Finding Tears and Joy and Happy Memories

Earlier this week, I sent a carefully drafted email to my Aunt, my Aunt in Nashville, who was married to my sweetest Uncle that went to his eternal reward in December.  You see, my 31 day series this year will be about that Uncle.  The Uncle that many have heard, but that few, outside the music world, probably know by name…how can that be, you ask?

Chip Young 31 days buttonYou know his thumb…I PROMISE, you KNOW his thumb.  You KNOW his fantastic producing and engineering abilities from decades past, and I’ll be sharing some of those in October.  And yes, when he left this earth, he was called “legendary” in music circles.

So, I sent this email.  My Aunt sent it to 31 people who knew Uncle Chip.  Funny, I just noticed, 31 people, 31 days.  Hmmm….interesting.   I asked for stories, stories that I hadn’t heard, that I could share with you in October.  And I’ve already started receiving replies.

And y’all…they are so precious.

Bruno from Sweden, has sent wonderful pictures and a sweet story that I can hardly wait to share with you.  And his personal story of how my Uncle (and Aunt) has blessed his life.

and Ellie, who brought tears to my eyes from her sweet words about my precious Uncle.

Honestly, I didn’t even think about what I would find

if anything at all.

I thought I’d get “in studio” stories, music related stories,

and I have, but with a wonderfully personal twist.

And I have found jewels,

precious and rare.

Stories mostly shared by people I’ve never met and probably never will meet.  (although I’ve already told Bruno that I might just have to make a trip to Nashville when he’s making one of Swedish tours to hug his neck).

Wanna peek?

31 days .Charlie, Chip, Jerry & Bruno 72Yep, that’s my Uncle holding the guitar (there’s another hint)  with Jerry Reed, Charlie McCoy (another name you may not know, but that you would know), and his Swedish friend Bruno.

uncle chip and me 001That’s me and my Uncle

And even if I don’t receive more replies (although I truly hope I do) I have found precious memories from folks with whom I share a common bond, Chip Young, legendary musician.

God bless,

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I’m linking up with Kate today at Heading Home for her Five Minute Friday one word prompt on Find.  The rules are simple, type for 5 minutes on her one word prompt.  No edits, etc. just type. Visit your neighbor and comment. Wanna join us?

Writing Spaces

The authors of On Being a Writer are working with Kate, Five Minute Friday Kate, and Heading Home Kate to lead an online discussion group on their book.  I’m participating and linking up over there.  This is a scary step for me because it DOES mean that

I think I am a writer.

The thoughts posed today were on having a dedicated workspace for writing…

I had a free consult with Dan over at Fistbump media Monday (part of the perks of the retreat, THANK YOU, Kate et. all and Dan)  and have taken the plunge.  My blog is the first…if you’ll notice, there is no .wordpress.com in my address line anymore, and he’ll be taking care of the techo stuff that this technology challenged chick doe NOT understand.  christianhomelife is next.   Now, y’all may not understand, but there are tears in my eyes as I write this.  I’ve been writing for around 12 years, and I’ve always had a .homeskoolmom. something.com blog.

This is a HUGE, and I mean HUGE step for me…it puts me even further in the realm of the real writing world.

AND it puts money behind it…yeah, in our one income, home educating home, THAT’S a BIG deal!  Watch for those click to tweet boxes and mailchimp to come soon…yes, this IS big!

So, the first dedicated place to write is on my blog…my homeskoolmom.com blog.  And THAT’S big!

As Kate mentioned, Ann and Charity had talked about a mobile desk during the video chat.  This is what I worked on Sunday afternoon.  Is it complete?  No, but it’s enough for now.  It’s not big enough to fit my dinosaurish laptop, but I have a WordPress app on my phone and can thumb out a post there is I wish…and have done so on many occasions.

How do I know it’s enough?  Yesterday afternoon, while Shane drove home from the State Fair, I wrote a rough draft of a future post…so it’s enough.  Do you notice the doorknob, yep, right by the front door, so I can grab and go.

