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I have been blogging for ten years. Of course, hardly anybody read my blog for the first seven years – and rightfully so – but I have been writing online in some capacity for ten years. I started my first blog on Xanga when I was just twenty-five years old: I was a burned out, over-churched, cynical Gen-X kid with a lot of doubts and questions. I wrote my way through that life and into a new life. Moving, change of vocation, identity crisis, an awakening of calling and purpose, pregnancy and birth, raising three tinies, miscarriages and loss, a deepening of my theology and my Christian practice, a strengthening in my marriage, and everything else that has gone into the past ten years for us. I’m not the same woman I was ten years ago and for that I can only thank God.

But I haven’t been the only one changing over that decade: blogging has changed immensely in the past ten years, too.

The hard thing is trying to figure out when to “change with the times” and when to stand your ground in the place you’ve established. For instance, I still love to tell stories about the daily life and simple joys, even though those don’t get the page views or comments or shares of other posts. I won’t stop telling those stories or writing the way I love to write because it’s not popular. But there are other aspects that I need to embrace – running ads to pay for the upkeep of this site which has become prohibitive, being aware of the power of social media, creating regular content that is relevant, and so on.

When I stopped blogging a few months ago, I was close to quitting altogether. Ten years is long enough, I reasoned.  Half the time, I can’t keep up and I don’t think I want to try anymore.

So it was a nice summer away. I worked on the book, we walked through some changes as a family (more on those later), and enjoyed the summer with the tinies.

But as the weeks passed, I began to realise something: I missed it. I missed blogging because I love it. I love the immediacy of it, I love the mess of it, I love the unedited glimpse into life. I missed writing about my daily life. I did NOT miss huge aspects of social media which has grown wearying for me or the idea of having to create “pinnable” images (I’m crap at that stuff) but I resolved to find a way to blog in a way that brings me joy.

Blogging is a powerful medium particularly for those of us who are outside of the usual power narratives and structures either because of location or religion or gender or orientation or race or political leanings, let alone all the odd combinations therein. This is how we have been heard. When else in the history of the Church would anyone care what a happy-clappy bleeding-heart mum from western Canada thinks about anything? Never. That’s your answer. This is a powerful medium for connection and for change.

For me that meant settling a few things about blogging:

  • My whole self belongs on this blog. I am not an ideologue or propaganda or a brand, I’m just Sarah. I’m interested in a lot of things and I have a (sometimes too) full life. But one of the things I’ve always loved about blogging is that I get to my whole self here: I get to love theology and Church talk, I get to care about race and feminism and social justice, I get to write about mothering and family and marriage, I get to crack jokes at my own expense, I get to love Doctor Who and Call the Midwife, I get to love thrifting and knitting and pretty things as well as being a Jesus feminist, I get to be a homemaker who talks recipes and cleaning and laundry as well as a lover of literature and poetry and history and Girl Power, I love the local church and yet I don’t wear rose-coloured glasses about this stuff.
  • I don’t want to overthink writing right now. I’ve decided to write like it’s fun again. I’ve decided to bench my inner critic – and ignore the thousands of Internet critics – and just write like nobody is reading it. (Which may end up happening.) If I want to write about something, I’m going to write about it. No more overthinking, no more fear, no more worries about “what might happen” or if it “fits my brand.”
  • Write with passion and conviction again, critics be damned. My soapbox has gotten a bit dusty. I might pull it out a bit more now and again. I’ll run the risk of being called emotional and being misunderstood. I have been ruminating on this one for a while. Of course, for those of you who know me or have read me for a long time, you know that I don’t believe you need to speak in anger or judgment or arrogance to speak the truth: but make no mistake, I want to speak the truth. With gentleness, with love, and with strength. Sure, I love to write beauty but sometimes the most gorgeous thing I can imagine saying is the truth.
  • Amplify the voices and experiences of others. My platform might not be a big deal but I want to steward it well and generously.  I want to curate those voices and introduce you to the people who are teaching me, across a wide spectrum of global issues, theology, and current events.
  • Write more about global women’s issues with a focus on prayer and action. Feature the stories that matter to those of us who identify as Jesus Feminists.  I’ll make an effort to stay engaged, to pray with purpose and faith, and then to find ways to engage with hope.
  • Chill out. Write what I want, when I want, and hang the rest of it. I still believe down deep that good content trumps click-bait titles and free graphics.
  • I have a full life offline and that life – particularly my husband and my tinies – gets my first loyalty.

The other decision I made was to kick “in which” to the curb at long last. All those years ago, I began to start my posts with “In which.” I wish I could tell you it was a big conscious decision but it wasn’t. I just loved the original Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne and all of those chapters started with “In which…” I have always hated titling posts – in fact, for a good long time, I just published essays without titles, if you can believe it. So this was just an easy way for me to work. It became a habit and then a routine. I never even considered anything else.

