/ 27.8.11 / 15 Comments / ,

Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side of the Bloggy Fence?

YES and no....  And in a minute, I'll tell you why.  Would you like to grab a cup of tea and have a chat? I decided to take a little break from my de-cluttering work in the sewing room this morning to share my musings about life since I quit blogging so much.

It's been very different!   I miss you all tremendously...but I'm starting to see some real benefits at home.


Several times this week, I've found myself telling hubby or the kids how grateful I am to have changed 'approaches' with blogging. I didn't know just how much energy and focus were going into  blogging 'well'.  It is definitely a hobby for those with lots of extra time!  

Life seems infinitely more peaceful...with wide open spaces... 
Time to think..to process...to just...BE

Yes, Virginia, the grass really is greener on the other side. Even in 25 days of little rain and over a 100 degrees of heat.

Since I've relegated blogging to the back burner this last few weeks, I've found myself tackling major areas of our lives and getting them back into true order.

For too long, it seems that I was cleaning, shopping, teaching and cooking with a 'lick and swipe'. 

My focus was in the wrong place. Any hobby or endeavor can derail us of course. For me, it just happened to be blogging.


 

The Finances
Our finances and papers are now in almost perfect order and it's helped us get a real picture of our day to day spending. Since we are on a tight budget, this was crucial.  It's the end of the month and we have survived the unexpected expense of a major car repair without adding a lot to our debt.

But this could never have happened, had I not been FOCUSED on the finances.  It's just one of those things that I feel I should do as the manager of our home. Hubby is RELYING on me because honestly...who is doing all the spending?-- The kids and I--of course. He's doing all of the earning--it's up to me to put a plug in the drain.


The Children
This month, I've been able to plan and implement Christian's school work and our involvement in a school co-op, including teaching a group of middle school girls ( a new endeavor for me).  We knew he needed the involvement both for social reasons and for educational reasons.  But it's taken LOTS of time and focus to make happen. Any homeschool mom can tell you that learning a new curriculum takes a TREMENDOUS amount of time, energy, and focus.   Tim is so happy about my new commitment level.

Ministry
Ministry has happened a LOT more this month. Last night, Hubby and I were marveling at the fact that we managed company and several days of helping out friends in need with so little rise in our stress level. Why? Because I was availableAvailability is KEY to ministry!  Not being torn between the blogging schedule and friends' needs was huge!  I'm not in great shape, so I didn't get to do as much moving of boxes as I'd like--drat that 103 degree sun! But I took meals, and cleaned a house with all of the gusto I had. It was wonderful! We need to help our friends sometimes, you know?

Relationships
How wonderful to have your mom show up on your doorstep and then spend the next four nights at your home..and not feel the least bit stressed about it.  She's given so much to me..and last week..I got to give back--a comfortable place to sleep, food, and most of all a listening ear. Had I been blogging 'the old way', well...I don't like to think about what my response might have been.

Marriage
This month I found a truly revolutionary book on marriage by Mort Fertel.  Hubby and I have been reading it together and following his step-by-step approach to 'getting back in touch' as a couple. With kids coming and going, homeschooling, and work pressures...relationship with hubby can really take a back seat. 

Mort has hit upon the heart of why a marriage gets dry, stagnant, or damaged and it ISN'T better communication, or problem solving (though these things sometimes help).  It's all about taking the TIME and ENERGY to be a couple and getting on the same team. I plan to write about this soon but if you want to get started now, you can get his book for 3.99 at Amazon (used)! It's called Marriage Fitness and it works just like it sounds--it suggests practical steps to building a healthy marriage. (You can visit my BOOKSTORE on the sidebar for more books on marriage. I just added it!)


Our Home
And our home...well..it is starting to sparkle! Memories of our early married days have come flooding back as I dig out, discard, and lovingly clean each part of our home. Being a good 'homemaker' used to be my pride and joy! I wanted to bless my hubby with clean clothes, good meals, and plenty of space to work and play, regardless of the size of our home.   Somehow, the blogging seemed to distract me...and I lost my vision.

We all feel like a huge load has lifted. We are enjoying the feeling of freedom that comes from having a clean and orderly home.  Empty cabinets are a luxury that need not be reserved for those with large homes! You just have to downsize your stuff to fit easily into the space you have.  But this de-cluttering process takes..again.. a LOT of time and focus. It won't happen by accident.

