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!