But I’ve decided to retire the whole “In which” thing now. I’m kind of tired of it and I imagine everyone else is, too. I think the passive sentence fragment as a title has run its course. Plus a lot of other bloggers use it now and so it’s not a differentiator for me like it used to be. And it makes the other aspects of blogging – particularly sharing on social media – difficult.  (I might use it now and again, of course. I reserve the right for retro writing.)

I’ve broken almost every “rule” people make about blogging. This post itself is a big no-no: “Never blog about blogging.” But so many of you have been on the journey with me for so long that I felt like I needed to share a bit about where my thoughts were at after a summer of quiet in this space.

I’m looking forward to this new season of writing my life out online.

It means more to me than you could know that you are here with me. Sometimes I still can’t believe I get to do this or that anyone reads it. But my life has been enriched with your presence here, your influence has changed me, and I still love what I do even ten years in. I’ll call that a win.

 

In which I have a few things to tell you about #Ferguson
I eat like a fourteen-year-old and other ways I haven't quite grown up yet
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  • Love your blogging Sarah – even when you blog about blogging!!!

    • Thanks, Jamie! High praise, indeed. 🙂

    • Me too! And I love this pic because we are laptop sticker twins. I like all your new rules and want to adopt every last one.

  • Tracey

    Five days to the new Doctor 🙂 Love your honesty – it’s healing to me to see someone else struggle to maintain their love and normalcy in their life while juggling everything else. Thank you! Join you for a cuppa this Saturday evening as we watch Peter Capaldi become our Doctor.

  • I adore you Sarah. You. Just you. The writer, the thinker, the mom, the friend, the prayer, the woman, the reader. You have expressed much of what has been on my mind as of late.

    • Thank you so much, Karen – I love that you know “the real me” now, too. xo

  • Flower Patch Farmgirl

    “Chill out. Write what I want, when I want, and hang the rest of it. I
    still believe down deep that good content trumps click-bait titles and
    free graphics.” YES.

    I think many of us are experiencing midblog crises. I know I am. And after much banter with my husband (he loves it) (that’s probably not true) I’ve drawn many of the same conclusions.

    And as the iccings on the cakes (there are 2) 1) I just said two days ago, “I’m not pinnable!” and “I have no clue how to create a pinnable image” 2) In a twist of fate. I titled my post today with “In which.” That happened around 6 a.m. and I don’t know if I’ve ever done it before???

    Nice job, here. I’ve never been more eager to return.

    • I think we go through these shifts a few times – I think this is my fourth or fifth shift in blogging, too. New designs, new names, new topics, new passions, it all matters. So glad to know I’m not alone in this!!!

      • One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant to move my blog from blogger (that was pretty much what was available when I started in 2005) to something else is that I like that all the content and comments from the beginning are there–regardless of topic and design change. At some point, I may have to but I’ve resisted so far.

    • Shannon, I think there are a TON of people in the midst of, or just getting out of, mid-blog crises. I hear it everywhere. With you there on all this…

  • This is lovely and expressive. Plus, you inspired me to rekindle my own passion for blogging! Thank you.

    • So glad to hear that, Rachel – our stories are so important.

  • I love everything about this. Thank you for taking a break. Not because I didn’t want to read your blog or don’t benefit from what you have to say. But because when writers and bloggers take a break it gives others permission to do the same. I have never been able to keep up with my own blog due to other projects, so I’m taking a break from some of those writing endeavors through the end of the year. It’s in part due to examples like yours and others that I know this will be a life-giving thing to do. Looking forward to what you have to say with a fresh voice.

    • I’m so glad to hear that, April – praying that your time of rest is fruitful.

  • How much would I love a return to whole-self blogging? Granted, that was back when blogging was a hobby rather than a career move, and we’ve gotta pay these hosting bills somehow. I’m oh-so-glad though that you’re willing to still be you, and who knows? Maybe you can start a Return To Joy blogging revolution for the rest of us who are feeling a little worn down by all the conventions and strategies that are now part of this thing.

    • Oh, man, a Return to Joy blogging call. Now that sounds like fun! I’ll give it some thought. But I’m with you, girl.

  • Liz

    I’ve been a big fan of yours for a very long time, and I’m so very very glad that you’re not giving blogging up all together. Your voice is powerful and unique and my world has changed because of it. Can’t wait to keep reading – about everything from knitting to The Doctor to the soapbox. 🙂

  • Re: whole self. Today, I posted a book review of a cookbook. My blog isn’t a cooking or lifestyle blog, but the cookbook interested me and shows a different side of me than just the “faith blogger” part. I don’t have a huge platform and I don’t follow all the rules but when I blog what I want and when I want, I’m happier than trying to make it in the rat race.

