"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates other."
-Nelson Mandela, in his 1994 inaugural speech
I am having a blog party today here on the blog! -- to celebrate two years of blogging! I have loved connecting with so many here over the couple years. So, first, thank you!
My first blog can be found by clicking here. So much has changed for me in the last two years:
In 2008, we lived in a suburb in Ohio, and lived the normal family-of-five existence, had a normal house in a normal neighborhood, shopped at a normal Kroger store, went to a great church, had great friends, and drove to Florida for vacations. Oh-- and I was writing my third novel, glad to have a super agent.
Now, in November 2010:
We live in a village outside of Prague, Czech Republic, halfway around the world from Ohio. We live a completely different life as a family-of-five--much simpler than the run-around whirl of constant activities in the USA. Family time is rich and plentiful, and we're loving it.
Although our house in Prague is quite "Western", it also is not "normal" by US standards. Everything is on a much smaller scale, and our space involves mostly family space. Before we moved, we gave many of our things away, anticipating the shrunken space and total three closets for all of us (one is the coat closet! And no basement, no attic storage. What we have is what we use.). We live in a Czech neighborhood where few people speak English.
We shop at a few different stores for our daily food, all the size of a US 7-11 convenience store, and we mostly have home-church (which we all enjoy so much it's hard to admit) because of the restricted options here in a post-communist country.
Our friends here in Czech are from every continent, from many countries, and speak many languages, and our friendships have become the deepest of my life. I am so very blessed to have so many incredible friends here. This is one of the things I treasure most, along with our family.
And, as we drive to places like Rome, Budapest, and Dubrovnik for vacations, we learn new currencies, new languages, and learn from many peoples. It is living a dream. We are so grateful.
Oh-- and if you read my blog, you know that I still love to oil paint, and play music on the piano and viola, and take photographs with my camera ... and most of all write. I'm currently writing my 5th novel. None have been snatched by a publisher yet, but we're close ... grateful to have the same super agent representing me and my work. And I'm loving it.
Life changes have been great changes for all of us. Again, we're so grateful. And we're savoring every minute ...
Though the changes in my life have been drastic in the past couple of years, one blogging goal has remained the same ... to just write, about things that strike my interest in daily life. About the daily adventure ... and how I'm learning along the way.
Many blogging folks tout new fast formulas for increased following or fancy new metrics for watching how many people are reading each post, or ways to write catchy titles and play the latest tricks to be the widest-read blogger out there. I think I could do that. But that isn't me. To me, I want to connect with people. And be me-- shine the light that is Jennifer Lyn King. That's it.
So, I thank you for stopping by and celebrating with me about The View through My Lens reaching its third year of weekly posts. This is number 112! And I sincerely hope you feel more inspired to live larger, shine brighter, and take a risk to do something you love today, in this daily adventure of life.
Last thing, a Christmas shopping commercial: It's Christmas shopping season (again!) and I would love it if you felt moved to buy my non-fiction book, The One Year Mini for Busy Women. It's still on shelves at many US bookstores, and it's conveniently available at Amazon for $11.04, and it makes a great gift (so I've heard :o) ) because it is a daily inspirational for busy women, with one short reading for each day of the year.
Starting the Conversation: What blogging tips to you use and follow? And what practices do you find on the Web that bother you as a reader? I'd love to hear what you think-- and if you have suggestions, I'd love to try them out! Thanks!