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EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! Get your #GirlatTheEndofTheWorld goodie-bag TODAY!

The Girl at the End of the World My book releases in 20 days.

Twenty.

Or, as my middle school boy mumbles: “Twunny.”

Yeah, I got twunny days. Cue: EMOTIONAL MELTDOWN.

I wish I felt more excited. From the way people keep talking, I’m supposed to Be All Pumped Up.

“Are you excited?” they ask. And all I can think is: “Yeah, I’m excited like going to the guillotine is exciting.”

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic,” they say.

“Fine. I’m excited like going to get a root canal is exciting.”

Honestly, all I wanna do is crawl under the covers and suck on Xanax lollipops–if there is such a thing.

I mean, I WROTE about the smarmy recruitment tactics of my childhood cult. I don’t wanna BECOME that. Cue smarmy, self-promoting author hawking her book on street corners: “TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION! BUY MY BOOK!”

So, I’m gonna keep it simple: Hi, I have a book. Please buy it.

There. Done. And now, let me sweeten the deal, K? (In the least smarmy-way-I-could-imagine-please-bear-with-me):

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You don’t have to be a Big Blogger. Or have a Big Online Platform. In fact, I WANT my everyday readers, casual Instagrammers, non-professional Facebookers to sign up! p.s. and in 10 days? THERE WILL BE MORE PRIZES! Be the first to know! SIGN UP! NOW! TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION! MWA-HA-HA! just kidding. xoxo. EE. :)

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THIS might be why I’m exhausted all the time {a day in the life #onedayHH}

Last week, Laura of Hollywood Housewife hosted a “day in the life” meme where everyone documented their lives for just one day–the idea being to catch the ordinary moments we’d usually overlook. Well, after participating I realized one huge thing: no wonder I’m exhausted all the time! My life is very, very full! Here’s what last Wednesday looked like for me:

5am: first thing I see each day? My bathroom.

5am: first thing I see each day? My bathroom.

5:30-6:30am: exercise bootcamp

5:30-6:30am: exercise bootcamp

6:45am: let the dogs out, start breakfast, wake kids

6:45am: let the dogs out, start breakfast, wake kids

7am: Husband makes breakfasts while I pack kids' lunches, ready backpacks, keep everyone moving along

7am: Husband makes breakfasts while I pack kids’ lunches, ready backpacks, keep everyone moving along

7:05: my ballerina preps for another day of high school

7:05: my ballerina preps for another day of high school

7:10am: we all sit down for breakfast

7:10am: we all sit down for breakfast

There's always time for breakfast table cuddles

There’s always time for breakfast table cuddles

 

7:45am: check email, publish blog post.

7:45am: check email, publish blog post.

8:30am: Shower, hair, makeup.

8:30am: Shower, hair, makeup.

9am: read my daily Scripture, journal, pray.

9am: read my daily Scripture, journal, pray.

9:30am: Nails. I have a thing for pretty nails. Growing up I wasn't allowed to wear bright colored polish. I LOVE makeup, perfume, polish and all the girly things now! :)

9:30am: Nails. I have a thing for pretty nails. Growing up I wasn’t allowed to wear bright colored polish. I LOVE makeup, perfume, polish and all the girly things now! :)

10:30am: my favorite grocery store! Purchased picnic stuff + items for dinner.

10:30am: my favorite grocery store! Purchased picnic stuff + items for dinner.

11:35am: pick twins up from kinder + go to park for playdate w. their classmates

11:35am: pick twins up from kinder + go to park for playdate w. their classmates

1:15pm: back to school to pick up 5th grade son. 3rd application of lipgloss. Because I LIKE LIPGLOSS, OK??? :)

1:15pm: back to school to pick up 5th grade son. 3rd application of lipgloss. Because I LIKE LIPGLOSS, OK??? :)

1:40pm: Starbucks run: double tall latte.

1:40pm: Starbucks run: double tall latte.

2pm: highschool pickup.

2pm: highschool pickup.

2:30pm: twins watch PBS, Mom takes a power nap!

2:30pm: twins watch PBS, Mom takes a power nap!

3:15pm: twins go outside to play, I watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I KNOW! I'M A TERRIBLE PERSON! I can't help it. I LOVE this show.

3:15pm: twins go outside to play, I watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I KNOW! I’M A TERRIBLE PERSON! I can’t help it. I LOVE this show.

