Psalms 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
About 4 years and 3 months ago, I wrote my very first blog post, entitled:
And boy was I nervous.
What would I say each week? How many days would I be able to blog before I ran out of things to say?
The blog had come to me as an answer to a year-long prayer for a ministry from home. Boy, has it turned into that and so much more. It quickly grew into a passion of mine.
I stopped journaling, scribbling in my notebook at night, instead turning to this screen and keyboard, posting to this blog, my deepest passions, thoughts and prayers.
I was thrilled when we grew to 70 readers. SEVENTY!!! Oh my!
Over the years, that number has grown to the thousands. Small in the blog world, but not something I ever took for granted. I, Tonya Ferguson, had an opportunity to share with 5,000 people on a weekly basis. Amazing.
Then things got bigger, our Infidelity Series began reaching 1300 readers a week, every week, every year, since it was published. Then Dear Mom on the iPhone went viral several times, 10,000,000 people came to visit our facebook page and blog. We were featured on the New York Times blog, Huffington Post a few times, and had a phone interview with MSNBC for our Surviving Infidelity Series.
There are 6,282 of you that come read here at 4 little Fergusons from all across the globe. That is an honor, and a privilege I do not take lightly.
I work 5-10+ hours a week preparing posts for you, photographing illustrations to go with them, getting up in the night to write as the Lord prompts me to. Scribbling notes on the back of a receipt, or bulletin at church, when a new idea hits. I love it! I have grown to love and care about all of you over the years, and made incredible friends that I would otherwise not know!
So, when I think about saying goodbye to you, my heart aches like a child moving away from its favorite childhood home, school friends, and familiar routines, but I know what I am being asked to do for 2015.
I told you my word of the year was Inwardly.
Look at this line of the definition I shared with you earlier this week:
1. in or on, or with reference to, the inside or inner part; internally.
2. privately; secretly
3. within the self; mentally or spiritually. with reference to the inner part; internally
4. in low or soft tones; not aloud.
5. toward the inside, interior, or center, intimately, essentially
It took me a while, and at first I fought it and rationed it away, but now I know…..
I am being asked to turn my focus INWARD, I am being asked to live my life quietly for a season. Not aloud. Meaning, not out in the public eye for all to see and read on this blog.
This is my prayer for the year for my children and home:
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Every time I pray, the Lord shows me that same clear image of me, wrapping my arms around my home, husband and family below, pouring ALL my energies into them. Keeping my eyes on THEM, not my computer screen, as I blog or edit photographs, trying to keep up with a blog, homeschooling, a booming photography business and recently, a brand new growing thriving essential oil business. He has been speaking to me about this since Summer, no words, just that image.
I know what He is asking me to do, and I know in my heart its the right thing for this season of my life.
I miss my husband. Our relationship is not something I take lightly, you appreciate things more after almost losing them. He is my best friend, and number one human priority. I adore him, and I crave time with him when we are on different schedules. I want to grow old with him and please him all my days. I want to be a family, and work together and do school together, and travel together. I want to crawl to bed the same time as he does, so we can talk, pray, read together like we used to. I find such joy in his smile, I get tears in my eyes when he is tender with our children, and I have to grin whenever he throws his head back and roars with laughter. I want to put my eyes on HIM, not my computer screen, and curl up by his side at night, not crawl to bed hours after him.
My time with my children is limited, each passing Saturday is one Saturday closer to their last one at home with us, all under one roof having family breakfast and cleaning day.
Each bedtime story, one bedtime story closer to the day they tell me they are too old to be read to, or to big to fit in my lap. Each time I pass up a game, or being a silly dress up waitress, is one time closer to the day they no longer want to play. Each time Paxton takes my face in his hands and turns it away from the screen, “Look at ME, Momma” is one time closer to the time he stops asking all together.
I want to seek my children while they still want me to, need me to. I want to put my eyes on my children every single day, every moment I can offer them, my best Yes for my best blessings.
It has been years since I sat in the living room in the evenings. YEARS. I don’t like tv, but wouldn’t mind watching The Voice, instead of listening from the computer room, where I am always editing photos, writing, or blogging. I would like to have a stack of library books and actually get them read!
I am ready to LIVE my life, instead of BLOGGING it.
It has been an incredible 4 years. INCREDIBLE. And amazing! You all were faithful readers through the sunshine and the storms, through my biggest triumphs, and deepest heartaches. I am so thankful to call you friends and faithful blog readers.
So now I say, thank you….
