Letting Go

I haven’t forgotten this little corner of the internet. You are all in my heart! As Jen shared, this blog started as a quick idea… It took off into a passion, a drive, a bit of an obsession (for me), a community. I was honored to get to share my motherhood journey with each of you. I loved hearing your stories, and knowing that a word I shared could help or encourage, or at least let you know you weren’t alone. In turn, I received more encouragement then I could have imagined!

In 2012, my husband and I joined Wyliffe Bible Translators, with the goal of moving our family to Papua New Guinea to support Bible translation through IT. At the time, letting go of Sisters ‘N Cloth seemed absolutely ridiculous. Of course I could keep blogging while being trained as a missionary, homeschooling, speaking at churches, cooking, cleaning, and having meetings. Of course I could keep blogging about motherhood and cloth diapers from Papua New Guinea!

Slow learner. Right here. I like to hold onto things. Control them. Just ask Jen ;) But gradually, God started to move me to release my hold on Sisters ‘N Cloth. Blog less. Worry about deadlines less.

Finally this fall, Jeniffer and I talked, and realized that if we were both to walk in obedience to God, it was time to let go of this space. He was asking different things of us both. But even after that conversation, I couldn’t bring myself to come here and say farewell. Even after Jeniffer wrote her post.

In January, my family moved out of our home of three years. We packed our family of seven into our seven passenger van and drove from Mississippi to North Carolina for an Intercultural Communications Course at JAARS, Inc. The purpose of the course is to teach missionaries how to engage effectively with another culture, and to communicate respect and honor for that culture – something that is harder to do than I ever realized. It was an amazing experience. One of the major things God revealed to me was my need to let go of the things I find my identity in outside of Him. I am Melissa, child of God. I don’t have to be Melissa, mom of 5. Melissa, homeschool mom. Melissa, stay-at-home mom. Melissa, breastfeeding advocate. Melissa, cloth diapering advocate.

Today He prompted me to come here and let go. You will continue to be in my heart.

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21

If you would like to keep up with how God is leading our family, I’d love for you to check out our family blog, Smiths on a Mission. Thank you all!

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A Note from Jeniffer

Two years ago, I asked Melissa if she wanted to start a blog with me. We could write to the world about our love of cloth diapers and maybe some other “crunchy” things. {Oh, I don’t know…like breastfeeding? Maybe?} It wasn’t long before we [and our husbands] were planning and preparing. And then our “baby” was born!

At the time, both of our newest babies were 6 months old, give or take. And we added a baby blog to the family. For a while, things were pretty great. They were working smoothly, and it all seemed so, so good.

Two years can change a lot about a person, though, and the past year alone has brought numerous changes to my personal life. I’ve had to step up more around the house and stop relying on my husband’s presence so much. {After all, he works 3 jobs and is paid for 2! The man blows my mind every week by getting everything on his plate done!} I’ve also had to learn how to handle two babies under two…and gradually adapt to two toddlers. Things are getting a little easier around the house, thankfully, but that’s because I’ve had to rethink the way I handle the girls, the house, and myself.

One of the ways that I’ve been able to handle things better has been by letting go of the blog. We had a wonderful hiatus this past summer. I realized, too, that the longer I was away from the blog, the more I was able to do around the house. I’ve also become more present when I’m around my children, which is never ever a bad thing. And on top of that? I’ve exercised my creativity in various ways, ways that I have ignored or stifled while blogging regularly.

Because of this {and various other reasons} I have decided to stop writing for Sisters ‘N Cloth. Does this mean that I will never ever blog again? No. But I doubt that I will decide to blog again before the year is out. Or even before Lily turns 2. I just need a break from this creative outlet. Does this mean that I’m saying good-bye to the online world for good? Heavens, no! I’m always on Instagram {@smith_jeniffer} and Twitter {@smith_jeniffer}. But there is a connection on both of those social media platforms that doesn’t happen on this blog, at least not for me.

Besides, there’s too much of this going on these days for me to stay bored for too long!

Thank you all for sharing in my journey. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for your friendship. And if you ever sponsored a giveaway, left a comment, RT’d or shared a post, or even clicked like on a status, thank you for believing in our blog. Many days, those likes and comments kept us going, and I am so thankful for each of them.

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,

And give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

 

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Still Breathing Deeply

It’s been nearly two three months since Melissa shared that we would be taking a break. I wish we could say that we’re back with better posts and more stories from “life in the nitty gritty.” But that’s not real life right now.

Obviously we aren’t gone for good since the site is still up, but we’re still not sure what will happen here.

Neither one of us are okay with leaving it so open ended, though, and we don’t think it’s fair to our faithful readers to just skip out.

This is what we know right now:

We need a break from a “schedule.”

Both of us are worn from life these days, and so are our other Sisters, Faith and Michal. We may post regularly for a while and then stop. Or we may not post for a while and then post regularly. But these expectations have been hurting our posts and our faithfulness to writing. We will still be around, though.

We love this space.

This is what we keep going back to: we love our readers. We love encouraging other moms. We love this space. But we also need to figure out what that needs to look like. Early on, we shared our space. Facebook will still be like that: Melissa and I both will post on our page at times. However, Twitter will not be a shared space anymore. I’ve been using my personal Twitter account, @smith_jeniffer, fairly regularly and had stopped getting on @sistersncloth much. We decided that it would be better for us to use our own accounts from now on, with me keeping @smith_jeniffer and Melissa using @sistersncloth. Of course, I’m mostly on Instagram these days. If you don’t follow me already, my username is @smith_jeniffer.

Finally, we want to be clear.

While we hate to leave this blog, we both realize that it may be exactly what we need to do. If that happens, we’ll both still be around the Web, and we’ll most likely keep our Facebook page up and running. We will let you know before we close down shop, so to speak.

Again, we love you guys. We have loved getting to meet each of you, and we’re still amazed that some of you have stuck around. Thank you for making this blog what it is and what it will be.

 

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