Meet My Friend . . . Caryn Rivadeneira

Once each month this year, I want to “introduce” you to a friend of mine who is doing cool things in the world. We’re starting things out with my friend and freelance co-worker, author and speaker Caryn Rivadeneira.

Caryn, thanks for this chance to introduce you to my “friends.” Can you give us the basics on who you are?

Sure! Of course, I wrote a whole book on identities, but it’s still hard to sum it up sometimes. Best to say I’m a mom and a writer. My kids are 8, 6, and 3. My husband and I both work out of the house—so life gets really crazy (and crowded), but it’s good.

You blog with a friend at TheMommyRevolution. What’s that all about?

We started to blog because we were frustrated with the false expectations placed on moms. Christian moms, in particular. And that’s pretty much been our theme—trying to take down these ridiculous expectations of what the “Good Christian Mom” looks like. We try to encourage women to be who God created them to be—and to raise their kids according to that.

It seems like all women–not just moms–struggle in the area of identity. We wear labels and stereotypes . . . but what about the real person? In your book Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., you talk about discovering the “real you.” Why is that so important?

Because God didn’t create us by accident. He didn’t just randomly whip together a bunch of recipes for people and “hope” that who turned up would be good in his kingdom. And he doesn’t mass produce carbon copies. We were each made with special gifts and passions and personalities that allow us to help change the world for the better in our own ways. If we don’t know who we really are—and if we don’t live as that person—we’re not only cheating ourselves, but we’re cheating the world. And God, really, by not living as he created us to.

On my blog this month, we’re looking at the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude. Not easy ones for busy women today! I find these disciplines especially challenging. Do you?

Uh, yes. Remember, my husband and I both work out of the house! And our kids aren’t all in school yet. But, the silence and solitude do come. I get up early to have some alone time. And I also snatch bits of it during the day. This is terrible to say, but not so much to “do devotions” or anything, but just to sort of be with my thoughts and see where God might be in the midst of it. I often joke that Chaos is my Muse—because my best ideas tend to come in the middle of craziness—but it’s in the quiet and when I’m alone that I can articulate them—and notice God in it.

Even though it’s tough, grabbing some time alone to just “be” is so essential to discovering the “real you.” Tell me about a time in your life when you were able to pause, reflect, and just be. (It still counts even if it was just five minutes!)

LOL. So, I just sort of answered this in the last question. But I remember when my kids were little-er, I got really good at “spacing out.” I’d be pushing Thomas trains around the track or playing Little People with my kids, but my brain would drift. Some people may say this isn’t being “attentive” or “really there” with your kids, but it’s what helped me stay in touch with the “real me.” Because I am a reflective, thoughtful (as in full of thoughts, not necessarily thinking of what I can do for others!) with dreams and ideas is who I am. Being able to “pause, reflect, and just be” in the middle of the circuses of life has kept me sane. Barely.

You’ve just finished a new book project set to be published in the fall. Can you tell us anything about it or is it top secret?

Oh, it’s TOP SECRET! Ha! No, I can talk about it. I’m just finishing up my final edits this week. The title is Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Life When It Lets You Down. And as depressing as the title may seem, it’s really a fun book. Though it does start out with me as a crying mess on the kitchen floor. It’s all up hill from there!

But I’m excited about this project because it is about how we can live better during the seasons of life when things just aren’t as they’re supposed to be. It’s more of that expectation-busting, living as the people we’re created to be stuff.

I’ve got a lot of personal stuff in this book, though. So, I’m a little nervous that other people will read it. But, whatcha gonna do? It comes out in September 2011.

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One response to “Meet My Friend . . . Caryn Rivadeneira

  1. Mama’s Got A Fake ID literally changed my life and I am so thankful to Caryn for writing it. I loved reading this interview and I especially loved her thoughts on “finding God in the midst” of the chaos/spacing out/etc of the daily life of a mother. Thank you, Caryn, and thank you Kelli!

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