Turning 30 and bringing about order. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

Today’s guest for the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series is Abra Carnahan. We live a couple cities apart and I’m bummed that we won’t connect in person before our big move. She wrote about making the most of your mission field (especially when that mission field involves laundry and dirty dishes) on the blog in February and I’m happy to have her back here again!

Like always, check out the Motherhood and Writing Archives for the other perspectives in this series.

Motherhood and Writing Abra

Why do you write/blog?

I think clearer when I write. When I’m trying to understand something better, I sit down and type it out. Usually when I blog, the topic is one I am trying to bring order to in my own head. Since a lot of those topics are fairly commonplace, my hope is that readers and I can bless one another through exchanging perspectives and encouraging each other.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve been blogging for over 10 years, however I’ve only been at Mere Breath (current blog) since January of 2013.

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

Just before I turned 30, it occurred to me that I was gradually coming of age to become a Titus 2 woman — it terrified me! I knew I had to get more proactive about becoming the person God designed me to be. I started reading several books a month and listening to sermons when washing dishes. I feel very blessed to have found several wonderful sources that poured life-giving truth into me. Often I’d hear or read something that was simply too good to keep to myself, so I started sharing them on my blog. Every now and then I’d even find time to write down some of my own desires, impressions and reflections.

Perspectives Abra

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

For at least an hour, every afternoon, we require our kids have quiet time in their rooms. My youngest nap or play with their toys. My older girls read, color or play outside. It took some work to establish this routine, but we’ve found it to be well worth the effort. It gives me time to cultivate Psalm 46:10 and Proverbs 4:4-5, which has proven essential to my work as a wife and mommy.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 NLT

 

My father taught me, take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom; develop good judgement. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. Proverbs 4:4-5 NLT

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

Our faith and who we think God is overflows into every aspect of our lives. For me, blogging serves as both creative outlet and intellectual stimuli. When I resolved to write for God’s glory, I didn’t expect the discipline to improve my homemaking skills, but somehow it has. I find myself more motivated, interested and focused and there has certainly been an increase of peace and joy in our home. My husband says I’ve become more resilient generally and is supportive of my endeavors. My 8 year old daughter recently became interested in reading what I write and asking questions about it, which has led to some delightful conversations! God is so good!

Abra CarnahanAbra and her husband, Ben, have been married 10 years. They live in North Idaho where she stays home with their four children. Abra is passionate about pursuing God and her hobbies: reading, archery and eating cheese.

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Babysitter Advocate {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

Today’s Motherhood and Writing guest is Cara Meredith. You’ll notice that she references her son, but in the time between responding and this post going live, she is now the mom of TWO beautiful boys.

If you’re new to this series, check out the archives for more perspectives of motherhood and writing!

Motherhood and Writing Cara

Why do you write/blog?

I write because I have a story to tell. I write because the process in and of itself is healing and therapeutic to my head and heart. And I write because I’d start going a quick-crazy were I not to take this time to put pen to paper (or, fingers to keyboard, as is more often the case).

How long have you been writing/blogging?

Ever since I could form letters and let my imagination come to life on the page, writing has always been a form of soul food to me. In high school, college and graduate school, I preferred the process of writing essays and research papers to standard test taking; vocationally, I taught high school English for four years, and then worked for a non-profit outreach ministry for eight years. In both environments, writing was part (but certainly not the whole) of my job, and as I look back on it now, often one of my favorite aspects. In that way, I sporadically started blogging in 2006, but it wasn’t until officially leaving the work force to pursue writing and speaking that I began blogging and writing with intention.

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

Well, for starters, it’s definitely given me material! Parenting a young child is my current season of life, and because I left my (paid) job to both take care of our son and pursue my dream, I find that there’s a balance and a dance and a juggling act that take place everyday. For instance, I’ve finally come to understand that I cannot care for my son and write at the same time; I am not the brilliant multi-tasker I’d like to call myself, and frankly, my son doesn’t want Mama paying more attention to the lap top than to him! I must be creative then with when and how I write, and with a second little one set to arrive within the month, we’ll soon be finding an entirely new balance.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

I used to have the luxury of writing any time I felt like it, within reason of course. Writing now has often become the luxury I choose when I have free time – so if I ever find myself complaining about not having enough time to fill-in-the-blank whatever, I remind myself that this is the choice I’ve made. This is how I’ve chosen and am choosing to spend my free time. In that way, I primarily write during nap time, after our son has gone to sleep, and during the day when we hire babysitters (of which I am a HUGE advocate!).

