The Bigger Picture and Linkup!

My favorite view in the world!

My favorite view in the world!

It’s hard to believe but exactly a year ago today my husband and I were smack-dab in the middle of the trip of a lifetime to England and Wales. It was our 25th (plus one!) anniversary trip and it was everything and more that we had hoped for! Which made me feel as if God was firmly in the midst of all that we experienced, since I’ve never had a trip be so fulfilling and beautiful nor go as smoothly as this one did.

And let’s just say, I’ve been around the block a few times, so I ought to know!

I’m sharing my photo album from our trip on Picassa, so all you have to do to look at them is click here and you can peruse to your “past-pix-pleasure” or till the cows come home, whichever comes first! (BTW, I suggest you avoid the slideshow option, I just figured out how to add the details for all to see, so however you want to view them you’ll see the details. Click on the first pic is one way and click at arrow to select slideshow is another.)

I also want to share a word, especially to my bloggy friends … A week or so after this much anticipated trip, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that day, my life has accelerated to a “crazy-busy” status. To give you an idea, it’s taken me a year to find the time to share these trip photos through social media—nevermind the pics we took on our trip to New England in May!

I’ve felt overwhelmed—in a “not-so-good-way”—more times than not this past year, because of the backlog my treatment created, as well as the growing demands of a self-hosted blog. The technical side of things can be a killer! I’ve spent many days this past year working solely on technical issues alone! <sigh> And I won’t even go into the many “hats” I must wear at home, work and church!

I’ve tried to pull back from parts of my usual routines and one of the first places I’ve pulled back has been interacting with all of you here and over at your blogs. Since I’ve done that, I couldn’t help but notice that the size of my linkups has shrunk and shrunk. In time, I began to wonder if it was because I’m not around as much to visit and encourage on a regular basis like I’ve done in the past.

I don’t want to believe that’s the case, but I tend to feel like people don’t understand (in general) what they’ve never experienced nor what they’re unaware of. I also know that many of you are in the same boat—trying to write your first book or tending to the demands of a growing blog platformso you know what I’m talking about!

But I want you to know that I’m always so blessed to have you link up here and constantly wish I could get around to ALL of you each week! I love so many of you (the ones I’ve gotten to know a little) and I care deeply about the rest of you, who I’ve yet to meet!

I’m just in a stage of blogging and life (and if you stick with it, you will be here too someday!), where I cannot give the time to interacting with you all as much as I once did. My husband and I are in the middle of preparing to sell our house, which adds another huge “iron” to my fire. But most of all, I want/need to write the books and prepare the resources for you my readers! I just don’t have time to do it all, so please know that if I don’t respond to your comments or don’t make it to your blogs, it’s not because I don’t appreciate and value you and your support of Messy Marriage.

I most resoundingly DO!

I love you guys! You are my little chicks that, like a mother hen, I want to encourage, protect and brag about to all the other hens in the barnyard, as well as, to that “cocky” rooster who “thinks he’s all that!” 

So … that’s my BIGGER picture! 

Can you relate? What stage of blogging or life is challenging for you now?

 

Or tell us about a memorable trip you’ve taken with your family or spouse.


Joining with my friends at  Works for Me Wednesday, Coffee and ConversationWholehearted WednesdayWhimsical Wednesday,  What You Wish Wednesday, and Essential Fridays.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Grab our WW Button Code here!

Messy Marriage

And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find Wedded Wednesday, the more traffic I can send your way!

  • I relate, Beth! So much! I am at that stage where I’ve pulled back from a lot of online interaction, so as to finish a book and other resources God’s laying in my heart, and to be able to give more time to our “nonprofit” efforts. I have seen a few changes in my blog as well and I have to keep to reminding myself Who I am working for..and that wherever He sends, He equips and provides! (cos i used to worry a lot about platform growth! )

    May He guide you and lead you in this season. Can’t wait to read all the things He lays in your heart!

