On Writing and Not {superfluous reflections}

          Writing

I’ve been so inspired lately. 

I’ve gotten a lot done and spend the days improving and editing.

           Not.

I’ve been editing my house and making it pretty because when it’s pretty I want to keep it clean. 

And I just keep having ideas lately. 

Tis the season and time of my life apparently for decluttering heaps, adding blank spaces, and scouring thrift stores for a variety of items as I turn our house more homey and pretty to me. Picture frames, doormats, flowers, vases, flower pots, plates. General reorganizing, rearranging, rethinking, repurposing, and reimagining. 

Life’s been full and fun and is gradually turning prettier. 

But I’ve been quieter here. I could blame my flurry of house prettying activity on nesting come early. Or writer’s block. Or energy come from a weekend away. But I’ll take it and I’m going with the flow a little since it’s fun to be creative in a different way. 

And I am enjoying my house a little more.

           Writing.

It is worth it to write. 

But it’s a fight sometimes. 

Sometimes it seems so selfcentered. Sit here and wax long about your own thoughts. It’s hard to start even.What difference does it make. Can you do something that benefits your family in a more conspicuous manner. That pile of laundry isn’t going to fold itself. But life will go on without my words right now.

The self talk can be brutal some days, but it’s worth it, right? 

We pull the words together and feel out the pieces of our identity . We find ourselves in the characters and spaces. We find pieces of light we couldn’t see before. These little truths we would never know if we didn’t write. 

It’s worth it. 

We can do it. 

Fight through the haze that asks for sleep and chocolate and netflix and realize it’s a call for clarity not one more factor motivating numbing from the world. 

We write to know and to be who we are and what we believe. 

It gives us a process to pursue the things God might have us finding in our lives. 

We can become better people. By the grace of God.

            Not.

Sometimes I feel like I read as way to escape writing. 

There is a certain luxury to resting in someone else’s words. 

But then sometimes we get caught and stuck. Absorbing and consuming without remembering and enjoying along the way.

          Writing.

These words help us find ourselves and each other too. 

These words meld compassion with community. 

When we read the words of others we can care or not and weigh them with an opinion of our own, but also a lightness as we consider others’ in the same light we do our own. Shaping and changing as we grow and learn.. 

We are free to know, or not, the story of another. 

Balance to our little niche of belief as we share more fullness with each other. 

            Not

But then there’s also the escape route. Consuming other writing in order to avoid the ache we create within ourselves when we lay it aside too long. Reading someone else’s thoughts is so much easier than processing  your own and solidly taking your own pursuits in hand.       

But the words we lock up may follow us around forever in their lack of resolution and our lives may seem less uprooted and less painful. 

If we ignore the depths and skim the surface waters of our  reality we might glean only just enough to see our own reflections, but often never more. 

            Writing.

Because sometimes silence happens and the house gets beautiful, but sometimes silence happens when I don’t know what to say and need to take the time to find out the why and how and what.

So writing happens. 

And words flow. 

And things change gradually and thoughtfully.

Even if it’s only for yourself. 

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Thoughts?

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Related and lovely by Rachel Toalson: How Do I Do It All As a Writer and a Mother? I Don’t.
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 Just a Monday & Home A Lot {a day in the life}

7:45AM – thumping in the living area announces the presence of someone. I go out to investigate. Israel has just come in from the yard, where he was sleeping in the tent last night, (because that is what outdoors adventurers do when grounded by work and toddlers too much) and is making coffee and cereal. I return to the bedroom to apply some water to my hair (can you say fluffly?) to flatten it a little and find my glasses. 

7:50 AM – we quietly do morning things because somehow the children have not woken up yet and peace shall jot be disturbed. Israel disppears into his office for a few more silent minutes (waking up slow is key for him) and I peruse the latest ‘news’ on facebook and email while considering doing something else. 

8:00 AM – Ali howls from the bedroom and as I open the door Ranger also pops his head up and says, “I get up, too!” We started them sleeping in the same room this weekend in anticipation of switching Ali to her own floor mattress and giving her pack and play and bedroom to thr impending younger sibling. 

Surprisingly this has improved mornings immensely and only slightly complicated going to sleep at night. Ali gets up between an hour and two hours later now and goes back to sleep easily on her own in the middle of the night thanks to her brothers reassuring breathing/voice. So that is LOVELY. :) 

I hand out bananas and we begin the banana snack and then cereal for breakfast routine. 

