I’m Taking a Sabbatical…and You Should Too

How and why The Simple Homemaker committed blog and social media suicide on purpose...and how this applies to your life.

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.


Here's your first clue. This one and her six siblings are growing up too fast!
Here’s your first clue. This one and her six siblings are growing up too fast!

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.

Seven of the reasons I'm taking a sabbat.
Seven of the reasons I’m taking a sabbat.

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. 

Focusing on the music mission and the hearts of the people behind it--that's a worthy focus.
Focusing on the music mission and the hearts of the people behind it–that’s a worthy focus.

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.

These two need more of my time and attention, because sometime when I'm present, my mind is working on blog posts instead of on them.
These two need more of my time and attention, because sometime when I’m present, my mind is working on blog posts instead of on them.

 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.

Do you need a sabbatical from something in your life, so you can focus on more important things? Chances are, you do.

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?

Moments like this spontaneous piano lesson between siblings--these are so, so beautiful, that I don't want to miss a single one. Not one.
Moments like this spontaneous piano lesson between siblings–these are so, so beautiful, that I don’t want to miss a single one. Not one.

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.

Why one blogger is sacrificing something she loves for something she loves more...and why you should, too.

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.

My family. I love the whole Jesus-lpvin' crew!
My family. I love the whole crazy, Jesus-lovin’ crew! I spend every day with them…but I want to give them even more.

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.

Farewell for now. We'll be back.
Farewell for now. We’ll be back.

10 thoughts on “I’m Taking a Sabbatical…and You Should Too”

  1. You go Girl! Literally…go enjoy your family. Love on them, dote on them, read to them and be the best wife and mama you can be (sounds like an army commercial, but you get the idea ;))! I’ll be waiting here for you when you get back and for that book 🙂 God’s blessings to you and your sweet family! Many hugs and love to you all!

  2. Dear Christy,

    LOVE it! LOVE it! LOVE your blog!

    I am giving up being on the computer after 6 PM…whether work (which takes a back seat to real life like my hottie hubby (I got one of those too!) kids, grandkids and a mom on hospice.) is done or not. Thank you for encouraging me to do what is best for me and my family.

    I applaud your decision and can’t wait to give you a hug soon! Enjoy the process of writing your book and I’ll be here when you come back.

    You are doing the right thing and you are absolutely correct that kids grow up way too fast and they need you!


  3. Yay! Good for you! I committed social media suicide about a year ago & I love it! Unfortunately, something always takes its place. The devil’s tricky that way.

    Your post couldn’t have come at a better time for me, and that’s the Lord’s work right there… which makes your blog worthwhile. I’m trying to decide what I’m going to “take a sabbat” from. I’m burned out!

    God bless you!

  4. Your blog will survive. I’ve taken several extended breaks from mine (the last one was about 6 months), and it’s always still there waiting for me when I return. 🙂 Your family is way more important, so you’re definitely making the right decision! I have a couple of prior commitments I’m trying to wrap up, and then I’m going to be joining you. Enjoy your precious family!

  5. Hope you are enjoying your Sabbat! Looking forward to your re-emergence but in the mean time, I’m taking some time away from things too. Maybe not completely but I am starting to make baby steps.

  6. Great read! I can relate to questioning my priorities at times and if they will be the proper reflection of a legacy worth being proud of, and like you, how it will affect my family. I have heard the exact same thing about my blag and site purpose, and I was discouraged but I kept at it. Reading this makes me realize that you shouldn’t give up on it! A friend told me that you never know who you are influencing in a positive way, and I knew if I helped 1 person, it would all be worth it. Then I realized, that the one person could be me. You should keep at it because it could also be a way to clear and define your thoughts, and your future generations will always have these writings from you and a piece of you to connect with.

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