How They Blog: Kris Camealy

kris-camealy-headshotKris Camealy

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This week we are featuring my friend Kris Camealy. She has some great stuff to share regarding our blogging perspectives and what constitutes a “successful blogger” or not.

But before we dive in, I want to remind you that we’ll be pre-launching the HowTheyBlog.com Blog Planning Kit next Monday ONLY for those of you signed up for our email list (sign up over there on the right of the blog). You’ll get a super special price and have the opportunity to help us refine and tweak the Kit to best help bloggers. You’ll also get all the updates to the kit after we tweak them according to your recommendations.

So take a minute to sign up and help us make an GREAT resource for you even more AMAZING…

I’ll share a sneak peek of the kit on Wednesday.

Without further ado, here is Kris Camealy.

How They Blog: Kris Camealy

1. Intro: Give us a quick intro to you, your family and your blog.
Hi, my name is Kris Camealy. I am married (14 years this summer) to my high school sweetheart, and I am a mom to four kids, 2 boys and 2 girls, (in that order). I am a writer, a blogger, and an advocate for Compassion International. My days are spent juggling the usual household/wife duties, as well as homeschooling my 4 kids. I love to cook and read, and enjoy playing with my camera. I am a people person and connecting and communicating with others really feeds me. Also?–I like sequins. I can’t help myself. I hope that’s not a deal-breaker for you.

2. Tell us your blogging story.Β 

When my oldest son was 2, I started blogging as a way to keep our out of state family up to date on the latest happenings. I have always been a writer and so I found blogging that way a very natural and enjoyable exercise for me, allowing me to communicate (which I love to do) and to use words to create. 4 years after I started this private blog, the software I was using had undergone many changes and something happened, which caused my blog to basically meltdown. It was finished. There was no resuscitating it. I felt the Lord calling me out with my writing and after much prayer and seeking, I started blogging at Always Alleluia.com. I blogged happily there for 2 and a half years, until the publication of my book, Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, after which I made the switch to my current domain, which is kriscamealy.com

3. Tell us about a blogging “success” or “failure” that taught you a powerful lesson.

When I first started blogging publicly. I wrote because I felt the Lord had called me to it. After a while, as I made more friends online, and became better connected with other bloggers, I lost my focus a bit, and became very caught up in my desire to be a *successful* blogger. I became somewhat distracted by my blogging stats and as a result of things not happening the way I envisioned them, I became quite restless and ungrateful. This was coupled with some other events that the Lord was using at the same time to humble me in a very difficult and painful way. The short version is, out of this very intensive refining season, a book was born. I published Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, which is purely a work of obedience, as I had my heart very much set on writing something else.

One of the greatest lessons I learned through the misplacement of my hopes and dreams, was that trusting the Lord above all else is life-changing. I knew this with my head but my heart was very slow to learn the lesson. Now, I don’t really look at my blog stats. I don’t really care. I believe now, more than ever, that the Lord will do what He wants with the words I write–I have seen Him do this. My job, my sole purpose in blogging and writing and ultimately in life, is to give Him glory, and seek none of it for my own purposes.

Until the last couple of years, I have wasted much of my life pursuing things on my own terms, for my own glory. It’s been a hard fall down from that place, and my journey continues. But God has been good to me, always gentle yet persistent in His discipline and love.

The greatest gift I have been given through this refining is a heart that trusts Him like never before. He has shown me that in fixing my eyes on Him alone, I will find the place He calls me to.

4. What are the intangibles that have helped you succeed?
I am a bit of a fighter by nature. While I am not typically a competitive personality, I do posses a healthy level of determination, and so it’s important to me to finish. I don’t have to come in first, but I want to finish. I am also an optimist and a dreamer, so I tend to believe in the best possible outcome, while this is sometimes delusional, it does help me to maintain a cheerful attitude and hopeful perspective in the midst of things–even when the storm clouds roll in. God was gracious to bless me with a very supportive husband and encouraging family, and so I have a beautiful community of people who hold me up and encourage me to take the next step. And the friends I’ve made since blogging? They are solid gold to me. (You know who you are!) Ultimately, any success comes from the Lord. I am a smaller blogger, but I believe that I am precisely where God wants me, and so in accepting that, I find I am successful. My goals have shifted and I’m learning that success with the Lord often looks very different than the worlds standards.

5. How do you keep your blog and home life in balance? What does a “typical” blogging day look like for you?
Ahh, balance. What exactly IS that anyway? The short answer is, I am still learning to juggle it all. As a homeschooling parent, most of my free time is spent schooling my children. Evenings are spent with my husband and so that doesn’t leave a lot of time leftover for writing. I don’t have a virtual assistant and I have a $0 budget for blogging. Ha! it almost sounds like a recipe for failure. But, I have managed to blog for nearly 3 years and write a book, so clearly, God is at work.

