Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Time to Move Along. . .

Well, it’s time to close up shop here. And I don’t really see myself ever blogging again, either. There are a zillion blogs out there. Mine is just putting more noise into the blogosphere, and I’m not inclined to want to do that anymore.

Thank you for being such sweet readers! I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting you through this blog, reading your comments, and visiting your own blogs. It's been a pleasure to "know" you, and when/if I have time, I'll pop in and say hi.

But it's time for me to really jump into the life that God has for me right now.

I don't want to merely pass through this stage. I don't want only to surrender and nod to God’s sovereignty, but I need to dive in, fully embrace each day and each thing as coming from the hand of God, and strive to glorify and honor Him—wholeheartedly and with joy—in all that I do.

When I kept my old High Desert Home blog, I was writing of things I’d been living, thinking about, writing about, speaking about in various groups and organizations, and sharing with both women and men in meetings in my home for years—decades, actually. My writings on that blog were simply a communication of the real life I’d been living for a long time. The posts were easy to write, and it seemed natural to keep a blog.

But then my life turned upside down and everything changed.

At the same time, nothing changed. I still affirm everything I have written on any of my blogs about home and family, creating and learning, relationships and domesticity. I know that no matter how many times I explain the point of my posts about home-life, people are going to misunderstand my meaning, but I can’t worry about that. I can only assert, again, that this is not about being domestic and “home-makey” for its own sake, but it’s about doing what the Bible says a wise woman does: She builds her house.

Home is the most potent force in a child’s life (in all of our lives), and the deep spiritual potential of creating “warm and cozy”—when done with the right vision—is vastly misunderstood and undervalued. Doing this is not an inclination or a hobby—it’s a spiritual calling. But I won’t belabor this point. I’ve done that elsewhere.

As I mentioned, I wrote on that High Desert Home blog about what I had been living for years and years. I had walked through the ups and downs of that life, the trials and challenges, and the heartaches and joys, so my ideas felt tested and somewhat stable. And, while I blogged, I continued to live that same kind of life at home, only now with kids who were grown but were coming home often and bringing their own children along with them.

But my circumstances have changed, and I am now on a path that requires whole-hearted attention and energy. Last summer when I was kicking back and taking things slow and easy, there was room in my life for putting up blog posts at this Summer Notebook blog, but I’ll admit that I never really felt fully engaged in it in spite of regular blog posts. Then summer ended, and I resumed classes at the university. I’ve been back in school for almost two years (and have accumulated so many credits, because of my four years of college back in the 1970s, that my advisor says she is in awe—haha!).

Now my focus is narrowing, and I need to throw of whatever is a distraction or a hindrance to what God is doing in my life. I am walking a new path, and I have no idea where I’m going or what I’ll actually end up doing, but I know that God does, and this is good enough for me! I am exploring uncharted territory, and I’m just beginning to discover a sense of adventure in this.

Plus, I don’t think I need to be writing about what God is doing and teaching me when I’m right in the middle of it. Now is time to settle down, quiet down, and learn from Him. If I am writing about these stories and lessons before I’ve really learned them entirely (though I’m not looking to ever write about them, actually), I disrupt the process. I lose the real, organic flow of the walk.

My one goal right now is not to figure out my life. It is to be faithful. To walk faithfully with God to the end of my days. To walk hand in hand with Him wherever He leads me. To trust. To live quietly. To do whatever little thing He gives me to do. To let Him make me what He wants me to be without trying to figure it out or help Him. I have no designs on doing any big thing or being noticed in my life. Just keep me faithful, dear Lord. Make me a servant. And may my life truly bring honor and glory to You.

P.S. If you have anything you're dying to ask me in the next day or so before I turn out the lights, go right ahead. I'll do my best to answer.


  1. Hi Susan,

    I just recently stumbled upon your blog and wanted to wish you well. Reading your posts have challenged me spiritually, a gift!

  2. Oh Susan, yes. I really *hear* you and hope to stay in touch as you walk this new adventure. I will pray for you to be faithful as you live quietly in obedience and trust. You are a beautiful role model of one who walks in lightness and trust in the midst of storm and trial. It is so inspiring to see you forge ahead with strength and perspective. Thank you for being a voice that encourages me to build my house, to love my home and the children in it...not to many "older women" do that as you do with such gentleness and grace. I always come away from time spent here feeling happy and pleased with the life I am called to...some older women lay heavy burdens on younger ones but you inspire through joy...and that is UNIQUE in the blogging world whether you believe that or not :) Much love always, sister.

  3. Susan,
    I will pray for you. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I have always enjoyed your writing and have always appreciated how de-cluttered I felt after "leaving your blog", although I think I mentioned that before. :)
    I will say with regard to homeschooling, home-building(as in house and hearth and family), your blog has always left me refreshed and unhurried. Kind of like the way that St. Francis de Sales talks about never losing your inner peace.
    Wishing you a blessed Christmas and the peace of Christ.

  4. Susan, Your writing has been a gift to me. I am thankful for you. God bless you as you go forward trusting in Him. I will miss your posts greatly. Warmly, Sandra

  5. Wishing you much joy and fun in your new adventures ahead. Thanks for sharing ! Nancy

  6. Susan, one thing I really admire about you is your determination to discern God's will in everything you do. And one thing that really jumped out of this post was that you don't feel you need to be writing (publicly) while you're in the middle of the discernment process. That sort of Spirit-led self-control has served you well, and will continue to do so. You will have the things that matter most.

  7. Oh, Susan. I will *miss* you. Thank you for your words here. Coming here to read your words has always brought me such encouragement and refreshment. In a culture of busyness everywhere and everyone rushing about and piling on more, I found your words here such an encouragement to me--; a reminder that I'm not the only one who yearns for and appreciates a quiet, simplified life of home and learning. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

    Also, the comments you have left on my blog were some of the most encouraging I have ever received. Thank you for your kind words, Susan. You have a gift of encouragement and you have blessed me.

    And oh, I admire your faith and your love for Jesus! I know that God has great things in store for you. May He delight you so much as you press in and walk that way of faithfulness, hand in hand with Him. He loves you so.

    Blessings to you and yours,


  8. I have been, for the most part, a silent, but very appreciative reader over the years. I'll miss your blog posts! May God bless your life as you continue to walk with Him. Hopefully you'll be leaving everything up...for when I have extra time and want to come read something good? :-)


  9. Oh Susan, how I have enjoyed all your blogs and your perspective and wisdom. In fact your last paragraph really describes where I'm at right now. I've had so much anxiety trying to figure out what God is doing in my life, but you're right. I need to rest and wait on Him and be quiet and learn the lessons He has for me. I need to still my soul and quiet my heart before Him. I will miss you. Betty

  10. I stumbled across your blog at the end of summer. I have been blessed and encouraged by the words you have left here and on your other blogs. I very much respect your words today and am excited for your journey from this point forth. I am constantly challenged with how to be wholly present in the moment.
    Much blessings as you venture forth into what God has for you in the stage of your journey

  11. I haven't had chance to regularly read your blog posts over the past few months, so I'm still working my way through the archives! Please tell me your posts will still be available... Each and every post you provide is filled with wisdom and light. I recently listed you as one of my favourite bloggers when a friend asked which blogs she should be reading. The stories of your life give me inspiration for the direction I want my own life to take. I'll be very sad to see you go.

  12. Your voice will be missed, but I do understand your decision. Like others have said, I come away from reading your blog with a feeling of hope and encouragement in a world where making a home is not highly valued by many. Many blessings to you as you walk with God in the next adventure He has for you.

  13. Susan--You will be missed. As many others have already stated, you have provided me with much inspiration and encouragement. I completely understand your decision. My own life and perspective has been in great flux over the past year or more and it really is hard to write about that which is still in process. I pray God will richly, abundantly fill your life with His presence and goodness. I can only imagine what great things He has in store for one so fully yielded! God Bless.

  14. Susan, I will miss you too. I have always admired your commitment to the calling God has placed on your life. Your wisdom and grace has blessed so many lives.
    I know that you have made a wise decision. I do hope, though, that every once in a while you'll just drop in to say "hi" and let us know how you're doing.
    I pray for grace and strength as you walk in the way that He is leading you.
    Merry Christmas Susan. Thank you for the gift of your words and heart.

  15. I completely understand why you're stepping away from the blog, I've felt many of these same things at times, but I want you to know that your blog is not 'noise'. No, not by a long shot. If anything, your blog is a quiet spot in my day, an encouragement to make a simple, quiet life and enjoy it. Blessings on your new adventures, Susan. We'll miss you.

  16. I will add that I will miss you too, and like others understand fully why you are wanting to end the blog. I'll miss your words of wisdom and how you fully trust God in spite of life journeys. All the very best to you always and many successes with your studies!

