Admire and Aspire

Dear Fellow Writers,

When I read your words I admire and aspire. I don’t cut down, tear apart, pick apart, or find fault. When I read your words, I pick out the best parts, the parts I like the most, and I let them call out the best parts in me.

When I find the rhythm to your work, I let it lull me, sing to me, draw me in. I admire the voice you’ve developed, I know that didn’t happen the first time your pen met the page. I aspire to practice as much and as hard as you do, so that my own narrative voice will be strong, independent, and yet connected to this community of folks. Folks who string word after word together to make a symphony of thoughts, ideas, imaginations, instructions.

Fellow Writer, I love what you do. I know what you do has helped me do what I do. I know your words have inspired me to put my words on paper. I don’t want to copy you, but I want to be just like you. I want to be brave enough to put my story out there for others to read and enjoy and learn from. I want to write novels that people can live in, if even for short time. I want to write books about how God moves in my life and the hope we have in Jesus.

Thank you for paving the way with your courage. Thank you for giving me something to read. I know you opened yourself up, poured yourself out, and wrote from your heart. I know it wasn’t easy. I know you’ve had doubters, complainers, naysayers, and critics. Thank you for pushing yourself forward anyway.

Until next time,

Homeschool Confessions #2

I don’t like when my kids are ungrateful. Or when they are complaining. In fact, it makes me absolutely crazy and cranky and I start complaining right along with them. That sure makes the day (or week, if I’m not careful) go downhill quickly. The negative attitudes that crop up around here make me want to run away.

My natural response, you know, that cranky one? Well, I start getting louder and more demanding and commanding and this is quite the site. See, I talk with my hands all of the time. So, a very frustrated me, flails my arms around wildly. While raising my voice. (The oldest likes to mock me for this flailing!)

Then the guilt sets in and I feel like the worst mom ever.

I came up with a plan to (hopefully) overcome this negativity. And to prevent it from setting in again. Our first project, every morning, is to come together and name 3 things we are thankful for.

I wish I could report that the first two days was amazing and that my kids really warmed my heart. But instead, we were generically thankful for whatever got the project over. But you know what? I’m going to stay the course, and maybe in a few weeks, when I haven’t let them repeatedly say the same generic thing but made them think up something new they will warm my heart with something truly incredibly. And if nothing else, maybe I’ll reset all of our brains to recognize that we have more than enough to be thankful for.

Do you have a homeschool confession?



My prayer right now…

Things have been a little crazy with Christmas heading at us at top speed, so many birthdays around this time of year, and our upcoming baby girl…my head has been spinning and I am feeling overwhelmed. I’ve gotten extremely caught up in the idea of giving the kids a “good” Christmas, so much so that suddenly I’m wondering if I am defining a “good” Christmas the right way.

For those of you that know me, you know we don’t do Santa, and my favorite tradition is reading about the arrival of Jesus on Christmas morning. I’ve always swung toward the religious side with my Christmas traditions, and have even sometimes been mercilessly picked on for it…but that never bothered me.

This Christmas is a little different than some of our other Christmas’ and as the holiday approaches and we are struggling to give the kids a good Christmas, I think I missed something. Sure, I tried to leave the commercial idea of Santa out. I talk with the boys about what St. Nick did many years ago, and that he wanted Jesus to get the credit. And we read the bible on Christmas morning. But even in all of that, I feel like there is a quota I must meet in gift-giving to fulfill what Christmas should be.

And I’m even struggling with the idea that the kids won’t understand receiving less…but is that true? Am I teaching them the right or wrong lessons? Am I teaching them a sense of entitlement? That no matter the cost to the people around them, they should get and have what they want? How do I teach them to be grateful for a little and not bitter because their friends got more? Or because they got more during a different holiday season?

My prayer is that God would speak to me about these lessons and how to teach them…that He would soften the hearts of my children to learn these lessons gracefully. I pray now that God would reveal to me what my actions teach my kids, not just this season, but always. I pray that instead of teaching the boys that the world owes them, that I owe them, that I would teach them to be thankful always, in times of plenty and times of want. I pray that they would be dedicated individuals with a desire to work hard. I pray that they would value stuff the right way, and not put stuff above family, or other people. I pray earnestly for the peace and strength to walk through these lessons, and the focus to keep my eyes on Jesus and all that I have to be thankful for, too.