What I Discovered While My Blog Was Sleeping

It's hard to believe 12 weeks have evaporated since I embarked on what turned out to be an unfathomably rejuvenating blogging and Twitter break.
At the beginning of March I could barely pen a sentence, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. After some serious soul searching, I finally recognized that my writing life, and to a lesser extent my home life, was out of balance. I realized that I need to more efficiently control distractions, my time, and the flow of information fire-hosing into my face. I needed to regain my focus.

Can you relate? Do you ever become so distracted by all the things you feel you
should do, your primary goals suffer?
Sometimes we need to reevaluate the big picture. We need a time-out to think, pray, and talk with trusted friends. We need to allow God to realign whatever is off track.
And sometimes, that means letting go of the things that interfere.
While I'm ready to dip my toe back into the blogging ocean, I can't say the same for Twitter. Twitter's plethora of fascinating people and conversations enthrall, absorb and (unfortunately) totally sidetrack me. So, for now, I won't be going back. Initially I felt sad over my decision, and though I’m still occasionally tempted to jump back the land of tweeting, wisdom demands that I abstain. Ouch.
Of course for those of us writers building the all important platform, my blog break and my Twitter move might appear foolish. However, if we are wise, we will learn to understand and work within our own limitations. We’ll learn that balanced lives are productive lives. But most importantly, we’ll give ourselves permission to do what works best for us—and we’ll extend that grace to others.
This hiatus has nourished and re-calibrated my soul, given me much needed time with friends and family, and enabled me to work on other writing projects. It gave me time to just be. It allowed me to focus afresh on my goals, hear from God clearly, and fine-tune according to His plan.
The bottom line is I'm an imperfect woman prone to distraction, serving an awesome God who deserves my very best. I've learned that often when God leads us, it's counter intuitive. But it's always exactly what we need. Even if it means saying goodnight to some things, and goodbye to others.
How about you? Is some area of your life out of balance? Do you need to reevaluate and regain your focus? Leave me a comment and I'll pray for you this week.


Kelly said...

Julie I can relate. I took off last Decemeber, the entire month. I needed it and it was wonderful! However, my blog hits went from 70-90 a post, to 15-30. And have never recovered. And frankly, I never "recovered" either as I don't go blog hopping as much as I used to, only visiting a few special folks.

What does this mean? I don't know. I do write for God, so wehtehr I reach 15 or 90, it's up to him. And my book idea is gone, so I don't need the platform. Anyway, I'll be interested in seeing how this all washes out for you. So keep the info coming!

Janna Leadbetter said...

I can relate, too, Julie. I came to a similar conclusion (even if in a reverse sort of way) recently.

I appreciate your thoughts here.

Betsy Markman said...

I believe you are wise. There is a certain success track that everyone "in the know" insists upon. You have to blog every day, and tweet heavily, and blog-hop, and brand yourself, etc, etc.

I, for one, refuse to walk that road. While there is nothing wrong with those activities if taken in moderation, they do have a way of absorbing a person's entire life.

Why succeed at blogging at the cost of living?

The world's definition of success always has to do with statistics. How many followers? How many comments? How many posts per week? But God's definition of success can be summed up in one word: Faithfulness. Faithfulness to Him, of course, not to a success strategy. His "Well done" is worth infinitely more than hordes of followers.

You are wise to keep it simple in your walk with Him. May I learn to remove distractions and do the same!

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

Julie this is a great post. Your transparency will encourage many others! I enjoyed my blog break and like Kelly, I've never really recovered from it. But, I think I'm more balanced now. I only post when I really want to (or have the time to) and I rarely blog hop anymore. There are other things I need to focus on right now.

Praying God will give you wisdom as you re-enter this crazy electronic world.

Diane said...

Glad you're back. Missed you. If God tells you to do it then it's for the best. My priorities do get out of whack sometimes and a re-evaluation is definitely necessary. :O)

myletterstoemily said...

welcome back! we missed you.

Clella said...

There is much wisdom in your post. We do need priorities. I am now back to a once a week blog post after 6 months. I never keep track of hits and very seldom blog hop, but I am thinking about doing more of that. Keep following God's plan for you and you alone. Blessings Clella

Sunshine said...

I loved what you had to say here. Very encouraging. For me, Facebook went out the window. Too much wasted time at the cost of truly living.

Bonita said...

Julie, what a beautiful, inspiring post! I'm so glad you took the break and heard clearly from God as to His direction for you. We will never be more successful than when we are in the center of His will.

