On Pause

Dear friends,

I must lay down my “electronic pen” for a while.

This blog is important to me, but there are other things far more important.

I have always been insecure about my writing, but alas, I love it. Writing is my way of making sense of life. At least for now if I find a way to write, it will not be here.

Like Zechariah, like Rhema, I still have things to say in the silence. But for now, I must listen. (And when the Lord looses our tongues, may we joyously sing His praise-song).

I am grateful for the friendships I have made in this space. Thank you for the ministry of love and support to my family. Many of you I have never met, and yet you have cared for my girls, cheered them on, sent cards and packages, prayed for them. Thank you.

To readers, I highly recommend all of the blogs listed in the blogroll on the sidebar! Some are autism blogs, some are just good devotional blogs for the soul.

Oh, and if you ever read (or care to re-read) anything here, let it be Come and Listen. This is our song, our testimony, our hope.

To my fellow bloggy mamas, I’m still here and I’m still listening. Love ya!


47 thoughts on “On Pause

  1. Your words often lead to tears but this is too much. This will leave a black hole in the blogosphere that may cause me to trip and fall. Now I know how Reid feels when we push pause in the middle of one of his favorite movies….but I won’t throw a fit–just have to fly out there and throw my arms around you in person this August:)

  2. Dear friend, I will deeply miss your blog. It is amazing how many times our lives have so closely paralleled. You and your beautiful family will continue to be in my prayers. Much love to you all. God bless!

  3. Oh, Jeneil! Words cannot describe how much I will miss reading about you and your amazing, beautiful girls and Brandon. I’m sad, but I understand. I will be keeping all of you in my daily thoughts and prayers. Please check in when you are able! You are so loved, my friend. Big hugs! xoxo

  4. Dearest Jeneil,

    I have been following your blog for two years or so and have never commented, until now. My eleven year old told me recently, “Mom, you need to write to Mrs. Russell (and let her know how much we think of her).” I’ve often thought of writing a comment but could never figure out an adequate way to express my appreciation for you, your ministry to your daughters – Rhema and Hope, your love for your husband, Brandon, and your utter devotion to God.

    Also, just yesterday, a friend asked me who my “mentors” are. I spoke of you and recommended that she check out your web blog for herself (as I’ve done many times for others).

    Truly, Jeneil, you are shining your light for Christ with amazing brightness and purity. A while back I had strongly suggested that my older four children (ages 11 to 19) follow your blog as a supplement to their bible reading. I equate your writing to the likes of Charles Spurgeon who went through amazing suffering and yet shined ever more brightly for Christ. Lately, I’ve been reading about Corrie Ten Boom and her life, her sufferings, and her committment to Christ.

    Jeneil, your example has been an inspiration to so many. I tell my kids, if they want to understand what a true Christian is, follow Jeneil’s blog. And, they have. And, they love you! I love you! Oh, how we’ll miss you!!!

    Thank you, Jeneil. Thank you, Brandon. You are our modern-day heroes…God be with you all in this time of silence.
    Ann, for Grant, Kate, Garrett, and Lauren Steward

    • Dear Ann,

      I am humbled and blessed by your kind words of encouragement. Thank you for following the blog and supporting my family from afar. I’ve made many mistakes and fail time and time again to love God and my family as I should. It means so much to me that you (and your kids!) would see something of Jesus in me. Any good you see is only Him.

      I hope that I’ll be able to come back here and blog again sometime soon!

      Thank you so much!

  5. I am so very sad to read this. Your posts are so inspirational. I always love how you link everything back to the Word.

    I will continue to pray for you and your family. Hopefully you can hit the Play button again soon!


  6. Like Elizabeth, I miss you already.

    I hope to give a big cheer on the day the “play” button clicks back on…

    You and your whole family, particularly sweet Rhema, sister-across-the-miles to Joy, will all continue in my prayers.

    Blessings on your listening.

    Love you, too.

  7. I’ll be here when you come back. =) Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day and for your prayers. I’ve said prayers for your family as well.


  8. Yours is both the only parenting and the only autism blog I read. I’m not even religious. I read it because it’s -that- compelling, so I hope you’ll be back. I really do.

  9. I will miss you very much! Your words are so inspirational to me and always make me feel hope – hope for your Rhema and my son as well. Take care of yourself!

  10. Hi friend,

    As everyone before me stated, I miss you already. When ever I think of you, I read your blog and I feel like time has not passed between us. Hopefully one of these days we can talk on the phone. I do think of you and Jenee often. We truly need to reconnect.

  11. Ohhhh…I will SO miss your blog. I understand you needing to do what you need to do. I do hope you will be able to update us from time to time.

    I will NEVER forget your family. Rhema’s story and your insights have changed me forever. I am always praying, hoping, and believing for her.

