This is one of those posts I never in a million years thought I would be writing, but here I sit….putting words on a blank page that will be my last. At least for now. Maybe forever.
Please allow me a moment to share a story with you.
What am I willing to give up? Will I truly allow God to take anything from me, in order to have that deeper and closer walk with Him? Think about that for a moment, won’t you? Can you completely let go of the control you have on every facet of your life, and be open to God removing you from it?
And I waited.
Nothing happened. Days and weeks go by, and I hadn’t heard from God. I kept trucking right along with my life, working my job that keeps me from home twelve hours each day, spending countless hours working on my blog – planning, crafting, photographing, editing, linking, sharing, networking, writing. I ran my errands, I cooked dinners for my family, I did laundry, I washed dishes….
Honestly enough time had passed that I had put the thoughts of that Bible study in the back of my mind. I had quit praying the “Anything” prayer and just gone about my business.
Monday morning, December 16th, my alarm goes off at the usual 5:00am. After rolling around for a few minutes until I gain consciousness, I wearily climb out of bed, step over the dog that sleeps on the floor next to me, and head into the bathroom to take a shower and start my day. But today was different. Today, I woke up with a heaviness on my heart, almost a physical pain in my chest. It was hard to breathe. As I went through the motions that have now become my morning ritual – shampoo, conditioner, shave, rinse, wash face – I prayed. That heaviness, that burden, was the Lord urging me to give it up. Walk away from this blog. Do it today.
“But Lord,” I argued, “I just signed on six awesome monthly contributors who have all made six-month commitments. I just moved to WordPress and redesigned the blog, and my Facebook numbers are stronger than they’ve ever been! I’m making some money from the blog now, and 2014 promises to be a banner year! Let me wait six months, give me til June, then we’ll see.”
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I got loud, right there in my bathroom, and surrendered. “Ok, ok!” I said breathlessly. “Ok, I’ll do it. I’ll do it today. I’ll let it go.”
Let me just tell you, I cried hard. I sobbed. It was a mix of tears over walking away from something I’ve spent four years of my life building, and finally seeing a payoff, combined with the sadness of missing out on so much of my life while building this blog. I completely broke down. I realized that the Lord was asking me to give up “anything” for Him.
The heaviness on my heart immediately went away, and I was left with a feeling of peace. Surrender.
I cried a lot that day, and the next. But I was faithful. That morning, Monday, December 16th, as soon as I got to my office, I emailed first my best friend Amy (One Artsy Mama) and told her exactly what happened, because I knew she would completely understand. (And she totally did, which is one of the reasons why I love her so much.) Then I emailed all of my contributors, apologizing for ending our run even before it began, and briefly explaining why I was walking away. I then had to email a couple of campaign leaders letting them know I had to back out of posts that were scheduled for January.
It was so hard. It’s still hard.
For those of you who do not blog, you may not understand the sacrifice of walking away, at this moment. This time last year, I had less than 300 Facebook fans. Today, I have almost 3000. This time last year I was not making a dime. Today, I regularly get paid blog campaigns and make a few hundred bucks a month. This isn’t just a life change, it’s a financial hit, since my family and I have really adjusted to the extra income the blog has created. Everything I do, whether it’s organizing a space in my home, decorating a room, making a handmade gift, putting together a new outfit, planning an event…I share it here. It’s a major adjustment.
I’ve come to love my readers and a lot of you have become friends. I love the relationships I’ve built with other bloggers. I love my blog. Every bit of it. I’m at my peak. And I’m walking away.
Some people might think I’m crazy, and that’s OK. I’m being faithful with what the Lord has asked of me, and to be completely honest, I can’t wait to see what happens next. I know He has plans for me that I can’t even comprehend at this moment. Yes, I can still create, and decorate, and organize, but I won’t be blogging about it. Yes, I can still stay in touch with the friends I’ve made, I just won’t be working on awesome blog collaborations with them.
There is not another time in my life that I can remember the Lord physically reaching out to me, and so audibly speaking to me. I cannot ignore it. I’m so thankful that my walk with Him is close enough that I was able to hear Him, and the maturity of my faith is enough that I’m able to obey. These four years have been a tremendous blessing, a wild ride, and an experience that I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m not sure if the Lord will bring me back to One Tough Mother, so for now, this is the end.
