Some days, I’d like to write, but I am just out.  At this moment, I have exactly four other things I should be writing. As a Challenge 1 Director, I should be finishing progress reports and starting my post-class forum post that runs through what we did today and what we will do next time we have class. I have two other blog posts I have on tap for the homeschool blog.

I tutored today (great, hard-working students who I enjoy).

I hosted AMBLEreads (lovely ladies, lovely books).

And I still haven’t slept a full night since the camping trip. (Pain chases sleep away.)

So, I shouldn’t be writing this. I should be writing all that other stuff, or sleeping.

But this is, indeed, a reason that often stops me in my tracks.

PS – I went and wrote the forum posts. And now I’m headed to bed.  Progress reports will get finished tomorrow. They have to be done before my brother arrives.  I am not at all unhappy with how my day went, and I love being with the people that I was with. No complaining is intended here at all. It’s just a simple explanation of what happens on some of the very many days that I don’t write.

We ventured out of doors with some friends this weekend. It was beautiful. I forgot the real camera, so iPhone pictures are what we have got.


We sat by the campfire and ate s’mores until we were nearly sick.


When we got up, the boys and men had a (very useful) log-splitting contest.


Some kids spend the day fishing and playing on the shore


A sweet family showed up with a canoe, and another with a very curious pup.


But no writing was done. And I am so tired.

Sixteen years ago today, Danny made me a mother. I was shocked at the transforming and so was everyone else. He was tiny and fragile and broken, and I was suddenly a mama lion, guarding him and praying for life.

Here we are with our little fighting cub and our newfound lion parenthood


Here’s a few weeks later, when we were starting to see his joy. Here’s a link to his whole story on the old blog. Danny’s story


This morning, the mama lion is cranky. Cubs have been roared at, and the King of this den is taking them to get some lunch away from my crankiness. (I am thankful to know they’ll be right back.) I’ll calm myself in the moments they are gone, and finish up my major project so that we can get on with our day.

We are adventuring today, and it will be busy. But, I got our family’s Laps for Little Ones Link up, and I thought I would share. Support our family at Laps for Little Ones.

I sometimes mistakenly sit down at my computer to read and answer email or something like that while my children are working independently in the other room.  The angels sing, and I have 20 minutes to accomplish things while they do their math.


I gave each boy a chore to do (flip the laundry, empty the dishwasher, vacuum the living room) as a break before we finish up our morning period of work. And I went to the potty. By the time I flushed, the noise erupted. Instead of correcting them, I came to record the moment in the moment.

I swear there are rhinoceri in my living room. A boy just whacked his brother with a pillow. There are Tae Kwon Do iso shouts and giggles. Boys run a muck.

That’s what happens if I am not in the room here where the wild things are.

And it often prevents writing because the Queen of the Wild Things is required to tame the wild rumpus.

I love to read. Other people have fantastic things to say. There is nothing wrong with diving into others’ stories. I am not sure that binge reading is a good thing because then I don’t get other stuff done. But I have binge read whole series on occasion. Right now, my Facebook feed is chock full of Goodreads updates because I updated a bunch of stuff without unchecking the “Share to FB” box.  Books are a sanctuary for me. I can curl up with a story and leave my life for a bit when it is overwhelming, and then come back to it refreshed.

I’m not sure that I could write anything that would make me giggle like Jen Hatmaker does. I don’t think I could be as encouraging as Sarah Mackenzie. I know I’m not as imaginative as C. S. Lewis or Johanna Spyri. I don’t plan out stories as well as Victor Hugo, and I’m not nearly as poetic as Dante. I don’t know as much about classical education as Stratford Caldecott.

Sometimes I don’t write because someone else has already said what I’d like to say, and I don’t want to say it again and be redundant, or to say it again, but say it worse.

So, apparently I believe three lies:

  1. I don’t good things to say of my own or a story to share.
  2. I am not capable of telling the story I have a way that causes someone else to read it.
  3. I am boring.

Now, if you know me in real life and think I am boring, I probably don’t need to know that. But I am pretty sure that 1 and 2 are not true at all.

So, yesterday I fell off the wagon. I got home from a day out, and I wrote a parent note for my students families, and that was it. I fed my people some lentil sausage soup.

Then, I left to drank a cup of decaf coffee with a friend whom I needed to visit with. It was pleasant, and informative. We discovered that we are looking for new houses in the same area…  the same type of house, and the same price range.  But we know that God is going to give us the right houses for each of our families.

I came home and drank a glass of water and read stories to the younger boys and put them to bed.

And then, I had a 10pm phone conference. That is an example of fitting in the things that you need to do but can’t fit in and really really really want to do. It was also a lovely conversation about an ongoing project and a future one.

Then I was brain-dead.  I went to bed.

So, I didn’t blog. Everything I did was necessary, but I was too tired to do one more thing. (I don’t even want to talk about the dishes that I ignored or the fact that I need to put up the clean laundry.)

Missing one day makes it much easier to just throw in the towel and never write again.

#6. I am not going to write anything because I have to fold the laundry (or whatever else I need to do).

