The Road Trip

As you’re reading this, I’m somewhere in Virginia on a road trip with my youngest child. It’s hard to believe it’s the last one – last child, last road trip, last summer to make these memories.

The road trips began as a dream. When my firstborn was a little girl, we read the Little House on the Prairie chapter books together. I dreamed of taking her on a road trip to the locations in the stories, a mother-child excursion while she was young enough to like me. A trip of innocence before the unknowns of adolescence stole my child away.

So ten years ago, she and I set off to her destination of choice – Williamsburg and Jamestown, VA.

Though we fought the first three days, by the time we’d toured plantations and seen Monticello, we sang Weird Al Yankovic songs all the way home. It wasn’t the perfect trip, but we made memories.

Being a fair-minded first-born, Baby Girl thought it was only right her three brothers took a rights-of-passage trip with mom. So every three years of the last

Fun times from trip #3

Fun times from trip #3

decade, I’ve taken a trip with a soon-to-be eighth grader. Boy 1 and I went on old Route 66 from Joliet, IL to St. Louis, Boy 2 and I went to the Black Hills and now it’s Boy 3’s turn. He’s my history buff, so Geek Mom and boy are going to Richmond, VA and Charleston, SC to see Civil War and colonial sites.

 It takes determination to make dreams a reality. Really. I’m not anything special. I’m an educator who’s really too busy to be gone a couple of weeks before school starts. I’ll be driving our ten-year-old Honda with 245,000 miles and a cracked windshield. I’m a mom who’s needed by three other kids.

But for one week, before childhood is gone, I just do it. I make my dream happen because there’s only one summer between childhood and adolescence, and there’s only one moment to be a mom to just one.

So this week, I’ll be away from the blog. I’ll be on the road. I’ll be making memories. The last summer with the last child making memories instead of dreaming a dream.

(If you’d like to see pictures, join the ministry’s Facebook page)

Is there a dream you want to make happen? What’s holding you back? What can you do today to make it happen?

The World Blog Tour

It’s a privilege to be asked by writer Amelia Rhodes to join the World Blog Tour, a venue among writers to share their writing projects. Amelia shared about her new project, finding faith in the ordinary, and now it’s my turn!

What am I working on? 

I’m working on a book, “Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All.” It’s a resource from a retreat I present for moms of the same name. After doing the retreat twice, attendees have asked, “Where’s the book? I want to share it with others.” I stand there with the list of sites I write for, but don’t have a tangible resource for them. As someone said, “Brenda, when are you going to write a book?

So this is my attempt to share core content from the retreat – inspirational, practical and authentic information for moms who feel trapped by busyness. While it doesn’t cover all the material in the retreat, I’ve tried to include what’s been most helpful and life-transforming for attendees. It’s also what I’ve lived as a stay-at-home and working mom raising kids in today’s busy-driven culture. My hope is to get the e-version completed in the next several weeks. Stay tuned for information about release and availability!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There are a lot of books for moms on the market today, especially with the ease of ebooks and blogs. While “Balance” touches on popular subjects for moms, it also introduces a concept I teach in retreats on how identity and busyness is driven by misperceptions of what we think is important. I equip moms to identify their strengths, face their weaknesses and give them courage to let unimportant things go. I share honest, personal experiences I’ve had as a stay-at-home mom and a working mom and share my journey in changing careers because my life was too busy and stress-filled. There aren’t a lot of books by moms in the trenches that honestly deal with busyness with practical ideas for how to live well during the busiest years of motherhood.

Why do I write what I do?

balance, busyness and not doing it allAs a speaker, I talk to moms of all ages throughout the country. Moms tell me they feel trapped not only in busyness but feel pressure for their kids, family and self to conform. I hear moms in conflict by how they want to live and how they feel their busyness dictates their life.  I write out of personal experiences as a mom and a counselor working with kids and families. I’m honest about the struggle but also provide real ways to escape the busyness trap. I write about stress and the need to built intimacy with God.

I want the reader to have practical tools they can use the minute they put the book down.

How does my writing process work?

I blog for four different parenting sites a month plus my own. Finishing this book has been a challenge because I also work 25 hours a week as a counselor during the school year. I have two week days that I work on writing and I have to protect that time when I write. Because I blog and write so many short articles, the book follows a short-chapter format. Otherwise, it probably would never have been completed.

Next stop on the World Blog Book Tour?

I’m excited to share two writers who will be touring next Monday on their blogs – my dear friend Ingrid Lochamire who recently published a memoir about her father, A Man’s Work, and Laura L. Smith, a talented young adult fiction writer who recently guest-posted here. Her new book is “It’s Addicting” and is a great read for teens and young adults. Please visit their blogs both today and next Monday, July 28!

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