Monday, September 22, 2014

Blogging, or When The Lord Chooses Not to Bless It

This should be a hard post to write, but I found it to be surprisingly easy.

I am closing the cafe.

It wasn't one defining moment that brought me to this decision. Just a slow decline and an awareness that I've lost my way.

Seven years of actively sharing my ups and downs.

Remember when I was so sick with Lyme disease? And subsequently, suffered from depression?

Remember when I moved from St. Louis to Indiana? And then from Indiana to Pennsylvania?

Remember when I was a Stampin' Up demonstrator?

Remember when I was on a design team?

Remember when I sent kids off to college?

Remember when I sold off nearly my entire collection of stamps?

Remember when I was going to quit stamping and blogging all together?

Blogging was such an important outlet for me. It helped create a sense of community when I didn't have a community. It helped me reach out to friends and family far and wide who just wanted to peek in at what was happening in my crazy roller coaster life.

And it was all well and good. Until it wasn't.

God has really blessed me in countless ways the past year. I have made so many new friends and new connections in a new community. New home, new garden, new churches, new interests. He has blessed me every step of the way and answered prayers in such obviously blatant and lovely ways.

But there's this one area that God has chosen not to bless.


It's been a dead end at every possible turn.

This is not to blame you, the twelve people who consistently read my blog. (Even as I type that, it makes me laugh out loud!) I blame myself. I never had a consistent voice.

Am I a crafting blogger? Am I a home blogger? Am I a mommy blogger? Am I a faith blogger?

I just wanted to be me, a little bit of everything served up with a side of coffee. But the blog world has transformed into an enterprise, a marketing tool. You have to have a "brand" to sell, and if you are not consistent with your branding, no one will read you and no one will care.

I suppose that my background in feature writing is to blame. I was never interested in just one thing. I wanted to write about everything!

The truth is I am a terrible blogger. Pretty, carefully cropped photos showing the prettiest slice of life? Nope, that is not my thing. I know my strengths and weaknesses. A good writer? Yes. A good blogger? No. Good writers do not always good bloggers make, and vice versa.

Perhaps this is why God has chosen not to bless my blog. It is not the ministry that He has in store for me.

I find that the more I get sucked into anything involving technology (the internet, email, Facebook, e-reader), the less I feel God saying "Yep! This is where I want you to be." The more I try to feel connected through technology, the less I actually feel connection. The more I research the process of creating, the less I actually create.

Back in July, I decided to "unfriend" myself from Facebook. Too much drama. Too little of meaning and importance. It was an artificial world that created the impression that I was building relationships, when in fact, I was not. It was the best decision I'd made all summer.

I think it's time to go one step further and "unfriend" myself from the blogging world. I want to be a better steward of the time, talents and treasures that God has given me. So I will continue to write, but not for blog posts. I will continue to create, but not for the photographic opportunity. I am unplugging the "artificial" espresso machine so that I can connect with people face to face. Over a cup of coffee in my kitchen. At the corner diner. In the line at Starbucks.

I am going out of business, folks. The cafe is closings its doors. But if you are ever in Pittsburgh, I'd love to meet you for a nice latte. My kitchen is always open!


  1. ok but I still expect pictures of your creations and what is happening in your life to be sent to me via email at least!!! :)

    1. You got it, sister! And vice versa! :)

  2. Maryrose,
    I am so going to miss your blog! I am not a particularly tech-savvy person, so I don't officially "follow" blogs or "friend" people, but I want you to know that your blog is one of the few that I visit every day. No, you don't have something new for me everyday, but I check anyway! I love seeing your craftwork, but mostly I come for your words.

    I've left comments several times in the past, so I won't repeat myself; but I just want you to know that there have been many days that your inspirational (or sometimes humorous) words have made my day a better one. And sometimes when a particular blog post spoke to my heart, I even shared a link to it with my sister - who appreciated it even as much as I.

    So, as you end your blogging life, I wish you well - I will miss visiting you. Wish I lived nearby and could invite you over for a cup of coffee!

    Be happy-

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Janet! I always enjoyed hearing from you, too! I hope to put those words to use in the future! Thanks for being a faithful cafe patron! Bless you! :)

  3. i have enjoyed your blog & will miss stopping by. best of luck to you wherever your path may lead you.

  4. I certainly will miss stopping by your cafe! I didn't leave many comments, but I wish I had. The thing I enjoy most about your blog is that you write honestly about so many different things and you aren't trying to be a "brand." I'm happy that you're enjoying life in Pittsburgh. I always felt a little bit of pride in that my hometown has been so welcoming to you. I've enjoyed seeing the decorating changes you've made to your house and how you've embraced its character -- pink and yellow bathrooms and all. I wish you all the best, and maybe we can meet at Stamp Fanci during one of my trips home. I'll treat you to a coffee in Isaly's. :)

    1. Thank you, Francie! You were such a help to me when I made my Pittsburgh move! You know I love it here, and I would love to meet you for a trip to Isaly's that may or may not involve a trip to Stamp Fanci. ;)

  5. You are a gifted writer. I have enjoyed reading about your family, crafts and faith. Your words have touched my heart many times. So I disagree with you about this blog is not being blessed ---because I have been blessed many times through you. May God continue to bless you and your many gifts. I will miss you very much. ( :

    1. Your words were such an encouragement and blessing to me today! Thank you! I hope I can live up to that "gifted writer" status you have so graciously bestowed upon me. It is my passion and my pursuit, and I hope to continue it.

  6. Sorry to hear you will no longer " blog" .. I check your site once a week.. and always felt that the Lord was using you in so many ways to myself and others.. blessings to you on the new will be missed.

  7. Please do not stop.

  8. Mary Rose, I am sorry to hear that you have decided not to blog for the time being. I just want you to know that while I rarely comment, I do read your (and Jenny's) blogs regularly. It always brings back good feelings from way back when our babies were little and we were young and starting out on our lives paths. Your honesty about your struggles in Indiana resonate with me as I struggle to find my place here in Wyoming. I am thrilled that you have found your place in Pittsburgh. My desire is to be content wherever the Lord places me, not as easy as I thought it would be! I am so happy and blessed that we were able to reconnect via Facebook and your blogs. Hopefully you will pop in occasionally and keep us up to date on your life!
    God Bless you my sweet sweet friend! <3

  9. I've not been following long, but so enjoy reading your thoughts and seeing your lovely creations. Praying God's blessings to you and your future endeavors!