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