Perhaps I should have thought twice before writing outside my realm.
The post on helping the homeless has generated more criticism than I ever expected, most of it in anonymous comments (some of which I deleted for foul language) and more in my email inbox. I thought I was being transparent in admitting my faults. I hoped that by asking for help, the resources answered might be helpful to many of us.
Ultimately, the contrast between the needs of the homeless and my archives of the "perfect homelife" was too jarring. Critics came out from every corner. Rather than sharing my secrets for living on less, I was turning readers' focus to materialism. Sharing yard sale finds was suddenly "exalting worldly treasures." Eating low carb foods (for diabetes, I might add) was feasting while others go hungry. Is it possible to please everyone?
There are many parts of my life which I do not share at Like Merchant Ships. When I thought about starting a blog, I considered many subjects. Of all the talents God gives people, one of my best is managing our money. That doesn't mean the Christian woman's greatest aim is to be "like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." It's just my one little area of expertise. I know some of you have been encouraged by our example. Foregoing one income so that you can stay home with your children doesn't mean you'll live in a dreary home and eat ramen noodles every meal! Likewise, I have been challenged to growth in other areas by watching your journeys online.
Two years have passed since I started Like Merchant Ships. It's been a blessing for me to document our lives, motivate myself, and be uplifted by your comments and questions. Just bear with me as I learn and grow. Who knows what the next two years will bring?
NOTE: I am really worn out. For the time being I have turned off the commenting option.