  12. NOOOO! Who said you could?? Say it isn’t so. Nobody asked me. Gosh Nealls EVERYTIME! Do you hear me?!!! EVERYTIME you poured your heart out on these pages someone smiled,someone laughed, and saw the heart of God. EVERYTIME someone cried,someone remembered faith was worth something in this life and that love was worth everything. EVERYTIME someone like me wished one day they could grow up and be someone like YOU. EVERYTIME. You gave us the best of you and it made us better. It is still making us better and we are forever changed, forever impacted. Please remember the promise. What you do for Christ will last. It cannot be corrupted. It remains. It is eternal.The sacrifice of your heart is beautiful and accepted by your God and precious to countless others named and unknown.
    In the midst of everything you were carrying and are facing your words lifted us and taught us what it really means to walk closely with God in the valley and on the mountaintop. Holy Moly!! This better mean you are working on a book now or something like that. Don’t think you’re done. Thank God you are my sister. What a loss we will feel…but somehow I know this is yet a beginning. I know very soon again I will feel that deep urge to shout to the world, “Do you see her??Do you??…That’s MY sister!”… Indeed I have never felt anything less.

    “The ultimate choice for a man, in as much as he is given to transcend himself, is to create or destroy, to love or to hate”….Erich Fromm

  13. Thank you for all that you’ve shared with us. I am going to miss you and your beautiful family! Most of all though, I feel a sense of anticipation for you as you continue to partner with Jesus, to be his friend and see the super and the natural things that his Spirit does in your lives!
    You are beautiful woman and writer. Your family and friends are blessed to have you in their lives. All the best!

  14. Jeneil, I will miss you, but I understand the need to listen. To everything there is a a season. We have danced in the sunshine of your strength, but strength needs time to rest and heal. Yours will come again. Give it time, love Rehma, be patient with yourself, and ask for help when you need it.

    When I first started to read you blog I was in the middle of the great divide. Who is God, and how will I find him? Will he hear me when I cry? I had spent too much time feeling abandoned and alone. My child was suffering. Was this not proof that God had left me here to suffer alone?

    I believe God lead me here as I prayed for peace. I connected with others who looked the Autism monster in the face and did not falter. I realized I was not in this alone. I felt your strength as God looked after your family, and soon found evidence of a Father in Heaven who sent Autism to me with a purpose. I am here, I struggle, but I am loved. You have helped me learn this. I will pray for you.
    With love,

  15. Your writing is a gift to so many. Real, raw, funny, humbling, filled with evidence of God in your heart and in your life.

    It will be here for you when you’re ready to pick it up again. Like so many, I’ll be here waiting for that day.

    With love to you all.

  16. Love you sis! I respect your pause and your sense of priorities. My prayers are with you and I am here with Jenee and the rest of the fam to help in the pause.
    Thanks for all the blessed writings thus far.

  17. I still can’t help but to visit your page daily.. It’s part of my routine. Facebook, twitter, aol, rhemashope. 🙂
    I, too, have lead many people to your amazing blog.
    I will miss reading it and hope to see you around.
    Give Rhema a hug for me!

  18. Prayed for you and Brandon and the girls last night. Been thinking about you all day and believing God for more than you realize. Yes, you are a great writer, and I expect more from you as time allows. You have a gift and a ministry, Jeneil. I pray God’s special kindness and tenderness toward you in your time away.



    I might just follow your lead.

    Blessed pilgrimage to the Easter cross this week. Sunday’s coming.


  19. Yes, sometimes real life catches up with us and there are never enough hours in the day and night to do and think all of things we need to do and think about.

    We’ll be waiting for you.

  20. I totally understand, but know that you will be deeply missed! Your family will stay in my thoughts and prayers, and I’ll still be here when you return 🙂

  21. I will miss your beautiful and inspiring writing. I usually lurk, but your words are so meaningful. The love for your family and two girls is so evident adn uplifting. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and hope that this break will provide you with the time and energy to attend to the other important areas of your life so that you can come back soon and check in.

  22. I hope you come back soon. I don’t know how you can be insecure about your writing, it is beautiful. My aunt commented to me about how lovely your writing is. I know how hard it is to keep up with a blog. My writing has decreased recently but I’m still trying for once a week. Your words are so important to all of us. Hope to see you and your beautiful family back soon.

  23. I was missing you today. I think of you & your family and pray for you often as the Lord brings you to mind; but today I was downright missing you! I was surprised to find this post; but I completely understand.

    You are a gifted writer. It often amazes me when those I respect the most as writers mention that they have insecurities in the very area that they are so blessed. Your words have touched many lives, mine included. My iron is always sharpened when I stop by.

    May the Lord be giving you strength, peace and filling you to overflowing with joy througout your break.

    Much love to you!

  24. Hey friend… I know you’re on “pause” but wanted to share the good news of my book release this week. When you have time this weekend, come over to the blog and read all about it and watch the book trailer. I’m giving away 3 copies!

    Prayers and peace`elaine

  25. It’s me again… just stopping by to say “hi” and to remind you of my great love for you. I was packing a few boxes last night and came across your book. It was definitely in the “keep” pile, as you and your witness mean so very much to me.


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