Monday, March 16, 2015

5 Simply Splendid Reasons to Take a Break from Blogging . . . and a Coaching Giveaway

The sabbatical.

It's been called blogging suicide.  Some of us take a break from our online presence with great apprehension and only after hitting the wall with exhaustion from our self-imposed demands. 

Questions swirl.  Will anyone care if I'm not around?  Will my readers be there when I return? 

Who am I if I'm not blogging? 

Other writers could care less.  As much as they love hanging out online, they're not finding their identity in the site that bears their name.  They'll be back when they get to it.  And somehow, their readers magically return.

I'm coming off from three weeks away from Blogger.  I didn't realize how much I needed to be away from the keyboard, how my soul was deeply yearning to be still and quiet.  To be fully present to my family.  Refueling from the demands of ministry and tending to some emotions that were swirling deep.  Digging with a startling hunger into journaling my prayers once again.

And choosing to have a good time without toting around some kind of device with me.

Simply put, I lived life without being tied to a screen.  And even though I missed connecting with you, wonder of wonders, for the first time since 2007, I felt no urgency about getting back here again.

{Gasp!}

If you're longing to cut yourself a break and take some much needed time off from the dailyness of blogging, here's five simply splendid reasons why that's not all that bad an idea ...

*   your family
The ones you love most in this world need your full focused presence.  There's a celebration scheduled.  A sudden emergency has cropped up.  Or a series of events have cascaded down like dominoes and you know you can't be two places at once.

There's only so much energy to go around each day.  Our family members are waiting patiently {or not so much} for us to tear ourselves away from our laptops / tablets / phones.  And there's no better way to tell them that we care than hitting the off button and paying full attention to what's going on right in front of our noses.

OR

*   your hem
Jesus noticed when someone in great need touched the hem of His garment {Luke 8}.  He could literally feel the power sap out of Him.  Fully God, yet fully man, He was intensely engaged with those he interacted with, yet knew when He had to get away from the demands of the crowd to regroup with His Father.  Scriptures tell us He chose to do so.  Often.

If you work as a people helper, a ministry leader, or a parent, you know exactly where He was coming from.

OR

*   your emotions
You begin to notice some not-so-attractive feelings as you engage with others online.  Frustration and disappointment begin to accompany some of your interactions.  You feel like you're kind of excluded or you might be missing out on something as you wander from site to site.  You're starting to feel petty and small when others don't notice you.  The endless stats and numbers take on far more significance that they should.

You reluctantly realize that writing's not giving you the joy it has in the past.  And you begin to feel just a bit crispy as burnout begins to move on in

OR

*   your Saviour
It dawns on you that you've invested little heavy duty time with God in recent days.  Your beloved Bible gathers dust, you rely on quick, light devotionals instead of saturating yourself in His precious Word.  Your prayer life is dwindling rapidly from faithful intercession to irregular SOS calls.

Online writing has slowly but surely taken the place of the prayer journaling you used to pour yourself into.  Early morning / late evening link-ups and the self-imposed push to hit the PUBLISH button by a certain hour begin to own you instead of the Lover of your soul having full possession.

OR

*   your life
You wake up one day and realize you're living at your keyboard instead of out in the real world.  Sure, you might be writing about life, but the reality is that you really long to get out and about and experience true, vibrant living that is full and free, filled with challenging experiences, deep face-to-face conversations, and interactions that are just plain fun.  

You begin to long to make a difference in ministry or head back to school, re-connect with a long-lost friend or volunteer in places that desperately need what only you can give.

*

I've been there, done that.  All of it. 

Maybe our goal should be to keep short accounts with ourselves and an online friend or two, all the while keeping up a steady conversation with the Lord about how our commitment to blogging is impacting the core of who we are, for good or ill. 

And making the conscious choice, often, to settle down in solitude and silence, leaning in to experience His tender invitation to be still and quiet.  And allow Him to love us well. 


Do you schedule time away from online action
or does the need to remove yourself from the scene sneak up on you?

What concerns you most about your blogging commitment?

*

In this blogheart posting, we've gone behind the scenes of our writing,
past the numbers and the how-tos, and headed straight to the heart of what we do and why.

