Anyone, Anyone

Last night I had a stimulating conversation with a dear freind about life in community. It was a precious exchange of ideas. I retold a story I heard once. Do you want to hear it?

A social aid team began investigations in a Native American tribe to evaluate the help these people needed. One of the points of study was an I.Q. test. The professionals gathered a group of men in a school room and had them each sit down at desks. The papers were handed out and the instructions regarding how to fill in the answers and the time limit were given. The instructor observed something that shocked him when he told them they could begin. The men immediately gathered together and began discussing the answers to the questions on the test. The instructor told them this was not the way the test is to be taken. The men in the tribe went on to explain that this is the way that they do things in the tribe.

Community is vital. I believe in it. Wonderful things can happen when we come together.

This post could easily go into a heartfelt biblical teaching. Rather I am going to move it to a more superficial level.

Currently I am looking at giving my blog a face lift. I am making the move to a self hosted site. There are a few things I want to spruce up around here. I am also aware that there are things of which I might not be aware. That is where you come in. I want to hear from you, dear reader, what you thing would make this a better dot-com. Additions, editions, reductions, improvements… please tell me your thoughts. Every idea will be considered, weighed and evaluated. If I end up using your idea I will give you credit for it in some special way. It might be time for some gold stars again. Even if I don’t use your ideas it might trigger another idea from someone else and we will all benefit.

In the end, I am very grateful for your participation here. I am honored that you take time out of your precious day to hang out at the ‘@’. You make this blog beautiful.

So, get to it now. What are your suggestions? Fill the comment box with your insights about design, content, features, issues, referrals, color schemes, things you think should go, things you think should stay, etc. Did I mention that this upgrade is my birthday present? Hurray!

Much love,

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21 thoughts on “Anyone, Anyone

  1. bueller?!

    ::

    i really don’t have any creative suggestions or ideas right now. you are very sharp with stuff like this, so i know what you come up with will be wonderfully amazing! can’t wait to see your bloggy makeover!

  2. Well, I keep considering it, too. Especially when certain things don’t work on WordPress, because they block javascript. But then I usually come to the point that I don’t have the time to invest in a self hosted blog. Which means – I am sorry, but I don’t have anything helpful to say on this topic.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY @ngie! Hope you had a really lovely day!

    That’s exciting about your blog. As far as suggestions go, one thing I’ve loved on your blog are the videos that you’ve posted from time to time – it would be so great to see more of those on your new site, as it’s always fun seeing blog friends chatting in person.

    1. Thanks, Birgit! My birthday isn’t actually until June 19th. I was hoping to get the new site up and running so that it could be launched on my birthday – but we will see if that happens. There are so many wonderful options out there!

      Good to know that you like the videos. I would like to do more. I agree that seeing and hearing our friends online is an enriching experience.

  4. Happy Birthday! (coming up or today, or what? I’m sorry – I don’t remember from last year. :/ )

    Ideas … well, goodness … I don’t know. I mean, I wouldn’t want your site looking like me, I’d want it looking like you. :D But you seem like a bubbly person. Your site right now doesn’t reflect that as much as I’d think. But then … I know you mostly through your fingers – perhaps if i were to spend time with you I’d see how it fits you perfectly! :D I don’t know. But that’s all I’ve got right now.

    Oh – except I do really love the pictures of your family. :D

    1. It is the 19th. You don’t need to apologize – I am rotten at remembering birthdays, I understand.

      The pics of my family are definitely staying. I love them too.

      You bring up a good point about the site reflecting the personality of the person. I find it very interesting that you think I am a bubbly person. I might be in comparison to others. I might use too many emoticons and exclamation points. I might be putting my best foot forward most of the time that I am online. I might just prefer to accentuate the positive (which might be the definition of bubbly). If you ask people who know me in the flesh they might choose the adjective bubbly off of a list of choices to describe me. I might need to adjust my writing style to be more authentic.

