Happy One Year House!

We officially closed on our current house on October 21 of last year. We spent time cleaning and gathering our stuff from the several places it was stored. Our first official night in the house was the 31st; we were literally moving in the last of the stuff as the trick-or-treating was in progress. So, this week we’re celebrating:

Happy Birthday, Rainbow House!

It’s leaf time again… here are some photos of your first year…

Writing in the present

Last week I shared how I realized about a year ago that I had always been curious about language and how I began setting aside time and space to write. Well, I wouldn’t have believed it if you had told me, but after a couple months pursuing time to write led to this blog. I knew it would take courage for me to share my writing and I needed some accountability in the discipline of making time for it.

What started out as a discipline and then something I shared with friends and family allowed me to begin to see themes and patterns in my writing. Still when people asked me: What do you write about? I had no idea how to answer. A natural question to “I’m spending time writing” yet the verbal lover was speechless.

I had more ideas than I had focus to pursue, so I tried to be patient and enjoy the process… and I did! Writing consistently has been therapeutic for my soul and eventually, I started working on a book. I had written various pieces and submitted them here and there in an effort to persist, but suddenly, words and ideas were taking shape and I felt compelled to write them.

I began writing the non-fiction book in April and wrote steadily for four months. I have a complete outline for ten chapters and I’m up to 24, 000 words. I took a break at the end of summer and haven’t had the enthusiasm to continue the last few months, but again, I’m letting it develop on its own timeline.

Meanwhile, I have renewed enthusiasm for the start of the blog’s second year and a clarity of focus for the direction it’s headed in. I streamlined all my posts (past and future) into three categories and added a page announcing that I’m available for freelance work.

I still have more ideas up my sleeve than time to act on them, but for the moment, I’m working on establishing the blog’s direction, a presence on social media and pursuing freelance work, locally and online.

You can help! Do you know anyone who would be encouraged by reading this blog? How about a business that needs copywriting services? Spread the word!

How to create some Daily & Weekly Rest Rhythms (Chapter 2, part 2)

In regard to Sabbath-keeping, Kent says, “There are no rules, except this: just stop.” When God sentenced the Israelites to 40 years of wilderness wandering, He said, “they shall never enter my rest.” Doesn’t that sound awful? Perpetual wandering. We are invited into His rest.

Kent says, “rest is a gift, but we can’t receive it if we don’t stop to open it.” Sabbath-keeping is not about checking a list. It is a way of asking yourself and those closest to you, what does it look like to stop? How can we receive the gift of His rest?

today?

this week?

this month?

Daily

Our bodies are amazing in many ways and one of these I’ve lately been discovering is connected to our circadian rhythm. Light, time and hormones work together to cue us in to when it is day and when it is night. We have times that we are more or less alert throughout the day, times we are more ready to work, to eat or to relax.

While we sleep, our bodies also have rhythms or cycles that have different purposes. Scientists believe that one part of our sleep pattern helps to restore our bodies, while another helps to restore our minds. Isn’t that amazing?

Research shows that going to bed, and especially getting up at a consistent time can help you to feel more physically and mentally alert. There have also been countless magazine articles written to suggest routines before going to bed or upon waking. These are one way to rest regularly.

Are there also ways to integrate rest into your day? Maybe a 10-minute walk on your coffee break? Maybe turning the radio on while you are getting ready for the day?

Weekly

Sabbath, specifically, is about setting apart a day, a 24-hour period of rest. Which day and what “stopping” looks like may vary, but here is one example. We see in the Creation story and the Jewish tradition that the day actually began with sunset.

According to Kent, traditionally the Hebrew day was broken apart like this:

  • 6pm-10pm: 4 hours available for relationships
  • 10pm-6am: 8 hours available for sleep
  • 6am-6pm: 12 hours available for productivity and work

How does that compare with how we spend our time today?

Most of us are not farmers, use electricity and depend on technology for everything from entertainment to relational connection. I’m not suggesting we return to the past, but I challenge you to consider the rhythm of your week-to-week.

Do you have any rest built in? Is there one thing you could do to create some rest today? 

If you are curious to learn more, read chapter 2 of Keri Wyatt Kent’s book Rest, available here. Join us next week for chapter 3!

Eating seasonally: Fall foods?

Last Friday, I asked which food staples you keep on hand. This week I want to know how these staples adjust with the seasons, or do they? How does your fall pantry look different from summer?

For example, I keep fresh berries on hand in the summer, but now have switched to frozen. I also usually buy pomegranate seeds in the fall to add to salads, and squash to add to soups or as a dinner side. Most of my basics stay the same though – we eat tacos anytime of year!

