Jennifer Fulwiler on Pursuing Creativity and Beating Overwhelm
I had the honor of interviewing Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary this week, and she shared some insights that I think are very helpful to our lives as mothers.
It’s easy to start to wonder if our goals for what we want to do or think we should be doing are worth the crazy amount of thought, preparation, and work that it takes to make it happen.
I hope you’ll take the 12 minutes to watch it; it is packed full of helpful encouragement.
Why is it so important to go to drastic measures of reordering your time and resources and energies in order to pursue a creative outlet? As homeschoolers we have the best understanding of all, that education – what we do with home education (not putting education in a box “over here”) and then saying the rest of your life takes place “over here” – trying to help our children live a full life in every way. Structuring it so the mother can pursue her own creative talents, it’s a perfect fit for homeschooling. The message that we’re sending to our children is once you learn the basics of reading and writing and memorized some of the presidents, basic facts down, children naturally want to know “then what?” and I think we’re answering that question with the witness of our own lives, saying that we are learning these skills, learning how to do these things so that we can take the talents that God has given us and use them to pursue our own creative passions while building up the kingdom and serving other people.
“We teach best by modeling and they learn best by imitation.” – Mystie Winckler
God does not ask us to do more than He gives us the time to do it. Do what you can do in a reasonable day, giving yourself time for prayer and rest, and let the rest of it go. When Jennifer saw Mother Teresa’s schedule she had time built in for prayer. Mother Teresa had all this time and Jennifer had none. It’s OK to “let the rest of it go” and do the top three things that God has called us to do, but how do you discern what those top three things are without prayer?
If your life is so crazy that you cannot carve out time that is predictable and uninterrupted and regular for prayer and prioritizing your to do list then by definition you are in “survival mode.” You are overwhelmed and your number one priority needs to first, before anything else, find that space so you can reflect and pray and start getting things back in order.
An average day to day for Jen: She has a babysitter come sometimes in the afternoon, and that is her time to catch up on paying bills, administrative stuff, some writing work. But when the babysitter leaves that marks the end of her “work time” and then it’s time for family time; we eat a family meal together, say evening prayers, really connecting with the family. Structuring your day intentionally and then living by it. And it’s hard.
When you’re a homeschooler, when you’re in a crazy season of life, it’s so important to pursue your creative passions but make sure the ones that you’re pursuing are ones that fill you with energy.
Posts mentioned in or related to this interview:
- The Secret to Not Being Overwhelmed at Conversion Diary
- meditation on the shocking idea that maybe we’re actually not just lazy whiners at Conversion Diary
- The Courage to Rest at Conversion Diary
- The Mental Neat Freak at Conversion Diary
We will be better mothers if we make time to do the things we know charge our batteries, give us energy, fill our well.
Dump all those swirling thoughts out of your head.
Yes, simply writing it all down will help to
- Reduce stress by getting your thoughts onto paper
- Reduce frustration by assigning homes to stuff, tangible & intangible
- Reduce anxiety by knowing what you have on your plate