    • Yes, exactly! I’m so glad you went with it. That’s the kind of joy-blogging that I think is good. Thanks for setting a good example.

      • Thanks! I love writing, and I want to write what I love. Sometimes that’ll be a blog post. Other times a random review like the cookbook. And in between that, I’m writing a novel.

  • In which I’m delighted 🙂

  • Bravo, Sarah. Write like it’s fun again, and Lord willing it will be. I think a lot of us are tiring of grinding it out; just last week I was wondering why I ever thought that something called “traffic” would bring me peace in my blogging. Bless you as you go; I’ll be reading with thanksgiving.

    • Isn’t that the truth? Traffic doesn’t bring peace in blogging at all. Sometimes it brings more angst and tension, in fact. Thanks for the blessing – appreciate it.

  • Sarah, you’re wonderful. I love you’re doing this. You are the writer and blogger I long to be. You have the attitude I long to have. I am in a similar place to you with my own writing, trying to figure out what I want to write about, how I want to do it, and why – and trying to find my own identity separate from writing and blogging, in Christ, so I can be focussed on what’s important, and my writing can be more me.

    I love you do things your own way, don’t obey the rules, and have such boldness and courage when it comes to sharing your heart. Thank you for inspiring me – this post was so perfectly timed for me, you have no idea how perfectly timed.

    I look forward to seeing where your journey takes you in the coming months and years – love your writing and can’t wait to see where it goes.

    • Thank you so much, James – really appreciate that!

      • You’re totally welcome. And really dig that laptop – cool stickers. Say hi to Jonny for me too! 🙂

  • Joe Sales

    What a beautiful post

  • Kate Kissling Blakely

    This feels so great and encouraging. Thanks for breaking the “rules” and pushing through to refresh yourself and your readers.

  • If you keep writing, we’ll keep reading Sarah! Thank you for sharing your heart in the public space for over 10 years. I’m one of the newer readers – I found you by way of Rachel Held Evans and Jesus Feminist. I am so, so thankful for your stories and perspectives and your voice. You give me home that someday I can be a mama and a wife and a writer, all at the same time, even when balanced imperfectly.

  • Mia

    As far as I’m concerned, the first rule of blogging is “There are no rules”. Keep it up! I always look forward to your posts in my feedly. 🙂

  • Timber

    Glad to see you are back! I hope you won’t retire the posts you share what you are watching, reading, etc. Ive discovered some of my absolute favorites because of those posts. Welcome back 🙂

    • Nope, definitely going to keep those! I love talking books and shows too much to give them up. 🙂

  • Mickey

    Sarah – I am 75, retired; my husband was in ministry for about 40 years
    and had a rewarding and succssful career. And though we knew many
    pastors in pain and who left the ministry, my husband was not one.
    But, I have also watched churches grow narrower and narrower over that
    time – all of a sudden it seemed there were lynchpins to acceptance into
    the world of “true” Christians… Jesus plus creationism; Jesus plus
    straight; Jesus plus … whatever. I began to read your blog- after you
    started it and while you will look back on that time of question and
    struggle – I (somewhat mature) relished your words, your honesty, your
    transparency- and your blog gave me such hope for the church. And I
    have also watched the change in yourself, in your orientation to the
    institution, and your emergence on a more national stage here in the
    USA. And that has been reassuring too. Bill Hybels likes to say (and
    my husband as well) – there is nothing like the local church when it is
    working well- and I see that affirmation in you. But there are now
    folks where you were 10 years ago – remember them also – and free them
    up through your blog to trust, and to develop and to be transparent.
    Just Sunday – to a group of sort of retirees we showed your blog Detox –
    and while you mentioned the tinies (we have greats) the message is
    universal. Thank you for what you do- for taking the time to do
    it–Blessings as you continue.

    • This means so much to me, Mickey – thank you!

  • Thank so you much for this! I recently had a crisis myself about blogging because of all the pressure of branding and pin-able images. I just want to write…and more importantly write about my faith walk and about Jesus. I thought I’d never write again but thank God that season has passed. Writing is processing and if I’m not writing, I’m a big mess! I so agree and stand with you on this! Thanks again!

    • So glad that season passed and you’re back at it. Our stories are important.

  • Sarah, good for you! I just blogged about blogging myself, so we are in solidarity, breaking that rule together. And I enjoy hearing fellow writers wrestling with the same questions I face: how to write in a way that is honest and vulnerable, yet also helpful, how to honor a reader’s time and my own, how to keep writing fun when it can feel so pressure-packed. Thank you for this glimpse into your process … I’m glad you decided to make some changes but still keep on sharing. 🙂

  • Melanie Dale

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! “My whole self belongs on this blog.” And we love your whole self. Sometimes all the blogging “rules” make me want to quit and that’s when I have to throw down the rules and write what I want.

