Archive | notices

Goodbye, Clickety-Clack

We've Moved!

Dear, Dear Readers,

This is not goodbye. I repeat, this is NOT goodbye. And it’s not even au revoir. You and I will be together at my new blogging home, Sweet is the Light, which you can find at carolinerosekraft.com. We are only walking through the empty rooms (and not so empty rooms) of an old house, breathing in the dust and familiar smells of almost nine years of writing in one place, and walking out the door for the last time.

It’s not emotional for me or anything.

The other thing we’re doing together (because you’re with me, right? RIGHT?) is learning to call me by a new name. I started going by Everly Pleasant in 2007 when I finally convinced my parents to let me start a Blog Spot. They weren’t keen on me sharing personal information online, so I created a pen name. It’s 2016, I’m twenty-three years old and we’ve realized there is no such thing as privacy online. On Sweet is the Light, I’ll be going by my full name, my real name: Caroline Rose Kraft. You can call me Caroline.

Or if you want, you can still call me Everly. I mean, it’s super confusing for everyone and still so sentimental to me, so just do what you want. But for the sake being grown-up and clear and organized and totally professional, I’m using my legal name everywhere now.

In other news, I’m very excited about this fresh start. The blog was designed by the talented Charlotte Boyer. She has so many gifts, from designing website to singing with The Boyer Family Singers! Give her website a little love. The behind the scenes was made possible by the noted Gretchen Louise, who continually blows my mind with her skills in coding, writing and, since visiting her late last year, being a wonderful farmer’s wife, mother and homemaker. If you’re a blogger, you definitely need to sign up for her “tips” newsletters.

At Sweet is the Light, I’ll still be blogging about everything I’ve always blogged about…adoption, gender equality, my kooky family and the God who loves me. I might be blogging about adoption a little more than I have in the recent past, as I’m closing Pineapple Siblings as well and kind of combining both sites into one.

There is a new Facebook page, a new email address and I’m opening Instagram up for my readers for the first time, so you can follow me there as well. Please be nice…I had a hard time letting that personal space go! (My handle is @carolinerosekraft)

You can subscribe to receive Sweet is the Light posts in your email, but if you’ve already been subscribing to Clickety-Clack, you will find you continue to hear from me as usual. If you experience any problems with the emails or website, etc, please let me know!

And now, I close the door on this wonderful, influential chapter. Clickety-Clack will remain standing as a monument and reference point for some time, but I hope you follow me through a brand new door and into a new home. Walk through the yellow entryway, down the hall a bit to the wood-paneled study. There’s a lovely, golden afternoon sun coming through the sheer curtains, a small vase of hydrangeas on the desk, lots of colorful books all around and me, Caroline, clickety-clacking on the keys. I turn and see you, a familiar face, in the doorway and smile. Welcome to my home.

See you there,

Caroline Rose Kraft

1

choosing to love {already}

ultrasound picture

Last Wednesday, my sister and her husband took my family and I completely by surprise and announced that they’re expecting their first child this summer! I was astonished that I hadn’t already caught on, seeing as they currently live with us and “sister vibes” are totally scientific. The family erupted in tears of joy, shouts of excitement, hugs and questions. It was a truly wonderful day.

I can hardly express how excited I am! For one thing, I get to become an aunt. It’s not every day you get a new title. I can’t wait to dote on a baby in our own family! I don’t remember any of  my siblings’ births (weird, right?) so I’m still intrigued by the process. I am also thrilled for the expectant parents who have wanted to start a family for a while now. When the baby is born, four people will become grandparents. Three people will become uncles and five people will become aunts. Two people will become parents. Wow.

It feels kind of crazy to already love the baby so much. I mean, Caitlin’s not even showing yet. Though I know the baby’s DNA is already determined, we don’t yet know it’s sex. We don’t know if he or she will have brown hair or blond…or red! We don’t know much about the baby at all. And yet I love it.

Funny thing is, there’s only one thing we can really know about Wee One: we will all love it and we will love it until it hurts. And he or she will hurt us. Will will call him or her “perfect,” but they will make mistakes. We talk about spoiling and coddling the baby-and we will!-but the baby will at some point fall and scrape a knee or bust a lip or make a choice that makes us cringe. We know that, and yet we choose to love. Already.

This morning while I read in The Book of James, something triggered a thought about an old friend. It hurts my heart to remember her because I thought I’d have her forever, but I don’t. I sometimes wonder if there a lot of people I was supposed to grieve for a long time ago, but moved on instead. Why do we have to lose people? Why do we all hurt each other so much? I ask God. For a moment, I don’t ever want to introduce myself to someone again. That could lead to a relationship and a relationship could lead to more pain.

