For over five years it has been my privilege and my joy to serve on the YLCF team. I have loved getting to know so many of you and seeing how God has refined and matured this community while maintaining the unique identity that makes YLCF what it is. I know it’s that same identity that has drawn regular visits and comments from so many of you, and even original written contributions. And I have to affirm and assure you, dear readers, that this identity is you. We have often said among the team that all efforts to maintain and supply this site with content would be worth it if even only one young woman out there was helped and cheered to know that she was not alone. But you—all of you faces and hearts behind the names—have blown our most modest hopes out of the water. You have come here, day after day, and read our writings; you’ve borne patiently when we haven’t said it quite the way we’ve wanted to and helped us become better writers by your questions and dialogue.

You have let me wear my heart on my sleeve and you have been kind to my words. It never gets easier to send them out into the world, and yet, you have given me a courage I lacked five years ago. I can scarcely imagine you know what your kindness has meant, but I can say in all honesty that I, who sought to be an encourager, have been on the receiving end of the blessing. I know of no stronger words but the simplest: thank you.

My season with YLCF—both behind the scenes and on the blog—has been unutterably sweet and precious to me. But it is just that: a season. For months now, God has been tapping me on the shoulder, pricking at my heart, asking if I have as much faith to lay aside this dear opportunity as it took to pick it up in the first place. New opportunities have been opening before me, new challenges and callings for my writing that require not only another wild leap of faith, but significant portions of my time, as well. Nevertheless, I halted on the brink of this decision for quite a while, simply because I didn’t want to make it. I didn’t want to hear what I knew God had already told me: it was time to step down from the YLCF team and follow the scent of His next adventure for me.

I’m not planning to disappear utterly, though. In between polishing up one book for publication and writing another I’ll still keep a section in my notebook for YLCF. And should God ever inspire me with words I think might be relevant here, I’ll definitely drop in to share them. Otherwise, I’ll be around, reading posts, following discussions.

And praying. I will never stop praying for you ladies.

I just want to add here what a tremendous delight it has been to serve alongside the other women on the YLCF team. I cherish the different backgrounds, lifestyles, callings and specialties represented here, all bound under one common love. Each of these ladies has a unique perspective, an eye for God’s beauty that is distinctively their own, and a voice tailor-made in which to tell of it. I am honored to count every one of them among my esteemed friends.

And I want to thank Gretchen for her untiring efforts to maintain YLCF to such a standard of appealing excellence. Y’all really have no idea how much she does. And never once, in all the behind-the-scenes technological tangles (in which I am not the least bit useful!) have I ever seen her lose her sense of humor or her single-minded vision for the purpose of this site. We all owe her much for following the lead of God’s nudges twenty years ago and for laying her gifts at the feet of her Master to the good of so many.

I love you all. God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

Under the Mercy,
Lanier

Lanier in England, March 2011

14 Comments

  1. Has it really only been five years?!? Thank you, Lanier, for your grace and courage. Often it has it seemed that our Father has used your sweet soliloquy to speak directly into my struggle of the moment. Thank you for being His pen (or keyboard!) on the pages of our lives. Bless you as you venture into the wild yonder of His will and destiny for you!

  2. Avatar Katherine Elizabeth says:

    We love you, Lanier. Thank you for your beautiful writing. I look forward to reading your book (and anything else you publish, online or elsewhere)!

  3. Avatar Elyce Westby says:

    Oh Lanier!

    You will be so so missed. It has always been such a joy to read your posts….now I will have to haunt Lanier’s Books more than ever!

    But what an exciting season ahead for you- I wish you the very best!

    Thank you for all the wisdom and encouragement you have shared.

    Elyce

  4. Farewell, dear friend. We shall miss you! So glad that God is bringing you to new and exciting places.

  5. Lanier,

    I am so thankful for how you have poured out your heart on the pages of the YLCF for the last five years. When I read how long it has been, I was surprised. I didn’t realize that it had been so long since I had begun enjoying this dear place…seven years or thereabouts as I remember. Seven years in which my heart has continued to be blessed and dared to go beyond by every last member of the team. Thank you, Lanier, for being a godly example and a worthy wordcrafter. Blessings on you as you journey into the next chapter.

    Thank you for all you have done!

    Rachelle

  6. Dearest Lanier, it has always been a pleasure to hear your thoughts and stories about writing and Inklings and sheep and trusting the Lord through the single and married years. We will indeed miss your regular contributions on YLCF! Thank you for all your love and time investment, and thank you for this sweet farewell.

    I know a couple other sites I might find see your dear words, though, so I am not as utterly distraught as I could have been if, say, you had retired from the internet world altogether and had gone with Phillip to live in a hermitage in France or somewhere. 😉 And I must say, I am also thrilling with anticipation at mention of your books!! Do finish them, and let us know when the first is published! And enjoy whatever other adventures the Lord is calling you to! :

  7. When I discovered YLCF about two years ago, it really was a turning point in my life. Even if I am not at all a “young lady” anymore, all those beautiful articles inspired and encouraged me a lot. Very special in my memory are your articles about gracious hospitality and teatime – your recipe for shortbread, dear Lanier, is a favourite among my piano students. Whenever we have an event, they ask: “Will there be shortbread?”. I also remember the “A Day in my Life”-series – your day, Lanier, inspired me so much to be a better wife and homemaker. I don’t know if you can imagine the difference you made with your writing here. Thank you so much for your beautiful words!
    Wishing you lots of fulfillment and success with your writing plans and looking forward to visiting your own blog, Martina

  8. Lanier, your writing has been so refreshing to all of us. Thank you for being yourself and letting God’s goodness pour through you. Not all of us had the chance to really express how much you have inspired and cheered our hearts! So, thank you!

  9. Avatar Samantha R says:

    Aww, we’re going to miss you and your writings! But we hope to keep hearing from you often!
    Thank you for all you have given us in the past… words of wisdom, prayers, encouragement and much more! You’ve been a blessing in my life.

  10. Lanier,
    You will be missed, your special grace and sweetness here on YLCF….but I wish you many blessings in your new endeavors and know that you will not be far from our hearts as we continue to enjoy YLCF and all that is has blessed us with.
    Thank you for all the efforts you put into it!

  11. We will miss you, Lanier–though I will still pay frequent visits to your own blog! Thank you so much for all the beautiful writings you have contributed to YLCF over the years, always pointing us to the Creator of all beauty. I am excited for you and your books–may the Lord richly bless and guide you and the stories He has given you.

    Blessings,
    Kiersti

  12. I’m not a regular on here but do read every so often.

    Lanier, THANK YOU for your time and all the effort you have put into YLCF.

    May God richly bless you as you close this chapter and open up the next. Following God is always best and right, even if not always easy.

    HUGS,
    Bethany

  13. I’m so excited for you, Lanier, and the new opportunities the Lord is bringing your way. But we’ll miss you here at YLCF.

    I’m just so thankful that you are not giving up your position as the official mentor and encourager of the YLCF Team.

    You are much loved and appreciated. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you do. HUGS

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