Why I took off from blogging in January & Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me link up

February 10, 2015

Hello and welcome to another “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me” link up, the first one of 2015 to be exact. I am SO EXCITED to bring this link up back that I could throw a party. Bring on the cake, confetti and of course all of yourselves as the guests of honor. I could go for some brownies at just about now thinking about parties. Anyhow enough dreaming of brownies and a party event; I just want to say that I am glad to be back to blogging from here on out after taking a break in January to do other things beside spending a lot of time on this space. I thank many of you for your e-mails, tweets, facebook messages or comments with wishing me well, letting me know you missed me. I missed you guys as well.

The truth of it is this post was suppose to go live last Monday (my first Monday back to blogging) but there was a switch up at the last moment and I ended up co-hosting Mix It Monday with Lauren of @fizzandfrosting, here. So bare with me as I describe a MAJOR reason for my break and please leave any thoughts and link up as you wish.
In January I took the month off from blogging because I was on a fast for the month to just grow in my relationship with the Lord, spend more time with Him and or in prayer while growing in my relationship with my husband and kids.
My fast included staying away from blogging and Instagram as these have been a stronghold on my relationship with God and others this past year. I enjoy these forms of social media but sometimes God wants more of us, and I couldn’t give Him all of me with blogging and instagram constantly tugging me to the responsibilities required.

Sure my blog and Instagram have grown tremendously in a year but I found that I was putting my self-worth into how many followers I had, or lost, on how my content read, pictures looked, promoting, etc, that I knew from prayer that these were areas I needed to step away from for a bit. Let me tell you it was hard on some days. But now I am back and I have some good and not so good stuff to share with you below on the results of the fast or break and some pictures of my sweet kids and I.

The good results of the fast:

1). I began to pray and feel value in myself, not what others thought of me. Sometimes this is a hard area for me as there are always people with opinions about me or about our family. When I found myself doubting who I am as a person, mom or wife it was neat to have God remind me of who I am in Him, that I am valued and doing the best I can.
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2).My hubby and I choose to fast sweets, breads and meats as well and therefore sometimes we had to get creative with what we ate.

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Lentil tacos- recipe here, fruits, vegtables, noodles, rice, nuts were all a part of our diet. Giving up sweets (especially brownies and cookies were the hardest). Now we didn’t fast to loose weight, but we did loose a few inches.

3). I am a HUGE advocate for the power of confession. For awhile now my hubby and I had some issues in our marriage that we were scared to talk about but God brought the opportune time in church one day and we talked about things and prayed at the alter about it. There is just a closeness and peace in our marriage now that only God could have restored that day, as we gave up our past hurts and forgave each other, God brought us closer.

4). We saw God provide financial blessings when we needed it.

5). I had been praying for order in the home. My wonderful hubby came up with a typed out list of rules for the household a few days ago and so far we have seen improvement with our kids and with remaining consistent. The rules are on the fridge now for the kids (mainly our 5 year old) to see as a daily reminder of “this needs to be done” or “here are the select times for this,” etc.

6). There were some family issues beyond our family unit that God allowed me to talk about with the other family members.

7). As silly as it sounds I prayed for 100 followers on my blog facebook page after starting with 92 before the fast and in one day I reached my 100 just by tweeting, promoting it, inviting more friends. Happy Dance! Thank you, thank you!

8). Going to church on Sundays have been so hard and stressful for months now. I was going to church, of course, but my attitude was not in check. I was grouchy and stressed before church and I felt that this wasn’t the attitude I needed as I needed to go to church to worship God and grow in fellowship and in His word. I finally confessed my struggles to a life group and the matter was prayed over and yesterday was the second Sunday this past month that I felt “peace” “joy” and just a renewal to be in God’s house and in His presence with other believers.

9). I got to enjoy my children without the need to constantly check “e-mails, instagram, bloglovin, etc.”

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There are many more things I could tell you, but with fasting and prayer there also comes attacks from the enemy.

-We had our clothes dryer heating element switch stop working- but God brought us a wonderful family who gave us a used dryer for FREE.

-My laptop contracted a virus or something else that several scans could not fix, hence going to a repair shop (I type this on my hubbies laptop).