There was the baby who was meant to be my sister and was taken way too early. My friend’s little one who never left the hospital. The painful memories and awful possibilities are endless. However, there is no doubt in my mind that love is worth it. That’s all I came here to say today. Whether your loving a person who hasn’t even been born or a child who was born to someone else and now needs you to parent them, LOVE. Whether it’s your spouse who isn’t quite as charming as the day you wed or the sister whose words sting worse than the words of an enemy ever could, LOVE. Whether they’re in a womb at 8 weeks old or on their deathbed at 104, today is a great day to start loving and never stopping.

That’s what God does for us, right? Loves us starting before time, knowing how much we will hurt Him, and prepares a place in eternity to continue loving, loving, loving us.

Come on, Wee One! We’re all ready to welcome you with open arms, no matter what you look like, no matter what you do. See you this summer!

-Aunt Everly

 

 

2

reading challenge update!

This year, I gave myself a Read-My-Bookcase Challenge. The idea was to read umpteen first-time books of my own bountiful shelf instead of buying new books because I happen to hear about them or hear them recommended this year. I have not done so well keeping up the pace (I’ve never been a fast reader,) but I am so excited by what I have got to read. I chose several books that did come highly recommended or that just looked really good, a variety of fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature. I can honestly say I’ve added a few to my Favorites List already, and that is saying a lot!

I have started two trilogies that I’m excited to get back to, “The Hawk and the Dove” by Penelope Wilcock and “Call the Midwife” by Jennifer Worth. Both of these are very spiritual. “The Hawk and the Dove” is categorized as Christian fiction (a genre I normally run from) but it is really just a very well written, very interesting story which focuses on the residents of an ancient monastery. My favorite part of the book, is the other narrative; a mother telling her daughter these old stories about their ancestors. Modern-day Melissa becomes just as much a character as the monks in the old tales. This book was truly well-written, kept my attention and touched my heart.

“Call the Midwife” is the real-life memoirs of a midwife in 1950’s London. Though the book is categorized as secular, it has a lot of spiritual undertones. The main character and authoress, Jenny, works alongside Anglican nuns who teach her how to care for the people of Poplar and also how to find God. This is definitely a new favorite of mine. I couldn’t put it down, couldn’t stop talking about it and loved every character. This has also been made into a popular BBC series of the same title which is also wonderful (and sticks pretty close to the books, so far.)

In order to further educate myself in the art of illustration, I read “Show Me a Story” by Leonard S. Marcus, which is a collection of interviews he conducted with the world’s leading children’s book illustrators (including, to my delight, Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, Kevin Henkes, Quentin Blake and more.) I found these fascinating and inspiring. I am now in the middle of “Illustrating Children’s Books” by Martin Salisbury, which is proving to be very good as well.

I have technically only marked three books off my list, because I wound up adding a few in for Lenten reading which took a lot of my reading time, but I’m hoping to pick up the pace more and more as summer progresses. I do love summer, particularly when it allows for literary leisure time!

2

spiritual puberty and the further chronicles

I recently wrote some advice for young bloggers. I said,

There are some downsides to starting so young. I will be writing soon about the “spiritual puberty” the whole internet watched me go through. People saw me change and go back on my words and say things that I disagree with now, and that’s uncomfortable. But it’s not wrong. I will always be changing, even in the realm of beliefs. I don’t regret having published my thoughts at such a young age.

And that’s true, I don’t regret it a bit. As a matter of fact, as awkward as (physical) puberty is, it’s not something you want to go through alone. I remember when I lived at the orphanage, telling my older sister that I felt terrible for the girls there who had to go through puberty in an orphanage. The funny part is, she looked at me and said, “We are going through puberty in an orphanage too, ya know.” This was true! However, we had our mom there. She was there when I had freakish emotional outbursts because one of the kids hurt my feelings and when I started to shave (yes-at an orphanage!) and when I got my first set of make-up in our little Petionville apartment. Puberty wasn’t something I had to go at alone, and I’m thankful for that now.

Of course, a little more privacy would’ve been nice at times (see also: eleven people sharing one bathroom.) I feel the same way about the changes you have all watched me go through online. I opened my blog with this beautiful piece of writing and I have stayed true to what I said there for the past six years: “On this blog I will ramble about random things that are on my mind or happening in my life, but I don’t think it will be unbarably boring, so stay connected.”

Has this journey ever been “unbarably” boring? No. It’s been delightful, embarrassing, educational, humbling, exciting, encouraging, frightening and frustrating but never boring.

