HELLO, MY DEAREST FRIENDS!
I know, I know — my last post was on Christmas. It’s now August.
But I NEVER forgot about you guys or DWOD. Ever.
I planned to post a thank you post for all the wonderful Christmas cards I received from you guys, but I was struggling with my fatigue pretty badly, and I never got around to it.
I didn’t want to push myself too hard and worsen my fatigue. I eventually never posted it. I was struggling with burnout still and decided to take a little break and do what felt natural and right to me.
As most of you know if you read my DWOD relaunch post last year, I’ve been struggling with health issues the past few years.
For years, I was too sick to do ANYTHING, so coming back to DWOD meant the world to me.
However, to tell you the 100% truth, it just didn’t feel the same.
I was still struggling with fatigue and burnout and honestly, learning how to live life and be creative again after years of just trying to survive.
So at the beginning of 2022, I decided to only follow what felt right—to follow peace and joy.
If something is RIGHT, if something is God-led, you won’t have to force yourself to do it. God will give you the grace, peace, and joy to accomplish it.
Even if something requires discipline or isn’t pleasant, it will feel right.
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace …
– Isaiah 55:12
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
– Matthew 11:30
And forcing myself through severe fatigue (and accompanying low motivation) did not feel right.
So even though it went against my Type A goal-oriented personality and my rock-solid determination to do the things (blogging!) that I wasn’t able to do for years…
I didn’t force myself to post.
Instead, I joined my second semester of drama class with my homeschool group. It was January 2022, and as a senior, the start of my very last semester of high school.
The months that followed were the best I had in five years.
I got the LEAD ROLE in only my second production with that group.
I got Gabriella in High School Musical, and my crush got Troy.
Then, my crush started liking me back and asked me to prom. (He said “Will you be the Gabriella to my Troy?” XD)
We performed our musical and it went so well our opening night made it to the local newspaper!
Then when we went to prom together, we were voted prom king and queen.
And guys, after years and years of debilitating sickness and missing out on life and joy, I had the time of my life.
I adored spending time with tons of my new friends, doing TONS of senior and high school activities with my homeschool group, doing drama class, having adventures, laughing hysterically, feeling the most like myself that I felt in YEARS.
I have always called myself an introvert, but for the first time since I was little… I felt more like an extrovert than anything else.
I felt confident, I was so happy, had a friend group—and not that I was popular, but that I felt known and seen and had friends, and I loved it. I hadn’t had that in years upon years.
I knew from the beginning that God was doing it for me, to make up to me all the life, joy, and fun I didn’t get to have all those years I was sick.
I walked across the graduation stage with tears in my eyes, feeling like a champ.
God has NEVER let me down. God is FOREVER faithful, and His goodness is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
He saw me through the darkest time of my life and made it all up to me in one semester.
My semester was like a NOVEL—it was way-too-perfect. Only God could have done it.
But… I had to follow peace and joy.
I had to do those activities because they felt right to me.
I couldn’t have done all those things if I bogged myself down by forcing myself to do other things I did not have the energy, motivation, or drive to do.
And that meant not forcing myself to post on DWOD. That’s the reason I kind of disappeared.
I never dropped off the face of the planet—I was still active online—I just didn’t touch my dolls for months. I didn’t even work on my novel as much as I wanted to.
But that enabled me to have the time of my life during my last semester. Then I graduated.
For college, God has led me to go to my church’s Bible college for a degree in ministry, with a focus on how to use that in the area of creative arts and writing. It starts in less than a week!
I will be even busier then, so one of my top priorities was posting here to check in with you all before college starts and I won’t have time to post.
Well… I mentioned it.
My schedule will be filled to the BRIM, and I am still struggling with fatigue (although I know God will give me the grace to handle it—because I have peace and joy about it!), so my only focus for the next three years will be pursuing all He has for me at Bible college.
Does that mean I won’t post? No, not necessarily!
I LOVE my blog. I LOVE my dolls—I literally have so many on my wishlist and I just love all things doll-related. I LOVE American Girl.
And I have SO MANY post ideas and so many creative ideas for doll-themed content creating. I could do SO MUCH. I don’t WANT to let it all go.
But inside of me—where that passion and uncontrollable drive to create resides, that thing that PULLS me to create and I never have to force myself—it’s just not there right now. Not at this moment.
This could be because God wants me to focus on Bible college and I can’t balance both a huge blog and a busy college schedule.
I trust that, just like He led me to the greatest five months I’ve had in five years, that if pouring myself into my blog was what He wanted me to do right now, He would give me the drive and passion for it.
Believe me, this is not what I, in and of myself, want.
I didn’t choose to take a break from my blog in 2018—my health FORCED me to take a break, and then got so bad I couldn’t return here for years.
The idea of returning to my blog was what kept me going and fighting to survive, fighting to reach a point in recovery where I could return.
Believe me, it breaks my heart—and I’ve cried tears of grief—that the one thing that kept me going, the one thing I worked so hard for, now doesn’t bring me the same fulfillment.
But I have 100% trust in God that He will bring me something that will!
Like He did with my amazing last senior semester, and like He will with college coming up.
All that to say—this is not the end of Delightful World of Dolls!
Not yet. We will make it to 10 years first… I do have my overachieving Type A self to please on that regard. ;)
I’m not burning any bridges, not shutting this blog down. I plan to post again whenever I can and when I feel it’s right!
I just wanted to check in with you all, give you an update, and provide an explanation for if you don’t see another blog post for a while.
THIS IS NOT GOODBYE. This is just an explanation.
And by the way, I am still very active online. I have not at all dropped off the face of the earth.
You can ALWAYS reach me on my Instagram, where I post lifestyle inspiration and content, and will be chronicling my college adventures: @madisongraceig
And if you don’t have Instagram, you can reach me by email (though I am much more active on Instagram): madigrace [at] powerofGOD [dot] com.
I don’t want to lose contact with ANY of you while I let my burnout heal and allow my posts to come more slowly.
Contact me any time… I mean that!
As for what’s new in the DWOD fam?
Many of you guessed correctly, and as I’m sure you can tell from the pictures in this post… I did indeed get Jess McConnell for Christmas!
She was practically New-in-Box from eBay and I’m SO happy to have her. She is just drop dead gorgeous. I read her book in January 2021 and fell in love.
Also, Belize is on my bucket list to visit. :’)
I took Del with me on our summer trip to Texas this year, and met up with Bliss from Meadow Lane Dolls.
She was the winner of one of our giveaways last year! Del met Leia, the doll Bliss chose to win!
On my Texas trip I bought some adorable Our Generation accessories at Target.
See, I still ABSOLUTELY ADORE dolls and accessories and ahhhh everything, even if I don’t have that same drive to post constantly.
It’s the oddest thing…
Even though I just don’t have the same fulfillment from and passion for posting (I truly WANT to post, for things to be the same as they were, I just don’t have the energy or passion), I still haven’t “grown out” of dolls.
I didn’t think the two could coexist, but I guess I’m built different.
Nine-year-old Madi would be VERY proud of me—she always swore to never grow out of them!
I don’t think I ever mentioned this but before I got Jess, I got a used Kanani from eBay!
I fixed her up (using a similar process I did for Molly) and rewigged her and she is gorgeous!
I so badly want to introduce Jess and Kanani in an awesome photostory introductory series like I usually do, but…
I’m respecting the creative process and just not forcing myself to do it when I don’t have the drive for it at the moment.
I forced myself to post for months last year, but as much as I absolutely loved my blog, I realized it wasn’t right for me at this moment, so I’m holding off for now.
Also, this was my senior poster board that I had at graduation!
You can see all the doll and DWOD-themed photos on there because DWOD and dolls were such a HUGE part of my life and school years!
I wanted to bring Molly (2011 Molly) to put on the table but I was worried someone might steal her or a little kid would mess with her, haha.
The table was so small that Molly would have obstructed the view of my board so I brought a printout of some fun DWOD awards and the Meet Molly book instead.
My best friend’s little cousin came to her graduation and crocheted me a doll hat, scarf, and mittens as a graduation gift. I think that was the sweetest thing ever!
I got some wonderful dolly things for Christmas. Here is Felicity in a gorgeous piece from an Etsy shop.
I got other cute outfit pieces, especially for Del—a chic leather jacket and some sporty shoes. They are so her style. XD
I got Chloe a peach top that says “Adventure Awaits” which is PERFECT for her.
I also have a lot of pictures that I forced myself to take but just didn’t have the energy to put together in a post. They are spread throughout this whole post!
Many are from my DWOD Instagram (also inactive for the moment) but some are never-before posted.
I do believe that’s it as far as updates on the doll front.
As for me, I turned 19 on June 27!
I didn’t ask for any doll stuff (I asked for one expensive dress for me, so that was it XD) but the next month Bliss and her sweet fam got me something at the AG store and I bought those Our Generation accessories I mentioned.
Some of my favorite and/or interesting old posts you can read until my next post!
Just because I don’t know when my next post is doesn’t mean this entire blog is going away.
Guys, there are 810 other posts! Isn’t that crazy?! If you only read two posts a day, it would take OVER a year to read them all!
Here are some old posts you might enjoy!
(If the photos in the post snippets aren’t loading, sorry about that! No idea why. But you can click to see the posts just fine.)
You will NOT be bored — trust me!
I also highly recommend going through the archives or categories. If you’re on desktop, they’re on the sidebar. If you’re on a mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom.
One of my favorite things to do is to binge-read one of my favorite blogs from start to finish. If you do that here, you will not run out of content any time soon!
You can also check out Photostory Series Parts for photostory series, and the Photostories categories for both series and standalone photostories! Those are always reader favorites and I have to say, some of my very favorite things I have ever done on this blog.
My favorite photostory series are Heads Up and Hang on to Hope seasons two and three. You’ll find them at the Photostory Series Parts page.
Also, I respond to ALL comments, even if you comment on an old post! So feel free to leave your thoughts—I love hearing from you and will always respond!
And… we’ve reached the end of this post.
If you read this far, I know you must really care about me, and I want you to know that means the world to me!
It pains me a little to admit all these things. I don’t WANT to not be posting. I don’t WANT to ever be done with DWOD. I WANT to go back to how things were!
But I did want to post an explanation as for why my posts are so infrequent.
As much as it sucks, as much as it hurts, I have to do what I feel is right and is best for me, my health, and where God has me headed!
I hope to post again soon… I just don’t know when! This definitely isn’t goodbye, nor is it an official break. Again—it’s just an explanation.
I love you all so much and I hope you know you can contact me at ANY time.
Email: madigrace [at] powerofGOD [dot] com
I hope to post again whenever I can. This isn’t goodbye! ;)
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I love you guys SO MUCH. Thank you for sticking with me! ♥
Wish me luck for college!
Again, I will be chronicling my Bible college adventures on my Instagram so be sure to follow me there to stay connected if you’d like!
Drop a comment below — I would LOVE to hear from you! It’s been so long!
Me and Del outside the AG store Dallas, July 2021 (you can read about the first time she was here if you so dare…)