Three years ago today, I was sitting at my kitchen table next to my newly-adopted one-year-old, feeling a little overwhelmed with Mommy responsibilities, lonely and isolated from all humans over the age of eight. I was reading the only blog I read at the time, Lysa Terkeurst, and was probably laughing and crying all at the same time, because Lysa is funny and deep like that. And I was highly emotional, what with the new baby and all. And I thought to myself, “I should start a blog. I like to write. I enjoy the computer. I can make people laugh and cry. I need to feel like I’m making a contribution to society.”
So I googled “free blogs” and found Blogger.
Then I realized I needed a theme and a title. If I wrote what was on my heart, it would have amounted to a series of blog posts about laundry. I mean, who really wants to hear me ramble about laundry? You, apparently, but I didn’t know that at the time.
In the midst of doing laundry, I also loved the notion of being able to hear God’s voice. Over the years, I had been passionate about learning as much as I could about the subject. So I typed potential titles into the little Blogger box, just to see if something like that might work:
Hearinggodsvoice (not available)
Hearinggod (not available)
Godtalks (not available)
Godspeaks (not available)
And in the span of about five minutes, a blog was born. No lie. About an hour later, I had my first post up and I was e-mailing all my friends inviting them here. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In honor of my little blog’s special day, I thought we’d celebrate with a little God Speaks Today trivia!
How many posts have I written in three years?
Since March 4, 2008, I have published 436 posts, not counting this one.
94 of those were Fitness Friday posts.
19 were guest posts, written by you, not me. Bless you.
How has the blog evolved in the last 3 years?
Well, some obvious things, like my blog design. I used change my blog like a girl changes clothes. I still get the urge to mess with the design, but I can’t because someone else did it for me and I paid her. I want to get my money’s worth before I change it again. Plus, I don’t know how to tweek the stuff she did. And, I’m pretty sure I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t.
Fitness Friday Girl moved out and got her own blog in August. You should go visit her. She misses you. Subscribe to her. Follow her. She’s lonely.
But the most obvious to me, but probably not to you, is the tone and intent of the blog. What I intended and expected was this:
1. I originally intended this to be a teaching blog for men and women. Much like the classes I teach at church, only in blog form.
2. I expected the subject matter to attract a bit of controversy, because I thought the internet was full of creepy, combative people. And the subject of hearing God’s voice can attract creepy people. I was prepared for some good theological debates. If you don’t believe me, check out this quote from my first post: “I love a good debate, so I’m open to your comments. However, I will not debate the Diety of Jesus Christ or the inerrancy of the Holy Bible. I’m sure there are lots of other outlets for you to do that. Not here. Thanks.” Now, that’s a statement that says, “Welcome home. Come again.” Eh?
3. I also expected that my readership would be primarily people I knew in real life. *she laughs at her naivete* Now that I think about it, that makes me laugh even harder that I wrote the statement about debating the inerrancy of the Holy Bible when I thought my readers would be my real-life friends.
What happened is this:
1. Every time I told a personal story, you all seemed to like it. Even if it was about laundry. I didn’t think people would really care about my laundry life.
2. The readers who found my site and ultimately commented, subscribed and followed weren’t the least bit combative. They were (and still are) about the sweetest and most encouraging group of people I had ever encountered.
3. My closest real-life friends do not read my blog. That used to bother me a lot. But it doesn’t bother me at all any longer. Especially since I have all of you now. You rock.
My Top Rated Posts, by Visits
10. New Year’s Resolutions for 2011: An Overview. Probably just because it’s a title the search engines love.
9. Jesus is Not a Drive-Thru, Guest Post by Jen Ferguson: Way to go, Jen!!! People LOVE you, darling.
8. God Speaks to Kids: The only reason this one made the ranking is because of controversy. See, I wrote a post and then got an e-mail from a real-life-someone who saw it on Facebook and was hurt by what I wrote. The last thing I ever want to do on my blog is hurt people. So, I issued an apology on my Facebook page and took the parts out of the post that were potentially hurtful. That day, my stats went through the roof. People wanted to see what I said that was so offensive, I’m sure. And you will probably click the link, too. BUSTED!
7. Made to Crave, A Book Review and a Give Away: I only have the Made to Crave website for this. There is a link on it pointing to this post. And since Made to Crave hit the New York Times Bestseller’s List…well, you do the math.
6. Fitness Friday, Fun Fish Oil Facts: I have one word to say about this…WHY?????
5. God Speaks Through the Storm Part One: This doesn’t surprise me. That whole series, where I talked about my battle with clinical depression and the death of my son, really touched people. Still does.
