When Writer’s Block Reveals a Stumbling Block…

An Easy Confession

Recently, my neighbor had joined us by the fire in our backyard.

(I love my neighbors. I feel that they genuinely like me and our family. Our street is this little slice of neighbor-heaven. It’s a judge-free, watch each other’s kids and bake each other keto-friendly strawberry pies kind of place. I’m one blessed girl. So, now that you have the backstory, you’ll understand why I can so freely share my heart with them. )

As we sat by the fire, our kids running around in the adjacent yards, torturing lightning bugs (aka fireflies), she asked if I was still writing, mentioning that she hadn’t seen anything shared on Facebook lately. Without hesitation, I admitted, “Not really. There are people in our town that don’t like me, and, honestly, I don’t want them reading it.”

The confession came so easily, and I can tell you from my heart of hearts that I was being 100% truthful in that moment.

In the Beginning

I realized eight years ago when I started this blog (formerly called “Ava & Isla”) that my posts wouldn’t always be liked, or praised, or even read. I understood that strangers from all across the globe would have instant access to the inner workings of our home, my life, and my brain. I accepted my destiny as a “writer”, because it was a passion I knew would never subside. I love writing. Oddly, I was never a diary-keeper, and I rarely wrote letters. Even as a Christian in my teens, it pained me to journal my thoughts to the Lord. But, the words were always in my heart, churning around in my soul, and when blogging became a known “thing” to me, I couldn’t imagine my life without this outlet. I still can’t. It’s a part of me. It’s become a huge part of my story.

I’ve said it before, when I started out, my intended audience was small – God and my four daughters. I wrote frequently for EJ, too, because in some way, I feel like my words here are like prayers at times, and by typing them out, I often imagine them traveling to Heaven in whispers. If it’s out here – really out here – then surely, EJ feels it and knows me better for it.

I’ll never forget the first time a woman reached out to me via email, thanking me for a post I had written. I couldn’t wait to show my husband. I swelled with such thankfulness. Each of her words was worth a thousand hugs from Jesus Himself to me. I knew then that if I could reach just one person with my transparency here, it was worth the late nights, the vulnerability, the risks… I wrote about my kids, my family and home, my illness, pregnancies, marriage, faith, and miscarriage with very little restraint. I held myself to a few very simple, yet vital, standards: honor my husband and kids with my words, respect their privacy as well as my own, remain honest and real, and write as if each post would be handed to Jesus in person for review and approval.

I’m sure I’ve failed along the way, but I have tried to cling to those standards. I am so proud of this space and the good it has done in my life. I’m so thankful for the people that take time from their already busy days to read what I write. I’m so humbled that I have even the slightest following. And I look forward to the future with excitement, because I know that this place is still just an early chapter in the bigger story I’m written into.

Shutting Down and Shutting Out

All that to say…I haven’t been here consistently for a long time by choice. I want to be here, but I took out a lock and key of sorts last year and must have subconsciously made the decision to shut everyone out.

You may know from some past posts that I have struggled with relationships. I am the type of friend who finds a select few people that I want to form sisterlike connections with and give it 100%. For the most part, I consider myself liked and respected, but in every bushel, you’ll inevitably get a bad apple or two. I’ve had my share of bad apples, and they’ve deeply affected my writing.

I don’t know about you, but if someone literally lives on social media but can’t hit the “Like” button when it’s a sweet pic of your kiddo or an updated profile pic, they should probably refrain from cyber-stalking, -bullying, gossiping, and trolling. and they most definitely are not a friend.

I always remained cautious of the strangers on the internet, but sadly, it’s been people within my community and even close circles at times that have been behind every memory of heartache associated with this blog. Texts suggesting that I dishonored my child by revealing that one is officially a professional fit-thrower and has caused me to stretch and grow every last parenting muscle in my being… calls late at night from people who have no active role in my life advising I take down posts… fellow Christian sisters spreading gossip like poison, as if my personal life was their tabloid… people who don’t give us the time of day contacting my husband at work to check on the state of our marriage… combative private messages, so no one can publicly see the daggers thrown… sitting silently in a room with people I wrote posts for, smiling as they sang the praises of the writers in the room, calling them by name, until they reached my chair…

These are the extremely watered-down realities that we’ve dealt with over the years, and it’s been a real struggle to continue to click that “New Post” button as time has trickled on. The more and more I deal with, the further and further my desire to write floats away from me.

