Circle of Stones: Interview with Lisa of Earth Mama

April 23, 2010

I was first introduced to Lisa when the inspiring blog, Threading Light, came into being. Threading Light has a powerful voice, sharing inspiration that links us together as people, and that looks at the questions that we all struggle with daily.

Through Threading Ligt, I also found Lisa’s personal space, which has been equally inspiring. Visiting Lisa’s blog is really a journey into many facets of life with young children. She is a deeply honest writer, who clearly strives for balance and beauty in her life, and who I think many of us can relate to. Lisa’s love of her family, natural living, homeschooling, and creative play have made her blog a daily read for me, as well as many of you.

The Circle opens. Welcome Lisa


Tell us a bit about your family

There are six of us.
My husband Jason and I have been married for six years. We met when Kayla was two and we got married a year later. Jason has his own tile business and does amazing artwork in what he does. Kayla, the artistic one, is 9 1/2. She is always drawing and creating. I never know what I will find piled up under her pillow. Her drawings are amazing. Bella is 5 ½, and is just hilarious. She is super friendly and loving and can be the life of the party. Sometimes we aren’t really sure where she came from. She’s this teeny little girl with a BIG personality! Hawthorn at 3 ½, is still trying to find himself. He got the boot out of mama-ville a little before he would’ve liked and is still struggling with sharing his mama with his little brother. Hawthorn loves playing and eating cereal at bedtime. Lake just turned one, and is the most balanced fourth child I possibly could ever imagine. He is happy and smiley all the time, and loves music and dancing. He is super lucky to have three siblings to help take care of him. I love my family more than anything in the whole world. That’s not to say they don’t drive me absolutely crazy each and every day, but I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything.


What do you consider to be most important in how you raise your children

Stepping back is probably the most important thing in how I raise my children. By that I mean, letting them get their own glass of water when they are thirsty, putting their own clothes away from the laundry pile, and finding activities to engage themselves with during our days. I cannot meet everyone’s needs all the time, so it just makes sense that they can be self sufficient when they need to. Self direction plays into this as well, and is a part of the way we learn. A lot of their day is self led and I would like to let my children develop their own natural rhythm to a degree. Of course when there are four kids involved there has to be a certain sense of respect for the needs of everyone in the house. However, that topic brings up some important issues and opportunities for discussion about a world that involves much more than just one person and their own personal needs or desires.


If you could impart one life lesson to your children, what would it be

If I had to pick one lesson for my children, it would be for them to follow their heart; to be able to listen to their own truth, even if it doesn’t align with mine. I went through a pretty powerful inner struggle, trying to find my own truth outside of what my parent’s wanted for me when I was younger. I want to be on my children’s side, helping them to find their true path in life, when the time comes, not trying to convince them that they should be doing what I want them to. I know these are big words and I don’t imagine that it will always be easy. Naturally, as a mother, I think we all think that we are doing the best for our children and hope that they respect that as they get older, but I also think it’s important as a mother to love our children for whatever decisions they make in life unconditionally.


You take beautiful photographs, what inspires you behind the lens?

Nature and children top the charts as far as my inspiration behind the lens. Both of them captivate a particular truth and beauty that I have yet to find elsewhere. I have been doing photography for a long time, I got my first “real” camera when I was 18, and looking back, most of my pictures are of a similar pure volume. Nature and children are beautiful no matter what state they are in. I really try to capture simple things in my photography. Simple things are beautiful and I feel like we, as busy humans, have so much to learn from simple bits and pieces from the outside world of nature and the inside world of the brilliance of a child. Combine the two, and poof, you’ve got a really powerful image. Photography is also a way for me to capture simple beauty and freeze it in time, so that I can go back to it over and over again gleaning new insight from it each time.


What is the best part of your family’s homeschooling relationship?

Being together. Learning together. Living together. Homeschooling has become our way of life. I feel like homeschooling has really kept us together as a unit. Honestly, sometimes I wish my husband could be home all day with us too. And at other times, I wish I could send my kids away to school. I enjoy watching the bonds grow and shift between my children. Sometimes all four kids are off doing something, sometimes they split off in twos, or one is off by themselves doing something constructive or in make believe world. It is really fun watching the day shift in different ways, and it always is changing from day to day, hour to hour even. It is challenging having my kids with me all the time, but it also comes with enormous blessings at other times. So it all gets balanced out in some way or another.