How about you? What are your favorite fall staples?

Writing in the past

My family likes to tease me: “She was born talking,” they’d say. I was verbal at months and by kindergarten, when asked if I could count to 100 yet, there may have been some concern that I wouldn’t stop counting.

Sometime in elementary school, I started a cousins newsletter. My dad’s siblings were spread in five states and our every other year beach trips seemed far away. I wanted a way for the family to stay in touch, so I requested that each Hiteshew family send news of their latest happenings as well as jokes to share.

Now this was prior to facebook and other social media so the family had to actually snail mail me! Then each quarter I’d put all the family news into a template I created and send a copy to each household. It was fun, and it was work that I eventually gave up.

In high school, I loved my English classes, eventually taking AP, and also helped with the yearbook. I also took Latin and French which introduced me to language as both an art and a science. In college, I entered pre-law, quickly switched to undeclared and then briefly considered JMU’s School of Media Arts and Design. I sometimes wonder if I should have persisted in this a bit longer as some of the technological skills would be helpful now, but I took one news writing class and hated how brief my sentences were encouraged to be!

Where was the opportunity to use big words and creativity? To analyze the depths of literature? Hello, English department. Sure, I’ll take French too. Reading and writing in two languages sounds great. Add on a translation minor, why not? During a translation internship my senior year, I wrote an article that was published in the American Translators Association newsletter.

After graduation, I did some freelance translating work as well as work as a project manager, editing and overseeing translation and brand name analysis projects. It was interesting work and the opportunity to meet people worldwide was incredible, but I was working 60-80 hours/week and I felt like I was missing out on life.

I also realized for the first time that not everyone liked kids nor enjoyed being around them. I mean, this was actually news to me; I was surprised! I remembered my Papa’s (maternal grandfather’s) suggestions that perhaps I would be a teacher one day and I suddenly wondered how he knew me better than I knew myself.

I decided to go to graduate school for a Masters in Teaching and during that year did A LOT of writing. Since then, most of my writing has been curriculum-related, whether I’ve been creating lesson plans for myself or others, or training others how to practically implement a plan.

Turns out I’ve always loved language and literacy. Speaking, listening, reading, writing… these elements even lie behind my curiousity about early childhood and the primary years. How do humans develop the ability to use language? is a question that fascinates me.

About a year ago, I realized that I wanted to pursue writing again for myself because I missed spending time reading, thinking, writing like I did in college. I had no idea what pursuing writing meant, but I started setting aside time and space…

Next week: Writing in the present

 

10 Jobs I Worked before Copywriting

  • babysitter
  • teaching assistant to French professor
  • burrito-maker (line server/cashier at Qdoba)
  • after school care
  • project manager (Choice Translating)
  • infant and toddler care (The Growing Place)
  • K-5th teacher/sub (Pickens County, Mead, District 81 Spokane, Central Valley, private school)
  • bookseller (Barnes & Noble)
  • Kids Lead (Soma Communities)
  • preschool assistant/teacher/aide/specialist (private school, Headstart)

New: Professional Freelance Copywriter

 

Why we need Rest as a Rhythm (chapter 2, part 1)

I missed chapter 1! Read here

In chapter 2 of Rest, Keri shares how performance experts have noticed that tennis games between top performers are usually won based on how effectively players use their time in between points. So, rather than one player having more perfect strokes, the game is often determined based on routines that allow one player to recover better during the seconds between. Does that surprise you?

Similarly, Keri shares her husband’s perspective on what happens to muscles when they are at work and in rest: “When you work to failure, the muscle fibers actually break down… Then when you rest, blood flows into the muscles and they rebuild themselves.” Did you know that your muscles have to rest in order to grow?

Growing mental strength works similarly. By taking risks, you actually re-train your brain in the face of fear. So every time Jeremy and I climb we are exercising not only physically, but also engaging our mind in fear-fighting and problem-solving.

Keri suggests that soul rest is equally necessary for growth. She says many of us “are never fully engaged, and we never take time to disengage.” Keeping Sabbath is about living life to almost the point of “muscle failure” and then stopping to rest. Because we stop, we can go fully.

At first, stopping to rest seems like it will make us busier, but then we realize that it feels like a luxury and it is indeed a gift. It is “actually the secret to getting more done, to understanding and living our true priorities, to enjoying our lives, and to experiencing the presence of God.” What do you think? Would you be willing to rest in order to be more productive?

If you are curious to learn more, read chapter 2 of Keri Wyatt Kent’s book Rest, available here. Join us next week for chapter 2, part 2!