When Writer’s Block Reveals a Stumbling Block

As I sat by the fire and admitted that to my neighbor, my friend, I realized the power that I had given to those few people and the power I had given to my pride. My writer’s block has been an act of defiance. It’s been as though I walked up to them and spilled my ink at their feet, saying, “No more. You no longer have access to my life, my heart, my family. No longer will I share with you the treasures the Lord is teaching me. You can’t have access to my dreams and hopes. You can’t even have access to recipes, for the love. I’m not giving you anything anymore, because you can’t be trusted with it and you certainly don’t value it.”

And, as He always does, Holy Spirit revealed the pride in that hurt and ugliness. If this blog truly is for Him and my girls, then why should it matter what they think of me and what I have to say?

I read a Bill Johnson quote today on a friend’s Insta Story, and it really hit home.

Your future is on the other side of a battle, your destiny is on the other side of the conflict and the only way to win the conflict is by using what God has said over your life.

Amen.

I know what He has said over my life, and it’s so good. It’s better than I deserve, tenfold. Nonetheless, He said it, and I believe it.

Jeremiah 29:11 is not a lie… He does have good plans for us. He plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. I’ve heard what He wants to do with little ole’ me, and, even though I don’t see how, I say, “Yes.”

Fresh Start and New Ink

My husband came to me about a month ago and made me a promise. He said that he believes in me. He sees what I am capable of in Christ, and he made the choice to get behind me as a writer and entrepreneur. One of my greatest weaknesses is understanding the technical stuff. (That’s his jam as a former IT Project Manager and now Project Manager in the marketing department of a major global company.) He’s so intelligent and just wired to understand all of the things that confuse the Nutella out of me. He has been researching blog terms, ebook ins and outs, best practices, etc. and has asked on multiple occasions why I haven’t invested any time into the goals set before us. I knew it wasn’t laziness or disinterest, but the motivation was missing. It was the crippling thorn of pride in my side. Every time I’d set out to write, I’d see those faces like scar tissue that had formed over my heart. Their faces overshadowed the faces of those four little girls I love and for whom I write.

Well, no more.

I’m back. I’m writing for them again. I’m writing for my husband, who is committed to helping me. I’m writing for my dad, who takes every opportunity to tell me how happy it makes him to read my posts. I’m writing for my neighbors, who enjoy getting to know this crazy homeschooling mom of four blondies (who often run shamelessly pantsless through the backyard). I’m writing for that exhausted mother of a strong-willed child who thinks that she’s the only one negotiating through multiple tantrums a day. I’m writing for that wife who wants to prepare a healthy meal and learn how to meal plan, so dinner isn’t a daunting task. I’m writing for the many who suffered miscarriages and need a woman who has walked through the muck and come out with the silver lining called hope. I’m writing for myself, because it’s a gift and an honor to be able to share so freely here. I’m writing for my God, because I believe it’s part of the story He’s planned for me, and to give it up would be such a poor choice on my part.

I’m writing for you, because you are here, and I no longer care as to why you are here. You may be here by accident. You may be here by choice. You may be my friend. You may be my foe. It doesn’t matter. You’re here, and I’ve promised to tell you the truth. I’ve chosen to give you the real-deal. And in return, you gave me a few minutes of your precious time, so thank you for that. I’m staring this conflict right in this face, and I’m so glad you’ll be there when I’m standing on the other side of the battle, victorious and able to write again.

writer

Be blessed.

xo,

Kristi

the pin-it party and blogger conference ‘golden nuggets’

welcome to the weekly pin-it party!  can you believe that it is november already?!  i can’t.  time to start planning ava’s 5th birthday party and preparing for christmas!  whoa, time flies!

did you all have a happy halloween / reformation day / beggar’s night / friday???  here’s a pic of our klover house ‘sweeties’.  

