Wow. I never really saw this day coming. Not really. But here we are and I’m running through a cycle of peace one minute and second guessing myself the very next, but I know what I need to do.
Dear Intentional By Grace Reader,
As I’ve begun to nail down goals and a sense of purpose for the new year, one thing has become more and more clear.
It is time to lay down this blog – and actively maintaining it.
As the thought of laying down the blog started stirring, I wrestled with it – with God. It’s not really all that simple to “lay down the blog.” Because, you see, I’ve been blogging for nearly eight years, and in that time Intentional By Grace has grown into something I never expected.
It all started as family update blog, which morphed into sharing publicly what the Lord was teaching me through His Word. I learned that I loved to write and to teach women, which turned into honing in on my writing mission, adding contributors, and enjoying the wonderful benefits of a part-time income for my family.
Then when my husband quit his corporate job in 2014, Intentional By Grace stood in the gap financially for us while we sorted out what was next for our family. Intentional By Grace has been a place for me to process my thoughts, to share my passion of intentional living, and to do it while being home with my children.
I cannot imagine life without Intentional By Grace in the background of my life, but at the same time, I can’t imagine life with it at the forefront of my days anymore either. I never could have dreamed that God would use my words, my passions, and even my business degree to minister to women around the world.
The emails I have received in response to my writing over the years has been an enormous blessing to me as I’ve heard redemption stories from those who have taken the prayer challenge for their marriage. Or stories of women who had completely turned their backs on God and the church to have only stumbled across my 4 Lies eCourse and completely recommitted their lives to Christ and the building up of His church. I’ve walked with women through the pain of church hurts in response to my series on When the Church Lets You Down, as well as heard stories of little children who have given their hearts to the Lord in response to a lesson from the pages of my Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers. I’ve heard testimonies of women reading God’s word with passion again after sitting in on our Women of the Word Book Club, or women who have been inspired to make prayer a priority once more after seeing how I set up my prayer journal. I’ve heard of ministry leaders gathering the supplies for their women’s groups to get all the women of their church set up with their very own prayer notebooks!
I could tell stories for days about how God has used these humble offerings from a (sometimes weary) mom to build up His people and turn hearts to Him. These stories reach my inbox from all over the world – from Africa to Australia to the UK to even here in the states where I live. His faithfulness is overwhelming! To God be all the glory!
At the time of this writing, there are over 20,000 subscribers to Intentional By Grace and even more visiting on a monthly basis. I don’t take lightly that these women (and a few men, I suppose) have climbed on board with me to journey this life of seeking to live for Him in all we do. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this community, and I’ve met some amazing women along the way – some of which are my dearest friends now!
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” ~1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.” ~Luke 8:38-39
These two passages of scripture have come to mind over and over again (with the bolded words piercing my soul) in the last several months as I’ve prayed about the future of Intentional By Grace.
Here are some expanding thoughts on why I believe it is time to lay down the site.
1. You don’t need me to tell you how to live intentionally.
You have God’s word. You have your local church body. You have everything you need for living a life of godliness in Christ Jesus.
2. I need to live quietly and mind my own affairs.
It is easy to get caught up in living my life so I can blog about it, or at least allowing everything to be viewed through the lens, “How can I teach this to others?” Blogging has been good for me in a lot of ways, but it is time to not record all I do for the world to see. It is time to live quietly, to live mindfully through my days, and to do the work God has for my hands to do in the tangible world around me.
It is time for me to return home and declare how much God has done for me.
1. My home is full of people who need to hear about Jesus.
At the time of this writing I have three children five (almost six) and under. I don’t know if the Lord has more children for us or not. Time will tell, but for now my hands are full and my days are fuller. Now is the time to invest in the lives of my children and declare the glory of the Lord in my home.
2. My town is full of people who need to hear about Jesus.
We moved back to my husband’s home town to be near family and invest in the community.
In the coming year, we will be working together as a family to:
- Get my husband further through seminary (one single class at a time)
- Host a small group through our local church
- Start a non-profit to increase book ownership among children living in poverty locally (with dreams of expanding globally)
These are just a few of the ways God has been directing our steps in the last year, and as I surveyed all the Lord had for me in the coming year(s), I kept coming back to where Intentional By Grace fit in.
In the final days of wrestling with the Lord about how to handle the future of this blog, because the truth is I still feel called to write and teach, I heard Sally Clarkson say something on her podcast that struck me as a word from the Lord. She reminded us to live seasonally through our lives and to have a long term perspective on the ministry the Lord has given us. She explained that more of her ministry has been lived quietly in the daily mundane of her life than publicly through writing and teaching. It settled my soul, and affirmed what I kept hearing Him say, “Aspire to live your life quietly and faithfully. Trust me.”
So trust Him I will.
What You Can Expect Moving Forward
1. Intentional By Grace Site
The only change you will see, besides no new content going live, is the removal of the comment feature. Since I won’t be logging in to moderate the comments, I thought it best to close them.
Also, I want to use the month of January to share some final posts as well as the top posts here at Intentional By Grace. So, starting now through the month of January, I will be sharing a few new posts and posts from the past that have had the biggest impact on this community. We can call these my parting gifts to you.
2. Intentional By Grace Store
I will be keeping my store open for those who want to make purchases moving forward, but after January 31, 2017, I will no longer be offering my eCourse, Intentional By Grace Unplugged (or the Be More Intentional Everyday Bundle). This is a resource that requires me to actively engage with those who are taking the course, and I cannot in good faith allow anyone to purchase it and not have the support to go with it.
However, the remainder of the products will stay available for purchase, but customer support will have a seven day turn around time as opposed to the 24-48 hour turn around you’ve come to expect.
As my husband and I went back and forth on how to manage the store, this was the peaceful agreement we came to. He’s going to manage the customer service for me, so I will be completely free unless needed. The sales from the store will go toward “keeping the lights” on here at the site. Any purchases you make through the store will enable us to continue leaving the site live.
Last Chance to Get Intentional By Grace Unplugged
If you’ve been eyeing the Intentional By Grace Uplugged eCourse, then now is the time to snag it! The course takes 10 days to complete, and it consists of my ten best tips for living intentionally every single day.
I cannot tell you how many times I have referred back to this course for my own benefit. Sometimes it’s hard to see the bigger picture when your day-to-day is so chaotic. When you can’t seem to get through a single day unscathed, it’s hard to believe there is hope for the future.
I think, at it’s core, we all want to live more intentionally because we sincerely want to glorify God with our lives. I just think we get lost along the way, or sometimes we need a little hand holding.
This is exactly why I created this eCourse. Like you, I needed bite-sized pieces of information to dig my way out of chaos. I needed to take some baby steps to get rid of the clutter (in my mind and home) so that I could live a more rested and full life using the gifts God has given. I was sick and tired of spinning wheels to nowhere, and I was exhausted!
These ten tips have been tested and tried and proven successful time and time again in my own life. If life starts spiraling out of control, when I start suffocating under it all, I go back to these ten basic steps. Literally, I watch the videos again to get myself back on track.
Now through January 31, 2017, you can get Intentional By Grace Unplugged for just $19.97!
We’ll call it a clearance sale. 🙂 This is your last chance to get the Intentional By Grace Unplugged eCourse before it is gone.
I pray that you enjoy the remaining days left here in this space, and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the future of His people as we each seek to live intentionally for Him in all that we say and do.