I am not an airplane

presentpic

*see update at the end of this post:

I have been writing this post in my head for quite awhile.

I started Hectic Sweetness in 2008.  It started as a sporadic homeschooling blog with Newbery Book Reviews and my favorite quotes included.  My very first post had a picture of my cloth diapers hanging on the clothesline and I remember writing about savoring motherhood even then. Unfortunately, I didn’t move my blog correctly from Homeschool Blogger before they closed down and I lost all those old posts.  Sigh.

In early 2013, I took a writing course and started spending most of my free time reading, researching, and praying for guidance.  I started posting, gaining a few readers along the way, and finding some kindred spirits online.  I was enjoying the process but began finding myself more anxious and upset when I wasn’t writing.

Writing, homeschooling, along with being a wife and Mom were not co-existing well with this introverted Mama.  I felt emotionally drained and irritable more often.

Then, I came down with a mysterious illness mid-August 2013 and the panic attacks began.  The new school year was starting and I was a mess.  I was spending my days just surviving through the anxiety and panic and not knowing what was wrong with me.  I had no answers.  I was spending too much time at my doctor’s office.

My writing came to a halt.

I spent months recovering from whatever it was and started my slow journey back from anxiety.   Although we were having a tough school year, I felt like I was getting my life back in order and recovering well.

Then, my precious father-in-law died of a massive heart attack.

Shock, pain, numbness gripped me.  A few times I found myself grasping for breath over those first couple months.

I couldn’t write.  I had no words.

Along the painful journey of grief,  I found peace.  I found hope.  I found beauty.  I found goodness.

And for the first time that I could remember,  I found it through avenues other than writing which had been my solace.  Many, many months I just could not put pen to paper.

I have discovered that I love doodling, and coloring, and creating art.  Instagram is amazingly fun.  I love planning for my homeschool year (I seriously am a homeschooling nerd). I am embracing my home and  having so much fun planning, decorating, loving on my kids and relaxing by the pool.

Which brings me to the post title- I am not an airplane (inspired from this post of the same name- love, love Sarah Mackenzie’s beautiful words- always!).

Portofino                                                                                                    Nico Cavallotto via Compfight

The sky IS limited for me because I am not an airplane.  I am a human.  I have limits.

God is speaking and I have just started to listen.

I cannot do it all.

I’ve tried.  Oh, I’ve tried.

I’ve loved the years I’ve had to dream and write.  I love where God has brought me through this.  I am so proud of the fact that this post (one of my very favorite blog posts) was included in an actual PRINT book:

No More Perfect Kids (page 34- just sayin’ {wink})

I have loved this space, but it’s time to move in a different direction.

I am hanging up the closed sign on Hectic Sweetness.

I applaud the women who can homeschool and/or work, blog, write, and have a seemingly normal life.  I can’t.  I get too caught up in myself and my writing.  Obsessive, maybe?

I want to be present and I want to do it well.

I realize I could just not post anymore, but I needed to write this for me.  I needed to give myself permission to say goodbye and not leave it open ended.  I’ve had a wonderful season of writing and maybe I will again someday, but not today.

For today, I will follow God’s leading.

And redecorate my dining room wall.

It’s time.

Thank you all for your heartfelt comments during my time here and for those of you who have journeyed and continue to journey with me and my crazy self- I love you all.  

Much Grace and Peace~ Cheri

 

*UPDATE 2/2016*

So, I meant every word I said in this space back in July 2015.  I did feel God’s leading to take a step back.  During that time I questioned why I really wanted to stop writing. Why did I want to walk away from something that soothed my soul?

I am an introvert and a thinker.  I spend a lot of time inside my head.  That is a good thing and a curse at times (just ask my poor friends who sometimes can’t figure me out).  I needed to step away.  I was caught up in courses and ebooks on marketing and growing a blog, and gaining thousands of followers.  I was overwhelmed at what I thought I wanted to do.

I lost sight of my passion.  I was looking at the outside world to give me credibility and worth.  I had stepped away from God’s hands and my desire to use this space to glorify his love and truth.

Stepping away has allowed me to find myself again.  To finally realize that blog stats and numbers are not why I’m here.  I’m here to encourage women to find themselves in their busy lives and to love on their families the best they can.  Whether it’s one of you or thousands doesn’t scare me anymore.

It’s community that’s real- not numbers.

So, welcome back!  I’m cleaning things up a bit and have a couple of fun things in the works that I’m hoping to roll out in the next couple of months.  Stay tuned!

 

love your now

 

Kids at dusk
Paco CT / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

His boy-man feet are resting on my lap right now.  Those feet have played countless hours of football and basketball and carried him on his scooter for many, many years.  He’s almost always on the go and he drops things all over the place. He’s working hard to overcome some learning struggles, loves The A-Team and Mythbusters.  I am living my dream.

She’s on the cusp of womanhood.  One foot in being a kid, the other testing the adult waters ever so slowly. She throws her head back when she laughs and she’s compassionate.  She can go from serious to goofy in a matter of seconds.  She’s very intuitive and, good or bad, she feels others’ pain, sometimes intensely. She is one of the bravest people I know.  I am living my dream.

