what I need

Taken at the baker of Bellville's castle.

A day with the kids, and about 100 other homeschoolers - running with swords, in costume, listening to Canterbury type Tales, playing with dogs, climbing, laughing, painting, getting wet in the mote.

With all the kids occupied and my mother there to push Maximus around in his stroller I got a little time to myself to think and plan. And see myself. What I need.

My life is not all about me, but sometimes I need a little of me. Sometimes I wish that I had two days for every one day. One where I could be the housewife and indulgent mother, soaking up the largeness of my kid's world. The other where I am me, sitting in a coffee shop reflecting, praying, writing and remembering.

In reality, these parts of me have to co-exist. My daily life is a process to make it so. I am so tired of not feeling like I am getting the balance right. I want to let myself see that I really am okay, I really am there, that this is it - this is what it looks like to be a functioning Christian artsy mother, but I cling to the self angst that has been so familiar for so long, looking always with a critical eye.

Can I even know how to live without it? The angst I mean. It is almost scary to let go of it and allow myself to appreciate where I am. To be satisfied with where I am, now, today. I think I fear that if I am satisfied then I won't progress. But really, I am still as ambitious today as I was, but now my ambitions for myself share time with my ambitions for my kids - for my kids to be wonderful, God fearing, happy human beings. Again, back to the me and my mothering. The balance. The co-existing of parts of myself. And round and round I go. It is hard being the daughter of a psychologist, analysis is in my blood and I think, my generation. Ladies, we are getting older, let's agree to call quits on the self war and finally be enough. Oh, I say that but I know I won't commit.


spill here mother
a blank page
waiting whiteness
that frightens the fool
the unplanned,

quench me with your color
lines and hopes

find in the curves
fellow thoughts

laid bare
put on the shelf
forever telling
my story


  1. what a beautiful, magnificent means for capturing the war we wage with ourselves daily - as women, mothers, wives, spiritual beings and artists... sometimes my challenge is wondering why God gave me so many gifts if I can't possibly explore them all in depth - other times it's thinking that what matters is what I do with them...
    great post!

  2. Anonymous9:37 AM

    This is *exactly* what is on my mind today. In fact, inspired by your book, I blogged about this very topic today. Challenging, challenging issues in this life we mothers lead.

  3. This is always the struggle for all mothers. There is really no such thing as balance even though I am always searching for it and always will. There will always be the juggle and competing of all things in our life, even when our children are grown, because then there are grandchildren. But we can bring them into our world and share with them our passions and still carve out some time for ourselves just to be us. Great post. You have a gift of putting into words what we all go through and feel.

  4. I feel so much the same as you! It is hard to find the balance. For me lately I have been slowly my mind down, thus slowly the "to do" list down. It has been nice to take more time with my children and I end up having a bit more time to create as well. Thank you for your thoughts. You seem like a fabulous mother and woman!
    I also love the castle that you went to. I hope that I can find my way their with my 5 girls some day. I do have a brother that lives in Texas, so hopefully it will happen. They would love it. It looks like your daughter was dressed up too. Love it!

  5. Shona..Wow! Do you realize just how much the real the real us? You speak the very thoughts that any mother who has a passion for creativity and art thinks.. but we rarely voice it.

    That is the art of blogging I say what we are really thinking and feeling..and trust that our readers will relate and understand. Some you..are able to put in words and pictures the things that we are feeling as mothers. Perhaps some are not torn between the demands of art and mothering..but are pulled between two seasons in life..two generations of people..two roles we have to play. Self-doubt is I think a very REAL part of this generation's psyche. How insightful that you see it that way. I had never thought of it that way before. Your words are so poignant and make me feel as if I'm not the only one feeling just a little anxious at times. Then there are times of complete peace. I'm at peace now..but I have times when I wonder whatever in the world am I doing? Does anyone really want to read my scribbles..see my pictures? It's hard, but we have to have faith that the Lord has put this medium and our desire to use it for a reason.

    Thank you for writing your thoughts so beautifully. I wish you didn't have to go through the struggle..but by sharing it, you bless us all.

    C.S.Lewis once quoted a student's father... he said.."We read to know...that we are not alone." That is why we love your thoughts..even your puzzled..searching ones..because we are right there too and reading what you right, we know we are not alone.

    Thank you Shona for letting the Lord use you. You give us all a voice.


  6. Echoes of what is going on in my own mind and heart as I transition to homeschooling this summer, as I recommit to excavating my artistic muse, as I try to be in the moment especially as I mother...

    Such good thoughts--thanks for sharing!

  7. yes, Patti - good point about why we have so many gifts that we can't get to! we need a whole lifetime to explore.
    Donna, that is a great quote
    thanks all for sharing. it is nice to know I am not alone. I am going to make one little thing today and post it here tomorrow, to prove to myself I can and am doing it. but for now, back to kid's schooling... Shurley grammar and history and then some drawing.....

  8. Well...I thought a lot about your post, this morning, and coming back to leave a comment this afternoon.
    I do believe some people have more of this "angst" an others.I for one also share this, and my kids are grown.
    I'm going to keep thinking on this's deep.
    There is a difference between peace and being satisfied. I feel as though I should never be satisfied until I have completed the race, but I always want to be found in perfect peace...a good place to be and can be found. My problem is stepping out of peace and not knowing it until I realize I need it back.
    Your words have blessed me, and I am thankful you blog. Like the others have are real.

  9. Thankyou for so eloquently putting words to my thoughts and journey. Just knowing you and so many other mothers have similiar thoughts and struggles brings a little peace. I am not alone. Thankyou for continuing to be so real and using your blog to bless and encourage others. I am so grateful I discovered your blog.

  10. oh dear, if this isn't my struggle each and every day. Maybe this sounds horrible, but it feels so good to not be alone in this trying time as mother and self.

    Now, how to I find a homeschooling group like this? I homeschool my oldest, and this is her exactly!

    Thank you always, for your open words.

  11. ohhh, a homeschool group for artistic mothers, now that would be lovely :)

  12. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Yes! I wish there were a homeschool group (at least online!) for artistic mothers. We could support each other in our efforts to approach some kind of balance between our myriad responsibilities and our desire to create!


  13. I am wondering if there is some sort of homeschooling artistic mothers group we need to create!!!

  14. but of course in all this beauty you are creating

    on line and

    in life

    as i used to say when my son was small, and even still now, when he is 12

    "you, are my most beautiful creation."


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