Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy First Year to Me

It's my first blogging anniversary! One year ago today, I took the plunge, after many months of indecision.

One of the big questions for me was: Who is my audience? Much as I enjoy writing for its own sake, writing is a form of communication, so if no one reads what I've written, then it's not worth the time, to me. So, who will read, and what will they want to hear?

Then a fellow blogger and a friend in real life--Mary at Entelechy and Notes from Solar Cabin--encouraged me to write with family and friends in mind, and with that advice and encouragement, I started in. After a number of weeks, I installed a site meter, just to see if anyone at all was visiting, and was pleased to see that I was getting a few hits a day--enough to keep going, I thought.

My family and friends began to tell me they were reading and enjoying my blog, and I was delighted! Other bloggers found me too, and I've been surprised at the blessing of online friendships. (I could write a whole post on that, but I'll just comment that they tend to be based on mutual encouragement--and who can't use more of that? I surely appreciate you all--Diane, Tonia, Ann V., Kathie, Jenny, and Wendy especially have been so warm and affirming.)

Now, I don't even know who all reads here--usually over 60 people a day, and not the same 60 every day. Today, on my anniversary, my hit counter says 18, 441 people have visited since last February when I installed it. Can you believe it? A small percentage of those are one-time Googlers, but the rest of you are frequent or infrequent visitors--and I am so grateful! Your time and attention are a great gift to me.

But I am still asking myself the same questions. Who is my audience? What should I write about? How much of myself and my family should I share? Do they care? (And what do they care about?)

Because of my uncertainty (or perhaps it's an unwillingness to commit), I have settled on the variety show format--book reviews, family news and pictures, quotations, on-line participation posts, devotional thoughts, liturgical awareness posts (have I coined a new phrase?). It's been fun wearing all these different hats and trying to be creative at each one.

But I'd love it if, to celebrate my anniversary, you'd leave me a comment on this post--even if you're reading it later on this week. Tell me what kind of posts you especially enjoy, or just introduce yourself and tell me where you're from! I see certain cities or countries showing up regularly and I wonder--missionary? U.S. miltary? national? I've even prayed for some of you!

Because it is a relationship, between writer and readers. (Oh, and I so appreciate those of you who told me in a Christmas card that you are a reader! You haven't missed our online newsletter, by the way--it's just going to be late this year.) But since this relationship is by definition mostly a monologue, I don't want to spend a lot of time rambling about things no one is really interested in--and I might just need encouragement to write more on certain topics that readers enjoy.

So, to de-lurk and leave me a comment (when you don't comment, you're called a "lurker"--and you don't want to be one of those, do you?), click on the "comments" link at the end of this post, type your comment in the box that comes up and sign it with your name, pseudonym, city, or whatever identifier you wish to leave. Then select Anonymous (right below the comment window) and type the letters you see in the window below that. Hit Preview, if you wish to see how your comment will look, and end by clicking on Publish. Hopefully Blogger will behave itself and you won't have any problems.

If you'd rather send me an email, that's fine too! Use

I will consider each comment or email a great treasure--and thanks in advance for celebrating with me!

And a blessed New Year to each and every one of you!!!


Sherry said...

Happy Anniversary! Of course, I enjoy the book reviews, but also the thoughts on the Christian life and Anglicanism and liturgy.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first year! My name is Hannah and I live in Northern Virginia. You can visit me at my blog

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read more of your thoughts on how you nurture your kids relationship with the Lord.

I love your posts on liturgy and Anglican life - I think you could do some great posts on Lent. I'd love to hear more of your dreams for the place you and Eric are considering buying, but I'm not sure how much info you want out there yet.

I love your posts about the children's theatre.

Jen in Seattle

Donna Boucher said...

Happy first blogiversary!

I just like you and like to come and visit to get to know you better :o)


Sheila said...

Frankly, little hen, I like the entire sweep of your coverage here. And it gives you the opportunity to experiment with a variety of writing styles. I hope you don't change anything, but I am only one voice. Whatever you do will be excellent. For me, the mystery is how you manage doing this at all!

Linds said...

Happy Anniversary! I can't remember if I have commented before or not, so in case I am lurking, here I am! Just keep doing what you are doing. It works. I love catching up with all the diverse threads. Kepp going, and Happy new year!

At A Hen's Pace said...

Wow--thanks, everyone (so far) for the encouragement and all your thoughts. I'm getting inspired for the New Year already!

Anonymous said...

Has it only been a year, Jeanne??!!! A beautiful year indeed it has been here in this place! Happy Anniversary! Thank you for what you write, the wisdom that you share, the light you are for Jesus! Press on, sister! Standing ovation with all the others gathered here!