Our sweeties 😍 #handmade #costumes #edengrace #islarae #avalee #kloverhousekidsA photo posted by Kristi D (@kristi_kloverhouse) on Oct 10, 2014 at 4:53pm PDT

this was at the end of the night while visiting ‘pap-pap and nanny’.  the girls were tired, but eden was one proud pie (as my friend called her, and i loved the description!).  i made the pottery barn kids knock off costumes in two days and for about $45 total, so i think it was worth the long nights.  my mom always made our costumes growing up.  it made for some fond memories and i am happy to continue the tradition with our girls.

back to the party…

featured from last week:
“what i learned at my first blog conference” from kristy of seven graces.  as a mommy blogger, i absolutely loved this post.  i also love lists, so the format was right up my alley.  thank you, kristy, for sharing such a great and succinct list from your conference experience.  as a blogger who has yet to get to a conference, i certainly appreciated this post!

participating in the party is so easy!
here’s what to do:

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

paula from beauty through imperfection

becky from your modern family

gabrielle from MamaGab

me! kristi from klover house


2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make it easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share the love!

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. essentially, it’s your pin’s title.

***PLEASE NOTE*** if the post that your pin leads to contains any offensive or derogatory wording (e.g. profanity), i will not be able to feature your pin, no matter how great the article or how terrific the idea. the use of those terms simply doesn’t align with my personal convictions, and what we, at klover house, aim to promote. thank you in advance for understanding!

join the klover house family on facebook, pinterest, and twitter!
  

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longing for a ‘let down’ – nursing and sjogren’s

this will be brief – if i even know how to be brief *wink* – b/c it’s already after midnight, and my hands aren’t fading fast…they flat out went kaput like two days ago. i’m heading downstairs after this to try pumping just one more time. i promise this won’t be a nursing post, but it has something to do with what i’m dealing with. my supply has been rapidly fading since introducing formula. little peanut has grown substantially since doing so, so i have very mixed feelings. one thing i am feeling is a yearning. i yearn for the ‘let down.’ if miss e is my last, i am saddened to think, like a kicking babe in a womb, i will never get the chance to feel that sensation again. it’s not a good one; it’s not a bad one… it’s just a familiar one. you know it’s coming – the life source for your infant. for me, it was relief. “yes, thank you God that it’s still working.”  i would say that nearly every day for over ten months. and now, my physical appearance and the fact that eden just rejected a last-ditch effort to nurse five minutes ago, tells me that the ‘let down’ has let go.

another unfortunate sign of that fact is the pain. my fingers…my knees…my arms and legs. it’s back. it flooded in with a vengeance. my skin is splitting across my knuckles and folding laundry feels like juggling razor blades. it makes my thoughts revisit my trips to the rheumatologist after delivering isla. i made it just three months in nursing with her before this body shut down the pump. three months postpartum, the pain started…the nearly falling down stairs…the not being able to open a pickle jar to save my life… the rheumie said, no more babies. you could die. and to that i said, ‘see ya later, alligator,’ and went and got pregnant. eden turned out to be the most wonderful pregnancy yet, and after a painfree delivery – yes, i mean that – she is also the easiest baby. ever.

apparently, estrogen has a lot to do with the pain and inflammation in my joints, and b/c my body is shifting out of nursing-mode, the hormones are getting quite wacky. like straight up on drugs out of their mind kind of kooky. so, while they get their act together, i am going to try to surrender my control issues with the blog and the business. i’m going to start going to bed earlier and taking the best care of myself that i can while i fight this stuff physically, emotionally, and spiritually. i believe God healed me of my sjogren’s. i’m sticking to that. this may be a setback, but i will have a victory.

that said, please be patient with me, klover house, and eden gray! i’m not abandoning you. i’m not avoiding your comments, emails, or questions. the truth is that i’m fighting to type even this, and i have to pace myself or my little fingers will grow tight and curly and we can’t have that! i’ve got things to do and ppl to care for.

now, off to try to pump and hoping a ‘let down’ awaits.

