Monday, September 29, 2014

I Miss the Simple Beginnings

Okay, I'm exhausted. And overwhelmed. I'm overwhelmingly exhausted.



Fellow bloggers, is it just me, or are any of you finding it overwhelming to keep up with everyone's posts?

Don't get me wrong. The Linkups are terrific! I am having a blast getting to know you all. I'm establishing connections, learning from you, and hopefully encouraging some of you. I'm impressed (and admittedly, a bit envious, but I'm working on that) with how many of you have written books!

I've learned so much in the last few weeks simply from reading your posts and checking out your sites. I've (hopefully) improved my own site from ideas I take away by looking at yours.

I'm especially impressed with the younger women of faith---how mature you are. How much more you seem to know than I did when I was your age. How blessed you are to have this network, and Pinterest (which I still don't quite get). When my children were young, we didn't even have an internet. Actually, I don't even think I had a computer (can you believe it?!).

I can relate to some of you more mature women of faith. Jean Wise's Falling With Grace. I loved that. Sheila Kimball's finding love the second time around.


I love the humorous and sarcastic posts. I love the contemplative and thought-provoking posts. I love the bible study posts. I even enjoyed reading the posts meant for home-schoolers or Sunday school teachers. 

But I'm finding it exhausting to read all these posts and comment and linkup and remember to link back and add widgets and gadgets and enhance my pictures with PicMonkey and create pictures with biblical sayings and make sure I reply to comments left on my page (something I never had before!). I don't want to forget anyone or leave anyone out or come across as rude or uncaring or self-serving. All of this seems to take several hours a day. Oh, and I work full time (yes, I'm doing it on company time, but I work for family. It's okay).

I kind of miss the early days of my blog when all I did was write what the Holy Spirit downloaded into me. I just wrote my blog and stole borrowed downloaded pictures from Google Images. 

Am I doing something wrong? Am I striving? Does anyone else spend THIS much time doing all of this...stuff? How do you do it? How do you make your blog look so beautiful, write posts, linkup, comment, reply to comments..(and so on) AND take care of your family and home and work and friends and...

AND to boot, you post these adorable how-to things, like crafts and food...when do you actually find time to cook?

Maybe you're reading this and you're not a blogger and you have no idea what I'm talking about. Still, you have something similar in your circle...maybe you're a professional and you're trying to stay current on LinkedIn, or maybe you're a busy mom, or a nurse who works 12 hour shifts. Or maybe you're retired and you're wondering why you don't have the time you thought you'd have. Or maybe you're sandwiched in between still caring for your children and now caring for your elderly parents.

We all come face-to-face at many points in our lives with overwhelming exhaustion, especially in this age of social media and technology. Don't you sometimes just miss the simple beginnings?

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zech 4:10).

So often, we want more. We want to build our blog. We want to be known. We want big ministries. We want to be asked to speak. We want to write a best seller. We want to be in the Million-dollar Realtor club. We want to have that corner office. We want to be the popular mom with the popular kids. We want, we want, we want. When is it my turn, Lord? When will the world recognize my talents and gifts? Why doesn't my church ask ME to speak/sing/teach? Why doesn't my boss see all the good I'm doing?

Too often, in all that bustling to move forward, it's so easy to lose sight of the One who promotes us, who enables us to move forward. We forget Who we're serving.

I spend hours perusing blogsites. I read and I write and I read some more and I comment and I read some more and I research and I read some more until I realize I don't even know what I just read. I'm just going through the motions. It's exhausting!

So, my blogmates, I hope you'll understand if I forget to reply to a comment left on one of my posts. I hope you'll forgive me if I forget to thank you for hosting. I hope you realize that I may not comment, but it doesn't mean I didn't read your post and that I didn't like it. I hope you can relate. Because I think I may have stirred up that old anxiety and I can't relax. I can't enjoy what I'm reading and what you're writing. 


I need to step back and step into rest.



It's more important to me to remember Who I serve than to build my blog. It's more important for me to remember Who is supposed to increase and who is supposed to decrease. It's more important for me to remember my simple beginnings. I'll get to everyone. Just not today.

