FullSizeRender

Well, you might be happy to know that I’m within days of turning my manuscript in for the third time. Which means, showering is very low on the list right now.  And so is cooking and leaving my house and in general, anything that involves not typing on my computer. Please pray for my general sanity and perseverance and for the health and wellbeing of my family, who are largely surviving on chips and salsa and grilled cheeses.  I’m probably headed to my mountain cabin alone this weekend for a marathon session, in an effort to finish by Monday, my 46th birthday.

But I’m really proud of ALL the changes we’ve made in the book. They’ve all been made for you actually, designed on purpose so you will (hopefully) enjoy the book and not get lost in my sometimes very meandering way of telling a story.  My editor said to me AT LEAST forty times:  “I can appreciate the idea of using flashback here, but I think this chapter will work better if you put it in order.”  And yet, the next chapter?!?!? I thought it would work SO MUCH better in flashback. (Another face palm for my editor)

I think I’ve decided flashback is the protective mechanism I use so as not to fully relive the story I’m trying to tell.

To help me even more to understand why the process has been so grueling and taken so long, my editor actually told me to write a letter to my reader explaining what has been going on with me and this book for the past two years.  Here’s what I wrote:

Dear kind reader,

This is the story I never wanted to tell.  This is the story I’ve been trying to run from for forty years and the story I’ve been skirting around for nearly three.  Though a writer for many years, the words in this volume are all raw and fresh and hard fought.  I wanted to tell you everything but so many times I told you everything but the truth.  So I started again.  And again.  And again.   I tried to write it with fancy literary devices because I figured then you’d think I was really smart.  I tried to hide behind the writing of all my heroes with a plethora of the most beautiful quotes on earth and then I tried hiding behind my family members, undoubtedly the funniest and quirkiest people on earth.  

            I tried to make it a story about theology and then tables and then prodigals and then I wanted it to be a story about fire.  What I didn’t want to write about was the thing that scares me to death.  What I didn’t want you to know was that fatherlessness is my deepest ache—and being untethered and unspoken for my suffocating fear.  And now that I’ve said it and can’t take it back, I will attempt to tell the story that has wrecked me for far too long.  My prayer is that in the telling there’ll be healing, perhaps for both of us.

The process took its toll on me—physically, spiritually, and especially emotionally.  The healing has been slow to come but I know I’m getting  there.

The book editing/writing/overhauling combined with my newly revived love and passion for wellness and essential oils has left precious little time for this little corner of the world.  And I’ve missed it so much.  My teaching schedule and my new friendships that have blossomed this year have been so wonderful and so worth the accidental sabbatical I’ve taken from blogging, but with the book deadline approaching, ALL I can think about are all the things I’ve been meaning to tell you over the past year.  Things like what I’m cooking and what I’m reading, my current uniform and how I’m dealing with my teenagers leaving their childhood room and moving to the basement.  And also how I’m dealing with being alone at home after all those years of homeschooling and what my big reVOLution plans are for 2016.

I can’t wait to dive back in with you.

As I’m setting new goals for the year and making my schedules, I’d love to know what you want.

How can I best serve you here? I’m all ears!

Sending you all my love,

xoxo,

edie

 

53 comments on “The Year I Broke Up With Blogging”

  1. I hope my answer doesn’t sound shallow…

    I miss hearing about and seeing your house. I deeply relate to your creativity. My family is getting closer and closer to finishing with remodeling our first house to get ready to sell. We’ve lived in these 1300 square feet for 10 years and these 3 bedroom hold six people now. We live in a popular suburb, and many new families are moving here. The goal for decorating and design is neutral in order to sell and appeal to the type of family who might want to buy this fixed up 1970s rancher. It’s hard to feel inspired and comfortable when you can’t let your house speak your own language, so seeing yours was a little glimpse of hope that I’d be out of neutral land someday.

    So, that’s my hopefully not-too-shallow answer. I miss seeing your house.

    • I cannot wait to read that book! I also cannot wait to read this year’s blog. I absolutely love the spiritual lessons that you share, your experiences and how you are managing life and all it’s brokenness and beauty. Its seeing Christ in our mess and his redeeming love that you find in your stories and articles. Please continue to share quotes, theology, verses, and old sayings…I savor them, write them down in my journal and use them in my walk with Christ. Just be you this year, like you have always done, continue to do what you do, putting your family first, that in itself speaks to your readers. 🙂

  2. I knew I loved you when I first met you years ago. I can’t wait to read your book. Don’t concern yourself with sounding smart. What you are is much better: you are wise and enlightened. And I am thankful you are sharing your journey with us.

  3. I’ve missed you!! Your soups, fudge, funny stories about your family, colorful house & outfits. I’ve missed your posts on faith & hope that seem like they are pep talks written for me at just the right time. I can’t wait for your book but look forward to your blog posts again. Good luck with the book & see (read!) you soon!!

  4. My dear dear Edie- I pray for your healing in sharing your story. I believe your story will touch so many in so many ways as your words have healed and touched so many, so many times before.
    Love to you and all that presses on your heart! Looking forward to 2016, all that it brings and all that you share with us in the days to come. Love you my friend from Tennessee!

  5. Hi Edie, I love the letter you wrote to the reader – what a raw experience this writing is… Thank you for telling your story. I miss you too! I loved your recipes, peeks into the house, hospitality/homemaking posts – all of this is inspiring to me as a wife/mom coming a few steps behind you 🙂 I feel like I have a mentor of sorts through the internet 🙂 I also thoroughly enjoyed your podcast on finding our purpose. I know those are a lot of work, though!

    Blessings to you in the New Year!

  6. Yeah!!!! Can’t wait for the book 🙂 I enjoy recipes, hospitality, crafts an decorating ideas. Also I just love reading about your life as a wife and mom 🙂 hugs as you finish your book!

  7. After reading the other comments … ditto. I miss your decorating and lovely hospitality posts, your faithful words and inspiration. I love (so do my girls) incorporating your food, and food for thought, into our days! 😉 Can’t wait to read your book!

  8. Precious Edie- I feel like I should say something profound in response to your heart filled post and to ease your struggle, but words do not come.

    I so miss getting an email that you have posted something new on your blog. I am happy when I see it. I identify a lot with your style and love your emotionally honest way of writing and relating to us/me.

    I appreciate your postings on your/my Christian faith and have liked learning about the Lutheran Church. I always feel closer to God after reading what you have to say.

    Be well and know that many are praying for you, especially this weekend while you go into the lion’s den.
    -Patti

  9. Edie,
    We’ve missed you. We’ve missed your wisdom, your humor, your encouragement to be better people, even though we know we can never be so on our own. You have something to share with this world, you have a voice that needs to be heard. I can’t wait to check in.

  10. I’m so glad it was a sabbatical and not retirement! I’m mostly a lurker here, but I lurk a lot! Your beautiful home, your creativity, your home-making skills, the way you gently encourage me to love and serve others…we are only separated in age by a few months, but I want to grow up and be like you someday! Looking forward to catching up with you and prayers for the completion of this labor of love!

  11. I am looking forward to reading your book.

    You asked what I would like to see in your blog. Well, selfishly, here are things I struggle with:
    I love to cook. I will cook batches of things, and then there are leftovers, and I detest waste, so I place leftovers in my freezers (garage full size freezer and indoor freezer attached to fridge). I also cannot pass up bargains, so if I see sale meats and such, I put those in the freezer as well. The result: I cannot find anything in the freezer. It is totally out of control.
    Secondly, I have little self-control with my weight and controlling what I eat.
    Thirdly, my house is too small for my family and my STUFF. I want to release stuff and have a more peaceful environment. Writing that just now made me think of your fire. I have a lot of guilt.

  12. Edie, I have missed your blog posts, but I can see you’ve been doing much greater things. I pray that God’s grace will continue to cover you and heal you. When you are ready to blog again, I’ll be interested to see what you are cooking and wearing, etc. But most of all I want to hear about how you are dealing with your teens growing up and you being alone now. I have twins that are 13 that I’ve homeschooled from the beginning. With 4 1/2 short years left with them (potentially,) I wonder what my life will look like and what am I going to do?! (Returning to public school teaching is not what I have in mind, but God does have a sense of humor.) May God bless you in the coming year.

  13. I received 2 book contracts, and a cbs-tv contract, all 3, on the same day.

    What to do?

    Hired a career coach. And, a lawyer for the contracts. Made changes to all 3.

    Books published on timeline with zero stress, tv work stress only related to all the new terminologies needed to learn. Had been lecturing for decades, sometimes filmed. TV cameras were easy compared to a standing room only auditorium.

    Went on to have more books published. None with stress.

    What should you do, how should you write, who is your audience? Perhaps none of that matters. Had the good fortune of a few private moments to ask the senior minister of USA’s largest Baptist church, “How can I lecture/write and let my audience know my beliefs in Christ, without talking about Christ, they have paid to hear/read about landscapes?” He paused quietly at least a full minute, with his eyes closed, then said, “Be who you are.”

    Four of the hardest words to act upon. I was certainly expecting an easier answer. Have been following his advice for a decade. Sometimes in great shock to those closest to me.

    BE WHO YOU ARE.

    I would certainly like to read the book you want to write, in your flash back style. Take me into your world. Not the world you/your editor think others want to read. Your editor is no Maxwell Perkins, look up his advice to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. BE WHO YOU ARE.

    Hope you hired a good lawyer and got your contract for the book allowing you full derivative works & etc.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  14. I have missed you so! I wanted to know how your heart handled the girls going to school, about the soups you were making and how cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, how you liked your hair after you chopped it and how it looks now, and of course your uniform and more about your Lutheranism, so different from my Southern Baptist life but so interesting to me, and how you challenge us to live out our faith in a world so desperately in need of our Savior. And I cannot wait to read the book. I can only imagine how hard it has been to write and the emotional toll it has taken.

  15. Edie I cannot wait to read your book and I also cannot wait for you to blog again. I love everything you post here for us all to read. Have a Happy New Year!!

  16. I’m sorry it was a story you had to write, but I know it will help others in their journey. Praying for you!! And looking forward to your book and maybe some blog posts!! 🙂 Love your editor’s heart. She has earned her money this year. 😉

  17. I just have missed EVERYTHING you post! I love it all! I do love the beginning of the year with you…. Your plans always inspire me!
    You will be in my prayers!

  18. I will read whatever you publish, whenever you publish it!! Your posts have helped me so much in this last year from rediscovering my love for cooking to inspiring me to work a little harder to save my marriage. God has given you a voice and I, for one, am so grateful that you are using it to help so many of us out here in the blogisphere. Much love to you and yours, and here is to an AMAZING 2016!!!

  19. Thank you for this post! I have imagined writing a book is grueling but I’m so glad you’re sticking it out and I can.not.wait to read it. I would love, love, love to know everything you can think to say about parenting…particularly teenage daughters. We’ve got five kids and homeschool and our oldest two girls are teens and while they’re very sweet, caring and smart, parenting is just so hard sometimes. Anyway, Happy New Year to you and I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers as your finishing up your book.

  20. This sounds strange but I’d like to hear about how you put the book together the struggle through the end result. All my life I’ve wanted to put my story into words but never knew how. I radiate to your blog because I too had a complete loss house fire. My faith has made this experience all the spiritual. I can’t shake that I am somehow different now. That is simply a small experience in my journey. So Edie basically just keep being you. You may never know how much you touch others with your stories. God Bless.

  21. I just wanted to say I have missed your amazing quotes, your theology, spiritual depth and family news…you may not all fit in your book but it fits your blog! Here is wishing you clarity in writing, rest, and renewed inspiration for 2016! Happy New Year and God Bless!

  22. I loved the advice, BE WHO YOU ARE. We all love how YOU write, not your editor. As for blogging, I love your decorating, faith posts, family stories, all of it!

