An Open Letter to My Readers …

Dear My Place to Yours readers,

 

Renaissance Man once told me of a young lady who — when asked to tell her story in a worship service — said she would try … but that she’d never before spoken in front of a group and was very nervous. She wasn’t sure she could do it.  Forty-five minutes later, the pastor had to lovingly help her find a stopping place.  Obviously, she’d gotten over her fear of public speaking!  Some of you can totally relate, can’t you?


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Be assured: there’s no judgment here at all.  In fact, “it takes one to know one,” and I know that sometimes I have the same tendency.  Oddly enough, though, as I’m sitting here ready to reflect on my first year of blogging, I have no idea where to begin. Throughout the past several weeks — knowing I’d be writing this post — many things came to mind that I wanted to put in writing. Some were things I wanted to document for myself, and some were things I wanted to say to you.

 

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So where are they now when I need them?  Why are my ideas such a jumbled mess? I wonder if this is what writer’s block feels like?  I’ve never really experienced that before.  Honestly, though, I don’t think that’s it. I think I’m just a bit overwhelmed by the impact blogging has had on me.

 

 

As you may know, I’ve already published a post called Why I Blog. That was written after only about six months of blogging, and it was the most intense post I’d ever written — requiring of me a level of authenticity and transparency I had not “put out there” in such a way before. It’s never easy to bare the soul, and yet I believed it was the right thing to do — and so I did it — but it took a lot out of me.  I suspect that subconsciously that’s why my words aren’t coming easily tonight; because reflection necessarily means honesty at the deepest level of my being.  Honesty not about why I blog, but why I still blog … a year later.

 
 

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For several years, the word “blog” had a very negative connotation for me.  There were only two kinds of blogs of which I had any level of personal knowledge.  One was the “I got up at 6AM and brushed my teeth. I had a bowl of Cheerios with skim milk and a banana for breakfast…” kind of blog.  I just don’t “get it.”  Seriously, WHO cares?  I so totally do not have any appreciation for that kind of blog.  Sorry.
 
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The other kind of blog was a hate-filled, gossip-laden diatribe of cowardly, false, often anonymous comments designed to tear people down. I so totally do not have any appreciation for that kind of blog.  Not sorry.
 
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So when one day I innocently Googled “tablescape ideas” and found Between Naps on the Porch, my eyes were opened to an entirely new kind of blog.  Thank you!  For almost a year, I sometimes lurked (and often drooled) over the wonderful tablescapes I saw there — some designed by our hostess, Susan, and some belonging to her readers.

 
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But more even than the pretty tables was the camaraderie I sensed among the blog’s readers. More beautiful to me than the dishes was the vibe of GOOD that I felt when I read the blog posts and comments. Of course, every tablescaper’s personality was different, but there was a graciously kind, encouraging, and compassionate warmth that was almost tangible. (Still is!) I don’t know about you, but that really ministers to my spirit.

 

 

Eventually when I decided to open My Place to Yours at Etsy, it seemed that a blog would be the natural “next step.”  And so this blog began … on July 21, 2010 with my debut tablescape celebrating the 100th week of tablescaping at Between Naps on the Porch … and my eyes were opened further.

 

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This past year of blogging has shocked me silly. For one thing, photography was never even a hobby for me before blogging. Ever. Zero interest.  Now, I catch myself stopping in the middle of something to pick up my camera.  I find myself digging out my cell phone in the middle of a store or parking lot to take pictures or notes … while writing a corresponding blog post in my head. In fact, there are so many different posts running around in my head that I now have a Posts To Do list on my iPhone … and Working Ahead files of pics on my computer. I can’t imagine running out of ideas. And yet I sit here tonight struggling for focus.

Festival of Tables 2011 is coming up soon…  Click here to see last year’s party!
 

 

Something else that has surprised me a little is how much I’ve enjoyed documenting things. Parties, trips, projects … memories or tributes to loved ones — they’re right here on my blog. Pictures . and stories . and hopefully well-articulated feelings. I love that!

