Footprints magazine for Australian Christain women, provides inspirational reading to Christian women across Australia and beyond. I took the photograph (left) of the gorgeous covergirl for the 50th Issue. Today I’m interving the editor of Footprints, Janet Camilleri. I first met Janet at last year’s Word Writers Fair — Brisbane. What struck me most about Janet was the warmth in her beautiful smile, it’s like a spray of sunshine. This too, is evident when reading the magazine but the sunshine stretches further; across Australia and beyond!
Thank you Janet for visiting Be A Fun Mum.
What’s your best FunMum tip?
My kids are teenagers so my tip relates to that parenting stage: find things that you enjoy doing together as a family and make a point of doing them!
By the time your kids are in high school, there are so many outside influences and pressures on them — peers, music, internet, TV, outings … that sometimes as parents we feel we have “lost” our children. Of course it’s natural for them to pull away from their parents somewhat, it is part of becoming independent. But we still want to keep the lines of communication open, and have good experiences with them so to do that you have to find things that are fun for all the family to do. We just bought a small boat with this in mind. Now I am not a mad keen boater or fisherman, but my kids LOVE it, and there is nothing like a day out on the bay together to keep our family happy and strong.
Fishing on our new boat … it’s only a little one, but it does the job!
We have found it’s good for everyone to be away from home (and Playstation, computer, phones, etc) at times, so every now and then we make a point of having a weekend getaway as a family down the Coast. You can pick up some great deals on standby — or maybe go camping instead.
We have made a conscious decision early on to limit our children’s outside activities to just one per child at a time — otherwise parents (and kids) are dragged from pillar to post keeping up with all the extracurricular activities. So for my son at the moment, it’s basketball (even that involves a Tuesday night training session and the game on Saturday). My daughter was doing volleyball but isn’t doing anything specific at the moment, although we are thinking of taking a cake decorating class together (she loves baking). By limiting their activities, we are able to eat dinner together most nights which is a rare thing for families with teens in this day and age.
Having the kids take turns in being our “kitchen helper” to prepare dinner each night is also an excellent opportunity — not only are the kids learning valuable life skills, they also tend to relax and open up about what’s going on with their lives as we work together!
What do you love most about writing?
I just love how I can get completely lost in it — I can sit down at the computer to write, and next time I look up an hour could have easily passed — I get lost in the creative flow! Writing to me is almost a form of prayer, meditation and worship — it’s how I express myself. As I write, I ponder various situations and look to God for His inspiration and help. It helps me to make meaning of the world!
Believe it or not, I even like to edit my own work after I’ve let it “sit” for a while. When I come back to it, I am often surprised (in a good way) by what I have previously written! I find great satisfaction in playing with the words and polishing up my work, and I know that I won’t be offended if I am harsh in the editing process ;-).
I borrowed a friend’s laptop when I was in Manila for an editor’s conference last year, so I could keep writing!
And then to know that what I’ve written is helpful to others — that’s a bonus! Not to mention the feeling of holding a complete magazine or book in my hands and that wonderful sense of achievement …
I received my first Footprints Magazine a few months ago. I was impressed with the quality of the content. Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas are everywhere! I am forever scribbling notes to myself in my diary (which is always with me). I get inspired by TV shows, reading the paper, my Bible, sermons in church, chats with friends, my personal prayer time, things my children say. Even gazing out the window at the trees blowing in the wind led me to write a piece today!
Can you share a story of how Footprints has blessed someone?
How do I choose just one?! There are so many, I actually wrote a blog post about this not long ago! I know that Footprints has been instrumental in seeing at least one person come into the kingdom of God, and probably many more that I won’t know about until we get to heaven.
One lady wrote to tell us about how Footprints helped her break the bonds and bitterness of unforgiveness in her life, and that she now has peace. Another girl didn’t go ahead with a suicide attempt after reading one of our articles. I’m often told that reading Footprints is like a big warm hug!
How can people contribute?
I’m so glad you asked! We welcome contributions from our readers. Women of every denomination read Footprints, so our content focuses on the 90% that unites us as Christians, rather than the 10% that divides.
A great place to start is by submitting to one of our regular columns. “My Favourite Scripture” is about how a verse or Bible passage has been particularly meaningful to you. Try and choose something a bit different, as we have received plenty based on the more common ones (eg Proverbs 3: 5 & 6) over the years!
“God Answered My Prayer” is where readers share their stories of answered prayers; and we also print a book review in each issue.
I also love to receive practical stories eg. how I learned to get along with the in-laws; how I make time for my husband; how I reach out to others in my community.
As a general rule, the shorter your contribution, the easier it is to find a home for it in the pages of Footprints. Plus, people just don’t have the attention span to devote to long articles these days. Ideally, your story will be less than 500 words. Preference is given to ORIGINAL works by our SUBSCRIBERS (Support Footprints — subscribe today!).
Unfortunately, as a not-for-profit magazine run by volunteers, at this stage we are not able to offer monetary payment — just a heavenly reward! We do however send our contributors copies of the issue that their work appears in.
If any of your readers like the sound of Footprints Kelly, they are most welcome to send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free trial copy (sorry, Australian residents only). Of course we’re hoping they’ll enjoy it so much they just have to subscribe!
The tour continues with Through My Eyes tomorrow (Tuesday, 6 July).
Check out the other posts on the tour:
Thursday 24 June: Wendy from On the Edge of Ordinary
Friday 25 June: Julie from Works for Me Homemaking
Saturday 26 June: Kay from Hear and Soul Pursuits
Sunday 27 June: Michelle from Michelle D Evans
Monday 28 June: Kathie from Proverbs 31 Woman
Tuesday 29 June: Lil from Mothering Misadventures
Wednesday 30 June: Corallie from Buchanan Beeline
Thursday 1 July: Joni from Every 1 Matters
Friday 2 July: Narelle from Moments for Mum
Saturday 3 July: Cath fromSquiggleMum
Sunday 4 July: Paula from Paula’s Sharing Spot
Monday 5 July: Kelly from Be A Fun Mum (that’s me!!!)
Tuesday 6 July: Tabitha from Through My Eyes
Read more Be A Fun Mum interviews here.