And this bright, flowery bag is SO me, y’all!

mobile officeI would LOVE to have a dedicated room to write, like Ann and Charity, but realistically, that’s not possible right now, so my armoire type desk with the doors that close, that resides in the lively part of our house will have to do.  As children grow into adulthood and begin living life outside of our four walls, maybe.  But for now, it’s what I’ve got.  And I’m good with that.

Happy Writing!

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This Dinosaur Learned a New Trick FMF

Twitter.  I vowed to stay away and I did for a VERY long time.  I even resisted during Proverbs 31 OBS Twitter parties.  And I LOVE my OBS sisters, so the fact that FIve Minute Friday got me there says a LOT!  Last weekends writer’s retreat had me more than a little curious about the fellowship and friendships made in 140 characters or less.

So guess where I was tonight?  I can’t even believe it.  Yes, the dinosaur, the one that didn’t know what a launch was, or Voxxing, or how to use google hangouts (even IF I did have a camera thingy on my computer), actually made it to the #fmfparty tonight.

I didn’t think I could learn how to keep up.  And I’m not sure I did. But I was told I was doing fine,

See here’s the proof

You are rocking it Christy!

probably because you ARE keeping up

Will I do it again?  Probably?  Will it be a regular thing?  Probably not.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and I enjoyed being there, but my time is getting away from me, and one more thing on my plate on a regular basis?  Sometimes ya gotta say no.

I’m certain at some point I’ll to learn how to make one of those cute little “click to tweet” box to use in my blog.  But not tonight.  Tonight this ole dino is tired; so no late night tonight trying to figure out something else new in the cyberspace world.  And I want to go enjoy the stars with my darling!

Tonight this dinosaur will dream of little blue birds and frantic craziness all around me.  And I will be thankful for

STOP

seeing “old” new friends made by driving down a winding road, past the deer that were playing to a cabin by the lake and for making new friends, including one who lives in my hometown, whose husband went to my high school (West High Rebels) a year ahead of me. How cool is that?

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P.S.  And NOW I understand…twitter party, Friends made, friends made visit blogs, relationships formed.  Not like old school days where you got to know each other in the comments of the blog…the fog is lifting.

I’m linking up with Kate at Five Minute Friday.  The rules are simple.  5 minutes of free writes on her one word prompt. No edits (yes I did, because I can’t not. and I was EXTREMELY tired last night,haha) and then visit and comment on the persons blog before you.  Yes, it’s that simple.  And if you DO edit like me, there is no edit police to wrap your knuckles either.  You can find out more here.

And if you get a chance, check out our NEW blog that was birthed from the FMF retreat

Reflections on a Weekend Away

I was among the close to 20 something wonderful ladies and the bundle of sweetness and smiles, little baby Haven, that gathered at a lakeside cabin in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee for the Five Minute Friday retreat.  Here’s the beautiful morning view from the deck as we gathered to drink our coffee (or tea, depending on preference).

fmf viewTruth time.  I wasn’t really sure WHY I was there.  I wasn’t really sure I should have been there.  After all, I’m not really sure I’m a writer; but my friend Melinda’s  enthusiasm was contagious and we were among the first to sign up way back… and we arrived after an adventurous beginning that included a flat tire and some nature exploration along the interstate near Metropolis, IL.

FMF retreat melinda and IBut that’s not what this post is supposed to be about.

This post is supposed to be about  “what’s my biggest take away from the retreat?”

Surprisingly, I learned that I AM a writer!

During our hangout chat with the authors of “On Being A Writer” (Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig) one of the ladies made the comment that

“a writing life is not the same as a writing career.”

That really resonated with me.  I am a writer, because I have a writing life.  Will I ever have a writing career?  Only God knows which leads to the next biggest take away from the weekend that didn’t hit me until the middle of Tuesday night when I woke up thinking about a long-lost dream…the dream that my husband and I have had to minister to families.

Many moons ago,  we made a flyer for Home and Family Ministries. A brainchild we created that never came to fruition.  We wanted to speak, and have retreats, and help families be all they could be. Help marriages succeed.  Encourage parents to parenting with intention.  This was when we were newly married.  Well before blogging was so mainstream, if it was yet at all…that was in the days of dial up internet and before Amazon and Google.

