I've had people ask me over the last weeks & months, "What happened to your blog?", "Why aren't you writing on your blog anymore?", "Did you run out of things to say?" I'm pretty sure we all know that last one is the farthest thing from the truth. That said, I haven't really had an emphatic or exclusive answer or resolution to this question. Truth be told, the only answer I could give is a very short one: I don't know. So I've started looking back, retracing steps, and trying to pick up the trail of when and why I began neglecting this online mouthpiece of mine. Here are the things I have sensed have played a role in all of this.
At the beginning of 2012 I had to take on some responsibilities at The Brook that I had not faced in quite some time. This wasn't anyone's fault or the result of anything other than just the Lord allowing us to walk through a new season with new mountains to climb. But over time - as you walk with the Lord - you begin realizing that most mountains He leads you up are going to be worth the trek up the hill. It has definitely been worth it. And while I've actually had some folks tell me along the way, "Brian, it's not your job to have to deal with all of that!", I see things differently. While I understand and appreciate the sentiment (and I do ultimately believe that we should be working toward "Doing the things that only we can do"), there are times as a leader that you have to be the one to roll up your sleeves, hammer through it, and just plain flat work hard. Life gets busy sometimes. Leadership gets even busier.
While most of my life has been an open window over the last 5 years, there are changes and challenges we have walked through over the last months in our family that I have chosen to keep private. Not hidden, just not plastered up publicly for everyone to see. To give you a 2 cent version of a million dollar story, here are just a few of the changes that have gone on in the Mayfield home:
- Last year we chose to homeschool Libby & Nathan. It was one of the greatest decisions we have ever made. (That's a blogpost for another day) This year we enrolled them at Providence Classical School in Huntsville. So far, it has been amazing. (Another blogpost for another day)
- Last year we began working with the Harris Home for Boys in Huntsville. There we met a young man named Dre. At Christmas, for the first time, Dre came and stayed with us. This began an almost every other weekend ritual of Dre coming to our home. Finally, through much prayer, conversation, and counsel, we came to the conclusion in the spring that Dre was supposed to come and live with us full time. The government would call him our "foster son". We don't really care about those words. He's part of our family. This is Dre's senior year in high school and Morgan is homeschooling him to help him prepare for whatever the Lord has ahead.
- At the beginning of this year I began developing a tightness in my leg muscles that would not go away. After months of trying everything I knew to try (stretching, massage, chiropractic, inversion, more stretching), my doctor and I came to the conclusion that in all likelihood the statin drug (most famous name-brand cholesterol drug on the market that starts with an "L") I was taking was causing this inflammation. I'll spare you all the tests and doctor visits I went through. Thankfully, with the drug out of my system, I am now beginning to see some return to normal. I've gone running 3 times in the last 8 days. That hasn't happened in 8-10 months.
- My mom made the decision to move away from Texas after 33 years. That was an incredibly difficult decision for her. We've been neck-deep in it, walking with her, praying that the Lord will give her guidance. It's tough to close a chapter of your life, especially one that long and that good!
I'll stop there. Just writing it all down is starting to make my head spin again.
I really think that as a leader your priorities are going to change. As you enter new seasons, you take on new responsibilities and challenges. And then...your priorities will change again. To cut to the chase, I have had an underlying conviction over the last year that 2 things were clearly more important than me writing on my blog:
- Spending more intentional time investing in the lives and leadership of our staff at The Brook. We've gone through a major transition and we've walked through it together. In fact, in the last 3 years, we've made what I believe are the 2 most important changes in the life of our church: transitioning to being an Elder-led church (&) transitioning from small groups to missional communites. This has required our full time, attention, and most important, unity.
- I also felt clearly that I simply needed to "Shut up and listen". There are times - seasons - when the Lord gives us something to say. Something important to whisper. Maybe something life-changing to shout from the rooftops. But other times the world needs our ears more than our mouth. And not only that, we need to begin to learn to listen all over again. Think James 1:19 on steroids. Really listening takes practice and discipline. It's worth all the hard work.
4. Unknown Reason
There has to be a 4th reason I'm not thinking of or subconsciously supressing. And besides, preachers always have 3. I'm going with 4.
While this is definitely not an all-encompassing and completely thorough disclosure of the reasons behind my blog hiatus, these are certainly the most prevailing factors involved, none of which am I the slightest bit in regret. God has, is, and will continue to work faithfully in and through our lives as we seek Him first and focus our lives intentionally on living for His Kingdom and reaching out to those who don't yet know the hope we have in Christ. So keep seeking and keep reaching.
Be back soon.