Retreat – Reflect – Relationships..

May 6, 2012 58 Comments by Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse
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This past week I went away for a couple of days on my staff retreat.

The theme was ‘Breathe’ , and it was a time to take a step back and reflect

over the past year, rest physically, and re-connect relationally. There were 90

of us there. I work at a large church and it seems as though we have a large staff,

but when you figure out the ratio of church members to staff members it really isn’t that big.

Thats me in the center front row rockin the sunglasses..

Would you expect any less? ;-)

This is such an amazing group of people and I feel so blessed to work with them!

While we were there, in the midst of the crazy board games, the life threatening

game of spoons, eating, volleyball, and yes – dancing along with Michael Jackson on the PS3,

we were able to catch our breath and think about the coming year.

We were encouraged to spend some time in John chapter 15, where it talks about

Jesus being the vine, and us remaining rooted in Him. We also talked about how relationship

with God and with others is what Jesus gave as the most important commandments.

I began to look at my life and how I use my time and energy, and if I

reflect those things Jesus tells us should be first priority.

I am afraid I haven’t been doing a very good job with that lately.

As I looked over the different things I am doing, this blog came to mind..

I love blogging. I enjoy it immensely.

But it becomes a problem when I put it in front of other things, like relationships.

I have developed a habit of switching my mind from work to blog as soon as

I get home in the evening. Even if I am not actually writing a post, I am usually planning

one, taking pictures, doing crafts  - recipes – home improvement projects.

I want to stress that there is nothing inherently wrong with any of those things.

The problem lies with me.

I will skip activities with people in order to work on my blog.

I won’t plan things for the weekend so I have time to work on projects for a blog post.

I had my granddaughter over to spend the night this past week.

It has been a year since she has done that. We used to do it every other month.

I feel tears in my eyes even writing those words…

I am not saying it is the blogs fault – it is me. I have a hard time doing things in moderation.

And because I can’t seem to do things halfway,

I am afraid just cutting back on posts may not work for me.

So.. I am going to stop blogging for now.

I believe God is telling me to be intentionally, fully engaged with the people around me.

And because I have a full time job, my extra time is limited.

This blog is, in some ways, a very selfish thing I do for me..

I have been thinking about this for a week, and I have shed many tears over it..

I believe it is the right thing to do – but that doesn’t make it the easy thing to do..

This blog is my creation – my baby. And I have put alot of work and effort into

getting it to the point of making money and developing a following.

And I really do feel a connection to all of

you that read it. That has been the very best part of it for me.

I am going to keep the blog up and running, but do not plan on posting for awhile.

It may be that I am able to put things on here occasionally,

I just don’t know yet. I plan to keep my Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts going.

I think I can put pictures and status up without taking too many hours out of my week ;-)

I want to thank all of you that have been such faithful readers -

you have been so uplifting, fun, and encouraging to me!

It means the world to me that you have stuck by me and put up

with my strange ways of looking at life..

I have felt as though you understand my quirkiness and like me in spite of it -

or at the very least you give me grace and put up with it ;-)

Thank you for sharing life with me..

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44 Comments

  1. Helen
    907 days ago

    I will miss you very much! I love this blog. But I also think that the Lord will bless you above and beyond your wildest dreams for simply obeying that still small voice. God bless you abundantly!

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    You are making me cry again! But I thank you so much- your words mean the world to me ;-)

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  2. Bobbie
    907 days ago

    I love your blog but I love your devotion to getting back in the place that really matters even more. Thanks for sharing.

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thanks so much!

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  3. The Lumberjack's Wife
    907 days ago

    I agree-God will bless you for obeying Him! Good for you-what a great example! You will be missed.

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you blogging buddy ;-)

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  4. melissa@joyineveryseason
    907 days ago

    Tough stuff … when you get this “balance” and “things in moderation” thing figured out, would you please do a blog post on it? ;o) you’re delightful … wishing you great blessings and all the very very best!

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    LOL – I probably will ;-)

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  5. Sandy
    907 days ago

    Great post Sharyl…good reminder for all of us. We may not write blogs but often I am on the computer instead of deepening relationships.
    God Bless Sis!

