Thoughtful Friday || Life + Blogging Chat

Hi there! ❤ My goodness, it has been far too long since I felt like myself on this blog. There are so many things I want to share with you in this post, because even though I’ve been posting on and off for the past several months, I haven’t actually been expressing what’s been going on in my life and how I’m really feeling about everything.

Have you ever gone out on a coffee date with an old friend whom you haven’t seen in forever? That’s what this post is going to be like. Even though I’ve been around in the blogging world, I haven’t really been here in well over a year. I am very happy to invite you to grab a virtual cup of coffee and have a long overdue chat with me.

Where do I even begin? I think I’ll start with the two month blogging break I took from late-July through late-September of last year. I was massively struggling emotionally at that time, and I could not continue blogging with the way my mental health was at that point in the year. My little sister, Elizabeth, was at a very, very rough place developmentally, and that took a toll on our entire family. At that same time, I had just graduated from high school, and the pressure I felt from society to immediately pursue college was unbearable. I let it get to my head, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was making the wrong decision by staying home to help my family (because they really needed me).

In the back of my mind, I knew that the Lord had me in the season I was in for a reason, and He was teaching me a lot at that time, but I also let my preferences and society’s expectations steal my happiness.

I came back to blogging in the fall – when I posted every day in October – but I didn’t really open up about what I’d been through in the months before that. Since that long break, I haven’t felt the same enthusiasm and passion about blogging like I did in 2017 especially.

I’ve been living in survival mode for a very long time, and I haven’t known how to open up about my struggles and get back to a happy, optimistic way of living.

I actually had a lot of positive experiences last fall. I visited two different churches in October and November, and I had the opportunity to interact with a lot of new people whom I enjoyed getting to know, even though it was for such a short time. I created an outreach ministry, which met an unexpected end, but it was a beautiful thing to be part of for as long as it lasted.

Because I wasn’t in a place to be the outgoing blogger I used to love being, I lost most of my connections to others online. Some people stopped blogging, which is why we don’t interact anymore, but the other people I once enjoyed chatting with drew away because I couldn’t be the friend I used to be. I’ve gone for weeks and even months at a time of not regularly commenting on my friends’ blogs, which has made me so sad but I had to put myself first.

The chaos I’ve experienced in my life for the past several months – including the things I couldn’t control, as well as my way of responding to and processing everything – has turned me into an inconsistent, flighty, and indecisive individual. (Now, there’s something you’d want to put on your résumé!) I have started things in my real life that I suddenly dropped, I stopped doing things I used to do all the time … I’ve really struggled with finding ways to cope with the trials and hardships that have occurred in my life. Some of them were self-inflicted, for sure, but other ones were so unexpected that I was unprepared to face them the right way.

The main reason I want to talk about this is to apologize to all the people who have been following my blog while all of this was going on. You have no idea what a blessing it is to me that you’ve still stuck around, despite my inability to find balance in my blogging life (and everywhere else).

I’m sorry that I’ve started blogs and then deleted them. I’m sorry for planning out post series I’d do weekly or monthly and then suddenly up and quit. I’m sorry I hosted a blogging challenge and then didn’t even complete it. I’m sorry for all the mixed signals I’ve sent out for a very long time.

I was only trying to find what would make me happy, and I really thought that a new blog, new post series, etc., was the fix I was looking for. What I really needed to do was address all of this in a post on Dreaming of Guatemala, which is what I’m doing today.

This is the blog that I fell in love with in 2017. Any adoration I’ve had for any other blog has never come close. This blog was a blessing to me from the beginning, and it’s the blog I kept coming back to despite all of my attempts to start fresh elsewhere, including my attempts to leave blogging for good. This website has seen so many changes in me – some were very good, but many of them were for the worst.

I deeply missed being excited to share posts on here. When I lost that enthusiasm a long time ago, I thought that I’d never get it back. However, I’m now seeing that the Lord has kept this outlet open for me to one day use again when He knew I was ready to do so. I kept trying to rationalize getting rid of this blog, changing it up, starting over somewhere else … but He had other plans in mind, and I’m so glad that He did. ❤

“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” – Proverbs 16:9 AMPC

It blesses me so much to be able to say that I’m excited about blogging on Dreaming of Guatemala again. I’ve missed sharing posts, interacting with you guys, reading your blog posts, and collaborating together. I want to get back to the way I used to be – I used to be so happy, both in my real life and about blogging here on WordPress, and I’m ready to be that person again, although in a current and more mature way (hopefully, hehe!).