    • You were one of the ones I knew would relate, Ngina! And you are also right about trusting God with the results. I used to pay close attention to my stats and really worried over them. But now, I occasionally look at them, but never let them drive what I do nor rarely influence how I feel. It’s like a burden that’s been lifted from the earlier days of my blog! I think I just feel guilty too for not being able to do it all. That’s something I’m going to have to “get over” but in the meantime, it helped me to get this off of my chest! Thanks for listening, caring and being a loving encourager in my life!

  • “real life” always comes first! Tend to your health and needs, and I am saying a prayer for you and your family tonight! Also, I appreciate you hosting the link up every week, even in the midst of everything! 🙂

    • That’s a great way to put it, Stasia! Real life truly should come first and I’m trying to be true to the calling God has put on my life as I commit to that reality. Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement here, my friend! It means a lot to me. 🙂

  • I can relate, but received something of an epiphany to go in the opposite direction.

    Things have gotten hard enough physically that just sitting at the computer desk is misery, and I was looking for an excuse to pull the plug on my blogging involvement. So I told the Big Fella how I felt, and if He wanted me to go on, He needed to give me an unequivocal sign.

    And there it was. A reply to one of my comments in another blog, saying how much of an inspiration I am.

    I don’t feel like an inspiration. I’;m hurting horribly, and pushing myself to do stuff that I should probably quit, on principle of not giving up. I go into Tourette’s Mode…a LOT. I’m not a “nice person” to be around much of the time, because it hurts to much to be jocular.

    I guess the saving grace is, and please pardon the expression, that I still give a damn. It’s not pretty, and sometimes it feels downright ugly, but I still want to make the world a better place.

    So there it was. Ask and ye shall receive. Can I roll my eyes at God?

    So “Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart” is back to three times a week (with a new series starting today), and I have a new blog up, offering a daily “grace quote” and a short commentary…yeah, every day. It’s at http://www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, if anyone cares to stop by.

    (And, yes, finding the blog address available was something of a sign as well. God is sneaky.)

    The directive’s pretty clear. This stuff is reaching some people, and if I can help one life feel a little bit better, I have no choice. As long as I am physically able, this show will go on.

    • I can see how that might be excruciatingly difficult for you, Andrew, but also a release of some of the pain you feel. I know when I’m writing, the time flies! And as far as the way your condition is melding your responses, well, it’s just part of the territory. I hope that others recognize that about you. I hope that others can see that you are in a very rare and seemingly unfair situation, my friend. None of us have the right to point fingers or judge you for the way you attempt to cope. My prayers are always being lifted for you, Andrew. I so appreciate your thought provoking posts as well as your vulnerable engagement here in the comments. Hugs to you!

  • Hi Beth! I’m excited to have just found you through the WFMW linkup. This is my first time participating in Wedded Wednesday, and I look forward to continuing!

    And good for you for sticking with content development (and good ol’ life stuff, like selling a house!). We all understand. Best wishes!

    • Likewise, Erica! There are many “costs” that come with blogging for a ministry purpose, I suppose. Thanks for your words of encouragement, my newfound friend!

  • I can very well relate to this Beth. I have not had as much time for blogging like I used to…
    In all of this Beth I know you know God is on your side and with Him you will win this. Thanks for all your encouragements.
    Have a super blessed day!
    Love

    • It’s good to hear that from another fellow-believer, Ugochi. Yes, indeed, God is on our sides and that should be more than enough! Thanks for coming by and blessing me with your kindness, my friend!

  • I am so blessed by you and your willingness to share honestly and openly about the challenges and joys that intermingle with every marriage. I love joining the community here and learn something every week even though my life situation is much different. You have always made me feel welcome and you provide so much encouragement.
    My blogging life as I know it right now is steady and humbling because God called me to write for Him and has repeatedly shown me and told me that the one person you encourage each week is the reason you write. The numbers should not be my focus even though in this world that can be hard. I am looking forward to exploring more with writing when I retire at the end of this school year but God’s plans will always be the best. There is so much life ahead and so much that is before me-who know what all will be part of my sequel! Praying that this time in your life is a journey that leads you even closer to God and all He has in store for you! Love and hugs!