  23. Hi Edie! First off, yes we have missed having lots of stuff from you…but you are focused on a bigger project!! God is allowing you to write your story and I, for one, cannot wait to read it!!!! As far as what we want you to discuss? You and I have lots in common and I find that I connect with the majority of what you write… I am a homeschool mom with the older 2 transitioning at/into college, an EO lover, a wife who needs help with meal planning, a Christian who wants a deeper relationship with Christ….so all the things the you visit with us about are relevant.
    Hope your cabin-time is what it takes to get it done…and Happy Happy 46th Birthday!!!!

  24. Edie: Oh how I have missed you, every morning I go to your web site looking for inspiration and laughs. Please don’t give up blogging, it has been a long year for me. Your book will be great can’t wait to read it. I will pray for you this week-in as you work so hard to complete your writing.

  25. Keep feeding our souls with God’s message. Keep feeding our tummies with your delicious recipes. Keep feeding our inner diva with your fabulous decor and fashion!

  26. I miss your monthly menu and recipes! Your recipes were tried and tested and delicious. Your monthly menus were balanced and creative and doable.
    Secondly, I just miss the variety of your blog. We are the same age and phase of life…..faith, marriage,family, home, food, exercise, essential oils, fashion over 40…….balancing all the balls in the air. Please come back!

  27. You can make me some mocha cupcakes and let me read all the first drafts…I can’t stinking wait!!! So grateful for all that you serve us! Oxoxox
    P.S. Podcasts!!!! They’re like yo babies worth all the la’bore!

  28. I.too miss your blogging, Edie.Your ability to impact and bring conviction and healing to so many is such a gift. Your life stories resonate with so many of us out here in blog land. And you’re blessed with knowledge and talent in so many areas that you can’t help but be a blessing and encourager.
    God uses you and I for one am so grateful for your willingness to listen to Him.

  29. Prayers for you as you finish up your book! I know it’s going to be amazing! Can’t wait for you to start blogging again! Blessings to you in 2016!

  30. I miss your blog too! I first discovered it as a decorating blog-and wow, I do love and miss seeing all your creativity and style in putting rooms together…but…it didn’t take me long to figure out you had so much more to share. You encouraged me to see the importance, no the holiness!, in putting my family first. I have a very simple, but powerful quote from you taped right above my kitchen sink: Who is my neighbor and how can I meet his needs? Turns out my neighbor is most often my husband and kids and their needs are often the unglamorous, yet pivotal tasks that when done, transform the chaos to peace. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. God bless you!!!

  31. Yes! All “those things you’ve been meaning to tell us”. Recipes, books, teenage girls…that’s my language! Looking forward to you getting your life back!

  32. I LOVE all that you give us and all that you do, southernness, house, cooking, uniform? 🙂 , do tell!!! I’m so grateful that you introduced me to essential oils. I’ve been on a healing journey this past year. You have been a huge part of that journey with the love and grace that you have shown me. I’m so grateful to God for the healing physically and emotionally from my own fatherlessness and fear. I’m in awe of the way God directs our paths and orchestrates everything for our ultimate good. From my google search in spring of 2010, how your blog popped up, and how years later I’m still being blessed by His work through your Calling!!! God is so good!!!

  33. I have also missed you here! Looking forward to reading your book whenever it comes out and to having more kitchen & learning inspiration here. After you have a little time to recover & be with your family. 🙂

  34. So glad you will be back Edie. I hope that your writing style is not too compromised in the book. I can relate to your fear and am amazed by what you have accomplished in spite of it.

  35. I can not find any words besides what others have posted, to let you know how much you have impacted my life. You’ve restored my faith by the way you talk about God in such a down-to-earth, “user friendly” way. You’ve made him become real to me and I will be eternally grateful to you for that. I too can’t wait to see your book but am happy to wait as long as you need, until you feel finished and I trust that day will come for you. I’m looking forward to opening up my wounded, fatherless heart and let your words help me heal. I adore your sincerity, creativeness, encouragement, insight and…and…and. There’s just so many things I love about you and your blog that I could keep going on and on! I will be praying and thinking of you as you finish your book and that the pressure and stress will ease for you soon. Thank you Edie for all the many ways you have touched my heart and soul. Happy New Year!