WHY we thought we were ready for that kind of endeavor is beyond me. But, we wonder if now is the time?  We’ve been through life for 21 years together, adding 4 children, and 2 dogs and a cat to the mix among other various critters that have come and gone.  We’ve had highs and lows.  Beautiful and ugly.  And we’ve been real through it all!

Who knows if ANYTHING will come of it, but we’re ready to put our toes in the water and step out in faith and begin a new thing.

So I got up in the middle of the night and started brainstorming this new child.  Looking on WordPress for a blog address that would work.  Here’s what I came up with:

Christian Home Life   

I’m delving into the world of mailchimp and going back over all the notes on promoting a blog from the retreat.  Those notes that I think didn’t apply to me because:

a) I wasn’t a writer

b) I was just a lil’ eclectic wife and momma blogger; 12 years I’ve been writing, and I’m still a lil’ eclectic wife and momma blogger.  And I’m still content with that here at homeskoolmom.

But the retreat, in an odd twist of events, has revived a dream…

FEAR of man is rearing it’s ugly head. Even as I sit here typing this, I wonder if we’re crazy, if I should hit the publish button.  But I refuse to to let it dictate what will come.  Man will not be my God.  I will replace the fear of man with the fear of the Lord, as Trillia, with the beautiful smile, reminded us Saturday morning.

FMF Kate and TrilliaThanks Melinda for the photo

And being BRAVE is coming behind the thoughts of fear.  And we WILL be brave, Shane and I. Mary reminded us Sunday morning that it is easier to stay stuck in the boat; but sometimes that is not what He wants!  Sometimes He wants us to be brave like Peter, and step out of the boat.

Mary, my husband and I are steppin’ out of the boat and being brave.  Many of those steps came long ago…

and now, we wait expectantly to see what, if anything God will do with this new venture!

At this point, only He knows!

We could be absolute nobodies…in that case we’ll keep doing what we’re doing; except we’ll blog with intention at Christian Home Life and maybe, just maybe influence a small sphere of readers in future years…

Or maybe? We will have to be patient and see…

 I LOVE this blog!  It’s my crazy, random place to be me, to bounce here and there, with rambling thoughts; no rhyme or reason. Thoughts flowing freely

And it will continue to be just that, a place for my rambling thoughts…but Christian Home Life, it will be more intentional, more focused with a purpose.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the new blog!

Thank you Kate Motaung (Mo-tay-oong–I think I got it) Holly, Jen and Mary for all your hard work!

We’re HERE!!! FMF

When I first heard the prompt I was thinking Seussical the musical…We are Here! We are here  Then we travelled.  Well, we tried to travel.  Melinda and i to the FMF retreat.  After a short 2 1/2 hour detour, thanks to a flat tire that was not only flat, but shredded, well into shreds, we ARRIVED!

No, Seussical, no longer applies.  But “We ARE HERE!” WE ARE HERE” definitely applies.

What should have been an uneventful 9 hour drive, became a 12 hour +  but not a drive.  But a detour.  A time to  laugh or cry…we laughed.  We took pictures, we had Fun.  Yes, on the side of the interstate…

And then we arrived!  Winding, curving through the sweet Tennessee roads, to the house!  Greeted by the precious FMF ladies.  Already in full swing of 2 truths and a lie.  And sweet fellowship….

God watched over us.  Put us near Metropolis.  A tire shop next to the Chinese buffet.  A welcome site to weary travelers.

5 minutes is almost up and l would rather spend real-time with precious FMF ladies…

I’ll see you here next week!

For Melinda’s version of the story, click here.

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Tell FMF Retreat

I love to tell the story…what story? The story of Jesus. The story of old, unseen things above.

I also love to tell the story of my 4 precious blessings. The awesome God stories the stories of their homecoming to our family.

I love to tell the stories of my children’s childhood. Chasing pigs and cows and chickens in the country. Of hiding in the big, tall pine tree when they we’re little. The pine tree that succumbed to the pine tree plague and died, and burned in our woodstove.