The little one keeps me young.  She’s full of drama.  She will tell you her favorite thing to do is cuddle with Mommy.  My heart bursts as I get my kisses and hugs throughout the day.  She holds her own with the older ones.  She adores all her friends and is definitely the one and only extravert of the family.  I am living my dream.

Who would have known, 19 years ago, when we met, that we would be blessed with this family.  He was a guy who thought I was interesting and funny.  He wrote emails and letters and called me every night.  Now he texts from work and always calls when one of us is out of town.  He is a saint who sometimes forgets where the broom is.  He works very hard to provide for his family and is always honest.  I am living my dream.

It’s so easy to look beyond these perfect and messy gifts when the day to day mundane takes over.

Love your now.

This day is good.

 

Sharing with Mom2Mom, Hip Homeschool Moms#tellhisstory,  and Reflect.

 

Reach {Five Minute Friday}

It always seems beyond my reach.  Just beyond the tip of my fingers.  It’s beautiful yet fleeting.  It teases and frustrates.  Whenever I feel like I have it all figured out it morphs into an enormous mountain that I surely could never scale.

Nature & Scenery

Balance.

The balance of motherhood and life.  The balance of homeschooling while not losing my mind.

It’s a lie.  Balance is not static.  It’s a constant.  It’s moving.

Accepting the fact that certain days and seasons of life will be out of balance has been freeing.  Balance is out of my reach because in my mind balance looks like perfection.

I have let go.  I have stopped reaching for the elusive balance.  I start each morning not knowing what my day will bring.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have plans and goals and checklists.  What I’ve let go of is the striving.

Kids get sick and throw the day off.  Deadlines come.  Papers need to be written.  Math meltdowns happen.  Cuddles are the only way to calm down at times.

That’s life as a Mom.  Life as a homeschooling Mom.  Setting aside my plans of balance and embracing what comes each day.

Life filled with grace for myself and others set on my path.

Nature & Scenery

That IS within my reach.

 

Joining other writers for the flash mob of writing out of our hearts on Five Minute Fridays.  One Word.  Five minutes.  All are welcome.  Find us here.

 

 

 

Love your Dreams

Dream a Little Dream - Complete

Like many young girls, I dreamed of being a Mother when I grew up.  I had so much patience for my dear imaginary children.  They were well-behaved and obedient. Mothering them was pure joy and I was always so well rested.

Fast forward many years and my little girl dream has crashed into reality. 

Kids playing (or fighting) loudly,  laundry piled high, school books being pushed aside to make space to eat, muddy winter boots and wet socks strewn across the floor.  Three meals everyday to be prepared, dishes and cups always and everywhere.  Not to mention toys and crafts and books that seem to grow feet and walk off only to drop themselves right in front of me.

Overwhelmed and exhausted. That’s not quite what I dreamed.

Yet, I can’t imagine the alternative.  What would my life be like if I wasn’t living my early dream of motherhood?

The house would be too quiet.  I would never know the pure joy of being called Mommy.

What are your dreams?  If you allow yourself the time to dream big what would you come up with?  Or, if you think on your life right now, are you already living a dream?

 

loveyourdreampost

God never promised that living our dreams would be perfect.  You will worry.  There will be sleepless, restless nights.  Hard work and perseverance will be required.  Living your dream is not for the weak-hearted.  You could never fully appreciate the abundant blessings if life was all rainbow and unicorns- no matter how cute that unicorn is!

Our dreams are a journey.  Each season will have challenges.  Our strength and resolve will be tested.  If we pay attention we will grow further into the dreams and desires that God has placed on our heart.

I challenge you to hold tight to your dreams.  Love.  Everyday.  Embrace the silliness, the messiness, and the struggles.  Especially the struggles.

It’s the adventure of a lifetime.

Joining with Jill Savage and Hearts at Home for the Third Thursday Blog Hop.  Hop over to view some more awesome posts about loving your dreams!

Also sharing with Fellowship Friday and The Weekend Brew.

*photo credit Angela via Compfight 

Know your child and trust yourself

mattpose

I spent much of my younger motherhood years listening to a lot of advice.  I am a bookworm so I would check out all the books in regards to parenting and discipline.  I would believe that the “experts” new best even though I never quite felt right about their certain approach.

It took me quite a few years to become comfortable with my own style of parenting. Years to stop obsessing about too much television, too many electronics, not enough books, too little discipline.  Everything seemed to be telling me I was doing this mothering thing wrong. The negativity would get overwhelming.

Then I received the most important parenting advice I had ever heard:

Know your child and trust yourself.

We are inundated with information in this digital age.  It’s always just enough to make you feel like a failure in just about every aspect of parenting and homeschooling. It’s so easy to feel like you don’t measure up.

I’m here to tell you that you’re doing just fine.

You are the only one who can determine what is best for your family.  Sure, there are a lot of opinions and advice.  Take what you feel comfortable with and discard the rest.

Your family is unique.  Your kids are unique.  There is no one like you.  No one will discipline like you.  Your curriculum won’t be used the same way, if you even use curriculum!  You see and relate to the world  through your own special lens.  God made you that way.  And it’s a good thing.

Know your child.

Trust yourself.

Now go and continue being awesome!

 

What is some parenting advice that has stuck with you through the years?

Sharing with Mom’s the Word, Momma Notes, The Better Mom,  Hip Homeschool MomsFellowship Fridays, and The Weekend Brew.