the joy of working from home

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This is my view this week.

My youngest and I ran away to the lake again. The joy in running away is we don’t have a plan or a schedule. We don’t have a set time to arrive and we don’t always know how long we will be here. My mom graciously lets us hang out until we get water logged and sunburned and ready to go home. There’s food in the fridge and a washer when we run out of clean clothes. It’s a really good gig!

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As they were walking out the door to go to town to look for craft supplies for Ellen, my Mom said, “I’m sorry you have to work or you could go with us!”

To which I replied, “I’m so glad to be working from here!”

This is the joy of working from home.

I can work from anywhere.

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Ok… maybe not anywhere because who wants to work while kayaking?

The joy of working from home means I simply need my phone, my computer, and a wifi connection. I can work  while my girl spends time with her grandma, fishes, kayaks, paddleboards, and binge watches Fixer Upper.

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After spending my time away from home to earn an income, I realized I can’t get that time behind a desk back.

Life is short. We all get a certain number of days and I’m learning to put a high price on my time. I’m learning to run away, to chase sunsets, and to spend time face to face with my friends and family.

In doing so, I’ve discovered the hidden joy of working from anywhere… I get to be with those I love the most.

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when the words slide off the page

I had it all arranged, the paragraphs, the indents, the white space. The structure was sound, the arrangement was balanced. It looked good. I could tell you the outline and I could describe the characters. I didn’t know subplots, just yet, but I could tell you knew where the story was headed, where it would go, and how it would end. I had it all figured out.

Suddenly, though, all the words just slid off the page into a mountain of typeset letters piled high. I had a white computer screen and a jumbled mess. I was dumbfounded.

This was part of a dream I had this week. I have spent much time, this summer, contemplating life, mostly where I am and where I want to be. Apparently, my sub-conscience was in overdrive the other night because I would guess this dream was more reality than fantasy.

Here’s the thing. When I first woke up, I wigged out. Wild, random thoughts filled my mind.

“Does this mean I’m done writing?”

“If written all my life, in one form or another. What will I do?”

“Have I lost my purpose?”

A few cups of coffee, a little time, and a whole lot of Jesus helped settle me down and put things back in their right perspective.

I haven’t written much this summer. It’s been quiet here on the blog, quiet in my journals, quiet in my next book. As quiet as it’s been here and there, it’s not been quiet in my real life. Instead of writing, I’ve been talking to and connecting with women daily.

One of the greatest blessings of coming home to work is the connections I have made with so many women who are either doing the same thing or are seeking to be able to do it. I’ve been able to share my story and encourage others to pursue their God-given gifts and abilities to find ways to work from home (feel free to join our Facebook group for inspiration and encouragement).

I am finding deep purpose in meeting women where they are and connecting them with where they want to be. It’s not rocket science and I’m obviously not the first person to do this. However, God keeps bringing women to me and I keep answer the question, “How can I do what you are doing?”

I’ve lived long enough to know that life is full of seasons. This is my season to share with women.

So, back to the dream. I figured out what it meant. Last week, I was sent a writing proposal. This morning, I sent a heartfelt apology and turned it down. Thankfully my publishing friend responded with grace and understanding and I learned a little bit more about myself.

Mostly this, when the words slide off the page, it’s time to turn to the next adventure.

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in the quiet…

It’s been quiet around here. Again.

So many thoughts and snippets of posts float in and out of my mind. I open Facebook, either for my work or for myself, and any thoughts I have had get drowned out by the noise. In the loud, none of my thoughts or snippets stick.

It’s loud and it’s getting louder.

I feel as though the music in this great orchestra called Life just hit another crescendo. A moment when all the instruments turned up their volume just a bit to be heard. Only, in this moment, instead of all instruments being in precise tune and rhythm with one another playing along in symphonic harmony, this tune has everyone is playing their own music, rhythm, and speed. With every newsworthy event, the noise simply gets louder.

It sounds awful.

The noise is this culture in which we live. It is a culture that judges harshly and calls each other out loud, all over invisible platforms called social media. Everyone has an opinion and no one is afraid to use theirs… strongly. The name calling becomes resounding as those who judged are then judged for judging. The sound of fingers tapping on keyboards is drowned out by the verbal attack posts using CAPITAL LETTERS.

In the noise, none of my thoughts stick.

I’ve closed my computer more than a few times, lately, and walked away from the crescendo. In doing so, I’ve come to remember something I quickly forget. When I close my computer and turn off the TV, it’s remarkably quiet, mostly peaceful, and I can hear my thoughts again. Sometimes, the noise in my world becomes overwhelming because of things that happen that are out of my control. Other times, it’s because I’ve let the noise of others drown out the sounds of my real life.

The joy comes in turning off the noise that is drowning out this one life I live.

This week, I’ve heard the heartbeat of my family around a game table and the sound of my son’s voice when he calls just to check on our weekend plans. I’ve heard the giggles of girl cousins and the conversation of sisters. In the quiet today, I hear the music of wind rustling green leaves and the rhythm of the mower cutting blades of grass. I hear the sweet sound of children laughing and the tunes of my girl singing over the whirl of the mower engine.

In the quiet, I hear the words I almost missed.

In the quiet, the symphony is beautiful.

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those white spaces in our stories

Have you ever noticed that a good book has a lot of white space?

Sometimes the white space is extra wide margins around the words on the page. Other times, there are a few empty lines between paragraphs when the scene of the story changes. Some stories even have full pages of nothing between the chapters.

Are you one who pauses and slows down for those breaks intending to savor the experience?

