The power of encouragement.

A couple of days ago I attended an online blogging workshop which was ran by Rhonda from Down to Earth.  My blog may have been up and running quite a while now, but I sit firmly in the camp of small time blogger.  I'm also a little bit of a complete technological numpty.  There is always something to learn, and fresh ideas to embrace and it was a great opportunity to learn from one of my favourite bloggers. 

The workshop was very helpful.  We received a clearly written file, with screenshots and tips regarding many of the ins and outs of setting up a blog from the very beginning.  There was also an online small group skype chat where we talked and discussed these things together.  It was so lovely to speak face to face.  To hear voices, and see faces - its nearly as good as being in person!  If this course is offered again, and you’re interested in starting a blog, or perhaps have one but have lots of questions then I really recommend you go along. 

I came away with a better understanding of some of the features of blogger, which was great.  Though I still have no Pinterest pin in my sidebar after trying again for the 548th time.  I have a link, but no pretty picture.  (Ha, but I WILL get there, statistically speaking the odds are really coming into my favour now....yes?)

But I came away with a renewed love for the generosity of the simple living blogging world.  The bloggers who line up their side bars with blogs they read, to try and give traffic to to others.  The knowledge readily shared to help others to live a simpler, greener lifestyle.  The empowerment of people like Rhonda to help others start blogs and refine them.  The visiting and the comments left behind by readers who share their lives and thoughts.  It's a special corner of the internet, and I am thankful to be here.

 This kid and his fur friends.  So much love. 

Can you remember a time where we would have all had to buy a magazine to read an article, or go to the library to find out information, or even buy a book?  Now sure, we can still do all those things, especially if we want to cover a specialist topic.  But we can also go on line and look into to other worlds, to read, to be encouraged, to learn.  It’s amazing, isn’t it? 

Encouragement and thankfulness, they are powerful things, aren’t they?

Excuse me whilst I diverge a bit - I’ll come back I promise...The other day I received an essay back from college.  I had worked very hard on it but only received 73% which is a very high credit, a distinction is 75%.  I was, however disappointed.  But then I got to the comments.  You see, I am learning a new writing style whilst studying theology, and I am only a couple of subjects into the degree.  It’s quite different from my previous science degree.  Each essay I get stronger, but I know I can do better, and most importantly I want to do better.  My lectuer's comments were encouraging and helpful.  She recognized I was trying hard, and that I had the potential to help me bump up my writing without too much trouble.  So, she kindly offered to meet with me for a one-on-one to help me tackle the problems I am having, and bring a fresh light upon them.  I am so grateful for the people willing to support and share their knowledge in this world. 

The power of encouragement....I was left to ponder what I would have thought if I got that essay back and not received the helpful feedback.  If I had of worked extremely hard on an assignment to receive a grade lower then I was hoping for.  If my lecturer had not spent the extra time to reach out and encourage me, to offer a little more guidance.  Perhaps I would have been disappointed.  Perhaps I would have wondered if I had reached my potential? 

Encouragement - it’s important to give it, it’s important to receive it.  It can absolutely change lives, it can change the path we are on.  When we are encouraged to try something new, when we achieve success at something we have worked at.  It’s the best feeling. 

I think we all need to encourage those trying to live greener, to live more simply.  All those little baby steps that people make.  They are awesome!  Got yourself some cloth bags for your shopping - good on you!  Learning how to cook from scratch?  Awesome!  Feeling like you’re never going to master a new skill - do keep trying, its ok.  We have all had disasters!  Oh the disasters I have had.....I should share them here.  Just for giggles.

The internet if full of curated photos, of the whole #simpleliving phenomenon.  Some of it is wonderful and authentic.  Some of it is not.  But my encouragement to you, is don’t be dismayed by it.  Look around your home and look at all you have.  Start small, baby steps.  A marathon is won by putting one foot in front of the other. 

I’m not a minimalist, nor do I desire to be.  But I love living in a house that suits our needs.  Where we fit.  Where we value the people who live here, more then the stuff that fills it.  That things have a place and we can tidy them up pretty quickly.

Aggie and Max are tolerating eachother better all the time - an unesy truce.  See my Scottie height fences over the bedroom door?  Keeps the toys chew-free! 

I don’t cook absolutely everything from scratch - or I would never have time for anything else, and whilst I don’t mind cooking, my favourite part is the knowledge I am caring for my family, rather then the actual cooking process.  It is not a deep-seated passion for me.  I do it well enough, and happily enough, but I would never receive a Michelin star!