  • sounds like a plan. cheers.

  • I’m still here … sitting quietly in the corner, taking it all in.

  • Sarah I’ll be here reading what you write….I love your older stuff and your less popular stuff. Some of your posts I have printed and I read over and over again. I’m glad you are sticking around you bring beauty and truth to a lot of my days. Epspecially the ones where I”m picking cheerios up off the floor. 🙂

    • I have a tender spot for my older and unpopular stuff, too, Jenn. So glad to know I’m not the only one picking Cheerios up off the floor still. 🙂

  • Staying true to your God and your self. Well said!

  • In which this wee virtual abbess says “Amen” to it all. Blessings on the whole of you, sister. In October it will be seven years since I started blogging…and I am still in that “nobody reads this — it’s just how I think through things” stage myself. And that’s just fine with me! 🙂

    • Me, too – gotta write to figure out what we think!

  • Always love reading your process and your heart.

  • Kara Fleck

    I love what you write and I can only imagine how much more I will love it when YOU, the writer, feel refreshed and recharged.

    Bring it, friend!

  • Jill

    So glad that you are going to continue to blog and share your passion and soul with us, Sarah! I look forward to reading it all! ~ Jill (www.pilgrimsoul22.blogspot.com)

  • Some of these choices are quite courageous, Sarah. Writing what you want when you want is harder than it sounds. Wishing you full peace in your writers’ skin.

    • Thanks, Esther – easier said that done/lived, I know. Here’s hoping I live up to it.

  • Your voice would be missed out here in the interwebs…I am glad and grateful that you took a step back and this is where you’ve landed. I can’t wait to see what this next leg of the journey brings for you and I am so thankful that I get to be a part of it in some small way by reading your musings! I’ve learned so much from you in the short time I have discovered your book and blog and I am better for it. Thank you seems trite, but thank you!! I am fully convinced we’d be the best of friends if we lived in proximity and I am so glad to have found more of my kind through your work!

    • Thank you so much, Meredith – appreciate that!

  • Katie W

    Amen. Blog because you love it and you have something to say…. I laughed out loud at you finding “pinnable images.” One thing I am noticing and really NOT liking right now is when someone will have a good sentence in their post and follow it with a “tweet this” icon. Honestly, if I think that is good sentence/thought.. I know how to copy, paste and cite you as the source. And, maybe I don’t think that’s the best sentence out of your whole post… 🙂

    • Yeah, that “tweet this” thing is kind of gross, I agree. And yet – it works! Gah.

  • AnnVoskamp_HolyExperience

    Yes.
    And Johnny Cash is a friend of both of ours.
    And yes.
    10 years here too.
    Love you, fellow Canuck 🙂
    And yes.

    • Johnny Cash forever. xo Love working alongside of you for the Kingdom.

  • Carter L

    Sarah, I discovered your blog about two months ago and your voice has helped me so much; so thank you for not stopping. God bless you

  • Will you live-blog the Doctor Who premier???

  • Krista smith

    I always learn from you- adding blogging to the list now too… Great approach, friend.

  • Caren Swanson

    I stumbled on your blog a few years ago when a friend shared your post “in which I promise not to call myself fat.” It spoke so deeply to me, as someone with quite a few pounds to lose and a daughter to raise, and I’ve been a faithful reader ever since. I’m grateful for you blogging. To be honest, while I adored your book, my life is much more suited for checking in on a blog than reading a whole book right now. I’m grateful that you show up here, and I recognize that it’s a sacrifice. Do it for yourself and you can’t go wrong. Blessings.

  • Thanks for this honest assessment and shift. I think a lot of us could us a shift or a complete overhaul at one time or another, so thank you for modeling how to do it well. I’ll most certainly keep reading.

  • Jamie Janosz

    I love this – I tend to agree. I’ve tried making my blog fit a theme, trying to be trendy, talked too much about myself, avoided controversy, embraced controversy. It does take the joy out of it. Write for the love of it – and then we love it, too. Such a good reminder. Thank you!!!!

  • Joanne Bush

    Thanks

  • Been dealing with a lot of the same struggles when it comes to writing/blogging lately. I hate how consumed you can get by focusing so much on traffic and followers and platform. I was getting so stressed by it, I stopped blogging for the summer. This was a choice I don’t regret. I feel a lot freer now. I want to write for the joy of writing. I did realize I missed blogging, though, after a few months. So I’ll blog because I want to, not because I’m trying to create some kind of “brand” or “platform” or whatever.