Thank you for investing your precious time, your stolen moments of quiet, reading this blog. Reading about our family, what we did, where we vacationed, how we do chores, how we survived infidelity, miscarriages, and financial discipline.
Thank you for being excited with me for my new kitchen, and listening when I told you about the oils that changed our home for good. Thank you for standing up for me, when hateful things were spoken, and when people threw stones at our glass house, you always had my back. Thank you for that.
Thank you for letting me share my heart with you for so many years! Old habits die-hard, and I know there will be days I come to the computer to check if I have a post scheduled for the next day, or read your comments, before I remember it is no more.
It is my hope and prayer, that someday the Lord will allow me to come speak to you again, that I would have found such a new balance, that I would have plenty of extra to invest here. Oh, I would be so thrilled to get to blog again someday! That being said, yes, the blog WILL stay up unless something comes up that dictates otherwise.
It is my prayer it will be like a lighthouse, shining the way for wounded marriages on the brink of divorce. The Lord never wastes a hurt, and that series is found daily, by tearful google searchers needing HOPE, needing to be told Jesus Christ can make all things new! Who knows, maybe someday with all my spare time, I’ll get that book written. 😉
If you use the sidebar to subscribe, you can be notified by email the second I am prompted to start writing again, and of course, we can still keep in touch on our 4 little Ferguson’s facebook page! I will try to still post family photos, stories and updates there now.
And for the recipe lovers? I will plan to post what we are having for supper, as we revisit old recipes that we adore, to our facebook page.
Photography lovers, I still am doing photography, just not nearly as much, but new albums will still come on facebook next season.
There are 4 years of blog posts on this webpage. FOUR YEARS. Wow! I have had several of you ask for our very first post so you can read them all from then to now, and I am so blessed you would want to!
You are welcome to start here, at the very beginning.
There is plenty of reading material to be found for your morning, or evening, blog reading time! 🙂 Maybe those old posts will make you laugh and cry, be motivated to try something new in your home. Maybe you will remember old favorites, or be moved by ones you missed the first time around. You might even scribble down some new recipe ideas for dinner.
Speaking of food, please remember I have 3 albums packed full of every single recipe I have ever made and shared on here on our 4 little Ferguson’s facebook page.
I want you all to keep cooking and finding new things for your family to try, from our table to yours, with love!
Food Album 1
Food Album 2
Food Album 3
Good bye friends, thank you for giving me your listening ear for my 1,106th post.
It’s been an incredible journey, and you are a blessing to my family & I!
Hugs and tears……
We have never met, I don’t blog, I wish you all the best!! Thank You for blogging, writing about your life, I will miss your photos, I enjoyed coming here daily to see what you were up to. Good luck in life and love enjoy the journey on the other side of the blogging world 🙂 Hugs. Michelle
Wow! What a great post! It does take a lot from our families! I hated having to sell The Homeschool Village but it required too much.
Praying God honors & blesses your obedience!
Noooooo!!!!! While I understand and respect your decision, I sure am gonna miss you!!
Hugs from Australia
God bless you and your family on your “inward” journey! I truly believe that everything happens for a reason! I will miss your posts, but know that I’m praying for you!
Thank you for four great years!
I am so glad you will still be on Facebook. You are a tremendous woman and an encouragement to all. I will miss reading your posts but look forward to still seeing some pictures on Facebook. Thank you so very much for your transparency and truly opening your heart to us all.
Hugs & tears! You have touched & blessed so many…me included…thank you! I will miss your updates but totally understand why. My God keep blessing you & yours!
To my dearest best friend… You are BRAVE, STRONG, COURAGEOUS!!!! God has blessed you with a heart to write, and share. He will keep blessing you!!! I’m proud of you…yesterday, today, and always!!!!
You really got me with this one. And I even knew it was coming….sometime, but I didn’t know it was today. So today as your blogging ends, so does my proof reading and checking and making corrections where needed. Oh I get it, you are doing the right thing. I am blessed because I still get to spend time with you. Real time. Talking in person and getting real , live hugs from you and your family. Nevertheless, as I proofread this Very Last Blog, I am crying…tears running down my cheeks, nose running uncontrollably, because I too will miss stepping into your lovely world. Thank you for always sharing from your heart and sharing about the Amazing God we serve. I love you with all my heart and support your decision. Many blessings to you and your family. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do for you and through you in this next chapter, this next year. Love ❤ you to the moon and back!! ~Mom
Oh LaDonna….I’m bawling too…I was shaken reading T’s post…then got to your comment and really broke down! =) What a journey…and I so LOVE that Tonya follows God, as Abraham did…not knowing what’s ahead, but knowing obedience brings the blessing. I love you too sweet Mama LaDonna…and look forward to crossing paths with you at Facebook. Hugs & Misses Galore! XO
Mrs. Baker, My dear friend Marsha, more fresh tears as I read the blog again and your sweet response. I so hope we get to meet in person again. You are such a sweet and precious woman. Feel as if I’ve known you all my life. Love that you love my daughter and her family so much…guess that just makes us family too!! Love and blessings to you in this New Year!!