Relationships (A BIGGIE)
I cannot count the number of times I've found myself struggling to get the tea post ready and Lo and Behold-- Tuesday morning, or Monday night was the time when a family member expressly needed my heartfelt attention.  Everyone in the family knew that Monday and Tuesday were reserved for 'the blog' and tried not to mind. But crisis are rarely convenient or easily re-scheduled. 

This was my own fault of course. Nothing says you have to post on a particular day or at a particular time..unless you've created an expectation for that.  This was probably the most important thing that needed to change.  My family feels that I now care more for them than I do for you.  I care about them and you, of course, but my priorities had gotten reversed.  :-)

 

One day...there WILL be time for true focus on one of the most special and heart-warming hobbies I've ever known...sharing with you and developing friendships with all you sweet blogging ladies.  I so look forward to that day. 

But for now, I will just sip my tea for a few minutes, and then it's back to the De-cluttering--Ugh! It's a necessary evil...but it comes with a GLORIOUS reward--space and the joy of UN-fettered living.  The house is clean, the clothes are washed (regularly I might add), the kids feel 'loved', and hubby is whistling and looking forward to a GOOD meal..not just a toss-it-in-the-pan job. So, I'm feeling pretty happy. :o)

I hope this post doesn't discourage you, but rather explains why things needed to change.  The only reason I wrote this, really, was to share what it looks like on the other side of the 'bloggy fence'.

If you are trying to blog..LITE style, then try these tips:

  • Forget the 'bloggy schedule'.
  • Don't host linky parties.
  • Blog real life. Don't do things just so that you can post them.
  • Use old photos from your stash, or borrow them with proper credit from the internet.
  • Use fewer photos.
  • Blog less often. Focus on Quality vs. Quantity. (Thanks Maria!)
  • Comment once a week and stick to a small circle of friends. (Thanks Gloria for the tip.)
  • Be brief. (A tough one for me...Lol!)
  • Set a time limit or work on one post for several days. (I won't spend more than 20 minutes  per post. This post was done in four 20 minute increments over the last week.) It's GOOD to let a post 'simmer' anyway. :o)


I had wondered what it would feel like if I--Heaven forbid--stopped blogging! 

I didn't think I COULD stop. And of course, I haven't actually. I just blog a lot less or take less time to post.   But it certainly is very different now.  Life comes first...blogging later, if at all.

Making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.. Eph.5:16
Barnes Commentary

The sentiment is, that we ought to be solicitous to improve our time to some useful purpose, because "there are, in an evil world, so many temptations to waste it." Time is given us for most valuable purposes. There are things enough to be done to occupy it all, and no one need have it hang heavy on his hands. He that has a soul to be saved from eternal death, need not have one idle moment. He that has a heaven to win, has enough to do to occupy all his time. Man has just enough given him to accomplish all the purposes which God designs, and God has not given him more than enough. They redeem their time who employ it...
(1) in gaining useful knowledge;
(2) in doing good to others;
(3) in employing it for the purpose of an honest livelihood for themselves and families;
(4) in prayer and self-examination to make the heart better;
(5) in seeking salvation, and in endeavoring to do the will of God.

 Well..I think this commentary says it all in a nutshell...don't you? If this little tea chat can help even one blogger or perhaps reader of blogs, to keep a better perspective on life..one that they won't regret..then it's worth it.  

Just know, that I do miss the regular interaction with you all. You are sunshine in my day!

Do you have a hobby that's getting in the way of your real priorities?

Have a lovely week..as you sip your tea... 
and join me in making the choice to live life...deliberately. :o)

 
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15 comments:

Kim~HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs said...

Great post, Donna :) I've been struggling with blogging as well and completely understand where you're coming from...thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Trudy Callan said...

This is a perfect way to approach blogging. Great tips for us all.

Thank you for taking the time out to minister to me this month, for the food and for spending the day watching Matthew so I could rest and not strain myself running after him. I enjoyed our time talking as well. I really needed the encouragement and fellowship. Thank you for being a good friend and being there for me.

And I am so happy for you that your Matthew is home. We will keep his adjustment back to civilian life in our prayers.