Israel rolls through and gives the ki hugs and says good morning.

8:30 AM – time for diapers and potty sitting and new outfits. Ali sits on the potty too since her diaper is somehow nearly dry. 

8:50 AM – start some laundry and then start in on the kids’ bedroom. I tell Ali to put the stuffed animals back in the basket and Ranger to put the legos back in the boxes. Israel joins them and helps make sure everything is away. I make him a lunch and the  put my contacts in. 

9:10 AM – text a friend back and consider the visiting schedule for the week. 

9:15 AM – Comb out ali’s hair and opt for a french ponytail. 

9:20 AM – Israel is out the door for work and our day at home officially begins. 

9:40 AM – kick the children outside so bikes can be ridden without running over little sisters and stuffed animals. 

9:45 AM – straighten the patio and find a two day old apple. We cut it up and leave a piece on the fence for the squirrels to find. So far no takers (10:10). The kids request apples too and continue tromping on their newly cleared paved area. 

10:10 AM – somehow the children are back inside again. Riding bikes and whatnot. No conflicts yet. So it is allowable.

10:12 AM – Ali needs sandals, Ranger need to get the apple off the piano and decides to throw it in the trash instead of giving it to his sister as asked. His piece of apple is given to her instead. All in a day’s life. 

10:17 AM – post is current and time to jump into other pursuits. 

10:26 AM – sorted pictures for Ali’s update. 

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Pictures from the morning:

Whoohoo. Of all the hecticness. I shall catch you up now, but know the squirrel finally ran off with the apple at 2PM. 

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10:26 AM – advance laundry, get myself fashioned for the day at home.

10:43 AM – pin pea plants up the fence, water peas, turn on sprinkler in the front yard in hopes of the grass seed taking and filling in the empty spots, and instruct the kids to dump all the junk/toys in their room back in their bucket shelf. 

11:20 AM – help kids finish and go potty…and then  step outside and realize the kids have dumped toys outside and into the garden while supposedly “cleaning” during unsupervised moments. Creative, but maddening. 

11:22 AM – motherly rampage begins, a clean garbage can is carried into the room, all the junk is sorted through, non-toys removed, trash removed, inane books removed (and tossed, sadly), all toys sorted into their proper sets and most sets removed to the garage. They are left with the legos, a few small wooden stacking toys, a transformer airplane, 6-8 cars, two jump ropes, and their dressup clothes (a pair of sunglasses, some necklaces, a fireman costume and a fishing hat). Good enough. Mess contained, and we attained mostly empty (and much less dumpable!) buckets in the shelf. 

12:30 PM – lunch: yogurt, muffin, lettuce, crackers, salad dressing. Absurdly simple. However by the time I get mine they are nearly finished and the rest of my meal is quite spent hopping up and down. 

I sit down to eat, ali says something about needing to go potty. Great. So I take her and she finished in the potty chair what she began in her diaper. Excellent! She got chocolate. But now I want Ranger to get chocolate as well so I encourage him to poop on the potty too. 

No luck, but since they were done eating I took off Ranger’s pants and sent him outside. Ali pealed off her clean diaper to join him. And both of them alternated sitting on the potty i had placed outside. I tried to finished my lunch.

Eventually Ranger figured out how to poop a little on the potty and went to blame it on Ali because he only connected the little messy bit on the potty with Ali pooping and not him pooping. Oblivious. Alas. So he tattled and I rushed out to check only to find out who the real culprit was. He managed to finished pooping in the grass (after I had cleaned his bum of previous evidence) while watching me clean off the potty. I must say it is much easier to pick up from grass then wash it off buns. So good enough. 

He got chocolate. Who knows when this “potty training thing” will actually stick..

They played diaperless a little more while I tried to finish my lunch. 

1:40: i got tired of watching them play on and off the potty (though pretty sure it was fairly clean (a lot of disinfectant wipes went into this day) but still gross ) so I rediapered, repottied and sent them to bed. 

2:00 naptime. And finally time for the rest of my lunch. 

2:28 PM – and the post is caught up. And my hands could use a quart of lotion to make up for all the many times I’ve washed my hands in the last little while. 

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This day wore me out and only on wednesday did I get around to finishing it…so. It might be closer to guessing then actual recalling by this point. 

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3:00 PM – stopped puttering around the internet aimlessly and sat sown for some good reading (currently Code Name Verity). 

