Friday, October 15, 2010

happy blog-day, and a break from blogging

It's that time again: my bloggy birthday (well, it's tomorrow, but I don't post on weekends, and I doubt you read then either). Three years into blogging, and I enjoy it as much as ever: putting my thoughts into words, writing about what God has taught me, and being encouraged and challenged by you.

It has its downside. The pressure (self-imposed) to produce something, the times I realise (whoops!) I forgot to write tomorrow's post, the time taken from other things, the vulnerability and uncertainty, the temptation to compare my blog with others: it's a cost worth paying, but only if this is worth doing.

Where am I at, 3 years into blogging? I heard a talk on Romans 12:1-2 recently (I'll tell you about it soon) which laid it on the line for me. I want to respond to God's mercy by giving myself to him as a living sacrifice, to bring him glory and make his Son known.

I'd like to make wise plans for the next 5 or 10 years so that I use my time, energy and gifts to glorify Jesus. Will this include blogging? I don't know. But I do know I need some time away from blogging to pray and find out.

After 12 years of raising young kids and 3 years of new ministries, I'm exhausted. So next year I'll share my husband's long service leave (which has been 12 years coming). I'll settle my oldest child into high school and my youngest into preschool, take a long family holiday, and build strong relationships for the teen years. I'll regroup, reflect and renew (the 3 Rs, as my friend puts it).

I'm planning to blog until the end of this year, God willing, then stop for a while - maybe 3 months, maybe 6 months. I'll pray about whether this is the best use of my time and energy, or if there's something else I should do. I have so many dreams and ideas, but who knows what God has in mind?

Taking time off is scary for a doer like me, and slowing down is already making me feel a little empty - which just shows how deeply I take my worth from what I do! But I'm not a doer, I'm a receiver of God's love and grace.

I'm praying that during my months of not-doing, God will teach me I don't need to achieve, get things right or prove myself, because Jesus has done it all for me. Only then will I be able to serve, not so I can feel worthwhile, but "in view of God's mercy" - his astounding, undeserved, unchanging grace to me in Jesus.

In the meantime, until the end of the year, I'll still be here, blogging. Happy blog-day!

images are from soapylovedeb and hyku from flickr


Anonymous said...

Hi Jean

Happy 3rd blogging birthday. I really appreciate your blog which I have been reading since just before your 1st blogging birthday. Your posts are always interesting and have, in turns, challenged, encouraged and entertained me. It is definitely a ministry and one I have benefited from in many ways. I pray that you will know God's leading about your blogging and ministry future and enjoy and benefit from your time away from blogging.

In Christian love


Jean said...

Thanks, Linda, much appreciated! :)

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

Happy blog day.
I take great encouragement from your writing. I have also purchased a few of the books you have reviewed and found them a blessing too.

Gordon Cheng said...

You should definitely write a book or something. Lots of people read your stuff, and it is worth reading too. That's a rare combination!

You've got the ability to do it, and blogging gives you the opportunity to pick away at ideas and at writing over a long period of time.

Jean said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Narelle and Gordo. One day, Gordo, one day...definitely something I'd love to do! :)

BGSydneyside said...

Happy Bloggy birthday Jean,
Really enjoyed your wisdom and encouraging words over these last three years :)
Very wise and brave to have a holiday- and to take some time to think about what is the best way to serve Jesus.
I'm excited to hear about what you decide!
Hip, Hip, Horray!
love Belinda
PS And I second the book motion.

Jean said...

Thanks, B!

Not much bravery about it (although I know what you mean, and it is a little scary). I need a break pretty badly to get my head and heart back in the right space. And who doesn't want a holiday?! (As long as you can get all the organising done!)

Thanks for your kind words.
Love Jean.

Sarah said...

Happy Bloggy Birthday!

Sounds exciting that you have decided to take a good break. I will miss your encouragement and teaching though.

Jean said...

Thanks, Sarah!

Rachach said...

Ditto to all the above!
I do think you are great at one-on-one and group face-to-face ministry and training too, which no doubt you are considering doing.
Love Rach

Jean said...

Thanks, Rach. You've actually put your finger on the problem: not that I'm great at all these things (I have an enormous amount to learn about all of them!) but that I want to do it all...! When I was praying the other morning, I said to God that 3 lifetimes would probably come in handy: one to love Steve, raise our kids and manage our home (the latter tends to fall out of my priorities somewhere along the line); one to write, write, and write some more; and one to do all the active women's ministry-type stuff you mention. So you can see I need to read my own blog posts on busyness, and, like you said in your comment on may last busyness post, realise that I'm not God and I'm not the Saviour! Please pray for wisdom and godliness for me, and trust in the God who changes lives.