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you Sandy ;-)

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  6. Melissa Kaiserman
    907 days ago

    I know how much you have enjoyed and invested in your blog, and that makes your obedience an even more powerful testimony to me. I’ll miss you here, but at least I have you on FB and Pinterest. :) Smooches!

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you sweetie ;-)

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  7. Jodijean
    907 days ago

    Thank you for sharing your heart and for obeying God. I look forward to still getting nuggets of wittiness on facebook.

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you – I will try to be a good nugget dropper… ;-)

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  8. Shane H.
    907 days ago

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I did the same thing a few years ago with my ADHD blog. It had become too time consuming. It has been freeing to say the least. Although I will miss your posts, I wish you the very best. Enjoy your world and the people in it. :)

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you – and thanks for being with me for so long!

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  9. Angela Gifford
    907 days ago

    That’s hard stuff. Kudos for listening to Jesus. You won’t be disappointed in the results!

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  10. Carol
    907 days ago

    Sharyl,
    I just found your blog about a month ago. I have so enjoyed reading about your life and your Gmas wardrobe. I totally “get” what you are saying. I spend way too much time at the computer,etc. and life is passing me by.
    Blessings to you and your precious family!

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you!

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  11. Linda@nothingbutblueskyes
    907 days ago

    Oh, but I will miss you so much! I feel like I was just getting to know you. You have to do what you know is right. I want to grow my blog, but never to the point where it becomes my everything. I know I spend way too much time online and I truly have been trying to cut back. But, at the same time, I have a handful of online friends that I connect with regularly and I embrace those people. So, it’s really a case of finding our balance and setting our priorities. That’s got to be right! You see what’s right for you and He will guide you further. That’s the real truth. <3

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thanks so much! It is really tough to decide because I do have relationships online that I value too! But I know that this is the right thing for this season ;-)

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  12. linda
    907 days ago

    good for you. Most people come to this realization too late.
    May God bless you and keep your safe

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  13. Ingrid
    907 days ago

    totally understand! i wish you the best and will miss your posts, but it is a lot of work! and i know the internet is a huge time vacuum for me. so i can only imagine how much time a blog takes up. i only update mine so i can use it as a sort of baby book for my kids. i rarely find time for that!

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  14. Sue
    907 days ago

    Even though we haven’t met, I have felt a kinship with you, Sharyl! I will miss your blog entries, but I so respect your desire to make the people around you more important than all of us out here in cyberworld! May God bless you as you continue to serve Hiim!

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  15. GINA
    907 days ago

    You are a fun, inspiration here on your blog….But you are an even bigger inspiration by making this choice! I have been doing some evaluating myself, but am not sure yet what the end result will be. You have challenged me!!

    Grace to you!

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you so much ;-)

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  16. Brandie
    907 days ago

    Thanks for sharing, whenever your heart aches because you put your blog to rest for a while, pick up the phone and call that grandbaby to come over, or another person that you love being with and I am sure that will help to soothe that part of your heart! Thanks you for sharing…it was so crazy to see that your blog was about being on staff retreat, I am watching a little girl for the next three days because my churchs staff is leaving for retreat, that must be one huge church!!! Our church runs about a thousand and we have about 16 or so on staff full time. Although you are going to rest from doing your blog, it doesn’t change the fact that it was a great blog, a successful blog, and that it impacted people. Praying that your next season in life will be full of rekindled relationships.
    Sincerely, Brandie

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thanks so much sweetie! Yes, it is a large church – and I am so blessed to work there ;-)

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  17. Lisa@budgetdesigngirl.blogspot.com
    907 days ago

    How bittersweet…I totally understand what you are saying! I too have struggled to balance it all, and way too often the blog has won out over family and friends.
    I will certainly miss your fun blog post, wonderful projects, and fabulous sense of humor! I hope you will be back again someday soon, but if not, I wish you much love and happiness!

    It has been a pleasure reading your posts, and getting to know a little bit about you!

    Take care! You will be missed!
    xo-Lisa

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you Lisa – I will miss you too!

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  18. Rhea Skomorowski
    907 days ago

    Do what you need to do.
    Give that grand-baby a great big hug.
    We will still be here.
    All the best.

