To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1
The timing just seems right.
Many of you found my blog after the Aurora Theater Shooting in 2012.
Three years later, the trial for the gunman in that horrific shooting comes to a close as the jury began deliberations yesterday. It seems like a good time to close out my blog as well. It hasn’t been without much forethought and prayer.
It was almost funny; having my own words boomeranged back to speak a truth to me.
My girlfriend was enjoying a vacation on the beach, but sweet friend that she is, she still found time to encourage me, knowing that I was going through a tough season. I read her brief e-mail:
You got me started on Lori Stanley Roeleveld’s blog – and I bought her book. I was just reading it and found an encouraging verse she cited: Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers him out of them all Psalm 34:19
Just a few minutes later she messaged me again.
Ha ha. Joke’s on me. I’m reading about YOU in Lori’s book.
Lori Roeleveld is a blog writer that I have never met, but greatly admired and had recommended to my friend back in late 2011 or early 2012. She had later published a book called Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) My friend was reading the book when she messaged me. I had no clue what she was talking about. I, too, had purchased the book for my Kindle some time ago, but it was somewhere on my list of want-to-read-one-day books. My friend told me to check out chapter 5. I did. And sure enough, it was obvious Lori was talking about me. Apparently (totally forgotten by me) on July 19, 2012 I was whittling away the time reading blogs before heading out to see The Dark Knight Rises with my daughters, and I commented on something she had written. I told her that writers like her – such masterful wordsmiths – sometimes made me want to give up on writing because they said everything I ever wanted to say so much more eloquently. As most of you know, a few hours later James Holmes walked into the theater, straight down the aisle from where my daughters and I sat, and began shooting. 12 people died, including the woman seated next to us, 70 were physically injured and the rest of us were left with invisible wounds. The next day I hastily wrote a blog post and it went viral.
At that time – and even today – I had no idea how to blog. It was something I was doing for a small band of family and friends. I’ve never advertised, marketed, or publicized my blog apart from my small group of facebook friends. I still don’t know much about how the technical aspect of blogging works. I DO know that I often get e-mails stating that “so and so is now following your blog” and sometimes the names of the blog followers’ blogs kind of make me uneasy. I’ve never known how to block certain people or control ads or even how to set it up to my liking. (Maybe I should take a web design class…)
Anyway – Lori said she commented on the post that went viral that that is exactly why we never give up – because we never know exactly when God wants to write or tell our story. Other voices (our own or others) may tell us we aren’t good enough but we need to listen only to His voice. I never read her comment, because I decided to not wade through the 5,000+ comments. (Sorry)
Anyway, I feel I am in an opposite place now – I have many of you telling me that blogging is my gifting and calling, but I’m really not sensing that is where I am supposed to be in this moment. Yes, I’m a writer. But not necessarily a blog writer. Maybe that one post was the purpose for this blog. After reading the thoughts in Lori’s chapter, I did a little sleuthing and discovered that you can see how many direct hits a particular blog post has received – that is, how many visits are linked directly to a post and not just visits to the blog itself. The post I wrote after the shooting has been visited 1,279, 328 times. Again, I think perhaps that has been the purpose for this simple little blog and I believe its (the blog) time has come to an end. I will keep that particular post and some others that folks seem to have visited frequently (not MY favorites but the ones most visited) open, but have closed out the rest.
When I was getting ready to speak at the ladies retreat in May, I was battling migraines. At the last minute, even though I had spent quite a bit of time preparing and was excited to share, I grabbed a children’s story I had written for fun more than a decade ago, as a back-up plan to all my careful preparations. I’m glad I did. I spent the morning I was to speak throwing up – and then spent part of my teaching time reading a children’s story to a room full of grown-ups. The response was wonderful and I was reminded how much I used to love writing children’s stories “just for fun.” Maybe that’s a direction I’ll take. Or fiction writing. There is always Dispelling the Darkness to finish. Or that memoir I said I’d never write <grin>
As soon as the current bible study I’m hosting is over, I’ve committed to 10 weekly “appointments” with a friend as we work through a project on clarifying our “purpose” and how to get from point A to point B. In other words, how to figure out the WHAT and put it into action. I’m excited about that.
The timing just seems right.
The trial has come to an end.
And for me…I’m nearing the end of a decade.
In 2016 I will be FIFTY!
I have found my forties to be the BEST decade yet – I think as we mature we realize how little we really need to be joy filled people, we discover that there is great freedom in being who we are created to be. For me that is a simple creature living life quietly. Yes, I’ve loved my forties but this last year has been a difficult one – the trial has been far more emotionally draining than I ever anticipated, there have been kid issues and marriage issues and friends and co-workers going through extremely painful times. But I know that this is just a season. And it too shall pass.
But it feels time for something new.
If, and when I come back, it will NOT be as a WordPress blogger – I will have to learn how to create and run my own website.
There’s a whole lot of you I’m gonna miss. I hope you’ll still keep in touch.
Love and hugs,
Marie with a 🙂
Dear Marie, I will miss you! Thank you for these 3 years, generously sharing your heart and soul, wisdom and wit, sorrows and joys, family intimacies and public pronouncements, – for sharing YOU with me. I believe God is prompting your decision and rejoice in your willingness to walk in His way. I will miss you. We may not connect again via earthly electronics as my life moves me close to eternity after these 80+ rough-rider years.
Yesterday my retired Rev. H H and I quietly celebrated 59 years of marriage. Often we disagreed. Still do. Always we loved, still do. On most Psych. profiles we are polar opposites. At major stress points we needed benefits of tough professional counseling. Problems peaked when one stretched and grew while the other seemed stuck. Eventually: acceptance. Occasionally, still, discord.