I’m so sad you won’t be blogging anymore, but I’m very happy for you and your family and for what God is doing in your lives!! 🙂 You have been a light to this fallen world and I appreciate your transparency. Your blog has been a breath of fresh (internet 😉 ) air as you have never deterred from your Christian faith. Thank you for always sharing from the heart and being obedient to the Lord. Good luck to you and yours in this next season of life. I will be praying for you!!
I found your blog quite some time ago when I was googling for things to help the daughter of a friend. She had been hit by infidelity. I sent her the link to what I’d found and intrigued, started reading your blog. Soon I signed up to receive it via email instead of searching for it. Eventually I went back to the oldest posts and went all the way back through. In fact, much later on one very quiet day, I did it again. Good for you for making the decision you did but I’ll miss 4 Little Ferguson’s being a part of my day. All the best to you and your family.
Wow! What a final post! Your brought tears to my eyes. I am sooo glad to have met you through this blog and that I am able to call you one of my dearest friends! I can’t wait until the day that I can actually give you a hug instead of just writing it out! I know that GOD has BIG plans for the 4littlefergusons! I can’t wait to see what they are.:)
You are very wise to cherish every memorable moment with those your heart beats strongest for. Praying for you and yours!😊
Oh my goodness. This is heartbreaking for me. Your infidelity series has helped me through the worst time in my marriage. We are still working on it, rough spots here and there, but key words working on it with God’s help! Your blog showed me that it could be done and that we can come out of it even stronger together and stronger with God. THANK-YOU! God’s blessings as you venture through this new journey. Know that you will be missed!
I am a fairly new reader of your blog and sad to see you go. That being said as I read this post it brings me inspiration. I will read many of your past posts as I believe God has put your blog in front of me amongst all the nonsense on Facebook to show me his power and guidance in an everyday persons life. Thank you for sacrificing so many things to spread the word to others. Thank God for along you to. ♡-single mom learning a new way.
Hello, Tonya, For some time now, I have been reading your blogs, especially the ones to do with other things, other than the cooking, since I am a writer myself. Your blog has moved me in numerous ways, challenged me in others, pushed me on, encouraged and comforted me! SO it is sad to hear you are going away for a bit, until the Lord says you can blog again! From a newly married man in Africa, Malawi, otherwise known as the Warm Heart of Africa, I wish you and your family the very best, going forward! May God bless you and keep you! May He shine His face on you! So long for now. Blessings FlaoMalawi, Central Africa.
What an honor to have you here all the way from warm Africa, Sir! I wish we had some of your warmth, its 1* here! Brrr.
Thank you for the lovely comment! May the Lord bless you in 2015!
Thank you so much for writing for all this time! Congratulations for having been faithful; for having been so diligent – and your diligence reminds me of Colossians 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”.
Whatsoever – be it blogging, or somethings, whatsoever…
I will miss the posts! But i have over a thousand posts to go back to.
May God bless you and keep you and you family; May He shine his face upon all of you! So long for now!
I will be extremely sad to see you go, but I completely understand the need to ‘circle the wagons’ so to speak and pour yourself into your family! I stumbled upon your blog while desperately searching for help and comfort after finding my marriage in the same situation as yours. I have frequently come back to your posts over the past 3 years whenever I needed a little reassurance or pick me up after an overwhelming day when it seemed like I was going backward emotionally. My marriage survived and is thriving now, thanks to our faith, a lot of hard work, and blogs like yours. Will you be leaving your blog up even though you won’t be posting anymore?
God’s Blessings to you and your family.
Yes! I want it to shine like a lighthouse for those whose marriages needing to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
Tanya God bless you. You are a remarkable woman your family is your most important responsibility. You will reap benefits for all of you putting them first. I am proud of you.
So long, farewell! You will miss it for a while, but soon you will delight in the freedom you will feel from the pressure of your blog! Your voice will be missed, enjoy your time with your family!
