Amber: Thank you for hosting me! It’s such an honor to be asked—and I’m quite excited to be interviewed for the first time on a blog!
It’s quite an interesting story about how I got started blogging. Before I started my own blog, I had been reading others’ blogs and entering lots of giveaways (which proved quite fruitful every now and then!). It wasn’t until last semester (Spring 2010) when I actually created my own blog. My bowling teacher and I were talking about my interest in writing, and he asked me if I had a blog. He said that it was important for a person serious about writing to have a blog. That’s when it kind of hit me—the idea that I could actually have my own blog.
So I promptly sent an e-mail to Renee from the blog “Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot.” I had won Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania during her blogoversary, and I thought that maybe she would be willing to help a newbie out. As it turns out, she was not only willing to help, but she was willing to truly invest in my blog. I can’t tell you how many times she’s answered my random questions and left encouraging comments on my blog. In fact, she was one of my first followers! What an amazing blessing her friendship has been!
2. What is your purpose in blogging?
Amber: I hope it’s alright if I just include most of the words from my “welcome” message on my blog. I think they sum up my answer well:
“The title of this blog refers to a poem I wrote entitled ‘Seasons of Humility.’ In the poem I express the struggle I have had with wanting my own way. I want to hold on to my own dreams, my own plans for my life. But I know that God has a plan for my life, one that will bring Him glory and will be even better than my dreams. So while the autumn and winter ‘seasons’ of learning to let go can sometimes be painful and long, when the spring comes it is wondrous indeed. And through it all God never leaves me. The intent of this blog, then, is to share my thoughts as I continue on this journey of striving to be humble before my Lord. My hope is that my thoughts will encourage you on your journey, as well, whether my thoughts are on my day or on the books I have been reading!”
3. What are your favorite parts of blogging?
Amber: What isn’t my favorite part about blogging? ;) I love blogging so much, from brainstorming themed-week ideas, to the process of writing the posts, to reading the comments from all of my wonderful readers. I sometimes have a hard time when there aren’t many comments on my posts, but really, I just want God to use me to encourage others, even if they don’t leave comments after they’ve read the posts. I have to remember that we simply don’t have time to leave comments on every single post that others’ write.
Anyway, I guess you could say that my favorite part about blogging is the people. I’ve been able to make so many friends—real, true friends—through blogging, and I only hope I might be able to inspire and uplift them as much as they have done for me!
I do have to say, though (as another favorite part about blogging), I love just writing the posts. I think God blesses me so much through simply allowing me the chance to contemplate how great He is, and to be reminded of where my hope and my treasure truly are.
4. Do you have a story about how you have gained encouragement while blogging?
Amber: I have so many stories that I don’t think I have enough room to share them all on here! I’m constantly being encouraged through the comments left on my posts, the interviews I do with various authors, and the e-mails and messages I get from my blogging buddies.
I remember the first time I “met” Amanda, one of my dear blogging friends. Her first comment was on one of my posts entitled “Please Hear Me Out,” where I discussed my struggle with my own selfishness and my tendency toward being unsocial. Amanda’s comment was so meaningful, and her understanding and support ever since has meant more than she will ever know.
All of the kind words that have been said to me, all of the encouraging comments, and all of the friendships I have made because of blogging . . . I could never truly express my gratitude for these gifts!
5. Can you share with us any special features you have on your blog and why you decided to offer them?
Amber: Good question! Because my blog is titled “Seasons of Humility,” I decided to have a seasonal rating system for the books I review (as shown in the sidebar of my blog). Also, I have a “Normal Weekly Schedule,” which is relatively new. Here’s what it looks like as of now:
*Sundays by the Sea: Encouraging thoughts inspired by the sea
*Mondays for the Military: A day set aside to pray for and honor the United States military
*True Love Tuesdays: Where the romantics at heart find a home
*Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and/or Saturdays: Book and movie reviews, college news, etc.
*Starting September 24 . . . Fall Fridays: Celebrating autumn and seeking humility
I haven’t always been following this schedule very strictly, so we’ll see how it goes in the future!
And for those who aren’t familiar with me or my blog, I am quite fond of themed weeks! ;) I don’t know if I could claim a favorite, as they all have been fun in their own ways, but I really did enjoy doing “Camp Humility,” where a group of us went to summer camp through my blog. It was fantastic, and I hope if I do something like that again that I can get even more people involved! The more the merrier, as they say!
6. Is there anything you’ve learned along the way about your relationship with God while blogging?
Amber: I think that because of the theme of humility on my blog I’ve been reminded of how much that truly entails and how much I have yet to learn about being humble before God. I’ve also been reminded how absolutely, inexpressibly wonderful having a relationship with the Lord really is! God knows our hearts, and He has given us certain passions that He can use through our lives to reach out to others and bring Him glory. I have loved learning more about God’s provisions and mercies through writing about them and seeing how God has worked in my readers’ lives!
7. Can you share any Scriptures that have encouraged you in your writing?
Amber: I have a verse in my sidebar that I came across a while ago, and I thought it fit well with the humility theme on my blog:
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
Another humility verse that I used in the post I mentioned earlier called “Please Hear Me Out” is Proverbs 15:32-33:
"He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."
I don’t know if that really answers your question, but I hope my answer is alright. Different verses from God’s Word encourage me and inspire me when I’m writing specific posts, so there are always those, too!
8. Can you recommend ways that we as bloggers can minister to our readers?
Amber: There are so many ways to minister to our readers—I love just thinking about all of the possibilities! First and foremost I encourage us all (something I need to remember as well) to seek God’s will first and foremost. Often He uses us in ways we never expect or even understand.
I encourage bloggers to be creative! Sometimes readers just need something fun to make them smile as they go through their day. There are so many different ways—like having themed weeks, etc.—to give readers (and ourselves as bloggers!) something to anticipate.
Besides just having fun posts, I encourage bloggers to be honest. It can be hard to share what you’re struggling with, but a lot of times we all just need to hear that we’re not the only ones having a hard time, and this opens up opportunities to encourage each other and pray for one another.
Also, I encourage bloggers to write about some of the ways they have seen God at work in their own lives. This can include simply writing about what Scripture has really touched your heart or what movie or book reminded you of certain truths you needed to ponder.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Amber: My first semester at college, I started a Facebook account. Because of all the time I felt I wasted on it (plus all of the drama it caused in my life with that “chatting” feature), I deactivated my account over Christmas break after that first semester.
Now, what does that have to do with blogging? Well, I started my own blog last spring, and I’ve been asked what the point was in deactivating my Facebook account if I spend just as much (if not more) time blogging.
It was a valid question. My answer: blogging is so much more meaningful than Facebook ever was or ever could be for me. It is my hope that God can use me to encourage others and bring Him glory through my blog. I know it has been a tremendous blessing in my life, and I have such a passion for it! For those who have a love for writing, I really recommend blogging. I know it isn’t possible for everyone to devote all of the time blogging requires in order to have a faithful and interested readership. But I know that, at least for me, the time invested in my blog has reaped benefits I can’t even begin to express my thankfulness for! Blogging is such a joy!