 
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I’ve enjoyed writing my posts … and I’ve enjoyed reading your comments.  I’ve also enjoyed reading the blogs some of you write. But my most treasured enjoyment from blogging has been getting to know you, most of whom I would never have met otherwise. You live in cities and states — and countries! — where I will probably never go, and yet as often as possible, we end up here together … playing in the dishes, decorating our homes, sharing our successes and our failures — our praises and our pain. Some of you I have only seen through your words.  No picture of yourself; just your words reflecting what’s important to you.  I’m actually thankful for that because there is no preconceived idea or influential image.  There is just the power of the word … and some of you have written some powerful words! How I would love to meet you one day in person …

 
 

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So as I write this blog … from My Place to yours, I can’t thank you enough for sending part of Your Place back to me.  For sharing your time — and yourselves.  Your visits constantly encourage me. What do I hope to offer you?  Tablescaping ideas and vintage linen info, certainly, but I also pray you will find My Place to Yours to be a source of encouragement … and inspiration … as you journey through this life. It is truly an honor to have walked this path with you for the past year, and I hope we get to do it for many years to come!

 

 

And now, as we go our separate ways for the moment, I pray God’s richest blessings on your day.  I’ll visit you when I can … and I know you’ll be back when you have time.  You’re always welcome … at My Place to Yours!

 

With hope,

 
 

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Thank you to everyone who has completed the auction feedback survey at the top of my sidebar. If you haven’t yet, please do!  It’ll be up for a couple more days — but it only takes a second, so why not do it right now?

 

I’ll be linking today’s post to these parties:
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally
Mosaic Monday @ Little Red House
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence
Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound
&
Spiritual Sundays

Comments

  1. It is a pleasure to have met you, too, Susan, and happy blogaversary! This was a beautifully written post, and I feel the same way that you do! xo,

  2. I love that you celebrated your year of blogging with another win..The Toile Tale…beautiful book. Congratulations! I am in agreement with you about the wonderful men and women who participate in blogging…particularly Tablescape Thursday devotees. We are truly blessed. Cherry Kay

  3. Blogging is difficult to understand until you experience it… for me it is a creative outlet, like you—I’ve found that I love photography…now if I could just afford all the things I’d like to have to “enhance” my photography!!!
    Have a beautiful week!!! and keep on bloggin!!!

  4. Congratulations to you, dear Susan, on writing a beautiful blog that is loved by so many. Thank you for your friendship, honesty and faith. It has been wonderful getting to know you from all the way here in Australia!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

  5. Happy Blogaversary. A moving post, you put into words all I feel about blogging, the blooggers I meet and the friendships that arrive thru blogging. Thank you, a truly wonderful post.

  6. Susan —
    Your lovely, lovely words move me to tears. I am so indebted to my friend who encouraged me to start a blog. It has enriched my life so much, through the knowledge that there are people like you who share your creativity and inspiration. Thank you for your time and effort and sharing.
    Linda @ A Toile Tale

  7. Susan,
    Congratulations on your first Blog Anniversary! Your words echo so much of what I’ve felt about blogging. It truly is a wonderous and humbling experience…so many amazing talented folks inhabit this land of Blog. I count my blessings for their sweet words, including yours in this post.
    Here’s to many more years of happy blogging, sweet friend!
    Hugs,
    Susan

  8. Well said! Most of my friends and family seem puzzled at my love of blogging. I can’t seem to find a way to fully explain how it has opened a doorway to a whole new wonderful world.

  9. Very well said, indeed! You are quite an inspiration to us as well! Congrats on your 1 year anniversary!

  10. A beautiful post Susan — Congratulations on your 1 year of blogging.

    Blessings!
    Gail

  11. What a beautifully written post.

    I completely understand your feelings that were so eloquently expressed.

    Laura
    White Spray Paint

    Happy Blog Anniversary!

  12. Congrats for sticking it out for the year…it really is worth it! One of the best parts about blogging has been the relationships that have come from writing, and the inspiration. Like you, I thought it was great to meet so many kindred spirits!