    I do agree blogging has been a great way for marginalized voices to be heard, and I love that about blogging. I love the community you can find through blogging. Sometimes, though, I feel as if all bloggers do is fight with people they don’t agree with, which can get wearying, too.
    Anyway, pros and cons. But I’ll always write–so I might as well put up blog posts every now and then!

    Oh, and go Dr. Who!! I just got addicted. 🙂

  • Rose

    So excited for more blogging but sad to see “in which” go. Of course, it’s totally your perogative

  • Good to take a break and let the love well up again. I often resent the time blogging takes, but think i would be less spiritually and emotionally healthy and happy without that forum to work out things. And the expansion of my world which it brings. And, as you say, how else could you work out your thoughts on random things and share them with (a microcosm of) the world

  • What a relief to hear you aren’t giving this up! Your words stretch my thinking and faith. But, I equally love your glimpses into the everyday and am glad you’re keeping that, too. 🙂

  • Mary DeMuth

    Love that you’re giving yourself renewed freedom to be yourself and write with joy. I’m so proud of your journey, your voice, your heart. I love your contribution to the crazy-awesome kingdom of God.

  • Keep breaking the rules, Sarah. I rarely read much online, and haven’t read here for quite some time (mostly because it’s been summer break–I have about a handful I enjoy reading and you are one), but this title caught my eye and I had to see what you had to say about almost quitting and deciding to stay with it and the changes that resulted. I constantly struggle with lots of the same issues, and this was a refreshing read. Thanks.

  • I think that if this thing isn’t fun for you, then it’s not really worth doing. Glad to see you’re finding ways to keep it interesting for you, Sarah. I’m a fan of fun. 🙂

  • Having just been turned on to your blog a few months back, very shortly before your summer break, I’m glad that you’re back abd that you’ve committed with yourself to blog you and your life.

    I’ve only been blogging for about a year and I struggle with both the social media sharing portion and the create for others, so I just blog me no matter what. I’m sure I could get more page views and though that’s important to me, it’s also really not, so I just blog what is right for me.

    As a result, I’m sure I don’t really have much of a brand, but it’s my brand. In other words, let your blog be your space and your space only. There will be readers, readers who like all parts of you and will love your whole self on the blog. 🙂

  • Your blog is one of my favorites because you write out of the fullness of your life, not in spite of it. I take this approach to blogging as well, and as you know, it’s not the most popular approach with publishing peeps. I’m titling this comment “In which I thank you for breaking the rules” 😉 Looking forward to many more years of reading pleasure!

  • Valerie

    I’ll be here and I love the idea – reality – that your blog is about the whole you, not just parts of you. Bring on the happy clappy Western Canadian Jesus feminist mama girl power blogging! 🙂 So says Valerie in Seattle

  • Oh thank you God. I am so glad you are back, gutted that you’re losing the “in which”, but so so glad. Relieved. Much love!

  • Jemelene

    Sarah, I used to hate surprises and then you came along! Now I look forward to then, just like this piece and these decisions you just laid out.
    You are spectacular in every way.

  • Loved this. So glad you’ll continue to write about what you love, including your life and littles! I was told at a writer’s conference I needed to move my “personal” content off my blog so just “professional” writing remained. And the fact is I don’t want to! I’ve been blogging about as long as you and have yet not become a “professional” blogger although I am a professional writer. I have considered ads, though. So much to think about as the blogging landscape has changed!

  • I love this. I’ve been blogging for 8 years and have just made the switch to a new blog and all you’re trying to get away from. *sigh* I feel you. I’ve read you for a while and this is the first comment so that tells you something right? I like this. Thanks.

    • I’m glad, Georgia – and nice to “meet” you. 🙂

  • YES.
    (I will miss “in which” but I’m excited about the future).
    I love the way you engage with this process. It’s inspiring to me as a young writer.
    xo

  • I love coming here. 🙂 high fives to you and a new season of Call The Midwife.

  • jennieallen

    Thank you friend- this sets us all free. Sometime it all became too serious. I met you here- you became my friend here first.

  • Kristin Demery

    I think there’s something troubling about even having to consider whether or not it’s ok to include our “whole self” or not — because, honestly, my favorite posts are the ones where I think, “Oh, yes, me too” — that it’s ok to be “just” a mom or a woman or a lover of TV shows without constantly worrying about if we sound cultured or sophisticated or theological enough, if it’s something that fits the “brand.” People (like me!) who appreciate your writing, in all its forms, appreciate YOU in all your forms. In a culture where everything is Photoshopped, the beauty of raw honesty is breathtaking.

  • Good for you girl. Way to reassess, make the necessary changes, and follow your passion. I’ve been struggling with my relationship to blogging this summer too, so I’m right there with you. Peace.

