Reflections on… Reflection

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He who toils in the harvest field of prayer should occasionally pause awhile and refresh himself with a meal of meditation.”

Charles Spurgeon

 

 

We’ve closed the book on the April 2015 A to Z Challenge, and today is dedicated to reflecting on the journey. This has been a hectic month which has brought some major life changes for our family, and I’m mostly relieved to say that I made it! But I’ve also gleaned some valuable lessons from this writing challenge, and am glad I jumped back into the fray.

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The Value of Reflection

As we take a moment to reflect back over this past month, I’m reminded of the way Scripture constantly tells us to pause and reflect over our lives. After creating the galaxies, God Himself took the seventh day to reflect on all He had accomplished (Genesis 2:2-3). The Psalms are filled with the word “Selah,” which means to pause and reflect on the words that have just been read. And Ephesians 5:15 says “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” To walk circumspectly is to look carefully at how you are walking, or to reflect on the way you are living your life. Taking time to reflect on where life has taken us and what the Lord has been trying to show us along the way, then, is a biblical and fruitful venture!

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Lessons from A-Z

This was my second year to take on the A to Z Challenge, and I did learn a few helpful things. So here goes:

  1. If you’re a WordPress user and elect to launch a second blog, you should use a server other than WordPress for the new site.

While I published alphabetical posts for two different blogs, I really only saw results on my original WordPress site since it is linked directly to my profile picture. If I had it to do over again, I would have launched the second site from a completely different server and kept the two blogs entirely separate.

  1. Twitter is a wonderful place to meet new bloggers.

While I picked up a few new followers here at the blog, I made even more new connections on Twitter. I’ve found that interacting on Twitter (sending replies, re-tweeting the posts of others, and thanking those who’ve promoted you) can be a lot of fun, and is a great way for you and other writers to work together to draw traffic towards the blogosphere.

  1. Blogging is excruciatingly hard work, but there are people in the blogging community worth getting to know!

If you’re a blogger, than you know just how true this is. Coming up with a constant flow of new material can be back-breaking work, but it’s exciting to have an entire family of fellow writers walking beside you and cheering you on each and every step of the way. Thank you, fellow bloggers!

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Coming Up Here at The Artistic Christian!

If you’ve enjoyed this A-Z Series, then I’ve got good news for you… this is just the beginning! Here are a few exciting things I have coming up on my blog during the month of May:

  1. Where in the World is John Mark Miller?

Frequent readers will know that I’m graduating from seminary next week, and have been praying that the Lord would open up a pastor’s position for me. Well, He has answered that prayer even before I walked the graduation aisle, and we are packing our bags as I speak! Where will we be moving off to? Check back in a few days to find out!

  1. The May 4th Star Wars Giveaway!

I host occasional contests and giveaways on this site, and am getting ready to wrap up my Spring Giveaway on Monday, May 4. Interested in winning a Star Wars-themed prize? The guidelines are simple:

Step #1: Write a Star Wars-themed post (or find an old one)

Step #2: Post a link in the comment section below

Step #3: Tune in on May 5 to see if you’ve won!

  1. Flash Fiction Flashback

I love writing flash fiction pieces, and have missed this while laboring over my A-Z posts! Soon I will be back in the runnings for various flash fiction prizes, along with judging a few contests myself!

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What a joy it has been to get to know new writers and catch up with old friends this month. Take care, and I hope to see you back sometime soon!

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22 thoughts on “Reflections on… Reflection

  1. I had the same problem with having two blogs during the challenge. I received more traffic on my main blog rather than the one that I was actually posting the A to Z letters. Can you clarify on what you mean by using a different server? Congrats on graduating seminary! Very awesome! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Veronica! I meant that I would keep my main blog here on WordPress, but would launch the second one from a different blogging site such as Weebly or Blogger.com. That way I could leave comments from the other site, and people would be directed there, instead of having everyone directed to my main WordPress page.

      Good luck to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I found that I gained followers on the wrong blog. When I commented on blogs on other platforms I mostly left a link to my A to Z blog. I have all my blogs on my profile, but everyone’s in a hurry!
    I liked the way you linked your classics to a message.
    My Reflections post is ready for Monday and the linky list. Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on finishing the challenge! I really enjoyed your posts throughout the challenge, as always! 🙂

    I found your “things I learned” list very interesting and informative. Definitely good things to keep in mind for next year!

    Have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christina, and congratulations to you, too! And I’m glad you found the post helpful… I always appreciate it when other writers share tips that I can learn from… we’re all in this together!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on your graduation and new undertaking! It would be grand if you were coming to my area. How much of a “God thing” would that be?! I’ve enjoyed your work this month and congratulate you on a job well done! Take care, my friend! Blessings to you and your lovely family.

    Like

  5. I have enjoyed reading your posts over this past month! ..and thanks for the advice on connecting with other bloggers on Twitter! That is one resource I haven’t spent much time with. Congrats on the new Pastor position! That’s super exciting!!!!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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