This Whole Together Family Life

Hi, You!

I’m Erika Shirk. I can’t begin to describe how our lives have changed in the last couple years. I only know this page is dreadfully out of date and my blogging days right here and now are on pause.

You can find me other places, but you might have to tell me how you found me as my accounts are private right now.

I’m gradually updating a page of useful links that I’ll share here, but for now know that though my life has drastically changed I am still reflecting on the whole together family and what these ideas I have written mean for me and us even now. Thanks for being here even in the pause.

My words from before are below:

(These words below were written in January 2019 – before the loss of my sister, the pandemic, and my divorce. We have all known change like this. I am in the midst of it, but can’t bring myself to scrap this whole page. It still rings true in my idealistic heart.)


My goal is for everyone in my family to feel whole and free to be themselves. For us I’ve found that means making time to pursue meaningful goals and dreams, prioritize spiritual, emotional and physical health, connect as a whole family, and be seen as individuals even in our families.

It’s a constantly changing work-in-progress as we adjust for individual personalities, life seasons and overall balance.


I believe with my whole heart that God placed us together as specific people with specific people for our creative and spiritual good. It’s a daunting joy to figure it out on the daily, but one that is worth our time and courage.

As part of our work-in-progress, I write. I put words in a row to make sense and find freedom for us in our specificity and in our togetherness. Writing gives me eyes for the grace of it all, for more options than I thought, for hope in imperfection, and for God’s vision in the midst of everything unplanned. Each word after another paves the way for more wholeness in our family.

 I hope it helps you in your family, too. 

Sharing good books because I’m obsessed and a little nerdy.

Essays and helpful tips for whole together families.

Practicing kind self-talk and saying the words I need to hear.

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On my blog:


To get to the other side {the kind side}

So many days these days I have no idea what I’m doing or how it will work out. I’m praying for clarity, filling out paperwork, asking for help, and trying to make choices all in these middle grounds. At the moment nothing is figured out and I don’t know how to get it over with…

When you can’t remember how to be {Notes from the Kind Side}

Sometimes all it takes for a life to fall apart into a million shreds is some boundaries. It really shouldn’t be this way, but sometimes it is. At least that’s how it’s been for me. It’s been a bit since I’ve said some words from the Kind Side for anyone else but me lately. I’ve…

Is Hope*Writers Worth It? {my top five reasons}

Hope*Writers is a choose-your-own-adventure, year-round, at-home writers conference with no extra costs for airfare, hotels, food, childcare, car rentals, etc. It might not seem like it from the outside but Hope*Writers is a great alternative and better investment of money than your average 4 day writing conference. I live far away from most writing conferences…

{Whole}listical (4.23.20)

I’m a little tired of being thoughtful and knee-deep in everyone’s opinions, sources, controversy, and blah. I could to switch to something more solid like a book, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy or it doesn’t feel relevant. Here are five things helping me to think about, giving me peace in, and adding…


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