3 Tips On Life From A Mother’s Day Plant

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Photo of My Mother’s Day Plant From Malachi

Every year one of my four children have brought me a Mother’s Day plant from school. Unfortunately, the survival rate with my green-not thumb is relatively low. All until a few years ago.

It was a warm spring day like any other when my then eight-year-old son Malachi got off of the school bus. He ran into the house, hands extended with a present wrapped in a brightly colored paper bag.

After the appropriate ooohs and aaaahs, I looked inside the bag and there was a plant. A flower that barely reached the top edge of the painted flower pot. It was quite beautiful with purple flowers.

Malachi reminded me to water it when I forgot, sometimes he watered it for me. The little plant has seen two winters and it is still growing. I haven’t seen flowers in a while, but that is probably because it needs a transplant to a bigger pot. I can’t bring myself to move it from the pot my son painted.

This flower plant is now quite tall. The picture above shows you that it has grown like a weed, stretching towards whatever source of light it could find. Even in the winter when the Minnesota sun is less that warm, it reaches for whatever light it can absorb.

Right now the plant isn’t flowering, but this year I will be transplanting it to a new pot. It’s season to flower again will probably be here. The resilience of the plant is amazing. Along the way I have learned a few things about life from this plant.

3 Tips On Life From A Mother’s Day Plant:

  1. Rely on your team when you’re weak. Malachi and my daughter Esther helped me so often with watering the plant. In life we need a team to help us with things we don’t remember or aren’t very good at.
  2. Stretch Towards Sources of Light. This sturdy flower always reached for the light, bending toward it. Look for positive influences to build you up. Seek out God who is our light in dark times. Surround yourself with others who encourage and challenge you.
  3. Recognize The Seasons Of Life And Be Resilient. This Mother’s Day plant has been tipped over and lost half of its soil. It has been bumped, shaded, and moved. Still it is resilient as if it knows that it will flower again when the time is right. Our life has seasons. Be patient and resilient and your season to bloom will come again.

It is amazing what you can learn from a plant. My kids are outgrowing the plant school gifts, but this one continues to stay with me. If I’m fortunate, my not-so-green thumb will keep it alive for several more years with the help of my family.

What is your favorite gift that just lasted forever?

 

 

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How to Prioritize Your Writing Career – Of Hovercrafts, Baseball Games & Tea Parties

Josiah Science Fair photoIf you are a parent, chances are you’ve run into a school project or two that wasn’t your favorite. Let’s see. There’s the story in a box, student of the week, family tree, science fair, social studies cultural project, autobiography, etc.

You name the project, we’ve done it. Often these projects involve huge doses of caffeine, several sacrificed hours of sleep and the worry that it will be destroyed by younger siblings before presentation day.

I had two such stellar projects this week with my middle school son. First, came the big writing project. My kind of project, but time consuming. Then came the whole Science fair project. Let me just say, I hated that as a child. . . not much has changed.

The cool part is that my husband is a science nut. Naturally, I did the grand hand off. That worked for me until the poster board and writing component, which once again was my thing. BUT my son took the grand prize and you can bet that I was ecstatic as he brought home the big purple ribbon.

My husband and I collapsed after it was all over. He asked me, “We have to do this three more times? I think I’ll let you do it next time.”

Like any great mom, I answered, “NO WAY! You are the science guru. That is your domain. I’ll do the writing.”

Do you ever wish you weren’t good at something? Okay, if you are a parent you understand that line of thinking. If not, go with it for a while.

My kids will always come before my career. Still, in the midst of all of the responsibilities as Mom, I find myself  struggling to keep up with everything.

This is not a new struggle for most of us, but here are a few things I’ve learned that help me take a deep breath and enjoy each moment.

How To Prioritize Your Writing Career:

1. Understand the priority order in your life. In your mind make a list of what are your priorities in life. Now realize that those priorities shouldn’t lose focus, but might not always follow a legalistic pattern.

2. Prioritize Seasons. When my kids are finishing the school year, or a trimester there are more projects due and programs to attend. During that season they will need to be put in front of other things.

During a writing deadline, I may have to let career surge to the front for just a bit to accomplish the goal. In doing this, a writer must recognize that their success as an author also has value to their family.

3. Check the Balance. Just as you balance your checkbook every month, balance your priorities. Look ahead and see what may need number one attention in your family and career. Review the past month and see if you really did show appropriate balance.

4. Avoid the Pitfall of the Comfortable. We can easily fall into a rut with our time with our career. Giving more time there because we enjoy it. Likewise is true of family time. Although family time is important, if you are called to write, you should be spending time in that area as well.

5. Discard the Guilt. If we were to measure the amount of time we spent feeling guilty for our choices, the amount of wasted time might amaze us. Each day we start fresh, so embrace that day guilt free. You cannot change where you have been, but you can change where you are going.

What tips do you have for Prioritizing Your Writing Career?

How to Be Creative When Life Gets Hectic – Help! My Life Just Smothered My Creativity

768127_83871159Laundry has overtaken my living room, after school sports ran off with my A game, science fair projects have grown messy sidekicks, and tax season has left me with a pile of receipts that would make Congress proud.

Yep, your a mom, a dad, a writer. . .

Life has a way of smothering our creativity. I have four children, church responsibilities, volunteer activities, social media, you name it, it’s tried to crowd my life with chaos from time to time.

This isn’t a method of how to eliminate the chaos. If you find that, please let me know, you will be my new BFF.

We all need to find new ways to tame the chaos, or keep our creativity flowing when life is complicated beyond a personal assistant. . . as if writers can afford one of those. LOL! Here are a few tips that might help.

How to be Creative When Life Gets Hectic:

1. Remind yourself that chaos isn’t a permanent state. Sometimes it feels as if chaos will never go away. But we still have some down time in the ebb and flow of chaos. Maybe it is only the thirty minutes after the kids fall asleep, or the doctor appointment for only you. Use that time for the small parts of the writing journey that can be done in small amounts. Brainstorming for a scene, a blog, a character, etc.

ALWAYS HAVE A NOTEBOOK OR PHONE APP FOR JOTTING DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS! 

2. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. We are not the only people in the world who can do something right. Sometimes it is easy to take on more than we need to and it actually can be counterproductive for those around us who miss the opportunity to grow.

Letting your oldest child make dinner once a week is a great way to help them develop life skills. It may need to start with some teaching, but eventually they will have a set of recipes they can make. 

3. Find a quiet time to sit with nothing going on around you. Stories are written on a blank page, but we forget that the ideas are written on a blank slate in our mind. If you have no time with no input, it crowds out the brain’s ability to create stories.

4. Quit trying to multitask your writing. Wait a minute, didn’t I just say earlier to multitask small writing components? Yes. But this is not the main bulk of your writing time.

A few days ago I asked my husband if he would take one hour of time each night to play with the kids. During this time I would write. No one can bug mommy during this time. I spend lots of other time with my kids. It is important for them to see me chase my dream.

At first I felt guilty about this, but if I always take my resting time to write, I never have time to sleep.

SLEEP IS REQUIRED TO BE GOOD AT ANYTHING!!!!

5. Feed your artistic muse. Whether it is watching Castle or visiting the art museum in town, find things that feed your need for artistic beauty. It will add richness to your scenes.

HOW do you stay creative when life gets hectic?