Ceasing

For the past few years, I have regularly considered giving up blogging. Every three or four months or so, I would wake up, think about all the things going on in my life, and I would be 100% ready to stop blogging. And every time, that very same day, I would get an email, or a note, or a text thanking me for having written something that encouraged or motivated them.

And I would get back to my laptop and hack away at it.

Sometimes those encouragements would be from a close friend, and sometimes from someone I knew casually, and sometimes from a completely stranger. It never ceased to amaze me how God would use my ramblings to help someone else, and to give a voice to the voiceless and an image to the unseen.

But now I am sure that I need a break from blogging. Not just a week or a month, but for the rest of the year (or longer).

The Investment of Blogging

Writing has been good for me, personally. It forces me to think deeply, and to analyze and clarify my thoughts. And then when I get pushback or comments, it makes me think even more deeply and broadly. And it’s been an outlet for my frustrations and confusion, whether or not anyone else reads what I write.

But it also has taken a lot of time. The thinking, the writing, the editing, the planning, the promoting . . . it all adds up.

For a long time, this process has been worth my time. During our time in Allendale, blogging was our primary way of keeping our friends and supports informed of what we were doing. For us, regular blogging was better than occasional newsletters.

Now that I’m back in Greenville, working for Mill Community Ministries, and (now) Furman, and (for a while) a school, I don’t think my need for a “newsletter” is as great. It’s easier to keep people posted of what’s going on.

But even more than that, God has been pressing me to consider how I’m using my time. With the two or three jobs I’ve had, plus some upcoming additional responsibilities, I have to shave off some things that don’t directly help me provide for my family.

And speaking of family, I need to spend more time engaging them, and cultivating my relationships with my wife (as we are in the midst of some challenging transitions), daughter (beginning high school in two weeks!), and sons (one of whom is not far from becoming a teenager).

God has also been revealing that I need to do better with how I am engaging my community and culture. I am convinced that I need to spend more time in intentional-discipleship relationships.

Adding time for jobs, family members, and ministry . . . means I have to shave time off somewhere else. And one place I’ll try to gain time back is by ceasing from regular blogging.

Giving Up for Good?

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that I’m giving up blogging for good. I’m just taking a break until the end of the year, and I’ll re-evaluate then.

I will also be doing some guest posting. But writing 2 or 3 posts a month is very different than 3 or 4 posts per week.

I have lots that I’d love to write about. I have stories to tell, silenced voices to amplify, and images to make known. So, I’ll be depending on and looking for other ways to communicate.

Check out my Contact page to connect with me in other ways (social media, website, etc). I may even write an occasional post here if I feel like this would be the best way to communicate.

Heck, this may all be a mistake. I may be missing out on a great opportunity. But I’m trusting that God is leading me in this way. And if I’m wrong, I’ll trust that He can make up the difference. (He can.)

Thank You, and Please Help Me

I’m thankful for the opportunity that blogging has given me to get thoughts out of my brain, and I’m thankful for you reading those words and connecting with me.

And now I can still use you. . . . If and as you feel led, please keep me accountable. Ask me if I’m redeeming the time I am gaining back. Instead of using my time to escape, I need to use this extra time to:

  • lead and disciple my family
  • disciple others on a personal level
  • find other ways to be a voice for those who need a voice
  • rest and recreate (see sessions 5 and 6 of A Man and His Work)

“Cease striving and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

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6 thoughts on “Ceasing

  1. Joey,

    Thank you for the past few years of sharing your life and insights; I have grown in my view of how I see people because of your insights.

    I am glad that I do know you personally and know that even if I am now in CA, we are still connected to and look forward to any future posts that you do.

    Like

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