back to blogging

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I almost feel as though I should reintroduce myself, I’ve been away from blogging for so long. I’m sorry to have dropped off without warning, but I knew I’d change my mind if I delayed. I knew because I’d dismissed the idea a hundred times before instead of just taking the time away I knew my soul was craving, afraid I’d lose followers, get behind, or horror of horrors, be quiet enough to sense I should give blogging up completely. But none of that really happened. Blogging is this funny self-imposed thing that I had begun to feel enslaved to, and with that enslavement creative, transparent writing had become impossible. I was up to my eyeballs in food photography and deadlines which acted like a trash compactor, shoving the words that were fighting their way out down further and further until I couldn’t really even tell what it was that I felt or wanted to say anymore.

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So I spontaneously took a semi-blogging sabbatical. I say semi because I was still working on food photography and deadlines for other blogs, but the work was lighter because I wasn’t fighting against the weight of the work, trying to force words out that could not be found.

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I took time to learn things, visit relatives that just moved a mere hour from Baltimore, take Aletheia to the children’s museum, organize, work on our little urban garden, exercise, read, listen to podcasts, and photograph for the sheer pleasure of it. And the more I soaked in, the more I realized how dry and empty I had become. Once I put down the microscope of analysis and stepped back to look at the big picture, I realized how much I had been neglecting self-care. Not the showering and eating kind of care, but the soul-enriching kind, the kind that is necessary for holistic health.

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I was a mess of fear, discontent, and anger. Anxiety was very real and health-wise I was falling apart. One night as I sat at the computer after another frustrating day of parenting and health struggles, I caught site of some warm orange highlights tugging on my hand. I traced their path to the window and realized the sky was a fiery haze of post-stormy clouds and sunset. But I told myself I wasn’t talented enough to take that picture, that I wasn’t feeling well enough, that I was too emotionally unstable to walk out of the house. “What if I bust into tears in front of a complete stranger?” I think my husband must have seen how hesitant I was so he assisted by nudging me out the door with my camera. More often that not, God uses his Word to instruct and calm the heart, but I’ve found his creation has a healing power of its own. As soon as I stepped out into the unusual evening light, I felt secure, alive, and filled.

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I took picture after picture until someone tried to get me to hand over my camera so I could “teach” them how to use it. Having lived in Baltimore for a year now, I wasn’t falling for that trick, and for the sake of maintaining possession of my camera and photos I headed home. But even back inside I sat in the windows, absorbing every healing ray I could.

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I’m grateful for the time away, but I’m excited to be back. After working the tangles out of my thoughts, I’m eager to begin stringing them out into organized sentences and blog posts! Some things I’d love to write about are (1) living with migraines, (2) teaching our kids about sex, (3) reconciliation in marriage, (4) Baltimore and missional living, (5) the meaning of true success, (6) being a student’s wife, (7) being a blog contributor, (8) living an organized life, and (9) self-care. It would mean so much and be extremely helpful if you shared your input on what you’d like to read about! I always appreciate a nudge in the right direction.

Lastly, thank you for your encouragement and support over the last couple months. Not once have I felt cast off or forgotten even though I wasn’t blogging on a regular basis. You guys are wonderful friends! Thank you so much! It’s so good to be back!

Comments

  1. Hannah King says:

    Hip hip hooray!! You’re back! I have so missed your voice and perspective, Susanna, but I absolutely appreciate the necessity and importance of taking time out. The photos in this post are exceptional, That sunset sky which you have captured so beautifully? I had to linger a while at that photo and enjoy its richness. Your photos of Ali are just stunning, too.
    As I read through your list of topics to blog about, I found myself nodding and saying ‘yes’ to all of them! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say : )
    Welcome back, friend, you have been missed.

    • Susanna says:

      What a warm welcome back! I don’t deserve your support friend. You’re so kind. Thank you for your sweet compliments. 😀

  2. Those photos are beautiful! That orange sky – woah! I’m so glad that your break was restorative. I find that as a culture we don’t really rest well and believe it’s being lazy (or it’s just a result of a capitalist culture)…but after seeing my mom struggle with her anxiety, I learned that resting is so important.

    I’m always looking for tips on migraine/headaches!

    • Susanna says:

      It seriously was! And besides adding a little contrast and clarity, that photo is unaltered. The sky really was that orange. It was incredible! I hope to be able to write about migraines sometime soon. It’s definitely been on my heart for a while.

  3. Chelsea says:

    Self-care is so hard for moms. God recently reminded me that I need to create beauty in my world because I thrive off of it.
    I’m glad you took time off to reconnect with yourself. Blogging can fit into a healthy balance for you AND bless others! Plus you are so wonderful at creating beauty (or capturing it). Such a gift and blessed talent.

    • Susanna says:

      Thank you! I really hope to learn more about the topic and grow in being able to balance it all. So important.

  4. Karlyn says:

    This was very encouraging, Susanna! I’m glad you are back and I look forward to reading more. You have inspired me to pick my blog back up too. 🙂

  5. Leanne says:

    So nice to have you back. This is a great post, full of thoughtful words and beautiful photos! Looking forward to reading more friend!

  6. Blaire says:

    Yay!!! So glad you’re back. 🙂 love all the topics!! 🙂

  7. I love to come back here again and again (even though I also reduced my “online-time”). I love your voice, you are honest and true. That´s why people come back here, it´s not because of the amount of posts, it´s about that what you say and how.

    • Susanna says:

      Thank you so much for that word Noni!! What an encouragement you are. It means so much that you read my blog. Thank you!

  8. […] And seasons of rest, I’m finding, have been entirely necessary. To help myself with that, I took a break from blogging, quit some of my contributing positions, and went off the grid for a while. The period of forced […]

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