What a Panic Attack Feels Like

What does a panic attack feel like? One perspective at vicki-arnold.com

You can probably guess that this isn’t a typical post around here. I started having panic attacks in October 2013 and it’s been a long journey to sort things out ever since.

One of the things that I kept looking for in the beginning was someone else’s story. I desperately needed to know I wasn’t alone, but I couldn’t find anything. At that time, I knew I would write about this someday, but it has taken almost a full year for me to be able to do that.

This post wasn’t easy to write by any stretch of the imagination. Reliving one of the worst nights of your life never can be. However, I know that God has purpose for this. For whatever reason, He has allowed these to touch my life. On this side of things, I have some ideas of why, but that is not for today nor do I pretend to have it all figured out.

Today is for sharing what it is like to have a panic attack. To help that “random” person searching on the internet for “what a panic attack feels like” to know they aren’t going crazy, because I was there not terribly long ago.

To help those who think they know how to fix people having panic attacks, but have been fortunate enough to never have experienced one, to have a glimpse of what it is actually like to go through one of these.

As a final disclaimer, I am not saying this is exactly how EVERY panic attack feels like. I can’t know that. I am simply telling you what my first regular attack felt like. So here goes nothing…and everything.

What a Panic Attack Feels Like

My eyes are closed and I am starting to drift off to sleep. Suddenly, I feel a rush of energy and my eyes literally pop open. I am suddenly frantic as adrenaline surges.

My heart starts to pound and my breathing is picking up speed, as if I’ve just ran a mile. I head to the bathroom, where I can turn on a light, the darkness is palpable.

I can’t quite figure out what I’m doing. My hands are shaking and my feet are cold. I can’t stop moving, even little movements help.

I remember that this happened once before and try to tell myself that I’m being irrational. If I can just calm myself down, I can get through this.

It’s not working.

I grab my Bible because I know the Word of God is alive and powerful. I take my waterproof copy to the shower because water has always been soothing to me. I am in the shower for less than two minutes because I can’t sit or stand still.

I feel like I should cry, but can’t. I am pacing and shaking.

I open to the book of Psalms and start reading. I want to read out loud, but my mouth doesn’t feel capable of moving at this point. I keep reading. My heart still pounds and now there is a feeling of being strangled creeping up from my chest to the base of my neck.

“Jesus, help me.” is all I can manage to mutter as I start to feel as though I am surely dying. My stomach starts to turn in knots. I’m now doubled over, but this doesn’t help my breathing so I straighten.

I can’t make my eyes focus on the words anymore so I set it down and begin to sing Revelation Song in my head.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, Holy, Holy is He.”

Every part of my being is crying out to him. And then it starts. The whispered what ifs, they start small and I can handle them.

“What if you wake your husband up? He has to get up early…”

It’s ok, he’s sleeping soundly.

“What if this is a heart attack?”

No, I tell myself. No. But, wait. Why are my arms numb? No! We’ve been here before. This is a product of my struggling adrenal glands and the resulting hormonal mess that is my body right now.

“Did you check on the baby? What if he isn’t just sleeping soundly?”

No. He is sleeping soundly. Safely. He is fine, I will not wake him because I am a mess.

They start coming faster and more furious. I rebuke them just as quick, but the fear persists. I rebuke. I cast out. I cut off. All in Jesus name, the name above all names. I believe with all I have. I know this is nothing bigger than He. The funny thing about panic is that it is anything but rational.

Then, quietly, the next wave starts.

“Ah, ye of little faith…faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains. Just how small is your faith?”

And this attack leaves me scrambling because I don’t know how to answer. Because the truth is, the truth I know with all my heart is that I am nothing without Him. I am weak, it is only through Christ that I have any semblance of strength. It has never been more clear to me than at this moment. I control nothing.

And right now, I’m exhausted. I’ve not cried any tears, but I feel as though I’ve spent hours doing just that. My eyes want to close, but the moment my eyelids drop, my body goes into fight-or-flight mode. I bring my Bible back out and focus on Psalm 3.

“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.”

My racing heart is slowing and my breathing is steadying.

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Worship His holy name.”

I am able to stop pacing, but my body is humming with energy. Step by step, I work my way to bed. I try sitting. I try laying down, but my heart and mind start to race. I get back up.

