Happy 7th Birthday Caravan Sonnet... Reflections on 7 years of Blogging

January 26, 2020

Caravan Sonnet Blog
This beautiful blog space turned "7 years old" this week. Happy Birthday to Caravan Sonnet! It is beyond amazing that we are now at 7 years... 7 years of growing, learning, and sharing... 7 years of becoming and 7 years of such a beautiful and faithful community of love and support. 

Since I started writing on this little space in January 2013 (you can read my very first post HERE which just makes me smile), the world of blogging (or as I affectionately call it), "bloggy world" has changed significantly. At the time in 2013 many blogs that I followed and connected with were writing to share their personal lives with readers... a way to connect outside the world that we each lived in. Everyday stories mixed with some practical tips and ideas about how to live fully abounded and it was a sweet time to join "bloggy world". In the midst of so many amazing bloggers and authors who were pouring their hearts out I felt immediately embraced into the "blogging club" and think back to precious friendships (that have sweetly continued) and those early days often. 

For me personally I started this blog as a way to reach out from beyond my bedridden existence at the time (due to illness) and as a simple way to keep friends, family, and loved ones informed of what was going on with my confusing health story (which ironically was only going to get more complicated in the months to come). When I started writing in January 2013 I did not know that I was dealing with Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease, Skin Cancer, or a myriad of other health issues. 

At the time I started there were no other chronic illness bloggers nor were there people talking and documenting their health journey's. I often felt a bit out of place, especially in those early months of starting when I was still desperately searching for clear answers on my health. 

In a twist of irony, I didn't even really write about my health issues on the blog (except for some very general terms) until March 25th, 2013- in very brief details. At the time I did so only because there was a rumor going around that I had Cancer and wasn't sharing my diagnosis out of concern for my former students. At that time I was still a full month away from my diagnosis of Skin Cancer and was not aware of that component of my health journey.

I recently spent some time re-reading back through those first few months of the blog. I remember beyond my words that I was writing with tears behind the scenes, curled up in bed, slowly and painfully typing letter by letter a post, the extreme daily pain that I was in, the intense stomach issues that left me spending any free time away from my bed on the bathroom floor, the lack of support from the medical community, the inability to walk without help, the questions, the confusion, the questions in my faith, the loss of friends and independence, the fear, the unknown, and a desperate yearning to reach out and to grab life despite all of these things. 

At the same time there was a beauty to that time period that is impossible to explain unless you have walked through a complete crisis in your life. The complete resoluteness of knowing what you believe, why you believe it, and knowing that despite all circumstantial evidence to the contrary your faith remains in tact. That you can say without hesitancy ... "and if not... he is still good". It is a coming to the end of yourself... the end of what you envision for your life to be and coming to a peace and acceptance of the ways and walls of God. 

This has been a road that I never would have asked to walk. Yes, there was and still are deep questions about the future with certain areas of my health and there is a deep sadness after "losing" so many precious years to Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease. I put the word "losing" in parentheses because I have realized that while I used to think that I was losing my thirties (what some have called "the best years of your life") nothing is lost when it is in the hands of our all loving God. I think back to what I wrote in 2013 about learning to be faithful in this new assignment of sickness... and what I have learned is that God has been faithful despite all of my times of unfaithfulness. 

The story... I have learned is not about me... but is once again about Him. Some have asked what this looks like for this new season- and how my health is... and right now I am working on writing more about that ... but wanted to share a deep moment of gratitude for your support, your love, and the community that has been built over all of these years here at Caravan Sonnet. 

As this blog has changed and morphed into what it is now - more of a cozy luxury lifestyle inspiration and travel blog, I remain so grateful for your love and blessing and support along the way.

 Over the course of these last seven years I have grown as a person and a woman. It is not only in the outward areas of writing books, founding Twenty History Lane, and starting two etsy shops (December Caravan and December Lane), but in the deeper aspects of life-by processing in this space through a variety of topics that include life, faith, and love, grief, and loss. 

I don't think that you can write vulnerably, deeply, and passionately in a space for seven years and it not change you. Being sick and fighting for my life has taught me to go beyond the surface and to understand a persons story - their history and who they are and the journey that has brought them to the place in life where our lives are intersecting.

The same is true for this place on the blog- and how I share the cozy luxury travel aspect -the history and the story behind a place and a building- the stories here are significant too. In many ways it feels like the blog is coming into a new season in a deep full circle way. Some people say this type of blogging has gone away but I see every single day that it is very much alive in beautiful ways. 

As I move forward friends into this seventh year here on the blog I just want to take time to say thank you again for following along, for joining this community, and for all of your love and support over these last seven years. This community has been a huge blessing and built into my life in rich and deep ways. Thank you so much to the brands and press that have partnered with Caravan Sonnet and to the brands and press that will be partnering in the days and months and years ahead! Thank you friends- I can't wait to continue this journey with you and see what beautiful new adventures and days and blessings will meet us in this new year. 

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