“A Welcome Grace” Turns ONE!

“A Welcome Grace” Turns ONE!

I am completely, utterly flabbergasted that an entire year has gone by since I pressed publish on my first post.  This little hobby that I started has brought me more joy and opportunity than I could ever have imagined!  And what really blows my mind, as crazy as this sounds, is that you guys seem to like it, too!  Which is truly icing on the proverbial birthday cake, ya know?

I mean, I get a lot of fulfillment just from being able to sit down with my laptop and pour out my thoughts and feelings onto the screen.  Like, a lot a lot.  But getting a comment that someone leaves at the end of a post?  All of the likes and comments that show up on the Facebook page?  Seeing that someone thought enough of what I wrote to actually take the time to share it with others?!  Mind boggling, I tell you!  Leaves me feeling incredibly humbled and a little like Sally Field, back in the day…

Now, while I’m not going to win any Oscars or, let’s be real, wear a diamond necklace in the shape of a bow, I would like to beg a moment to go over some of the highlights of the last year.  Ya wanna?

By the Numbers

Including the post you are currently reading, there are 107 published posts on this website.  That just about equals one post every 3.5 days.  Not too shabby!  I think having a goal of publishing once or twice a week is doable in my life right now, so I’ll probably stick to this pattern.

There have been just over 20,000 views of the website and 12,400 visitors.  Now, I’m not going to kid myself here.  I think that’s a little skewed.  See, back in September, a post I wrote about Hurricane Irma got hacked and many of the “views” were from bots that were trying to infiltrate my teensy corner of the web.  Thankfully, WordPress and Siteground totally had my back and that got taken care of.

What I do believe and take a lot of pride and joy in is that there’s been a steady increase in monthly views lately.  In April, we rounded out the month with 1,994 views.  I have to be honest and was really hoping to cross that 2K mark, but that’s just another goal for another time, I guess!

Now, besides the aforementioned Irma post (which was actually highly viewed despite its being hacked to death), the top 5 posts for the first year have been:

Trendsend Review #1 – Shoot for the Stars

A Letter to My Kids: Charlottesville

Why This Blog? And Why Now?

Always Shower at Night and Other Lessons I’ve Learned Since Going Back to Work

My Kids are Mine, But They’re Not Me

It’s always so interesting to me to see what posts are popular and which ones aren’t.  Something I’ve worked really hard on may fall completely flat, while something I just shot out in a hurry takes off like gangbusters!  Y’all make me scratch my head sometimes, but I love ya!

Growing in Faith

Just a few months prior to starting this blog, I found an amazing online community of Catholic women that I fell head over heels in love with.  I might have mentioned them here once or twice…Yes, it’s Blessed is She!  Once I started writing regularly on my own, I felt the nudge from the Holy Spirit that I should share what I wrote with the blog manager there.  So, once or twice, I bugged poor Molly of The Merrier World (the blog manager at the time) to see if I’d be a good fit as a contributor.  I guess I wore her down, because in August of 2017, they were gracious enough to publish the first of (so far, anyway) 9 total posts!  If you feel so compelled, you can go here to read them all again just for funsies.

When I think of the guts, naivete, and general chutzpah it took to send off those submissions and requests, I’m kind of dumbfounded.  See, that’s not like me at all!  I don’t put myself out there.  (Well, I say that, but I guess it’s not accurate anymore, is it?  So, thanks for that, Holy Spirit!)  I’m grateful for the nudge that has led me to meet so many, many amazing women (if only online and not in person)!  Thankful for the opportunity to grow not only in my personal faith, but in a larger faith community, too!  Blessed to be able to share what I believe in an authentic, approachable, and (hopefully) relatable and non-intimidating way.

And, if you’re looking for some amazing Catholic women to follow online, might I suggest:

Bonnie at A Knotted Life

Mary Ruth at Parenting with Peer Review

Bobbi at Revolution of Love

Olivia at To the Heights

Gina at Someday Saints

The Road Ahead

(Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash.)

What do I want to see happen around here over the next year?  Wow.  I don’t know where to begin!  So much has happened here already that I wouldn’t have dreamed of that I’m almost scared to name anything.

Would I like to actually make some money with this crazy adventure?  Sure.  That would be nice.  So, you may soon see small ads on the page.  Nothing obtrusive or invasive, mind you.  Just an idea.

Would I like to grow even more along with the Blessed is She community?  Absolutely!  I can’t tell you how much I have gotten from that community.  Their daily devotionals that are delivered to my inbox every morning, the Advent and Lenten journals, the workshops…. And the women!  What a varied, strong, intelligent, faithful group they are.  I am humbled when I see the witness they pour out into the world.

So, Thank You

Thank you for following along.  For reading the posts and engaging with comments and shares.  If you haven’t already, would you give the blog page a like on Facebook?  Also, maybe look into following me over on Instagram @bethwilliby.  Yes, I still have a private account and you have to request a follow, but I’m on there all.the.time, so it won’t take long at all for us to connect.

I want to thank my husband who couldn’t be any more supportive of my hobby if he tried.  And my kids!  Those goofballs not only give me lots of fodder for posts, but more love than I can possibly return.

And to Suzi at Start a Mom Blog who, besides being an amazing mama and fellow parishioner at St. Joe’s, is a kick-butt boss babe.  Thank you for putting together an easy-to-follow course so that a tech-deficient person like me could hang out her virtual shingle with ease.  If you’d like to see what her course is all about, click on the picture below (affiliate disclaimer)!

Let’s keep this party going for another year, shall we?  Let the good times roll, my friends!  And, for the love, go eat some birthday cake today, will ya?  I plan on it!

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