3:30pm: I don't get to watch TV for long. Dogs start barking, twins want "help" playing outside.

3:30pm: I don’t get to watch TV for long. Dogs start barking, twins want “help” playing outside.

3:45pm: Jude needs help with homework

3:45pm: Jude needs help with homework

4pm: I start dinner prep

4pm: I start dinner prep

4:15pm: twins come inside and build a tent in the dining room

4:15pm: twins come inside and build a tent in the dining room

4:15pm: Boys help with chores. Jude loads dishwasher, James takes out trash

4:15pm: Boys help with chores. Jude loads dishwasher, James takes out trash

4:30pm: Dinner! During sports seasons, we eat really early.

4:30pm: Dinner! During sports seasons, we eat really early.

5pm: Boys to water polo

5pm: Boys to water polo

5:30pm: I eat MY dinner. Baked potato, spaghetti meat sauce, avocado.

5:30pm: I eat MY dinner. Baked potato, spaghetti meat sauce, avocado.

6:15pm: Jewel has been dancing on pointe so much she has corns on her toes. I take her to the drug store to buy some foot care items.

6:15pm: Jewel has been dancing on pointe so much she has corns on her toes. I take her to the drug store to buy some foot care items.

6:30pm: Stop at gas station. I am running on fumes now--literally and figuratively. I am tired!

6:30pm: Stop at gas station. I am running on fumes now–literally and figuratively. I am tired!

6:40pm: I take Jewel to dance.

6:40pm: I take Jewel to dance.

7pm: I go to Confession.

7pm: I go to Confession.

7:30pm: Our pastor was celebrating a special evening Mass for his patron saint. I stayed after Confession to receive the Eucharist and spend time praying during Adoration. A peaceful and wonderful end to my day.

7:30pm: Our pastor was celebrating a special evening Mass for his patron saint. I stayed after Confession to receive the Eucharist and spend time praying during Adoration. A peaceful and wonderful end to my day.

9pm: my husband does the final water polo & dance pickups while I get ready for bed. My pillows, my book of poetry and my doggie. Ohh, I am very, very tired. What a good day!

9pm: my husband does the final water polo & dance pickups while I get ready for bed. My pillows, my book of poetry and my doggie. Ohh, I am very, very tired. What a good day!

 

Boycotting Halloween

photo

I wrote this post three years ago. I’m reposting it today because it’s Halloween again and lots of Christians still boycott this holiday. I get it. I really do. That’s how I was raised. Here’s why I changed my mind about Halloween.

Boycotting Halloween is like all popular now. When I was a kid, we were the only family in our entire neighborhood whose house went dark on Halloween. Because, you know, Halloween is a pagan, evil holiday and Christians shouldn’t celebrate it ‘cuz that’s like Jews celebrating Hitler’s birthday.

We didn’t even pass out Gospel tracks like those Christians who see evangelistic outreach potential in every single holiday. And we certainly weren’t going to throw a faux Halloween church party called a “Fall Festival.” Because that was COMPROMISING WITH THE WORLD, yo.

So, we did the most Christian thing and cowered in our darkened home, praying we wouldn’t get tricked. Or, you know, persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

But now? Now it seems like all kinds of Christians–and not just fundamentalists–boycott Halloween.

The common reasoning seems to be that Halloween, an originally “pagan holiday,” was “Christianized” by Catholics–yet another example, fundamentalists like to say, of Catholics corrupting true, pure Christian faith.

As an adult, I realize our boycott of Halloween had more to do with anti-Catholic sentiment than actual historical fact. Back then, I didn’t even think Catholics were Christians.

Now that I know the Catholic Church isn’t, in fact, leading millions of souls to Hell, imagine my surprise in discovering that “the origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian and rather American.”

When I was a fundamentalist, I never even stopped to ask what the word Halloween meant.

Hallow=holy
e’en= contraction for the word ‘evening’

Thus, Halloween means the holy evening before All Saints Day.

All of which to say, I would probably still be a fundamentalist if it weren’t for the Internets.

Furthermore, so what if Christians “Christianize” things? That doesn’t alloy our faith. Christianizing is what Christians do. I mean, if we’re gonna get really technical–didn’t Christians “Christianize” the Jewish faith?

And anyway, who decided that the goal of life is to avoid all things pagan? If that’s the case, I guess we better come up with a different name for Thursday since it was named after the god Thor.

