The Hardest Thing

I want to do this post well. I want it to be filled to the brim with grace, grace and even more grace and not sound the least bit condescending or discouraging or any other negative adjective you could think of. I’ve written this post at least five times in my head, but more than likely the words that actually get used will be completely different. I suppose I’m okay with that, as long as I wind up where I want to at the end of this post. And oh yea, it’s going to be long….so heads up on that.

Last week we went on a cruise. It was glorious and relaxing and beautiful and everything I ever want out of a vacation. We went with two very close friends of ours who were celebrating their two year anniversary. We had all sorts of deep conversations and even deeper laughs. I took a new book with me, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Joanna Weaver,* and it killed me in all sorts of great ways. I knew it would….or at least, I hoped it would. I picked it specifically hoping that it would wreck my soul and introduce all sorts of new perspectives in my life. I was not disappointed, but I was surprised by what the Lord began speaking to me as I read and as I finally started giving voice to my thoughts/doubts/emotions with my friends…..specifically concerning this invisible internet world.

the hardest thing 1

Did you know I’ve been blogging for over two years? That’s a whole lot to me. What started out as a simple website that was supposed to keep friends/family updated on what was happening in our life has led to a website that actually costs me money to run and that has reached the eyes of hundreds of people. This is mind blowing to me….but it also places a sort of pressure that I never expected. Because I want to do right by all of you and by the Lord. I want my words to add value to your life. I want this space to have an eternal impact that stretches far beyond what I’ll see on this side of heaven. And even though I’ve written some of my best posts these last six months, I have this nagging feeling that the majority of what I write doesn’t line up with my deep-hearted mission.

Let me stop right now and say that I am not quitting this blog. Because I know that is what you are thinking at this point in the post and I don’t want your heart to drop to the floor and I also don’t want you to skip to the bottom of this post to find out if I say goodbye at the end. I am not quitting. But I seriously considered it for a hot second.

Over the last two weeks I first thought that maybe I just didn’t love writing anymore. That I was trying to force something that I had fallen out of love with. Maybe I was able to conjure up some great words every now and then, but for the most part I was just spinning in circles. But as I was contemplating and praying about that, a fresh idea popped into my head and I furiously started typing away a new draft in my phone. As I finished capturing my thoughts, I realized that this was the Lord’s answer. I genuinely adore writing. I genuinely adore sharing my writings with people. The question of whether I should write was almost immediately answered.

The question of what and how often still remain though. This is where my conflict and struggle have risen and caused more stress than I ever dreamed possible. I got caught up in a blogging community…..one where we mostly talk about products and giveaways and sponsors and fashion and home design and basically anything else that ever pops into our minds. That just tumbled out all wrong and I’m sorry, but I don’t really know how else to explain it without writing another 500 words. And I’m already at 700.

Please don’t misunderstand me–I love this blogging community. I’ve made friendships and have learned so much from this community. I admire what many of these ladies do and have been able to accomplish. Their ability to dream up all of these posts and be good at so many things like painting and cooking and crocheting and photography while still working jobs and being married seriously make me jealous. God I wish I had that much talent. And energy. And motivation.

But I don’t. This is not me fishing for compliments. This is me realizing who I am and who I am not and being okay with that. This is also the scariest thing I think I will ever hit “publish” on in my entire writing career. So please know that. {I say career because I do sincerely believe I am meant to write in some capacity for the rest of my life. I may not ever make money doing it, but I believe I will always write in some form or fashion for as long as I am able. Writing is just too much of who I am to not ever do it.}

One of the biggest things I learned from Joanna’s book is my tendency to pick up burdens that were never mine to carry. I place so many expectations on myself that even God isn’t expecting of me, and then I run as fast as I can until my mind literally just shuts down {please see the last three paragraphs.} I busy myself to the point where I have no time for the things that actually need to get done and relationships that require my time….but I’m too busy to even distinguish where that line is and how to get back on the right side of it.

Which is why I’m taking the rest of 2014 off.

Dang. That was hard to write. We need a photo break now.

the hardest thing 2

There is one major priority that needs to be set back in its place, and that is my relationship with God. Oh how I have pushed this relationship to the side. And all in the name of “writing for Him.” As I finish up Joanna’s book, I am putting into practice what I’m learning: I’m establishing a place in my home for me to meet with God and I’m scheduling time every day {as in, on my calendar} to meet Him there. I’m investing in our relationship and I’m seeking His heart for every area of my life. Like Mary, I am “choosing what is best.”

There are other things too….things that need to be done. Things like cleaning out my closet and getting back into running. Things like cleaning out the spare bedroom because Roman and I sincerely believe that 2015 will be the year we have a child. Things like this have been pushed to the side because I’ve been too busy trying to achieve a goal that I set for myself that God never purposed for me to achieve.

Then I circle back to the value thing. Perfect example: as much fun as the Getting to Know You posts are, do they really add value? Or am I writing something just to write? Am I spending precious time on something that really doesn’t deserve my time? Shouldn’t I just be throwing my energy towards what I’m passionate about? I’m asking myself legit, hard questions like these and I don’t feel like it’s fair for me to keep writing these types of posts until I settle with the answers.

Two nights ago we learned that one of Roman’s dear friends had passed away from a massive heart attack. As I thought about his family and how his life had been so short, I was reminded all over again just how precious time is. Other than God and love, I think time is the most important {and most abused} facet of our lives. I want to manage my time well. I want to manage your time well. I want to spend my energy where it counts and shed those unnecessary burdens that steal it away.

