"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Carnival of Beauty: Blessed to Blog

This week's Carnival of Beauty is being hosted by Mary DeMuth over at relevantblog. The topic is The Beauty of Blogging.

Blessed to Blog

I’ll never forget the day. Jules (The Master’s Artists founder) and I chatted about blogging. “What in the world is a blog??” I asked. Jules had a vision for a group blog where artists who take pride in the craft could contribute pieces with the purpose of promoting Christian writing. I was honored Jules wanted me to be a part.

A couple days later, I had gone to the bank, and on the way home worked on a devotional in my head about the experience. When I got home, I wrote it, and sent it to the Master’s Artists blog. Then as I sat staring at my laptop in my family room, I felt compelled to start my own blog. But why? What would be the purpose? When in doubt, I pray, and felt the Lord urging me on. Okay. Now what should I call it? Since what I wrote seemed like devotional writing, and I like alliteration (can’t you tell by my titles?), I thought of “Devotionals by Donna” and then dismissed it. How much of an ego did I have that I should put my name on the blog?

But the prompting of the Holy Spirit urged me on, and I started my blog. The Lord has blessed me beyond all my expectations. I have made so many wonderful friends, I have an outlet for what I love to do most – write devotionals, and I’ve even become a professional writer due to the exposure. When I first started posting, I got several emails. “Why are you giving your writing away?” “What are you doing? Don’t you realize you’re publishing your work? Now you can’t make any money on your writing.”

Au contraire! (As Mary would say.)

The Lord used my humble attempts. A friend (hey, Elece!) saw my writing, recommended me for a project she’d heard about. What if I had hoarded what God gave me waiting on that paying market when I felt His urging to post what He gave me?

While all this transpired, I worked on a children’s book published by Hidden Pictures Publishing. By the time Topsy Turvy Land was released, my blogging buddies became my biggest promoters. Heather Ivester of Mom2Mom Connection got me to talking and it went on for two days! Can you imagine my having that much to say? Don’t answer that.

So, blogging has indeed been a blessing. Because I did put my name on the original blog, I’ve had many friends comment that I’m easy to find, so thank God I listened to Him after all. (Hmm….note to self – Shouldn’t you do that ALL the time?) In fact, I kinda went blog crazy. I started one for my children’s writing, recipes, reviews, poetry, prayer for the president, and of course, I’m still a group member of the one that started it all – the Master’s Artists. I count many people whom I’ve never met in person as my dear friends. I keep a long list of blogs I frequent, commenting and encouraging when I can.

Not too long ago, I received an email from Ann.

“Hey Donna! You have no idea how I smiled to find your post in the Beauty of Contentment Carnival!

Did you know that it was your post to CCWL back in 2004 that got me blogging!?? I am VERY grateful to YOU for this creative forum and opportunity to weave together words into an act of worship for Him.

So a heartfelt HUG of appreciation for how you have changed the course of my path!”
Talk about a blessing! I wanted to shout! I love Ann’s blog, and you will, too. Check it out at “Holy Experience.”

Through the many blogs I frequent, I know my friends have allowed God to use them in mighty ways to reach people for Jesus Christ, encourage those in need of a good word, give peace to the hurting, promote writing, and provide humor, too.

I hear so many negative comments about ‘the evils of the internet,’ but God proves every day He can use it for good. You can sit in your jammies at home with a cup of coffee by your side, and minister to hundreds, if not thousands, of people with the gift with which God has blessed you. If you’re like me, you make a lot of friends in the process – an added bonus, and I thank God for each of you.


* I have a list of Blogging Buddies and Favorite Links in the righthand column, but I haven't updated it recently. If I've overlooked you, send me an email. Thanks!


Heather Ivester said...

Hey Donna! I'm so glad you came to chat at Mom 2 Mom Connection for a couple of days -- what fun! I learned so much about picture book writing, as well as devotional writing, and the links you gave us offer a continual source of new ideas.

I didn't know YOU'RE the one who encourged Ann V. to start her blog -- wow! I've also been blessed by her quiet spirit of mothering, wishing I had a tiny bit of her wisdom! :)

Thanks for joining in the Carnival!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I know, Heather! Neither did I! lol! That's why her email blessed me so. The Lord weaves all of our lives together in such a wonderful fashion, as only He can do.

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring post Donna! I love your positive, upbeat attitude...all while maintaining the beauty of Christ even!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks for stopping by, Blair!

Diane Viere said...


Thanks for walking us through your beautiful journey. Yes, it IS exciting.....breathtaking....when you see God's fingerprints in our tiny efforts. I, too, have been blessed as I watch a God-thing unfold right before my eyes in blog-land. Amazing! I am actually flying to Denver in August to meet a mom who came to my blog a few months ago, requesting prayer for her wayward son. He has since returned home (and what a blog-banquet we had!) and is now praying for my prodigal son! Isn't God good! My son and I leave to meet this mom and son...and I can't WAIT to see what God has in store for these two young men--one has returned...one is still wondering.


Donna J. Shepherd said...

Diane, that IS an amazing story. Yes, God is good. Thanks so much for sharing, and let me know how it turns out!

Erin said...

God himself says that He uses the weak to shame the strong. Your story of writing in the weakness of the non-published world is a great example of that. People were blessed and you gained an audience despite not being linked to a major publisher. Continuing on despite not being paid or contracted brought honor to God. And lo and behold, in time you got published. I truly believe things work themselves out as long as we are about the business of bringing glory to the Lord. Book deal or no book deal, we're taken care of.

I can't imagine trying to keep up with so many blogs! Each one is like a child- you must be one busy blog mama!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thank you for those good words, Erin. I knew what the Lord told me to do, even though it didn't seem to make much sense.

As for the blogs, I'm afraid I pay the most attention to my first-born. lol!

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Thank you for being my BlogMama ~warm smile~...
You inspire us all!
The Lord be with you...
Ann V.

Anonymous said...

What a blessing, Donna, to know that you've touched so many lives and influenced so many writers. How wonderful it is to see how the Lord has diversified your opportunities for writing, too. I can hardly wait to see where He leads you next!

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