Perspectives Cara Meredith

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

My tagline is “finding Beauty in the most unlikely of places.” Because to me, Christ is Beauty, and he can be found anywhere and everywhere: in the messiness of life and in the tears we shed, over a meal with friends or in time spent in nature; on a Sunday morning or a Friday night, at Target or while sitting in traffic, driving across town. Although my audience certainly includes a large percentage of Christians, there also exists a number of people of no religious belief or background, so for me, my words reflect a varied, inclusive nature – and that, I suppose, is my battle cry. I want to communicate Truth and Beauty and Love, even if my words don’t scream Jesus, Jesus, Jesus every other sentence.

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

The intersection of faith, writing and motherhood IS my daily life. It is the mess and the grime, the love and the laughter, and the stories that keep me going, even when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope (which is, as it seems, more often than not). This intersection, plain and simple, is me.

Cara MeredithCara Meredith is a writer, speaker and musician from the greater San Francisco area. She is currently writing her first book, a memoir of belief and disbelief, only when she’s not on a hunt for the world’s greatest chips and guacamole. She loves people, food, reading, the great outdoors and her family. She is wife to James, and mama to their two-year old son, Canon, and a second little boy set to make his appearance in August (Theo arrived 8/29/14!).

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When you feel like a lazy, unmotivated writer. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

It’s Tuesday, which means I’m welcoming another wonderful Momma Writer to the blog. Marie Osborne isn’t a stranger around here and I’m always happy to host her words.

Have you missed a post in this ongoing Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing Series? Pop over to the archives page to catch up!

Motherhood and Writing Marie

Why do you write/blog?

I started and stopped blogging several times. Way back in 2006, my husband and I took a big trip to London. I wrote a series of e-mails to family and friends about our adventures. I have always loved writing, but this was the first time I had really written about my life for a larger group of people to read. The reception was quite positive, and many people mentioned that I should write or that my style sounded like an author they enjoyed. Shortly after that trip, we moved to a new city, which is when I started my first blog. I wrote for a few months about some of our adventures, but didn’t keep it up.

A few years later, we moved again and again I started blogging. I wrote a bit longer and just as I felt my well of interesting tales to tell was starting to dwindle, we had a baby! I began writing about him and the adventures of motherhood, which morphed into the blog I have now. What started out as just wanting to tell funny, silly stories about living somewhere interesting or visiting somewhere new has now become a way to capture the everyday adventures in life and reflect on how my faith plays into that. Writing and blogging have become some of the best ways I connect with God and how He inspires transformation and introspection. It’s also an outlet for encouraging and uplifting others not only in what I choose to write, but also the content I choose to share.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

Technically, since 2007. But in it’s current form, my blog has existed since 2012.

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

Being a mom to three under 3, I feel the need to write more as a way of processing my life, providing some variety to my day, and allowing me an outlet for my creativity. But being a mom also keeps me accountable. Motherhood forces me to re-prioritize. I praise myself for playing with my son and rolling around with my twins rather than posting to my blog several times a week. I sometimes feel like a lazy unmotivated writer, but in 10 years, I’d rather have memories of playing and splashing and singing with my kids then have a ton of page views. Though I still wish I had more page views. It’s a difficult balance. Motherhood has also had a huge impact on my subject matter, but I guess that’s to be expected.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

NAP TIME!!! I write when my kids are asleep. I praise Jesus every day when they are safe in their cribs and I get to sit at my laptop! HOORAY!

Marie OsborneWhat is your writing/blogging battle cry?

To encourage, challenge, and laugh… from under a pile of diapers. I want people to be encouraged. That they are understood, they are not alone, their is hope, they are beautiful and loved and worthy and talented and powerful. I want to challenge myself and others to be better, more like Christ, less like our old selves, less like the negative voices tell us we are or have to be. I want to laugh at all of it all the time every where very loudly because it’s all pretty funny.

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

In a crazy jumble in my head. I spend most of the day just a head down regular mom, feeding kids, playing with playdough, changing diapers. I pray and talk about God and Jesus with my son very organically, whenever he’s reading his Toddler Bible or he wants to sing “Jesus Loves Me” or we are snuggling before nap time. We don’t do organized study or devotion time. I steal an hour or so during nap time to write and reflect on my own.

Honestly, one of the best times where it all intersects is while nursing (not during the first 3-5 months because I was too tired to use my brain, but once they were sleeping through the night, life changed). I read my Bible or christian books on my phone while I’m nursing my twins. I pray during that time. I come up with blog or article ideas and type them into Evernote. And, of course, I’m cuddling and bonding with my girls.

Marie OsborneMarie Osborne is a wife, mama, and blogger who loves Jesus and large non-fat lattes. When she isn’t laughing (loudly) with her 30-something husband, chatting (loudly) with her girlfriends, singing (loudly) with her 3-year-old son, or feeding (quietly… for the time being) her 9-month-old twins, she’s probably pumping and binge watching Netflix. You can find her on her blog encouraging, challenging, and laughing from under a pile of diapers.