Before I finish up this post, I have to give a special shoutout to my mom. She’s the one who’s been really encouraging me to keep up with this hobby, despite my desire to quit since I’ve been so inconsistent. If it hadn’t been for her, I would have quit altogether, which wouldn’t have made me happy at all … but I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve embarrassed myself more than once by how I’ve blogged on Dreaming of Guatemala for a long time, but I really want to forgive myself and understand where I was coming from. I’m ready to move on and take the next step in this blogging journey on Dreaming of Guatemala. Mom, thank you so much for your constant encouragement and helpful advice. Even when I haven’t known how to show it, you’re the one who has helped me to really rethink this blogging thing and get back to a place where I love doing it. Thank you! ❤ ❤ ❤


If you and I used to read each other’s blogs,
please comment down below!
I’d love to catch up with you, hear about how you’ve been,
what you’ve been up to, what you’re excited about, etc.
Let’s get reacquainted!

66 thoughts on “Thoughtful Friday || Life + Blogging Chat

  1. Hi Maggie! I’m so glad you’re doing better now, I’m excited for future posts and if you ever wanna talk, you know where I am ❤ your blog and your words are so beautiful, keep it up! Xx

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Girl, we are all doing so much better now!! We just have to do what you’re doing here – forgive ourselves, extend grace (I love Grace!), and move forward. I’m looking forward to reading your posts here. I am blogging in the space I finally feel happy about. Come check out my “new” blog! 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Hi Maggie! I am glad to hear from you! God has such big plans for your life! You have no idea what adventures he has for His children. God’s got purpose for each of our lives, that is for sure!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “I’ve gone for weeks and even months at a time of not regularly commenting on my friends’ blogs, which has made me so sad but I had to put myself first”
    Okay, I just wanted to say that I am so, so, so glad you but yourself first before blogging. I think we tend to forget there are people behind the screen, people who have feelings and get hurt and need to time and I’m so glad you did it for you. Don’t ever feel sorry for that. ❤ Welcome back, and lemme just say I am so so so happy you're here again!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you Jo ❤ ❤ it's been rough on me since I adore being there for others, but it had gotten to the point where I was forced to put myself first. I'm kind of glad now that it got to that point, because it helped me to see that there are seasons where we have to put ourselves first, and it doesn't in any way mean that we're selfish. Thank you for your encouragement 🙂 Aww thank you! I'm very happy to be back!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Maggie! I am so so sorry for the rough time you’ve had. I am glad things are a little better for you now. When I started college this past year, I seemed to vanish almost entirely from the blogging community. I stayed in contact with my closest friends from blogging, but other than that, I vanished for a bit because it was best for me. Sometimes we have to do what we know is best for ourselves even if we don’t have time to explain to those around us. 💞❤🙏

    Liked by 5 people

      1. College has been a very wonderful and very challenging experience, but God has pulled me through a whole year already! If you want to know more about my college experience in detail, I posted a handful of times and shared a lot about how it was going. 😇❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. As if any of us would want to stop reading your blog!! We love reading what you have to say on the good days and the bad days. Your inner light really shines through your posts and I know God has a wonderful purpose for your life.

    I know that in my life often your posts remind me of what I should be focusing on; help me to find a positive outlook and remember that there’s always hope. There’s always a bright side.

    I’m so glad you’re continuing to blog, and it’s awesome that you are finding the joy in it that you once did.

    Also, I have to say I’m very happy to see that you brought the parrot-header-image back. He’s part of your “brand” and it didn’t feel like the same blog without him. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aww Kendra! Thank you so much for your kindness ❤ ❤ That means a lot to me – I'm so glad my posts inspire you! I am too. It feels great to be back.
      I didn't realize just how much I missed my parrot until I brought him back! I'm so happy he's part of my blog again 🙂 ❤

      Like

  7. Hey! 😊 Glad to see you’re back!

    I’m sorry you had such a hard time. Also glad you had some good things happen too. Thanks for sharing and being willing to open up. I know how hard it can be to do that. 💖 I wish I could give you a hug. 🤗 But I guess that emoji is as close as I can get.