Of course, Halloween has become a largely secular holiday with widespread overtones of the occult. But that doesn’t mean Halloween needs to be boycotted altogether. It just means that a lot of mainstream Christians have allowed pre-Christian superstition about the dead to takeover what should be a redemptive holiday.

It’s possible to celebrate Halloween without glorifying the secular aspects of this particular holiday. The true celebration of Halloween should be about acknowledging our mortality–followed by remembering those who have gone before us on All Saints Day.

It’s possible to celebrate and enjoy Halloween if you can, like I had to, overcome the reflexively anti-Catholic perspective that was ingrained into my Protestant DNA.

I really hope more Christians don’t boycott Halloween this year because me and my five kiddos are going trick-or-treating and guess what? We don’t want a Gospel pamphlet.

WE WANT CANDY!

Although if you pass out Mint Milanos instead? I’ll totally say GOD BLESS YOU! :-D

*******DISCLAIMERS!*********

  1. One buggy thing about Halloween is all the stupid, sexy costumes. On TODDLERS.
  2. It’s even worse for tweens. My 11 year old wears tween sizes now and seriously, these are the options:
  3. Sexy witch.
  4. Sexy ladybug.
  5. Sexy pumpkin.
  6. At one point she was all: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO APPROPRIATE?
  7. Her words.
  8. See? It’s not just moms who don’t want sexy kid costumes. Even my KID doesn’t want sexy.
  9. We finally found something.
  10. But next year? I’m so totally sewing the costumes.
  11. Um. I have 5 kids. I better start sewing NOW. Ack!

Justice for Hana Williams…#NoMoreDeadKids {and why Christians should reject Michael & Debi Pearls’ books}

Two years ago I appeared on Anderson Cooper’s TV show and confronted Michael Pearl face-to-face. I explained why his so-called “Biblical” child training practices were abusive.

Just a few months before, a third child had been found dead. Hana Williams’ emaciated, beaten body was discovered in the backyard of her home. The deaths drew attention to Pearl’s advocacy of spanking because her adopted parents, Larry and Carri Williams, owned his book To Train Up A Child. This past week, her parents were found guilty of her death.

Hana Williams

Hana Williams

Among other findings, the autopsy on Hana revealed “patterned contusions on the legs consistent with disciplinary impacts with a switch.” Larry Williams admitted to using a plumbing supply line on Hana–the exact implement Michael Pearl suggests parents use on their children. Hana’s official cause of death was hypothermia–she’d been left outside on a cold night without proper clothing.

The Sheriff’s affidavit was heart wrenching to read and I found myself choking up numerous times. Yes, Larry and Carri Williams went far beyond what the Pearls explicitly recommend in their child-training books. However, the patterns and similarities in these cases should not be ignored.

Larry & Carri Williams homeschooled their 8 children and kept a meticulously organized home. When interviewed, the children gave “mimicked” answers that seemed rehearsed and the investigator noticed that the children constantly looked to their parents to see if they were giving the “right” answers.

Larry Williams interrupted the interview when Hana’s younger brother told investigators that people like his sister “got spankings for lying and go into the fires of hell.”

Micheal Pearl has consistently denied any responsibility for his harmful teachings; placing sole blame on “out-of-control” parents. While it seems that Pearl is not legally responsible, I believe he is morally responsible for what he advocates. Even when his techniques do not result in death, they are still harmful. As I quoted in the above clip, Pearl advocates spanking a child until he/she is “totally defeated.” Those are HIS words.

My prayer is that Christians everywhere will reject the Pearls’ teachings and speak up when they see this book being sold at homeschool conventions, in churches or being given as gifts at baby showers. Please remember the faces of these dead children and pray for their surviving siblings. No child deserves to be raised this way.

NO MORE DEAD KIDS #NoMoreDeadKids

Sean Paddock, 2002-2006

Sean Paddock, 2002-2006

Lydia Schatz, 2002-2010

Lydia Schatz, 2002-2010

Hana Williams, 1997-2011

Hana Williams, 1997-2011

 Rest in peace, precious little ones.

Books I’m enjoying this summer

A Light Between OceansThe tragic beauty of this story by debut novelist, M.L. Stedman, will capture your heart and keep you turning the pages. I was utterly captivated by this book. It is a story of regret and longing, of isolation and intimacy. An elegant lighthouse standing high atop a windswept, rocky island serves as the haunting backdrop to this poignant and remarkable novel, A Light Between OceansEE Rating: 4 stars.