Finally, I am able to lay back in a semi-upright position, with my Bible open on my chest and allow my eyes to close off and on.

The last time I see the clock before drifting into a fitful sleep, it is a full three hours after I first got up.

“Lord, I need You. Oh, I need You. Every hour I need You. My one defense, my righteousness. Oh, God, how I need You!”

This song was what finally brought the tears…three days later.

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Ministries Making a Difference Around the World

Ministries Making a Difference Around the World - Together we really can change the world.

Together we can change the world.

One of the reasons I love my church family is their heart for reaching out to help marginalized people. Our missions board organizes an annual International Fair Trade Expo each year. It was there that I learned about many ministries working to make the world a better place for marginalized people across the globe.

I’ve wanted to create an informational post for a long time to highlight ways that everyday people like you and me can have a global impact. The time has come for me to just do it. I started this list with those I knew about and then took to Facebook to ask my friends. They didn’t let me down.

I’d like to challenge you to read through this list and then turn to prayer to see where God may be leading you to help. Together we really can change the world.

Ministries Making a Difference Around the World

  • Compassion International – Sponsors financially support children from all over the world. Sponsorship is just a small portion of what Compassion does.
  • Samaritan’s Purse – Their most known program is Operation Christmas Child, but they also have ministries to aid in crisis situations, natural disasters, support military veterans, and more.
  • Children’s Hunger Fund – Literally feeding the hungry children around the world. Each $1 you donate provides 20 meals.
  • Restore Haiti – A ministry that provides medical, educational, and nutritional needs in Haiti. You can sponsor children through them as well.
  • Youth With a Mission – Connecting willing workers with projects all over the world.
  • American Leprosy Missions – Curing and caring for people with leprosy. They also recently worked in the Ebola outbreak.
  • Living Hope – Works with at-risk kids to provide emotional, physical, social, and educational needs.
  • Matthew 25 Ministries – Provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world.
  • Word Made Flesh – Works in the poorest of communities, serving children who work in sewers or the streets; women forced into the sex industry; and children soldiers fighting in civil wars.
  • Amani Ya Juu – Means “higher peace” in Swahili. This ministry serves marginalized women in Africa, teaching them to sew and run a business. The fair trade products you can purchase through their website directly helps a woman who has nothing.
  • Wipe Every Tear – Rescues girls and women from the sex trade industry in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
  • RecycloCraftz – This ministry works with widowed, unemployed, and orphaned women to help them create a business to support them and their children in Zambia.
  • Education and More – Educating children and aiming to reduce poverty in Guatemala.
  • Sari Bari – Sari Bari works with women in India’s red-light district. These women have heartbreaking stories that start at very young ages. The ministry teaches them to sew and they make beautiful blankets out of recycled cotton saris.
  • World Gospel Outreach  – Works with the poor in Honduras.
  • Samaritan’s Creations – Beautiful jewelry and accessories created by Thai women whom the ministry has rescued from Bangkok’s red-light district.
  • Mission Lazarus – A ministry that works to provide educational, medical, agricultural, and spiritual help to those in Honduras and Haiti.
  • Medical Ambassadors International – Providing medical help worldwide.
  • Community Livestock Integrated Development Consultancy – Located in Uganda, CLIDE works in the area of community development.
  • Gospel for Asia – Focusing on the 10/40 window, you can sponsor a child or a missionary to help spread Christ’s love and provision.
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief – A wide range of services provided.
  • Insight Resources International, Inc. – Entrepreneurial guidance for people, businesses, and communities around the world.
  • New Missions – Another option for sponsoring a child’s needs in Haiti.

As you can see, you can support these ministries by donating funds or buying items created by the people (largely women) your money will help. Consider doing holiday or birthday shopping with one of these ministries online or finding a local fair trade store.

My Summer Reading List Plus Other Resources

Summer reading is in full swing around here. Today I am going to share some summer reading resources along with my summer reading list. Let’s dig in!

My Summer Reading List Plus Resources

Every new year, I make a list of books I want to read in that year. Some years I read them all, others I barely finish one. The last couple years have been like the latter. I’ve been so busy with homeschooling, blogging, and social media that reading real books has fallen down the priority list. I decided to change that last month.

Actually, that’s part of the reason you haven’t seen much of me here lately. I’ve been busy putting my house and priorities back in order. Seems to be a regular happening for me. I keep telling myself one of these days I’ll get it right, but who knows? All I know is that when my priorities shift from where they should be, everything suffers.