    • I have to say, I envy the fact that you’re getting to “retire” soon and maybe have more time to write, Mary. But, fair warning, I have a friend who retired last year and her life is filling up fast! It’s really always about making something a priority, isn’t it? I do hope God blesses you as you continue to encourage all of us here in the blogosphere. I know you make my day when you show up here in my comments and linked up above! Hugs to you!

  • I know your life has been full to overflowing. I regret that I’ve not had time to check in with you more here. You are very dear to me . . . even though we’ve only met through our blogs!

    I totally understand where you are coming from! I’m a Very busy Mom of 10, homeschooling the last 3, taking kids to jobs, teaching kids to drive, involved in my church and homeschool co-op, trying to be a good wife, and a good daughter to my aging parents, trying to keep up wtih two home businesses and my blog. Whew! Yes, that’s why I’m BUSY! 🙂 I, too, regret that I can’t read all the blog posts that I would like to. There just aren’t enough hours in a day!!!

    Blessings my friend!
    Elizabeth

    • I know! You are one that I’ve often wondered how you do it all! I mean having 10 kids and homeschooling three of them would be enough to send me to the looney bin, Elizabeth! I guess you have to stay super close to the Lord to get through it all–not to mention being an excellent organizer. My prayers are with you, sweet friend! Thanks for weighing in and encouraging me!

  • Beth- I do understand what you are saying! Wanting to help as many people as possible requires a lot of work. We have to prioritize things. I think we can all understand that. Last week on my blog I posted I’d be a little less interactive for a bit too. I know it goes in phases for me depending on how many projects are going on.

    • Yes, and you’ve got another “addition” making an appearance soon, so you’ll have even more challenges to juggle, Cassie. If I haven’t said already, congrats! What a wonderful time in a young couple’s life together! Soak it up, my friend! And thank you for coming by to encourage me as well. 🙂

  • Beth, I have enjoyed being here each week. Sure it’s been to read your posts & link up but it has also been to be part of a community – to encourage one another & to hope the best for one another. May we all give grace remembering there are real people on the other side of our screens, living challenges & facing demands. Praying that God would be with you as you take care of all your responsibilities. Blessings!

    • You are so right, Joanne! This is an incredible community! Like I mentioned above, I’m quite proud of the “brood” who links up here. So many of them are generous, kind and very authentic and you are no exception, my friend! Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I truly appreciate it! Hugs to you!

  • Beth, I honestly don’t know how you get done all that you do. I so appreciate your voice in the blogging community and your encouragement!

    I know I’ve often missed commenting or linking over here. That’s not because of anything you’ve done or not done…it’s simply because my own life is also hectic. The weeks I’m too busy to visit here are the same weeks I’m too busy to post on my own blog.

    Though I’ve only ever met you in the blogosphere, I consider you a beloved friend. I think of you and pray for you more often than visit.

    Blessings to you, my dear friend!

    • I know that you don’t post as regular as other bloggers, Joe. And that may be the case for many who haven’t returned. They just aren’t blogging as much or aren’t interested in linking up either. It truly is a large time commitment–believe me, I get that! In fact, I thought after I posted this that the bloggers who link up here are obviously not the ones who may be expecting me to do things that I cannot always do! I want to be clear that I know not linking up here anymore could be for a multitude of legitimate reasons. I don’t want anyone to think I’m doing the exact same thing that I’m calling out! ha! But wouldn’t that be the messy thing to do! 😉 Thanks so much for your continued grace and encouragement, Joe. I’ll be near your neck of the woods tomorrow. I’m going to the AACC conference with my hubby in Branson. If you are nearby, email me and maybe we could all get together (your wife too) for a cup of coffee!

