Writing it makes it real.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I was hesitant about starting this blog.  Don’t get me wrong – I love to write. As a matter of fact, I’m a published author – a poem of mine was chosen to be published in a book…in 4th grade. In 7th grade, I spent a day away from school at a Creative Writing workshop where I was instructed to make a list of interesting words and then put together my two favorites, which turned out to be “luscious passion”. I’m sure the instructor thought I had careless parents who let me watch afternoon soaps and read filthy romance novels but on the contrary, I was simply naive and unaware.  So unaware, that in 4th grade, while playing Boggle with my mom and best friend Liz (who, I later found out was the love interest of my husband, a year my junior and a fellow student at my elementary school. Somehow I, with my perm that “didn’t take” resulting in a second one – hello, frizz and damage! escaped his notice), I claimed that I saw the word “testicle” in my list of words. This caused my mom to pause and ask, “So, Kar, what does that mean?” “Like, intestines,” I responded without hesitation. Needless to say, the two of them had a good laugh at my expense before my mom (to my embarrassment) explained what testicles were.

All this to say, I was an unassuming, boisterous child (child being me until I was, say, 24). I had lots to say and I wasn’t afraid to say it.

Well, that was then, this is now. I’ve learned the hard way that what I say has the potential to hurt, to be misinterpreted, to be judged. Due to some difficult life experiences, I’ve become more cautious and fearful that what I say might come out wrong or be misunderstood. Add to this, I am a mom, who often times doesn’t speak to another adult for sometimes days and more often than not, when I do speak, it comes out a bit like I’m some sort of insecure, bumbling idiot. Even more than my limitations in effectively communicating these days, my real fear is that writing it makes it real. It doesn’t make it right or true, but it does make it known by more than just me. And particularly when it comes to the purpose of this blog – making life altering changes as a family – it’s scary. Today, I put my fears aside and move forward. As a relational being, I want to share and connect and relate and be known.  So, without further adieu, explanation or disclaimer, here are the things we’ve committed to doing as a family, each item corresponding with one day of the week:

1. Find 5 unnecessary items in our home and give them away.

2. Eat as a family, choosing more nutritious, whole foods, inviting people into our home to share in a meal.

3. Finish DIY projects around the house. We buy foreclosures and typically don’t finish them until we are about to move out…there’s lots to be done and the unfinished projects often plague us and immobilize us from doing other good things.

4. Save money,become more aware of how and where we are spending and who we are giving our money to.

5. Volunteer as a family. We’ve already started delivering meals for Meals on Wheels every other Wednesday. Jemma delivered with John this past week. Upon meeting a woman with only one tooth, she said “Mom, maybe the tooth fairy will come to her house.” Thankfully, this was said in the privacy of our vehicle.

6. Spend quality time together as a family. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything more than enjoying and appreciating each other in an intentional way. Phones off, t.v. off, everyone involved and fully present. This one, I think, is going to be harder than it seems.

Looking forward to sharing bits and pieces of our experiences as they unfold.

p.s. Much of this list was inspired by Jen Hatmaker, who wrote a terrific book called 7: An experimental mutiny against excess. It is a worthy read. She also writes a blog that is both hilarious and compelling – two of my favorite things. Check her out at: www.jenhatmaker.com

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