  13. That was a lovely, celebratory post! I’m glad I’ve found you and look forward to visiting more, as what you’ve said about blogging is so much of what I’ve experienced.

  14. Wow Susan you are something else you have the gift of a writer ^_^ Love the way you put words and your pictures are great. Nice to see you here in Blue Monday I think this is my first visit so I am following you now. ^_^

    Blue Monday

  15. I keep a list too! I also share your sentiments about some of the types of blogs out there. I pass them by because there are so many blogs of substance out there I can’t afford to waste my time on those without.

    Come for a visit when you have a moment The Gardening Life.

  16. Beautiful post, Susan.

  17. What a beautiful post.

    My Blue Monday is here.

  18. It’s a true pleasure to have meet you on this path and to be able to walk alongside you with so many friends who also travel this way.

  19. happy one year blogiversary! i, too, love the comoraderie (sp?) and friendship and tips and ideas i have gained since blogging. thanks for sharing yours with us, too!

  20. Who would have thought that this big old world is such as small place full of interesting, talented, funny and witty people and they love to blog. I am coming up for my second anniversary and I am as blown away as you of the fun we are having. Happy Anniversary. V

  21. Hi Susan,
    congratulation for having such a creative and interesting blog. Blogging is really a big fun.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  22. I too began blogging after I stumbled onto Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch. I have come across the fun and interesting ideas since I have joined the blogging world.

  23. I think blogging is something that has to be experienced to be understood. I’m grateful I ended up on your beautiful blog to visit. Happy blogversity.

  24. I could relate to every word that you wrote here from beginning to end. In fact, I discovered you at that 100th Porch Party last year. I remember it well because it was my first table scape too.

    You are an inspiration and a delight to know. I’m glad we both stumbled into this strange new world.

    And btw, I received my treasures yesterday!

  25. Hello 🙂 This is my first time visiting your blog, it’s lovely! Happy Anniversary!!!

  26. I just started to blog. I was going to post some pics and move on, but I see it is NOT that way. It is very different. You “meet” people, share ideas, hear stories and touch lives and hearts……so after a year I can only imagine what you have seen, heard and felt……Wow, this blog worl IS very different from what people thing huh?
    Loved your post!!!!

    ~~Wendy

  27. You have a wonderful blog and this was a beautiful post. Congratulations on your one year of blogging. It is a whole different world in here, isn’t it. I don’t think any of us were prepared to meet the people we did before we began this journey.
    Blessings,
    Patricia :o)

  28. Happy First Year!!

  29. Susan, I am the Mama who bought the Holly Hobbie ‘coffee’ set from you (my girls use it as a tea set!) and you sent it in beautiful condition and lovingly protected it on it’s journey. You also sent a few sweet note pads for my girls. I just wanted to take such a momentous occasion to thank you for your wonderful blog and to ‘toast’ the discovery of new hobbies! I for one am grateful they discovered you! God’s blessings to you and yours, Mindi

  30. Oh Susan! You said everything perfectly and it has been such a blessing to me to leave my place to come visit yours! 🙂 I felt the same way about blogs before I started one and totally agree with you about the ridiculousness that is out there, but except for a few strange things here and there (always going to be some, huh? LOL) my experience with blogging and with BLOGGERS has been incredible and such an amazing thing. Thank you for being one of those who continues to bless and encourage us and Happy 1 year Blogiversary! 🙂
    Vanessa

  31. Happy Blogoversary! You find the nicest folks in Blogland 🙂
    Have a wonderful weekend and blessed Spiritual Sunday.

  32. I think the Lord is pleased by all the bloggers who have became friends,and who write about him.
    God Bless and congratulations on your first year of blogging.
    Ginger

  33. Blogging has really opened up a whole new world for me. Who knew? More and more people like you are finding out the joys of blogging. Can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over three and a half years. And I was reluctant to start. I was wondering if I would run out of anything to blog about, but my goodness, that doesn’t happen.
    Thank you for sharing with us on Spiritual Sundays.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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