I recently wrote about some changes that I've observed in the blogging world. Upon further reflection, it has become clear that it is not only the internet world that has changed, but my response to it. I'm full. Full to bursting. Even though so much good is being accomplished through the internet, it is too much for the senses. I do not need it all. I am forgetting how to to sort it all out. My saturation level has been reached and exceeded and I am now quite uncomfortable after overindulging for far too long. Like several helpings too many at Thanksgiving dinner.
I need a break and a walk around the block.
I'm taking a year sabbatical from active posting here in an effort to get my peace of mind back. I have allowed the blogging world - writing, reading, engaging - to sap me, distract me, and redirect me... and I'm going back to basics.
The list of blogs I read is going on the chopping block again as well, not because I don't love every one of them, but because I can't take it all in and stay sane. It's like having 100 or so wonderful women constantly chattering in my ears about their lives and emotions and children. yikes. Plus... a feeling of obligation to encourage and respond to all of them. All women I love, of course, but I'm ready to come home after the party. The few blogs that remain in my feed will be the ones that encourage and inspire me to step away from the computer and into the fullness of my vocation.
I have stepped away on several other occasions in order to breath and I can give you a whole big list of justifications for sticking it out; but ultimately, there is only one thing that matters: I want to follow the path that God has chosen for me in all things. I long to have peace and a holy resignation to His dreams. I believe and know from my own experience, and the experience of others, that joy lives there. And I want to swim in it.
The blogger inevitably must battle with the temptations of self-focus, and we all tend to justify our efforts by citing balance as the key. This is a healthy outlet for me. Yes, it is. This is a great way to find community in a world where I am a minority. Absolutely. Blogging edifies me so that I can bring a better me back to my home. Usually, this is true. But my head and heart get stuck on that word balance...
A life in Christ is not about balance. It is about giving all to His holy will. Name me one saint you think was "balanced" and I'll find you a hundred more the world considered certifiably nuts. They lived by God's love, not a carefully measured standard of activity involvement. I do not wish to be a balanced person, I wish to be a saint. Part of becoming a saint is clearing out even good things to make room for the better. And it is clear to me that my heart and mind are not being improved by the perpetual noise of the internet. I am low on the saintly ladder rung. I need to clear away the clutter so that I have room to stretch out my arms when God reaches to raise me up.
I am not going on a full internet fast. (I am an introvert, not a hermit.) I will simply actively engage in areas that honor my primary commitments to my vocation and family outreaches. I have enough on my plate to feed an army of moms (don't we all!) and I am out of excuses and justifications for keeping myself occupied here. The internet world does not need me. My family needs me. I am done with private deceptions. This place is clearly not helping me to be a better mother.
Instead of reading about mothering, I will mother.
Instead of admiring tutorials, I will craft.
Instead of spending 30 minutes admiring the handiwork of others, I will sew for my own.
Instead of accomplishing one thing and taking time to post about it, I will accomplish two.
Instead of ticking off the minutes posting for a recipe link-up, I will cook.
Instead of bawling over the endless stream of beautiful memories of others, I will make my own.
Instead of reading a mountain of articles between 600 and 1000 words written by everyone, I will read longer works written by a few.
Instead of reading mostly quotes and excerpts, I will dive into source materials.
I want my mind back at a reasonable pace. I want to be a slow Catholic. A purposeful Catholic. Acting and speaking and reading at a pace of peace and richness, not according to what is trending, but according to His purpose.
Instead of constantly blithering my own thoughts here, I will let wisdom speak to me. There is no doubt that I need to shut up and listen more.
Instead of feeling pressured to speak, I pray to speak only in His time.
Instead of typing, I will pick up a pen and feel the paper beneath it.
Instead of reading next to my children, I will read to my children.
This blog needs some organization and updating in some areas and so I will probably do that a bit over the next year but I have no timetable and will not fret if it doesn't get done. I am two empty baby books behind (they seem to get smaller with each successive child); I am probably better off learning how to print photos again and record memories there with a real pen.
I thought about just stepping away and not saying anything about this like so many happy bloggers do. After all, I'm not the center anyone's universe. But this brings some accountability and will help explain to my friends why I am absent. I have seen bloggers come and go and felt very sad over the departure of some of my favorites. On reflection, I realize that one of the reasons they were my favorites was because they kept their priorities straight. I want to be like those bloggers... free to step away and live.
The blog will remain open and accessible and my hope is to return next year, but I am leaving that open to discernment. Perhaps I will discover that I do not wish to return at all. We shall see. I do enjoy participating on Facebook and will keep the FB blog page open and active... please join me there if you want to continue to stay in touch. I am dreaming of sewing a pretty dress for baby and I will surely post pics there once it is finished! I will also remain on Pinterest and would love to connect with you there as well.
Let the sabbatical commence! I am ready for some mental, spiritual, and physical housekeeping.
Sweet Jesus, rain down Your mercy and grace! I am Yours. Every time I beg you to change my life, You faithfully respond. It's always terrifying and always exhilarating and always more astonishingly painful and beautiful than I could have imagined. Divine Surgeon, You know where I need work. Please do it again. I am Yours.
...and this is me, stepping off my virtual cliff and into the hands of God...