It used to be, and occasionally still is, that people would take sabbaticals. In the Old Testament, the ground was rested every seven years. Today, professors and other professionals occasionally take every seventh year off to pursue a writing or research project. It’s a worthy practice. It comes from the Latin word sabbaticus which literally means ceasing.
I have been running The Simple Homemaker for almost four years. I’m not quite up for a sabbatical, since it’s been slightly more than half of seven years. But I need one. So I’m taking a sabbat. That’s half a sabbatical—six months.
Someone told me that my blog was a waste of time and that it isn’t doing anybody any good. Those were harsh words. While I tell my children to not let harsh words and criticism get them down, I also encourage them to find the truth and concern beneath the gruff delivery. Such truth and concern can help them grow.
In the case of The Simple Homemaker, I had lamented to my tactless confidante that I have been wearing a failure badge lately. Despite spending almost every hour of every day with my children for the past nearly 18 years, I feel like it flew by without me. Despite putting on my “writer” hat and pecking away at a computer for 20 years, I have nothing to show for it (except, of course, my ebook From Frazzled to Festive: Finding Joy and Meaning in a Simple Christmas, which you should buy if your Christmas season is like final exam week).
Despite my preaching of family first, sometimes I am tempted to inwardly groan when a needy child is up during my earliest of early morning working hours. When that happens, I should be putting my computer away and hugging someone small or large or anywhere in between, instead of writing about bread or children’s books or hugging your children.
In essence, despite how much I enjoy writing for The Simple Homemaker, I was spending time on my blog that could have been spent doing what I really want and need to do–focusing even more on my family, our music mission, my writing, and our traveling homeschool (our roadschool full of “Road Scholars”…not exactly Rhodes Scholars, but close enough, eh?).
I write a post lickety split in the wee hours when everyone is asleep, but, because I’m not a techie and don’t have the funds for a virtual assistant, those posts often languish in my drafts file due to the inordinate amount of time required to prep a post for publication. That writing time was therefore wasted. Boo. I don’t like wasting time unless there are cookies and children involved…which technically makes it non-wasted time.
So…that brings us to my sabbat.
I’m leaving The Simple Homemaker for a period of six months, at which time I will reappear. I have several review posts and a few giveaways that I have committed to which will be posted after those six months are up—I don’t believe in not following through on commitments, and, here again, I keep dropping the ball on The Simple Homemaker. I also have a couple of great series and those languishing posts I mentioned, all waiting patiently in the back room (mostly on a dead computer we have yet to revive).
Where The Simple Homemaker goes from there remains to be seen.
Upon my reemergence, and barring any unforeseen major events, I will have a physical book completed, one that has been struggling to emerge for seven years now. You can hold me to that. In fact, please do.
What does this have to do with you?
I would like you to take a sabbat, too. There is something that you are doing (maybe even something that you like, like I like The Simple homemaker), that is distracting you from…well…life.
Is crafting or shopping calling you away from hubby time? Do your kids have to wait for you to read 35 blogs before you’ll read Peter Rabbit? Are you dragging (or following) your kids to MOPS, swim, gymnastics, preschool, preschool readiness, and preschool readiness readiness? (You all know how I feel about the whole preschool readiness readiness thing!) Are you so obsessed over cooking real food or vegan food or low carb food that you and your family aren’t enjoying the gift of food anymore?
Are you so committed to creating a thigh gap that you are also creating relationship gaps? Are you wrapped up in your hair, makeup and wardrobe, in your couponing and frugality, in your own blog or work, that you are bumping out of place the things in life that matter? Is it so important to you that your family looks like you have it all together, that you aren’t focusing on heart issues?
I’ve been there, and I’ve given it all up—leading children’s choirs, heading or attending moms’ clubs, running women’s Bible studies at church, choir, sewing, crafts, insane cooking ideals and much, much, much more…now including The Simple Homemaker.
Is it hard to give up something you love? Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Still, eliminating these time chompers doesn’t make my life empty. It makes it fuller, because it gives me the time and energy and focus to be the woman God intended me to be, and to fully embrace and love my family.
When I die, I don’t want to hear (figuratively of course, since I’ll be dead and hard of hearing) “You know, that woman had over 10,000 Pinterest followers!” Who rinkin’ stinkin’ cares?! I want to hear, “That woman really loved her kids. You could tell.” I want to hear “She put God first…not always well, but she sure as shootin’ tried.” I wanna hear, “Well, we certainly won’t miss hearing every 30 seconds about what a hottie her husband is!” Have I mentioned my husband’s a hottie?
When people look at you, what do they see? Great hair? Stylishly dressed kids? Groovy manicure? Polished eyebrows? Amazing cupcakes? Incredible scrapbook pages? Big bank account? Awesome Pinterest page? Many letters after your name? Full calendar? That stuff is fine, but what should they really see?
What people see—those are your priorities.
My priorities right now are erasing the failure brand from my forehead by reorganizing my time. When my computer died for several weeks, I spent more time on my family and our homeschool. I loved on my pillow a bit more and on my hubby a lot more. It was…nice.
And now I need to finish that book.
I am making a clean break. I will not be showing up on Facebook (unless there is a prayer request). I will not be showing up here on the blog. I will be completely invisible until May…unless you email me to tell me to get moving on that book…or you send me cookies. I know this is blog and social media suicide…but I’m okay with hearing at my funeral “She committed blog and social media suicide so she could focus on her kiddos and write that book she promised her family and smooch on her man a little more and write her Grandma letters.” I’m not just okay with that…I’m awesome with that!
If you absolutely can’t live without our antics for the next six months, we are still keeping a family travel blog over at The Travel Bags, and we as a family are on Facebook and Instagram as The Travel Bags, and, yes, there’s always Pinterest, which is also something my kids and I do together.
See you in May, friends. Enjoy your sabbat. I know I will.