  17. Oh, Susan...

    I love your wisdom in embracing this season of your life. I will miss you here, but I have gleaned much from you over the years, and I hold that dear.

    much love to you as you journey with Him...kelli

  18. Susan, I have so enjoyed your blogs and echo the sentiments of the previous commentators. Several years ago I first stumbled upon High Desert Home and it truly impacted my life. Later when I found My Summer Notebook I was thrilled to be reconnected to your words, your heart. So sad to read that you are shutting it down but I fully understand seasons of life. Being one of the "older women" (me) doesn't mean one has it all together, but it does mean one recognizes there is so much more to life than "stuff" - heart, home, health, holiness, the desire to live in the center of God's will, all have so much more value. You have been an example for me, encouraged me, and blessed me. You have learned so much; thank you for sharing bits of your walk with us. I will miss you. God's Peace and Presence be with you. In His Grace, Diane

  19. Yes, Susan, I am an echo to all other previous commenters. I just find so much comfort in your words. Especially when you talk about making home and schooling kids and simplicity. I have to disagree that your blog is putting more noise into the blogosphere. I think you have a very unique, welcome voice. None the less, I undestand your decision to be done with blogging. If you end up just taking a long pause from writing, will you post somewhere that you have started again? Blessings as journey through all the change and new beginnings. Sara

  20. Susan,
    I have enjoyed reading your Summer Blog and discovering your other blogs and reading some of them too. I look forward to your posts, they are very thoughtful and encouraging! I will miss reading your thoughts and seeing how God works in your life. May Peace Always Be With You!

  21. No questions, just warmest wishes for your journey, and may your path be a lighted one.

  22. Thanks for sharing. You have been a blessing

  23. Susan, I am catching up on blog-reading because my life too is transitioning right now, but I just wanted to say good-bye and let you know that my prayers are with you on your journey. I have sometimes picked up on a little of your ambivalence about your blogging on here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Holy Spirit had inspired you to post your Summer Notebook even if just for a brief season. I know that reading your journal made a difference to me -- perhaps something like reading a life-changing book at just the right time.

    My family has been traveling up and down from Oregon to central California quite frequently for various reasons and I always think of you as we are driving along I5. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to become acquainted with you online and you have definitely been a role model for me in how to embrace change and loss and how to live intentionally and honestly in this season of life.

  24. Blogging is such a strange thing in that you can feel such a sense of loss (at least I do) when a favorite blogger says goodbye.

    I will miss your posts and they are most definitely NOT noise. My DH and I have been in a state of transition and difficult trials these last couple of years, and so many times you have been able to help me sort out my own heart-feelings, just by sharing yours. And I always leave here feeling better.

    Thank you for that.

    I do have a question.....If you are comfortable revealing this, I'd love to know what kind of degree you are working toward and what you'll be doing with it when you're done. If you don't feel comfortable answering, I'll understand.

    Love in Christ,

  25. i understand.
    please know you'll be missed.
    so many of us have grown to
    look forward to new thoughts
    from your introspective life.
    loveliness. one day, i hope
    you'll assemble and publish a
    book. it would be well read
    and appreciated. :o)

    bless you dearly as you walk
    to the beat of His heart...

  26. Susan-
    I too share in the sentiments presented by the other commenters on your blog. All of this is important, and heart-felt. But I also have a request. You were never able to finish up the second half of your notes on 'simplifying', and I have been faithfully watching and waiting to see if you would have time to share that. I have been reading 'Gift from The Sea' and would so love to get the last half of your talk. If you feel that is possible, please share it before you go. You have been the only blog that I have followed, and it has been used of God in many lives. Thank you, Jennie

  27. Dear Susan,

    I, too, will miss your writing. Thank you for sharing so honestly.

    Your words always give me something to think on.

    I am grateful for all the effort you have put into speaking truth to us.

    I pray you will be blessed.

    In Him,

  28. Oh no!!!!


    I am an overly ambitious home schooling mother of 5. Reading your caring words over the years has helped me tremendously and had such a positive influence on our home life. Although I do not know you, I have so much to thank you for. I thank you and my kids thank you (well they will when they are older) for all of your help.

    I wish you didn't have to go. I will certainly miss you.

    Peace be with you.


  29. Your words are not noise to me. I was just thinking of you the other day....that in a small quiet way your writing has been like an older woman teaching a younger one...even though we have never met. When I am tempted to run ahead of myself, to try and do everything, I 'hear' your gentle, beautiful words and they help me to breathe and watch the wonder of my family. They help me not to fret and remember that all things are held by God and I am definately not in control...good thing too. I will miss your words here.
    with heart-felt thanks for your openess

  30. I am not sure if I have ever posted a comment but I am one of the many anonymous readers who has been strengthened and encouraged by your wise insights. I understand and respect your need to close the blog but please know that you were never "noise" but rather a sweet song in a world of clamour. You have built up families and strengthened resolves. You have provided much needed advice and I carry around with me (quite literally - in my daytimer) several of your thoughts and lessons. Thank-you Susan for all your words of wisdom and may God's richest blessings rest on you and yours during your upcoming journeys and adventures. Lovingly, Heather.