  • Love this 🙂 As a fellow blogging rule breaker (seriously. Who has time to keep track of all of it?!) I give you a hearty “allons-y!” and an amen for good measure. Also, naming blog posts is the worst – I’ve been tempted to make all of mine “the one where” like a Friends episode 😉

  • YES! Amen. Claim your life and your self and your joy. This is beautiful.

  • Thanks, Sarah. Your thoughts and honesty are super refreshing and affirming. I appreciate you!

  • Love you Sarah Bessey, your words, your passion, your strength, your humour…everything. SO GLAD you decided against giving it up. I wouldn’t miss your blog: I’d miss you.

  • RaeBear

    I love your voice, your blog, keep writing! Thank you for writing! Thank God for you!

  • Andrea

    I will miss “in which” because it always felt so cosy, like a reminder of the books I best loved when I was little. But you are the one writing, and this needs to feel right and authentic for you.

    Can’t wait to see what that will look like!

  • Vicki Judd

    I’m so glad you’ve missed blogging, because we’ve (I’VE) missed you! Write. Tell all your stories. Get on that soap box. Do it. Love you!

  • Sarah Silvester

    I just love your writing Sarah, I love the variety and I’m so glad you’re going to keep blogging about whatever, whenever. I loved your last post about Ann and I admire you when you get on your soapbox and I love reading about The Doctor and getting introduced to new books and shoes through you. Thank you for dealing with the annoying messy parts of this online world in order to keep this space alive. It’s very precious and a blessing to me xo

    • Sarah Silvester

      Shoes? I meant shows! Ha! I’m not sure you have EVER blogged about shoes. 🙂

  • Loooooove this, Miz Bessey.

  • Rachelle Rea

    “I love to write beauty but sometimes the most gorgeous thing I can imagine saying is the truth.” Amen and amen. Good for you, Sarah. Blessed to follow your journey!

  • Serena Chase

    Love everything about this post. Rock on, Sarah. Rock on.

  • “I’ve decided to write like it’s fun again.”

    Those words are honey to a bear’s ears.

  • Kate

    Yup. Carry on, mama.

  • gwally

    Happy to know you are back at it! You’ve been missed 🙂

  • Thank you Sarah,
    For the last two months I forgot how much I loved writing about dirty carpets and cleaning seven litter boxes. (We have four cats.) But, after reading your post, I realized, if I can’t write me, all of me on the page. I would rather not write at all. Now to finish the story about the three dollar portable toilet for sale on someones front lawn.
    I look forward to reading your life Sarah.
    All of it.

  • Amy Scott

    I love your posts about home and family and what you’re reading or watching! I find your writing so relatable and comforting. I only discovered your blog in the last few years and I would have missed it immensely if you decided to stop. So glad you decided to keep blogging!

  • Katie

    I’ve missed your voice this summer and have really enjoyed having you back! Can’t wait to see where you go from here!

  • Most definitely a win! Your voice is powerful and it matters. Whatever way in which you title your posts… 😉 You have been a huge source of inspiration to me finding the courage to use my own voice {and set some ground rules} and so I thank you for that. Blessings! xo

  • I love that your rule breaking post in which you blog about blogging instantly captured my attention. I love the concept of reinventing ourselves and our practices in order to make them fresh and new and hopefully full of passion again. Looking forward to continuing to read your lovely writing!!

  • Hey Sarah, I relate to this. Right now I’m going through a huge … actually … I only know how to explain it by saying that we are in the mountains of Switzerland this week because my daughter has pre-teen camp up here with the European sister churches and we decided to vacation in the area with our two sons. And I am praying to have a Moses moment, or an Elijah moment. I want to meet God up here on this mountain and I want to know where he’s leading me.

    I don’t know where I belong in the blogging world/ publishing world, or what God’s will is for me here. I know that I also love writing and the immediacy of blogging, but I am lost in the whole social media aspect of it. I spend too much time running around after who knows what, spinning my wheels. PLUS my blog is all over the place – about France, about recipes, about my books (either published or in progress), about my family, about faith … Diversity is great and all, but …

    And because I like to be alone, I know that I’m pouring my heart out online, and not necessarily taking the time to cultivate those friendships with brothers and sisters around me, which surely is not God’s will.

    Anyway, sorry for the word-mind dump. I’m just going through something similar so this struck a cord.

  • Jenn

    I keep leaving the blogging world because my overly full offline life gets too busy and then coming back to it, because I love reading and writing so much. I’ve not been good about the writing for the past few years, but this post inspires me to try again… in a few weeks… once we have schooling underway again… The desire to write is still strong, so I think it’s time to do it again.

    Your blog is one I always come back to – because it is so reflective of what I feel most of us Mom’s are – those who blog and those who don’t – Women with a multitude of interests and passions, who can talk for hours with a friend about recipes or thrifting or theology or social issues or mothering… we’re not just one-dimensional either philosophical & deep or analytical or creative or full of marshmallow fluff – but we’re all of it. And it’s good.

    Thank you Sarah! And here’s to more good blogging!

  • Teri

    Funny, I was just reading an article that turned blogging into a “simple science.” I compared it to my favorite blogs (including this one), and none of the best ones stuck to the formula. I’ll miss “In which” (which was not on the list–ha-ha), but I can see how that might actually pen you in after awhile. Thank you for reminding me to stop writing for others in my own blog and just write for myself–that very issue had stopped me in my tracks for a couple of months!

  • Stop making me want to open up my WordPress dashboard, Bessey.

    Love everything about everything you write, kindred, always and forever amen.

  • Love this, Sarah. And thank you…for breaking the rules and giving the rest of us the courage to do the same. (Even us old-fogey bloggers!)

  • Kathy

    Hi Sarah,
    I started reading your blog shortly before you took the summer off. I was astonished to find a voice that is confident and unwilling to be a “good little Christian woman” and not gratuitously angry. I bought your book because I love the solid belief that women have got a very special and God-designed place and voice — and there’s not the stridency of the ’70s, when I came of age. I love your voice. I love the honesty of your blog and the way you share all the parts of you and your life. Your no-nonsense way of speaking to the hard issues is refreshing to me. And the daily living things, the tinies, your family life…wonderful to read about. I am past having tinies, but I do remember the joys and the fears and the “oh my God, I am responsible for these little people!”
    So, thank you, Sarah. I am listening and sharing your voice with the younger women, women around your age, that I mentor. God place you here for just such a time as this.

  • I just wrote something similar to this (and broke the rules, too), though yours is (as always) way better. I’m glad, though, that I’m not the only one! I’m tired of not writing what I want to write because posts about growing up in an abuse environment, or talking about the situation in Myanmar, clashes too badly next to all the posts I’m currently (sadly) committed to writing (I got a little “yes” happy when product review sponsors first found me). I’m so happy and relieved to see that I’m not alone in trying to balance who I am with this sometimes-monster called branding.

    Oh, and I thought you’d be amused to know that when I first started blogging in ’98, I used “In which” for the exact same reasons. #lovepoohbear #whatisatitle

  • Julie Prescott Burgess

    Oh my Sarah! This is the first time I have ever read your blog and here I am commenting. I am a new blogger myself, just started six weeks ago to practice writing. And these words you just said about writing for you and not for others is what I said to my husband last night. After just six weeks, I am already wondering why more people don’t want to read what I write! So thank you for putting emphasis on my own thoughts from just last night. God bless you. Keep writing. I need to hear what you have to say. Peace.

  • Pat Emmons

    Yes Sarah we are here with you. And there are many of us who are hungry for truth! Thanks for writing and sharing your self with us!

  • Thomas Crichlow

    Sarah, I’m grateful that you write so beautifully and with such openness about the things you are passionate about and the things that challenge you in life.

    Sometimes what happens online seems isolating, but your writing feels both like it comes from a sense of community and nurtures a sense of community.

    What you’ve shared in writing has been healing, insightful, hopeful and has pushed me in new directions. What you’ve written has helped me to grow in so many positive ways, and that in turn has a ripple effect through my interactions with the people in my life.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you for being you, Sarah. Never apologize for that. Our great and amazing God made you the way you are because you are a blessing the world – just as you are. Thank you for blogging the way you do and for inviting us into your daily life. I’m grateful for your joy, your love, and your honesty.

  • Cynthia Nichols Cavanaugh

    I am glad that in taking your break from blogging you’ve found what you really love Sarah! I love reading your blog because I appreciate your genuine candor and passion. I too, have been misunderstood at great lengths for my passion, I’ve decided to embrace more of who God made me to be, a passionate and emotional being and not worry too much about whether people “get me.” Break all the rules sister, because we need to hear from who Sarah is and what is ruminating in your heart!

  • Melinda Cadwallader

    Beautiful. I love all things attached to the ideas of FREEDOM, and this is surely one. Also, there have been times I felt I wanted to begin a blog title with “In which…” – it seemed perfectly fitting – yet I felt silly for appearing to “copy” you. Is it safe to say your coined phrase is available for upcycing? LOL. XOXOXO

  • I’m so happy you decided to stay, Sarah. I’ve just been getting to know you through your blog, and your book, and I really, really like you. 🙂

    Nell

  • Catherine Fogle

    I’m so glad I clicked this email. Keep writing as you. 🙂

  • Michelle Gunnin

    Sarah I love that you share your journey…all of it. I am a blogger and many times I have been told “tips” to make my blog more successful, but I am in the stage of life where I only interested in writing about what I want to write about. (I guess that kind of contentment comes with age.haha) I have found that I am a complicated, multidimensional woman. My life is bigger than a talking point or a bullet list. I have varied interests and I write about all of them. I think when you do that people relate to you on a personal level…and you, Sarah, do that. It is why we all love you so. You are authentic, and genuine. You are for us all. You move us to action. You make us think about ourselves, the world, and God. You articulate what we feel. You wrestle with what we wrestle with. You are honest about all of it. That is a rare thing in our world. I am so glad you took a break to be with your family, but I am also thrilled that you did not quit blogging. Reevaluating, making adjustments and being true to your whole self will benefit us all. Thank you…for your heart, and your willingness to express it and to share the depths of it with us. Bless you!!