Donna said...

Trudy..I was just going to call you again. You've been on my mind and in my prayers this week. You are a special friend and I can't imagine a better place to be than helping out with you and your sweet family. :o)

xo
Donna

Gloria said...

Hi Donna dear. How are you amiga?? Well actually I can see you are fine and have come up with a great way to manage your home and yet still blog once in a while. Thanks for the link.:) I haven't been able to do to much of anything because of the trips to San Jose during the week. At least 3 times a week by train/bus. I'm just beat but happy to pop in and say hi. Today hubs and I spent about 3 hours in the backyard raking and watering, so now I'm exhausted. He volunteered to go get Kentucky so I wouldn't have to cook. Ah, relief. Glad your son is doing okay. I have to go, even my fingers are tired. Take care of yourself and lets not forget about each other while we don't have contact.:))

Donna said...

Don't worry Gloria..I won't lose touch with you. San Jose is such a pretty place... but I'm sure a long drive too.

You must be exhausted with all of that yardwork! Take care sweet friend.

xo
Donna

Amy said...

So glad to read your peaceful balance. Continued Blessings to you and your family. So thrilled your son is safely home!

Kerrie said...

Wooo, that was a long post-ha! Dear sweet Donna, I have not felt that you have left blogging at all or that you are slowing down between face book posts and the blog! But I am glad that you feel you have accomplished a happy medium in your sooooo busy life! Thanks for sharing all the precious pics of your son's homecoming! Hugs for the busiest gal I know, Kerrie

Caroline said...

My own blogging is always fluff and nonsense; I probably do any post that I do in 10 minutes or so. But. BUT! Sometimes I get caught up in wanting to post more often (my readers will go away!) false guilt for sure. Or finishing a project so I can post it on the blog. The blog is there to serve me, not for me to be a slave to it.

Glad both of us got some rain! And that it didn't turn out to be super humid afterwards. Did you see? The high by the end of the week is supposed to be 92. Break out the wool sweaters!

Donna said...

No kidding Caroline! We will feel like we need sweaters if this heat ever subsides!

Great thoughts Caroline. It's not how often I post that's the problem for me, it's how much work I put into making it really nice--editing, linking, good photos.

Words are easy, unless you are trying to 'write well'. I cringed over how much I wrote on this week's post. But being verbose is easy for me. It's being succinct and saying the right things, that takes so much time.

I love your posts. They're short and sweet. :o)

Christi L. said...

Great to see you today. Thank you for the words of encouragement. :-)

Jill said...

Great post Donna. Really got me thinking especially when you stated a meal quickly thrown together. I have a to do list a mile long when the girls start school, decluttering is at the top.
But for now I'm just enjoying the last few days at home with them.
Hope all in your family is safe from the storm!

Blessings,
Jill

Donna said...

Storm? How I wish there was one!..But the Lord is good..we have FIVE days of storms projected for Thursday through Monday. Our temp will drop from steady 105-109's to 91-95's.

I can hardly fathom five days of rain, but we're looking forward to it.

Don't feel bad about the meal thing. I'm Sooo guilty of throwing a meal together! But I make up for it with super yummy meals on the off days. Lol!

We'll be having lasagne from scratch...and sending one a friend's way. Her poor baby has had a hernia for four months and she doesn't get ANY sleep. Please, friends, if you read this, pray for her.

I didn't realize she lives only 20 min. away. Most of our church members live 45 min. and counting. So I plan to visit once a week with a meal..and perhaps babysitting so she can have a nap now and then.

Yes, I'm busy friends..busy doing what we ought to be about...

Loving our family... and helping our neighbors.

Cassy said...

I like reading your post. A combination of a family life, relationships, blogging and ministry.

Thanks for sharing.

Cassy from Country Guitar Lessons

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

so with you on living 'intentionally' - making these same choices. especially for me, is the amount of visiting and commenting. now that InSpirit will begin nxt monday, i have a service to prepare and parishioners to care for. just not enough time for full on blogging! plus a new call i'm sensing from God, so transition time '')
glad you've shared ~ enjoyed my teatime with you today. and EVERY blessing on your way forward...
S*

Razer said...

I really appreciate these kind of posts. Thank you so much for this post. God bless!
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“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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