My Nana used to tell me, “I don’t like good-bye, so I’ll say ‘so long’!” So, friends, thank you so much for the past four years, for your support and love, comments, emails, “likes”, and laughs. Feel free to stay in touch – email me, follow on Instagram, and of course, I’ll always be a Pinterest-addict. 🙂
So long, friends. God bless.
The archives are always available for your viewing pleasure. Simply use the categories at the top of the page to be inspired.
For continuing inspiration, visit my friends:
One Artsy Mama
Pitter and Glink
Happy Go Lucky
My Favorite Finds
The Thinking Closet
Happy Hour Projects
Repeat Crafter Me
Artsy Fartsy Mama
Petals to Picots
Wait Til Your Father Gets Home
4 You With Love
Small Things With Love
It Happens In A Blink
I love you so much. And I am so proud of you for listening and obeying. There’s no telling what God is going to do through you for His kingdom…awesome things, man, awesome things. You rock my socks more today than ever. HUG HUG HUG.
Wow, Kirsten! I am amazed by your willingness to listen to The Lord so obediently! You are an inspiration! I’m going to miss your blog, but not you because we will MOST DEFINITELY keep in touch! 😉 Hugs, sweet friend!!!
I’m sad to see your blog go… but I know we will keep in touch.
It’s impressive to me that you are willing to walk away. I’m not sure I could do the same thing.
Kirsten! My heart goes out to you and I know how hard it is when you have to let go of something that you love so much. I’ve struggled with doing the same thing at times. We will miss your creativeness, but you are going places girl! I’m so glad you are following God’s plan for you. It is a great testimony to me that you are willing to let it go. Hugs!
Ahh I am sad to see you go but I am so happy for why you are doing it. I haven’t been much on blogging lately either. My time needs to be spent w/my kiddos. You are a amazing person, wife, mama and friend! So glad to have met you – Thank you for your inspiring words and wisdom! xo
Happy and sad all at once!!! Happy for you and the connection you have with The Lord but so sad to see you go!! Luv ya!!!
You are AWESOME!! I think every blogger can relate to this and I admire you in so many ways.
I have always loved you, but never more than now. You have made me so proud and God has truly answered my prayers for you. I can’t wait to see how He is going to bless your obedience. Love You More! Mom
My husband actually read your post first (he must have seen it come up on Facebook) and asked me, “Did you know that One Tough Mother is walking away from her blog?” I said, WHAT?!? She’s a contributor to Amy’s site and just signed on new people to her own-I didn’t get the impression she was burnt out.” Then he told me to read the post. He was really impressed with you and thought it was well written. As I read it myself, I can just feel the sadness coming of the screen, but I can also sense the peace. Surrender is hard. We have plans and hopes and ideas for our lives, but sometimes God’s plans are different than ours. And you can bet His plans are going to be better for you! But I totally understand! I feel like I’m just getting my feet under me in the blog world, too. The thought of losing it all is a little scary. Which tells me I’m not surrendered myself! Thanks for the reminder to give God my “anything” and I will pray for you and your family as you adjust. Psalm 34:18 is my life verse: “The Lord is nigh unto them of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
So touched by this post, my friend! I am truly awed by your strength. Thank you for sharing such a powerful, personal experience and how you really followed through- how motivating that is to me! I’ve been blessed by your giving, helpful nature and am so glad you will be somewhat within reach still. Enjoy whatever life brings you from here- it will surely be only better than what you’re leaving behind. 🙂
Oh, Kirsten!! Your post made me cry. You are so amazing! So sad to see you go, but SO excited to see what adventures you have in store. I’m so grateful to be friends with you, and I’m always here if you need anything!! Love ya!!
I can’t say how much reading this inspires me….. I am happy to have “met” you and I applaud your desire to please God! God bless you and your family
Love you so much! Thanks for constantly supporting me no matter what. XOXO
Yes we will keep in touch! I’m anxious to see where the Lord takes me but I am willing to wait on Him. 🙂 Thanks girl!
Thank you Kadie! I appreciate your support.
Thanks Emily! I’ll still be creating, just not blogging about it. I have a feeling I’ll enjoy it more now. 🙂
I’m thankful for your friendship, too. Family is so much more important and I’ve been soaking it up.
I’m still a little sad too but very much at peace. Thanks for your support!
Thank you so much Kara! I’m thankful for your friendship and appreciate your sweet encouragement!
Thank you Mom, so much. Thank you for setting such a wonderful example of a Godly woman. Love you more!
Nicole your comment moved me to tears. Thank you so much. The support I’ve received in light of my decision has been overwhelming and just reassures me that I’m doing the right thing for me and my family. I really appreciate it more than you know.
Thank you Sky! I really appreciate your friendship and will definitely stay in touch. I love all of my glittery unicorns 🙂 It’s been an emotional experience to say the least but one that has left me anxiously anticipating God’s next move for my life! Thanks for being so sweet! XOXO
Love you back girl! Thank you for your encouragement and friendship. It means so much 🙂
Thank you so much Carmella. I really am thankful for you and all of the amazing girls in our little “family”. So thankful to know you all! 🙂
I have tears in my eyes after reading this, Kirsten. I know it wasn’t an easy move to close this chapter, especially in light of all the growth you were experiencing and anticipating in the new year, but that kind of obedience, to turn away from this and step toward God, even though you have no idea what lies ahead, well that’s the sort of faith most of us LONG for but aren’t often brave enough to live out. And we all know that faith even smaller than that can move mountains! So I know God has amazing things ahead for you and your family. More than we could ever know. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m reminded of the times in my life when God has spoken loud and clear to me. I can count them on my hand, but I never regretted following His leading. It was always just what I needed, right when I needed it.
Love you. And I’m so thankful to have grown to become your friend this past year. HUGS.
I realize I didn’t comment here! You are amazing Kirsten, and I’m in awe of what you’re doing. Like Lauren said, you have this faith that the rest of us long to have but aren’t brave enough to live out. I think about the Indiana Jones movie when he stepped out onto the invisible walkway, exemplifying the leap of faith. You go girl! And AND I’m so glad you’re still a unicorn, so we still get lots of glittery fabulousness and sweet tea from you. So so glad to have “met” you this year!
Kirsten – I feel very lucky to have gotten to know you! You’re wonderful, lady!
I think that your decision is one that will be a bit sad, but will also be exciting. You have accomplished so much with One Tough Mother; I have no doubt that you will take that energy and creativity and pour it into something else. I wish you only the very best things.
Kirsten, your post brought tears to my eyes. You are such a beautiful woman, inside and out, and you have given so much to all of us. We are all truly blessed to have you in our lives. Hugs to you and although I will miss your blog, I hope to keep up with you on our FB group. You are such an inspirational woman…Mallory is lucky to have you not only as a mom but as an amazing role model! Love you!
This is the first post of yours that I’ve read! I’m a food blogger who’s just getting into crafting and found you through Repeat Crafter Me. Just wanted to say that I understand the sacrifice this is, and I am SO stinkin’ excited for you! When God tells us to sacrifice something that’s truly difficult and painful, it’s because He has something beyond belief in store for us. I had a very similar argument with God 11 years ago. Not about giving up blogging, but about surrendering to Him completely and making Him my Lord and not just my Savior. It was hard, my lifestyle in no way lined up with that decision and so I cut off every friend, and spent three months going to work, coming home, and reading my Bible. The first month was hard, but by the third month, I I was a different person. I found a new church (which God very obviously dropped me into), and gained a church family like I’d never experienced before. I began an amazing journey that led to meeting and marrying an incredible Godly man, having the privilege of leading so many people to the Lord, and running a teen recovery program. Anyway, there’s my mini testimony! 🙂 Just wanted to encourage you that I know one day you will look back on this day with great joy, and be so grateful that you were obedient. Praying for you!
Kirsten, I just came across this today–for the same reasons you name in this post, I am often not ‘present’ in my life so I totally understand this and as a child of God I get it even more! Proud of you for taking a stance and glad I got to ‘meet’ you all be it briefly. Hopefully I will still see you in cyberspace. God bless, and so very, very proud of you XO!