I had a similar experience this weekend when I spoke at a homeschool conference. God made it abundantly clear that my offline writing and speaking projects are way more important to Him right now than anything I'm doing online. Not to mention, that my flesh and blood relationships are too.

Doesn't it bring such a sense of freedom? I love it!

Thank you so much, sweet Julie, for posting the wisdom you gained during your break. It's both helpful and confirming. Love you!

Paula Wiseman said...

I think you did a wise thing taking off. "Just because you 'can' doesn't mean you 'have to'." Oftentimes we sacrifice the 'best' for the sake of the 'good'.
That said- I missed you- I'm glad you're back.

Dan King said...

Such wisdom Julie! I love to read your blogs, but I know that God has been doing some great work through you lately. I know that there are seasons in everything, and I appreciate that you are sensitive to know that there is a time to blog, and a time to not...

Bina said...

Hey you!!

I can totally understand...and have also given myself a blog time out as I resorted my thoughts, both for home AND God life. It can be overwhelming at times...and I am proud of you for taking that step back to regroup!

I pray God has refreshed and refilled you...and that you will be able to find the time to get that each and every day as you re-enter the waters :)

Many hugs,

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

Hi there Julie. I can relate to totally. I have been on a break lately but over the last few days have redesigned my blog and felt more refreshed and excited by it again! I want to chronicle and write down the memories of my kids and my walk with Jesus. The reason I began my blog! But it became a chore. So now I am excited at the prospect of writing down my memories and also having a little fun with my quilting journey too.
Lots of hugs
Collette xxxxx

Ginny said...

Welcome back and hopefully refreshed and ready to go! I can so relate to you. It has been a challenge for me to keep the blog going. I am posting less and less and people are reading it leass and less. Let's say, I am a bit discouraged....However...my life is a jamble too. My husband had a knee replacement in Oct. and just 7 mos later, he falls and fractures his hip....Now it is back to nursing 101, care giving, and chauffering. After job losses, and financial difficulties that overwhelmed us to no end, I cried a lot and shouted to the Lord 24/7 no lie.
I finally decided my spiritual life had gone amiss, so I now have a spiritual director who I will meet with once a month just to make sure I am on the right track again.
So I look forward to your posting again Julie. You inspired me!

Karen said...

Hey, gal, welcome back! Missed you and totally understand. God bless you, friend.

Cindy in PA said...

Hi Julie! I'm glad you're back and have missed your writing and thoughts.

I started blogging in December and just learned how to post pictures on it yesterday. So I think of myself as just "dipping my toe into the blogging pond."

I do have Facebook, but really only to see what my adult kids, nieces, and nephews are doing in their lives.

Tweeting has never appealed to me since I have looked at some bloggers and their Tweet-bar on their blogs and it would drive me nuts receiving lots of little thoughts all the time. It would send my thoughts swirling all the time I think.

I'm glad you're back and hope you carry a refreshed feeling for quite a while.

Prayer request you asked? I pray for God's guidance while I look for a job and of course, through every moment of my life. Thank you!

Terri Tiffany said...

I am so happy to see you back here! I totally understand and so I only blog when I want to and spend little time on Twitter as I never really got it anyways.
Do what you need to do!!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Just wanted to say hi and glad to see you back, Julie!!

I headed off to chaperone a senior trip (Class of 2010) last week and ended up not touching a computer the whole time. I saw so much, read so much, experienced so much!

Good to hear from you, friend!

KelliGirl said...

It's great to have you back, even if it's just your toes.:-) I totally understand where you're coming from. All this technology is/can be a good thing, but it can also be an incredible black hole into which the hours of our days disappear.

I still love to blog, but I've cut way back on the amount of time I spend doing it. I'm still figuring it all out...and trying to honor God through it all.

I appreciate your wise words.


Mimi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mimi said...

This post so spoke to my heart. I know that God is nudging my heart to "unplug" from everything, but I am being so bull-headed. Please pray that I can heed God's voice and get away from it all so that I can truly hear His voice.

Rachel Beran said...

Julie, I am soooo glad you are back to blogging!! I've really missed your words of wisdom and insight. God is working through you. I am thankful that you take the time to stop and listen to Him...sharing with us what you learn. Excited about what God is doing in your life!!

Thank you for your offer to pray. I need to be more disciplined when it comes to exercising, eating right and devotional time. It seem with two young sons, a farmer husband and numerous other responsibilities, there aren't enough hours in the day. Still, I know I waste time on things that aren't important sometimes. I just need to find that perfect balance...to stay focused on what is truly important and let everything else go. I would appreciate your prayers as I seek clear direction.


prashant said...

I don't go blog hopping as much as I used to, only visiting a few special folks.
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