Writing

#amwriting

I once heard an author say they began writing when they had read so many books, they craved to begin writing their own stories.

It happened to me in middle school. I was in the sixth grade, my parents were having some personal struggles, and my older brothers were too old for me to hang out with. I was mercilessly picked on in school and though I had a couple of good friends, I liked being alone.

To escape, I began writing a story that I wanted to read. I went places I couldn’t otherwise travel to as an eleven year old. I wrote an entire book about a girl who had become a famous singer. (That was my personal dream at that age. HA!) Oh, I’m sure the book had all kinds of plot holes and errors, but it made me happy. It kept me awake on many Friday nights where I would escape into this world I had created.

I can still remember those characters and how beloved they were to me.

I wrote many more stories. It seemed that any time I read a good book (hello V.C. Andrews and your twisted mind 😂), I had to get in on it and write something too. I rarely shared my stories with anyone other than my mom. I had no desire to go beyond that. I just loved creating.

I stopped reading when I became an adult. I feared that any hobby that distracted me from a ministry mindset was sinful. I never stopped writing, though. I wrote in prayer journals, on blogs, in letters to people who would never read them. Writing seemed to ease an ache within that otherwise couldn’t be dissolved.

Last year, I picked up a romantic fiction by Sherryl Woods. It was a light read, but I remember almost immediately having that feeling come back. “I want to write,” I thought. As I continued reading and re discovering my long lost hobby, I began seeing life as beautiful moments that could be constructed into a story. Everything had a narrative in my mind.

I realized I’ve been doing that all along, it’s just that reading has really tapped into it and brought my imagination back to life.

With all of that said, I’m writing. I’m writing on this blog and fleshing out my story as an anxious mom of three who has been redeemed by God. I’m writing about my journey in leaving legalism and how the system drained the life out of me. I’m writing about our homeschooling journey. I don’t suppose this blog has a particular niche, because it’s simply here to express what’s on my heart in hopes of encouraging another. It’s theme is my love for coffee and the grace of God in my life. His grace spans over every aspect, so I suppose you’ll find that this is an eclectic collection of the happenings in my brain.

I’m also writing a story. I sat down and wrote it all the way through over the course of two months, just getting my thoughts out in an uncensored and free manner. Only following a small outline, I needed to see where it all went. I am now currently re-reading and cringing at how much work it needs. I’m developing my characters, who are coming to life little by little. (And driving me crazy at times.) Their world is set in what I know best – the lush grass and rolling hills of rural Kentucky.

Since I’m going for the gusto and have set a goal of writing 50,000 words (a novel), it will probably be a long time before it’s ready to leave my nest and shared with a few Beta readers.

But it’s a dream of mine. My husband enjoys fishing and dreams of owning his own mechanic garage one day. I enjoy creating people and worlds. I enjoy learning about other authors and hearing their creative process. It’s my happy place.

For now, I write because I enjoy creating. Eventually, I may let someone tag along in the journey with these people who are in my mind. (His name is Eric, her name is Bree. That’s all I will share for now. 🤣)

Do you have a passion or hobby that you enjoy?

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Homeschooling

4 Ways a Homeschool Mom Can Practice Self-Care

HOW CAN YOU STAND BEING WITH THEM ALL.DAY.LONG?!

I’ve been asked this question a time or two. (Or twenty.) I never really know how to answer, because I’ve been with my kids since they were born. I don’t know any different. It’s just how I roll, I guess.

With that said, I’m human. Being a homeschool mom doesn’t mean God granted me with extra patience or super strength. I still have days where I want to rip my hair out or when I’m relieved that my husband walked through the door.

We have completed our first year and I am happy to report that I’m alive and my sanity is intact. Okay, sort of.

I’m here and writing coherent sentences, okay?

Homeschooling has many rewards, but there are also many challenges you will face. You will find yourself burnt out, ready to throw in the towel, and perhaps even sitting in a corner rocking back and forth singing .. “they’re coming to take me away, ah-ha! they’re coming to take me away!”

Jussst kidding. Kinda.

Since it’s a job you don’t really clock out of and leave at the end of the day, you are constantly reminded of the weight and responsibility you have taken on. It’s extremely important for us moms to take a little time to chill, to breathe so that we can be better parents and teachers for our kids.

So, here are four things I began doing to take care of ME during the homeschool year.

1. Wake up early. Or at least before the kids. It’s nice to have that time to get into a good mindset before everyone wakes up and the day gets started. I drink coffee, read my Bible, check my social media, and … ENJOY THE QUIET. I’ve found that if I sleep until the kids wake up, I’m frazzled and tense from the get go. Waking up early helps me ease into my day.

2. Get out of the house alone. My favorite store is the Dollar Store. Aside from buying the occasional Dove bar, cat food, or workout leggings (what a combo 😂), I don’t spend much money there. That’s not why it’s a wonderful place. It’s wonderful because it’s close to home and if I’ve had a long day, I leave the kids with hubby and take a long stroll through the store. To be fair, I’ve been doing this since long before I began homeschooling. 

3. Get ya some hobbies! I discovered (and re discovered) hobbies this year. When I miscarried our baby last fall, it was good to have an escape into books after long, tiring days of struggling with emotion and schooling the kids. I also began writing more, which has been both an escape and a vital portion of my healing. We need to step away from the lesson plans and do something non-school related for a little while.

4. Take care of your health. The first few weeks of school included me sitting at the dinner table as I snacked on mini marshmallows. Oh yes, this nervous Mama who feared she would drop the ball was doing some major stress eating! Between eating badly and no energy, I decided that I needed to make some changes. I found a workout program that I like and began learning about proper nutrition. Exercise has helped lower stress and boost energy! You can also include it in your school day and count it towards P.E!

These are just a few ideas that I have implemented in my own life. As with all things, make sure to give each day to the Lord and ask Him to guide you in His strength! We can’t perform this task as moms and homeschoolers without His wisdom and strength!

What are some ways that you take care of yourself either as a mother or homeschool mom?

For more about our homeschooling journey, you can read about why we homeschool here.