writing

Dear Ann Voskamp, How do you do it all?

Dear Ann Voskamp,

First of all, I just love you. I love that you dare to write in a way that breaks all the rules and resonates in all the souls. I love that you are raw and real and messy and glorious in your faith. I love that you always, always point back to Jesus.

I met you once. At Allume in 2013. You were the reason I bought a ticket to my first ever writers conference and went because surely you weren’t as amazing in person as you were behind a screen.

But you were.

You were gracious and humble and spoke the way you write and being in your presence, I felt Jesus. He has touched you and your ministry and its impact  is felt in the masses and the trash heaps and you point it back to Him every time.

So, Ann Voskamp, you’re awesome.

But lately I’m a little disenchanted (okay a lot) with the internet. With blogs. With words flying all around these spaces and if one more persons asks me about my platform and unique visitors or mentions Facebook algorithms, I might just throw my fancy computer off my new back deck and wash my hands of it all.

Because, see, I’m homeschooling three out of four kids. One of whom has chronic health problems. One who is strong-willed. One who can’t hear because she has an earbud permanently stuck in one ear while she belts out show tunes from Wicked (thanks co-op for introducing her to that). I’m also editing for a magazine, freelance writing articles and blog posts for others, leading a critique group, and launching my debut novel. Somewhere in there I have a husband who wants attention and a new house that wants a lot of paint and a mind that craves a break.

People tell me I’m doing too much, but I look at people like you and I think, then how? How are you doing it friend? Do you have help? Grace? More patience? Less stuff? Because I’m drowning and tired and can’t figure out how I’m doing this wrong.

I have a dear, sweet friend who you would love and she might love you if she ever got on the internet. But she doesn’t. She learned a long time ago to remove that trigger from her own hypersensitivity. She told me I’m going to have to get out of the way and let God do the work because if I do it all, He doesn’t get the glory.

I know that’s true. But I don’t know how? Is it just an attitude adjustment or is there some secret weapon I’m not using? Like–maybe a housekeeper who works for free? A nanny? Some magic that will make it so I don’t need to sleep eight hours a night?

I have a million ideas and so many thoughts and things I want to say, but the physical act of putting them down requires time and effort and focus and sometimes, quiet. But I don’t get a lot of that anymore. And I know I could put them back in school, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m curious–why do I see so many people who are rocking the internet world and the homeschool world? How’s that working?

I love my family. I love writing. I love Jesus.

So what’s the deal? How are you doing it all?

Really, how are any of us?

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10 thoughts on “Dear Ann Voskamp, How do you do it all?

  1. I met Ann at a book signing for The Broken Way a couple weeks ago, and she could not have been more lovely. But my friend, I don’t think you could be more lovely either. I absolutely adore you. ❤

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  2. Love you Lindsey. Love Ann too. But your words must surely echo the hearts of Many women your age. I suspect Ann has lots of help and handlers and gatekeepers (which is only fair, given her vast influence). You and I maintain our own web stuff (several) and post our own blogs and respond to our emails. Even in my season, I want to throw my hands up in the air at times because of professional expectations… If you and your husband believe it is best to homeschool, something else may have to be put on the back burner for a season. But I’m not telling you what to do (honest)! I just feel your weariness and honest evaluation. Love you Hon

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    1. I think you nailed it, Cindy… it’s the maintenance that’s the drain. If I could happily write and someone else could deal with all the promotion/tech stuff, I’d be more than willing to “engage with my audience”. And this homeschooling… we shall see. I think its calling is only for this one season and I’m making it too hard.

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  3. YEP. I knew you could do it. Well done.
    And the things you’re saying about her, people probably say about you after meeting you at writer’s conferences. Seriously. But I don’t know it doesn’t feel that way. I’m not even homeschooling and two out of four of my kids are gone 7 hours a day, five days a week, and my husband still says, “How long has it been since you mopped in our bedroom?” And I say, “WHO MOPS THEIR BEDROOM?!” Anyway, not me, and apparently that’s something I was supposed to be doing all this time and no one told me.
    S0….I hope she answers. Because I want to hear what she has to say, but also I have a sneaking suspicion I know what her answer is going to be. You already said it. She’s going to point back to Jesus. She’s going to say that He’s the only way she does it. And my super-controller-self isn’t going to like that answer because I like to try to do it all myself and then throw up my hands because WHO CAN DO IT ALL BY THEMSELVES?
    Ann Voskamp and Jesus, that’s who.
    And, anyway, I still suspect that she fixes TV dinners a couple nights a week. So there.

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    1. As a self-confessed non-mopper of the master bathroom (we really don’t want to talk about its state), I’d say you’re doing more than enough too. We’re too hard on ourselves. Which is why we’re going to take the time to refresh our souls and each other soon. Like, after we survive Christmas. Don’t even get me started on that.

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  4. I loved the image of you throwing your computer off the deck because of the burden of PLATFORM. Keepin’ it real!
    And I think you’ve nailed the truth of it—we take on more than we are meant to bear at once. Do we dare to really chuck something off the deck? The thought is too, too tempting … !

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  5. I thought she must have helpers for some of it–Twitter at least!

    I can tell you as a homeschool mom myself, it’s hard for me, too, and I’m sure I’m doing less than you are, as I don’t have a book about to be published. I just do what I can and try to let the rest go, but I also have nights where I don’t get enough sleep.

    Let us know if you figure it out!

    Heather Bock
    http://www.glimpsesofjesus.com

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