When ‘writing’ enters the juggling act.

Mothers are expert jugglers. They juggle family, relationships, chores, sports, school, friendships, church and a myriad of other things. But for a mother who is also a writer there seems to be an added and sometimes complex level of juggling. Questions spin round in the mother/writer’s mind, accusing, rousing doubt and frustration. Questions like: How can I justify hours of work on a novel that may never come to fruition?  Or: How do I even find those hours I know to be necessary? How can I keep myself creatively alive enough to write when I’m exhausted at the end of the day? Is this writing dream just a waste of my time and energy? Should I be putting into another ministry? Another passion with more quantifiable ends?

Sometimes the advice given to such mothers is to write when the kids are asleep. To those of you for whom this works I say ‘Yippee for you!’ But this is something I have never been able to do. I’ve been a mother/writer for 14 years now and I’m suspecting there are other women like me who cannot juggle anything without enough sleep, let along pull off a manuscript! So here’s some of what I’ve learned along the way for how mother/writers can keep writing in a time when writing itself seems like the one thing that will never fit in a juggled life:

Penny Reeve* Give yourself permission to take time. Once,when I was crying my heart out over what I thought was the end of my writing career, my husband said ‘You’ll still be writing when you’re 50′. At the time it didn’t really encourage me! But I’ve learned that the essence of what he said was true (and I’m not 50 yet). The current season may not be one for 90 000 word novels, but that’s ok. Life comes in seasons. Keep your eyes on the long term view of your writng.

* Seek times when you CAN write. Is it a couple of hours a week when Grandma takes the little ones to the park? Is it half an hour while the kids are having down time/screen time? It’s amazing what can be achieved in a little amount of time if we’re disciplined, and the creative permission of such a time can actually refresh you!

* Squeeze your writing in. Ok – maybe not the novel if that requires too much head space, but write in your journal, write emails, jot down ideas, or take notes on character development. Allow your skills and resources to build as you wait for the season when you can give your writing longer periods of time.

* Enjoy what you write. When life feels hassled and frazzled with young children and the writing ball is the one that continues to slip through your fingers, make sure you are enjoying what you do when a catch is made! You can force yourself through the drudgery of more work like writing tasks later, when time is more generous, but for now - enjoy what you write. Write from the heart and listen to God’s leading in your creative self.

* And don’t give up. God wired you the way he did for a reason, and he has pulled your family together with all it’s quirks and strange dynamics on purpose. If he has put writing as a passion in your heart, you don’t need to panic. Just keep plugging away, even if it feels like nothing in this particular juggling stage. Keep learning, keep dreaming and keep reading your kids stories! (They think it’s a bed-time story, you know it’s also exposing yourself to literary forms and encouraging your critical thinking – wink, wink.)

So, happy writing – and juggling. What you are doing in these important parts of your life is worth it!

Penny

PS. One book I’ve found particularly helpful when trying to balance my juggling priorities has been Tricia Goyer’s Balanced.

Posted in Encouragement, Life changes, Parenting, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you know a boy likes a book?

Aloha from Karen Whiting

Rebecca White & Karen Whiting

Rebecca White &
Karen Whiting

I’ve received some emails that reveal boys likes my new book:

  • from Carla Hoch, Gate Beautiful radio host:

My son loves the book. I told him to read it the other night and he asked if he could read more than one day. I think he’s a month ahead. :)

  • from Tiffany Richards (radio host, KAJN.com)

The book went from the kitchen counter to his dresser to beside his bed. I know he likes it!

  • Mary Walsh

Tonight we were reading one of the devotions and we were talking about God’s power. I asked Ryan if he had any examples of God’s power in his life. He said that sometimes he feels his heart “glowing.” He also said he prayed that …

So the book is a great conversation starter. He likes the plexers, too.

Research shows boys read, but not the normal books teachers want them to read. They want books with practical information (sometimes called utility reading). Boys like to read about hobbies, sports, humor, comic books, and nonfiction more than fiction. They like to be engaged so adding puzzles, activities, unusual facts, and jokes attracts them. In fiction, they prefer high adventure and humor to anything emotional.

Most of all, boys model what their dads do. So, if dad reads the boys will read more. If dads mainly read the newspaper and manuals, boys will tend more to reading practical material.

Talk to the boys in your life and discover what interests them. Then look for a book that includes those elements or interests.

What books do the guys in your life enjoy?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Bible Story Resource Roundup – Moses

Bible Story Resource Roundup - Moses
I hope you are enjoying this series of Bible story resource roundups! This week, let’s look at the life of Moses. Here are some computer-animated videos that go through the life of Moses from his birth through the story of the serpent in the wilderness. There are some fun word puzzles that also tell his story. And don’t miss this printable pack of coloring sheets and copywork for handwriting practice.

Moses as a baby

Applications, craft, and songs

Stained glass coloring sheet

Baby Moses paper craft

Moses and Miriam coffee filter craft

Weave a basket paper craft

Moses early life: life application lesson

Moses and the burning bush, the plagues, leaving Egypt, and the Red Sea 

Applications, family tree craft, and songs

Moses and the burning bush craft

God Saves His People lesson plan: Part One and Part Two

Moses’ special staff craft

Moses and the Red Sea stained glass coloring sheet

Child-size Red Sea

Moses and the Red Sea paper craft

Roundup of crafts about Egypt

Wandering in the desert life application

Tabernacle object lesson

Ten Commandments 

Ten Commandments coloring pages (scroll over halfway down the page)

Parchment Commandments craft

Moses toilet paper roll craft

Ten Commandments with hand motions

The Law object lesson

Did you miss a previous Bible story resource roundup? You can find them all below. Enjoy!

Adam and Eve; Noah

Tower of Babel; Abraham and Isaac

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Posted in Youth and children's ministry | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments