Thursday, February 16, 2012

An Anniversary

I missed my one year blogging anniversary! =)  It was two weeks ago... February 1, 2011.  No big hairy deal really... until I realized how much the last year has meant to me... and that ... is a big hairy deal... for me.  I've come through the valley of the shadow of death, and I was not alone in there.  His pen and my "paper" were my therapy.  Isn't that the story for so many of us?

The best part about blogging, without question, was meeting you all right here.  Like most mothers, mine always told me "never talk to strangers,"... but she never said anything about writing to them.  I was amazed by the photography of the first woman who commented on something I wrote.  She seemed harmless enough.  So, I kept posting.  Then there was this guy who said things like "nice poem, Patricia" and that was super encouraging to me.  He looked harmless enough.   So, I kept writing.  There was a poetry community that was so much fun and a bit edgy ... they lit a fire under me... a place where we could all warm our hands over an open fire of poetry (well, not my poetry... but, you know.)

A year ago, I would have told you that I just needed a place to put my thoughts down, tell a story, record my poetry, or a good photograph.  I certainly wasn't going to sing, join a poetry community or write something in a character other than myself... that would be silly.  I guess I just thought I should finally make good on a promise I had made to my sister in law who had recently died from brain cancer.  She wanted me to let others see what I wrote. That seemed kind of dumb to me... but a promise is a promise.  I don't have grand writing ambitions, (other than to get my monarch butterfly photo journal published.)  I'll probably self publish that someday when I have some extra cash lying around.   I won't quit my day job.

A year ago, I would have told you that I had all the friends I needed and that I would have NEVER been taken in by an online ministry or paid good money to fly to Texas to participate in one of their retreats, room with a stranger, (who wasn't strange at all) or worse... read my poetry to a room full of them.

Top L-R:  Sarah Masen, Pat Spreng, guy from Christianity Today,
Marcus Goodyear
Bottom L-R:  Sandra Heska King, Julia Kasdorf, Linda Chontos, Julia ?
A year ago, I wouldn't have known I would take a canoe by myself up a strange river, or walk downstream to find hundreds of monarch butterflies. 

A year ago, I was just coming up for air.  Still grieving the loss of my loved ones and experiencing the difficulties of my husband's brain surgery.  At the retreat, I was happy to stay behind my camera... looking for nature, not people.  No one knew me, and that was good.

But, you all were there ... and, well, sort of in my way. 

I kept running into your
beautiful words ...

and colors ...

your laughter, your kindness, 

a pho feast of hospitality...

as plentiful and beautiful as the butterflies themselves.  The presence of God in many forms. 
Lyla Lindquist, Anne Kroeker, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Sandra Heska King,
L.L. Barkat, Nancy Franson, Sam VanEman, Claire Burge
Tina Miller Howard, David Rupert, Cheryl Hyatt Smith

Someone was very honest while breaking bread, making  communion within a growing community so, well... communal. 

Great is His faithfulness.

Oh God my Father.

A lot can happen in one year. 

That's a big hairy deal.

Thank you from the bottom of my ink well...

Patricia Spreng


  1. Happy 1st year! That is a wonderful achievement! It is hard to continue for a year. So many people drop out in that first year. It is hard to keep posting when there are few readers. To get more readers, you have to keep posting. I am glad to have met you at Laity and to have read your writings since. Keep writing, and photographing!

  2. Happy Anniversary, Pat. SO glad I got to meet you and now enjoy your words, songs, pictures and story. Keep it comin'!!

  3. What a blessing you have been to us with your words, photos, and songs. You add a special light to the world of blogging. Keep on shining!

  4. Happy Anniversary , Pat. Many great things in one year and I hope many more to come :) your sister in law knew there is beauty in your words and they should be seen and heard !

  5. I am harmless. I think. Happy anniversary, Patricia!

  6. Beautiful Pat! It is wonderful hearing about your last year of transformation, since I can't see you in person! I guess getting older has some benefits, time to explore who we are and what God has created in us to give to others. Love you!

  7. Happy Blogiversary Pat! I am so glad you kept that promise. It has been an absolute joy to get to know you and to read your words (and those amazing photos!!). You lifted my spirit in so many ways during those precious days at the Lodge. Thank you - for so many things.

  8. I can't believe we had to travel all the way to Texas to meet each other. And to see this place, these people, and remember. Well, it just makes me all soggy.

    Can't wait for the next time we break bread--maybe Olive Garden?

    1. Yes! Love that salad and breadsticks!

  9. Miss Patricia, I remember the first time I found you here in Blogland, my son and I were studying butterflies in homeschool. What a divine blessing it was! I got injured, we moved (again!), and were off-line for months. You were one of the first to welcome me back... thank you for that.

    Anyway, happy bloggity day to you! And to meet THC folks and other members in-person, what a treat that musta been.


    1. Blessings to you too! I remember reading you for the first time and LOVING your frankness. You are so refreshing =) So glad to see you around again. And who knows... someday soon it just might be us sharing a room at that Laity Lodge... and Nancy Franson knows I don't even bite!

    2. It's true! She doesn't. And I love reading Darlene as well. Especially when she uses words like bloggity. :)

  10. Amazing of what can happen in one year... God is good. May He bless your ministry in ways you've never thought of.

  11. Patricia! I've been away and somehow missed this post. I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing the pictures and being reminded of that time at Laity (even if I wasn't sure I wouldn't get murdered in my sleep!)

    Congratulations on hanging in there for a year, and thanks be to God for what He's been revealing to you about both Him and you. I'm always interested in knowing people's stories, so I'm glad you told yours about why you began.


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