Friday, March 30, 2012

Questions from a Friend

Sandra asked me to answer a few questions during their giveaway over at Eastern Journey about writing "Redefining Home." At first it felt a little awkward to post this interview of myself on my own blog. But, it answers many of the questions that you guys have asked so I decided to go ahead and post it. And besides awkward and I have become fairly good friends, so it's only fitting. 
Here ya go:

As a Mom to 5, what advice do you have for members of the JV?
Pray hard and remain flexible.
Every stage seems overwhelming at the time. I actually feel like having 3 little ones was harder than my 5 that are a little older. But I remember having only one child and thinking “Will I ever have shower or a coherent thought again?!” And now if only one kid is inside, it feels like vacation.
James 4:17 has been the cord that pulls me up to make dinner and pulls me down to pick up socks… again. “If you know what is the right thing to do and you do not do it, for him it is sin.” Remembering this when my child is throwing up for the 5th time this morning gives me the joy to clean it instead of rolling up the sheets and sticking them in the corner. You know, if people did that kind of thing.

How does it feel being the Varsity Team Captain?
I’m pretty sure I was voted Varsity Team Captain while the rest of the team was at lunch. My kids are 10, 8, 6, 4, 3 and I’m on Varsity only because of our team size, not because of my performance on the field.

How can you write a book when I can barely have a complete thought?
I have discovered about myself that I need some type of creative side story to my day. I love being a mom and wife, but I need something that is creative to allow my mind to run free for a bit. Sometimes it’s blogging or sewing or cooking. For this last year, it was writing “Redefining Home.”
I didn’t get to write everyday, but I tried to make it a habit of jotting something down at least 5 days a week. At times it was composing a chapter while I walked to the market, but my mind was still engaged in a story line and that was fun for me.
There are a few people in my life that have been urging me to write for the last decade. The problem was that I was dedicating most of my brain cells to birthing babies or pureeing sweet potatoes.
Now that all of my kids are walking, talking, playing and peeing independently, I had a little bit of mental free space. As dusty as that space was, it was fun to take some time to write.
What’s something you learned through the process of writing “Redefining Home”?
Through writing “Redefining Home,” I’ve seen the difference in writing for myself and writing for the Lord. So often I do things out of personal ambition. Over and over again, those things become uncomfortable and life draining.
As I wrote, I was constantly praying that the Lord would allow this to be His work. That ever word and comma I put down would be an offering to Him.
I’ve also learned that good things happen through perseverance. I grew so much by putting things down on paper even though I wanted to be doing something else. One page at a time.
What have you given up and what have you gained in return?
I gained so many things. Let’s see… laughter. This was a big one for me. There’s a certain amount of weight that is constant when you live out of your home culture. I had let that weight drain the passion from my soul.
As I wrote, I saw things again. I saw faces and stories and not just annoying people at the train station. I laughed at the boy peeing in the trash can instead of rolling my eyes in first-world disgust. My love for the people and culture here was dug out of the muck that I had covered it with.
What’s your next project?
I’m going to start writing again later this year. I’ve already started rolling somethings around in my mind, but have nothing down in concrete yet.
I’m going to take some time to enjoy the people who are reading “Redefining Home.” I’ve been humbled by hearing the stories of laughter and tears from people whom I don’t know personally, but are reading the book.
If I can help to shift paradigms for at least one person, I am happy. I hope this book is as much a joy to the readers as it was to me as the writer.
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