Because sometimes less is more …

by Kari on February 25, 2013

writing-2

January 1, 2011, as I prayed through the New Year and asked God for His direction, I very clearly sensed Him saying to write every day. Every single day.  Up to that point I was sporadic, a post here, a post there, irregular and undisciplined, whenever I’d feel like it. Sure, I said I wanted to write a book, to use written communication to share the truth of Jesus, but I wasn’t actually doing it very much.

So He said to write every day.

And I did. And so often I’d go back and ask Him if I could do less. Write less. This everyday stuff is hard. Exhausting. But He never let me off the hook. And He’d always provide exactly the words at exactly the time. Every time.

But something this year is different. It’s been more than two years of everyday-writing. And right now God is shaking things up in my life. Messing with me. I wish I could say that I like it, but it’s kind of a yucky-feeling. Sometimes, a lot of times, selfish ambition gets mixed in there with godly ambition. Making followers of me gets mixed with making followers of Jesus. Definitions of success get mixed up. The idea of “ministry” gets a radical make-over and leaves me questioning everything.

Everything.

Like how loving a drug-addict last week, in real time, might be more important than drafting a blog post.

You think?

And then Tim Keller says this in Bible Study Magazine this month:

“[Loving God and loving your neighbor] means being sincere. People in the city have to see that you’re not just trying to increase your following … The city needs to see us loving our neighbor.”

What do I spend more time doing? Loving my neighbor (my real neighbor, the real-life, hurting, broken person sitting in front of me) or working to increase my online following in the name of loving my neighbor?

I start to feel sick to my stomach.

So I wrestle. Write less, love more. But it’s still hard. I’m part of an online world that’s always pushing forward. Always new looks. More content. More ways to grab people’s attention. And then I think of a friend of mine, another blogger. And since she’s on my mind I click her site. And you know what I find?

God told her to quit. And she obeyed. She up and quit blogging because God told her to. And all of a sudden I’m so encouraged to simply obey God, because while pride pushes, integrity inspires. And her integrity, before God and people, inspires me. I sense the storm settling into clarity.

Then, of course, yesterday Jeff sends me this quote:

“How to be insignificant: reach for your own self-defined significance.  Big-deal-ness undermines itself.  Ambition demotes.

How to be significant: forget about your big plans and obey Jesus radically in sacrificial ways that make no sense unless he himself is the reward.” Ray Ortland Jr.

I’m on the floor now.

Now, I will confess to you that in this past month, as I’ve wrestled, I’ve actually Googled (this is so embarrassing) “Optimum number of blog posts per week.”

Insert vomit here.

And of course all the experts say you should blog everyday. Of course. And then of course this morning I open my Bible and read in Joshua where they are conquering the promised land and the Gibeonites pull a prank and trick Israel into establishing a treaty with them. You remember why?

The men of Israel took of [the Gibeonite] provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. (Joshua 9:14)

They looked at the evidence, but didn’t listen to the Lord. In other words, they Googled the “right” answer but didn’t ask God.

And you know what? Whey they didn’t ask counsel of the Lord the result was exhaustingThey had to deal with these thorn-in-the-flesh Gibeonites forever, all because they didn’t take counsel from the Lord.

I don’t know about you. I think I’m going to listen.

So here’s the deal: It’s not headline news, but we’re shifting to a MWF schedule. I’ll still lay out my heart and share God’s Word and my messy life here in this place, but only three times a week. I believe this is obedience to God, and I’m trusting Him that less is more. 

Thank you so much for reading.

 PS Surprise! My sweet friend Sarah updated the site yesterday and I didn’t realize it’d be live today. Kind of ironic that on the day I share about doing less, the whole site is revamped. Grateful for her work. Hope you enjoy the fresh look.

 

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M February 25, 2013 at 6:20 am

Kari, I will be praying for you. I love reading your posts. God really uses you to touch and teach other women. You seem to always touch on something I am dealing with in my own heart. I totally understand the self ambition vs. godly ambition and sometimes we don’t get a clear answer. When we do, praise Him and thank Him. Bless your family and I am excited to see where the Lord is going to take you!

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:37 am

Thank you so much, Lisa! Wow, yes I’ll gladly take your prayers! Thank you so much for commenting and letting me know I’m not alone! :) Bless you, sister!

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Cynthia February 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

Hi Kari,
I have enjoyed your blog so much for the past year. Your insights have often propelled me forward or answered a philosophical question with which I have been struggling. But as a mom of two myself, and as a woman called into service in unglamorous ways (after being on stage for 20 years – quite an adjustment), I have the greatest empathy for your decision to ease up a bit. And the greatest respect. And a bit of assurance. For even if you feel at some point that you are being called to cease writing for now, our hearts will be stronger knowing your words filled us and prepared us for your absence. And our hearts will wait in this sacred space for your return should that be what He wants for you and yours.

Mad props to you for listening for your direction. He will always lead you down the road of His care.

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:38 am

Thank you so much, Cynthia! Wow, yes you have taken quite a big leap into the sacred mundane! Unglamorous indeed. Good for you! Thank you for your encouragement; bless you my sister!

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Sharon O February 25, 2013 at 8:26 am

Love the new look and always love what you have to share. You are real. You challenge us and yet you walk alongside too. Thank you.

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:38 am

Thank you, Sharon. Still want to meet you someday!!

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Danielle February 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

I’m so proud of you!

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:39 am

Thanks, friend. Thanks for the many hours listening to me sort through life as we run. Love you.

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dad February 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

mom here…. I totally agree and I know your kids will agree. Your most magnificent moments are when you chase your giggling squealing kids into your arms. When we sang H B to Heidi at the beach, with her on your lap, her look of shining adoration and love brought tears to my eyes love you… mom

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:39 am

Thank you Mama!