  36. Can’t wait to see what all you have cooked up for fun and inspiration for 2016! You are funny , stylish and real….
    I use many of your recipes in MY kitchen…..so I love those.
    Seasonal, weekly décor vignettes are a fave…
    and fashion /beauty tips always a hit.
    CANNOT wait to hear about the book…hope you’re CLOSER to that finishline! and if you are, then celebrate!!!!

  37. Sincerely happy to read this note from you– though I have known you here only, I have genuinely missed you & your words throughout the last year.

    Excited, looking forward to what you share this year— and to your book, pain and all.~

    Tiffany

  38. I SOO love that you are opening your heart to vulnerability so that others can come to that place as well. Your intimacy invites others to join and Im so floored at the sweetness of Jesus in that for you!

    I love your take on life and the way you live! Keep on keeping on! Shine on! 🙂

    xoxo,
    Laura Jean

  39. I love your writing on vocation. So many of the things you have written on vocation have helped me when I struggle with being “just a mom”. Having been home for 10 years with zero career or degree or financial contribution have a tendency to get me down. Many things you have written have helped me see Christ’s love in what I do and serving my neighbor. One phrase you wrote has stuck with me… “Do your work and do it well”. I love your writing on theology and family. I also love your decorating posts as well. Looking forward to the book.

  40. Dear Edie,

    It has been far too long since I have stopped by–I apologize profusely.

    And even longer since I have stopped by AND left an encouraging message for you.

    I get this.

    Every word that you wrote in this blog post.

    Every. Single. Word.

    If you remember any of my orphan/foster care/adoption background/story, you know I relate.

    I also empathize as a fellow writer with a book about to come out.

    I’m not even to galleys yet, but my book was supposed to already be out 🙁

    Of course, mine, being a poetry book, is much shorter than yours, so you’d think I’d have been on time.

    NOPE! 😉

    It’s so incredibly difficult to put ourselves out there, isn’t it? That’s a VAST understatement, right???

    Even though I’ve been a professional journalist/writer/songwriter for over two decades, I was not prepared at all to completely put my REAL story out there in first person.

    Not so honestly.

    Not so stripped of the “buffers” I’d always utilized before.

    I really do get what you’re going through.

    All I can say is that God’s timing is perfect and ours is not.

    You have not failed anyone. Ever. QUITE THE OPPOSITE!!!

    Sure, there are tons of people who have probably missed your blogs on cooking and the house and the dog and homeschool back to real school and lipgloss and your handsome husband and the lake and…..

    I certainly have.

    But I know you have needed to concentrate on the book.

    Oh, if people only knew how anxiety-creating of a process writing a book about your life can be!

    Yes, it’s an immense blessing/honor….but concurrently arduous.

    I have kept and will continue to keep you in prayer.

    Forge on.

    I believe in you!

    Always have, always will!

    I’ll try to send an email or FB message your way soon!

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

    Love/hugs/blessings,
    Lana Austin in Alabama

  41. I am sorry to say but I missed your blog from long ago without all of the advertising. Very hard to connect your personal and heartfelt comments with ads blinking at me.

  42. Goodness, Edie, I hear you here. And I appreciate your honesty about ‘fatherlessness.’ I am forty, and still working through the scars and ache of having a biological father who had nothing to do with me and two ex-stepdads who vanished and a current step-dad who we have very little contact with. I have never known what it feels like to belong to or matter to a daddy. And this has deeply affected my self-view and my relationship with God. And I have had to experience deep pain before getting to growth and healing. But there will always be an ache. And in some ways, it has gotten harder as I have gotten older and grown less-confident in myself. I have grown more needy for the father I never had. Yet God has been good, and I keep growing closer to Him through the heartache. I blog about my ‘father wounds’ at myimpressionisticlife.blogspot.com, as well as sharing the spiritual journey it has taken me on. We never really get over the ache of fatherlessness, do we? Thank God that He helps fill that void and will right all wrongs in the end. God bless your book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *