Saturday, July 6, 2013
I can't believe I haven't posted since February. I've received some very kind emails from some of you, wondering where I've been, and I want you to know I really and truly appreciate you checking in with me.
I'm sorry for being completely AWOL. Before I get into the reason for why, let me just catch you up quickly.
Sophia just completed the first grade. She's eagerly looking forward to celebrating her birthday in a couple of weeks. James is beginning to read! He'll be starting school in the fall, and just turned four. Abby celebrated her first birthday a couple of weeks ago (picture above). She is a big fan of food in general and cake in particular (who isn't?).
As to where I have been...around. A combination of things have prevented me from logging on here to type a new post for the past five months.
For one thing, I have struggled quite a lot of postpartum depression since around Thanksgiving of 2012. The motivation to write, and in particular, the guts to make myself vulnerable on the 'Web were big contributing factors to my absence. But I can't put all the blame on hormones.
If I'm honest, my heart has simply been hurting a lot lately.
There has been so much unkindness in my world. Too many harsh words. Too much callousness.
I started this blog over five years ago as a creative outlet and to explore what it meant for me to be a wife and a mother in a world that seems to increasingly devalue both roles. For the most part, I have found many open-minded and even some like-minded readers who have been a great blessing and support to me. I hope I have done the same for them (you). But I have also found that the things I have said on my blog have greatly angered and even deeply hurt people who are very dear to me.
In the past year, I have lost two very close friends, because of the things I have written on this blog. Even though I cannot fully understand this devolution, it has saddened me to my core.
On the other hand, I have had women write to me--even approach me "in real life" and tell me that the things I write are a great blessing and encouragement to them. This dichotomy has been somewhat baffling to me, and as I said, my heart has been sore as I ponder it.
Of course, I know that you can never please everyone. The beauty of humanity is that we all have such varying experiences and opinions. But it is one thing not to please someone. It is another to cause them pain. To have them walk out of your life because you have tried to share your heart. To have desired to uplift and, instead, to find the death of friendship.
It hasn't been easy.
And so, I am continuing to discern whether to continue writing at The Apple Cider Mill. If I do, it will probably be in a different capacity, sticking to posts about family, food, and homeschooling. I may very occasionally tackle posts on faith, but the backlash I have encountered in my personal life from those posts (even ones I believe I took great care to write with grace and charity) have been devastating to me, and I don't think it is something I can continue, for my own well-being.
I am trying to discern now what sort of time-frame I might be able to post (once weekly, twice weekly, twice monthly, etc.) if at all. With homeschooling (2 children now!), youth ministry, and writing my novel, in addition to the reasons above and the daily demands of being a homemaker, I need to be sure that this is still the right path for me.
Please pray for me, and know that you all are the reason this decision is so very, very hard for me to reach.