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Anna Radchenko @ Here Am I February 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Kari,

So thankful that you’re being obedient to the Lord and doing whatever is necessary to stay focussed on Him and His will. I know the struggle… the desire to stay in the real-life moments, but knowing God wants us to write and share the words online. I’ve been there – numerous times – wanting to give up the internet all together… I know the struggle to not let a “platform” and “SEO” become what drives us to post, but GOD giving us a gift of words to share becoming a means to glorify Him even if we don’t see the results.

Praying God gives you peace, hope, and a passion for His name throughout this change – I think He’ll show you so much more with this new schedule change. :)

In Christ, Anna

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:40 am

Ah…thank you Anna! Yes, you understand the crazy online world. Thank you for your openness and honesty. It’s a joy to be “in this” with other like-minded sisters! Bless you!

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Janie February 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm

You amaze and encourage me! Great decision…that being to go with His plan. You have your listening ears attuned to Him. The best and the scariest thing about the future is we don’t know where we will be led. That is a very good godly thing. I love you :-)

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:41 am

Thank you, Momma. I love you.

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Jacques February 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Having recently found your blog, I’ve devoured through all your posts in the last month. Although, pretty computer savvy, I’d never succumbed to all the social media but then I found yours and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time in my life. After years in federal law enforcement (I was a special agent), I gave it all up to stay home with my three young kids. Reading your ebook, Plenty, along with your posts have been a great inspiration to me and in many ways reaffirmed that I had not made a mistake when the reality of the ‘sacred mundane’ finally hit. Pretty ironic that I was in your shoes not long ago questioning if my ‘calling’ to serve my country was more self-pride that came with my fancy title or if it was a way of serving Him and His plans for me. In the end, I know I made the right choice. And I believe that even though you may not feel it with complete certainty right now, that your choice to slow down will give you the much needed time to pray about it and wait for His answer. Although I will miss the daily dose of friendship, encouragement, inspiration that I got from your daily posts, I am very happy for you and will pray that His plan for you works out.

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:41 am

Jacques, Praise Jesus! Thank you for taking the time to share this. What a gift of encouragement you are to me this morning. Thank you so much for identifying and sharing your heart, and assuring me I’m not alone! :) I’m so glad you are here, please stay in touch! Love, Kari

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Paul D. Hunter February 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

As I read your posts faithfully, and most of the comments, I begin to wonder if this is a blog site for WOMEN ONLY! But, then as the Spirit speaks to me through your writings, I recall that our spirits are non gender and they are what we have to be intimate with God. And, that seems to be the focus of your blogs anyway. Knowing Him and loving Him and accurately representing Him to those we live with and those with whom we come into contact. I applaud your devotion to Him and not the collective wisdom of those who advise us about the writing pathway to “success.” I’m proud of you.

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:42 am

:) Ahhh, Paul! Thank you! You are ALWAYS welcome here — there’s a good handful of you men who are gracious enough to wade through my wordiness and hang out in this space with a bunch of girls. THANK YOU. Love you so much.

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Jen February 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I hope this isn’t taken the wrong way, Dear Friend, but i was thankful to read this. You know your post about Ann back a few weeks ago? I sometimes feel that too. And you were starting to wear me out sensing that you were pushing yourself to write daily. I can’t even write once a WEEK (or even a month) so it’s comforting to know that it may not be that I’m a horrible steward of my time but that my time is spent with More Important People. 4, and sometimes 5 of them! Yes, I need to heed your words in seeking the Lord in how to spend my minutes and that He will show where to cut back and where to make room. Sometimes our motives are so pure that we think it MUST be right. (Photography is like this for me…sometimes I have to cut back and yet, it CAN be done for His glory. Although, I would also like to find time to write more!) Like many people have reminded me, this time in parenting “littles” is fleeting and there will soon come a season where we CAN send them out and have hours of free time…and then we’ll wish we didn’t have so much time, right?! In any event, onward Christian soldier! You encourage me!

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

Not taken wrong at all! I’m wearing myself out by watching myself too! :) Thanks Jen, I respect you SO MUCH. Thanks for your love and encouragement. Let’s keep reminding each other to LIVE — not just take pictures of living or write about living. :) Love you!!
K

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Nikki February 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I rarely write comments on blogs, however I wanted to just take a sec and let you know how much I respect you for making this hard decision. Your focus is in the right place and you will be blessed for being obedient. Love you!

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:44 am

Wow, thanks so much Nikki. That means a lot. I appreciate your encouragement. Love you too!!

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Pam February 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm

There is great blessing in doing what God asks us too. :) Sending much love and blessings to you! :)

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:45 am

Amen, Pam! You know that! I miss you my friend, thanks for this, let’s talk soon!

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Janae February 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm
Janae February 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm
Kari February 26, 2013 at 7:45 am
Chaundel February 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Kari, As I told you in an email just now I haven’t read your posts in a long time but couldn’t resist just now. When i read this I had to respond. I don’t blog due to never being on top of my life without it (why I hadn’t read yours in a long time) but am constatnly struggling with my schedule and to-do list. Your post about obedience to God and making Him the true source of your direction was inspiring to me. So glad He’s so patient with all of us!!! And so glad you are listening to Him.

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Kari February 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thank you, Chaundel! I’m so glad my “mistake” got us in touch with each other again. ;) Bless you, sister!

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Brooke February 27, 2014 at 7:44 am

Thank you for being so real. I have enjoyed each and every post I’ve read. The Lord is using you in many many ways .

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