– my hubby got in a car wreck leaving our second van wrecked and so we are working out the details and praying for a cheap fix or new vehicle.
susan
Another blessing or biggie is celebrating my pastor’s wife Susan as she finally launched her blog that she had been praying to start for 10 years. If you would give her blog a visit and leave her a note of encouragement or welcome into the blog world, I am sure she would deeply appreciate it. She writes about spiritual, physical and emotional wellness. If you are a health guru or even need just a little bit more of encouragement, prayer or refreshment in God’s word from another perspective then visit Susan’s blog here. Knowing her personally, she is always checking up on others, sweet and very thoughtful. I hope you will feel the same about her as you meet her. Thanks friends!

I am glad the good outweighed the bad while I was gone. I cannot wait to check out your blogs again. I have missed you all.

What have you been up to? Have you ever fasted anything?

Now the rules and link up:
1). Please link up recent posts and include the link up button or post this URL link back on your blog. The posts can be about fashion, DIY projects, recipes, inspiration, tips, etc. *If you link up other link ups or giveaways please be sure you share this link up on your link up post to share the blog love and I will be sure to link up to yours. Also please follow me in the below social medias and let me know how you are following and I will follow back. Thank you!

2). Please follow your host Rachel of Garay Treasures either by Bloglovin, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or all.
Comment below and let me know how you are following so I can follow back.

3). Stop by and check out the other bloggers who have linked up and be inspired.

4).Depending on how many link up I will feature 5 bloggers and their posts for my next “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me” link-up or series.

5). Have fun! Comment below if you have any questions! Thanks for linking up!

Garay Treasures
<div align="center"><a href="http://garaytreasures.wordpress.com" title="Garay Treasures" target="_blank"><img src="https://garaytreasures.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bloggerswhohaveinspiredme.jpg" alt="Garay Treasures" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Linking up with:

Liz and Leanne

still being molly

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  • Andrea February 10, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Oh, very nice post! Love how strong you’re and chooses to spend time with your family and God.Keep it strong.
    http://fabuloustorture.blogspot.com

  • jeffriestyke February 10, 2015 at 11:13 am

    This was wonderful and refreshing to read! I could use an IG fast too!! Thank you for inspiring me! I love the floral blouse in your last post too! Very pretty! I am glad you saw so many blessings come out of your fast. God is so good(: Susan

  • Dawn Lucy February 10, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    So glad you took some time off to take good care of yourself. Blogging can become obsessive, so I think it’s healthy to take a step away from time to time! That being said, we’re still glad you’re back!
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

  • Ashley February 10, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Sometimes taking a step back and spending time doing what’s most important is best- and it gives you renewed energy! 🙂

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

  • Sam February 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Rachel, This was an inspiring post in and of itself even without the link up :). Though I do still love this series. I’m glad your break was so full of blessings and has you back with a renewed look on life. xSam

  • Ada February 10, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    What a beautifully-written, raw post. Family and our children are the most important thing(s) in the world. I am glad you are back with this inspiring link-up and looking great also because that floral outfit yesterday, was darling!

  • Becky @ bybmg February 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    So glad you had a refreshing month off!

  • Posh Prime February 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Good for you! I’m glad you took the time off and grew from it!
    ~~Megan~~
    http://www.poshprime.com

  • Lisa February 10, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Great Post!! Thank you so much for the invite to your beautiful linkup 🙂 Lisa xo
    http://www.beauty101bylisa.com/2015/02/linkupwithlisa-winter-shorts.html

  • nicolemolders February 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    glad you are back

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  • Susan February 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Rachel, I appreciate your transparency in your post especially with regard to how we can focus too much on the wrong things when we are blogging. I have already been challenged with this in my short time of blogging so your thoughts were very helpful. I’m so happy about all that God did in your life during your fast, and I know that He will continue to honor what you sacrificed. Thanks so much for introducing me to your blogging friends and community. I look forward to connecting more with them!

  • Ashley February 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    It sounds like your time away was very eye-opening and revealing. I am not surprised that the Lord taught you so much during your fast! He is so faithful and teaches us things when we least expect it. However, glad you are back!

