For All Of Us Mamas Trying To Make Time For Our Art
Drumroll.......announcing my first guest post! It is a goal of mine to include other talented writers of all colors (mothers, artists, entrepreneurs, human beings in general, maybe the occasional creative cat) on this blog.
I met my first guest blogger at Bible Study Fellowship last year. Her quiet demeanor, wise answers and observations, and her great laugh immediately drew me to her and I hoped someday we could talk more. I've gotten to know Eyrn a little better in the last couple months and she is something special. She helps me see things in a different light and I think you're really going to enjoy reading her heart felt words. Oh, and by the way, she has a new book out! You'll find a link at the bottom of the article.
“How will I ever make time to write a book?” It was the question that wouldn’t cease pestering me, right alongside that growing prodding from God…It’s time.
My husband and I had always talked about the prospect of me writing a book…some day. But not today, not now, not with two toddler boys running wild around my ankles, and another little boy tucked deep within my womb. God’s timing is a peculiar thing, is it not? Especially when it comes to our art and dreams.
And that is exactly what my writing had come to be—my art. It was a means for me to express these deep feelings and even deeper questions of motherhood that I faced every single day. However, my level of art was still simply a hobby, a little blog I kept in a tiny corner of the webosphere with a handful of readers in my audience. Nothing significant, except to me. And God was beginning to show me just what wonderful and vast things He can bring forth even from our “insignificant” art.
It began with a story I typed up and published on my blog, a little tale about 936 pennies that forever changed the way I parent. God took that story and ran with it, and then He told me to start running, too—straight toward my dream. Sometimes when we have it stuck in our heads that “now is not the time”, and “maybe some day I’ll chase that dream”, God’s voice gets loud and clear as He smiles and tells us, “Go ahead.” And that is just what He told me and my husband as we began praying about writing a book about that jar of 936 Pennies.
That question remained all throughout this book writing journey. Over the past three years, I have continued to ask myself, “How will I ever have the time?” Through potty training, welcoming our third son into the world, starting our homeschool journey, launching a business, selling a home, moving to a new state, buying a home, selling that home, living on the road, and pregnancy with the fourth baby we will welcome come spring—time has been a precious and limited resource. No matter our circumstances, time always seems that way for us mothers—fleeting, scarce, precious, and oh so limited. How, in the midst of this truth, can we make time for chasing our own dreams among the endless piles of laundry, trips to the library, play dates, bedtime snuggles, and our full-tome job as mamas?
For my family, it took some real creativity to make room for this dream God had placed on my heart. If I was going to make time for my art and calling, then my husband and I were going to have to have some real conversations about what that would look like, and so we did. Many mornings, it looked like me rising before the sun had i’s own chance to rise. I would head out to a coffee shop and write for two solid hours before returning home so that my husband could leave for work. We made room in our budget to take a few trips with the focus being giving me time out to write. It meant re-prioritizing our budget to make those trips happen. Family vacations doubled as writing trips. We also hired a nanny, which—let me tell you—was life changing! It took me a long time to warm up to this idea. I am a bit of a helicopter mom when it comes to trusting people with my boys. However, God blessed us with an incredible nanny, and on the mornings we had her come (about twice a week, for four hours each time), I was free to sit in our local coffee shop and write the morning away.
The one things that has allowed me to pursue my art the most has been communication with, and support from, my husband. He was determined that we would make this work, even in the midst of an incredibly busy time in our lives. Whether you are pursuing your art with a spouse at your side or not—I am certain that there are people in your life that can help make this happen. Maybe it is not an option right now to hire a nanny—but maybe there are other moms looking to pursue their own dreams with whom you could swap time with for watching the kids. Although our art is a personal pursuit, I believe that it can only flourish to its fullest potential when we invite those close to us to come alongside and be a part of what we are doing.
With the 936 Pennies book (Link: https://www.amazon.com/936-Pennies-Discovering-Intentional-Parenting/dp/0764219782) coming out in February, I am so thankful for my husband’s support, and for God’s gentle prodding that Yes, there is time to pursue our art, and chase the dreams He places on our hearts.
Eryn Lynum is the author of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting (February 2018, Bethany House Publishers) She blogs at www.ErynLynum.com. Eryn lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and three boys, where they spend their time hiking, camping, and exploring the Rocky Mountains. Her work and passion is to come alongside of authors and help them market the message God has laid on their hearts. She loves to travel and share at conferences, churches, and writers’ groups. But every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family.