I am not an airplane


*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!


Know your child and trust yourself


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.

your kids need you


Your kids need you.

They need to know that deep down they are loved.  The need the reassurance that they are wonderful in your sight.  Their quirks need to be celebrated.  Their differences need to be embraced.

If your kids don’t receive encouragement, love, grace, and delight from you they will try to find it in the world.  They will have a hole in their soul that may never be filled. They may never receive God’s love because they won’t know what real love looks like.

How glorious the splendor of the human heart that trusts that it is loved.      ~Brennan Manning

Understand that kids are kids.  They are immature.  They will make a lot of mistakes. Don’t let anger and disappointment cloud your thinking.  They are human beings who deserve as much love and grace as you do.  Especially when they screw up.

Parenting is a God-sized responsibility.  Some days are really hard.  Some seasons are rough.  There’s no way around it.

Never stop working for an honest and open relationship with your kids.  They may push back, but they will know they are loved.

Always fight for the hearts of your kids.

They need you.

Joining with Mom’s the Word, The Better Mom, Momma Notes, Thriving Thursdays, Fellowship Fridays, and The Weekend Brew.

photo credit *Creative Commons License anurag agnihotri via Compfight



on being a good mom


We were snuggled into bed with a book.  Our nightly ritual. Her sweet little face of 5 short years turns to me innocently and says, “Shannon’s Mom is a good Mom.  Her Mom never yells at her.”  Ouch.

In the stunned silence that follows, she tells me that it hurts her feelings when I get mad and yell.  I feel a taunting arrow aiming straight for my heart.  An arrow that is trying to pierce me with proof that I’m not a good mom.

Years ago I would have let that arrow burrow deep down.  I would have gotten defensive and tried to point out all of Shannon’s Mom’s faults.  I would try to prove that she wasn’t so great of a mom, either.  The difference now?


I know I am not perfect.  I am done striving for perfection.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s exhausting and it’s soul-crushing.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Perfection is a lie.

Dear Mom, you will screw up.  You will get mad and yell.  Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Be the encourager, be compassionate, and don’t expect your kids to be perfect either. Give lots of hugs and kisses.  Be there when they hurt.

Love unconditionally – especially when your own feelings are hurt.


We finish our book.  I apologize and she says, as she always does when I screw up, “It’s ok Mom.  I still love you.”

Much Grace, my friends.

We all need it.

Sharing with The Better Mom, Mom’s the Word, Hip Homechool Moms, Titus 2 Tuesday, Fellowship Fridays, and The Weekend Brew.

Redeeming August

In my imaginary perfect world, summer signals lazy days filled with even slower activities. Days lounging by the pool and soaking in the sun with a great book. Laughing with wonder at the kids and their adorable antics as ice cream drips off their chins.  I can see it all now.  It’s a glorious sight.

It is NOT my reality.

My summer has been filled to the brim with activity and was heading very quickly to overflowing with burnout instead of relaxation.  We’ve had lovely vacations with family and many, many pool days with dear friends.  We  just haven’t taken time to slow down in between all that activity and just soak in the beauty of summer.

It’s time to redeem August!


I am saying NO.

Unless it’s already been scheduled I am not taking on any more this summer.  I have crossed off all the days I commit to staying home on my calendar to remind myself.

Saying no allows me to breathe.

Saying no allows me to relax and focus on what is really important.

Saying no allows me to really soak in the waning days of summer.

Saying no allows me to say yes to my calling as a wife, mom, homeschooler, and writer.

By saying no I am saying yes to the things that God has entrusted me with while I let the not so important things slip away.

I encourage you to look at what time you have this month, make a commitment to slow down, MARK your calendar and let’s redeem August together before summer passes us by.

Slow down and enjoy life.  It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.  ~Eddie Cantor

Any suggestions for slowing down?  What works for you?  I always love hearing your ideas!

Joining with The Weekend BrewThriving Thursdays, A Royal Daughter, Moms the Word, The Better Mom, and Fellowship Fridays.