  31. Dear Susan,
    I will miss your blog! Thanks for doing it at all. I really check so very few and yours has been a constant. I echo so many other readers that your posts have been encouraging and inspiring. I too have a few of your words printed out and in my day book for concrete remembers! I will keep you in our prayers. W/ gratitude for you,
    Sarah A
    Blessed Christmas.

  32. i'm so sad. :( you have really spoken to me over the years and i will miss hearing about your life. and i will miss your lovely pictures also. i would give up many of the blogs i keep in touch with to keep yours. i will always wonder how you're doing.

  33. Susan, though we have never met, I will always count you as a mentor. God has used you mightily, and I trust He will continue to work *within* you mightily as you continue to navigate this next stage of life. I am thankful that "goodbye" for Christians is not permanent--I look forward to a real life friendship with you in eternity!
    May I leave you a Christmas poem?
    "Welcome, all wonders in one sight! ...Eternity shut in a span. Summer in winter. Day in night. Heaven in earth and God in man! Great little one! Whose all-embracing birth lifts earth to heaven, Stoops heaven to earth."(Richard Crenshaw, 1648).

  34. PS...your scones will be our Christmas breakfast! :)

  35. I will dearly miss you! I hope and pray for your future.

    I am going to request that you keep your high desert home blog open. I have learned a ton from you and when in need of encouragement will read again some of your old post.

    If the spirit moves you I do hope you post from time to time.

    Much love, Susie

  36. Thank you for sharing with so many of us. It has been a blessing. I understand how it is difficult to share with others when you are in the midst of learning lessons from the Lord yourself. I will pray that you will continue to be faithful and lean hard on the Lord during this transition time in your life.

    I hope you will leave your blogs up. I still like to come and read when I have a few minutes here and there.

    Merry Christmas, Susan


  37. You will be missed very much but I do understand.

    When I began blogging, I was still in the midst of homeschooling my son. He is now a junior in college and engaged. My daughter lives 1,000 miles away.

    Life moves so fast and we some changes we know will come (like kids getting older) while others kind of knock us over for awhile but I know God allows things to happen in this fallen world to show we must wrap our arms around Him to survive (much less rejoice).

    I will, however, miss your ponderings.

  38. We'd all do better to just be faithful versus figuring. (ie overthinking - belaboring, really) The people who think they have their lives figured out... generally don't. We just keep pedaling I think. We are all in production after all. The seemingly unrelated pieces will all fall into place in the end.

    I have no questions. Just am sending you my love and encouragement. God's best to you Susan! Please drop a note when time permits. : )

  39. I just found you and I already miss you. Your words of late resonate strongly with where I am in my life. I hope to find you again. Go with God!!

  40. Susan,
    I always enjoy reading whatever you have to say. You say it so well. Your blog and your words will be missed by me. I wish you all the best and may God's hand be upon you wherever you go, whatever you do.


  41. i have read every blog post you've ever written. on all your blogs. my heart really hurts. :(

  42. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  43. Follow the path laid before you Susan...God takes care of the rest. I miss your words of wisdom already. You have been an encouragement to me for many years now and I pray that wherever God is guiding you, you find joy and fulfillment. Blessings and Grace to you...

  44. Susan, I have not had time to check my favorite blogs for at least a month now, and tonight I decided to check to see just how far behind I am. It felt like my heart stopped when I read your words. No! Your words are NOT noise. You have blessed many, including me. I am so sad. I always hate good-byes. Will you be keeping all your blogs up for those of us who are still encouraged by re-reading them? Or catching up with what we didn't get a chance to read yet? Or recomending them to others who would be helped by them? Oh, Please say yes. I join my words with all the words above mine here. You have felt like a friend to me. Thank you, Susan. And all GOD's best to you as you follow Him.


  45. Actually, it feels like I'm losing a good friend.


  46. I've always enjoyed 'dipping' in and out of your blogs Susan. I'm sure your faith in a truly loving God and Father will guide and be with you and your family through the good times and bad. I realise your life has turned upside down in recent times, I trust the Lord will pick you up and set you down the right way up again. God bless.

  47. Susan- I am so glad I popped by in time to wish you luck and God's blessings. I blogged on and off in the past- opening and closing two different blogs. Both times I stopped for the reasons you describe (though you describe them much better than I - my second blog I simply closed without a word!)

    Thank you for being an inspiration and sharing the lessons you have learned. Best of luck following God's will - I know he will bless and keep you! We learn from him every day, don't we? If only we take the time to listen...