  • Oh my goodness, Beth, I’m exhausted just reading about your crazy busy life. But then, mine is jam-packed, too… and maybe that’s why I’m feeling your pain so acutely. This is just a thought, but I’ve noticed a bigger push for bloggers to promote on Pinterest, and I wonder if that’s leaving link-ups in the dust a little bit. My head spins just trying to keep up with the blogging trends. I just want to write. Know what I mean? And yet the tools are there to help the message spread for God’s glory. I struggle walking the line between trusting God to grow my audience and fulfilling my obligation to promote. Calgon, take me away! 🙂 (See, I’m old enough to remember those commercials.)

    • I know it is, Becky! I’m always so astounded at all you do as well … and do SO well, I might add! I think that’s a good possibility–the Pinterest direction being a possible culprit. I know that I’m not really as up on all the Pinterest activity or how to leverage that as much as other SM platforms. It seems like there’s a change in trends every time I turn around! Don’t throw me a curve, people! I’m still trying to figure out Twitter! Yikes! Okay, okay, enough of the rant! I do thank you for giving me that heads up. I am slow but I’ll catch up with all the trends … by the time they are no longer trends! ha! And yes, Calgon has taken many a women, wife and mother away for many years. Let’s make sure to keep “that” on our to-do list!

  • I enjoy blogging, but I have to remind myself that a successful blog is not really one of my life goals. I can pour so much time and effort into it, but is this really what I need to be spending so much of my time on?
    Did you know that if you type, “set timer for 1 hour” into Google, it will automatically set one for you? I’ve been using this to make sure I don’t get lost online when I really need to be taking care of my household, reading scriptures, making sure the dog gets exercise, etc.

    • I love that helpful tip, Julie. I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprise me! Pretty soon we’ll be able to put our blogs on autopilot and no one will ever know that it wasn’t us commenting! I say that in jest, but I really think that could be a reality in the not too distant future! As far as the time issue, I have used the Pomodoro method, where you set a timer for 25 or 50 minutes and then you take a ten minute break at those intervals. It’s supposed to keep you fresh and protect you from the things we’re talking about can consume our lives. I should get back to a more structured approach on my work time again. Thanks so much for reminding me of that, my friend!

  • Hi Beth – I can hear and feel your frustration! I am struggling also to find the right balance of family, work, blog and the rest of life! I am one of the hosts of a link party, and I just can’t get around to visiting all of the people who link up. I feel bad about it, but I just can’t do it. I think you just have to focus on the top priorities that God impresses on your heart and mind and let the other things slide. That’s easier said than done, I know!

    • I didn’t know you hosted a linkup! I’ll have to check it out. And I have to say it gives me comfort to know that you know what I’m talking about and have experienced it with your linkup too. It’s a tough challenge to stay laser focused on the priorities God puts before us, but it’s one I don’t want to ever lose sight of. Thanks for your kindness to me, Gaye. I truly appreciate you!

      • Yes, it’s about to go live – Thursdays at 5:00 – and runs through the weekend. I would love for you to link up with us!

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  • I need to blog more as it calms me down. It is something that really relaxes me in life. It allows me to get away from “real life” at least for a couple of minutes.

    Prayers are to be with you in these times.

    • Yes, blogging has been a great place to process some of my feelings and thoughts as well, Patrick. Thanks so much for your prayers and for stopping by, my friend!

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  • Beth,

    I’m on a bog break as we relocate cross country, but when I saw your email come in for the Messy Marriage topic, I had to respond. I can’t speak for everyone, but I never felt abandoned. You are always in my prayers as well, Beth.

    I have backed of some link ups while preparing our home over the last month and getting ready for the move. And I can relate about technical issues. I’m only a year and a half old. My blog has grown fairly fast. I’m still trying to learn everything I need.

    Blessings, friend. Can’t wait to see your photos.

    • Oh, Kim, you’ve always been such a cheerful and loving encourager here! I have often felt like there’ve been times when you said just the right thing I needed to hear in this comment section and your blog has been a welcome addition whenever you can join WW as well. I had no idea that you are moving cross-country! That’s quite a huge undertaking! I’ll be sure to pray for you in all that stress and change that comes with a big move. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one struggling with some of the technical territory that comes with a blog. 😉 Thanks so much for your continued support and kindness!

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