But my point is, we don’t have to do this simple living thing perfectly, meals don’t have to be Instagram ready.  Its ok to potter along, trying, experimenting.  Learning along the way.  To reach out to others who are also trying to live simply.  To bring encouragement to one another as we try to build lives that care for this planet we live on.  What truly matters is that we give it a shot, that we consume mindfully, that we try and make choices that are better, that are greener.  That we support ethical companies so they grow and can care more widely for the vulnerable.  That when we stumble and eat take out for a week, or buy the crappy thing we go gently on ourselves.  It achieves nothing to dwell on it.   The quicker we accept it as a learning moment, the better we will be able to move forward to continue our own simple living path.  Whatever that path looks like to you. 

Much love,






  1. Well said Emma. Firstly regarding Rhonda's course. I too am participating and highly recommend it as already I've picked up such valuable information and made some small tweaks. We are learning from someone who has been blogging for 10 years, extremely helpful, caring and supportive.
    I feel part of a community here and love supporting others, reading their blogs every day, commenting.
    I like people who are 'real.' I love those blogs where you feel like you are sitting down with a coffee having a good old chat, laugh, sharing.
    Encourage, support and truly care. Be real.
    Kylie xx

    1. I too feel the same. :)

      I made small tweaks also, and will continue to make them. I was thinking of changing my format to a bought one which was recommended, I just need to sit down these holidays and potter about with it. :)

      I agree its lovely to pop about to blogs and pop in. It's often my morning ritual with a coffee, though more so in the school holidays. I love it.


  2. This is a great post, Emma. I couldn't agree more about the power of encouragement. I did a blogging course with Rhonda and was able to make a start following the advice and feedback she gave me. I'm forever grateful because my blog has connected me to other people, with similar ideas and values and struggles and wishes, and its nice to learn and to share with them. Meg:)

    1. Its a lovely blog too! :) It wasnt showing up in my side bar but I think it is now.


    2. Thankyou and that's lovely, Emma. I've added you to my sidebar too:)

  3. Emma I just had to have a look at my blog to see if I even had anything about Pinterest on my sidebar and I do have a little gadget down the bottom. LOL! I don't think anyone would even scroll down enough to see it. I did have a few problems with putting the Pinterest pin thingy on my blog that shows up on the photos and I eventually got it on and eventually it disappeared. I think I may have tried to do the photo thing with Pinterest on the sidebar too but gave up. I don't worry about it too much anymore but might get motivated to try again one of these days. As long as you are happy with your blog that is the main thing.

  4. I could hug you for this post.
    I have started studying counselling and to be honest, with each assessment I do I question why I am doing this. But the support from the trainers has encouraged me to keep going. It isn't easy and when you put your heart and soul into something, it's easy to be discouraged, but at the end the satisfaction will be worth every tear of frustration.
    And as my studies pick up and life with my boys get busier, I am relying on pre made things in the pantry, I can't remember the last time I made my own bread and I don't bake goodies nearly as often as I'd like, but that's ok. I do what I can with what I have. One day life might settle down again and I will happily return to baking and sewing and knitting, but until then I need to learn to embrace the crazy and just get on with it.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog, I love reading it, it's like catching up with a good friend over a coffee. I always walk away feeling happy and that I am enough. Von xx

    1. If its any consolation, I thought I had killed my "toughest mother ever" sourdough starter which is ancient and brought from overseas decades ago, as it had been so long since I had used it. I didnt, but geez, one more week and I reckon it would have been a goner!!

      Its all about seasons isnt it? It can feel so disheartening to not be able to do all the things we want, but there are seasons to everything.

      Good luck with your studies, andIm having a cuppa right now as I write this so technically we are having a cuppa togeather, yes? :)


  5. Hi Emma, I've got you in my sidebar now, too. It took me a few tries. I loved the blogging course with Rhonda. It was so helpful. It really motivated me to blog every day. Love your photo of your son. What a cutie. I can't believe a teacher gave you that grade. That sounds so low to me. Oh well. Onward and upward...

    1. Well it is a high credit so not too bad. But she has high expectations and distinctions and high distinctions need to be earnt. It's not a bad thing, though. At least you know you have earned your grade. 'Tis the world of theological academia. Xx


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