Thursday, January 2, 2014

I Almost Stopped Blogging!

I Almost Stopped Blogging

Yes, it's true.

I almost quit blogging.

As we turned over the calendar to a new year - 2013 - I was deeply entrenched in writer's block. That dreaded feeling where you want to write, you need to write, but no matter what you write - if you can find even one word worthy of writing - it sounds forced, shallow, and completely uninspiring.

I would sit here for hours with this blank blog template staring back at me as if mocking me....taunting me with it's blank, white nothingness.

I would get up and clean while desperately searching for that brilliant first sentence that would usually cause the rest of the words come tumbling out like beads on a string.


I would make myself a hot cup of fragrant herb tea and light a candle - my inspiration inducers.


One glance at my posts from last January only offer further proof of the fact that I had exhausted my store of inspiration and was scraping the bottom of the barrel.

So I took a break.

It was during this time that I considered closing the doors on A Little R & R.

I was done.


Void of ideas.

But the thought came to me: Would I still write? If I had a blog or not...would I still write?

The answer to that was simple: Yes! A thousand times yes! This is the girl who would open up Word documents and pour out thought after thought to no one but herself. Oh - yes, I wrote in my pre-blog days. I have dozens of files that no one has yet to see.

Then one day in prayer the Lord prompted me to write about 1 Corinthians 13.  My first thoughts were: Trite. Overdone. Worn out. Not unique. 

But what came out of that experience not only changed me, but it changed the entire course of my blogging.

As I started the first post in that 14-day journey of blogging everyday - an undertaking I have never done before or since - I decided to allow the Lord to speak through me - write through me - as never before. The outcome was a look at 1 Corinthians 13 that I have never seen or heard before: a look at the chapter from the perspective of the church, not marriage or romance.

And it was like a dam exploded in me.

2013 brought me experiences I never dreamed possible:

1. I published my first book

2. I joined the Missional Women contributor team

3. I started Missional Call - a resource and fellowship center for missionaries

4. I was asked to become a content partner for SpiritLed Woman eMagazine - a division of Charisma Magazine.

I launched 5 series this year.  Besides 14 Days of Agape, which became an ebook, I blogged about the cross for Easter, then I began to delve into topics Beyond the Grave - perhaps one day I will finish this. As we moved into summer, I felt the Lord prompting me to blog through Titus 2:4-5, and that took me to my fall missions series: Answer the Call.

2014 will bring some needed changes around here

First of all, I'm sure you've noticed the new look. Do you like it?

There is still some construction to do. I will be redoing the pages and buttons. But that's not all.

A Little R & R (formerly known as "Random Thoughts of a Missionary Mom....Musings of a Work-at-Home Missionary Mom....and at least a few other titles), started off as a mommy-blog, mainly to rave and brag about my firstborn, who was quickly joined by my second born. I really did jump on about every mom blogger bandwagon there was: from blogging about our cloth diapers and home remedies, to our preschool activities and "Wordless Wednesday" (where I tried out my creative skills with my point-and-shoot, until every picture turned blurry because my sons are seriously the most active kids on planet earth and never stand still....ever.).

But I discovered that my passion for writing just doesn't flow along those lines. I am a faith blogger at heart.
So, I will be doing a lot of housekeeping around here in the months to come. I will be blowing the dust off and polishing up old content, writing some new stuff, and adding some giveaways. 

I have also joined the contributor team for Marriage, Motherhood, and Missions (formerly Simply Helping Him). My first post is up: "Raising Functioning Families in Ministry".

I want to leave you with this bit of encouragement:

Have you reached a level of emptiness in your writing? Do you feel you lack the inspiration you need to go on? Do you feel like you are scraping the bottom of the barrel?  Are you tempted to close the door on your blog?

Ask yourself: If you didn't have a blog, would you still write? When the writer's block is over, and you feel that exciting surge of inspiration, will you write? Would you still open a Word document and spill your thoughts out on page?

If your answer is "yes" to these questions, keep going.

Then, get down on your knees and seek the source of all inspiration! Seek the Lord's face! 