And I just found you! Much understanding tho.. I look at my babies every night and think I’ll never have today again. Tomorrow they will be more grown up. My husband just reminded me last night that I only get to pick up those toys in the walkway for a short time. So smile and thank God when I’m doing it! There will never be enough hours in a day to do all we want to with our family if we don’t lay aside our busyness! Thank you, Tonya for your time blogging, and helping me (and others) thru prayer and responding to emails. Your encouragement and honest outlook was exactly what was needed. In the short time I have followed your blog I have been blessed to see your world. Love your blog and will miss you! Praying blessings for you, Dale and all 4 little Fergusons!
I will miss you but thank you for being faithful to what God is calling you to do.
Bravo! Be careful of other “shiny things” that will come to distract you, for there will be many.
Although I live in Oregon and we’ve never met, I stumbled onto your blog soon after you started posting 4 years ago, and have been a follower ever since. My daily dose of “Tonya-sunshine” will be missed, but I also know the blessing that comes from obedience to what God is calling you to. God doesn’t call us away from something unless he has something else in store, and how exciting for you and your family! Thank you for opening up your home to us, and letting us share in your lives for a brief moment. You will be missed 🙂
Oh I am so sad but yet so happy for you and your family Tonya! You will always be an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Until next time, love and hugs from Julie.
The best decision we can take is: family! I adore mine and planning to get one with my boyfriend is a dream that I am working to become true. You are absolutely right.
I will miss you but they (your family) need you and deserve you, more than us.
Good luck and God bless you.
Hugs from MÉXICO
I am so sad but very excited for you. I’m going to miss your post. God lead me here when I was looking for answers about what to do. My marriage was falling apart due to infidelity. Your story gave me hope. It gave me strength to not give up so quickly when everyone else was telling me too. I knew after reading your story that God was telling me to stay in my marriage. To be patience, that he was in control. I prayed daily for HIS will to be done. He brought my husband back to me, a changed man. A God fearing changed man! Thank you so much for sharing you story.
Somehow I knew this was coming. I really can’t write anything more than what all of the other comments have shared. Tears and sadness that have to do with missing your blog. Tears and joy with knowing you have made a wise decision. Of course that is not a surprise to me, or others, I’m sure. I’m still going to get that hug if I happen to run into you out and about town. I just know you are all going to be blessed. You have blessed so many. Thanks you seems small but that’s what I have.
All I can say is thank you! I was frantically searching for help when my marriage was in the same situation as yours. I was so desperate and completely heart broken that I didn’t know how I was going to make it. I was so lost and empty. You’re an absolute inspiration! You helped me restore my faith in God and to keep trusting in Him. I would go back and read what you wrote and it was another wonderful tool used on the path to healing our marriage. I pray others going through the same find your blog. I signed up for email alerts and fell in love with the great recipes and reading about your family along the way! That was a few years ago..it’s a breath of fresh air to say the least! Good luck to you and your sweet family. Thank you for being so transparent and giving all the glory to God!
You will be missed my dear cyber friend! I will miss your updates, but I understand! You have such a way with words. I started reading when you posted dear mom on the iphone. When it went viral…I saw. And then subscribed. Then cried and prayed when I read your heart wrenching stories. And cried and smiled when I found that you didn’t give up and found beauty from ashes. Thank you for sharing and being an open book. Best of luck to you and your little Blessings. Thanks for being a blessing! See ya on facebook!
I had a feeling this was coming on Monday when you hinted at it. Good for you for following the Lord! I am sad but excited for you. You go girl!
Just subscribed to your blog again a few days ago and was just thinking about how open you have been inviting the world into your home, your family, and your life. Brave! And how awesome it is to hear your response to God’s leading for you. You are an inspiring Godly woman. Blessings to you and your family!
A homeschoolin’ Texan mama of 3
I too am sad, but happy for you! You have also impacted me tremendously with your honesty and faith. I have not been a regular reader, but always seem to find my way to your blog just when I need to hear it…err read it. I have enjoyed watching your family grow, have made many of your wonderful recipes, and most of all learned from your testimony. You are a wonderful Mama and an amazing Godly wife! Thank you for leaving your blog up in the mean time…it truly does shine with the Light! Many Blessings to you and your family!
wow wow wow! I feel ya girl! I sit on the computer at night working ,because it’s the only time I can.. while my poor hubby falls asleep on the couch by himself.. lots to think about. Thank you for all the great posts and sharing yourself!!! xoxo – Lali
Tonya…. Oh how your sweet words speak to my heart. I can relate first hand!
I have a photography business of six years. (Wedding and portrait photography). I have been blogging since 2011. We also began the journey of traditional homeschooling. I had four children and then last year was surprised to find out I was pregnant with number five!