3:45 PM – ranger begins making loud noises evedenoce to the fact he has not gone to sleep. He wakes up Ali and naptime is cut to a cranky close. I think ali took nearly an hour to go to sleep so was less rested than she should have been. We tried to turn on preschool, but it wasn’t worming so we turned on Curious George.  I think I read.

4:30 Pm – hit a point of laziness and turn on George again so I can shower in peace. Mostly Ali still hovered outside the door. Quick shampoo and rinse. Got to try to do my hair for the first time since cutting it. Not too shabby. 

5:15 PM – turn George off and send kids outside with snacks. 

5:30 PM – Israel home. 

5:45 PM – decide on mac and cheese for dinner because somehow I’m worn out. 

6:15 PM – food. Cleanup. Send kids into room to play with the baby gate up. 

7:30 PM – israel goes to run

7:50 PM – send the kids outside for  few more minutes. They prove unworthy of treating each other well so I put them both to bedearly. Cheesestick in hand. 

8:00 PM  – accomplish nothing much of anything.

9:00 PM – decide to start a movie and fold some laundty. Israel gets home soon after and The movie goes by the wayside.

10:30 PM – laundry sorted, ranger and Ali’s laundry is now folded. Time for bed. 

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Honestly I think I get a little more done on the days I keep track of what I do, but maybe not. I think I just caught myself in a productive day. And left myself completely exhausted by the end! 

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A Secret of the Growing Kind.

Writing and motherhood are bound together in my life. I wouldn’t be a writer if I weren’t a mother and I’m slowly finding I wouldn’t be as whole as a mother if I gave up writing. All the pieces fit together to build a whole better than each piece on it’s own. 

These past couple months I’ve been holding a little secret close to my heart, because it felt precious and precarious. And the path I’ve been processing along the way to this stronger place was murky and confusing. 

But I’m here now. 

A little more me and less of other people. 

But also with another little person journeying and growing right along with me.

In January, we found out we were expecting our third little baby to add to our clan. (<—–Squeee! There’s the announcement, people! Don’t miss it!)

Along with the undercurrent of joy, I felt confused, disappointed, let down. I had just signed up for a grad level literature class thinking I would get a good writing sample to apply to grad school later. I begged my way into it, even, since it turns out it is hard to get permission when you are not admitted into a degree seeking program.

I signed up for a few days, took a pregnancy test, and then dropped it. 

I couldn’t imagine being pregnant and tired all while caring for my kids and trying to fit my homework in around the edges. Writing around the edges works for blogging, but it felt really overwhelming when considering an 18-20 page paper and all the rest. 

I realize now it was a way of adding purpose, repurposing, looking for validity, stealing time alone, paying money to be myself, lining up credentials to prove myself as a whole person instead of a dependent of my husband and longtime unpaid servant of two toddlers. Purposelessness grabbed at the core of who I was. I resented being pregnant and always being the one to be pregnant. Nothing felt like mine. 

Eventually, I was able to exchange that attitude for one with a little more purpose, personal validation, and direction. Somewhere (or a variety of somewheres) I learned to choose and that it was mine to choose. 

I get to bear the babies. My husband can’t, even if he wanted to. Choice.

Someday I might go to grad school. Someday I might get more credentialed and have a job with a paycheck, but for now I simply mother. And write. Choice.

And I will take it seriously. Choice.

Writing is mine. Choice. 

So I’m learning to take the time to write. To be a little more serious about this little piece where I can think thoughts outloud. And take the time to say the words that bring more life to my life. 

When I acknowledge my own need for a pursuit outside of motherhood I am a better mother. 

As the years have gone by my mothering and my writing have become intertwined. I think through things, envision, revision, live and relive all portions and pieces of who I am and who we are and the little ones we are raising, in my writing. 

This little baby, twirling and stretching inside of me, has somehow helped me to engage my ability to choose a little more. And this tiny companion in arms womb has spurred me on to a better understanding of myself and just how the things I am already doing and might want to do are mine to choose (or not) and to choose to do well. 

That is how it seems to go with mothering and parenthood: you learn and learn, and are surprised by things you never knew all while carefully and hopefully guarding your little ones as they grow for the encountering the world later one. We come into parenthood thinking the teaching is ours to do, when it’s more completely the other way around.

I’m beginning to feel like I’m coming into who I am as a mother. 

I’m beginning to feel like I’m coming into who I am as a writer.

I am choosing to be my whole self a little more and the lesser version of me a little less. 

