Friday, March 12, 2010

A Course in How to Live, Part II

Over the years, our lessons became a new way of life. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I became stronger, braver, more willing to risk. I was no longer afraid to dream, to imagine what was possible, to take a plunge into something new.

A year after our youngest son moved on to college, I began to write for others. Why? Because my heart was urging me forward. Because the joy that met me when the words hit the page was the same joy that lit the eyes of my children when they began to read. I knew the beginning of something real, something I should pay attention to. They taught me that. I knew that I was choosing it for the best reason -- to help people. They taught me that, too. From them, I learned that the best life is not the one that I live for myself, but the one I find in making a difference for someone else.

It takes courage and imagination, side by side, to be a writer. Our experiences equipped me with both. I taught my sons to read and write. And this gave me lessons in how to live. Those lessons have made my emergence as a writer possible. My new life rises out of the life we lived together.

The gift which I gave to my family has become the gift they gave to me.

I started by writing about homeschooling. Here I had a natural platform. I could write about our experiences and our life together. But as I've spent a year writing, something else has happened.

I've begun to realize that homeschooling was our past, not my future.

I will always be different because we launched our own learning adventures. Like the children who went to Narnia and back, I am more alive, more real, after traversing that landscape. I will belong to it, and it to me, no matter where I travel from here. I will take the gift I was given into new places.

All of this is not to say that a book on homeschooling is not in my future somewhere. But I am reasonably sure it is not happening anytime soon.

Right now, my sons need to venture into the adult world without the magnifying glass of readers looking to see how homeschooling worked out for us. They need to decide, without the pressure of any expectations, how they will raise their own families and educate them. And I need to study the craft of writing while pursuing the kind of writing I think I may be called to do.

I'm excited about the life ahead of me. I've begun to work on longer projects. Right now, I'm writing passages for a book about finding the life we've always longed for in a relationship with God. I've a hunch that my audience will be broad and universal, extending well beyond the homeschool community. I hope there will be many books.

Another thing I've learned is that saying yes also means saying no. Not everything fits into a life. So for now, I will no longer be writing posts for Apple Pie. The blog will stay online for a few months so that people will have time to stop by and read about what's happened.

And in the meantime, I invite you to visit The Moonboat Cafe, where I'll be writing posts about the joyful life.


  1. You have become part of my morning routine and I will miss your thoughtful and spirit-led posts. While I understand your decision to move on to other callings, please know how much I have enjoyed your beautiful writing skill, and my prayers go with you!

  2. Blessings as you continue writing what you will and must - can't wait to find your words in those places. Will miss reading Pie. Thanks for leaving up your posts for a time; they are a kindness to my wandering-busy mind, a place to where I can return for perspective and alignment!

  3. Lucia and Julie-

    I am not going anywhere!! I will be right next door at the Moonboat and Light for My Lamp. Come visit me there. Every day.

    Three blogs is just too much to keep up with for a long time while writing books, helping other women, going back to school, and not being settled in a home of our own. I have to pick a focus and do fewer things so that I can do any of them well and consistently!

    I'm looking forward to seeing some of your writing one of these days on a blog -- both of you!

    Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and affirmations! Bless you!

  4. I'm sorry to hear you will no longer be posting here at Apple Pie. However, I certainly understand that to everything there is a season.

    The topic of finding the life we've always longed for in a relationship with God sounds like a great one!

    I'm glad you'll still be sharing with us over at Moonboat Cafe!

    Take care!

  5. I certainly understand the freeing power and necessity of "no" and will "yes" hop over and keep on following you on Moonboat and Light for My Lamp!

    Thank you for Apple Pie. Your posts have pushed me along, encouraged me as a wife, mother and homeschool teacher. Often just what I needed at the moment!

  6. Karen and Tricia,

    I have so appreciated having your presence here at Apple Pie! Thanks for supportng and encouraging me. I'll look forward to sharing with you on The Moonboat and Light for My Lamp.

  7. Oh my goodness! I hadnt seen a post from you in a while, and for some reason I had missed your last post. I was heading on over here to leave you a comment praying all was well with you and your family! Glad it is, and heading over to the moonboat now :)

  8. OH MY! There is something special for you on benmakesten if you can stop in to receive it!
    Please feel free to take it along to your NEW blog with you as I didn't realize Apple Pie was ending...and yet, I know you will continue to be a ray of encouragement to others no matter WHERE you post your writings! God bless you in your new ventures Cassandra!

  9. Writing a book is an awesome project, both overwhelming and rewarding. It is wonderful that you are pursuing your dreams. Yes, saying "NO" is an art that has taken me my whole adulthood to learn. Look forward to reading your book. :-)

  10. In whatever you decide to do, know that you will be missed. Thanks for all your posts!


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