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    Sharyl@Thelittlebrownhouse Reply:

    Thank you ;-)

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  19. Nancy
    907 days ago

    You have a wonderful way of looking at life. I have enjoyed your blog posts and insights into what is going on with your life. You have made me laugh, try a new recipe, and wish I could dress like you. (Animal prints-I just can’t do it!). I wish you the best as you find your balance in life.

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  20. scot
    907 days ago

    A girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do… Peace, Joy, Love & A whole lotta Laughter to you & your wonderful family. I will miss your funny, funny, self. Hope you can visit on F.B. sometime. CHEERS!! A FAN ALWAYS, Scotty.

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  21. Ada
    907 days ago

    I’m shocked and sad.
    I know how hard you have worked.
    I will miss the crafts. How will I talk Adam in to doing it if I can’t show him you have done it already??? :)

    Hugs to you!

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  22. Stacey
    907 days ago

    Sharyl,
    I truly admire you & your decision to take a step back from things. I do not have a blog but have to admit that since I discovered blogs almost two years ago that I get so caught up in all of the wonderful new to me information that I neglect people & things in my life, especially my quiet time with Jesus each day I do not see how one would work full time, maintain a blog (I am sure I have no clue how much work actually goes into a blog), be a wife, mother, grandmother…I am sure the list goes on & on. I wish you the best in finding the balance in your life. You are a precious lady with so much talent in so many areas.

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  23. Jan
    907 days ago

    Very well said sister, and such wonderful understanding and support from your followers/friends! Your creativity is God-given and who will know better how to direct you in using it than the Master Creator! This has been awesome training for whatever is in store! Love you.

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  24. Karrin
    907 days ago

    Wow! I will miss your entertaining and inspiring posts. Only you know what is right for you, though, and I applaud you for following your heart–no matter how difficult. Hey, I just realized you have left me with one last bit of inspiration! Maybe its time I start living my life rather than reading about others living theirs. See how much you teach without even trying? I feel like I should go buy some boots in your honor. ;o) I wish you noting but the best.

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  25. Cindy
    907 days ago

    I’ve always felt if we lived near each other, we would be good friends. You will be missed. I wish you the best!

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  26. Janice
    907 days ago

    You will be missed but I understand.

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  27. Lynne
    906 days ago

    I will miss you, Girlfriend!

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  28. Judy
    906 days ago

    This also goes with your word for this year, “Courage.” I’ve thought about that word so many times since you shared it. I saw a quote a few months back, that I wanted to share with you, and never got around to it. Guess it’s time!

    Courage means not making decisions based on fear.

    Wowie….I thought, how many times have I made a decision based on fear? Lots! This was an eye-opener for me, and I owe that to you! A
    quote on courage would never have caught my attention if you had not shared that as your word for the year.

    You are showing courage going forth with God’s plan for you. God Bless you always, and thank you so much!

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  29. Pam
    906 days ago

    I am so happy for you! I’m sad for me, though. You are doing the right thing. The people around you are the most important. After all, if you get sick, for example, I live in Oklahoma, I probably won’t be there in person! Only in spirit! So, go and cherish this time and the people that mean the most to you. Selflessly, I would love a “not your Gma’s wardrobe” ocassionally, just to let us know that your spirit is alive and well!
    I know God has great things ahead for you. Go in peace, my friend.

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  30. Avril
    906 days ago

    It’s been a privilege to be blessed by your creativity. Life seems to be getting busier and busier especially doing the “good” things. You are taking a very brave stand in heeding the God’s voice.

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  31. Landy
    905 days ago

    *sigh
    For some reason as soon as I read the first couple of words I knew how the end of this blog post was going to read…Goodbye. I understand how difficult the balancing act is. I catch myself all the time wondering where my priorities lie and whether I’m placing things above my family and peeps. I don’t log onto Facebook any more than once or twice as week, I haven’t looked at Pinterest for weeks (GASP!!!) and I only get on the computer when my kiddos aren’t around me. I just can’t! I find myself ‘losing’ my time too easily to the computer. I know that God will bless you for making a change in your life for the better. It takes COURAGE to do the right thing even if it’s turning off the computer. I love you and will dearly miss your posts. Take care and we’ll meet one day.

