The Gap

The gap between what I write and a who I am is narrow but sometimes I see it. Sometimes I see something about parenting, marriage, or even our little farm, so clearly when I write about it, but I have to practice hard to achieve it in my own life.

Things like the pause – I can write it out, I can put to words how and why it is so important. I see it clearly. And I practice it often, but sometimes I fail to practice that pause. It’s not because I don’t want to pause or because I stopped seeing it as important or necessary. It’s not because I want to write about something I don’t do all the time or write-up some impossible, perfect standard for living.

This gap is real and it nags at me sometimes to stop writing. It calls to memory many times that I’ve failed at doing what I’m writing about, and tells me that I then have no business sharing what I think.

But I’m learning something interesting. If I stop writing where that ugly voice tells me there is a gap, I stop writing all together and the gap between my idea and my practice grows. Yet, if I continue to write despite the gap, it seems to narrow. I seem to be able to put into practice more consistently what I’m writing about, the ideas I have. I am able to bring them to action in my own life more often.

The more I write, the more I become who I want to be instead of staying as I am. This is exciting to me. To be able to see the direction I want to go, and to see how my writing influences that I take the steps that direction for real.

Oftentimes, I put my fingers on this keyboard thinking I’m going to make a revelation to the world, but most often, I make one to myself. And I close the gap between who I am and who I want to be just a little bit more.

Until next time,

Choosing Purpose

When I was pregnant with my firstborn, more than 11 years ago, I developed the notion that we should live on purpose– that we should step out and make things happen instead of always waiting for things to happen to us.

Dave Ramsey says effective people make a dent in things, things don’t make a dent in them.

Living on purpose, I believe, often leads to living for our purpose. God created you and me with a plan in mind. He has things He desires for us to achieve with our lives. I know with free will, however, that we can stray from the path of purpose and flounder about. But when we choose to live on purpose, for His purpose, His power flows through us, enabling us to do the work He has called us to.

From time to time, I lose sight of the purposes God intends for me to fulfill. When I do, I find that I feel overwhelmed by everything in my life. But when I focus on Him, and on His ability to give me what I need to fulfill His purposes, I have peace.

A few of the purposes God placed on me:

  • Being Mr. W’s Wife
  • Parenting/Homeschooling/Raising a big family
  • Writing
  • The Towing Industry

Sometimes I lose sight of these purposes, or more often, I put them in the wrong order.

Writing drops off the list every time I get a little too busy. It’s hard to force myself to take the time to write because it feels a little bit selfish or indulgent. (Especially since my brain can’t seem to send words to my fingers in a noisy, chaotic environment.) Sometimes I let parenting take a lead role over marriage, which distorts how our days go. Sometimes I let my work in our tow business take the top seat, and then it seems to drag everything else along on a very bumpy ride.

I’ve been tempted to give up homeschooling more and more recently. As much as I feel like it’s the right choice for us, I don’t always know how to keep all of the plates spinning. I’m also learning that God is calling me to a deeper reliance on Him – one that requires me to ask Him for strength, for guidance, and for help to make the most of every moment.

I believe families would be stronger if the marriage came first and presented a unified stance on most/all issues with the kids. That is harder than I ever imagined with a blended family. There are so many moving parts, and so many factors to consider. As Mr. W and I get better at discussing how to handle parenting events before they even occur, and as we find the places we agree and the places we can compromise to come to agreement, we are learning to present ourselves as a team to our family. I heard once that it can take up to 7 years for a blended family to really work all of that out. I thought that seemed like a long estimation, but it seems to be an accurate one.

Towing… I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many blessings to being in business for ourselves and being part of such a connected community. I thank God often for this opportunity in our lives. I also find myself greatly overwhelmed by all of the things I constantly have to take care of. It weighs heavy on my shoulders thinking of the families that rely on our business being run correctly, paychecks being ready on time, calls continuing to come in, trucks running properly, and more. Our business isn’t just our bread and butter, but it is the bread and butter for other families, as well. It is this reality that keeps me up at night, hoping that my best was enough for that day. Again, I believe God is calling me to depend fully on Him, to remember that He called us to provide this service to our community, and to remember that He is the one who makes His plans succeed.

Our pastor, Craig Groeschel, has said a few times, “If you don’t know the purpose of a thing, you will misuse it. Don’t ask the thing it’s purpose, though. Ask the Creator of the thing.”

His words ring true every time I hear him teach on purpose. I think about it with my spouse, our marriage, our precious kids, and our business. As I am writing this post, I am realizing that I need to submit the purpose of my writing to God, and ask Him to speak through me. I’ve prayed since I was pregnant the very first time for God to reveal my kids’ purpose(s) to them at a young age, and for Him to help me help them on their paths. I suppose it’s time I pray a similar prayer over my writing.

What purpose has God placed on your life? How are you fulfilling your purpose(s)?


Overwhelmed, Under-achieving, Vicious Cycle

If any of you are like me, sometimes you take on too much. It can be hard to say “no” to the never-ending requests for our time and attention. And, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself worn and haggard at the end of each day (or even the middle).

In case you missed the news, we just had a baby girl at the beginning of February. That makes beloved #5 for our blended family – 4 incredible boys, and a healthy baby girl! We are overjoyed. And I got overwhelmed. I’m your average stay at home, homeschooling Momma. I have dishes and laundry to do, a house to keep up with, 3 boys to educate, meals to make, and now I’m nursing a little one, on demand (and she demands to eat often!). Plus, for the first time ever, I’ve joined the ranks as a cloth-diapering Momma.

I couldn’t get through a whole day without missing something, without feeling like I couldn’t keep up, without stressing. I also had a part time writing job. Now, I like to write, so this would seem like a great idea. But it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just couldn’t do that, too. Recently, I have been blessed to be able to take a break from the writing job, along with a couple other things I was doing.

I can breath! I can get up and face the day, the boys, the baby, and my hubby without the burden of guilt, or without feeling utterly overwhelmed. I spent last week reorganizing the house, really pushing the limits with school, and enjoying it all a bit more. See, I’ve always felt called to stay home and raise my precious kids, and take care of our home, and all that comes with that.

Somehow, though, I always feel like I should be doing “more”. As if being on call 24/7 isn’t enough, I feel like I have to find measurable ways to contribute to our family. Mainly, I feel this way when it comes to money. I often burden myself with an enormous amount of guilt for my lack of a paycheck. So I take on odd jobs, trying to make up for what sometimes  feels like I’m failing our family.

You know what’s crazy? That whole thought sounds stupid to me on paper. But it can be crippling to me mentally. Equally, or more severely crippling, is when I have too much on my plate. I have known a few people in my life who, when they get overwhelmed, they crank up their efforts, get up earlier, go to bed later, and just GO-GO-GO. I’m the opposite. I cannot get out of bed to face it when it’s too much. I don’t know where to start. So I just STOP.

You know what happens when I stop all forward progress? I get behind. And I feel overwhelmed. So I don’t start anywhere. So I get more behind. So I feel more overwhelmed. Plus, now I feel guilty for being behind. So I’m more overwhelmed. And behind. See the vicious cycle?

So, now that I’m taking a break from the writing gig, and I’ve let go of a few more odd jobs, I’m caught up on the house and I feel more at peace. Now, don’t get me wrong, the guilt bug still lingers, waiting for those moments where I might get a break to attack me with the thought that I’m not doing enough. But I’ve decided to tell that guilt bug that even if it isn’t enough, at least I’m now doing what I’m doing well. Instead of behind, or barely, or not at all, I am doing it well.

I thank God every day that my dear husband supports me in this at-home endeavor and does all he can to make it possible for me to be home. I am beyond blessed that he never accuses me of not doing enough, that he supports all of my endeavors and hare-brained ideas, and that he loves me well.

 Have you noticed a vicious cycle in your life? How will you break the cycle and how will you encourage yourself and put a stop to any negative self-talk?