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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

Monday, May 5, 2014

A to Z Challenge 2014, Reflections

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As I reflect on this year’s A to Z challenge, I find a smile come to my face, satisfied to have completed another and already planning for next April.  Why smile?  Well it feels good to accomplish something that is, well, a challenge.   It is always fun to reacquaint with friends from the previous year’s challenge, meet new friends and cultures, and discover talented bloggers to follow.  It’s also a real delight to find how I grow through the challenge.  I appreciate alternative views a little more.  I find myself more compassionate towards the hurting.  I understand blogging, writing, and thinking a bit better.

1.     Loved catching up with some blog friends I made in last year’s challenge.
2.     Loved meeting new friends.
3.     Loved visiting with people from diverse cultures and from around the world.
4.     Loved being challenged to write.
5.     Loved being challenged to think and grow.
6.     Glad to be back blogging again after such a long hiatus.
7.     Sad so many didn’t finish.
8.     Glad I learned so much from some great bloggers like Silvia at Silvia Writes, who wrote on all things Romanian and Sharon at Shells, Tales, and Sails who taught us about all things fruit.  Did you know there was an ice cream fruit?
9.     Sad I wasn’t able to visit 5 new A to Zers every day.
10. Glad for those I did visit and revisit.  I hope to continue to check out others on the list in the coming days and months. 

Things I learned that were helpful.

1.     It was valuable to check in with the challenge website as often as I could to see the daily post there.  Often there were helpful tips to enhance the challenge experience.  Also, those who are commenting on the challenge website are among those who are surely continuing and so they make good first visits.

2.     It was nice not to have a particular theme, but I find that I enjoy visiting those who did, so I am thinking about that for next year.

3.     I like being able to find out more about the bloggers themselves.  So I appreciate reading the about me link and seeing their photo.  I may have to do a better job of that myself.

4.     I really liked when someone recommended another blogger, and I usually went over to visit them as well.  So I did do that a few times.  If I plan it out better, I'd like to include  more recommendations or bloggers I found worth a visit.  There are plenty I could and would recommend.

5.     Last year I planned it out a bit more.  That was helpful especially when time got tight.  However, I feel less stress about it at this year’s conclusion.  Is that because it wasn’t all new or because of just getting to it when and if I could?  I don’t know, but I think, if possible, I’ll plan ahead a bit next year.

Thank you to all who stopped by.    Thank you to the all the A to Z team for your dedication in seeing this through and encouraging all of us.  I don't know how you do it, but I know it wouldn't happen if not for you.  I appreciate you.  And thank you again, Lee, for your brainchild.  Really enjoyed visiting with each one of you.

                                                                                                                  God bless, Maria

A to Z Challenge, 2014

33 comments:

  1. Smart idea to visit those who commented on the A to Z Blog.
    I've featured my blogger buddies as part of my theme for the past four years. It was cool to see so many others doing it this year as well.
    Glad you had a good time!

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    1. Thanks Alex. It's your feature that first made me appreciate mentioning other bloggers in my posts. You do a great job highlighting them and I have really appreciated that. Thanks for the great job you do with the challenge and always supporting other bloggers. God bless, Maria

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  2. How cool that some of the same people participate each year. I wrote everything early in the month. I think I was on Z by the 15th...but I've already written all of May's blogs, too. The only problem is, sometimes I want to write about something immediately, so I have to bump something!

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    1. That's amazing that you can do that, Stephanie. I can't think that fast! Appreciate you taking time to visit. God bless, Maria

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  3. Wonderful Reflections post. You laid everything out very nicely. It's good to hear such a positive report as yours. Thank you!

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Thanks Lee. You have definitely started a wonderful ball rolling. God bless, Maria

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  4. Hi Maria. I just saw one of your comments on Silvia's last post, so I thought I'd hop over, even though the challenge is done. I'm a fellow A to Z'er and now your newest follower. It's nice to 'meet' you.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. Nice to meet you too, Debi. Whew, It's been more than 2 weeks and I'm just catching up with replies, but I'll be by to see you. God bless, Maria

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  5. Seeing other places is a good way to spend the Challenge. I too enjoyed connecting with people I don't visit often.

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    1. It is great to reconnect and go around the world. Thanks for the visit. J.L. God bless, Maria

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  6. Congratulations for finishing, Maria! Like you, I learn the most about blogging by paying attention to the way I interact with other blogs. What kind of blogs engage me? Do I have the patience to read long articles? Is it easy to comment? Is there an "About" page where I can read more than just a little Blogger bio? If these things matter to me when I visit a blog, they probably matter to people when they visit mine. Lesson learned. :)

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    1. I love how succinctly you put that Colin, encapsulating everything I thought about as I considered my reflections. I appreciate your insight and comments. God bless, Maria

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  7. Great reflections post! What a wild ride the challenge was, great job on finishing it!

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    1. Thanks Jayne. Glad to be on the journey with so many great people. God bless, Maria

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  8. Congrats for having completing the challenge ! its tough to visit too many, but I made it as many as I could by keeping my posts short. You have organised this post and presented it well ! thanks for sharing !

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    1. Keeping posts short is a great idea, for writer and audience. Thanks for your visit. God bless, Maria

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  9. Congrats on finishing the challenge! I like your idea of visiting those who comment on the AtoZ blog posts. I also want to include recommending other bloggers next year.

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    1. Glad we took the journey together, TaMara. God bless, Maria

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  10. What great reflections! I agree that having someone recommend another good blog is a fun way to discover new writers yourself, and I'm glad I discovered yours! Love the Scripture reference in your profile - it's always been a favorite verse of mine!

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    1. Thanks, John Mark. I have been blessed by visiting your blog. I'm sure I'll be mentioning yours one of these days. God bless, Maria

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  11. I agree with Arlee, very well written Reflection. Would you like to use it as a guest post at the A-Z Blog? As I read through the Reflections, I'm inviting exceptional ones to be featured. If you're interested, please contact me with another quick comment, or drop an email to tndowney at gmail.
    Thanks for following! Glad you'll be on the road trip with us!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

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  12. Oh I'm excited you want to be included! Please send me your post IN HTML and I'll get it on the schedule. I'll give you a couple of dates to choose from. We can iron it out by email. tndowney at gmail.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

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    1. Great to be honored by the A to Z team. Thanks Tina. God bless, Maria

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  13. I agree with your good tip about visiting the A-to-Z home during the challenge. There is often helpful hints and strategies given in addition to motivation.
    Mary @ The View from my World

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    1. Absolutely, Mary. So glad for the A to Z teams helpful hints. Thanks for visiting. God bless, Maria

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  14. I was head bobbing to every point you made! We did it!

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    1. We think alike, Ronda. God bless, Maria

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  15. Maybe I should do it next year? A book a day? Ummmm....you'll have to help me think it through. April is usually a very busy month, so I haven't done it in the past.

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    1. How gret would that be doing it together, Heidi. I say go for it! Love you. God bless, Maria

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  16. Yay! We made it! I'm not so sure about next year, but I think this year was awesome and I was so glad to take the journey along with you. Here's to new friends and a stellar April!

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    1. It's been great visiting with you, Crystal. I'm sure I'll be doing lots more. God bless, Maria

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  17. Great points. You shared many statements that I wasn't sure how to put into words. Thanks for visiting me. You are so kind. I look forward to reading more from you!

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  18. Thanks Melanie. I hope we become great blogging buddies. God bless, Maria

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