The one book that is not included in my picture, but is a consistent read for me when my priorities are in line, is my Bible. I’ve been intentional the last six weeks to make sure that the very first thing I do when I get up is read at least one chapter in my Bible. I made it through Matthew in May and moved on to Mark. It helps set my perspective for the day.

After I read my Bible, I usually take the time to read some of my current book. I use this time to encourage me in a specific area. I read a lot of encouragement in the homeschooling area last month. Specifically, I worked my way through Zan Tyler’s 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential. I will be reviewing it here on the blog, but you don’t have to wait for that. It’s a GREAT book.

My Summer Reading List

No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are by Jill Savage & Kathy Koch – I’m skimming through this one, honestly. It’s a good companion for Zan’s book. Encouragement to honor how God created your child to be someone specific with a unique path.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; and Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis – We recently watched the three movies and it encouraged me to finally read this series. I am reading this with the kids. Yes, I am reading out loud, but the real shocker is that I’m enjoying it. See? Homeschooling has a way of changing you. 😉

Blog, Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho – I’ll be honest, the thing that attracts me to this book the most is the interviews with other bloggers. I love seeing how other bloggers define success and how they reach it. I’m sure I’ll pick up some other helpful tips related to actually blogging, but that will just be icing on the cake for me.

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions by John Avery Whittaker – This has been on my list to use for a while, but never actually picked it up. I’ve always wanted to do mealtime devotions with my kids, but never put legs to that. I’m using this book to do just that. We won’t make it through it completely this summer, but that’s ok.

Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford – I got this for Mother’s Day, per my request. It just seemed like encouragement I need right now.

An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, & Vannetta Chapman – This is the very first Amish fiction I’ve ever read. It is four novellas in one nice sized book. I actually have finished this one already and you can look for a review on it soon.

Christian Unschooling by Teri J. Brown – This is a reread for me. Homeschooling encouragement for my slightly weary homeschooling mama heart.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – A fiction book that I picked up after Kelly reviewed it on The Library Adventure. Editing Kelly’s posts is actually a double-edged sword. I find great books and want to add them all to my to read list, but that list is already quite large. Eh, I’ll take that problem.

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! by Holly Homer & Rachel Miller – I’m sort of, kind of wanting to challenge myself this summer. After telling more than one person that I’m not a “fun mom” I realized I’d like that not to mean I’m a “boring, put everything off for SOMEday” mom. We’re going to do something from this book, hopefully a few somethings. I’ll be sure to tell you about it.

Lead Your Family Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, & Tricia Goyer – I’m hoping to read through this with my non-book-loving husband.

Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl by Jase Robertson with Mark Schlabach – We enjoy watching Duck Dynasty around here. We own all four seasons that are out and I just received notice that my pre-ordered 5th season is on its way. Jase is my favorite Robertson, he reminds me of my husband.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell – I am a big fan of Deb Bell’s. I don’t have a teenager yet, I have a good year and a half for that. I am going to focus on the middle school section of this book for now. I’ll dive into the other sections this winter.

eBook Suggestions

My 2014 To Read List is kind of ebook heavy this year. I’ve purchased some of those ebook bundles over the last two years and have a back log of ebooks I want to read through. Here are a few for you to consider adding to your list:

Other Book Lists

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy seeing what people are reading. I think you can get to know a person by the books they choose (and how they like them). I also often add new books to my list to check out at the library. I’m including a couple other blogger’s to read lists and I’ve collected some other lists that you can check out. Be sure to check out The Library Adventure, we have a ton of book reviews and book lists for all ages.

Follow Vicki’s board Book Lists on Pinterest.

Free Goal Setting Printable Worksheet

Free Goals Setting Printable Worksheet from Vicki-Arnold.com

Free Goal Setting Printable Worksheet

Today we are starting the new year off with a free goal setting printable!

This printable features:

  • a column for 8 goals
  • a column for 3 action steps for each goal
  • a column for both start and end dates
  • a column to track any rewards you may want to set
  • the King James Version of Proverbs 16:9 on the right to remind us to pray for the Lord’s guidance

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

You can download your free copy of the goal setting printable worksheet today!

Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness {a review}

the Vicki Arnold blog uses affiliate links, please see our disclosure for more information.

Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness (a review)

About Kids in the Word

Kids in the Word is a new site for Amanda Pelser’s long-running blog series titled, wait for it…Kids in the Word. Amanda has a passion for helping other mothers disciple their children in the ways of the Lord. She is a fellow Teach Them Diligently blogger.

Above all, she is a mom who wants to see her children love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. She has created an ebooklet to help you take the first steps in this called Teaching Children to Have a Devotional Time, which is available to subscribers (like me!).

About Be Thankful

Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness is the first ebook Bible Study from Kids in the Word. The first section covers what is thanks, why should we give thanks to God, and how we should give thanks to God. The next section covers the “for what” question and includes studies on God’s character, His steadfast love, and more.

Finally, the appendix is FULL of journaling pages for your students to create their own gratitude journal. Seriously, like over 200 pages of journal pages for you to choose from. There are also printable cards for Bible verses to memorize, currently the King James Version is the only version available.

Create a gratitude journal with your kids. Choose from over 200 pages in Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness by Amanda Pelser

My Review of Be Thankful

I love this ebook. My kids are enjoying creating their gratitude journals and I’m enjoying learning what they are thankful for. Actually, that is proving to be rather entertaining, my kids are thankful for some pretty interesting, random things. I love it.

There is no time frame set up for this ebook, you can take as long as you want or you can use it as a quick study and then just utilize the journaling pages to keep the daily focus on being thankful. And, really, isn’t that what we should be focusing on this time of the year?

I personally love that the verses are in the King James Version, we use this version almost exclusively in our home. I am always amazed at how my kids reading improves when they start reading aloud with us from the KJV. But that’s beside the point here, I guess.

Amanda has done a great job of doing the research legwork for you. She walks you through how to use the ebook, then walks you through each step of the what, why, and how of thankfulness according to the word of God.

About the journaling pages. Don’t let the huge number scare you off, she has given multiple options for each page. You won’t actually have a 200 page journal when you are finished, unless you duplicate some pages. The options are for pre-writers through fluent writers. This I really like.

I like how she categorized the things we have to be thankful for to get us started. I also appreciate that it is filled with references to the word of God.

Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness by Amanda Pelser (a review)

Giveaway!

You can purchase Be Thankful: Cultivating Year-Round Thankfulness for $7.99 at any time. If you would like a chance to win it for free, then follow the instructions in the Giveaway Tools widget. Giveaway ends November 4, 2013 at 11:59 EST.

Scripture Stickies {a review}

Scripture Stickies {a review}

About Scripture Stickies

Scripture Stickies are stickable Bible verses. They were created by a couple who wanted to surround their young family with the Word of God.

Scripture Stickies were an inspiration from the Lord to help our family get organized and memorize more Bible verses. We had post-it notes everywhere with verses written on them and Scriptures scrawled on 3×5 cards taped up in every room. In an answer to prayer, God gave us the inspiration to present His Word in a fun stickable format that we (and you) can use to surround ourselves with Scripture. – from the website

Scripture Stickies offers:

  • an Advent Calendar mini to stick on your calendar for help memorizing scriptures from Proverbs
  • Christmas card insert which is customize with your family greeting to bring scripture to any Christmas card
  • themed scripture packs like Don’t Worry, Follow God, and Friendship
  • packs that are great for holidays, like the Cross stickies and Give Thanks Pack
  • Scripture Stickies Scripture Jar kits for gift giving

Scripture Stickies products range in cost from $.99 to $9.99. They offer customization and party favors.

One of their most popular gifts is the Scripture of the Month Club. A new scripture pack is mailed each month for 6 months or 12 months.

Scripture Stickies Review

I received the Merry Christmas pack and the Advent Calendar mini pack to review. They also included a sample of the Christmas card inserts with Luke 2:14 on it.

My initial thoughts on this was that it was perfect for those wanting to surround themselves with scripture, but want something prettier than their own handwriting on a post-it note. The packaging that the Merry Christmas pack came in was more suitable for gift giving than the advent calendar, which came as pictured in my lead graphic. I did receive a nice intro letter from Julie which explained that in December, all the scripture packs come in retail packaging.

The font is easy to read and a good size, though the size does vary depending on the length of the scripture passage. They stick nicely to just about anything, but are easily removed without leaving any residue behind. The pricing can’t be beat.