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pin-it party time!

happy saturday, friends! it’s still cold and snowy in our neck of the woods. welcome to our weekly ‘pin-it party’. this has been a really great way to share what we have all been up to and pinning throughout the week. i always look forward to seeing the activities, ideas, articles, diys, etc. that people are sharing with us week after week.

with christmas around the corner, it’s no surprise that our featured pin from last week would be one involving gift-giving!
you can find it by clicking on this image:

if you have joined in before, then you know the drill. 🙂 if you are new to the process, here’s how to join the party…

if you’d like to link-up with us, simply follow the party rules and link away!

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make us easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share each others great ideas and make all of our lives run just a little bit smoother.

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. it will be how we determine what your pin is about when we all read it.

paula from beauty through imperfection
Beauty Through Imperfection

becky from your modern family

Becky M

gabrielle from MamaGab
MamaGab

danielle from snippets of inspiration

Snippets of Inspiration


me! kristi from klover house

happy pinning! xo, kristi

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saturday pin-it party #25!

happy saturday!  it’s a winter wonderland over here!  perfect day for getting cozy on the couch with a hot beverage and surfing pinterest, right?!  well, maybe if you get a few moments to yourself, anyway.  these days are busy, busy.

hope you find some inspiration in this week’s pins!

last week’s most visited pin was this one:

and it’s no wonder! pinterest definitely sends the most visitors my way! great advice from jelli!

if you are new to the process, here’s a run-down of the steps…

if you’d like to link-up with us, simply follow the party rules and link away!

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make us easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share each others great ideas and make all of our lives run just a little bit smoother.

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. it will be how we determine what your pin is about when we all read it.

paula from beauty through imperfection
Beauty Through Imperfection

becky from your modern family

Becky M

gabrielle from MamaGab
MamaGab

danielle from snippets of inspiration

Snippets of Inspiration


me! kristi from klover house

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link party #24 happy thanksgiving!

happy saturday, and happy early thanksgiving too!

i know that we’re not even through ‘turkey day’, which is one of my most favorite days of the year, and some of you don’t even want to think about christmas until after you put down the pumpkin pie, but…apparently a lot of you (myself included) are already getting a head-start on christmas gift ideas for those teachers in your life! last week’s most visited pin was this one:

hopefully, it’ll be a help to you, if you’re looking for some inspiration!
i’ll tell you that personally, one of the coolest gifts i ever received as a teacher was a picnic blanket! my kids and i use it constantly! and every time i use it, i think of that sweetheart that gifted it to me, and his mama, b/c i know that she’s the sweetheart behind his sweetheartedness. 😉

anyway…
if you are new to the process, here’s a run-down of the steps…

if you’d like to link-up with us, simply follow the party rules and link away!

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make us easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share each others great ideas and make all of our lives run just a little bit smoother.

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. it will be how we determine what your pin is about when we all read it.

paula from beauty through imperfection
Beauty Through Imperfection

becky from your modern family

Becky M

gabrielle from MamaGab
MamaGab

danielle from snippets of inspiration

Snippets of Inspiration


me! kristi from klover house

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pin-it party #23

happy saturday, everyone! man, i’m feeling like it’s groundhog day or something over here! these saturdays just keep rolling in! ever notice how screwy time is? i mean, you can wait for the weekend to come and it seems to take forever, or you can be so behind on everything (like muah) and want to add seven more hours to each day, b/c the week is over before you even checked off your monday’s to-do list!!! but the clock ticks all the same… how does that happen?!

anyway…i thank you all for stopping in to pin this week’s pins! maybe you could add a few on ‘time management’ for me? 🙂

some featured pins from last week’s link-up are:

and

(i love a yummy no-bake pie recipe and this one has 20 to try!)

if you are new to the process, here’s a run-down of the steps…

if you’d like to link-up with us, simply follow the party rules and link away!

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (this one)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make us easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share each others great ideas and make all of our lives run just a little bit smoother.