For this exact moment, I am writing even though I NEED to go to bed. My poor husband has an awful cough, and I need to be asleep first (with the help of the two Benadryl I just took) so that I am well asleep before he comes to bed. AND, I’ve been working on classroom prep all evening even though I wanted to play Settlers of Catan with my family.  Before that, i was making dinner. Before that we put up groceries. Before that, we bought the groceries. Before that, we were at a birthday party.

There are only so many hours in a day.

And I need to spend half of one writing imperfectly (whether here or in a journal or on a group blog) because I need to write.

But at this moment, now that I have scribbled something, I need to sleep.

These two are so tightly entangled that I have to write about them together. They are very, very silly reasons not to write.

#4. I am not going to write anything because it might make me famous.

#5. I am not going to write anything because I might later meet someone who read it and who knows me first by my blog and second in real life.

Oh. My. Heavens.  These are dumb reasons not to write. First of all, there are actually very few Pioneer Women and only one Ann Voskamp.  There are very few Sarah Mackenzies, Elizabeth Fosses, and Cindy Rollins. There aren’t very many Tsh Oxenriders.  (If you don’t know who those people are, you probably don’t read home education family based blogs. These are some of my very favorites).  Statistically speaking, notoriety isn’t something that I need to worry about because if you don’t know me in person or read in my niche (wherever it may wind up laying), it is unlikely that you’ll even know I wrote anything.

HOWEVER, #5 has already happened to me.  I blogged and or posted on Facebook a lot while Isaac was sick and right after he died. At one point, lots of RealLife and InternetLand friends were sharing those posts with prayer concerns and general updates. So, imagine my surprise when I went to see a new OBGYN a year and a half later and in telling the story of why I’ve had five births and only have three children, she realized that we have a mutual friend who was sharing my blog posts with her.  Yes, folks, my gynecologist read my blog because a friend suggested it before I ever knew her.  That was weird.

But since #5 already happened, I suppose I have nothing to worry about.

Since I have had an epic case of writer’s block AND I like to write, AND I don’t know what to write in this space right now, I am going to take the advice of Mrs. Gronberg and JUST WRITE SOMETHING.  (I think she learned that from Natalie Goldberg, but that Mrs. Gronberg… she was a stickler for free writing. I have to admit that this isn’t quite free, but the LONG list of reasons that I scribbled in my journal earlier was definitely free writing… with lots of giddy giggles that caused my dear husband to look askance at me as he finished up his day’s work.)

This series is meant to be silly.  It is meant to get me in the habit of writing SOMETHING every day. I hope it makes you smile if you read it. Don’t overanalyze.

Because I am supposed to have 31 Reasons, and today is October 2, I will give you the first two reasons I haven’t written here or anywhere else lately.

  1. I am not going to write anything because I don’t know where to start.
    1. This is why I am starting right here with this nonsense.
  2. I am not going to write anything because this story is too long.
    1. Blogging grief for years makes it hard to shift the story as the grief changes. It is the nature of the beast. I don’t know how to shift the narrative to writing well about the not tragic that we are enjoying at the moment.
  3. I am not going to write anything because this story is too ridiculous.
    1. That’s a true one, folks. I say ridiculous things every day: Wash your hands after you pick your boogers. Don’t open the fishing tackle box on the clean sheets. Don’t walk on clean laundry with muddy shoes. Don’t wrap your brother so tight in that lasso that he can’t breathe. Oh, for the love. This boy-mothering job is not for the faint of heart.  When you add in that I have one kid old enough for his own Facebook accounts (not that he has one) and old enough to read what I write, I’ve been afraid to write about mothering because he’d be offended. It is what it is.

There’s even a bonus one for you.  #1. #2. #3. I did write something today.  And I’m one ahead, so perhaps this project will get finished after all.

There have been a lot of times in the past fifteen years in which i felt like God had left me dangling.  I mean, I birthed a really sick baby… twice. But I also had three healthy ones.  I gave (am giving) them my all in parenting, whether that means being a 24/7 nurse or a chauffeur or a physical therapy assistant or a teacher or a chef or just available for a snuggle and a story. We’ve done some great, fun things, and some big, ugly things. And there have been days that were sparkly rainbows and days that were black as a cavern with only a speck of light in the distance.  On those days, the nasty, inky ones, it seems like God is so very far away. But as the light returns, the fact that He was there in the darkness, protecting me from myself is obvious.

There is a story in Exodus in which Moses does not believe that God is going to go with him and the Israelites as they move forth from their camp at the base of Mt. Sinai.  The Lord tells Moses that He will do what He promised. Moses demands, “Then show me your glory.”

“And the LORD said, ‘There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face may not be seen'” (Exodus 33:21-23 NIV).

I wonder what Moses was thinking in the cleft of the rock? Moses knew that God was with him, that the Creator of the Universe had a hand over him, that the possibility of death was near. In order to see the LORD, Moses had to endure darkness for a short time. And then, after Moses had waited in the dark, the light returned just in time to see God walking ahead of him.

I have not had a time when couldn’t see God in the dark when I came back into the light.


a thirty-ish mom of five boys who dares to embrace life with her family and seeks the hand of God in the ugly as well as the beautiful.

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