The best part of this monthly feature?  A FREE name-it-and-claim-it blog coaching session is offered to the first reader who leaves a comment.  If that's you, simply shoot me an email at Linda@CreeksideMinistries.com and we'll set up a time to chat. 
*

Thanks, all you social media fans, for sharing this post with those in your world! 
As always, the links are below ...
*
Joining friends at Mary's & Holly's

52 comments:

  1. Welcome back Linda. Were you gone? LOL Glad you took the time away. I have not taken a prolonged time away from blogging but I have taken several days. I don't blog during vacation but might schedule a few. Or I promote someone else's blog. I do some "out loud" thinking as I write so it is therapeutic to me in some ways. Anyway, have a great day. (And if I am first please take #2).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that 'outloud' thinking, Bill ... as we sort through what's swirling within, we end up encouraging others by what we're learning and letting them know that yes, even ministry leaders have stuff they're sorting through, and we're all in this together.

      Last time I looked, no one's arrived!

      Good to see you again, man ...

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Bill! How kind and generous of you. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my free coaching session with Linda today (thanks, Linda!). I definitely came away with a greater sense of purpose, focus, and peace. God bless you (both)!

      ~HBHW

      Delete
    3. Yep, thanks, Bill!

      So grateful that the conversation was helpful, HBHW ... it is amazing what you can pack in a half hour, isn't it?

      God is good ...

      Delete
  2. Wonderful to see you back, Linda. Your words here resonate as always.

    I especially like the bit about "your hem." How very perceptive, and true! Thanks for helping me see Scripture in fresh ways...

    In His love,
    HBHW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your warm welcome is sweet, lovely lady. I hope you're doing well!

      Good news for you ... Bill has passed his free coaching session on to you ... What a gallant man! Please shoot me a quick email if you'd like ...

      Delete
  3. My reasons for stepping away lately are really a culmination of all the ones you shared, so nicely done. You helped me see a bit clearly my whys. And while I may appear with a post here and there, it's all as the spirit leads. Seems like the right way for me. It can be a heart struggle as numbers go lower and lower but if I make it about the numbers I'm doing it for the wrong reasons. So day by day I'm learning to be okay with whatever God wants blogging to be for now. He's blessing me in so many other ways. His plans are always far greater than we can imagine.

    Thanks for your email, friend!

    Oh, btw, I used your bag this weekend and received several compliments. The size is just perfect!!

    Much love.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes to your wisdom, Beth - 'And while I may appear with a post here and there, it's all as the spirit leads.'

      That's where I'm going, too. If He gives something, I'll share it. If He doesn't, I'm good with it. And if all the numbers would simply vanish, we'd probably all be in a better place, yes?

      They're Yours, God. All Yours!

      So glad that you love the bag. Everyone seems to like the smaller size for lunches and gift bags and a few books!

      I'm so glad to see you again!

      Delete
  4. Oh how I have missed your words, sweet friend. I was so glad you took the time for you and your family, but I want you to know you are ALWAYS missed. Don't ever think otherwise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! What a lavish welcome, Sarah. Thank you, thank you.

      Your words breathe life here in this place.

      ;-}

      It's so good to connect with you again ...

      Delete
  5. Got a good dose of nourishment from your the nuggets of truth here as I ate my chocolate cake for lunch (yes. I can do that now. When I turned 60 I said I don't have to eat desert last) I'm working hard to balance my screen time. Thanks for sharing. The fellowship goes both ways, my friend. Both ways

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eat dessert first! Absolutely! And sometimes it's just plain 'eat dessert!'

      You've turned 60? No wonder I resonate with you. 5 months and counting to my big day ... I . Just . Can't . Believe . I'm . There!

      You make it look easy ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  6. Linda I am so happy to see that you are back! The other day I was doing some blog reading and thought "what I've been reading feels empty and unimportant". I wanted to read something with depth, and immediately came to your page. I was a little sad that you were on break, but happy that you were taking much needed down time. Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've encouraged me so much, my friend. I so want to offer words worth savoring, words worth keeping.

      Thanks for your kindness. My heart is touched ...

      Delete
  7. Welcome back, friend! I love this post. Those are all such valid reasons to take a blogging (or anything?) break. I walk a fine line with blogging; I sometimes fall into the ditch on either side of it, but I hope for now I've found a sweet balance. Blogging is something I know I should hold loosely. Thanks for being an encouragement on how to do that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your super words, Lisa - 'I walk a fine line with blogging.' Yep, it's all about that sweet balance which makes our time online a wonderful gift in our lives.