I have started several blogs since then, submitted guest posts, become a contributor, shut down several blog, helped several other people start blogs, but Clickety-Clack was my first and I’ve never given up on her. She has grown with me. Changed, gone through many seasons, served various purposes.

Y’all have been a faithful little following, even with all the ups and downs. You were especially sweet and supportive as I prepared and pitched a book last year. That book is now tucked away, probably never to be published, but there has been nothing wasted. None of your good cheer, support, prayer, critique, patience or encouragement have come back void. I’m a better, braver writer because of your contributions.

The reason why that book is tucked away is because three publishers turned it down and then I realized it was for the best. I wasn’t entirely sure, still, what that little book was trying to say. Since then (over a year!) I’ve gone through another growth spurt. I’ve realized that my book would’ve scraped the surface of some deep issues. I’m not saying it was a failure or that it was evil or stupid, but just that it’s not what I want to write right now, not what this world needs.

I still care very much about the issues the book addressed. I still think our society needs to see some serious change in regards to feminism, legalism, education, rights and the role of the family. I think what happened is I finally read my own book. I saw that I didn’t really believe myself when I said that I supported women who left home and went to college and had a career and didn’t want kids. I had trouble swallowing that because, deep down, I still believed that those women were, in a way, feeding some sick societal brainwashing machine.

I don’t think that anymore. I’ve watched my friends go all the way through college now. I’ve seen them make decisions about who to marry and where to live and what to do. I still firmly believe that many women miss out on their true desires because of societal pressure, but that doesn’t always look like what I used to imagine. Sometimes that means not going into the mission field because you’re single or not starting a business because your friends are all having kids by now. These women are missing out too.

I still believe that the majority of women will be happiest as wives and moms and homemakers, but that there is a percentage who simply have different desires that they need to pursue. I still believe that we should all (men and women alike) think twice before going to college. It’s a big decision and there are alternatives. (No regrets there!) I still believe a lot of what I wrote, but I also believe in a certain form of feminism which really shouldn’t have to be called feminism at all. It’s a belief that every person is equal and unique and that sex, like race, should never exclude someone from freedom, education, opportunity or the global conversation.

Maybe those thoughts will become a book someday. I’d also very much like to write about eduction (my un-schooling experience) and adoption (my pineapple sibling experience) down the road. But do you know what? I’ve gone back to my first loves: blogging and writing children’s books. I hope you hear a lot more about that in the near future.

Now, if you would continue in your patterns of kindness, would you fill out this short survey for me? It will help me see what you have enjoyed about Clickety-Clack, whether you’ve been reading for years or just scrolling around today. No promises that I’ll take your advice (I’m a bit of a rebel when it comes to these things!) but I am genuinely interested to hear your feedback.

Here’s to many more years of Clickety-Clackin’!

Love to you all,

Everly

“I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, “This is what I believe. Finished.”

What I believe is alive … and open to growth” -Madeleine L’Engle

3

au revoir

1176401_10200379124816062_1726292652_n

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been busy lately. Last weekend was an exhausting end to Meggie’s stay with us. Watching her walk through security to board her plane back to the other side of the world, back to being an orphan, was difficult. However, we didn’t say “goodbye.” We said “au revoir.” Yes, to all of you guessers: my parents have started her adoption paperwork already. :)

We are very excited. Meggie just “fit” and we hate not having her here. My parents told her they’d see her in her country. We’re hoping that happens this winter.

Over that weekend, I got a bad but short-lived cold. Came out of that into our first “normal week” without Meggie. Immediately launched into some big projects (TBA) and a lot of writing on top of routine tasks. I am looking forward to finally showing y’all what I’ve been working on, but not tonight…

Then, Sunday night, I had some very emotional news and had to deal with letting go of some stuff I’d clung to for a while. That morning I had listened to a sermon on Psalm 23 in which the pastor emphasized that we are made to lie down in green pastures. I was definitely made to lie down Sunday night. I was very low, emotionally, but very satisfied by the green pastures we all find ourselves in when we know we’re humbly submitting to God’s will.

I woke up Monday morning with swollen eyes and a groggy mind, but set my mind on my work starting that afternoon and have been productive and upbeat since then. I have put Elisabeth Elliot’s “do the next thing” motto into full force and it has done me good.

If the blog stays quiet, know that all is well at Eyrie Park, we are just up to our armpits in homeschool prep, home study prep, building a house, church, friends and all the stuff I can’t tell you about yet. ;)

Leave me a comment to tell me how your summer’s winding down!

Love, Everly

5

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes