Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Meet & Greet | Ponderings of an Elect Exile

Happy Friday!  Are you ready for a little Meet & Greet?  Today, let's visit with  Jennifer of Ponderings of an Elect Exile.  She also blogs at Documenting Glory (her photography blog).  Let's learn a little more about her and her blogs, shall we?

What was your original purpose for starting a blog? Has it changed?
Back in 2007, I had been seeing some really fun homeschooling blogs and decided I wanted to so something similar. I love to write, journal, and scrapbook, and this seemed like a way to combine those interests and easily share the end product with others.

What is your blog about and why?
My tagline says, "Family...Friends...Learning...Books...Music...Photography...Food...And the Ramblings of a Simple Wife and Mom Daily Amazed by the Grace of an Awesome God". That pretty much sums it up. :) A little crafting, a little food, a little photography, a book review here and there, a little homeschooling, stories about our life and family, and a lot of my ponderings about what God is doing in our lives and in the world around us. I also write quite a bit about child protection issues...one of my passions.

As for the why...to share God's glory and to encourage others. And to have a bit of fun along the way. :)

What changes has your blog undergone since you started? How has it rewarded you?
I mentioned that I started my blog after seeing some really neat homeschooling blogs; however, my blog hasn't ended up being a "homeschooling blog" per se. It's pretty eclectic, as described above. That used to be unintentional. However, I've become more intentionally eclectic recently. :) I was so glad to find The Intentional Blogger, because that has really been a goal for me lately...to become more intentional as a blogger. I've been reading a lot on the subject of blogging...how to improve one's blog, how to monetize, etc. One of the things many of the "must do" lists say is that you must "find your niche". I really struggled with that for a while, until I realized that my niche is not having a niche! I'm an eclectic person, so it makes sense that my blog is going to be eclectic, too. (I have recently split off much of my photography...mostly nature photography...into a separate blog, Documenting Glory, but everything else stays together at Ponderings of an Elect Exile.)

I can think of two great rewards that have come from my blogging. One was that a woman who runs an online group for "fans" (I hate that word!) of Guy Penrod ran across my blog and posted a link to a post I did about one of his concerts. Through that connection, an IRL friend and I got involved with the group and ended up traveling half-way across the country to meet her and some other friends from the online group in person at a concert. They have become sweet friends and I am so thankful for the relationships that have developed through that connection. All from a simple blog post!

The second had to do with my posts on child protection. A friend in another area of the country shared with me that she had shared some of my child protection posts with a local friend of hers. The local friend had seen some red flags in regard to a group one of her children was involved in, but kept getting the "you can't really think that anyone here would hurt a child?" response. Because of my blog, she kept pushing for enforcement of safety policies that were already in writing, but not being followed. Come to find out, there was a person involved with this group who ended up being arrested as a child sexual predator. My friend wanted me to know that my blog encouraged this woman to stand her ground as far as policies being enforced, and because of that, her children and the other children in this group were not exposed to danger from this individual. Talk about rewarding!

Could you provide us with links to a couple of your most popular original recipes?
My most popular recipe post, which brings a lot of traffic from Pinterest, is "Oven-Free Friday on Saturday" ( http://jenbh.blogspot.com/2012/08/oven-free-friday-on-saturday.html ). It contains one of our favorite crock pot recipes, Saloon Beef, plus my husband's Ridiculously Easy/Ridiculously Good Crock Pot Mac-and-Cheese. :) Other popular recipe posts are "Cornbread Hating Yankee Converting Cornbread" ( http://jenbh.blogspot.com/2012/10/cornbread-hating-yankee-converting.html ) and "Vintage Eats: Daddy's Mexican Cornbread" ( http://jenbh.blogspot.com/2013/01/vintage-eats-daddys-mexican-cornbread.html ).

What brings you incredible joy in blogging?
My greatest joy in blogging is to hear that someone was strengthened in their faith, educated or assisted in the area of child protection, or just plain encouraged by something I wrote. I also love bringing back good memories for my family and friends through more personal stories, and I love the relationships that have developed through my little piece of the blogging world.

You can also find Jennifer here:
 
A meet and greet requires a little chit-chat... so how about leaving a comment on her Facebook page, blog or send off a quick hello in a tweet!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Hugs all around!
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