Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some things I need to say.

It's been a while since I've shared anything.  I'm here now to talk a little bit about why I've been absent and about what you can expect to see here from now on. 

I wrote a few weeks ago about how difficult my summer has been.  The trials have not yet ended; in fact, we are still standing in the middle of many.  For those of you who have expressed concern and offered prayer, thank you.  Your prayers have been such an encouragement.

Time is a scarce resource for me right now.  I'm currently working forty hours a week, leading a Bible study, and attempting to also make time for my friends and family.  You adults who read my blog are probably chuckling and thinking, "You are finally catching a glimpse of real life, Emily."  Yes, I am.  I'm still learning how to divide my time wisely.

The "real life" experience of interning full time has been a blessing to me.  I am spending my days writing about children in Africa.  My two loves, meshed into one.  I am beginning to see a little bit what my career may look like in the next ten years and I am excited by how I see God moving. 

Blogging is something I love, but other things have topped my list of priorities.  Ali is going to China in a week from now.  After she leaves, I probably won't see her again until Christmas.  Time with her is a big deal right now.  And when I've been gone all day, I must then choose between blogging or having dinner with my family.  Family time takes priority over blogging.

I haven't been sleeping much lately.  Sometimes rest even takes priority over blogging.

And finally, I need to take a step back and look again at why I blog.  I've lost that a little bit.

If you go back to November and December of 2009, when I first truly began to blog (the trip to Africa doesn't really count), I had absolutely no viewers.  I didn't expect that anyone would ever want to read about the life of a sheltered, silly girl who was still only a junior in high school.  The things I shared were pretty corny and unplanned.  I wrote what I felt like writing at that very moment.  Sometimes I wrote about what broke my heart.  Sometimes I wrote about things that the Lord had taught me.  Some blog posts panned out like journal entries, describing insignificant (but amusing to me) details of my day.

A year passed and I began to receive some comments and emails from people who said they were touched by some of the things I shared.  This was stunning to me.  I hadn't realized people other than my mother (and not even she read my blog every day!) even bothered to read the things I had to say.  About a year or so after I began to blog, I discovered that I had a view count... and I was blown away.  Many thousands more views than I ever expected to have.  And honestly, that began to change how I viewed my blog.  It wasn't just for me anymore.  It was a ministry. 

It was great.  I love using my talent to glorify the Lord.  However, at times, I would hesitate to write things I wanted to write... or to post things I'd written that I felt weren't up to par with the quality of some other posts.  What if what I wanted to write didn't measure up to the new standard of writing I had set up for myself?  What if it fell short of the expectations people had of me?  What if it just wasn't good enough?

Instead of allowing myself to spend ten minutes on one blog post and a longer amount of time on another, I'd spend a couple of hours on every single one.  I made a calendar, a detailed schedule.  I made long lists of blog topics and devotionals.  I carefully read comments and emails and checked my views.  If the view count went down, I wanted to know why.  And I don't even earn a dime from this blog.  I just like doing my absolute best, which isn't always necessary.

During seasons like the one I'm experiencing now, I don't need the burden that this other kind of blogging has placed upon me.  It's too tough to handle at this moment.  I don't have the time.  I don't have the energy.  I don't have the motivation.

I just want to be me.

Next month, I will focus on turning my blog back into a channel for my thoughts.  And if people stop reading, they stop reading.  If some are encouraged, then wonderful!  But during this time in my life, I need to focus on writing only for the love of writing and the love of Jesus.  Nothing else.

June: There are only a few days left.  Don't expect anything other than this.

July: I will try to post something each day: journal entries, venting, quotes, and heartbreak.  Some days may be nothing.  I won't pressure myself.  The every day thing may be a huge flop.  If it is, I don't care.  July will be a month of me, a month of recovery, and a month of learning.

The reason I want to write more than usual in July is because I feel like I'm losing practice.  Writing may be a skill I've always had, but I need practice in order to keep my voice.  Although I adore writing promos every day about kids in Haiti and Kenya, I also want to write things in my own voice and style that express who I am.  So in July, instead of focusing on high-quality writing, I am going to write my heart and regain my voice.

August: Nothing.  I'll try not to post a single thing for the entire month of August.  I'll be taking a hiatus.  I'll still write on my own to maintain practice and I'll probably schedule several of those things for later on in the year.  The reason for the break is to completely erase the importance in my stubborn brain of how many views I get and that intense need for a blogging schedule.  I want to write for the love of writing and the love of Jesus.  That's it.  August will help me to do that.

September: We'll see. 

I hope this long, rambling monster of a post explains a little bit where I'm coming from right now and why I've been so absent.  Things have been difficult lately.  My mind is conflicted.  I'm seeking the Lord and He is teaching me daily.  Without Him, my life would be such a frightening mess.

Thanks for your patience.  Thanks for your friendship, those of you who have followed my blog for any period of time over the last few years.  If you stay with me through this time, thank you.  If you're bored and tired of waiting, that's okay too.  Go ahead and find a different blog to follow.  I understand completely.

And now I will be going to sleep.  I need some of that.

See you in July, maybe.


  1. Emily,
    You seem like such a strong person, the way you are able to just be who you are.I want to thank you so much over the last few months you have answered my comments and and helped me become closer to God when I was having a hard time. I hope you have a great summer and that God will bless you and you family.

  2. I just want you to know that I completely support what you're doing. Emily, you're such a great example to many of us, myself included. Your blog has helped me in many ways, and I will continue to follow it. I'll keep you in my prayers. You're strong, your focus is where it should be. Keep it like that. :)

  3. Emily,
    I am praying for you.

    For the longest time, I've been tempted to post a comment asking you what had changed. I noticed the difference in the writing style, the structure was sound in every post, every word was lovely and it was all gramatically correct. But I missed the spontaneity of your older posts. The ones that felt raw and unbridled (sort of like this comment, I've already committed to not editing it).

    I held back commenting because I did not want to discourage you. Now I say this, because I want you to know that I agree with you. And I support you.

    And, no lie, I think you are a very unique person. God is doing such big things everywhere I look, I see Him doing big things in your life, I know He's doing big things in mine.

    Jesus is going to use you in big ways, Emily.

    Love in Christ,

  4. Hey Emily, you are just wonderful the way God made you. I had started reading way before you started planning this blog, and I loved how you write about your thoughts and feelings. They are encouraging because they are honest. Just write. Maybe not as often as before, but keep writing and share with us what joy and challenges is placed in your life journey. And continue being the mighty woman of God that you are. Keep growing in faith. Praying for you. Love, Christina x