The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown is an infectious, effervescent novel about three, grown sisters who find themselves returning home after failing at adulthood. Rose is the responsible oldest sister, Bianca the glamorous middle child and Cordy, the whimsical bohemian. Despite their difficulties in relating to each other, the sisters find a way to band together in caring for their mother who is struggling with breast cancer. EE Rating: 3 stars.

A Delicate Truth

I used to be a huge fan of John Le Carré. But his most recent novel, A Delicate Truth, suffers from a dense, glacially-slow plot-line and unlikable characters. That said, if you can get through the first fifty pages without throwing your hands up in frustration, it’s an interesting and insightful story about the moral ambiguity of modern warfare. EE Rating: 2.5 stars.

Good PoemsI love a good poetry anthology and Good Poems by Garrison Keillor is bringing me quite a bit of joy this summer. Keillor is a master at observing the small, quotidian beauties of daily life and this selection of poems reflects that. I’ve been mulling over poems like “Welcome Morning” by Anne Sexton and “Hoeing” by John Updike; these words imbue me with gratitude and deeper awareness of life’s transcendence and impermanence. EE Rating: 4 stars.

The Gentle Path

For those of us recovering from abusive pasts, this book offers a gentle path to healing. So often I find myself compulsively WORKING MY RECOVERY! when really, healing cannot be forced or manhandled. Because the work of recovery is emotionally exhausting and sometimes all-consuming, I really appreciate that this book reminds me to take “Gentleness Breaks” and rest. One of my favorite quotes from A Gentle Path: “Safety is an essential pre-requisite for healing the brain and creating successful recovery. Only when the brain feels safe can it optimally reconstruct itself. It needs to know that it is being understood and empathized with.” (pg. 9) EE Rating: 4 stars.

What are YOU reading this summer? Please share!

Predestination: my deepest fear

Something has been keeping me awake at night. It’s this nagging question–a doubtful feeling–that perhaps I really am predestined to Hell.

It’s odd because I’ve never really believed in predestination–at least, not consciously. I’ve never said the words: “I believe in predestination.”

And yet, it’s always been there, niggling my subconscious, occasionally waking me up at night with its cold, somber face. I don’t think I’ve ever dared look at the concept of predestination fully, to stand in the harsh glare of its unforgiving light. Because it really is my deepest fear, the unspoken shadow.

Predestination confirms my deepest fear that God’s love is conditional–or, at the very least, He doles it out discriminately. As a child, I was taught that God might not choose me for the Rapture and that I could be left behind to face the End of the World alone.

I can’t tell you how many areas of my life this has affected. One simple example is that I’m always afraid my husband will walk out on me. I didn’t realize how deeply this was ingrained in my thinking until recently when someone remarked, “Wow, you’ve been with your husband for 16 years? That’s a long time! What’s your secret?”

It was so strange because I almost felt like saying, “There is no secret. Next week, I’m sure he’ll leave me.”

Ultimately, I think I’m just very uncomfortable with uncertainty. Perhaps more so than the average person. I get worried sick about being abandoned.

And I have been abandoned before. In the depths of my trembling fears, I tell myself that I have survived. I sing little songs of hope to myself, reminding myself of comforting Scripture that I dare hope applies to me.

But I’m not sure. I am always doubtful that even if it were true God loved me the way I hope He loves me (ie. that He’s the God who always searches me out, loves me unconditionally)—I’m too messed up to believe it for long. I can remind myself of the times I felt and knew His love. But I’m always needing affirmation because my default mode returns to: I’m not loved.

Isn’t it a symptom of unbelief and distrust that I cannot believe His love for long? Shouldn’t I get past the point of needing to hit that “Do You Love Me?” button and hoping a little morsel of love pops out–temporarily assuaging my aching need?

Sometimes I think God must get really annoyed with my constant punching of that “Do You Love Me?” button. I mean, even I’m annoyed with myself!

All of which makes me wonder: what if it is true? What if my inability to trust God’s love and to always flee from church buildings is proof that I am predestined to eternal separation from God–to Hell?

I’m thinking the Calvinists might see me as their very own walking proof that predestination is real.

I wouldn’t blame them.