Or, are you more like me?

Do you read to get to the end so quickly that your eyes skim over the margins and the spaces not allowing your brain to register the intended rest?

The placement of white space in books didn’t mean much to me until I wrote my first story. Like other authors, I spent time studying white space. I discovered that there are purposes and strategies to inserting white space within the pages of a good book. I added the pauses on the pages, between the paragraphs, and at the end of the chapters of my books on purpose.

Those who live life well know that white space goes beyond the pages of a good book.

White space is those moments in our lives that slow us down and renew our purpose. It deepens our relationships, widens our vision, decreases our stress, and increases our health.

White space appears in our stories when we put it there.

White space allows us to say NO! to the rat race, the need to please, the misconceptions of contentment, and the ridiculousness of who likes this and who shares that.

White space gives me opportunities to say YES! to quiet moments alone, homemade meals around the table, conversations in real life, and slow days at home.

A life well-lived is a life with white space strategically placed on the pages of daily life, between the paragraphs of changing scenes, and at the end of the chapters.

Sometimes I need to remind myself that I get but one chance to live this story of my life. While I can go back in my memory and re-read parts of my story, I don’t get to relive it. I don’t get a do-over on the things I missed.

Instead, I get today to add some white space around my minutes, some breaks between scene changes, and some even maybe a page of nothing now and then.

I don’t want to rush to the end of this book. I’m learning to slow down and savor the white spaces in my story.

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her gain is good

The longer I do this work from home gig that I love so much, the more questions I get. My favorite, by far, was when my friend leaned her elbow on the open window of her car and looked me square in the eye, “Is what you’re doing truly legit?”

I promise it is and I also promise just about anyone can do it.

I’ve had so many people ask questions, I decided to create a Facebook group where we can be encouraged in our desires to work from home. The title is based on the Proverbs 31 woman who was financially savvy and found ways to bring in an income for her family.

If you are a Christian woman looking to find ways to work from home, come join our little community. You’re welcome here!

She senses that her gain is good;Her lamp does not go out at night.
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your story can be a happily ever after… if you want it

I wrote a short story today, just for fun. It was a parody of my life written in the form of Grimm’s fairy tales.

 

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because what else do you do with your 1st grade school picture?

Once upon a time…. or so the story went on in fairy tale form, complete with the plot twits that real life brings. I spoke of a young girl with big brown eyes and long brown braids who grew up with larger than life aspirations and dreams. Over time and change, some aspirations died and others sprang up, and some dreams came true and some laid dormant, growing silently in the dark.

 

In writing my real life fairy tale, today, I remembered that there was a season, not so long ago, that I thought those dreams had withered and died. I wanted my fairy tale to have a happily ever after, I just didn’t know where to find it.

I began by digging for buried treasure… the treasure of my long abandoned dreams. At first, I had a hard time digging deep enough to find them buried under the stuff of life. I had to move out the junk that filled my heart. I dug past disappointments and discouragement. I pushed aside the old, smelly bandages of old wounds and grief. I let go of the negativity that filled me to the brim. Slowly, ever so slowly, my dreams became more visible.

The process of digging deep didn’t happen overnight or even over one year. It’s been a journey all of it’s own complete with agony, gloom, and despair. Well… maybe not quite, but there were certainly moments I wasn’t sure facing the ugly in my heart was worth unearthing the dream that lie beneath. I simply knew I wanted more.

I wanted to live happily ever after.

Digging for my buried treasure did more than reveal my hidden dreams, it prepared my heart to be a place where old dreams and new aspirations could grow and flourish together. Moving out the junk and stuff that I had allowed to accumulate revealed my happily ever after. www.heidikreider.com (2)

It has deepened my faith and made me a better wife and mom. It’s made me love Jesus more and love my man and my kids better. I am a better friend. I have more room in my heart to love people. I listen more and judge less.

 

I’m a work in progress and so is my happily ever after. I haven’t arrived yet. I’m not to The End yet. I’m okay with that because this the kind of happily ever after I want.

 

why it’s important to dream while your story is unfolding

Why it's important to dreamwhile your story is unfolding

Dreams.
Aspirations.
Ambitions.
It doesn’t matter what you call them. These are the thoughts down deep in your soul that keep you awake at night and the yearnings in your heart that keep you going during the day. They are the ideas you can’t shake and the visions of hope when all seems lost. Dreams add sparkle to your bright days and they light up your path in the dark.
I’m a dreamer who sometimes forgets to dream.
I have let the noise around me distract me from the tune in my heart. Sometimes the tyranny of the urgent pushes my ambitions aside and other times my dreams fade quietly because I lack the time or drive to keep them alive.
Lately, I’ve watched my kids chasing their dreams. It’s amazing to see them developing ambitions and pursing their passions. They see the future through the lens of the young, bright and beautiful. They pursue their aspirations with courage.
For a time I envied them. Until I remember that I, too, have courage and I can have aspirations greater than making sure there is milk in the refrigerator, gas in my vehicle, or clean jeans to wear.
I used to dream big, fluffy, fun dreams full of hope for the future. I’m learning to do so again because my story is still unfolding. It’s not done yet and neither am I. I have things I still want to do and places I still want to go.
Care to join me?
Dream a little, my friend, because your story is still unfolding too. What is it you aspire to do? What is your greatest ambition? Pursue it and see where it takes you. You might just be surprised by what wells up inside of you.
Call it what you will, just don’t lose sight of it.
Your dreams are what keep you going while your story is unfolding.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.~Walt Disney