Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Finishing the Blog

Please Scroll Down to Read Day 1
Click here for Day 2: Coincidences Don't Exist
Day 3: Anxiety and the Weather
Day 4: Wal-Mart and Ministry
Day 5: Move it, MOVE IT!
Day 6: The Road Not Taken
Day 7: Tools for Anxiety
Day 8: Hitting the Snooze
Day 9: Rest 
Day 10: Painful Post
Day 11: Love Much Hurt Much
Day 12: New Mercies 
Day 13: Grace
Day 14: Remember
Day 15: Stress
Day 16: Brave
Day 17: Trajectory 
Day 18: Finishing the Race
Day 19: Memory Loss
Day 20: Deliverance 
Day 21: Waiting
Day 22: Why? 
Day 23: Fear
Day 24: In Alert Expectancy
Day 25: Date and Dung
Day 26: Fried Snickers or Fruit 
Day 27: Imperfect Progress 
Day 28: Laughable
Day 29: Boxes
Day 30: Jesus in Scrubs
Day 31: A Bruce Goodbye

Day 1

I’m giving myself 31 days to finish this “Sweetcarolinebaby” blog that has been like a dear friend to me, she’s let me process grief and joy with her for 8 years now, but it’s time to grow and stretch a bit.

Whew, that's hard to take in. What is helping is God's new vision for the blog that He's given me just a snippet of so far. I hope it's a much clearer vision when November 1st rolls around, so for now I'm just trusting God with this leap of faith. It's tough. It's vulnerable. It's time.

The day I decided for sure this blog was going to be something new and different was the day my devotional (Jesus Calling--ps buy it now if you don't have it) said "Each of my children is a unique blend of temperament, giftedness, and life experiences...Beware of trying to impress others by acting as if your giant steps are only baby ones." Y'all. This is a giant step. Just so we are clear. :)
And I want you to know my ol' blog “Sweetcarolinebaby” is precious to me, but c’mon what a silly name! I remember vividly when and where I was when I chose that name. (Which in itself is a miracle, because God did not give me a good memory!)
It was December 28th, 2006. Thomas and I had finally settled on the name Caroline for our first born baby. Back then blogging was a new fad, so starting up my blog I tried the name “sweetcaroline,” well there were a few more bloggers than I realized because pretty much every combo of it was taken, except “sweetcarolinebaby.” So there it was. You can see I had no idea the blog would outlast Caroline’s baby years, ha! She’s now a beautiful, intuitive, amazing 7.5 year old with two front teeth missing. 
Precious babies photographed by precious friend Staci
  Our family’s blog had barely started when the unthinkable happened and while 6 weeks pregnant with our second child, less than a month before sweet Caroline turned 2, my husband hit an icy patch on a road a mile from our home and went on to his forever home. You can read the post about it here.
Over the years of processing my grieving journey I found how my story and blog would help people. Strangers and friends would tell me how they received encouragement from my story and it opened up new friendships as well as sparked a desire in my heart to write more. It’s so amazing how God can give us new gifts or passions in our elderly years…or 30s, whichever….it all did surprise me though. Really? Just sharing what’s in my crazy head can help others? Oh, but that’s exactly right! When we share it lets others not feel alone or crazy by themselves! Isn’t that what we are called to do? Didn’t God design us that way? That’s why the Griefshare tagline is “Grief shared is grief diminished.” Amen. Don’t let satan tell you your story is shameful or not important! He wants to keep it in the dark where it seems “safe.” God tells us to bring everything into the light! Don’t think that it’s easy to do this. I have to pray every day for courage and strength to share and be open to what God asks. And every day He provides it. Without fail.

 Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 MSG

I’ve known for a while that a new blog was coming, I just didn’t know how or when. Then several of my friends went through separate (and are still going through) major life crises. One of the main themes God has brought to our attention is how He makes things new, if we let Him. Not just restored, or better…He makes them NEW. 

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17

Why is that significant? Because we don’t even want things to be like they were before the crisis hit. We NEED them to be new. A new creation, a new start…hmmm a new blog seemed to fit “for such a time as this.”
I cannot get that phrase out of my mind. I feel like Sean Astin’s character in Goonies down at the bottom of the well, needing to give my speech to rally the troops, 

The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the bestest stuff for us. But right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket. “

Y'all. First of all, doesn't that movie just take you back to a magical place...and if it doesn't, welcome to 1989.
Anyway, this IS our time. The only time we have. And God is putting into motion a new revival like none we’ve ever seen or experienced. We want…no, we NEED you to be a part of this.  No it’s not Troy’s bucket staring us in the face, but it’s an adventure for sure. Listen to that quiet whisper in your soul that is nudging you toward something bigger than yourself. I will attempt to delve into the aspects of this “new” thing over the next 30 days. Yes, you heard me right, I’m accepting the challenge from one of my favorite authors, Emily Freeman and her sister, and writing for 31 days straight. Yes, it seems impossible to me, too. I’m the one who blogs once a month, maybe. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to say, whew, ask my bible study girls, I am LONG WINDED when it comes to emails, texts, conversations, so maybe this will give them a break too. I’m going to let it out here, If you’ll allow it. Until tomorrow, say a prayer if you don't mind for this "new" thing He is doing and ask how He wants you to be a part of it. It’s not a fad, someone wanting to sell anything or anything you'll have to add to your schedule…It’s about how to reach out and grab a hand of someone you know or someone you don’t know and say, “Come run with me, Let’s help each other to the finish.” Thanks y'all.


  1. Great start to your 31 day writing journey. How precious that this will be your goodbye to a blog who's season has come. May God give you clear vision as you seek him for the future. Blessings from you linky neighbor Oct. 1.

    1. HI neighbor!!! Thanks for coming by and for the encouraging words! Let's do this 31 days thing!

  2. You are an inspiration to us all!

    1. Thank you, it's only because of God--beauty from ashes is the real deal.

  3. Bonnie I am so excited to run this race with you! I have such a hard time showing my imperfections...This makes healing and growing kind of rough. I pray this month is a celebration of all "sweetcarolinebaby" will always be. Looking forward to everything God will do with this new adventure!

    1. Shari, you've been on my mind and I can't wait to run (or wog!) with you! Thanks for doing this NEW thing with me! We can do it with God's strength!

  4. What a beautiful journey, Thank you for allowing us to share in it.

    1. Thank you, Sara! I appreciate the encouragement!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you and I LOVE YOU! Your story unfolding is amazing to watch. Prayers to you today!

  6. Oh! I am so glad that I found your blog. I read your bio and it's SO inspiring to me. I look forward to following along--new blog, too if you start over :)

    1. Leslie, Thank you SO MUCH! I appreciate the encouragement to do this thing God is calling me to do! :) And yes new blog.... :)

  7. Dear Leslie,
    I just stumbled upon your blog and want to encourage you that God IS using you, so keep writing! This 31-day challenge isn't for the faint of heart, am I right? I am looking forward to reading your story, but for now I just wanted to leave a quick word to bolster you as you continue on this journey. You're taking the giant steps!

  8. Ahhh I mean Bonnie! (Brain wave, hello!).