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Day 21 – Making the Time for Beauty


Sera’s Mussel Shells

Sera spent most of the day cleaning different mussel shells she found on our camping trip. She is going to sort them and try to identify them tomorrow.

Amelie spent a good chunk of time on Kahn Academy learning to tell time and practicing in a book of “clock” worksheets I had picked up from the Parent-Teacher Store.

The girls also finished listening to the audio recording of The Hobbit. Sera had read it last year and begged and begged for Amelie to be allowed to read it as well. One thing I have noticed about the girls being home together all day is that they not only get along better, but that they also share their interests with one another. It is so sweet.

While they were immersed in Middle Earth, I was on the phone with my advisor at Lipscomb University, where I am enrolled in the Adult Degree Program. Juggling mom, school, music, and writing commitments requires every bit of time to be structured into super efficient nuggets.

As a young mother, I struggled with losing my creativity after the babies were born. I used to complain to Josh that I never had time for anything–certainly there was not time to create. If you want to complain, but don’t want to do what it takes to fix the problem, do not talk to my husband. The solution was simple and convicting. “Whenever you say ‘Yes’ to one thing, you are saying ‘No’ to something else.” He didn’t let me complain, rather, he empowered me to actually do something about the situation.

For me, saying “Yes” to Facebook, even for 15 minutes, is saying “No” to writing a song. How do we learn to say “No” to free up time? Some of the things we have to learn to say “No” to are good things, like keeping a perfectly clean house. Going back to school has taught me to say “No” because I have to. My grades depend on it. I’m paying for these classes. It is so, so difficult for us to say “No” without those external boundaries or motivations. I think most of us are waiting for permission to say “No,” but you have to give that permission to yourself. 

In her article Time, Lost and Found, Anne Lamott talks about eliminating excuses and making the time to write.

Needless to say, this is very distressing for my writing students. They start to explain that they have two kids at home, or five, a stable of horses or a hive of bees, and 40-hour workweeks. Or, on the other hand, sometimes they are climbing the walls with boredom, own nearly nothing, and are looking for work full-time, which is why they can’t make time now to pursue their hearts’ desires. They often add that as soon as they retire, or their last child moves out, or they move to the country, or to the city, or sell the horses, they will. They are absolutely sincere, and they are delusional.

Yes, and amen. I am a firm believer that there is no, “someday.” I have trained myself to be able to write a song in 20-30 minutes. That’s not long in the scope of a 24 hour day. Even if it is only 15 minutes a day while the kids listen to an audio book, or paint themselves silly, or even (God forbid) sit bored out of their minds for a few short moments of their lives. That’s okay. Take it. Lock yourself in the bathroom with your pen or your guitar (I’ve done this) or simply your imagination. Get off the internet. You will never have those moments back, but if you spend 10 minutes creating something, you will never regret it.

Today my daughter spent hours and hours making something beautiful. She carefully cleaned, dried, and polished each mussel shell. She made the time for beauty, and I hope she learned it from me.

What do you think? Is “someday” a true reality? How do you make time for creativity?


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  1. Sarah says:

    I needed to hear this! My soul is starved for creativity right now!

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