    I can relate to you some – I’ve not been as into blogging consistently for almost a year. My dad has been ill and things keep coming up which stop me from blogging because I’m exhausted mentally or because I don’t have time. Recently, the problem is things kept breaking (last week, mom’s car decided not to start, then it decided to try to start all the time the battery was hooked up, and then it celebrated Memorial Day with fireworks – er – throwing sparks) and I’m the one trying to fix things. I get dejected so easily and I know I’m too hard on myself. Like I can’t do anything right including blogging, so why even try. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that not being consistent is better than giving up.
    Still working on having patience with other projects though. 😅

    Hope to see you around WordPress! 💝

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw thanks Grace! I’m so glad I did ❤ I appreciate the virtual hug!

      Oh wow, that sounds pretty hectic. Life can quickly get in the way of how we blog, so I completely understand! Very true, consistency is the important part. 🙂

      Thank you! I'm happy to be back!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. (Sorry for the late reply. 😅)

        💖😊

        It has been hectic, but God is good!

        I may have to be satisfied with posting once a week for a while. I usually like to blog more than that, but I’m definitely not the type to post daily. (I’ve tried that before. Too much pressure. 😆 I admire people who can do that though.) And they will probably

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No worries! I used to have so many blog post ideas, so it was easy for me to blog daily, but it hasn’t been like that in a while. xD I’d have to come up with a master list of post ideas before I could manage that kind of schedule again!

        Like

      3. …I wasn’t done. 🤣 IPod problems. Still getting the hang of messaging on it. 😅

        Anyway, I was going to say that I’ll probably be posting more photography since those are easier for me to write. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You have a wonderful mother for pushing to keep going, and I’m glad she did! The Lord has used you in many ways to reach and encourage others. You’re so right, He knows what we need. Life can get so hard especially when trials are at home and in our mind and soul. I know I’ve certainly let things get to my head and heart before. I have a hard time of running away from things that are difficult. I think the strength and the courage it took for you to be open is beautiful. I pray you are encouraged and feel supported in this community. ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m very glad she did, too! It blesses me so much to see how the Lord is using what He inspires me to write to help others. It’s a blessing to them as much as it is to me. ❤ My goal on this blog was to always be open, but I really struggled with that for months. It felt so good to share a heartfelt post again after so long of hiding how I was doing! Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Girl, I think most if not all of us are there. I know there have been seasons, even now, where my heart has been held back for one reason or another. Or I do share little but do not expand. It isn’t always easy. And it’s okay to know that somethings are personal and remain private ❤ That's completely okay 🙂 too. I sometimes can only share and open up on what God has shared with me after I've worked through somethings personally.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It is very difficult at times, but there are seasons of life where we have to be more guarded for our own well being. I only regret the times when I acted like everything was okay when they definitely weren’t – I put up a false front because I wanted my readers to have happy posts showing up in their Reader from my blog, not sad ones that actually revealed what I was facing in my real life. Despite what I was going through, I wanted to continue to be an encouragement to others, which I realized over time wasn’t possible. I kept trying to make blogging work instead of giving myself space. You live and you learn 🙂 Same here. It can take me quite a long time to process various things after they’ve happened.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Amen. You know God has shown me by being open about the hard stuff He still receives glory, and it just may be the encouragement (people aren’t alone in these thoughts and experiences) they need 🙂 It’s hard but He’s helped my heart with this, it eases the ache a little.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. That’s true. He’s taught me countless lessons through what I’ve faced these past few years, and while I made a lot of mistakes along the way, I don’t regret going through those things at all. I’m stronger now because of them. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Maggie, I’m a relatively new follower and I just want you to know that I absolutely love your blog, and no matter how many series you start without ending, or how many blogs you create, I’ll still stick with you because let’s face it, life has a tendency to get in the way sometimes and I’m sure if you keep your faith in your heart and concentrate on what means the most to you, the rest will fall into place, take care xo

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Awww – Maggie! I know it’s a hard time for you but don’t ever think you’re not welcome in the blogging community!
    Hope you start feeling better soon 💕

    Liked by 4 people

  11. So glad you decided to come back, Maggie! Looking forwards to what you’re going to be blogging about in the future! Thank you for sharing what you’ve been going to.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. MAGGIEEEE!! I’m so happy you’re back 😄 Please don’t worry about your inconsistency, we all need time to ourselves here and there! And I have the same inconsistency problem 😝 Looking forward to reading more of your posts, friend, and praying for you!

    Liked by 4 people

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