A typical blogging day for me looks like this:

I get up between 5-6AM, I do my morning workout and HelloMornings bible study time, by the time I am done my kids are all up and “starving”, so we do breakfast and then hit the school books until lunch time. After lunch, my 4 take a mandatory “Quiet Time”, where they all go off to their rooms for 2 hours and this is when the magic happens. Or not. This is my blogging/writing time. This is also when I Skype with my other writer friends, and when I catch up on email. After quiet time we finish school, make dinner, do chores, etc. Some nights I write after my husband comes home. Because I process through words, my husband is very good about giving me time when I tell him that I really need to write. Writing is not a hobby for me, it is very much a way of living, and so I am grateful for the pockets of time I am afforded to exercise myself in this way.

Come back Wednesday to read all of Kris Camealy’s Blogging Gadget and App recommendations and on Friday she’ll share her thoughts on social media and writing. Stay tuned!

Q & A with Kris Camealy

What questions do you have about blogging for Kris? Click here to share your thoughts or ask your question!

Read All The Interviews with Kris Camealy

1. How They Blog: Kris Camealy
2. Gadget and App Recommendations (Coming Wednesday)
3. On Social Media and Writing (Coming Friday)

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Comments

  1. YES! Kris on HowTheyBlog?! She was one of my “recommendations” of bloggers I want to hear from. Kris is a-mazing. God is doing BIG stuff through her words. Huge. Looking forward to the rest of the Camealy installments this week!

  2. The amazing Kris. <3

  3. thanks, Kat for hosting me in your awesome space. I am deeply honored to be here. πŸ™‚

  4. Kris, Thank you for this: “success with the Lord often looks very different than the worlds standards.” Not that I don’t already know that, but your words are a great reminder to stay focused on the one that truly matters.

    • Lindsay, I am so glad you were encouraged. It has been a hard lesson to learn, but God is gentle and persistent in bending me lower before Him. I am thankful for the lessons, however awkward I’ve been in the process.

  5. Kris is such an inspiration to me – not only is she a phenomenal writer, she points me back to Jesus in everything she does: her writing, her emails, her phone calls. She is a true friend and someone I’m so thankful to be in community with πŸ™‚

  6. Very encouraging to read your story and how you manage your priorities. I am also homeschooling mom with a small health blog and sometimes it feels like I will never get off the ground. You encourage me.

    • I know that feeling well, Jennifer. I still often feel as if I am still trying to get off the ground! I have to repeatedly (and very often) remind myself that there are seasons of slowness, and that is not a bad thing–hang in there! Praying and rooting for you!

  7. Keri Misawa says:

    This was very encouraging! I’ve been wondering if I am attacking the impossible with my very limited time as a homeschooling mom. It is so easy to lose sight and get off track, or think I know what direction I’m going and realize there is usually a different plan :o) I love the afternoon quiet/writing time idea . . . Wow, two hours, good for you! Thank you for sharing, Kris!

    • Keri,
      It does feel impossible sometimes. And in some seasons, it IS impossible. We only have *so* much time in a day and so we all work to find the balance. Quiet time has saved my sanity. My kids never knew any differently because we transitioned them from naps as toddlers to quiet times now. I am telling you, it is worth the struggle to make it part of the routine. Particularly for homeschoolers I think. I spend *a lot* of time with my kids, this small break in the day is good for everybody πŸ™‚ Praying for you, my friend!

  8. My girls are slowly transitioning out of their naptime, so I’m hoping that my plans to have a “Quiet Time” will happen, so I can get some magic going over here too. :p

    • Joyce, I encourage you to stick to it. Quiet time is such a blessing for us all here. The kids have learned to entertain themselves, and their imaginations have really been stretched by having to fill that time alone. We all emerge from it happier and ready to face the late afternoon/evening. Praying for you as you transition! Let me know how it goes, eh? πŸ˜‰

  9. Kris, Such a blessing to read your words here. They restore, or perhaps just reinforce, the right perspective for this writer-mama/homeschooler: soli Deo gloria. Thanks, friend!

  10. “Writing is not a hobby for me, it is very much a way of living, and so I am grateful for the pockets of time I am afforded to exercise myself in this way.”
    This sentence whipped my head around! I have a teeny blog and have always told myself it’s just a hobby for now since I also homeschool and still have a toddler. But on the other hand, I know I process through writing, and some things only through writing. I’ve let my blog slide this summer, thinking we’re just too busy, but I miss writing, not for any purpose other than writing consistently. . .I know there are seasons, but after reading that sentence above, I’m thinking what if I need to reframe the blog writing as “self-care” rather than a hobby? Hmmm. Have to pray and see, because then it becomes a different priority, eh? Thank you for this post! Your friendly tone comes through and I think you would be someone I’d love to meet in person.

    Also, mamas who are thinking about mandatory quiet times (we call it rest time), go for it! We just transitioned out of naps, but I’ve still had to fight for it, and I can tell you it is sooo worth it, especially if you homeschool, no matter what age your kids are. Having a rotating supply of books or toys you keep aside helps too.

  11. To Kat, I love this blog! I love the whole premise of it. It’s one of my must-reads. Keep up the great work!

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  1. […] this week, I’m hanging out at my friend Kat Lee’s blog, How They Blog, sharing some insight about how I blog You can read the first part of my interview […]

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