The story of Isaac jumping from another pine tree with a plastic Wal-Mart sack thinking that it’d work like a parachute. Of Hannah dancing in the yard singing let’s go fly a kite on a windy March day many years ago. Of Tabitha’s joy! Of Malachi’s sweet tender spirit after so much anger released from forgiveness.

I love to tell the story of how Shane and I met. of our courtship and marriage and how he didn’t really kiss me until we were husband and wife, even though I had lived another life.

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A post made at the Five Minute Friday Retreat.

Am I a Writer????

writer pic

I am a writer.  There I said it.  But Am I a Writer???  There’s the debate. The one going on in the recesses of my brain in recent days.  I’ve never considered myself a writer.  I’m a blogger.  But, does that make me a writer?

I’m embarking on a writer’s retreat this weekend, but I’m not sure I belong.

Others have called me a writer.  At my sweet Uncle’s funeral in December several of my relatives encouraged me when I mentioned writing about my “legendary Uncle” for the 31 day challenge in the coming year.  “You’re the writer in the family” they said.  Even then, it didn’t click.  I’m a writer?

I tell people I blog, or “I’m a blogger”, but NEVER “I’m a WRITER”  That title comes with a certain flair.  A flair that I don’t possess.

But.  I. am. a. writer.

Truth be told, I’ve been a writer for a long time.

I’ve even been published. HA!

In my 6th grade graduation program.

I wrote a poem, and it made the program.  Wanna know the title?

FLEAS

Yep!  Those little beastly creatures that can invade any home with an animal host. And invade with a vengeance.   They had invaded my childhood home and I wrote about it.  (Thinking back, I’m SURE my mother LOVED that!)

Today I have no idea what that poem said.  And I’m not even sure a copy still exists.  Maybe somewhere in a box in my one of my mothers closets…or, maybe not.

When I was young, I collected poetry.  Mostly dribble from the Teen Beat magazine that was so popular back then.

Over the years I have written a few praise choruses that have remained mine alone.

And in my early married years, I submitted articles to a little home published magazine called “Homewords” or “Homewards”  I can’t remember which any longer, or even the name of the sweet lady that published it.

I suppose the magazine is long gone.

Copies of those articles are stored in a box somewhere amid yesteryear’s memories.

I tend to think of writers as those with articles of worth.  Those with books published.

C.S. Lewis

Mark Twain

Dr. Seuss

John Owen

James Dobson

Suzie Eller

Beth Moore

all I would consider writers…authors.

Call me old-fashioned, but does word-smithing on a blog, mainly as a place to pen my thoughts for myself, make me a writer?

Some would say yes, claim it; others, like myself, not so much.

I’ve always said I write for me.  For myself.  I had some folks encouraging me to go more public and I did; but before that, and even now, I’m content if no one reads my blog.  That said, don’t get me wrong.  I do enjoy comments, and likes; but I refuse to let page views and statistics dictate my blog. I’ve been writing well over 10 years…I have a postie note  with the exact date I started blogging scribbled down somewhere around here  but that’s not important to me.

If I wrote in a diary instead of a blog (weblog) would I be a writer?

If my poetry and praise choruses stay to myself does that make me a writer?

If I were to paint a picture, would that make me a painter?

What about singing?  I LOVE to sing.  But does that make me a singer?

Dancer?  I taught ballroom dancing and won trophies in competitions many years ago.  I LOVE to dance!  Does that make me a dancer?

Speaker?  I’ve spoken to groups many times over the years, but am a speaker?

I used to autocross and I’ve driven an open wheel formula car at Road Atlanta.  Does that make me a race car driver?

I think just because I do something, it doesn’t make me something.

So for now, I’ll be content to call myself

not a writer, but one who writes.

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One who writes

 P.S.  After attending the FMF Retreat, I realized that I can have a writing LIFE without having a writing CAREER.  I AM a writer!!!!!!   !***This was a post I wrote before the FMFRetreat, as I started reading through “On Being a Writer”  I’ve tweaked it a little to accommodate the link up; but it is nearly exactly the same as I don’t want to lose how I felt at the time. ***

I’m linking up with the On Being A Writer discussion group over at Kate’s Heading Home.  Wanna join us?  It’s not too late!