A kitchen meltdown….

(Harvesting Blog Drafts – This post was started on the first week of September 2014. Much of it could have been written this year. I suspect I am not alone.)

A few Saturday’s ago, I woke up and wanted a treat for breakfast. Normally, we have a grab’n’go breakfast at our home. If we have a prepared by mom breakfast, it is served at supper time.

We had completed our first week of school, and I wanted to do something special. So I got up and began making waffles.

As I stood there, with the first wafts of waffle-y goodness filling the kitchen, the voices started muttering.

I had done a full grocery trip the day before. I had preceded the grocery trip with a menu plan. When I got home, I put things carefully away in an organized manner. Winning.

When I went through the cupboards for waffle supplies, I found that I had missed some of our major staple items.

The only thing I dislike more than shopping (especially grocery shopping) is finding out I have messed up.

I get all panicky about budgets (and other things that I might fail at). I feel like it reflects on me as a mother and wife if the kitchen stuff isn’t wonderful, healthy, creative, and fun.

So as I’m making waffles at 7 in the morning on a Saturday, all these condemning apparitions circled around me chorusing about my failure.

And then I tuned in to what I was thinking/hearing.

And I began to point out a few things to those complaints.

I pointed out that I was making waffles at 7am on a Saturday (are there enough bonus points in the motherhood game for this?!?).

I pointed out that we had just completed our first full week of homeschool using a million new systems and a number of new resources and nobody was killed or harmed in the making of that homeschool week (again – how many bonus points?!?).

And I pointed out that the sum of my mothering and wife-ing is NOT measured in the kitchen.

This is know. This I have taken great comfort in over the years. Yet it is the first place that the lies of the Enemy get louder and louder as I walk this walk out.

It begs the question – what am I measuring myself against?

If I take my eyes off of my important things and put them onto the secondary things (which are still important, but not most important), what and who benefits?

I lost my voice…

It was good strategy. It made sense. It was the New Year. So I signed up for the free blogging course. In 12 weeks I was going to have a fresh approach and renewed voice on my blog.

I was careful in my choice. I looked at many. I prayed. I thought it was a good fit.

But it wasn’t.

There was nothing innately Bad about this course. It just wasn’t what I was looking for. And instead of just unsubscribing or throwing out the emails AS SOON as I realized this wasn’t helping, I dug in my heels and committed to ‘FINISHING THIS THING’. So each time I read (or skimmed) I became less and less clear on what I was going to offer AND if what I had to offer was worth it.

Towards the end of the 12 weeks, I did begin to just throw them out. And unsubscribed from the writer’s blog. Because it was becoming clear to me that this wasn’t not just not helping, but it was harming my journey in BlogVille.

The phrase ‘I lost my voice’ came to me when I visited my parents chicken house last week. They keep about a dozen chickens and have off and on since I was in high school. (At the time I wasn’t fond of the chores connected to the birds – including shoveling out a winters worth of droppings – Dad was not sexist in doling out chores). But now I often will visit the henhouse when I visit my parents immersing myself in the warm smell accompanied by the noises of birds. They really are beautiful.

Anyhow, on Easter, when I visited the chickens, one bird stood apart and crowed at me with determination. But no noise came from her throat. Again and again she tried to make some noise, and again and again she looked like a baby bird waiting for a worm.

I’ve never really had a severe case of laryngitis. I don’t know what work a patient goes through to get back a voice. Liquids and rest?  (I have even less idea what that dear hen had wrong and how/if it will be righted.)

I’m on Hour 8 of a 30ish Hour Retreat. Marc is with the kids and I am at a hotel not too far away. So the rest is beginning. And with a couple great books and some writing the nourishment is in process as well.

About NaBloPoMo

Sunflower Waking Up –
makes me happy on a fall day

So, I said I would be writing every day this month. And I haven’t written since last Thursday. Since we are half-way through the month, I suppose it’s a good day to write about what I’ve learned about writing and myself so far.

When I plan to do something, I do it. I made a commitment to myself to write every day. And until last Thursday I did. Even if it came to the end of the day and I was getting ready for bed, I would write.

I will keep working until the work is done… and the work never ends. So when I turned off the computer last Thursday night, I opted to not turn it on again until Monday morning. I needed a rest from screen.

Screen makes a lot of lines fuzzy. I can go from writing to shopping to snooping (er, I mean social media).  I am highly distractible. Especially when I am tired. From doing all that work that never gets done.

How am I trying to apply what I’ve learned?

  • Spending the evenings knitting rather than with the laptop.
  • Re-examining the wisdom of writing EVERY day.
  • Scheduling time in the afternoon to write, or pay bills, or shop (so that I have more bills to pay).
  • Learning the art of using ‘drafts’ when blogging – so that I can have more than one I’m working on, and am not constantly working on the one that will be published.
  • Sticking to that time.

These are just ideas, and I’m honestly not sure how long it will take me to apply, how long I will remember the goal… but it’s a good start to some good thinking.

Well, Why Not….

As I’ve been getting the kids going on their NaNoWriMo, it is very weird to to not have a writing project myself. But it really would be impossible for me to participate in NaNoWriMo while helping the kids with their own writing. (Not to mention our current life schedule.)

Last night I was visiting @lannalee ‘s blog (http://lannaleemaheux.com/) – I met her and @rurugby at the #smbme birthday party last month – and saw that she is participating in NaBloPoMo.

As I was blogging about the kids writing, I had thought, maybe I should just commit to blogging each day  – or nearly. So stumbling – it felt stumbling- across Lanna Lee’s “in solidarity with her NaNoWriMo friends” line cemented it for me.

Then, I wondered if I should join the NaBloPoMo or just blog. Because, you know. I can’t just do something without over thinking it.

And I remembered that last November was a big writing month for me, too. Anna and Marc were in NZ for most of the month and my part of their journey was to blog each day. So maybe November is a good writing month for me.

So, why not.

NaBloPoMo 2011

(Thanks, LannaLee!)

The beginning

This blog has been in the beginning stages for five months now. How many times can you change your template? Why no posts until now? Perfectionism. I think about blogging often… just like I think about dusting. But then I quickly fill my plate with expectations of perfection followed with a second plate of fear of disappointing…. others, others expecations and preconceived notions, myself.

So let me begin my public blog experience by saying that this will be imperfect writing, inconsistent writing, sometimes irreverant writing, and if you think I’m doing it for anyone but myself, you are mistaken. I do hope that some will enjoy whatever I end up writing about. But I am not writing a family history. I am not writing a treatise on parenting or homeschooling. I am not writing about how to survive your first year as a church planter, or how to be a better wife to an extraverted extravert. Although, I’m sure all of this will come up.

I am making the fifteen minutes to post my first blog today because of two friends, mainly, and my ever faithful husband. Thanks for starting your own blog, Elisa. When I grow up I want to be like you. Robbi, when we were talking about roles last night, ‘writer’ was the last thing on my mind. When you described me that way, you simulataneously took the wind from my sails, and filled them up with fresh air. Marc, you’ve been telling me that this is part of me for as long as I’ve known. If everyone could have even just one of one you three friends in their lives…. gutsy, freedom, vision, color.