      Because, truth be told, I don’t feel like a bubbly person. I could be the very embodiment of bubbliness and not know it because I don’t have a clear idea of what that means, exactly. Do you want to venture a definition?

      Alece did a post once about a slice of authenticity. (http://www.gritandglory.com/2008/09/03/authenticity-by-the-slice/) Maybe there is a good chunk of me that is bubbly. Although I would not say that I feel that way. There are parts of me that brood, parts of me that retreat and withdraw, parts of me that are pensive and murky. I don’t know if all that can be expressed on a .com. Maybe it shouldn’t be?

      All those words to ask this. Knowing me the way that you do here at the ‘@’, what design changes would you suggest to better reflect my personality? Colors? Layout? Features? You name it, I want to hear it.

      1. Oh my. What a thorough thought on the subject! And yes, I can see your point very well. I too am perceived by most that know me ‘in person’ as bubbly, cheery, etc. Yet the ‘deep’ parts of me are highly analytical, thoughtful, probative, and questioning. Thus my site reflects a bit more of this than the ‘bubbliness’ that possibly pervades my actual living. I wouldn’t do without the giggles and cheerfulness, positive thinking and effervescent personality in relating to people … but neither would I use it to describe myself to someone who was wanting to really know me. So I get your point perfectly.

        Right now I’m asking my sister (who designed my current look) to give me a ‘makeover’ with somewhat brighter colors. Mostly verdant greens and such. Because this is the feeling that I have inside of me right now.

        What feeling is inside of you? Are you excited? Anxious? Questioning? Confident? Calm? Flowing? Perhaps picking a dominant feeling and then matching it to an appropriate color would be a way to go.

        When designing my site (and hopefully future looks for it as well) I started with a picture that I really loved. That picture at the top of my blog is still one I really really love. If I could put the feeling inside of me behind the idea of “Calling to deep” into a picture … that would be it. When the picture was decided on, all the colors in the layout got pulled out of that picture, thus producing a cohesive whole, and also evoking the feeling of the picture as well. Perhaps that is a method that would work for you as well! I don’t know. :) I think whatever you like, will ultimately look like ‘you’ and in that … be perfect!

        Looking forward to whatever it is!

  5. Having been a long time reader of your blog…this is what I love about your blog:
    –Culture lessons – whether it’s the fruit, holidays, differences in social systems, etc. I love those posts!
    –I also love the family pics, but also those of Bolivian sites, etc.
    –The upfront and honest posts on deepening our walk and dependence on the Lord…you know…those writings from your heart! You’re such a great writer!
    –As far as colors…I liked it when your blog was bright and cheery colored…the oranges and greens.

    But above all…I agree with those above. I should be ALL about you! Those of us who know and love ya won’t ditch ya cuz we don’t like the background color of your site! We’ll still tune in just cuz we love ya!!

    All that said…I can’t wait to see what your creative juices create!! Enjoy the process…and don’t let the perfectionist demon pester you!!

    Big, big hugs!

    1. Livvy Lu – I am so glad that you are a long time reader. :-) These are all great points. Thanks for being so faithful. Hugs to you too!

  6. I love your site too! I come to read and be inspired by seeing a family loving and serving the Lord and seeing what that looks like in a culture and setting much different than my own. You seem like a down to earth and honest person and I love the posts where that really shines through. Snapshots of daily life and all of the things that you’ve shared about the adoption process and orphanage are touching and prayer inducing. I also love your videos. The one of your house was really fun. I hope you have fun getting a blog-lift! =) I am dying to upgrade the look of mine too, but I am absolutely not tech savvy and haven’t a clue how to get it to look like anything other than one of the pre-set templates on wordpress. Perhaps sometime I’ll grow in skill. Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed your blog and look forward to the new look!

    1. Ashley – Wow, that is a great run down. Thanks for taking the time to be so explicit. I really appreciate the prayers. I am so glad to know that you enjoy the blog. :-)

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