    Love Always, Landy

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  32. Rupa
    905 days ago

    I am shocked and sad but I completely understand your decision. I found your blog not long ago and I kept coming back to read your humorous posts. Of course I loved all the DIY transformations etc. Out of purely selfish reasons, I hope you will post some updates from time to time and eventually find time to write again. I wish you all the very best!

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  33. kimbosue
    905 days ago

    I will miss your posts, but faith and family come first! God bless.

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  34. Lynne
    905 days ago

    Gosh, I feel like an awful person because I hate your decision! I understand your reason for what you are doing, but there is another side. Did you ever think that your blog is actually a ministry? Sure you may think you post about trivial things but you are actually bringing so much joy to many lonely people. Your sense of humor is uplifting and when you talk about your faith it stirs my own. You are a wonderful person and I think you may be too hard on yourself! After all, it is God that gave you the talents you use to create your blog! Maybe you could just give yourself one day a week to pop in and post. I just wanted to give you another point of view that maybe you hadn’t considered. I really enjoy your blog and have enjoyed our “email” chats!

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  35. Sandra
    904 days ago

    My oh my – you are such a truly wonderful person and continue to be a role model for all of us !!! I have enjoyed your blog immensely and I feel such a connection with you – you are an incredible communicator and it is evident in your blog. I’m envious of your “real life” friends – I know they must count their blessings to have you in their life. Even though you won’t be blogging, I know that you have made a lasting impression on me and I’m sure on many others. So funny how God speaks to us in gentle ways – it can be scary or seem crazy to do what he is asking, but oh the blessings that come from it!!! I’m so grateful to have gotten to know you and so excited for you as you follow his voice! So happy for you!

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  36. Teresa
    904 days ago

    I admire your decision. Reading blogs has become something of a habit which is hard to break but one that I am working on. I will miss your blog it will be easiear for me to limit reading blogs & pinterest.

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  37. Audrey
    904 days ago

    I have been a silent reader for awhile now. I will miss you greatly, but I admire your committment to building your life as you must. i will keep checking back from time to time. Good luck and God Bless.

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  38. Roxanna
    904 days ago

    Your blog is always such a joy to read. You have made me laugh out loud so, so many times. You will be missed Gma. Take care, good luck and God Bless.

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  39. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality
    904 days ago

    Oh, Sharyl, now I know why you aren’t coming to Haven. I really do understand this all consuming part of blogging, yes I do. For me, my blog has turned into much more than a business, but really a way to share my faith too. God has used it to encourage others & I know that is the case for you too, but I do think we have to look at priorities. It is so easy for things to get out of whack in this blogworld. We will miss you, so I hope you don’t disappear totally. I wish you the very best in whatever you do. You’re a sweetheart! xoxo

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  40. Maureen @ Cottage 960
    897 days ago

    I totally get it. It’s difficult to find the balance, especially for those of us who have full-time-outside-the-home jobs.
    Best wishes.

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  41. Melesa
    892 days ago

    Ok, I’m a selfish gut and just want to say…NO!!!!!

    I’m really happy for you and know that if God layed this on your heart, it’s the best thing to do!

    I will desperately miss you and your blog, but I suppose the world doesn’t revolve around Melesa, huh?

    God Bless and enjoy those grandbabies! Hope to hear from you ever once in a while ;)

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  42. Cindy
    891 days ago

    I’m sad, but Totally understand! It is the way with things! You are doing the ‘best’ thing for you and your family as well as the relationships in your life. I truly have enjoyed hopping over and checking out your projects and fashion statements! You will be missed but I’ll keep watching over of f/b and instagram for cool photos of you AND your precious family!
    God Bless You Sharyl!!

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  43. Linda @ it all started with paint
    866 days ago

    Sharyl,

    I’m so late to this going away party. And see how wrapped up I’ve become in my own blog that I find it increasingly difficult to visit all my blog friends!

    So I stop by and figure I’ll do some catching up on your blog and what do I find? A very sad farewell (for now). You will be greatly missed. You have that winning combination of wit and the gift of writing and creativity …

    :)

    Linda

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  44. Lynne
    856 days ago

    I don’t know if you read your comments any more, but just wanted you to know I miss you and hope you are doing well!

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