Our children grew, struggled, steadied, always holding in faith. They completed college and entered Christ-centered marriages, blessing us with eight exceptional grandchildren. Then the deep valleys: divorces for each of our three sons after 15, 16 and 20 years of marriage. Shock. Tears. Wretched pain tearing our hearts into tiny shreds and wounding our dear grandchildren deeply. Eventually came new, more mature mating for our sons and stretching for us to warmly embrace fine mature women as daughters. Embers of affection remain for the estranged women who bore aour grand-babies and remain connected mothers, Each separated by miles and ages has in their 30’s been diagnosed as bi-polar; Each believes she outgrew an inadequate husband. Each left, tried taking away the children, caused costly, grievous court decisions. One returned to Jesus arms and begged forgiveness from all- gladly given, but both she and our son were already re-married. Only our eldest, only daughter and the “world’s greatest” son-in-law, remain married after 35 years and seem well glued in faithful, fulfilling one-time marriage. All our families are professionally and personally involved in some form of ministry, complicating every aspect of family life.
We treasure and nurture 24 grand-children. 6 mates of grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren – scattered around the world. The pain of families divided.never ends. Their pain lights in me a fire of resistance to divorce fueled with more fervor than my heritage of Biblical teaching. WE welcome and dearly love those entering as blended family. (Thought: the word “blended” evokes pictures of delicate eggs whipped into a froth by sharp metal blades). I will pray fervently for the Lord’s grace made manifest in super-gluing together your marriage and the mating of your six children. I hold your personal career struggles up to the wisdom and guidance of Christ’s heavenly Human Resources staff. Please relax even when that seems impossible, love generously, laugh heartily and bloom in each garden along your pathway.
I love you as a faithful friend in Christ,
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With you stopping your blog and me quitting Facebook, I guess I’ll just have to go visit DCC again soon! I’ve been praying for you all during this trying time. I’m excited to see you without the dye! God bless you during the final phase and may it go quickly!
I am so thankful that somehow I stumbled upon your blog. I did not always get to read your posts as my many life situations took precedence over fb time. Your words gave me a lot of encouragement, laughs, tears and because of other things in your life, I felt a kinship. I believe I remember you are a rubber stamper; my craft room is overflowing with stamps, paper and embellishments. You work with young men and ladies in special education. I am responsible for the care of my down syndrome brother since the deaths of our parents. You have shown such strength and faith in the face of trials and I have learned from you to listen for God’s voice and let Him guide, allow Him to provide. I wish you the very best in your personal life and with your family. I also wish the very best for your future endeavors with your writing, whatever form it may take. I hope I can follow where it takes you. I thought of you and prayed for you throughout the trial. I hope as you move forward, leaning on God, you will find peace.
Marie, I will miss you. I’m not a whiz at electronics or social media. But I have truly enjoyed having your posts delivered to my email box. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post this or not, but I want you to know that I have appreciated your honest, candid posts. I have thought of you often this week, and prayed for you. Like Sue, I affi you in your desire to seek to please God in the way you use your talents. I hope God will bring you back across my path someday here on Earth. Your writings have caused me to think, to weigh my motives, and even to be more honest with myself. Most of all, you have helped me to see more of Jesus. Thank you.
Thank you. You have ministered to me. I appreciate your open, honest and encouraging heart. I am grateful that you always point us toward Jesus. I respect your decision but I will miss the somewhat virtual friend I’ve had in you.
May God’s grace be multiplied in you as you follow Him.
Thank you for your contribution to our lives.
I’m really going to miss you! There have been so many times when I’ve read your blog and what you wrote was just what I needed to read at that time.
There was one in particular (apparently not one of the ones others were drawn to since it’s no longer posted) that spoke to me as I went through a difficult time with my (then) pre-teen. Would love it if you could re-post “Lookin’ for Love in all the Wrong Places” from March 27, 2015 or send a copy to me via email, (LaurieLLackey@aol.com). I wanted my daughter to read it, but the timing wasn’t right and now that you’re closing your blog, that one is gone from the list.
I understand if this isn’t possible, but I would appreciate it if it is possible.
Whatever writing direction God leads you in, please don’t ever stop writing. You have a gift. A gift from Him. Continue using that gift for His glory and I’m positive He will continue to bless you in ways you could never imagine.
Blessings and prayers as you enter a new phase in your life.
Thank you for sharing your life with us! I have enjoyed reading your blogs….. take care!
Thank you for your sharing over the last three years. God blessed me through it.
Thank you for sharing with all of us, Marie. Your postings have touched my heart. May God’s blessings continue to flow to you and and your family with all your future endeavors. Take care.
Have just realized you are “moving on” As the
Spanish say “via con DIO” May you feel His blessings in all you do as you remain faithful. Thank you for your faith, Anna
So, It has taken a long time for me to reply to this… I am sorry for myself that you no longer blog.
Many times I was encouraged by your words of comfort, conviction, caring.
I wish you well, I wish you happiness and peace.
She is clothed in strength and dignity, she laughs without fear of the future.
Hi Marie, it’s been a while that I have turned up on your blog… I stopped getting alerts of new posts from all my wordpress subscribed sites for reasons I am yet to understand. So I had to be visiting each of these sites to see if there had been anything new. That got tiring at some point until yesterday when I had a pull to visit your blog again after quite a while.
I got to know of this blog through a Christian media house’s website linked to your most popular post and I was quite hooked by your style of writing and the important spiritual and life lessons your draw out of your seemingly mundane experiences.
Unlike many who comment here, I am a middle-aged man, living in West Africa and I have found your writing refreshing and very inspiring.
Thank you for sharing your life with the world. I’m going to miss you. A last wish would be for you to reconsider at least leaving ALL your posts (not just the popular ones) forever on the blog for future reminiscing for those of us who were blessed by them.
May God bless and guide you as you step into the next assignment(s) He may have for you.