What benefits have come from homeschooling your children?

I really enjoy letting my children learn and absorb their lessons through life and in the form life presents it in. I feel that by providing my children with this opportunity, I also allow them the room to really trust their inner selves. Even though Kayla would technically be finishing up third grade this year, I feel that she would definitely be way “behind” in a public school setting, but would fit right in a Waldorf school setting. She has taught herself how to read and about fractions as well as other math concepts this year, and I find a great amount of beauty in watching my children teach themselves big concepts in their own readiness. Another plus is that we have gotten to do a lot together as a family. Everything from group camping trips and several small road trips to several different states, to craft projects and local outings, we get to do together. I love that aspect of homeschooling.


Give us a glimpse at what you days look like together

Chaotic, extremely chaotic. I know for me personally I need to find the peace within the chaos. It’s hard; real hard at times. I am working a lot of letting go of my sense of control on this subject. My kids are kids, and kids have a lot of energy. That’s a good thing though. We want them full of life energy. Our days involve a lot of play, attempts at peaceful conflict resolution, drawing, outside time, running, swinging, gardening, and bike riding. We usually wake up at various times, get breakfast, get dressed (or not), play, eat lunch/naptime/my time, go outside or on an adventure, dinner, reading, bedtime. I try to get myself some computer/crafting time while Lake takes a nap, and really that is my saving grace. It is just a quiet patch of time for me to recharge. We are real home bodies, and luckily all of my children are on board with that. It is hard to get four kids out of the house and anywhere.

Tell us about your project Threading Light, and how you and Elizabeth decided to bring that project out

Really it all began when I shared my new year’s challenges of the past and goals for the future in a post on my blog in January. We exchanged an email and just found we were really in sync. We had similar positive outlooks on life and thoughts on life’s energy. After the email I really felt this pull to do a project with Elizabeth. I didn’t know what it would look like, but I thought, why not ask. The same day Elizabeth had also had that idea, so it instantly was a yes. Our initial reason for launching threading light was to help spread positive light wherever we could. We really feel that each and every one of us, and especially our world, needs this light shone as much as possible these days. To this day, we have a lot of ideas that we feel are given to both of us, separately, and when we share that connection, we really feel that there is another force working through us, so to speak. It is very magical and inspiring to have it work in that way and we always take it as a sign to move forward on whatever comes up for us. We are going to be putting together a workshop in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. We have a lot of ideas coming up and we look forward to sharing them as they come into better focus for us.

What do you believe true inspiration is all about, and what is your biggest source?

To me true inspiration is a lot about being centered; opening that place inside your heart and allowing yourself to receive the beauty around you. Nature of course is my biggest source of inspiration. It is perfect, balanced, and beautiful in every form. It holds no judgment and is available for anyone who takes the time to admire it.

What do you believe makes a strong woman?

Being a strong woman to me is all about living your truth; being a true person, respecting yourself, others, and your environment; teaching your children this by living it yourself. A strong woman also has to be able to admit to her mistakes and acknowledge that she is not always perfect, no one is, and no one should try to be. Kindness and forgiveness are also really important, especially to oneself.

Why do you choose to write a blog, and where do you gain inspiration from?
Funny, you should ask. I just wrote a post about this on Wednesday. What I’ve found is that blogging has provided me with another great opportunity for finding myself and my truth. My reasons for blogging are forever evolving, and I have seen really magical things result from my writing on Earth Mama. I guess to some extent it can be considered a type of therapy of sorts. Blogging therapy, ha!

How has the blogging community transformed your idea or sense of community

It has brought my sense of community even tighter than I ever imagined. I can say I’ve made friends across the country, across the globe even, which is just so cool. Some of the people I really hope to meet in person someday. The great thing about this community is that it doesn’t really matter what you are like or enjoy doing, there’s a little bit of something to be found for everyone and I’m so happy to be a part of it.

You recently began an etsy store, what is your favorite aspect of handcrafting?