_____________________________________________________

A dynamic pit-sniffer

I really dislike writing bios about myself–especially when I’m required to write it in third person POV. The temptation to be a smart-ass is practically overwhelming.

Elizabeth Esther is a dynamic writer! Speaker! And professional pit-sniffer!

I mean, have you ever read those third-person bios where the writer is trying to sound all accomplished, professional and super-duper awesome? Most of the time I think those bios come off sounding pretentious, self-aggrandizing or just full-blown narcissistic.

Elizabeth Esther lives in Southern California! One time? She had the same chauffeur as Paris Hilton!

I mean, I get it. Being a writer is sucky because there’s no such thing as job security. You’re back to square one every single day. The urge to hype your own stuff is pretty much irresistible. But you gotta do it while still maintaining that I’m-just-a-simple-plebe-who-worked-hard appeal. You know, make it sound like you enjoy working for free.

Elizabeth Doormat Esther writes for the sheer joy of writing! She loves giving her content away for free! Please, just ask!

A couple of years ago, an editor warned me that if I got into a habit of giving away my stuff for free,  people would start expecting free content. He was right. At first I didn’t mind. In fact, I was eager. I’d write anything, anywhere for anyone.  But now that I’m a “legit” writer and get paid for what I do, I have to re-evaluate. If I give away too much, I get stretched too thin.

Elizabeth Esther is considering abandoning her writing career. Pit-sniffing pays more.

Not really. The truth is, you can’t always believe the hype. I’ll no sooner quit writing than I’ll quit breathing. I love it too much. And here’s the best part: I JUST CAME UP WITH AN AWESOME IDEA FOR A BOOK!

Elizabeth Esther’s upcoming book is a brilliant mix of snarky humor and insightful critique. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll wonder: “WHY didn’t I subscribe to her blog sooner?”

Consider this your opportunity to subscribe to my blog and say, “Yeah, I knew her back when she was a professional pit-sniffer!”

Finding the unconditional love of God in Catholicism

Prayer conducted primarily in public becomes a matter of making announcements to God or to the group or to your own self-image…When we emphasize public, verbal and social prayer forms, along with group rituals, while not giving people any inner experience of their own inner aliveness…it tends to keep religion on the level of a social contract; this is often what we call cultural Christianity or civil religion…Social and public prayers hold groups and religions together, but they do not necessarily transform people at any deep level. In fact, group certitude and solidarity often becomes a substitute for any real journey of our own.
–Richard Rohr, “The Naked Now”

One of the main criticisms of Catholicism is that it produces a “form of godliness” without the inner reality. The idea here is that instead of developing a personal relationship with God, Catholics emphasize performing formulaic rituals.

Religion without relationship, then, is akin to marriage without love.

I think this is a valid criticism of Catholicism insofar as it refers to a Catholicism that emphasizes rote imitation and not inner transformation. But it’s important to remember that this “form of godliness” can happen in any church or denomination. My guess is that the lack of inner reality is probably the fault of poor discipleship and bad Christian example than Catholicism itself.

As humans we seem to have this inherent need to systematize everything. We want it all codified and organized. But what is so scandalous about the grace of God is that it’s not limited to our ability to organize it.

The grace of God breaks out and goes rogue just when we think we’ve tamped it down.

Catholics are not the only ones who have seemingly codified the approach to God.

If, as fundamentalists often told me, I would only come to know God through reading my Bible–I would probably be an atheist by now. Reading the Bible was simply not an option since it had often been used as a weapon against me.

As blasphemous as it sounds, God was going to have to be bigger than the Bible, bigger than a Sunday sermon, bigger than a Church.

I needed to know one thing: did God love me unconditionally?

The problem with a question like that is that it’s completely irrational. First of all, it presumes there is a God and secondly it presumes that He’s capable of loving and thirdly, it asks if that love is unconditional.

Apparently, I like to ask the questions that have no answer.

At least, no systematic, theological, rational answer.

I probably wouldn’t even ask this question if I wasn’t first brought to a place of complete and utter lowness. This is where I found myself after the twins were born. I was desperate. And in that desperation was a kind of grace because I was open to the possibility of finding God in an unexpected place: Catholicism.

This is not to say that God was/is limited to the Catholic Church. But it is to say that it’s not really up to me to tell God where to reveal Himself and for reasons that are entirely beyond my ability to understand them, I first began to experience the unconditional love of God in that ancient form of liturgical worship.