  • pastordt

    YAY!! Perfection, sounds like to me. 🙂

  • Michelle Luck

    Bless you. So glad you’re back, I’ve missed reading your words.

  • Claudia

    I have been blogging for six years and have gone through all that stuff -worry about page hits, about traffic, about earning money through my blog. But it comes down to this: I blog about my life which is full of all sorts of interests, from the mundane to the exciting. My blog is a sort of journal. And though I’ve wrestled with this before, I can’t make it into something other than what I feel and write from my heart. That’s the truth. And I’ve come to terms with that and embrace it.

    I’m not a ‘faith blogger’ though I occasionally write about spirituality and often write about social injustice. (I suppose I’m of the generation that isn’t entirely comfortable with sharing my spiritual beliefs – they’re a very private matter for me.) But I am entirely heartened by your book and its subject matter. I hope to read it soon. Thank you for this post which helped to clarify my own thoughts on the subject.

    Claudia

  • Tara Porter-Livesay

    This sounds perfect to me. I’m here as per usual and reading. Less rules equals more joy. Love you, S.

  • Tina Kachmar

    you have inspired to me to jump in. Write the stuff I don’t want anyone to know about me but the things that have made me who I am. I fought the urge to write but it has overcome me and I thank you and Jen H. and Deidre R. and bunches of other incredible HONEST women. Here’s to God moving all of us. Keep being you, we all love you just being “Sarah”. (I love those tinies too!!) God bless you!!

  • Cate Vose

    Hi Sarah! I’m new to your blog, only been reading about 6 months- but I LOVE it! I’m in a similar stage of life so I find your insights timely and helpful as well as prophetic and life-giving. Thanks for sharing your life with us! I lived in Western Canada for a good 10 years, but we now live in Western Australia- so I particularly love your context-specific details- makes me miss Canada so much!

  • By the way, would a larger font size make it easier and faster to read, she asks, with her middle-aged eyes? 🙂

  • Josie

    Bless you, sister. I look forward to reading more!

  • Courtney Raymond

    When my blog grows up, I want it to be like yours. Or to have yours as a role model blog. Or something 🙂
    Thanks for keepin’ on 🙂

  • Hi Sarah. Another writer friend recommended I check your site out. I’m glad I did. Thank you for this post. I can relate! The tag line of my blog is “percolating on the everyday.” I love to write about my everyday experiences and yet, like you said, no one comments or likes the piece. Thanks for this encouragement.

  • Congrats on these new changes! Sounds like your “returning to your roots” – while championing causes close to your heart. Happy to hear it. 🙂

  • Nancy Overyjoyed

    Sarah,
    I love writing but I have not found that I love blogging. I don’t particularly like reading blogs either. However, I do love that when you blog, I am discipled. Your grace, truth and character are pieces of a life I desire to grow into. I think if we ever met I just might hug you and cry because you are one of the first women, who believes in the power of women in the church, that has truly discipled me. Secret: when you were meant to come to Simply Jesus I was going to invite you to stay at the house where I live in Denver. It’s a non-profit house of hospitality, not creepily inviting you over to some 900 square foot apartment. Ask Carl Medearis about it sometime, N.T. Wright stayed with us last time. ANYWAYS, thank you, for leading me into both old and new practices of living into a life full of Jesus. I am blessed by you.
    Nancy

  • sarah

    I only started following since The Work of the People series, but this sounds great and authentic! Thanks for “keeping it real”.

  • Sheryl Root

    Sarah, you can write your grocery list and I’ll read it. 😉 Your first point about your whole self belonging on the blog is what I love the best. I love the way you think and express yourself, whatever the topic. And congrats on Tiny #4!

  • shannonkathryne

    Since I only discovered you in the past year, I’m thankful you are continuing the blog! You are a bright and grace-filled spot on the internets-thanks for carrying on.

  • Shirley Dietz

    I go through the same cycle every few weeks. I see meaning in the small things and wonder about whether they are at all “post worthy”. But if I stop I soon miss the writing. I love your thoughts and wish you were next door so I could know you better.

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