Blessings Along the Path,

Mary


Song of the Day
Psalm 121 (Sons of Korah)


Sharing today with Sharing His Beauty, Playdates With God, Everyday Jesus, Testimomy Tuesday, Word-Filled Wednesday

9 comments:

  1. I want to see the little toad! :) I hear you, Mary. It's been a while since I"ve been able to visit everyone in my linkup. I always try to visit a handful each week and trust God and the community to encourage each other. When I made that decision, it was a deliberate one, and I knew it meant I would have to be ok with being smaller. A lot of people will not keep linking up if you don't visit them regularly (unless you are Ann Voskamp :)). But I'm ok with being small, though it required a little work on my part. I like where you are going here. Setting boundaries is a healthy thing. I'm proud of you.

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    1. Laura, stop back on Wednesday. I'm writing about the toad!

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Laura. The size of the Linkup is not important to me. I'm looking more for connections. And I don't expect the hostess to visit me, although it is nice! I don't post on every linkup out there because some of them are just not ones that I can relate to, like cooking and crafts. Been there, done that, tee-shirt has been worn out and given to Goodwill. Someone else's turn. At first it was my intention to do it all to "get my name out there" until I saw how huge Blogland really is and how talented so many people are. I was quickly humbled and realized I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. Now, I'm more interested in establishing relationships. I'm excited for you about your book! I know I'll get there too; just not today!

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  3. I so resonate with your words here, Mary! And I don't know how I've missed visiting your blog before, but I think this is my first time. I, too, have a linkup on Wednesdays and that coupled with all the other bloggy demands is making me feel like the "frog in the kettle" who doesn't even realize his "blog" is heating up to a rolling boil! I also feel like many bloggers are at different stages and unless you've been in our stage, you may mistakenly assume that a certain blogger has more time and therefore should respond more to your comments. ;) I'm finding it almost impossible these days to carve out more than a couple of hours each bloghop day. That means many of the friend's I've met through the blogosphere will be overlooked--but never ignored! I hope you stay at it, my newfound friend! And I will pray for you and hope you lift me up as well!

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  4. Thanks for those words of encouragement, Beth. I don't actually have a linkup; I just hop all over to everyone else's. I'm still new here. It's important for us to take time to rest and to decide what our priorities are!

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  5. Hi Mary, I attended a blogging conference a few weeks - the one held at Cedar Point where I fell in grace ( thanks for the mention by the way) and my whole table felt overwhelmed and voice concern on finding that elusive balance. I don't think there is a magic formula but knowing yourself and what you can realistically do in reasonable time. That may mean only one hour to do social media or only once a week commenting on certain blogs. I appreciate your honesty here and what you are feeling/experiencing is very real. I get hung up over numbers - number of page views, numbers of email subscribers and think that determines my success - then I realize it doesn't. But I still sense that too. So be gentle with yourself, allowing time for God, family and self and the rest will fall into place.... good conversation going here!

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    1. Thank you both for your encouragement. I just stumbled across the 31 Days of Writing Challenge for October and signed up! What am I thinking? I don't even have a topic, I have commitments every weekend, and I have no idea how to "make a button" for my blog (more hours spent on the internet). Did I not read what I just wrote? How often I do this! I think that I have to partake in everything! I could write about 31 Days of Rest, but I'd have to rest for 31 days and not write, so that's counterproductive! OY!

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  6. Hi Mary! Well, I am very glad that I was one of the blogs you visited a few weeks ago. I just got back from blog-break, so I understand the need to step back. It can get very overwhelming, I understand what you are talking about. My husband actually had to tell me that I was getting too stressed out trying to keep up with blogging and writing...

    I like Jean' advice to be gentle with yourself and just go as you hear the Lord lead. (I really like Jean too, we are blog-friends.) I'm glad we connected, and that I had the chance to meet you.
    Blessings!
    Ceil

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  7. A big AMEN to this post!! It IS exhausting trying to be a courteous and respectful blogger. One who reads as well as writes, and comments and doesn't just read. The hours can go by VERY quickly. And I do work full time. In fact, I used to work full time AND run a ministry practically full time. As of 3 weeks ago, I was able to marry the two and do ministry full time - but that in and of itself is exhausting, and I'm finding my pillow is my best friend long before 9pm on many a night. So we do what we can. We are human, and we won't always get it right - someone, somewhere will fall through the cracks even though not on purpose!!

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