find out more: http://www.dlshackleford.com/liebster-award/

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    1. I am honored DL. Thank you. This will be my second Liebster, but I appreciate it none the less! God bless, Maria

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  8. The challenge was definitely keeping up with all the comments and visiting all the other blogs! I nominated you for an award at my blog, Mama Diaries. If you'd like it, please stop by and pick it up.

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    1. Wow, Sherry, Thank you so much. I will definitely stop by. And I agree the comments were a challenge. I wanted to really read the blogs I commented on and make my comments worthwhile, so it was definitely a challenge.

      Thanks again, Sherry. God bless, Maria

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  9. Hello, Maria, it's my first time visiting your blog and I'll make it a regular trek from now on! I saw your website on Sherry's list of winners so congratulations! If you'd like to stop by my blog, please visit: www.dhdunne.blogspot.com. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thank you Deanie. I appreciated being nominated by Sherry and congratulations to you too for your many awards. I could see it was well deserved. God bless, Maria

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  10. Very good Reflections post. Congratulations on completing it successfully.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Congratulations to both of us. God bless, Maria

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  11. Lovely reflections on the challenge. I agree that is was a wonderful way to connect and uplift other like-minded individuals.
    p.s. I'm passing along the Liebster award to you on my blog!

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    1. Thank you Joy for your comments and for the honor of your nomination for the Liebster award. I humbly accept. You are very kind. Thank you and God bless, Maria

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  12. Congratulations on completing the challenge!

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    1. Thanks Heidi. I always appreciate your support. God bless, Maria

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  13. Congrats on finishing. Meeting like-minded bloggers is definitely one of the good parts of the challenge. :-)

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  14. Good morning, Maria. I nominated you for another award. Please go to: www.dhdunne.blogspot.com to find out more.

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  15. Hi Maria! Guess what? You won a copy of my book, That Mama is a Grouch! Congratulations! Please send me an email at sherry.ellis@cinci.rr.com and let me know where to send it.

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  16. I feel like the first week is always a bit of a breeze, and then you get slammed. But it's always so fun meeting other people and seeing the great ideas they come up with.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  17. I also loved meeting new people during the challenge. It's definitely the best part of it, but I also found the rest of my life falling behind in April.

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  18. Maria, I nominated you for another award. Please go to: www.dhdunne.blogspot.com to find out more.

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  19. Hi Maria. Starting my posts early in March was certainly a big help, but like you, I think and an even earlier start would be good. I was pretty burned out by the end with all the blog hopping and trying to respond to new members, which in my case grew from 2 to 55. Your site was always a breath of fresh air. Thanks for that!

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  20. Beautifully said, and congrats on finishing! You've got yourself a new follower, and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    #atozchallenge reflections on Kristen's blog: A to Z Reflections

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  21. This is a very nice reflection piece. The first year I did the challenge, I had some of these same thoughts/feelings. I now start writing NEXT year's posts as soon as the current challenge is over. Just two a month sets me up very well. It IS amazing how many great people you can find. It's helped me find my own voice and determine what I want my blog to accomplish. I'm so glad to have found you, Maria. I think I wrote earlier that I enjoy connecting w/ other believers. :-)
    from The Dugout

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I delight in hearing your thoughts!