I've been praying about this for months now. The Lord started nudging my heart a while back about how much time I spend blogging. However, in typical Staci fashion, I was fighting it (read: Him) tooth and nail. I like blogging. I like deal finding. I like helping others, but it has become increasingly evident that I need to take a break. I've actually been walking around all week trying to write this post in my head. All the while, I've been asking the Lord to confirm this decision for me. I asked Him to scream it loud and clear about which direction I should go. To blog or not to blog. This is the question. Let's just say that this has been a doozy of a week (er, months) and this morning was the last straw. Ok, Lord. I hear ya.
When I first started blogging, I did it for me. I kept blogging because it was an easy way to keep my family, friends and church members in the loop about the deals I would come across. I eventually felt the nod to start teaching classes since some folks learn better that way. Teaching classes was actually the only time that I really asked God's opinion. I kept blogging because I thought classes & blogging went together. Somewhere in the middle of all that, my reasons changed. Blogging became an escape for me. On days when I felt like I could do nothing right as a wife or mother, I could at least talk about couponing. I knew I was good at that. On days when things weren't so peachy at home, I could escape with my laptop and scour the web for deals and share them. It made me feel good. It still does. Even after I moved past the point of escape, I continued blogging out of perceived obligation. I had come this far, why stop now. Other folks are depending on me. Lately, it has become a chore. We have had a lot going on in 2010 and my blogging schedule has kind of complicated that. I honestly don't want to stop blogging, I just wish I had more time.
My daughter will be starting full time at a Montessori school this fall. I am super excited for her but I feel like this is the last summer I have left of her being little. I want to enjoy this summer with her. I want us to do fun things together and not be stuck at home because Mommy has to get out the latest batch of freebies or type up the Publix matchups. I also work part-time as a medical transcriptionist. Between that and blogging, it's like full-time hours. I've been trying to do it all and my quality of life is starting to suffer. Let it be known now and forevermore that I am not a super mom!
To be honest, it really doesn't make sense to me why God is asking me to change THIS area of my life. I know that other people find my website beneficial and things are finally starting to take off and grow. I also just got invited to attend an exclusive blogging conference with lots of opportunities. Besides, couponing makes me feel good. However, there is one thing I know for sure. Sometimes God's ways don't make sense to my feeble human brain. Through experience, I've learned that His timing and His path are much better than what I would chose for myself. As I grow, the Lord continues to show me that Staci can't fix it. Blah! Just so you know, this totally goes against my innermost being. I'm a fixer. I'm a planner. Darn it!
A few months ago my husband and I declared that this year we would SIMPLIFY. I don't know that I have been holding up my end of the bargain. By ignoring God's gentle nudges, I've probably been making it worse and I am humbled by this realization.
For now, I will still be couponing in my own life. Couponing is a way of life and I don't think it will ever change now that I've sipped the kool-aid. I will still be teaching classes but I'm gonna cut out the day-to-day blogging part. I still like to share, answer questions, and help newbies so it may not be uncommon to see something occasionally show up on here, Facebook or Twitter. I'm still here. I just need to breathe. I need to focus on what God is trying to show me. I need to spend both quality and quantities of time with my family. Ideally, I am hoping that once Skylar starts school this fall I will have ample amount of time on my hands and I will be back in full force, but only if God gives me the a-okay this time.
A wise friend of mine recently told me that if two choices both look good, you should choose the one that you can un-do if things don't work out. I can always start blogging again but I can't get back precious moments and time lost with my family. I also want to make the choice that will glorify the Lord the most. This is one of those times where it doesn't make sense to me but I'm gonna trust Him and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. Then, I'm gonna stand back, watch His provision cover me and let Him soak up my praise for His awesomeness.
Update (06/01/10): I just wanted to say thank you to every one who has been so supportive and encouraging of my little blogging break. You wanna know something really cool about the whole thing? I posted this just 4 days before the Nashville Flood started and my neighborhood was one of the worst hit areas. Now, I could have NEVER known what we were in for, but the Lord knew. He always knows. He knew that I absolutely, positively could not have maintained my blogging schedule while the waters rose and then later as the demolition of homes all around me began. While we, miraculously, did not sustain any damage to our home (Praise You Lord!!), we had plenty of opportunities to serve others. I am so thankful for His protection during that weekend (there were some scary moments) and thankful that He could foresee the future and saved me from any extra undue stress. I still miss blogging but I am enjoying extra time with my family. I am really looking forward to this fall and getting back into the groove. I hope everyone has a fantastic summer!
Update (07/07/09): The Lord has confirmed my decision once again. Today, it dawned upon me that I was supposed to be on my way to Colorado to attend the Savvy Blogging Summit. There is absolutely no way that I would have been able to board that plane this morning. You see, some very dear friends of mine lost their child earlier this week. I would have never been able to leave town knowing that they need my support and my help right here at home. I am so thankful how the Lord goes before us AND behind us. He knows what is coming when we don't. This decision never made sense to me in the beginning but it is becoming increasing clear. Thank you Lord for always having my best interest at heart and for protecting me from things unseen. Forgive me when I doubted your plan and fought your nudging in the beginning. I am grateful for the time and ability to be able to serve my friends in love.