September 2012 - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
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Monthly Archives: September 2012

31 Days to a Fresh Blog Start!

I feel like starting over, going back to my blog roots.

I had such joy when I first began writing online back in 2007 (first with a family blog, and then with Like a Warm Cup of Coffee), and I’d love to experience that enjoyment again. In fact, I figure I’ll just pretend I’m starting from scratch! I’m going to start fresh, but not.

Know what I mean?

Want to join me? I’m joining Nester’s 31 Days link-up by hosting a 31 Days to a Fresh Blog Start – Starting Over, But Not series! Sound fun? Do it with me! Let’s rekindle that love of writing we had when we first began. Let’s imagine we’re blogging for the first time! You might want to even pick up Problogger’s First Week of Blogging or 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Maybe you’d prefer Bryan Allain’s 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo. Heck, maybe you just want some writing inspiration, in which I recommend You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins. Maybe you want to start over by being fierce with your time and setting some serious boundaries on your blogging (that’s what I’m doing – strict hours – so I don’t abuse my family). In that case, might I suggest Blogger Behave, Time Management 101 (free!) or Tell Your Time.

If you want to do your own 31 Days, head here and join! If you want to take the Fresh Blog Start challenge with me, grab a “Fresh Start” button and follow along! You can add a Fresh Start button by right clicking on it and then clicking on “save image as”. Just as an FYI, I won’t be posting on the weekends.

This is going to be fun! See you tomorrow for Day 1!

Links to the series (I will update these each day):

Day 1 – Fierce Boundaries

Day 2 – Passion & Purpose

Day 3 – What is Your Blog Mission Statement?

Day 4 – What I Know Now (a new link-up) What I Know Now (When Ideals Become Idols)

Day 5 – Writing Out of Your Mission (The Next Phase of 31 Days)

Day 6 Weekend

Day 7 Weekend

Day 8 Giving Yourself Grace on Those Days

Day 9 A Real Professional

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13 Weekend

Day 14 Weekend

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20 Weekend

Day 21 Weekend

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Day 26

Day 27 Weekend

Day 28 Weekend

Day 29

Day 30

Day 31

Fresh Start Buttons:


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When Sarah Got Her Groove Back (and Signs You May Be Burned-Out)

This picture has nothing to do with the post except that it makes me feel all zesty. The gal in the photo is Mandy from ZealousForHim.com. We were celebrating my husband’s 30th with an 80’s themed party.

I was burned-out.

Blogging was the least appealing thing to me. Eating lot’s of late night snacks and watching movies was entirely enticing (and I indulged). I dragged during the day and vegged out every night. Days weren’t mine and life was dull. Writing was painful. Motivation was nowhere to be found.

This is what happens when you burn-out. You either push yourself harder and then fade into a blur of saddness and abuse (abuse of yourself and your family), or you quit. For awhile. For me, quitting was in order, indefinitely.

Sally told me it would take a month or two to recover from burn-out, and she was right on. I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to write again. I had even convinced myself that I didn’t like writing, and that I had nothing to say.

Boo.

But here I am with this newly lit fire in my spirit for writing, and man, it feels wonderful. And so freeing. This fresh flame was kindled when my husband told me that he wanted to start blogging. He bought a book on blogging, purchased his domain, and is excited to begin putting words into the online space. His zest for this new hobby has rubbed off on me, and it makes me remember what I felt like when I first started blogging. Exhilarated.

I am actually anticipatory for my new found stamina.

Have any of you felt the stale of burn out? Maybe some of you are there now. Here are some signs you might need a break:

Signs You May Be Burned-Out

You Don’t Enjoy Your Hobby Anymore

I used to love blogging and I did it every day just because I enjoyed it so much. After three years, a slew of other doings, and later bedtimes for my babes, my desire to blog went to 0.

You Feel Tired All The Time…And You Don’t Have a Baby

Do you feel like you are dragging most days? Have you lost motivation? Do you wish you could put your life on hold to catch up with it? You might be burned-out.

You Have Nothing To Say

If you’re a writer but you can’t write, you might be burned-out. I could not write for months. Months! I tried and tried but writing was like forcing myself to wash dishes. Blech. I hated it. I hated doing the thing that I used to love. I not only hated it, I felt like I had no words in me. I was empty, and it was an awful feeling. I even convinced myself that I wasn’t really a writer, because writers love to write. Burn-out was lying to me.

You Feel/Are Depressed

Does your life feel like it’s passing without your permission? Do you feel like you’ve lost control of your days? Do you feel like doing nothing but watching Gilmore Girls while eating Caesar salads? Do you even want to go out and live your life, or would you rather stay holed up while you sit on social media sites feeling even worse? Have you lost your innocent joy for the fullness of life and the world?

You, my friend, might be burned-out.

___

If you’ve experienced any of the above, really evaluate where you are in your life and your soul. You might need to give yourself some slack, or maybe even back off completely for a while. The best thing I did was to let myself recover, be lazy, gain weight (okay, this not so enjoyable), and just be in a paused place for a time. I needed to stop. It was wise to quit.

But now? I’m back, baby. I’m back.

How are you doing today, friend?

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Breaking Down the Walls

Here is an excerpt from my (in)courage post today:

The secrets that haunt us at night as we’re falling asleep. When we keep it in the dark, it’s power over us grows. But when we expose it to the light, and we let people into our ugly, and we trust people (even when it aches), sin loses it’s power. We let people love us. Grace-light banishes the dark.

And we can be free.

I want that kind of freedom with friends, with community.

So here’s a secret, my friends, my community…

Read the whole article here.

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Stretching Into Love

I post pictures of date nights with my husband, but it doesn’t mean we are all smiles.

Nine years and I’m still trying to figure out how to live with a man.

And like life and mothering and pain and pieces of happiness, such is marriage.

I love my husband because I choose to. Sometimes I feel it, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes we don’t even like each other.

Sometimes we really like each other.

We are tangled together in this mess of marriage, figuring it out week to week. When it’s really hard I remember that, Lord willing, on our 50th wedding anniversary we’ll look back and say, “I’m glad I did this with you, this life.” It’s hope.

Hope holds us together.

Hope gathers up the broken parts so they don’t stay on the floor.

Hope is the push.

Without hope, we live in the dark; we live stale. We live mediocre.

And so we pick this thing up called love and we try to stretch into it, even though sometimes we don’t fit.

We keep trying.

We remember that this skin is temporary and there is so much more than what’s in front of us; more than our desires and our aches. There is more.

Let’s find it.

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Struggling with Disciplining Your Children?

Here are some links that might be of help:

Heartfelt Discipline: Following God’s Path of Life to the Heart of Your Child by Clay Clarkson

The Mystery of Discipline Part 1, by Sally Clarkson

The Mystery of Discipline Part 2, by Sally Clarkson

Perfectionism, by Ann Voskamp

What Protection Looks Like, by John Lynch:

 (Can’t see the video? Click here)
Love, SM

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