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New Year thoughts

I am putting off writing my next book review post until I have gathered my thoughts about how I intend to spend my time in 2021. So I am procrastinating already!

Many bloggers are looking back over the past year and forward to the next. It can be a useful exercise. On the More than Writers blog, to which I have been a regular contributor for a few years, there was a post about #myoneword.

I chose a word for 2016 and another for 2017. Since then I have not picked a word, but have aimed to use my time productively. (Is spending time on social media productive?)

This year I have been wondering about picking a word again. Listen was a contender. It occurs in the Bible hundreds of times, a good example being in Proverbs 1:5

I prefer Focus, which could include attentive listening and an element of mindfulness. I tend to be thinking about other things, when I am doing routine tasks. It is not particularly healthy. Sometimes it leads to not remembering what I have done or not done! I also have a bad habit of reading, writing or doing puzzles while the news is on the radio. I can knit (easy things) or colour pictures from a beautiful book (Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace) and listen at the same time.

In the hall of residence of my student days a small Christian Union group used to begin every meeting by singing the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is one way of focussing.

Looking back at how my life has changed over recent years is easier with my hand-written journal and my blog. Occasionally I notice that someone has viewed a blog post I had completely forgotten about. I read it myself and find that my life has moved on in some way from that point. For example, I used to update my journal every few days, trying to remember what had happened. Now I write about the previous day as part of my quiet time every morning. It is easier to remember from one day to the next. I had intended to make this more of a spiritual practice, but I find it very difficult to write my feelings down.

Perhaps that is something I should focus on. It isn’t that I am unable to do it, as I found out in a journaling workshop led by Tracy Williamson and Marilyn Baker on Zoom in September.

My regular readers will know that words fascinate me. My three words (2016, 2017 and 2021)  have a progression of shared letters – ReST – TRuST; TrUSt – FocUS.

Have you chosen a word to help keep you on track in 2021?

Whether or not, Happy New Year!

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Reflections on the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge 2020

The A to Z Challenge is over for another year. It demonstrates that blogging is a form of social media. I’d like to start by thanking my readers and followers old and new. Without you there would be little point blogging! In particular thanks to these loyal followers for A to Z:

Katy Trail Creations

Dave, who shared links to some of my posts on his other blog

Fun with philosophy

Sue Viseth at An Artist’s Path

New Lune

Gyslaine LE GAL Romancière et Poète Français/Anglais

penned in moondust

Thanks also to Arlee Bird and John Holton for several comments and Jeremy Hawkins for the badges (including the illustration in this post, the letters, 2020 banners and mission accomplished badge)

As I had not been well enough to go out much for a while before lockdown began I had all my posts written and scheduled before the end of March. I did edit some of them later and kicked a few out into the world a few minutes ahead of their scheduled time as it suited me to publicise* them earlier.

(*I shared links daily on Twitter, my Facebook page, in the comments on the link to the A to Z Challenge page on Facebook, and sometimes in comments on the Blogging from A to Z post and its simulcast on WordPress, as well as in visits to other A to Zers.)

I learned some new things about the Easter story both while I was preparing the posts and as the challenge proceeded. It is amazing how a familiar story could have details which I had missed over the years (or perhaps forgotten!)

There are a number of bloggers I have been following since encountering their work in earlier challenges. Some of these had themes which interested me, or their blogs are so good that I read them although the subject matter was of little interest. Others I skipped his time. I missed some people, who did not take part this time.

There are so many interesting blogs I wish there were more hours in the day and the energy to live through them! Some blogs about folk-tales caught my eye.

My list (in no particular order) is perhaps not complete. If I have missed you from the blogs I have found, I apologise. I haven’t been as organised as I’d have liked to be! I wish I had been managed my response to comments better as well.

In my own words: Finding the humor and humanity in everyday life Diane Weidenbenner

The Quiet Writer, blogging about theatres, has an excellent menu featuring her earlier A to Z themes.

The Great Raven  Sue Bursztynski

Life of an Indian Immigrant in the USA | Landscapes

Frédérique

On my Way Home

A bird a day

Carrie Ann Tripp

Janet’s Smiles

Stephney Forgue Houghtlin

Sarah Zama’s Author Blog – Historical Fantasy Set in the 1920s (jazzfeathers)

Celia Reaves

Other diligent bloggers I encountered

Industrial Engineering Knowledge Center

ECLIPSED WORDS BY AISHWARYA SHAH

The Joyous Living

This post is long enough already, but I am planning another post inspired by the official A to Z blog about changes I have noticed in the blogging world. That will be in two weeks after my next post about books.

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Z is for Zebedee’s family

My posts for the A to Z Challenge this year are all about the Easter Story, recorded in 4 books of the New Testament: the Gospels. Image in sidebar links to Theme Reveal post.

Image in sidebar or below post links to Theme reveal

Three members of Zebedee’s family are mentioned in the Easter story. One of them wrote a Gospel, telling the story as an eye-witness. (Letter G)

When Jesus chose his first twelve disciples four of them were fishermen. Matthew 4:18-22 There were two brothers, Andrew and Simon. Simon was later named Peter by Jesus (Letter P). The other two fishermen were brothers named James and John, the sons of Zebedee. John wrote the gospel with his name and two letters, which appear in the New Testament. There is some argument among scholars about whether he also wrote the final book in the Bible, the Revelation of St John the Divine. John was Jesus’ closest friend among his disciples. While Jesus was dying on the cross (Letter C and Letter D) he commended his mother to John’s care and John to his mother’s. John 19:25-27

The third person from Zebedee’s family, who played a part in the Easter story was Salome, the mother of James and John. She was one of the women, who went to the tomb on Resurrection Sunday to finish preparing the body for burial. (Letter A , Letter M and Letter R)

My Theme Reveal contains links to the Easter story in the New Testament.