All is gift,
Ann V.

Anonymous said...

Happy blog-o-versary and new year! :) You are a bright spot in my day and I enjoy reading your insightful words.

Islandsparrow said...

Dear Jeanne,
Happy Anniversary!! We started blogging 4 days apart. Isn't it amazing what the Lord can do in a year! I love to visit your blog, read your encouraging posts and I especially enjoy the wonderful things your children do in theater! Isn't it good to know that although we are separated by many miles, and even a border, yet we share a bond in Him that is eternal and unbreakable. I feel honoured to be included in your circle of blogging friends and so glad that you are in mine!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I am sure glad you started blogging! You post a nice variety of things to read and I always enjoy visiting here! Happy blog-birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I've commented once before, but I'm still a faithful reader. Like so many others have mentioned above, I do enjoy the variety your blogs offer, even to an unmarried person with no children! Keep on blogging friend : )

A Voice said...

Hi there,
I sent you an email as well, but just wanted to publicly say with the others .. I love your blog! Please don't change it!
A Voice... somewhere in TN

Anonymous said...

I followed a link from over at Rocking Chair Reflections (linds) and poked around a bit. Just wanted to let you know I was here. I'll be back to check in now and again.

Happy Anniversary. And Happy New Year.


At A Hen's Pace said...

Wow, everyone, I am so encouraged and honored to hear from so many of you so far--emails too! What an inspiring way to start a new year!

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying your blog almost from the very beginning. I'm from south-central Oregon, and I visit often.

I've appreciated some of your book excerpts and recommendations, your thoughts, and your inspiration.

Happy Anniversary, and many thanks!
Susan L

Robin said...

Happy blog birthday! I just found you today and I'll be back for more!

Robin said...

I live in northern New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

A Blessed New Year to you too Jeanne : ) And thank you so much for the mention as well, I really appreciated that.

I know what you mean about appreciating input, I really do too. What I love most of all about your blog in essence is your hen's pace theme and the posts that hub off of that--the sacred in the mundane stuff like the Quotidian Mysteries, the Hen's Pace qoutes, and also the liturgical explorations. I feel you have a very rare gift for sharing those things.

A Very Happy Anniversary, and Very Blessed New Year : ) Wendy

Jennifer said...

Happy Anniversary Hen friend! I would say keep doing what you are doing. I think I came back because of your quotes from the book your blogname came from, it was deeper than much of what is popular right now in Christian circles. I come back because I can count on deep posts, quotes from deep books off the beaten path. I find your discriptions of traditional liturgical themes (is that the correct way to pharse that??) very interesting and enlightening. I like to hear about your kids and home life too, it paints a more complete picture of you.
I think I am trying to say that I was first attracted by your literary quotes and thoughts on devotional themems, but the peeks into your family life make you a real, warm, person...a mom like me. And I like that too.
blessings to you Jeanne,
Jenny in Ca

tonia said...

Happy Anniversary my friend!!!

You are a wonderful addition to the blog-world. Keep up the GREAT work.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Thank you, all my friends--new and old, known and unknown. You have made my blogging anniversary so special--and given me such encouragement and inspiration for another year of blogging!

Anonymous said...

Happy Blog Birthday!

Just de-lurking to say that I love your blog. As someone who became a Christian in my 30s, reading you helps illustrate for me what it is to live life as an active, thinking Christian. Some of your links have helped in this way, too.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adventures!


At A Hen's Pace said...


Wow. I am so glad you de-lurked! What a humbling, exciting thought--that God has used my words and my life to touch yours in this way.

Praise Him!


Anita said...

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary. I love your positive enthusiasm and spiritual maturity and deep thinking. Thank you for notes on family and liturgical, theological ideas.
Your aunt in Texas

Jenna said...

I am an infrequent lurker! My sister told me about your blog and I love it - I enjoy learning about what youdo with homeschooling.

Deborah said...

I haven't been by in awhile and had missed your anniversary post! Just wanting to chime in that I also LOVE stopping by and reading a bit to "catch up" and be encouraged. I REALLY love reading about your church experiences, and the neat ways you integrate tradition, theology, scripture, and walking in the Spirit! Yeah!

Anonymous said...

You said it wasn't too late, so I'm here to say that I've really enjoyed your blog. I feel like you offer a great mix of wisdom, theology, fun, and a large dose of reality.

For me, it's easy to get caught in the trap of believing everyone else is doing better at this whole life thing (not to mention the mom-thing) than I am, so it's really encouraging for me to read about the problems and discouragement, as well as the victories that you face. It helps me recognize that I'm not a horrible parent, just a normal human one.