So for the rest of this month and all of next month, I’m taking a break from this corner of the Internet. I’ll still be around on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I may even pop up every so often on Google+ and Pinterest. I am writing at least one guest post for another blog and so I’ll announce that over social media when it goes live. And towards the end of next month I’ll be announcing my return to blogging and hopefully give you some things to look forward to.

Just know that as of this moment, I honestly don’t know what you should expect when I start blogging again next year. There may be a complete blog re-design. I may be switching platforms. I may even do a complete re-brand with a name change. I have a very close friend (the same friend who was on the cruise with us) who is an expert in this sort of thing and who has been helping me sort through all of the ideas that swirl in my head. He’s been giving me some suggestions and I’ve been doing my best to think through them all and prayerfully decide what I want to pursue. Roman is also fielding lots of ideas and random emotions as I think through all of this, and he’s been offering such great support. More than anything, I want to do and say what God wants me to do and say. And when I do and say these things, I want to make sure that it is enriching my relationship with Him, not stealing from it. Does that make sense?

At a minimum, I am certain that the quality and the quantity of what I write will be changing. I am almost 100% certain that sponsorships will not be in the mix; neither will affiliates. I may do some more product reviews, but they will be few and far between. And I’m sure that link-ups will be even fewer and far between-er. Again, not because any of these things are bad or wrong, but because they are not what inspires me and gives me passion. And what’s the point of investing so much time in something that drains me? Grace grace grace, please give these awkward words some grace as you read them.

the hardest thing 3

And oh gosh, I have written all of this without saying how much I love you all. Many of you have been reading this blog from the beginning, and I do not take that lightly. All of the encouragement and support I have received along the way is astounding. Some of my newest readers have quickly become close friends as well, and that makes my heart so full and happy. I think my love for all of you, in a lot of ways, is a driving factor in this. After all, I don’t want to waste your time when you take the time to visit my site. Your time is just as precious as mine, and if you choose to spend it here I want to honor that and give you something valuable in return.

Alright, I think I’ve landed where I’ve wanted to, in a very roundabout way. In case you’re wondering, this post was completely different from the other five I’ve written in my head. You can thank ADD for that. So in summary: A) I won’t be posting anything new here until January. B) You should follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you aren’t already because I’ll still be around there. C) Joanna Weaver’s book “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” will rock your life and you should definitely read it. D) I love you guys so very much and appreciate how much you love me. E) This post is probably breaking a record for longest-thing-I’ve-ever-written so thank you so much for sticking around.

I sincerely hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving, a glorious Christmas and a great start to your New Year. And now, I’ll close with a few questions—because I really do care about what y’all think.

What posts do you enjoy reading the most? Are there any topics that you would like to see me write about? How often would you like to see me post? 

xoxoxoxoxo,

Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

*This book was provided to me by Blogging for Books to facilitate my review. All thoughts, revelations, awkward sentence structure and life decisions are my own.

22 Comments

  1. props to you Sarah for realizing this and for having the courage to make these changes in your life!
    I know for me it’s so often tempting to blog very regularly and be involved in all sorts of link-ups and to become obsessed with the stats… and then I think about it, and that’s not really what I want my blog to be about. …what a struggle…
    I will miss having new posts to read but I pray that the next month and a bit will be a refreshing time for you and that God will guide you in how He wants this space to be used.
    Blessings,
    Emma

    • Exactly! It really is a struggle to stay true to what I feel like I need to do vs. getting caught up in the numbers. Thank you for all of your encouragement and kind words! xoxo

  2. Booooo! Just kidding! I mean I love love love reading your posts but I SO respect and admire you for doing this! PS the pictures throughout were gorgeous! I am excited for your return to the blogging world (and for your guest post!) God Bless you on your break!!

  3. priscilla

    I was so so sad when I read that you wouldn’t post for the rest of 2014 then I realised that 2015 is 6 weeks away and I was so relieved!
    I’ve never met you but I feel like I know you (through your posts) and I’m going to miss you!
    I especially enjoy your Faith and Family posts because they are so deep and so on point with what God is saying to me. Your humour posts are hilarious! :-)
    I’m believing with you and praying that 2015 is the year that you shall finally get to hold your own little baby (or babies :-) )
    The Lord bless you Sarah as you take this time to seek Him.

  4. Blogging is so, so good, but sometimes it’s easy to feel lost and thus necessary to take a step back, pray, and reevaluate. I’ve done that many times in the years I’ve been blogging. I pray these next five weeks will be restful and restorative for you and your writing!

    • Thank you so much, Annie! So far this time of rest has been everything I want it to be. I’m excited and ready for 2015 to get here with a fresh start!

  5. i’m a firm believer that its important to be living a full, whole life in order to be able to have a blog that matters. not that you’re doing everything perfect but that you are completely at rest with the state of your life, you know?? that’s my thought. enjoy 2014 and i hope you are able to rejoin the blogging world with a fresh, open heart. :) <3

  6. I’m so inspired by you..taking time off, checking things out inside, and coming back whenever it feels right. I hope that you have enjoyed having some time off, but I do really hope you come back soon (no pressure!). I always love reading your inspiring and touching posts, Sarah. Praying for you!! Xoxo

  7. […] time no see, huh? This blog has stayed weirdly vacant ever since I announced my break last November. It was never my intention for it to be like this but time slipping away has seemed to be the theme […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *