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You know one thing that has helped make me a better mom and wife?
(Weird. I’ve never put that in writing before.)
This may not sound logical since blogging can distract me from my family at times. I confess it is a constant juggling act, and indeed sometimes it adds stress to my life. However the overall effect of finding my passion through writing and blogging has definitely made me a better wife and mom.
One day I hope to share more of the personal side to my blogging journey, but nearly six years into it, I can definitely look back and see a transition in my life as I have grown through this art form.
Yet the truth is, I haven’t always known how to articulate that. For a long time I wa pretty quiet about my little slice of the internet, and for some years I even had good friends who didn’t know I was blogging! It has taken me a long time to get comfortable admitting to my dedication to something other than just being a wife and mom.
You see, though some people cringe at the phrase, “just a mom” was never a negative to me. I grew up with a stay-at-home mom who I greatly admired, and a father who built up her role beautifully. Having the opportunity to stay home with my kids was my heart’s desire, and when I found out Dave wanted the same thing for his family, I was so happy. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been a big priority for us.
To be fair, I have always dabbled in some kind of work, mostly because I like to be busy and juggle a lot of plates. My main side gig in the early years was teaching group fitness, which allowed me to check my boys into the Kids’ Club while I enjoyed an hour break and a workout (and a hot shower if I was lucky.)
But the beat of my heart was, is, and always will be FAMILY.
That’s what made me a little awkward and quite a bit self-conscious back when I started my blog on January first of 2011. Because though I claimed it was just a casual hobby, by the second or third post? I was hooked. I loved writing, and I loved the creative process of figuring out how to download a photo (it took me hours in those first weeks!) I loved clicking on “Publish” to see a post go live. I loved (really loved!) getting comments, feedback, and learning to use social media. When I felt like I had struck a chord, encouraged someone or made them laugh, I knew I had truly found my passion.
Yet it was uncomfortable because — Well, I guess I wasn’t sure how to fit this in with my identity as a full-time wife and mom. I remember awkwardly telling friends that I had started a blog, and then waiting for their reaction. I’ll never forget one friend who I nervously shared the news with and she immediately gawked, “A BLOG!? WHY in the world would you start a blog when you’re a busy homeschooling mom!?” It felt like a punch in the gut, but if I’m honest, it only fueled my fire to see how well I could do all of it.
I began to love the rare days where I would get a few hours to myself, writing my heart out; sharing the stories of what our family was doing, or some wisdom that I had gleaned from my experience. I wrestled then with whether or not I should feel guilty about this. I continued to blog those first few years, but there remained a slightly sneaky feeling about it. I remember being on the computer when my husband got home from work and I would hop up, pretending not to be writing.
Well now I’m getting way too far into my story, and like I said, I’d love to share much more of it in the future if you’re interested. But a major turning point occurred three and a half years into my blogging journey. This part of the story involves a difficult conversation with my husband, some tears, and a big shift in how I (we) looked at my writing. Which was followed by an even bigger shift (no way coincidental) in what happened to my blog.
And today…I am humbled and excited to tell you that you can find that part of MY story, as the opening of chapter 10 of my friends Kelli and Wendy’s brand new book: LIFE CREATIVE.
And the really great news is that LIFE CREATIVE is launching today!!
Life creative is the story of renaissance women like you (and me!) in every capacity imaginable. You can read all about it, and read what some incredible women have to say about it, HERE.
For me, reading Life Creative affirmed this thing within me that I have wrestled with in some way–big or small– for years. It freed me up to say I’m ok being both a committed wife and mom, AND a creative woman, pursuing dreams and following my passion. It’s ok to wrestle with it and sometimes get it wrong but never let that stop me from trying to get it right.
And what I really love about this book is that it makes me think of so many great friends and women in my life. I think of my lifetime BFF who after her kids started school invested some weekends (and a lot of studying) to get her Master Gardner Certification, and uses her talents to create lovely seasonal potted plants for friends and businesses. I think of my sister-in-law who though overwhelmingly busy with two boys, (one of which has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and requires a lot of time and attention,) squeezes in the time to create gorgeous scrapbooking albums, and other lovely crafts that add beauty to her home and many others. I think of my friend who, with three boys under six launched a business from her home which grew to be a worldwide success, and my other friend who after years of making homemade deodorant for her family, decided to share it with the world and made it available online. I think of so many of my friends with the prettiest instagram feeds, or the ones who cook the most wonderful meals, throw the best kids parties, grow the most beautiful gardens, serve the needy, sit on charitable boards, and on and on and on.
What I’m saying is: there is a renaissance woman within all of us!
Yes, timing matters, (there are seasons where it’s just babies and diapers and sometimes that is more than enough) and no — not all of our stories will look alike (thank God, how boring would that be!?) But we really CAN be moms and wives and even working a day-job that might be less than our passion. (which is sometimes the most loving thing a parent can do if it helps support their family–and kudos to you if that is your story.) But in time we can still find moments to creatively express the beautiful gifts God has given us…The ones that are just bubbling up and wanting to get out!
Life Creative gives us permission to build and write and sew and dance and sing and cook and create and add all of the joy and passion that makes this world a beautiful place.
So I encourage you…urge you really…to buy this book today!
You can order it right here on Amazon –> Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom
(It’s a great gift for a friend too!) You will be inspired and you will be blessed.
Finally: I want to send TWO of you a copy of Life Creative as well! Please respond to my question below, and I’ll randomly choose two winners next week Monday (October 3rd) and announce them in the following post.
Please tell me: How would you define your creative side? Maybe it’s something you practice daily, or perhaps it is still hid inside of you, just waiting to be set free…It might be a skill or an art form or anything else. (and if you like you might share about how you personally balance your creative expression with family, work and so on.)
Perhaps you have a friend whose creativity inspires you!? You can leave a comment telling me about that friend and I will enter her into the giveaway as well! (Yes! You can leave two comments for two entries!)
ALSO: Let me know if you share this post on social media and I’ll add an extra entry as well! 🙂
Here’s to living and loving well, and to all of the Renaissance Moms out there, inspiring one another!
PS I am an Amazon Affiliate so if you click-through the Amazon link and purchase I will receive a small compensation for sharing it. (the cost is the same to you!)
PPS Follow LifeCreative on INSTAGRAM! (and be inspired. :))