I’m beginning to realize that being a mother as me means being me.

And I can choose to define it. 

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PS – For those of you windering about the math: this one is due in September. Ali will be two and Ranger will be three and a half. We are so excited  I can hardly wait to meet a little one who is just as wonderful as Ranger and Ali and yet still completely their own litle person!  It is hard to imagine at this point, but I am beginning to know it from the littlest wiggles. 

Picture:

   
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Happy Mother’s Day to all the rest of you this weekend! 

Meet // Five Minute Friday

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Maybe there are days you have to meet yourself where you are. 
Acknowledge the tears that float in your eyes as you pick up the pieces of flowers yet to bloom. 

Gone to waste. 

Pulled up enthusiastically by children. 

Maybe you have to meet yourself there and realize the tears have come from things much deeper than the flowers pulled. 

And closer to where you heart comes bare and your soul stings. 

The tender place where words get stuck because your identity has been planted too close to the surface to survive without being shorn off and scarred in the process. The place where hugs and words just right make you melt over the edge and wish for bed and good dreams and chocolate. 

Something to fill the holey places that scramble for attention and mattering. 

Meet yourself. 

Meet myself. 

Wherever words fall short and tears take their place. 

Meet in the tears and wait for the real reason. 

Choose a direction from there. 

It might be to buy more plants. 

It might be to put the cuttings in a jar of water and to hope for more roots. 

It might be to wait for the current rootball in the ground still to sprout again and bear more fruit where it is. 

When we feel uprooted and broken. 

There are way to meet ourselves there in the dirt. 

New plants, old plants, old roots, all combined could make something beautiful. 

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Savor by Shauna Niequist {book review}

“Get up. Create like you’re training for a marathon, methodically, day by day. This is your chance to become what you believe in your secret heart you might be.”
– Shauna Niequist, Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

It is hard to find a year long daily devotional that sticks with you and keeps your attention throughout the year. The last time I was able to stay interested and connected with one was in my first year of college, a student daily devotional. It encouraged, inspired, and helped me along as I worked towards my goals and dreams of then. I’ve tried to get into a couple others since then (one by Charles Spurgeon and one by Dietrich Bonheoffer), but both were too much for the time and outlasted the attention I am actually able to consistently spend in the morning while my two littles scramble around. 

When Shauna Niequist’s devotional came out I was intrigued. I have read and enjoyed most of her books and was interested to see how her devotional would look. 

Savor seems to be written with the creative in mind. Days in a row include encouragement to write and how that fits in with who we are in Christ. Her words free us to be ourselves in faith and in our faith journey, to be creative in our decisions, and to be intentionally mindful of others. I’m only a few weeks in but I can see myself easily sticking with this devotional as Shauna continues to blend the grace and love of God with everyday moments and encouragement. 

Bonus: this book is beautifully and sturdily bound with a bookmark. Everything you need in a book you’re hoping to pick up everyday. 

Here’s my favorite day so far:

  

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Have you read any of Shauna’s books? Do you have a favorite daily devotional? 

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Find me on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads!   
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((Disclaimer: I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from booklookbloggers.com. I was not compensated in anyway.

Also: post contains affiliated links.))

What I’m Into | April 2015

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This month was extremely full and filled me up as well. I feel like I can finally step into myself as who I am, instead of who I’m not quite living up to being, and probablye not even meant to be. And that is good. 

I went to the Faith and Culture Writers Conference in Portland. Now I love and know the feeling of being in a room with mostly just “your” people. And hearing someone’s voice after only reading their words. And being inspired by the visions and words being lived and written by them all. I came home feeling like the path I’m taking is good and worthwhile and attainable. And maybe even just right for me right now. There is something just good about listening,sharing processes and thoughts on sharing carefully, and just talking about this thing we’re doing all on our isolated screens. 

Beyond this I’m enjoying: 

  • Practice camping in the backyard. Because maybe if we can make it easier for them to fall asleep in the tent with us we can enjoy camping just a little more this summer.
  • Having shorter hair. It helps me choose to be me instead of someone else. Less hiding, somehow. 
  • Thrifting to decorate my house in brighter colors and more like me things. 
  • Planting all the flowers and growing things.
  • Meeting new friends, hanging out with old ones. 
  • Getting a little more okay with “just” being a stay at home mom. And learning from it. Even when it tends to lead to somewhat mundane conversation starters.
  • Deciding I am more INFJ than ISFJ after all. 
  • Turning 25. Somehow it makes a difference when you always end up hanging out with people 7-12 years older than you. At least it does to me. Another year is good. 

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Links:

You Are Writing the Story of Your Life by Sally Clarkson:

“Each of us has a work to do for Him in this world. It starts with a choice to love, serve, and grow in Him today, right where you are. Today is a part of the story you are writing.”

On Seeing People at StyleWise Blog:

“This is what I’m getting at: mutual understanding doesn’t come naturally. To see people, you have to be willing to get to know them. You have to ask them what they need instead of assuming you have the answers. You have to see past the small talk and really look them square in the face and try to memorize it for next time. You have to learn to do this every single time. And it’s never easy.”

How to be Counter-Cultural at Accidental Devotional:

I printed these next two I needed them so much: 

A Story that Makes Room For All of Us by Sarah Bessey:

“The temptation is to say that our own narrow experience trumps all other evidence or the experiences of others.
The temptation, particularly for those of us who operate from a position of privilege, is to gravitate towards the good and ignore the very real and true cries of the oppressed and marginalized or even just-plain-different-from-us of our society, to retreat into the worlds of our own making and the brightly lit aisles of a shopping centre, and then point to the good stories as good enough for us. We seek our convenience and comfort and safety. Surely these stories of abuse or injustice are anomalies, right? And we carry on.”

Emily P. Freeman’s Note from the Bench this month (you should sign up too!):

“We are on a journey of understanding and believing that our souls are infinitely more valuable than our physical bodies. 
Even though it seems bizarre that we are more willing to trust our physical safety into the hands of strangers than we are to trust our spiritual safety into the hands of God, in some ways it proves that we instinctively realize how delicate the soul really is.”

Books:

  • Currently or soon:

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Read:

  • Playing Big by Tara Mohr – a great book that helped me to realize just how much and some of the ways I play small. Encouraging, challenging, empowering, important.
  • Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of Your Soul by Mark Buchanan – incredibly helpful for illustrating how our christian walk looks different at different times (seasons) and how specific rhythms of living in each season can be helpful or healing. 
  • The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron – this book (and the first!) was so helpful in bringimg to light how our sensitive and less sensitive personalitites can play into a relationship. Since I am pretty sure Israel and I are both HSPs it was especially helpful and freeing for me to read.
  • Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle – such a cute and fun book. I liked her first two better since I related to them more, but it was delightful to read about someone else’s extremely fullfilling (and hilarious) girlfriend friendships. 
  • Thirty Days Hath by Chautona Havig – a cute short easy read with a spin off of arriving to a life-partner via arranged marriages.
  • Women in the Church by Grenz and Kjesbo – excellent. Good to have information like this in my head as I live out my womanhood in the church.
  • A Perilous Proposal by Michael Phillips – another good read. I needed some fiction to lighten my head after a lot of heavy reading. And historical fiction always leaves me feeling like I didn’t waste my time. This one is set in the years of the war between the states. 

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What about you? 

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What I'm Into

Choose How to Tell It. 

I’ve been mulling over what to tell and how and when and to who and why. And how what we tell can be used or meant for good or bad or average reasons. 

 Because the words are there. 

Waiting. 

Somedays I feel like telling so many things they seem to get stuck on the way out. 

A muddle of words to be sorted. A strangle of sense. A gaggle of gory or goodness to glory. 

And a little alliteration, and nonsense, along the way. Apparently. 

But part of the art of writing is choosing how to tell the story. 

And who will hear it. And when. And for what reasons.

Earlier this month, at the Faith and Culture Writers Conference, I went to a breakout session by Micah J. Murray that spurred me on to keep questioning my motives and the wisdom behind sharing my words on the internet. 

  

I had meant to go to someone else’s session and was initially confused when the speaker at the podium was not who I expected. There was a schedule change and Micah filled the hole. 

Surprise.

 I considered pulling out my schedule and making sure this was where I wanted to be, but I just stayed. Suspecting God had a little serendipity to share in the moment. 

It was exactly right and meant to be.

And happened to be the session I have thought about the most afterwards.

Micah’s words and wisdom gave me an excellent selection of thoughts to pursue. He talked about his story in dealing with the internet and the addicting thing that social media can be. 

As I am blogginG and writing and thinking towards bigger things, it is important to consider what to share and why. Because lives are personal and sotires are personal. And sharing too much can hurt anyone involved in the telling or listening with little regard to the personal nature of what should have been boundaries. 

Micah hit on how easy it is to have the wrong relationship with the internet and people on the other side. He talked about how the internet is not our journal, mother, therapist, best friend, or anything really. He suggested  journaling before blogging, talk to someone else about the nitty gritty before you decide to hit publish, get a tribe for validation – likes and shares don’t cut it, share feelings without focusing on intimate details, and to spend time with your family. 

These things have been running through my mind as I begin to write again and consider the ways to tell the things that mean much to who I am. Choosing how to share our lives on the internet can be a burden or a blessing depending on how we go about it. I am giving myself permission to wait to share, to not hit publish as soon as the last word falls into place, to give the more sensitive topics time to feel themselves out through time and care instead of forcing them out through my impulsive mouth. 

This wasn’t the session I really expected to remember the most, but it was the one that resonated most deeply at this point in my life. 

Wait. 

Listen. 

Linger. 

Let myself feel the impact of my words before I measure their impact on other people. Choose to say a little less in favor of being a little more. 

It’s an interesting conundrum, but exactly where I find myself right now. 

Living and writing both demand we devote specific time, thought, care, and reflection into crafting those lines and wrinkles that will forever grace our faces. Choosing wisely and purposefully appeals to me even as the siren call of internet approval clamors for my loyalty and participation. 

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A couple extra takeaways from this session: 

  • “You need to know where the stage ends and your real life begins.” 
  • “You are enough to experience life by yourself.” You don’t need to share.
  • “Save some things just for yourself.” Don’t share everything. 

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If you’re curious here is Micah’s blog

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Hide // Five Minute Friday

It’s all too easy for me to hide. In fact, I don’t have to work at it or even seem like I’m hiding. 

I hide my hiding from everyone. Sometimes even myself. 

Stress, anger and other emotions can be hidden behind a smile. Whether it goes to the eyes or not, people want to believe and to take it as a happy acceptence of a situation, and so they do. Often. 

I’ve been learning not to hide so much. 

I have also been learning how I hide so much. I hide in the opinions of others, the voices around me saying what is right. It keeps me from risking my own voice to say the same, or something different, as the case may be. 

I hide in the rules and avoid risk by taking for granted the limitations of my position instead of believing in a God without limitations who uses whoever however he pleases. 

Willingly, I avoid the spotlight forgetting that just maybe I might be heading there or called there, or that I do enjoy the things it brings to my life. 

When I hide I forget that I am different and the same as other people. I have my words and they have theirs, but, in the midst of all the mumblings, just saying something can make a difference for just one person or at least cast a wedge between themselves and forced unfitted rules. 

Hiding behind my hair, hiding behind my seeming conformity to expectations, hiding in the group without being a real part of the group, hiding in the rules, hiding in expectations, hiding in power structures that don’t really apply. 

Sometimes I “forget” that I can make decisions for my own life and then I have to admit I might be hiding from the possibility of failure more than anything else. 

Because when I stop hiding I’m left in the light with only who I am and who God is to bolster me along the way. 

But the way is clearer when the hiding stops. 

When the structures shadowing our faces have been dismantled in our own understanding we can stand and face the world with strength. Structures and all.

No more hiding. 

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7 Brilliant Ways to Greet Your Husband After Work

  1. Guess what! I finally folded my laundry! Yeah, probably not in the top ten. But for me it’s exciting! Most of the time I make the time to fold/put away everyone else’s laundry and am so fed up with it (read: the children woke up from their naps and folding laundry to a whiny chorus of unfolders doesn’t appeal) I usually end up tossing  stuffing mine into my wardrobe helter skelter for the eventual sorting folding. So it is slightly momentous to have my laundry stacked and hung neatly. :) 
  2. The training child only had two accidents today. One stinky, one not. Nothing like hearing about potty training during dinner..or…ever. I would prefer to never hear about it. But, toddlers. 
  3. We went for a walk to nowhere. We did. I walked, because I had no energy to run and the day was beautiful. Also, the children fight less when contained in the stroller. 
  4. I need to get flowers for my front flowerpot. Perennials this time. Definite need, well want. But then also something my hubs will enjoy more after I’ve actually made it pretty instead of in the all-in-my-head stage. 
  5. I weeded the driveway! And the roses! Look at me be productive and cleanerly! Okay. Okay. That was tuesday, but look at me being productive. Lol :) 
  6. I finished a book! This tends to be not unusual enough to mention too often. Ha :) most recently: Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle. Fun, hilarious goodness. 
  7. I made all the food, but you tell me how to make it the rest of the way…lol. So yes, he has opinions about the food, but, self, that is your task/problem this evening. Be creative. I made some gravy out of the drippings and added some mustard to it, threw together biscuits, and roasted some veggies to go with our pork roast. Ended up quite yummy and had enough variety to please the toddlers. Ranger ate carrots, asparagus, and biscuit, Ali ate pork, asparagus and jam. Tomorrow we are having breakfast food for ease and fun. 

More Brillianter Conversation Starters: 

  1. Ranger is asleep in his chair! Look right here right now! Cuteness to revive your spirit! 
  2. Ranger is a muffin theif!  Aren’t the antics of our children cute? 

Anyway. 

That’s how it goes over here. Chatter comes easily somedays :) Something about being alone with your kids all day, I guess. 

How about you? What brilliant ways could you have greeted your husband today? 

 

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The world’s not in charge of me. 

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 It’s amazing how much a two day conference can wear you out. I took a long nap yesterday. Plus a short nap actually. And a long nap again today. I finally feel back to normal energy levels. 

 Also: coming home from two days without your kids is hard. Reentry can be killer. We resorted to netflix. 

That being said, I had an amazing time at the Faith and Culture Writers Conference in Portland. I will most likely be sharing about it for a time from now. But for the moment, it’s just this. 

      I met a friend in real life and made some new ones. 

      I was inspired by other writers and encouraged in this craft I am only now beginning to claim as my own.

      I write. Writing is what I can do right now without further qualifications. I am a writer. 

      I had a short chat with Karen Zacharias about where I was going in my writing. Among other things, she pointed out that writing is a profession and we write whether we feel like it or not.

We write whether or not we feel like it. 

I was immediately confronted with that yesterday as I was dealing with my children whose volumes were amped to loud and my head which seemed unable to handle even the slightest bit of extra noise (i might call it a social hangover?). I did not feel like writing in the least. I did, but I didn’t.

I knew I really should feel like writing, but it was the opposite of what I had felt the last two days. Two days of feeling completely inspired and empowered met by a day of feeling down, disappointed and unable to meet my dreams. I had felt released to write and was being met again with my own insecurities. 

Reentry.

Like those days in middle school when I had a sleepover at a friends house, a day of freedom from real life, and was met by chores and the same everyday. 

 It was the same yesterday, but thanks to the sleepovers I knew what was happening: letdown. 

    I still live in the same place. 

       I still live in the same way.  

          My children have the same amount of maturity. 

             I have the same level of maturity. 

               Even after two days of learning and inspiring, I am met with my same struggles. 

The only difference is now I want, feel inspired, need, and feel led to treat my writing differently. 

                I want to get to where I need to be and to get there I know I need to write. 

             I want to figure out where I need to be and I know I need to write.

         I want to be a writer and to get there I know I need to write. 

       I want a professional outlet and I need to write. 

    I want to be a a published author and I need to write. 

Even if I don’t get paid for what I do I know I need to write. 

Because that’s what I get to do right now. Besides my mundane and everyday, I’ve been gifted with a dream to write. And I can do that now. Amidst the babies and other responsibilities, I am privileged to be here and home, supported, able to write, and have writing bring me some joy and purpose. 

Someday my life might look like more education and higher qualified letters behind my name. Someday I might have a mainstream job and make money that is visible as money earned of simply money saved. Someday I mught have a more known job and accomplishments to list. But right now I get to be faithful where I am in the little things and big. 

I know right here and now is where I need to be 

      mothering my little ones 

           washing dishes 

                making meals 

                     folding endless laundry. 

Inspired and uninspired, this is what I do. And writing will join the list as something I need to be faithful in. I can write right now.  And I can learn to do it well along the way. Same as my other jobs. Because to write well I have to do the work. 

 So I’m throwing off the doubts and saying “be gone!” to the things that keep me from living full and called and brave. 

I will do the work.

I will recognize the things thrown in my way as obstacles to be surmounted instead of signs against my own ability, calling or status as a writer. It will probably just get harder as I keep living into the brave instead of retreating to the safety of small living. 

Because that is how it is when we stretch to bigger things and speak of a bigger God. 

The world fights back. 

But the world’s not in charge of me. 

 —– 

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