A Sampling of Why I Am MIA

**Hey Cindy Shelby–you won the Thanksgiving Giveaway. Send your home address to [email protected] so we can ship your stuff to you soon!

Sorry to be MIA for a few days. I’m nestled away writing trying to finish my next book manuscript by December 1st.

Now, “nestled away “may sound glamorous invoking images of a quaint writing cottage, sunlight streaming through the window, hot coffee poured and a roaring fire my inspirational companion.

I actually got to have that experience back a few weeks ago as I wrote for a weekend at the charming PrairieSide Suites in Grandville, MI. Owner and gracious hostess Cheri and husband Paul provided the pampering and calm I needed to unplug for two days and dive into my words.

However, most days can find me nestled not in glamor.  Far from it.

I instead hole myself up in our spare guest bedroom, laptop on twin bed, sweatshirt and jeans on, ear plugs tightly in place in an attempt to drown out the goings on in a house often full of teen boys.

I emerge only to help with homework, teach my junior his English class (thank the Lord for online classes and tutors for the rest of his homeschool this semester) and refill my coffee cup as I simultaneously toss something into the oven for supper. (Or I pick up the phone to order pizza. Just keepin’ it real folks!)

Today, I’ll show you a snippet of what I’ve crafted so far in this still-to-be-titled book about how to control what we should, trust God with what we can’t and decide which one is which.

Tomorrow—-oh please come back tomorrow—-I will introduce you to a brave young American hero. For now, enjoy. I’d love your feedback.


I’ve never fancied the word housewife. It sounds like a woman is married to her home.

I much prefer homemaker, as in “I am trying to make a welcoming home for my family.” Whatever the term, you can bet your sweet potatoes that when it comes to the home, it is usually the woman who has high hopes of making order and calm and yet often can’t seem to get her family on the same page.

We straighten and pick up, clean and spit-shine. We are intentional to get all of our ducks in a row.

And then? Along comes one of our own little ducklings carelessly (or purposely!) knocking them down, forcing us to start all over again.

Dad drops his socks on the bedroom floor—the floor you just rid of debris and then spent time vacuuming.

Or you may have used a little elbow grease to wipe down all of the kitchen counters and empty the dishwasher. No sooner had you moved on to another room than a child residing within your four walls decides to make a snack, leaving a trail of cheesy crumbs and soda drips on your newly shined surface and a dirty dish or two in the wake.

Or you left a list of tasks to be done when you were away for the day. And—unspoken—an expectation of just how they are to be done. Or a list of foods to eat that was not deemed off-limits.

However, when you returned home the chores weren’t performed to your standards and some foods you were planning on using later (like that shredded cheese for your Sunday casserole) were completely MIA!

It can make a woman blow a gasket.

I know. After twenty-one years of parenting, I am a top contender for “Most Gaskets Blown” in the mommy meltdown category. (I’m sure many of you would argue that you’d take top prize.)

Well, instead of exchanging “Housewives Behaving Badly” horror stories of the times we have allowed our tempers to get the best of us, let’s talk solutions.

What is realistic when addressing and assessing our homemaking routine?

Should we lay down rules and processes in stone and expect that they be followed with precision?

Or do we assume a laissez-faire attitude where we don’t force our poor brood to fuss with chores and chipping in around the ranch?

One extreme may appear harsh to our families with no room for real life and even less room for grace.

The other may find us wallowing in disorder and unable to function.

And just how does letting a free-for-all around the home teach kids responsibility, respect for another’s property, and the value of hard work?

What is a home-maker—who wants to make a happy home—to do?


Okay. That’s it for now. You can stay tuned for the solutions in another future installment. (aren’t I cruel?)

Back to the writing cave……..



  1. Woman of God- (aka) Karen

    Thank you for keeping it real and allowing grace in the form of humor to ‘save’ the day!
    I’m homeschooling one, driving the other to school each morning, picking him up during his lunch period ( due to a food intolerance) and taking him back within the hour, then driving to the school once again in the afternoon to pick him up.

    Your next chapter is to include how to re-cycle time!


  2. Love, love, love it! I’m so looking forward to reading the entire book. I would be happy to be an influencer for your book. I review books for Thomas Nelson Publishing, Waterbrook Multnomah and The Hatchette Group.

  3. Love it! When I first started reading I thought Uh Oh she has been to my house :)! This is a great teaser & i mean teaser because I groaned when I realized there wasn’t more :). I can’t wait to read the whole book. I know it will be great!


  4. I can truly chuckle at the mental image you have painted as I have “been-there-done-that” too many times to count!! Now that my husband and I have done a complete role reversal in the past few years as he is now at home (*working…or at least trying!) our 4 children have him pulling his hair out as I skip happily off to work (his term, not mine!). He will have an immense appreciation of this book. Although I miss my “homemaker” status more than words can describe, there are a few days as I look around the destroyed kitchen upon my return home from work that I would like to get in my car and go right back! LOL….thanks Karen for always keeping it real!

  5. Sounds wonderful! I think you’ve described almost every housewif…er… homemaker’s delima. Definitely is mine! I can’t wait to read the book! Keep up the good work. Thanks for all you do. Hugs!

  6. Looking forward to this continued story. I too have always dislike the term “housewife” — homemaker is 100% better.

    1. Mitzi–
      I am turning my manuscript in Dec 1st. THe book comes out next fall along with a Bible study companion workbook and a 6 week teaching dvd

  7. Karen, I loved reading your excerpt. Your writing moves so well and it makes me want to know what comes next!
    I think all homemakers can relate to this issue, and I hope you have some workable solutions to help us out. When my first three boys were young, I had a chore wheel with all the chores on it. We rotated it weekly between the three boys’ names so no one could complain that someone else had it easier. Now those boys are grown, two are in college, and a fourth son rules the roost. Somehow it has gotten back to me doing everything, and I hate it! My new exclamation is “I AM NOT THE MAID!!” How can I restore order and get help again with an adult son and his girlfriend living here, a busy husband and a teenager who don’t even think about housework, while I work at home (so of course I have more time to do everything, right?) No one else even cares if the house is clean or not. Please help me!
    Thanks for sharing your excerpt. Good luck with the writing. Earplugs, hmm? Good idea!

  8. ugh, that was cruel! You don’t understand…actually you do, but this has been my life for the last few days and this morning I found myself in a pity party….no one appreciates me, if they did they would clean up after themselves….they must think I’m a maid…..they don’t care about me or they wouldn’t……I have a husband and three teens, who have all “been trained”, but did better as young children in taking care of “their responsibilities” than they do now. I guess I have reached the frustration point and I am thankful for your blog and looking forward to your next installment to help me get my focus back on track…..I feel better already :) thanks

  9. Have you been to my house??? It sure sounds like it–my family sabatoges my cleaning efforts too! I’m looking forward to reading more–and reading the book when it comes out! Enjoy your writing “cave” and may God bless your words!

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