I felt God also directing my heart to step back from blogging and photography to focus solely on Him and my family.
It wasn’t something I took lightly and had been considering it for over a year. Part of my heart ached to let go of things I’d worked so hard at building. But the other part of me was relieved.
Instead of pouring hours into staring at a computer screen editing photos, writing and promoting blog posts I was able to sit and enjoy my family. When I began my blogging journey it was also a ministry. But one I held with open hands in case God told me someday to let it go.
Now as I hold my sweet three week old baby girl, I know I made the right decisions.
How awesome it would be if you and I could sit down and talk over a cup of coffee 🙂 We have much in common! Thank you for all you’ve shared with us through the years. I’m so glad Marsha Baker introduced me to your blog 🙂 My you and your family experience God’s richest blessings!! 🙂
My heart broke a little when I read this. The selfish part of me wants to tell you not to do this you are crazy and what about ME what am I going to do every morning when I can’t see what you have to share. Then the other part of me wishes you and your family the best I know that God has wonderful things in store for you and your beautiful family. I look forward to the updates on Facebook when they do show on my newsfeed. Best of luck and many blessings ❤
I read this post with a mixture of sadness and joy. I will miss my daily visit and thank you for sharing the last 4 years of your life. I have been encouraged by your words so many times and knowing that you are following God’s plan for your life is truly inspiring. I’m so glad you will continue to be on Facebook and that your blog will remain open so your encouraging words will still affect many. Proverbs 31:25-29 is a verse you can take to heart. 🙂 I wish you and your family much happiness and may the peace of God be with you always.
Yep, I’m crying. I don’t blog but since becoming a mom 4 years ago, actually, I have grown to love blogs, like friends. And though we have never met, you were there when I needed you most. And yes, the Lord spoke to me through you many times and for that I am forever grateful. I am so glad you are going to spending your extra time with your little ones, while they are still somewhat little. Enjoy it. Soak it up! Blessings to you and your family. 🙂
Wow! That verse is powerful
I find it absolutely ironic that I stumbled upon your blog today because I’m doing a blog series on discovering the Proverbs 31 Woman, and your iPhone post is something I want to use for discussion in my next post. It’s also ironic that you’re closing up shop, something I’ve debated on for a long time. My blog is three years old this month, but blogs like mine are a dime a dozen. I am a marathon runner who likes to dabble in natural remedies. You can imagine the content of most of my posts. That’s why I tried to start doing more Christ-centered posts although the more I get closer to God, the more I see Him trying to get me to revert inwardly like you mention above. It will happen one day because I don’t want to miss my son’s life. I don’t want it to slip by. While I was here reading about the iPhone post, I read some posts from your infidelity series. Wow. It compelled me to be more thankful for my marriage than ever before. Thank you for that. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. Thanks again.
Here I am, back referring to your blog! Looking up the raspberry with white chocolate chips , My daughter loves taking them to school for Valentines day!!
THANK YOU Tonya and Dale, your series on Infidelity was written for my husband and myself as well as so many others. You listened to the Lord’s leading and acted – He has used you mightily and thank you. I just found your blog and have almost completed reading your series three times – one of the times with me reading your posts and my husband reading Dale’s out loud. Sharing the same feelings has made me feel “normal” and I appreciate that, reading that we are following a similar path gives me hope that a similar outcome is before us. Thank you Lord for sending us Tonya and Dale and their willingness to be transparent. God bless you in your Inwardly year, you deserve it as well as Dale and those 4 Little Fergusons. I will follow your FB page as I’m not ready to say good-bye. 🙂
Hello, I just read your amazing blog that I know the Lord directed me to. I have been going threw this nightmare with my husband for over two years now…and I have never ever read anything more fitting for what I’m going threw than your blog (sobbing) I have had just about everyone except for a few people that know what is going on tell me…you need to leave him, get an attorney, you need to move on etc…
I have NEVER felt led to leave him. We pretty much grew up together. I was 14 he was 16 and we have been together 27 years 23 of them married. We have 3 daughters (twins 22 and a 16 year old) this has been very hard for them as well. My husband has a drinking problem among other things. He is a Christian who is in a backslidden state. I have drawn closer to God threw this all happening and have started counseling threw my church and made a lot of great friends. God is so good and faithful. There has been progress made recently with my husband I know first foremost he needs to get right with God. I would absolutely love to renew our vows one day in the near future. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your blog. It has blessed me beyond words. I pray God blesses you and your adorable family every single day and that your marriage will be rock solid threw Christ always.
Thank you again❤️