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When spare moments become stare moments. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

When Jessiqua Wittman first joined the Kindred Grace contributor team, I would have never guessed she wrote self-proclaimed gritty fiction novels. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her better through her writing and I think you will enjoy getting to know her better too! She’s jumping into the Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series this week.

If you missed a week, check out the series’ archives.

Motherhood and Writing JessiquaWhy do you write/blog?

I write because certain topics and stories burn inside me. I blog because most people like bite-size pieces of writing more than the 1,000 page novels that come naturally to me.

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve been writing for nearly ten years. I’ve been blogging for about three and a half years.

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

Considering that I have a nearly five-year-old, a newly three-year-old, and a baby due any day… (Jessiqua had her sweet baby between writing this and it going live!) I don’t write or blog near as much as I used to. It takes time and focus to write something special, and lately it’s been hard to find both time and focus in the same breath!

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

When I was a teenager, I used to sit with my notepad and write during every spare moment. Nowadays, I find myself just sitting and enjoying time with my little ones. Spare moments have become stare moments, where I just stare off into space and dream. After the kids go to bed though, I gather up all those dreamy visions and start typing them on my laptop. My personal bedtime is at eleven-o-clock, so I have until then to record as much as possible.

Perspectives Jessiqua

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

My message usually revolves around the imperfections of humanity and the gritty love of God. Christians oftentimes don’t feel free to express the struggles that they have during the winter seasons of their faith. I like encouraging honesty in those areas so that freedom, grace and strength can be found.

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

Well, for one thing, it’s not unusual for my laptop keyboard to be a wee bit sticky from kiddo fingerprints. :) Also, my kids simultaneously push me to my patience limit and teach me about the gloriously simple beauties of everyday life. Their innocence is inspiring to me, and their moods reflect my own and convict me. I may not be able to write as much as I used to, but I’m thankful for the deeply thoughtful moments that I’m able to have in between potty training and ginormous hugs.

JessiquaJessiqua Wittman is a child of God, a happy wife and mother, and a dedicated author of gritty fiction novels.

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Editing, ain’t nobody got time for that. {Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing}

Crystal Stine is someone I’ve admire from afar and I’m so pleased that she agreed to participate in this series. I appreciate her thoughts on efficiency and leaving a legacy with our words.

This Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing series has been a major encouragement to me and has had a great response from other readers. I Perspectives coming to you every Tuesday through December, but I’d love to keep this series going as long as momma writers want to share. If you’d like to share your perspective or know someone whose perspective should be shared, shoot me an email (emgardner8@gmail.com)!

To catch up on previous Motherhood and Writing posts, head to the Archives page!

Motherhood and Writing Crystal

Why do you write/blog?

I write to encourage, inspire and equip women to find, build and stay in community. I also write to share about the things I love that I think my community will love – from products to causes, real life family moments and everything in between!

How long have you been writing/blogging?

I’ve had a passion for writing since the 7th grade, when my Language Arts teacher put a note on a project that said “You’re very good. Would you like to write for the school newspaper?” I haven’t looked back since :) {the official answer is “2009” for when my blog started though…I’m older than the internet, otherwise I totally would have had one in 7th grade}

How has your current season of life impacted your writing/blogging?

Right now my current season of life includes working full time from home, some travel, and raising a toddler with my husband. It’s glorious and ordinary and I find myself writing in the “in between” times, usually late at night in front of the TV while watching Project Runway. What I write about and where I write are more intentional as I see the impact my words have on the legacy I leave my daughter.

How has this season of life changed your writing habits?

I’ve become much more efficient, using tools like PicMonkey & Canva to create blog post images that will work across all my social media platforms. I use tools like BufferApp to schedule blog promotion, and when I write late at night there is very little editing that happens before I hit “publish.” I don’t plan much in advance because I seem to write the best, most authentic pieces right when God puts them on my heart.

What is your writing/blogging battle cry?

No one can do it all – but we can all do something. Whether it’s a season to step back and focus on motherhood or to jump in and try something new with blogging, our goal should never be to do ALL the things, but to seek God and where He wants our attention.

Perspectives Crystal

How does faith, writing, and motherhood intersect in your daily life?

God has given me a daughter to be my mirror. Not only is she my mini-me physically, she reflects back to me the good, the bad, and the ugly of who I am in this season. God uses her to refine my heart, and I use writing to process what He’s doing in my life, to encourage other women but also to leave a written legacy for my daughter.

Crystal StineCrystal is passionate about living authentically in the beautiful, messy, unfinished parts of life. She encourages women daily as the Editorial & Marketing Manager at (in)courage and through her writing.

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