Browsing Category: Being Me

My One Goal for the New Year

Anyone listen to podcasts? I love them; keep wanting to try my hand at them. I don’t get to listen to them all that much, but I found one that’s really striking my fancy! A few months ago I was getting the writing itch. As you all know I’ve been really struggling with this whole blogging thing and where I fit in. Of course it doesn’t help that blogs seem to be going the way of the dinosaur.

Wanted: Writing Buddy @JessicaMWhite.comSarah Werner is my now favorite podcast….Write Now…she’s wonderful! Her voice is peaceful and melodic, she’s funny, and she’s got such words of wisdom. On her New Year podcast she was talking about her writing resolution: To write 100 words every day. I thought…I can do that! {maybe…we’ll see…honestly, it hasn’t happened yet this year.} My one goal for the new year is to become more intentional in my writing….not necessarily in my blogging, but my writing.

The next thing she said struck me: Find a writing buddy!  So that’s where I’m at…finding someone to be accountable to, to inspire and get inspired by, to do this whole writing thing with. Because, honestly, this whole being-a-writer thing is rather lonely.

So, here I am…who wants to be my writing buddy?

 

Finding Time to Have Fun

Finding Time to Have Fun When There is Just so Much to Do! @JessicaMWhite.com

Even before kids people would ask me how I managed to find the time to do things. After kids, they REALLY wanted to know how I managed to “do it all”. Not just the menial day-to-day that we ALL have to do, but the other things that are the fluff of life: Reading, blogging, quilting etc.

Finding Time to Have Fun When There is Just so Much to Do! @JessicaMWhite.com

It’s a very simple answer, but most people aren’t willing to do it. There’s this thing called “Guilt”, ever heard of it? People very often will feel guilty if they don’t handle all of the must-dos, before the would-like-to-dos. Because of this, and the endless list of must-dos, the would-like-to-dos never happen.

Guilt aside….what’s the answer: I don’t do it all. Bottom line.

I leave the dishes in the sink some nights. I don’t keep up with the laundry. My living room sometimes goes days {or weeks} being trashed. I don’t always cook fanciful meals. I do the absolutely necessary and leave the rest to when I have time. Sometimes I’m on top of all these things and sometimes I just let them go, so that I can work on a quilting or writing project or head to bed early to read.

That’s what most people struggle with: Letting themselves NOT fall into the traps of what they are supposed to do, giving themselves the freedom to let those things slide so they can accomplish the things they enjoy, the things that fill their tank.

We are a great culture for guilt…if we don’t fill the presubscribed ideology of what someone should do, then we feel like a failure. In the mean time, we feel like a failure anyway, because we can’t EVER get all those must-dos done. I hate to say it, but sometimes I do have a “why bother” attitude about certain aspects of homemaking.9780800723484_alt5

{I’m sure my German grandmother is rolling in her grave right now that I don’t prioritize the must-dos.}

There’s this book that recently came out by Jessica Turner of TheMomCreative.com called The Fringe Hours. The premise of which is the importance of self-care and the importance of making time for those things that you love to do. Most of the book focuses on addressing the guilt we feel when we do the things we enjoy, particularly when the must-dos are not done; as well as how to better use the in-between minutes of our day. It’s a great book. It’s the book I wish I’d written.

That said. To me….my house is not a priority. My kids are. My husband is. My creativity is. That’s how I find the time to do the things I love; I don’t do any of the other things I’m supposed to.

*To read another of my posts on this topic, visit here: Thoughts on Creativity: Why I Make Creating a Priority from April 2013

**You can pick up your copy of The Fringe Hours at Amazon.com or DaySpring.com {these are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission on your purchases at no additional cost to you. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

Dear Me…a letter to my teenage self

Dear Me,

Let me just start by saying, you’re not going to die an old woman and never having been kissed. I know that was on your mind a lot.

*Stop being so tough. It’s ok for people to see the soft, vulnerable side of us. Yea, you probably will get hurt more that way, but people might like you better knowing that you probably aren’t going to kick the crap out of them.

Dear Me...a Letter to my Teenage Self

*Stop being everyone else’s matchmaker and bodyguard. Worry about yourself. If people are making mistakes in their lives, tell them, don’t try and protect them from the consequences. And for GOODNESS SAKE: STOP TRYING TO HOOK YOUR FRIENDS UP WITH THE GUYS YOU LIKE!

*That plan to never get married or have kids, to move to California and become a Photojournalist. It’s a great dream. But God has something better up His sleeves.

*Stop wasting so much time on trying to get guys to notice you. Stop wasting so much time on the guys who do notice you but treat you like garbage. (Oh, and that one guy we crushed on for YEARS, he’s nowhere near as cute anymore.)

*Give your parents a break. They have no idea what they’re doing and they still have 2 more kids to raise.

*Stop giving in to our sister: You’re not doing her any favors by cutting her so much slack. Oma’s right: You’re spoiling her. Our brother: Protect him. Yea he’s a pain in the butt, yea it’s hard being a senior and being know as “Beckmann’s sister”, but someday you’ll wish you had a relationship with him .