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. it will be how we determine what your pin is about when we all read it.

paula from beauty through imperfection
Beauty Through Imperfection

becky from your modern family

Becky M

gabrielle from MamaGab
MamaGab

danielle from snippets of inspiration

Snippets of Inspiration


me! kristi from klover house

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good find friday: week 7


articles (good to know):

modern christian homemaker brings us 15 uses for coffee grounds – who knew?!  i already do one of these simply by chance, but i learned some great new tricks through this as well!  i’m eager to try them out!

dave ramsey’s three easy ways to pay off a mortgage early – say what?!  😉  seriously, who wouldn’t want to pay off their mortgage earlier?  i love tips from trusted, God-fearing professionals.

deseed a pomegranate in 10 seconds – yep.  it works.  it’s beautiful.  you’re welcome.

dry, itching skin remedies – yay for ppl out there finding ways to help ridiculously dry ppl like me!  i will most certainly be keeping this page up all winter long.

articles (good for the soul):

sarah mae’s maybe your two year old just needs you – if i could (well, i could), i would love to just use sarah mae’s motherhood posts as a parenting devotional.  she gets right to the heart of everything that i am personally experiencing with my own babies.  check out her writings.  they will really hit you in the heart.

and, finally…10 marriage tips every WIFE needs to hear – i am sooo guilty of NOT doing many of these lately.  i hope you find it as motivating and helpful as i have today.

happy friday, my friends!  stop in tomorrow for the weekly pinterest link-up.  be blessed, and hope you have a healthy, fun, cozy weekend.

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pin-it party #21

happy saturday, everyone! time to party!

every week, you are invited to join us in linking up some of your most favorite pins or whatever it is that you’ve been up to lately! week after week, people are linking up so many fantastic things, and week after week, i am inspired, encouraged and motivated by all of the new material being shared here. recipes…tips…parenting posts…faith-building stories…crafts…you name it; it’s all here for you to check out! thank you in advance for linking up with us!  (yes, this is the same as last week, but you know what, that statement says it all for me!)

here’s last week’s most visited pin:

i added this to my christmas cookie board

if you’d like to link-up with us, simply follow the party rules and link away!

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (this one)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make us easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share each others great ideas and make all of our lives run just a little bit smoother.

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. it will be how we determine what your pin is about when we all read it.

paula from beauty through imperfection
Beauty Through Imperfection

becky from your modern family

Becky M

gabrielle from MamaGab
MamaGab

whitney from beauty in the mess
Beauty in the Mess

danielle from snippets of inspiration

Snippets of Inspiration


me! kristi from klover house

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good find friday: week 6


articles:

hands free mama’s ‘the important things about yelling’ – this is all too familiar. remember when i wrote this post on the mean act? well, it seems i can’t quite shake it. i mean seriously, isn’t there a better way to treat my children when my nerves are snapping? “With deep sorrow,” she writes, “I realized that was not the mother I wanted my children to grow up with, nor was it how I wanted to live the rest of my life.”  i’m in those shoes far too often.  this is a really great post for the stretched mama.

‘the measuring stick principle’ by a holy experience – this post is true revelation.  seriously.  you must read this if you are a female or the parent to females.  this is precious truth and wisdom.  i thank God for fellow humans that seek out the deeper things in life and share what they have learned in order to change the world we live in and the traps that try to snare us all.

for the home:

dreamy white bedrooms from remodelaholic i don’t know about you, but i love white spaces! i started out (in my first apartment) with very bold, deep colorful spaces (think pier one), and then, when my hubby and i got married, i tried my best to mellow out my bold, girly tendencies and make a homey space that fit us both. we had a lot of warm tones, dark woods (think pottery barn). now that we’re in a new house, and i am aging and growing in my tastes and styles (and learning his little by little – since most men are kind of mute when it comes to decor), i am craving more of a laid-back, clean, breezy feel when it comes to decorating. a designer friend gave me a name for my style and she couldn’t have been more right! scandi-chic. yep. that’s me! all that said, enjoy this post by remodelholic featuring some gorgeous, white spaces.

video: 

my hope with billy graham: the cross – lacey sturm formerly the lead vocalist of flyleaf and music artist, lecrae joined great evangelist, billy graham in delivering a moving message on the purpose and power of the cross.  a few excerpts from the video:

…but talk about the depth and the real meaning of the cross and it becomes offensive.  why is that?
the cross is offensive, because it confronts people.  even so, it’s a confrontation all of us must face.
the cross is offensive, because it directly confronts the evilness, which dominates so much of this world.
…because it demands a new lifestyle in all of us.  sin is a disease in the human heart.  it affects the mind, the will, the emotions…

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