Before we start - Kelly has challenged us to mention a blogger they have discovered through 7 Quick Takes. I think many of the bloggers I have read and read now were found through this method, so I had better narrow it down to some favourites! I honestly can't remember how and in what order I found people. But I do know that for a good long while now I have had a system. Because I don't count reading all the quick takes as high priority (sorry folks!) instead I ensure that I always at least read the quick takes posted prior to and after mine. I have found a few favourites this way!
First up is my favourite blogger ever - she isn't at the top of my list because while I think I found her through someone's Takes, to my knowledge she doesn't post Quick Takes. Instead at My Child I Love You we have heartfelt and inspiring tales from the home of Lindsey Boever. Her love for her faith, children and spouse are wonderfully put down on the page. (Please pray especially for Lindsey and her mom at this time.)
Lisa Melnick at the Little House That Grew is a blogger I was sure I discovered through Quick Takes but now I am not so sure! But it is always a joy to hear how things are with her family. Moving around for her husband's work, running, knitting, raising children and talking about faith are some of the topics you will find here. One of the reasons I especially love this blog is because Lisa never pretends to have it all sorted. She knows her life, and her blog, are part of a journey to develop and grow in faith, as a person, a knitter and a mother. She often talks about her joy for socialising and hosting but it is clear that having to establish new connections (and lose other ones) due to moving around is hard for her. I think that being part of an online community is important for many women - just leaving a short comment might uplift someone or help them feel connected. 7 Quick Takes is a great way of doing this.
Brianna Heldt isn't concerned about being bang on trend (although she may well be, and she is often so right about what she says!) and like all the best bloggers, has ruffled a few feathers with some of her posts. But as well as her gigantic heart and beautiful family jumping off the page, Brianna's writings about the Catholic Church show it at its best, in my mind, and really makes readers think about what we believe in, and why. Oh and did you know she recently cut her hair? And is on pilgrimage in Rome?
Mary Lenaburg's Passionate Perseverance blog recently won most inspiring in the Sheenazing awards at This Knotted Life (so glad I got Bonnie's blog in here as well, as it's another favourite!) - but most inspiring doesn't begin to describe it. (I think its tagline reads something like "family, special needs, faith and food".) If you haven't read it, do so; read some older entries and see God in the service, sacrifice, joy and love in these words! I feel humbled and privileged to have entered into the Lenaburg family's world through 7 Quick Takes. This is another of the wonderful reasons the QT are so special!
Kate Wicker probably wouldn't call herself a regular blogger at the moment but whenever a new post by her drops into my blog reader I enjoy sitting with a cup of tea and losing myself in it. Like many of us mothers, how much to blog and how much to write elsewhere, or how much time we can devote to raising our kids in combination with our other vocations, is something Kate has written about at length. She has also published Weightless, ("making peace with your body"), done a lot of running and had to cope with not doing a lot of running, blogged about schooling, bedsharing, breastfeeding and more. I found her early on via 7 Quick Takes (or possibly vice versa) and still read and reference her writing on prayer!
Jennifer Fulwiler needs no introduction but definitely deserves a worthy mention here! Having undergone an eerily similar conversion to hers (no scorpions at our house though, praise the Lord), I have found it both informative and comforting to read Conversion Diary, then her memoir and her e-book. And by developing Quick Takes, she introduced me to an entire community of faith-based bloggers who have inspired and challenged me. Thank you. Oh and did I mention how much her writing has made me laugh??? (The funny bits, I mean. The tragic bits only occasionally. The black comedy of what happened when they took Shaun the Sheep off of Netflix, for example.)
My winner, however, has to be The Amazing Sarah Reinhard (my moniker not hers!) who originally blogged as SnoringScholar. I was first drawn in by Sarah's love of books and devotion to Our Lady, as well as her open and honest stories about children, Catholicism and living out on the farm! I don't think she regularly posts Quick Takes anymore, and I don't see her in my feed as much as I used to, but I always love to see how she is doing (and view cute photos of her baby on Instagram.) The main reason Sarah is the most important blogger I found via 7 Quick Takes however is that she helped me out - a random, itinerant member of the Christian mommy blogger community - when I was at a very low ebb, with wonderful kindnesses that she would probably brush off as the least she could do. In short, she wrote the Book That Saved My Life and is a must for every pregnant woman (The Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy), and will henceforth always be known as The Amazing Sarah Reinhard to me! Again, this is one of the reasons why 7QT have always been great - you may not know a person well, you may know them hardly at all, but members of this special tribe will send you a book, drop you an email, or even, in Hallie Lord's case, crowdfund you a much-needed couch!
Once again, I think the importance of 'just jotting down the 7 short things on your mind this week' is extremely underrated. 7QT joins up people, challenges, inspires and helps on a regular basis. So find some new bloggers, or someone you didn't know about, this week at This Ain't the Lyceum!