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom February 10, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I was wanting to ask you why you took a blog break, but decided not to as I felt it wasn’t my business to ask. 🙂 It sounds like the break was worth it on many levels, especially where you grew your relationship with your husband through confession and forgiveness and you had so much more time to focus on your kids and new rules around the home, etc. Maybe one day I’ll talk myself into taking a blogging break… I can’t even seem to take a break even when we go on vacation for a week!! lol!

  • Denise February 10, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Wow, that is amazing that you were able to give it up for a while. I am not sure I would be able to do the same! Also, good job on the meats and sweets as well! Loving this post, it is so inspiring!

    Denise
    http://www.fashionloveletters.com

  • Amy Ann February 11, 2015 at 12:51 am

    It’s so hard not to get my self worth caught up in my blog too. It’s something I have to remind myself of all the time and constantly lay before God. I imagine it’s a common struggle. Glad you found some relief from your break and were able to refocus.

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

  • Tina Bradley February 11, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Loving the beautiful photos of your lovely family! So glad you were able to take a needed break; sure sounds like it was a beneficial one for you. It’s important to listen to what we know we need to do! Thanks for hosting this link up! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  • J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all February 11, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Wow! What a fantastic post! Thank you for being so upfront and honest! I am glad that you took the time off for yourself, your family, and for God, but I am extremely happy to see you back at it girl! xoxo

  • Shannon February 11, 2015 at 4:01 am

    So glad to see you back and that had a nice break with your family! It can definitely get very difficult at times, but glad you got to take some me time and refocus! Praying that your van is an easy fix too!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  • Claire February 11, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Such a great post! Glad your back!

    God bless,
    XO, Claire
    http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.blogspot.com

  • dousedinpink February 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

    So glad to see you back! This post was so refreshing to read! Sometimes taking a break is just what you need and it sounds like it gave you a new perspective and got you back on track!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  • Tania // Run To Radiance February 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I needed to read this today! I went to a stream of the IF gathering last weekend and left feeling so convicted and torn about my blog and how it has become an idol in my life. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true. I am still praying through how to find balance and what that looks like, but for me it was a major heart shift and a break from checking analytics, emails, feeling like I HAVE to post, etc.

  • Maria February 11, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I’m glad your back but it looks like your time off was much needed! I’ve really been struggling lately with social media too- comparing myself to others and feeling bad about myself because of it. I really need to keep reminding myself God is in control and He knows what’s best!

  • bittyandbunny February 11, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    I totally know what you mean about equating your self-worth with how many followers gained/lost, content quality, etc. Sometimes a break is just the best thing you can do for your confidence (and your sanity). So sorry to hear about your husband’s car accident – I hope he’s ok!! And also, it’s pretty awesome you guys went veggie for a month. As a vegetarian myself, it’s my duty to urge you to continue your veggie adventure 🙂 So nice to have you back!
    xo
    Kym
    bitty.and.bunny

  • Ginny February 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I totally agree about letting self worth come from social media being a problem I’m so glad you learned so much this month and grew too

  • Kathleen Harper February 12, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Adorable post!
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

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  • megschneider February 12, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Wow! What a great post and what dedication to sticking to the fast! Those lentil tacos also sound good to me now, too, I have a bag of lentils in my pantry waiting to be cooked. I experienced it a little when I completely turned off my phone for a 2 week long family vacation-no checking instagram (hard for me!). It is a bit shocking how automatic it can become. I really applaud your strength in stepping away and coming back stronger than ever in your mission.

  • kerisnyder2014 February 12, 2015 at 11:16 am

    You were so smart to do this! I was actually listening to a podcast the other day about where we get our self worth from. It is so easy to get caught up in the blogging world. I am glad you are back and praying for continued focus for you. You are Amazing!

  • Heather February 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Such a beautiful post, Rachel! It is so nice to read about your experiences… I struggle with many of the same issues with the pull between blogging, social media usage, life priorities/serving, and making sure God always comes first, a midst the distractions. It is great to know I am not alone in this struggle! Thank you for having the courage and heart to open up about your experiences!
    XO,
    Heather
    http://www.alittlecasual.com

  • Grace February 13, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Please never doubt yourself anymore! Even from the distance I can feel your love and support for so many people in your life! You are amazing and I am lucky to meet you and grow as friends together! Let’s think about how we can support each other. I am new to this but I am open to all kinds of possibilities. Take care and keep in touch!

    Grace

    http://colorandgrace.com/