4. The Best of 2010, The Language of Love: I have Stuff Christian’s Like to thank for this. Jon Acuff wrote a hilarious post about creating your own love language. I wrote a comment (just a comment!) in the sea of hundreds of other comments and put a link to this post. So many of Jon’s readers clicked on it, that it made NUMBER FOUR in my stats! Which proves nothing about the greatness of my post, but rather the insane number of people reading comments in Stuff Christian’s Like.
3. Fitness Friday, Fruit is Not the Enemy: First of all, I don’t even like this Fitness Friday post. It’s not my best work, ya’ll. But here’s the funny thing…wanna know why this one is so dang popular? It’s because of this picture:
Yep. I can see on my stats every day where someone comes over to this post because they see this picture on Google Images and click on it. True story. And now, they will come to this post, too.
2. Fitness Friday, Exercise—Where Do I Start?: This must just be from Google searches. Just goes to show what a clear and concise title will do for you.
And the number one top-rated post, based on visits (*drumroll*)
1. God Speaks Through the Storm, Part 2: I am not surprised about this. I love this post. It’s my life-storms in a nutshell. It’s Part 2 of a 16 Part Series. But mostly, it’s the story of my son’s, death. That’s all I have to say about that.
My Top Referral Sources, that are actually people and not search engines:
4. It’s Almost Naptime: Sweet Missy has my on her blog roll. Go visit her blog. She’s wonderful.
3. Glad Chatter: This is Lisa Smith’s blog. She’s my twin sister, separated at birth. We mention each other often, because we are usually on the exact same page, though we’ve never met in person and live in different states. If we lived next door, we’d totally hang out.
2. Big Mama: This one baffles me. I can’t find my link anywhere on her site, and yet I get a steady stream of traffic from her. She’s secretly linking to me somehow, some way. I. have. no. clue.
1. Stuff Christian’s Like: Part of this is because of the aforementioned comment I left that generated an insane amount of traffic. But part of this is because last year, Jon had a big link-up thing concerning American Idol and by some lucky twist of fate, I ended up being number 2 on the link list. Again, insane amount of traffic. Unfortunately for the people who visit from this link, they go to my homepage and not the actual American Idol post. Stink for them.
Speaking of referral sources, we’ll file this next little piece of trivia in the “Unfortunately, this is the world we live in” category. Last month God Speaks Today got a significant amount of traffic from four weirdly obscure sites. Whenever I see a referral source sending me a bunch of traffic, I click on them to see if someone linked to a post or put me in the blog roll or something. Only, in this case, when I tried to click on any of the four obscure sites, my internet filter blocked them.
Wanna know why?
They were PORN sites!!!! EEEEEKKK!!! Why-oh-why are there links to my blog on porn sites?!?!
So I did the only thing I knew to do: I waded through the garbage that is internet porn to try to find the origin of the links. My fear was that there was a picture of me with someone else’s body (which would be the only way I would ever generate traffic on a porn site, trust me). Or worse, a picture of one of my kids! I was sick to my stomach just thinking about it. And even sicker, trudging through the sites. It was like diving into a dumpster, ya’ll. Only grimier and smellier and more disgusting. Have I meantioned how much I DESPISE porn?
On a serious note, I prayed a lot for those girls on the site. And I cried for them. Maybe I was the only one who prayed and cried for them that day. I hate that there are girls who think this garbage is a viable alternative to love or acceptance.
Anyhoo, in the end, I couldn’t find my link. I asked a smart computer dude to help me out—to find out why porn sites are linking to me. He’s currently looking into it. But the traffic has stopped. Thank God. Although, it will probably start up again, now that I have the word “porn” in this post so many times. They’ll come here and find this:
On the up-side, it does make me chuckle to think that lusty men are coming to my site expecting to find girls with loose morals, and instead they get “God Speaks Today: Humbly learning to hear and obey the voice of God.” Bwwwaaaahahahaha.
Top Countries Where My Readers Reside:
3. United Kingdom
1. United States
Words People Use to Find Me in Search Engines, And I’m Not Making These Up:
God Speaks Today
God’s help with 2011 spiritual goals
God spoke to me
God places people in our lives
Why God places hurtful people in our lives
Fruit tray ideas
Are Wheaties good to help lose weight
Big head girls
Seriously…google Big Head Girls, and for some reason, you find me. Not exactly the vision I had when I gave birth to this blog, but I’ll take it. Incidentally, my blog’s birthday is March 4th, which sounds exactly like “MARCH FORTH.” And that’s exactly what I intend to do with this blog.
Thanks for reading. You are the reason I do this.