*You’re going to lose a lot of people that you love (Oma, Opa, Mama), it’s going to suck, you’re going to miss them, but the pain will slowly get more bearable. You’ll still start crying at the thought of them sometimes; the holidays and all those big moments will be the hardest.

*Put yourself out there. You did it once, in the high school musical (Music Man) and look what happened…you got to be on center stage AND do your Irish accent. You’re going to miss out on so much (and regret it) if you don’t.

*Don’t stop writing. Ever. Or painting.

*Those parties that you were mad about not going to (even though you never even bothered to ask your parents if you could go) they weren’t worth it anyways. Who wants to sit around and watch a bunch of dumb people getting drunk and doing stupid things.

*That body of your’s, the one you are so tough on, because it isn’t as skinny as everyone else’s: You’re really, REALLY going to miss it some day.

*Don’t keep trying to smoosh yourself into everyone else’s mold. You’re not them, you’re you and there is so much that you have to offer. And when you’re not fitting in their mold, don’t take the crap they’re going to dish out on you. Just hold your head high and carry on.

*College: Just stay at Oneonta. There’s no point in transferring a bazillion times, because you’re going to end up back there anyways (even if you did manage to graduate in 7 semesters).

I can’t tell you to do anything different than what you already are, because it was all those things that got you to where you are today. Yea, there’s pain. No, you’re not still friends with most of those people.

Oh, yea, that kiss you were so worried about? It’s going to be great, and so are all the others you’re going to have: You’re going to end up married to that guy with a crazier-happier life than you could ever imagine. God had your back the entire time. All of that worrying and tears about not having a boyfriend? Totally wasted.

Louisa May had it right: “You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one…if he’s the right one.” {Oh, let mom go with you to see Little Women in the theaters…because 18 years later, you’re still going to regret not having let her go see it with you.}

Love,
You {at 30}

What would you tell your teenage self?
Linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for her new book release, Graceful.

These Feet of Mine

They have carried me, through time, over months and years.
They have walked along sandy shores, rocky beaches and grassy knolls.
They walked me down the aisle to my husband.
Horses have stepped on them, they have stepped on rusty nails and shards of glass.
They have carried me into and out of hospitals with the births of our children.
They pound the ground, chasing after squealing giggles
or elusive numbers on a scale.
They have walked across the {now} dirt sky of friends and family that have gone on.
They have burned on sun baked stones and cooled in mossy brooks.
They have walked me across stages and danced me across rooms.
They have been cooed over and tickled.
They have been pinched and blistered in shoes and luxuriated, barefoot, in the lush grasses of Ireland.
They have been beaten, abused, neglected and still they march on.
They have been and they will be.
30 years, 10,950 days; over a million times have they
been slapped to the ground, ever on ward.

~on the occasion of my 30th birthday

These Feet of Mine - 30 Years of Life at JessicaMWhite.com

Thoughts on Turning 30

Tomorrow is the official day: At 3:15pm I will be precisely 30 years old. I’ve been having all these deep, introspective posts over the past few days, but I haven’t really shared much about my thoughts on actually turning 30.

I sat at my desk before writing this post, just kind of mulling over my thoughts: All the little things that flit in and out of my head about turning 30. There are quite a few, some of them are a bit more “mature” and others are less.

two roads 2By 30 you’ve really become more of an adult; an adult in ways that aren’t tied to children, home-ownership, jobs, etc. You’ve {obviously} survived your teens and 20s and are a lot more settled in your life. There aren’t as many life-changing unknowns, such as colleges, careers, and such.

When I was a teenager, I never wanted to get married or have kids. I was content to fantasize about being a photo-journalist for National Geographic Magazine or an architect. And at times I believed myself. But, that was my defense mechanism: I was afraid that I would fail at getting married and having kids, it felt safer to say I didn’t want those things. Then I almost didn’t have those things.

I had it all figured out: Married at 23, first baby at 24, second at 26, third at 28, fourth at 30, then the 5th at 32 or adopting. I wanted to be done with having kids before I was 32. I wanted to be a young mom who could enjoy her children and then grandchildren.

I had plans and why couldn’t God understand that! At 27.5 we had our first kid. My timetable was out the window, there was no way we would have the family we had wanted.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and
not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
Jeremiah 29:11
 
Then last year there was that  little ultrasound that showed we were having 3 babies.
Now, I’m turning 30 and have 4 kids; which absolutely amazes me! It certainly wasn’t my plan to go through several years of infertility, have Ave, and then have triplets, but God did a phenomenal work in my life, our life, and created a wonderful testimony to Him and His goodness through us.
This birthday could have been very different for me. Thirty would have been devastating to be turning and not even have had one child, and it happens to people, it happens all the time. I can honestly say that it would have been a very different birthday celebration tomorrow.
My 20s have been incredible! If it had not been for the ups and downs I would not be entering this new decade as I am; stronger in my faith, trusting in my God, relishing my children and my husband, having had the memories and experiences that I have.
“I would have despaired, had I not believed in the goodness of the Lord.”
Psalm 27:12
What a wonderful work He has done in my life, drawing me ever nearer to Him! I look forward to this new decade in awe and wonder if what lies ahead, knowing that my Lord, God, goes ever before me!