      Thankfully, we have One who guides us to that sweet spot ... and gives us something of value to say. I'm so grateful that when all is said and done we write for an audience of One.

      So good to see you again ...

      Delete
  8. Welcome back, Linda. Much wisdom in your words. As usual!! xxoo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you're here with us, Sheila! I hope you and Michael are doing well ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  9. Welcome back friend-I missed you! Your wisdom in sharing where our hearts and lives should be focused is so important to being "real" and listening to God's plans and not our own. I have found recently that my brain is tired and a lot of that is finishing well a teaching career of 30 years plus all the mental and emotional energy that goes into every single day. Another part is trying to keep this full-time gig going as well as my blogging which truly does feed my soul. I do love it but parts of it sap the last little bit of energy I have at the end of the day. Oh to just write and leave the rest behind...

    I appreciate you and your honesty and just saying it like it is. I do love seeing you back here at your blogging home. Blessed by you and giving me a reality check!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 30+ years of teaching is quite a legacy, Mary. How many hundreds and hundreds of young lives have you influenced in their most vulnerable years. No wonder you are just a tad weary.

      Can't wait to see how this next season unfolds for you as you will have more time and space to focus on your passion to put pen to paper.

      Gifted you are, friend. I'm so grateful you're in my world.

      Delete
  10. I'm so glad to see you back, Linda! I completely understand about needing time away. I've taken many breaks over the past year and a half of blogging, for all of your reasons listed above. I really struggle with balance and completely stepping away from my blog is sometimes my only way back to sanity. You were definitely missed, my friend, but I'm thrilled you enjoyed your unplugged vacation :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, unplugged is good. Real good. But coming back here to this kind of uplifting conversation is the icing on the cake!

      Absolutely!

      It's so good to see you again, Candace ... and did you spot your post over on the sidebar? I love that you were so honest about how blogging impacts you!

      ;-}

      Delete
    2. Thanks for sharing that post and inspiring me to write it! It's really been quite freeing. I have many new brave, personal posts swirling around in my head now :).

      Delete
    3. Can't wait to see those posts unfurl and burst into bloom, Candace!

      Brave is good. Oh so good!

      ;-}

      Delete
  11. Welcome Back Linda. Missed so much*****
    Plenty Hugs and kisses.
    Eager to read from your re-freshened heart.
    God Bless

    ReplyDelete
  12. What wonderful encouragement to not be afraid to take a break, to focus more on living life and taking care of self. Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you, Kathryn. Let's take any whiffs of fear out of this passion we have ... and be smart about how we use the time and energy we've been given!

      ;-}

      Delete
  13. Sometimes the need for a blogging break sneaks up on me and sometimes I create the need for a break. Nevertheless, I love your point on perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And sometimes you just KNOW in your heart that it's coming ... and you relish the thought!

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. I'm glad you found refreshment from a break Linda! God is so good to restore you. I don't use media devices outside of for my writing times too much anymore. And I try to schedule concentrated times during the week to get that stuff done, so I can live in the "real world" the rest of the time. :) That's what works for me. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that idea about focused, scheduled times rather than drifting on / off line all day, Nicki. It's a great feeling to do some good work and have a meaningful connection with others, and then close the laptop tight and be on our way.

      Thanks for being here today, friend!

      Delete
  15. Linda,
    So glad I linked up beside you at Holley's link-up this morning! Though I have not taken a long extended break from blogging, I have taken mini breaks (for several of the reasons you listed above). What I found was that I desperately needed face-to-face time as well as time alone with God without my laptop, and quite simply a break from always thinking and creating. We NEED that refreshment and rejuvenation. Thanks so much for the reminder and "permission slip" to take breaks when we need them.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said the D word, Bev. 'Desperately.' And I'm with you friend. I don't want to get to that dangerous point. I want to continue to try to weave my life's schedule together so that I'm coming from a place of peace and rest, not crazymaking and exhaustion.

      Praise God when His family gives each other those 'permission slips' to live in a wholesome way that honors Him!

      I so appreciate that you are here today ...

      Delete
  16. Linda,
    As always you share some intriguing thoughts to ponder. I loved this -- "would anyone care if I weren't writing?" It seems that way sometimes but you're right, reconnecting again is sweet! I like your ability to take a break and come back renewed! Excellent thoughts today, friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The counselor / coach in me loves asking others challenging questions! So I guess it's only right that I do the same for myself, huh?

      ;-}

      Thanks for joining us here today, Valerie. So good to connect with you again!

      Delete
  17. So glad you're back, Linda! I missed your insights and thought-filled words. I do hope that your time away was refreshing and rejuvenating!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep ... back in the saddle again, ready to roll!

      ;-}

      Delete
  18. Beautifully said. I have felt for a while now that I have limped along in my blogging because of many of the aforementioned reasons. Thank you for the reminder to leave space to live away from the computer without guilt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mmm ... good thought, Pary. Once we get to that point when we're limping we know we're in need of a tune-up, a rest, or something!

      Praying you find what that might be. Thanks for letting me know this made a difference for you. I'm grateful ...

      Delete
  19. I did something similar recently...I said goodbye to Twitter and Facebook, and I haven't looked back! Seriously? Why was I not guarding my heart when it came to social media? Every time I logged on, it felt like an attack, and not just because I had a few Troll followers. So I said, "No more." It feels great. http://www.got2havefaithblog.com/social-media-bad-for-health/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guarding your heart when it comes to social media. Wow. If we look at our time online through the lens of God's Word? What a gamechanger.

      Hebrews 12:1 comes to mind - 'Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.'

      I'm so grateful you've joined us for this conversation. You brought some solid food for us to consider.

      Thank you!

      Delete
  20. Such wisdom here. My season of stepping away from blogging 4-5 days a week has been a long one. Now I manage to just get out one post. Sure I've lost some readers but I believe the ones God is using to continually build up and encourage my own heart on this journey have remained. Thankful you are back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbie, yes, yes, the whole seasons consideration is important. What we did last month, last year, or 5 years ago might not work these days. I guess when we keep on thinking we should be doing the same things we did then, that's when we put pressure on ourselves.

      And the joy leaves.

      May that 1 post a week feed your soul and make you smile somewhere deep.

      And I am so glad you could visit here today and bring your wisdom along with you ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  21. I always tell myself I will take a break from blogging, and then I can't help myself and then dive right back in!!! I need a blogging intervention, lol! Great post, thanks for sharing! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, all this online activity can be oh-so-addictive and bring out those compulsive traits that lay down deep in most of us.

      He whispers peace, peace to you, to me, to us today, Gingi ...

      Delete
  22. Welcome back! I think I've felt a little bit of all these things at one time or another. I had to start holding on to my blog loosely and like Beth said, write as the Lord leads. I stopped looking at numbers a long time ago, it wasn't good for anyone. I'm thankful for the people that read and comment and for the community God has brought me. I've gotten to a point I want to write because I enjoy it. It's freeing.

    Hope you had a blessed time off-line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Alecia, to write simply for the joy of it. His joy. Our joy. The joy of the little communities that gather 'round.

      You've painted a compelling picture of blogging at its finest. That's where we want to be, that's where we want to stay.

      Glad you're here. Always!

      Delete
  23. So glad to have you and your wisdom back in this place, my friend! But even more so, I'm so thankful for all you've experienced and learned while away. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unexpected learnings and fresh perspectives often seem to come from time away from the screen for me. I think I need to do it more often!

      May Sabbath rest be yours, June. So very good to see you again!

      ;-}

      Delete
  24. Your words will give many a chance to breathe deep and the give themselves permission to make this choice of grace towards ourselves. I am not tied to my keyboard, but I do find that when I have a schedule that I am tied to and I miss it, stress mounts up. It makes everything else tend to be off-kilter, and well... that just doesn't work, does it.

    Thanks for the reminder to rest, rejuvenate, reflect, refresh, and restart with our hearts focused rightly.
    Blessings!
    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dawn. I do dislike those off-kilter moments, usually prompted by exhaustion or disobedience to what He's asked me to do. The more focused I am on listening to what He's saying, the more sane and balanced and whole I feel.

      Thanks for being here with us ... it's been good for us to hear your wisdom!

      Delete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...