These would make great stocking stuffers. They would also be a great complement for scripture memory boxes.

I like that you can put the scripture stickies in places that your family spends a lot of time, like the bathroom mirror, on the computer monitor, or above the kitchen sink. You can also attach them to notebooks or even use the stickies with the backing on as a bookmark.

Find Scripture Stickies & Save!

You can visit Scripture Stickies on their website or blog. If you are interested in buying in bulk or retail packaging for a store, you can find that info on their website.

Julie was kind enough to share a discount code with you all! You can save 10% off their already low prices by using the code GIFT. Plus, you get FREE shipping!

Fall Fashion with Meijer

Meijer Fall Fashion Look - #MeijerStyle

If you’ve been around awhile, you know that I aim for transparency here on the blog because I have no interest in contributing ammo to that inner guilt monologue many of us struggle with. This is why I considered naming this post The Most Awkward Fashion Post Ever.

Why? Well, I have a confession to make that will probably not shock you, but I must share. I am not a fashionista. Whew, now that’s out there, I feel no different. Ah well, what can you do?

Seeing as I am not a fashionista, it makes no sense that I actually signed on with Meijer for their Fall Fashion Look campaign, right? Or does it?

You see, I may be a woman who spends most of her time at home and out of the eye of the public, but I do occasionally like to wear nice clothes. And by nice clothes, I mean clothes that were not picked for practicality purposes. Sometimes I just want to feel pretty, dang it. The fact that I am a walking napkin for a toddler be danged!

And, I’ll be 100% honest here and say that lately I’ve had more “busted can of biscuits” days than “I feel pretty” days. Bet you never thought you would see a fashion post with busted can of biscuits in it, did you?

And right about now, Meijer is thinking, “What the heck did we do when we agreed to let her participate?” So I should get to the point here.

I am a homeschool mom with a budget that has very little time to shop for anything that is not groceries, kid’s stuff, or homeschool related. This leaves my wardrobe pretty, um, consistent? Meaning I rarely add anything new to it.

So when Meijer offered me a gift card in exchange for some shopping in their store and a post about their fall fashions, I jumped. Shopping for me? Yes, please.

Before I tell you what I bought, let me share a little about why Meijer has this fashion campaign going on in the first place.

Meijer Fall Fashion #MeijerStyle

Meijer has a new special website for their fashion department called Meijer Style where you can find their fall look book. They currently have a special event going on where you can win a $100 Meijer gift card (five winners!). For all the details, check out the contest’s page on their website.

Now on to the clothes and my observations.

First, I do not have a picture of me in them, but I am currently wearing a pair of the leggings pictured above and they are really comfortable. They just did not work for the outfit I ended up creating so, no picture.

I was impressed with the selection Meijer had. If you are a trendy sort, their boots and jewelry might surprise you, particularly when it comes to cost.

I was pleasantly surprised by the cost of many of the items I picked up. Like the leggings. They were $10, regular price. The weekend I shopped, they were on sale for $8. Definitely more affordable than than the last pair I purchased on clearance elsewhere back in the winter.

If you are modesty conscious, you may also be pleasantly surprised. I saw many modest selections, including cute skirts, longer/looser fitting shirts, and the above mentioned leggings (for under skirts 😉 ).

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for…my outfit.

Meijer Fall Fashion Look - #MeijerStyle

I found a shirt and necklace that I really liked. I was looking for something different than my usual black or gray. I love wearing black, but I have missed wearing color as I’ve gained some weight and no longer feel comfortable in a few of my favorite shirts.

I paired them with a skirt that I already had (though I almost bought like 5 when I was shopping, seriously great prices in the clearance section…). I also bought a black cotton camisole to go underneath the shirt because, I’m never going to participate in the see through clothes trend. Ever.

I will probably end up either wearing the leggings under this, wearing one of my longer skirts, or pairing it with a pair of dark jeans as the weather really cools down. For now though, it works.

Here is another shot of the shirt:

Meijer Fall Fashion Look - #MeijerStyle

I would like to thank Meijer for the gift card and allowing this non-fashionista, homeschool mama a chance to participate in their Fall Fashion Look campaign. Be sure to check out Meijer’s Fall clothing selection the next time you are in to pick up some groceries.

