YES! It’s okay to quit.
(Remember, social media doesn’t own you; you own it.)
It’s also okay to change things all around.
Or to take a break.
Not to mention, it’s also okay to quit something else so you can actually focus on your blog the way you really want to, or need to.
I was going to address this topic with fresh blog-oriented words, but I remembered a post from 2009 and decided to repost my thoughts on “Quitting” and give you the freedom to apply them to your blog, or any other necessary part of life. I gained a great deal of inspiration from reading it again. I hope you’ll find a quiet moment this weekend to read it, and that you’ll be inspired, too.
“Time to Quit”
Travel back in time with me to my college days, when I was the musical director for our campus- only female a cappella group. Ah, the days when we cared more about the color scheme of our outfits than we did about the harmony of our opening triad â€“ and got away with it! Who could blame us for our shallow preoccupation? We were riding on the coat-tails of gorgeous, high-achieving, ever-popular alumni who taught us the importance of looking as good as we sounded. Each year, dozens of star-eyed freshmen auditioned while only two or three were accepted. We were the â€œa cappella eliteâ€ in our world. So, you can imagine, once a girl was accepted, she was committed –for life.
It was a Thursday evening rehearsal when Alison, a junior at the time, blurted out an announcement that shocked us all: she quit.
Our funky, book-loving, outdoorsy alto, just quit! This was so inconceivable that we renamed her decision, â€œtaking a breakâ€.
Actually, there was more to the shock: she quit everything.
She was a promising business major, sorority girl, Christian club regular, campus news writerâ€¦
Her decision was crazy! Wasteful! ABNORMAL!
Her reason? â€œTo listen to God without the static of a packed agenda and obligations.â€
Our little musical group was seriously sobered that evening.
As Alison graciously answered our aggressive questions, I got the feeling that she had walked into another world. Like Lucy Pevensie walking past the fur coats into a magical world of Narnian snow, Alison had somehow stepped out of our competitive collegiate environment into a world where she was free to slow time down, to say â€œnoâ€ whenever she needed to. She was not just resisting the status quo; she was living without it entirely.
At the time, I supported her odd decision, while keeping a safe distance in case she wasâ€¦ contagious. I noticed, however, that her life became beautifully quiet. IÊ¼d stop by her apartment on my way to a meeting (juggling a stack of binders and a cardboard cup of mocha latte in hand), and Alison would be sitting on the couch, a Bible on her lap, smiling up at me, available to spend the rest of the evening teaching me what she had been learning about the Lord. That is, if I didnÊ¼t have to run off to that meeting…
My brain was so deeply ingrained with â€œCommitment!â€, â€œAccomplishment!â€, â€œApproval!â€, that I could not entertain the possibility of quitting anything â€“ let alone everything. The way I figured it, if God needed my time or attention, He would just have to keep up with me or shout a little bit louder to compete with my exhilarating schedule. Several years marched by as I reveled in accomplishments, checking things off my extensive â€œto-doâ€ lists, busting my rear-end to please people, and striving to achieve the golden status quo.
Then I got married.
And had a baby.
And tried enthusiastically to pull these two new people into my spinning, selfish lifestyle. But, before I knew it, we crashed into a marital crisis so tragic that it would have ended in a divorce if God hadnÊ¼t shouted so loudly that we had to reorder our lives.
Thatâ€™s when we quit.
We quit staying up late; going to bed at different times; watching television; watching dumb movies; bringing in two incomes; trying to publish a book; prioritizing bosses, friends, extended family, and strangers over each other; competing with one other; using the same old murderous words in every argument. We quit not talking to each other; not knowing what the other one was looking at on the Internet; not reading aloud in the evenings; not playing games with one another; not holding each other and saying, â€œthank youâ€.
And life. slowed. down.
And got wonderfully quiet.
And very, very small.
(Ooo, savor that quiet pause with meâ€¦)
Through the reordering process, God built a kind of spiritual â€œfront porchâ€ around our home â€“ you know, like the lemonade-and-creaky-swing front porches that went extinct with the Waltons â€“ on which we sit in the evenings, just rocking back and forth, appreciating the fruits of our labor, the glories of creation, and the beautiful humans who live right here, in this little house with us.
As I said, we live a quiet little life nowadays. We spend most of our time and attention on God himself and our family, believing that Scripture advises this type of investment. ItÊ¼s only five years later that weâ€™ve finally gotten more deeply involved in two local ministries: one that saves babies, the other that saves marriages. But we do it together, praying, and working side by side.
I canâ€™t begin to know all of the construction that God did in order to build our â€œfront porchâ€, but I do know that He had to tear down ugly addictions that had locked me into a go-go-busy-boots lifestyle.
The demolition project looked something like this: in order to respect my husband, I had to throw off independence, competition, and whimsy. In order to stay home with our daughters, I had to surrender my love of accomplishment, compensation, and approval. In order to love God truly, I had to sacrifice my aspirations of â€œmaking it big for Godâ€ as a
Christian speaker or author, because all He wants is for us to love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly by His side.
At times, the sacrifices hurt: I turned down a book offer, speaking opportunities, teaching positions, friendships, and a favorite TV series.
But the building process made it all worthwhile. Because now, I have the freedom to appreciate my husband and live next to him with open arms, saying â€œsure!â€ (not â€œit dependsâ€) when he asks for my help. Nothing â€“ nothing â€“ competes with him for my devotion.
Now, I have the blessing to enjoy and train our children with an open schedule. Nothing- nothing â€“ competes with them for my heart.
Now, I have the privilege of practicing silence, hospitality, generosity, and grace. Nothing competes with these virtues for my attention.
Now, I have the relief of living in quiet communion with God and learning over and over again that nothing â€“ nothing â€“ competes with His jealous affection for me. Quiet, little me.
Day in and day out, God ravaged my heart and soul â€“ only to rebuild me through His Word so that I could write to you today, utterly convinced that my humble walk with God and my Christian love for our home is worth all of my attention for the rest of my life.
If my sphere of influence only extends beyond the walls of our home by way of my well-respected husband, our well-loved children, and our cared-for neighbors, I will have lived a fruitful life. Because hereâ€™s the mystery that I am counting on: by walking away from a busy, accomplishment-oriented society into a quiet world of deep relationships, service, and home-life, I will establish a far-reaching legacy that extends throughout many generations. In my estimation, a happy and contented life is one that is poured out in the secret places of prayer, service, and home.
Sometimes itâ€™s just time to quit.
â€œâ€¦study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.â€ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12