Choosing the Adventure

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. -Helen Keller

(Sometimes living an adventure means that you fracture your ankle at volleyball practice. But I’ll take the fractured ankle over sidelining myself in life for fear of what might happen.) I read the above quote on Instagram (I seriously love the inspiration I’ve curated for myself on IG) and was reminded that I get to choose my attitude every single day.

One of my favorite things about my life as a stay-at-home mom (I’m not sure I can legitimately call myself that anymore) is the variety of the work I get to do. I get to do the daily work with my munchkins: living life, doing school, and learning to get along. I get to write and podcast. I get to sing. I get to coach volleyball. I keep a friend’s baby and get my baby fix on. If variety is the spice of life, we’re pretty spicy around here. And I love that. There’s absolutely no time to be bored.

How to Get Your Work Done

It’s the earlier morning as I’m writing. I won’t quite claim early morning since most of the working world is already up. I’m trying to ease back into my morning work habits and here I am, writing before my kids are up. As early as I’d like? Nope. Did I do the whole morning routine I’d like to? Nope. And I almost stayed in bed because of that. But then I realized that I’m going to want at the end of the day is to have written. And if all I get is 200 words, that will be better than none.

It doesn’t help me to say “well, the kids will be up soon so it’s not worth my time.” It doesn’t help me to make excuses like, “I don’t have three hours to work on this; I only have thirty minutes.” We can spend our lives looking for the big chunks of time, moments that are uninterruptible. But if we want to do real work, we have to do it in real life. That means working in fifteen minute chunks between laundry and running errands and lunch breaks. That means working when we’d rather drift back to sleep for a few minutes or dig into a good book. (Although, bonus, reading is totally part of the work of being a writer.)

When You Need to Say “No”

I should have known better. The opening scene was a family with young kids who were leaving for vacation the next day. But I was chilled out on the couch and Justin had turned on the tv before he left to get our takeout and it was vacation. So I kept watching.
You have to understand that I stopped watching Criminal Minds when I was pregnant with Micah. I love The Mentalist; Psych is my favorite show in the world; and I can’t wait for Sherlock to come back on. But Criminal Minds is a “no” and I would never have considered watching it if we had been at home.
As I watched the opening scene it didn’t cross my mind that I was making a choice. By not saying “no” I was saying “yes.” And I watched the whole show in its horrifying glory (families leaving on vacation found murdered in their basements!) and then two more episodes as well.

I Didn’t Speak Dutch: 3 Ways to Creatively Love Our Neighbors

Today I’m thrilled to share Charissa Steyn and part of her story of living in the Netherlands. One thing I’ve been praying about in my own life is how I can love the people around me who might not seem like “my people.” Charissa provides some examples where she was on the receiving end.

I’m embarrassed to say this, but after two years of living in the Netherlands I never learned Dutch. At least not anything beyond “hoi, hoi” which is a typical greeting for hello or goodbye in the southern province.

Anytime someone would ask about how my Dutch was coming along I would mumble something about my lack of progress. I often wonder how our time here would have looked if I taught myself to carry on simple conversation in Dutch, put my kids in a Dutch preschool, or took language classes once a week. Would we have stayed longer or had stronger community? Perhaps.

But that didn’t stop my neighbors, Reen and Hannelie, from embracing us.  

5 Things I’d Tell You: Volume 1

Podcasters and bloggers who do meet-ups are my heroes. That sounds like great fun to me but I live in a small town and it’s just not on the agenda for the near future. In its place, grab your coffee and listen to five things I’d tell you if we were sitting in the coffee shop nearby listening to some live music and pretending to work.

1. I’m saying “no” to new things right now. I hate saying “no.” There are so many things I want to do and I love to help people but I’ve been forced into this. There will be no margin left in my schedule if I say “yes” to anything else presently. I’ve chosen the work that I have now (hopefully following the leading of God) and I’m going to throw myself into it.

Lindsay: Dance and Fitness Teacher

I’m thrilled to share my friend Lindsay with you today to start off our Interviews with Real Life Creatives Series! I met her several years ago at the mom-of-small-children hub in our town: Toddler Time at the library. She’s delightful and dedicated to her craft and one day, one day- I will get to her yoga class. Promise, Lindsay! 

Tell us a little about your family. 

I have an an awesome husband, Gary, who is an amazing Daddy, and two boys. Nolan is almost five. He is sweet, sensitive, and so so smart. Nate is almost two. He is cuddly, funny, and a joy to be around.

Tell us a little about your work.

I am a self employed dance and fitness teacher, which means I do about 1,000 little jobs, to make up a real job 😉 But really, I own and teach dance at The Dance Centre in Williamsburg, KY. I’m going on my tenth year! I also teach Yoga, Pilates, and Ballroom Dancing for the Health, Exercise, Sport Science Department at the University of the Cumberlands. I’ve been doing that for about 8 years. And, along with my husband, Gary, we are the music and choir directors at First Christian Church in Corbin, KY. We’ve been there almost 4 years.

Finding Internet Inspiration

The internet gets a really bad rap sometimes. We spend too much time on social media. We say hateful things from the anonymity of a computer screen. We compulsively check our email and our blog stats and new Twitter follows. And yeah- that stuff can totally be true.
But the internet is a tool and we can use it really well.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorite people to follow on the internet and what I love about them.