How to Read Blogs & Not Feel Like a Failure

Do you ever feel like bloggers have it all together? That you are the only one who can't do it all? Let me tell you a few things about bloggers at Vicki-Arnold.com

There seems to be an epidemic of guilt and feelings of failure rolling through blog readers these days. I am truly saddened by this because I know not one blogger who desires to make their readers feel this way.

I know I have been guilty of this myself in my “real” life and my online life. I see these women who are giants in an area and put them on a pedestal…without even realizing it. I finally realized what I was doing when I saw a woman I thought was this pillar of strength and faith break down in tears in a quiet setting…and I felt relieved. Relieved that this woman did NOT, in fact, have it all together.

And then I traded the guilt of not measuring up for the guilt of being relieved that someone else was suffering. You see, this guilt is a never ending cycle because we will never measure up. Never.

I wrote about guilt before and if you are dealing heavily with guilt, I want you to do two things. First, read this post. Second, email me through the contact page and let me know how I can pray for you.

For this post, I want to tackle the specific blogger-induced guilt running rampant. I want to tackle it and rip off the myths covering the truth like a cheap band-aid.

Myth #1: Bloggers are perfect.

People, please. Behind that blog is a person. Some of them do have their stuff together better than you in some areas, but I would be willing to bet that you have a better handle on other areas in life. For example, I am pretty good at this blogging thing (dude, that was painful to write…) and you may feel like a monkey when you try to write. That’s ok.

Wanna know where I struggle? Well, for the sake of brevity, I will share just one with you. You know that garden I wrote about earlier this year? Let me show you what it looks like right now…

Vicki, Vicki, how does your garden grow? Like this.

It’s a beauty, eh? (This is the result of those dastardly squash bugs, the rest of the mess I was going to show you my husband weedwhacked this past weekend. I kind of blew this garden this year…again.)

Please cut yourself some slack and do not measure your whole life against the very small portion of someone’s life that they put on the internet. Or the lots of small portions you see from lots of bloggers. Please.

Myth #2: Bloggers must have it all together to have the time to blog.

No. We have simply found a rhythm and balance that works for our family. Or not. Seriously, blogging takes time and that time spent blogging is not being spent doing a variety of things. It is a simple fact. If you are doing one thing, you can’t be doing another.

Many bloggers utilize things like crock pots; late nights and/or early mornings; and messy houses to make blogging work. It is a matter of priorities and someone else’s priorities should never make you feel inferior in yours.

Something that took me a long time to grasp is that sometimes it is a matter of life seasons. When I had three under the age of 4, there was no way on earth I would have had time to blog. I barely had time to bathe. Now that my kids are a little older (10, 9, 7, and 18m), when the toddler goes down for a nap, they go outside or do something on their own. This often leaves me with time to work.

Myth #3: Bloggers are online all the time and still have it all together.

Ha! Let me let you in on a little secret. Did you know that you can schedule things to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest? Yep. And we savvy bloggers do this so that we can be “online” when our readers are because the more often we are out there, the more likely you are to see our stuff. And the more people that see our stuff, the more traffic we get. The more traffic we get, well, I explained that in this post.

We interact when we are online and schedule things to share for when we aren’t. This is why it looks like we sit in front of a computer all day long. I could actually sit on Pinterest all day long, but something about naked kids being frowned upon and all.

Which brings me to the last myth I will tackle here:

Myth #4: Bloggers’ food/homeschool/houses/decor/etc. looks like a Pinterest pin.

Dude, you don’t even know how far from the truth this is. I love pinning things like lapbooks, DIY projects, and party ideas. And I DO use some of them, but…insert a big BUT here.

In real life, our homeschool has a lot of workbooks and frustrated mama moments. My sewing machine is currently buried under a pile of crap (not literal, thank heavens), and my kids are lucky if I let them break out the balloons and blow them up for parties. Because I don’t need something else to clean up. Amen?

You may not know this, but bloggers spend a good deal of time and effort into creating those “perfect” projects. Some do it simply for the fun of it and some do it because their blog is a business and traffic = money to a blogger.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do everything you see on the internet. I see tattoos all over Pinterest, but that doesn’t make me feel guilty about not having one (needles!!). Don’t feel guilty if you don’t want the mess of glitter in your house and therefore don’t do that super spectacular glitter craft. And your kids may even turn out ok. 😉

Be the mom God intended you to be. Be you. Lose the guilt, please.