There are, of course, many Catholics who grew up in the Church and say they were never “saved” or ever had a personal encounter with God. I understand this frustration and to be honest, there are things about the Catholic Church–or, perhaps more precisely, their way of doing things–that truly perplex me as well.

I think what gives me hope is that the Church is an organic, tangible body that is still developing, growing, changing, adapting. Yes, it moves too slowly for many.

But it is moving.

In the end, all I really needed was an experience of my “own inner aliveness” as found in the unconditional love of God. I found that in Catholicism.

And yet, I still hold a deeply embedded fondness and debt of gratitude to my Protestant upbringing. If anything, I see myself as a spiritual pilgrim–caught between two worlds.

It’s a fairly lonely pilgrimage–nobody on either side of my family is Catholic. There are times when the loneliness of it is just totally overwhelming, especially when I hear the muttered jokes, the mocking comments, the misinformed prejudice.

I don’t know how to answer that. I really don’t. So, I keep quiet.

There’s no way to have that conversation because there’s no way of explaining it in coldly rational, intellectual, systemized terms. Sometimes I wish God could have revealed Himself to me in, say, Presbyterianism–I really didn’t want to end up Catholic.

But that wasn’t my choice to make.

All I know is that once I was lost, but now I’m found.

And most of all, there is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear.

Love is my only hope, my only certainty.

Avoiding Burn-out.

IMG_0868

This is me trying to do a ballerina-esque leap through the air. I'm not doing it right, of course. But I'm enjoying myself immensely and having fun. I think God wants me to enjoy my life. I can't do that when I'm burned-out.

"Put the sewing machine away," Matt told me last week. "Sewing is not your passion. Let it go."

How can he make it sound so simple? 'Cuz it's SO NOT simple! Or maybe I'm just making things complicated by adding so many Good Things into my life that I can't do ANYTHING well.

That, my dearies, is a cocktail mix called Burn-Out. With a twist of lemon on top.

All I'm sayin' is, just because somethin' is good (like sewing) doesn't mean I need to take it on. Even as a hobby. Because I'm looking around at my garage and realizing I'm a: hobby-sewer, hobby-cooker, hobby-baker and hobby-gardener.

Holy cow I've wasted so much time (and money, ahem!) collecting patterns and fabric for sewing projects I will never do. But I so wanted to be the mom who homeschools, cooks perfectly balanced, all-organic
meals, sews her children's clothes, scrapbooks every important memory,
and has a backyard garden. 

But I'm not God. Even God took a day off after creating the world. He
didn't go on and on and on. He looked over everything, dusted off His
hands and said: "Looks good to Me." I'm paraphrasing, of course.

So, here's the thing: if Almighty God needs a day off, how much more
do I? I've got my
schedule all packed out and filled up. All good things, mind you. Good,
edifying, important things. Things that are all labeled: Guaranteed To Make Me A Good Mother.

Except they don't. And won't. And can't. Because, alas, I don't have super powers.

As usual, Matt is right. I need to let these things go.

Sewing is not my passion. Neither is cooking. Or homeschooling. Or farming. Although sometimes I like to dig around in the dirt because it's romantic to pretend I'm a homesteading, sustainable farmer. It's fun for like an hour. And then I put my hoe away and go put some popcorn in the microwave.

There's danger in taking on every good thing that comes my way or sparks my interest. Numero uno: it takes time away from my real job which is MOTHERING. Now, mothering means different things to different people and I'm not here to preach about what mothering should mean to you.

What it means for me is: I'm here for my kids whenever they need me. I need energy to do that. It takes mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy to mother my children the way I believe God wants me to. I don't know a whole lot about it except: I wanna be here for my kids.

So, I'm giving up pretty much everything. I have kept one thing: writing.

Motherhood is my vocation. Writing is my passion.

In that totally "God knows best" way–my writing career has taken an entirely different direction than I intended.  Instead of competing with my vocation as a mother, writing complements it.  I don't need hours of solitude or time away from my children to write. I compose articles in my head while washing dishes, for Pete's sake!

Which means, I'm beginning to measure my success not by how much I do, but by how well I do it. For me, that means doing less. Waaaaay less.

My recipe for living the best life God intended for me is: Vocation + Passion. 

Goodbye, sewing. Hello, Microsoft Word.

I'm curious: what's your vocation + passion? Please share!!