Perhaps you're not a faith blogger, as I am. He can still give you inspiration and direction for blogging about mommy-ness, recipes, crafts, or whatever it is you blog about! He is an unending store of inspiration for every topic! If you don't believe me - look at creation!

Let Him speak through you and write through you.

You never know where it will lead!

And with great anticipation I look forward to what 2014 will bring!  


Karina said...

I can definitely identify! And I have considered stopping my blog. Mostly because I don't feel like I can be regular enough. Which is probably not a good enough reason to quit. :) I know many are encouraged by what I write, and my blog serves as kind of a public accountability partner. A way to continually remind myself that God has been teaching me things.
Grace For That

Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

I'm so glad you were able to find your voice and unique place in blogging :-)

Sarah {the fontenot four} said...

I have been feeling "empty" lately. I have a post coming up about that in just a little while (today). I love writing and I want to write, but I felt so empty. I am grateful for this post. Thanks for sharing on Thankful Thursday. I am praying for good things to come with my own writing. I look forward to reading more here!

Shari Miller said...

Hi there, I'm visiting from Proverbs 31 Thursdays. I too have been at the point of almost shutting the doors, but I keep moving forward with God's direction. I love the new direction your blog is taking and I'll be back soon to visit.

All for Him,

Bridget Childress said...

I am so glad that you did continue on your blogging journey. Your posts are such an encouragement to me :)

Toni Blake said...

Keep on blogging, Rosilind. You are an encourager, full of the knowledge of the Word of God. May the Lord continue to impress upon you what He wants you to share. God Bless you.

Toni Blake said...

I have just opened up my Blog today, so your willingness to keep on blogging, encourages me to keep going. It's a scary step, but I did it. I'm not a skilled writer, but it has been on my heart to share for years so I stepped out today due to being encouraged by "God-sized Dreams". My Blog is still in it's rough stages. Your Blog is presented in a very nice format, so thank you for the faith to keep moving forward in the 'blogging' arena.

HLJourney said...

I have stopped... I repost others sharing here/there... sadly, still desiring to blog, but not knowing what He desires for me to blog... but YES I do still write, open the Word document that no one but me will read and journal through prayer or books I read. I thank you for sharing and helping - inspiring for those like me to not stop!
Hugs, Heather

Judith said...

Thanks!! I needed this today!! Love you!!

Jedidja said...

Thank you! It inspiring for me!

Laurie Messer said...

This is a beautiful post, Rosilind! So very inspiring to me as a new blogger and writer. I can't wait to see what God is going to accomplish through you this year! I love the changes you've made so far here, and look forward to all that you have in store for us in 2014! Praying for God's best for you in all you do!


Lynnae McCoy said...

Popping over from Christian Fellowship Fridays.

I can really identify with what you wrote. In fact, I just moved my blog and changed directions, because I think I am a faith writer at heart, and writing about homeschooling was leaving me feeling empty. Thanks for the encouragement. If my 2014 is half as successful as your 2013, I will be thrilled!

Angela said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts here. It's always encouraging to me when I hear how God has worked in others hearts as they yield to his calling on their lives.

Sheena @ An Imperfect Life said...

Loved your post, Rosilind! God is using you to bless women in several online spaces - it's just amazing. Over the past week, I've written a dozen pages in my journal but not a word on my blog. I know that when God inspires, one cannot not write! :) Have a great 2014!

Janet said...

What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing. You've encouraged me! Looking forward to seeing what 2014 will bring. Blessing to you--Janet Reeves

Kaye Swain said...

Thank you for a lovely and encouraging post to start the new year and Spiritual Sunday. Isn't it awesome how God is so creative and gives us so many grand ways to be creative and express ourselves. Awesome God!

Schotzy said...

I also almost quit blogging at year's end because I was deeply feeling discouraged and that I had nothing new to say, however, I was also, mourning the death of my dad in mid-December, so my friends were telling me dont make any rash decisions.. Then I started hearing very clearly from the Holy Spirit urging me to reevaluate my blogging and time spent online.. I saw that my blogging was putting undue pressure on me , for lately I was more interested in creating the perfect tablescape or seeking after the most unique Christmas decor.... my focus had shifted and He was wanting to regain preeminence in my heart and my time. Praise God how he uses what I saw as discouragement that was really conviction to reign us back in to use our time for His purposes and thereby find peace and joy in the processes! I love HIm so much!

EstherJoyHunter said...

Thanks for your encouragement. I had wrestled with this very thing and thought seriously about quitting. God reminded me that even if it was only my two daughters that were encouraged by my posts, it would be worth it.

A Little R & R said...

Thank you, Sheena. Yes, sometimes what He places on our heart is just for us...and you are so wise to know what is between you and Jesus and what others should see. I pray you have a blessed 2014!!!

A Little R & R said...

What a wonderful message. I love that!! But I am sure there are many others who are encouraged by you and your writing! Have a blessed New Year!

A Little R & R said...

This is so important. I was in the same situation last year. I was placing too much pressure on myself and it became burdensome. Sometimes we have to step away and be filled up again - and if He doesn't have first place, then our priorities are out of place from the start. My condolences to you, as well. I can't fathom how hard it must be to lose a parent. May His peace fill your heart and His arms hold and comfort you!

A Little R & R said...

Thank you, Kaye. Yes, He truly is a God of creativity on so many levels! And like you said - He is an Awesome God!

A Little R & R said...

Thank you, Janet!! Blessings to you, as well.

A Little R & R said...

Claire, I saw your comment earlier and couldn't click over right away. When I had a few seconds I looked for it and couldn't find it. :( I will add you to my Saturday list and be by this weekend! Thank you for stopping by!

A Little R & R said...

Thank you for stopping by, Angela.

A Little R & R said...

I am so glad you found what you are truly inspired by. It's hard when we try to fit ourselves into a mold, rather than allowing the mold He has already created for us set the direction for where we are going. I know that 2014 will hold many blessings for you and your blog!

A Little R & R said...

I am so blessed that this inspired you, Laurie. I look forward to seeing what God does through you, as well!!

A Little R & R said...

I am so blessed that you were inspired. Many the Lord bless you this year!!!

A Little R & R said...

Oh Heather, it will come. I know it will. And one day you will open your blog and start writing for others again. Sometimes we DO have to step away for a season and write things that only God and we see - things meant for for our eyes only. It's a process of filling up and building up "snowbanks" that will water and inspire us later on to write for others. Keep writing, keep digging and keep watering, because one day the dam will burst for you and you will inspire others with your testimony and your story!!

A Little R & R said...

Congratulations, Toni!!! It is a big step - but the good news is that most of us aren't skilled writers either. Just people who keep practicing. :) I look forward to seeing what God does through you in 2014!!

A Little R & R said...

Thank you, Bridget. I pray you are so blessed in 2014!!!

A Little R & R said...

It's hard when we feel drained and dry...I know that sometimes I write and write and give and forget that I need a refill. :) I pray that you are filled to overflowing this year!!

A Little R & R said...

Thank you, Rose. It's a wonderful place to be!

A Little R & R said...

Oh Karina, I know I am so blessed by your blog. I know all the "experts" say that we have regularly post to keep readers. Well, I know I've made every mistake in the book that supposedly declares "death to the blog" - but truly, I believe that if you inspire and encourage, your readers will stick with you. You are that kind of blogger. I hope you keep going. And I pray you have a blessed New Year!!!

Judy SheldonWalker said...

God is truly working in and through you. I pray too that I am an instrument of His peace.

DaLynn McCoy said...

I need to do this. I need to have time to do this. I know I should do this. I'm not at the point of almost quitting; I'm more at the point of being overwhelmed with too many possibilities and not enough time to pour into any of them at all. I need more of a focus, and I'm not sure I really want to go where my blog seems to be taking me. I need a sit-down. Thanks for the motivation!

A Little R & R said...

DaLynn - I'm not sure how I missed your comment here. I am so sorry you are overwhelmed. I am there regularly (okay, right now - today) - it is so important to step back for a day or two, gain perspective, set new goals and boundaries and then go forward doing what we know He wants us to do. If it helps, I've created blog "suicide" more times than I care to admit - but many times when I do what you shouldn't do, but what I know is best for my family and calling, it works in my favor. :)

A Little R & R said...

Oh, I am sure you are! What a great aspiration!!