My favorite aspect of handcrafting is trying to create healthier options for our planet and families, by using natural materials. I enjoy making alternatives to store bought toys and repurposing as many materials as I can. It makes me happy to know I’ve saved a few things from the landfill. I look forward to adding more of my photography to the shop as well as some children’s clothing in the near future.

What is your favorite form of creative expression?

I’d have to say photography. I really enjoy taking pictures and capturing a special moment that will last. I am always “seeing” pictures, and when I don’t have my camera with me, I feel pretty lost. That’s when I like to think that my mind’s eye has captured it and it will stay safe in there forever.

Thank you so much Lisa for being here with us today, and sharing a glimpse into your life and work.

Lisa’s writing, recipes, and beautiful photography can be found on her blog, as well as at Threading Light. You can also visit her Etsy store to see her beautiful work in action.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy April 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm

What a beautiful interview! Thank you for helping us get to know Lisa a little bit better. With 4 of my own, I definitely identify with alot of what she said about parenting. :)

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Andrea April 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I just recently discovered Earth Mama and it is such a lovely, inspiring blog.

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Maeghan April 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

What a beautiful exchange between 2 of my favorite Mama's. Thanks for a lovely start to my day! Blessings!

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imene April 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I discovered Lisa's blog through a comment on my blog and I love it. Thank you for sharing this interview with us

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camilla April 23, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Awesome post.
Excellent interview – so informative and beautifully written.
Lisa, you are a truly an Earth Mama….
I'm inspired.

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eliz~ so wabi sabi April 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Lisa is one of the most down to earth authentic mamas you could ever know. And I feel so blessed to have her as a friend and partner on Threading Light. I loved reading her responses to your questions on inspiration and strong women…as usual she has something to say that resonates deeply with me.

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Ivy April 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Great interview. Thank you for introducing me to Lisa.

Happy Weekend.

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Jennifer April 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Lisa's been an inspiration to me for some time now. It makes me smile to see our circle becoming larger and yet smaller.

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Gypsy Forest April 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm

WONDERFUL INTERVIEW :)

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kyndale April 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Lisa is a really fun person. I love reading and looking at her blogs!

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larissa April 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm

What a wonderful interview! i enjoyed learning more about Lisa. She is such a genuine person and i always enjoy visiting her space.

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Jane April 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I am proud to call Lisa one of my closest friends and I never cease to be amazed with what she comes up with in life! Love you girl! Am so proud of you and so proud to have a little piece of you as my friend. You truly are special and full of light!!

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Sarah Jane April 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I love your questions, Heather. I've read Lisa's blog for a while, but feel like I know her better now. Thanks!

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annie April 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

This is just a great interview. Your questions were perfect and Lisa's answers spoke volumes to me. I have been following her for a while now and get so much out of her blog.

Annie

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Angelina April 24, 2010 at 12:21 am

Fantastic interview! Perfect questions and inspiring answers. Thank you, both! ~Angelina

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sara April 24, 2010 at 4:25 am

What a nice interview. Such wise words Miss Lisa! Thanks for putting together this interview.

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Linda April 24, 2010 at 6:12 am

What a lovely interview! Thanks so much Heather:)

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jessica April 24, 2010 at 11:19 am

Threading Light is a treat–thanks for sharing this interview!

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AG Ambroult April 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm

thanks for this interview! Love Lisa, her blog, and threading light. Her honesty makes her writing incredibly inspiring.

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Adrie April 25, 2010 at 2:31 am

It was so fun to learn more about Lisa – thank you! She is even more amazing than I already thought.

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Paige April 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Fantastic – I loved this interview. Thank you both!!

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NicoleFrontierDreams April 25, 2010 at 3:42 am

Thank you for sharing this, Heather. Lisa is so amazing :)
I apologize for being away from the computer this past week *hugs*

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Nicola @ Which Name? April 26, 2010 at 4:36 am

It is so nice to get to Lisa a little better! Beautiful interview!
Nicola

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Valarie April 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I met Lisa over at Threading Light too and then the great discovery of EarthMama. This has been such a pleasure to get to know more about the person who inspires me on a daily /weekly basis. Lisa you have a beautiful family and I love the way you love to be together. Thank you Heather for sharing this wonderful woman with us. Be well both of you.

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