My 8th Blogiversary!

Photo Courtesy of

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It’s hard to believe I have been blogging for 8 years!

Our family has experienced a lot of life changes in that time: high school and college graduations, a wedding, a grandson, a mother-in-law moving in from out of state and then into our home, surgeries, a move to a different state, crossing from the forties into the fifties. More grey hair, more wrinkles, hopefully a little more wisdom and experience.

When I first stepped into the blogosphere eight years ago yesterday, the blogging community for the most part felt more like neighbors chatting across the backyard fence than a business, and I’ve endeavored to share my “stray thoughts” about family, home, Christianity, and just about anything else I find interesting or amusing with other online neighbors. I’ve always wished I had come up with a more creative name, but it still aptly describes the content. I’ve been amazed and so grateful that anyone has stopped by at all to read, and that some of you have stayed for years amazes me even more. Occasionally I’ll read blogging advice articles and wonder if I should think more about my “niche” and “platform,” but then I think…nah. If I ever need to have a professional blog for any reason, I’ll probably start a new one: I hope to keep this one as a personal and  hodgepodgy place to fellowship.

I’m so thankful for any way in which God has redeemed and used anything here.

Thank YOU so much for reading and commenting! Thank you for your patience with my foibles, your words of encouragement, your prayers through our various family crises. Without you this wouldn’t be much more than an online journal. You make it both more fun and more of a blessing.

In appreciation, I am going to host a little giveaway of one of a couple of different gifts to two different winners. I traditionally like to give away something that I have enjoyed, so I am going to offer a copy of the book Women of the Word by Jen Wilkins (linked to my review)



…and a copy of the Galkin Evangelistic Team‘s CD Be Still. It is actually a set of two CDs. One has very peaceful and soothing instrumental settings of various hymns and spiritual songs, and the other has Scripture readings with the same music as background. You can hear clips of the songs on the CD  at the Galkin’s site here or on iTunes or Amazon.

Be Still

For many months this has been my go-to CD while puttering in the kitchen, especially on Sunday mornings, and it has greatly ministered to me.

If you’d like to be entered for either of these gifts, just leave a comment below. Let me know if you have a preference for one or the other and whether you’d like the electronic or physical versions (you would need a Kindle app for your computer, phone, or tablet for the electronic version of the book, but the apps are free). I can only send the physical versions to US addresses (and possibly Canada – will have to check on shipping prices there), but the electronic versions can of course be sent anywhere. And this isn’t required, but just for fun in your comment let me know how you first came across “Stray Thoughts” and how long you’ve been reading here. I’ll draw a name using a week from today (August 4).

Thank you, once again, for a very enjoyable eight years.

The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Ivory Spring for winning the book and Amy for winning the CDs! And thank all of you for your kind and lovely comments.

22 thoughts on “My 8th Blogiversary!

  1. How cool, your 8th anniversary blogging coincides with my daughter’s 8th wedding anniversary!! Would love to win the book “Women of the Word” (physical version)! Not sure how I discovered your blog and I think I have been following you for a couple of years or so! Thanks!

  2. Eight years does have a way of passing on quickly, doesn’t it? I would really enjoy the CD’s should my name be chosen. I’m trying to think how I first came across your sweet blog…perhaps through Lisa Burgess? I’ve come to look forward to seeing your blog’s name pop up in my blog list on the side bar! Thank you so much for the time you devote here, Barbara.

  3. Yep, time goes by fast doesn’t it!? I think I have been around here now for three years. And let me tell you i have enjoyed and learned a lot from your posts. Your reviews are wonderful. They have grown my TBR pile a great deal!🙂
    And should I be selected I would choose to have that great book that has been added to my list, Women of the Word. Thank you for the opportunity and I hope you have many more years here in blog land!

  4. Congratulations on 8 years! I’m not sure exactly when I found you, but I’m almost positive it was through the Nightstand posts. I’ve enjoyed our bloggy friendship for however long it has been!

    I don’t know exactly which item I’d prefer – books are always favorites of mine, but I love worship music and have been thinking about how good it would be to build my collection as I prepare for labor and then for life as a stay-at-home-mom shortly here. I don’t have much opportunity to listen to music now, but there’s something so wonderfully restful about having Christ-honoring music playing in the background while doing household tasks. So…either one would do for me should my name be drawn🙂

  5. Congratulations, Barbara! I’m trying to figure out how long I’ve been reading your blog–at least 4 years I know! I remember participating when you hosted “The Week in Words” (I loved that meme). Maybe it was through there that I first discovered you. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I did. I always enjoy your posts and learn from them as well.

    You know I love both books and music so either one would suit me if my name is drawn.🙂

  6. Hi Barbara,

    Congratulations on your Blogiversary! Eight years is an achievement; I hope you continue for many more.

  7. Congratulations on your blogiversary! Your blog is a treasure trove of information and inspiration. I think I first started reading your blog when you linked to a recipe of mine.

  8. Happy Blogiversary!😀 I’m pretty sure I found your blog through Carrie, though I’m not completely positive. Your blog/words have been a great encouragement to me, though!

    I can’t wait to read Women of the Word, so that would be my pick!

  9. I can’t remember! Maybe a meme or something? Actually, I have a rough idea that just came to me….I’ll try to send you a PM On FB maybe🙂

    I love how you have wisdom that comes from walking with the Lord for years and having older kiddos🙂 Lots for me to learn!
    I’d love to win the Galkin CD!

  10. Happy blogoversary to you! 8 years is a LONG time! I was just thinking that I felt *I’d* blogged a long time, and I haven’t even made it to 6. I relate to much of what you say, about the advice to specialize, find a “niche,” etc. For me, I’m not sure of any single topic that I could write on consistently several days per week. And like you as well, I am grateful and amazed that others actually stop by to read my thoughts. I think I found you a few years ago through nightstand posts??? I so appreciate your thoughtful, positive-yet-realistic take on things. I think we’re a similar age, yet I kind of want you to be my mom🙂 I think the CD sounds so restful — something I always crave in the sometimes-crazy day-to-day. Thank you for your blog, and may it continue many more years!

  11. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! We started the same year.😀 At almost the same time! That’s really neat.

    I’m interested in the CD and would happily throw my hat in the ring for that (having already loved – and read – the book).

  12. Congrats, Barb! That’s a long time! I don’t know how long I’ve been blogging, but not consistently, and not that long. I do appreciate reading your blog, especially because you are my sister in Christ.

    I’m pretty sure I found you through Kim(Senkyoushi), maybe four years ago when I started my 10/40 window blog. I would love the CD — love the Galkins. {trivia: I babysit for Will and his sisters when he was six. He beat me at checkers🙂 }

    Thanks for sharing your celebration with us, Barb! Here’s to many more years of faithfulness! ~ Joyce

  13. Congratulations on 8 years, Barbara! I’m coming up on 7 in November. I know what you mean about thinking sometimes you need to find a blog “niche,” but like you, I enjoy it being a hodgepodge (and not a business!) better. I really can’t remember when I first found your blog (or when I started reading faithfully). It was probably either through The Week in Words or Nightstand posts. I do enjoy popping in here several times a week. I get a lot out of your thoughtful posts and reviews, and I appreciate the thought you put into what you write. Your light shines brightly for Jesus!

    I won the book on Carrie’s blog, so I’d choose the CD if I win!

  14. I had no idea you had been doing this 8 years. I started about 4 years ago. I do not remember how I found your site. I do remember that you were going to move possibly when I started following your blog. I have so enjoyed your blog. Hope you will continue, so many I know stop and I sure would miss yours.

  15. Goodness, eight years already! Congrats on the anniversary. I like the variety of posts and Stray Thoughts fits the bill nicely🙂

  16. I bought the book already per your recommendation:) I have several of the Galkins CDs but not the one you’re giving away so I pick the CD knowing I will enjoy it. Thank you!

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